The Best Solar Generators of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Whether you are outfitting your home in case of an extended power outage or looking for a steady supply of off-grid power for your overlanding setup, it’s never been a better time to purchase a solar generator. But sifting through all the available options on the market—power stations that are lunchbox-sized to luggage-sized, solar panels that can pack in a backpack to multiple eight-foot long panels you chain together—can take a lot of time and effort. To help you choose the best solar generator for your purpose, we tested some of the most powerful models from Anker, Jackery, Goal Zero, and BioLite side by side to see how they stacked up.
- Best Overall:Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
- Best Value:Anker 555 Solar Generator
- Most Portable:BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
- Most Customizable:Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
- Best for RVs:Anker Solar Generator 767
How I Tested the Best Solar Generators
There are two components to a solar generator—a solar panel and a power station. To understand the performance of the overall package, I looked at each component and then also assessed how they worked in tandem.
- Solar Panels were tested in tandem (to ensure similar conditions) under clear skies. Testing was conducted in late fall, when the angle of the sun is less ideal than it would be at the peak of summer, affecting the potential of each panel to reach its claimed maximum output. Solar panels were tested using power stations of the same brand, but where possible, I also used different panels with different power stations to see if that affected the results.
- Power stations were evaluated on a number of criteria. After fully charging all the power stations, I left them in a climate-controlled room for three days and then outside for twenty-four hours in near-freezing temperatures—none of the power stations registered any loss of power during this test. Next, I plugged various appliances into all of the power stations to see how they handled the volume: a dehumidifier, a sunlamp, two laptops, one of the best power banks for camping, a pair of headphones, another power station, etc. Using these setups, I ran each power station down to half its estimated output. Finally, I considered how compatible each power station was with other solar panels, as well as additional features, such as Bluetooth-compatible apps, display panels, wireless charging, USB-C input ports, and more.
Solar Panels Tested
I tested six solar panels rated for both 100W and 200W capacity from Goal Zero, Anker, Jackery, and BioLite.
I checked that all the solar panels were pointed in the same direction and at the same angle when testing their measured output against their claimed output.
|Model||Weight||Size (unfolded)||Output Ports||Warranty||Claimed output||Measured output|
|Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel||18 lbs||540 x 2320 x 25 mm||DC||1.5 years||200W||184W|
|Goal Zero Boulder 200W||42 lbs||40 x 53.5 x 1.75 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||2 years||200W||145W|
|Anker 531 Solar Panel||20 lbs||23.75 x 83.75 x.75 inches||XT-60||2 years||200W||158W|
|Goal Zero Boulder 100W||20 lbs||40 x 26.75 x 1.75 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||2 years||100W||73W|
|Anker 625 Solar Panel||11 lbs||57 x 20.75 x 1.75 inches||XT-60||2 years||100W||94W|
|BioLite Solar Panel 100||10 lbs||20 x 57.5 x 1 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||1 year||100W||52W|
Power Stations Tested
The power stations I tested ranged in size from 1,002Wh to 2,048Wh, and were capable of either 110 volts or 120 volts (the latter is what you’ll need to run most major appliances).
All of the power stations were capable of holding a charge for extended periods of time, losing no power in either the three-day indoors test or the 24-hour outdoors test in subfreezing and near freezing temperatures.
|Model||Weight||Wh||Input ports||Input Max for Solar||Max voltage for the AC outlet||App?||Warranty|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1500X||45.5 lbs||1,516||USB-C, 8mm, high power port (HPP)||600W||120V||Yes||2 years|
|Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro||25.5 lbs||1,002||AC and DC||800W||120V||No||3 years|
|Anker 767||XX||2,048||AC and XT60||1000W||120V||Yes||5 years|
|Anker 555||29.8 lbs||1,024||DC and USB-C||200W||110V||No||5 years|
|BioLite BaseCharge 1500||26.5||1,521||USB-C, high power port (HPP)||400W||110V||No||2 years|
Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro (Explorer 1000 Pro Solar Saga 200W)
- Power station capacity: 1002 watt hours
- Solar panels: four 200-watt solar panels
- Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 184 watts
- Max AC output: 120 volts and 1000 watts
- Also available with a 2000Wh power station
- Also available with two 80-watt panels
Along with the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 and Anker 555, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro had one of the more streamlined user interfaces. There are separate buttons to activate the USB outlets, AC outlets, and DC outlet, along with a button to turn on the power station’s light (in case you want to light up your camp or home) and one to turn on the display. The display here gives you the bare minimum of information—watts in, watts out, percent of the battery remaining, and the time to charge or deplete the battery based on the current conditions.
The Explorer 1000 Pro has a max output of 1000W (peaking at 2000W), which is enough juice to power many modern refrigerators. But given that its battery life is only 1002Wh, it can only supply that power for about a day (assuming it’s not charging anything else) unless it’s also being supplied with fresh juice from a solar panel setup at the same time. For some, this won’t be an issue, as they’ll simply be using the battery to channel power to their other devices during the day while it’s charging, and then using the battery at night to power more low-key items like the best camping fans or maybe one high-energy device like a portable fridge.
At over 25 pounds, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro, is one of the more transportable units I looked at, but it’s still not something that you’d want to lug more than a hundred feet or so at a time.
The Solar Panel
I originally tested the SolarSaga 200W solar panel as a full setup, with four panels plugged into a single power station. This test showed the full power of the array, which registered 650W of power generation on a sunny (albeit hazy) day. I retested a single panel in tandem with the rest of the units in this review more recently, and under completely clear skies, the panel was even more impressive: It registered 184W of energy coming from a single panel. If you don’t have much time to recharge your power station from the sun, then the full setup with all four panels is a no-brainer.
It is, though, a little complicated. Each panel comes with a carrying case and a cable that connects back to the two DC ports on the Explorer 1000 Pro. If you see a math problem here, that’s correct: You’ll also need two of the Jackery Solar Panel Connectors, which, strangely, are not included in the purchase price. Two of these can be used to double the number of panels you can connect to the Explorer 1000 Pro.
Setting up and taking down this many panels takes some time, but I was impressed by how easy and intuitive it was. That’s because Jackery streamlined the number of ports on each unit, making it that much clearer what cable connects to what unit in what port.
While there might at first glance appear to be a disconnect between the charging time capabilities of this setup and its battery life, it’s worth keeping in mind that conditions are not always optimal. One of the things that impressed me most about these units is the panel’s ability to generate electricity in lowlight conditions. Even in complete shade—dusk fast approaching—a single SolarSaga was generating a 6W input.
Best Budget: Anker 555 Solar Generator (555 PowerHouse with Two (2) 625 Solar Panels 100W)
- Power Station Capacity: 1024 watt hours
- Solar Panels: two 100-watt solar panels
- Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 94 watts
- Max AC output: 110 volts and 1000 watts
- Also available with a 1229Wh power station and three 100W solar panels
- Max power station output is 110V
- XT60 port on the solar panel needs an adapter to be compatible with the power station
If your family has a bevy of devices that seemingly all need to be plugged in simultaneously, you are in luck with the Anker 555 PowerHouse. It was the only unit in my test that boasted six AC outlets, as well as three USB-C outlets and two USB-A outlets. There were so many outlets that it was actually hard to find enough things to plug into it in my home—I ended up with an air purifier, sun lamp, two fans, a laptop, and a battery pack plugged in. The 555 PowerHouse had no problem with this—it barely used a third of its total output power. If your family has a bunch of devices that simply must be charged at all times, then this is a great option.
Note that this would not be the best choice for someone looking for backup power for their refrigerator, as its 1,024 watt hour capacity was on the smaller side in my test and only has up to 110-volt output.
Something else I liked about this unit was the utility—and comparative simplicity—of its charging abilities. It has one DC input port in the back and a USB-C 100W port that plays double duty with input and output. As someone who struggles to keep track of the sheer number and variety of cords that are always floating around, I appreciated the ability to recharge this unit without tracking down the original cord.
The Solar Panel
The Anker 625 was easily the best of the 100W panels I tested—it was one of the best solar panels for camping I tested back in the spring, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces of gear. It even beat out the 200W Jackery SolarSaga if you consider that this panel generated 94 percent of its claimed output, while the Jackery only managed 92 percent. Part of this is the inclusion of a sundial in the top center of the panel, which helped me align the panel correctly during setup. This sundial is such a useful feature, that after I had correctly aligned the Anker 625, I went back and adjusted all the other panels to match it—an instant uptick in power was measured. Two of these panels is a great choice for recharging a power station the size of the 555 PowerHouse.
I’ve been testing this panel for a while—unlike some of the others in this test—and in that time I’ve noticed that it’s picked up a bit of scuffing along the edges of the fabric backing. While not ideal, this has not impacted the functionality of the unit in the slightest.
Most Portable: BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
- Power station Capacity: 1521 watt hours
- Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
- Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 52 watts
- Max AC output: 110 volts and 1200 watts
- Also available with a 622Wh power station
- Lightest unit I tested
- Power station is easy to use
- Power station is compatible with the Goal Zero Boulder 200 (up to two)
Like the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro and the Anker 555 PowerHouse, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 has a sleek and streamlined user interface that is easy to read and understand. The display panel shows the percentage of your battery left, the estimated number of hours it will take to either run through or finish charging the battery, the watts coming into your unit, and the watts going out. It also shows you the number of watt-hours the unit has used in total—watching that number was a bit like watching the odometer tick up on your car. Not super useful daily, but a nice thing to know in the aggregate. There are separate buttons to turn on the ports for USB, DC, and AC power, as well as a button to turn on the display. (A second button allows you to reset the display of how many watts you’ve used, useful if you are interested in getting an accurate read on your total power needs).
There were three details that made the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 stand out next to the competition:
- A wireless charging option on top of the unit. (Unfortunately, I was not able to test this as I do not have a device with this capability.)
- The choice to put the input port on the front of the unit, as opposed to the back. During testing, I found that this configuration was easier when plugging in solar panels.
- This power station is surprisingly lightweight, especially compared to the Yeti 1500X, which has a comparable watt-hour capacity. If you plan to move your power station from room to room, this is a no-brainer.
During testing, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 was one of the few power stations where the “hours to empty” estimate kept jumping around. It probably accurately reflected the change in power needs of the bigger devices, but was confusing to look at and made the time estimates less useful than they would have otherwise been. (The percentage estimate of the amount of battery life remaining, however, stayed fairly consistent.)
The Solar Panel
While the BaseCharge 1500 ended up being one of my favorite power stations, the BioLite Solar Panel 100 was my least favorite solar panel. First off, two kickstands simply don’t provide enough support for the panels. This is partly because two just isn’t enough, but also because one of the kickstands is situated closer to the middle of the unit, rather than both being on the outer edges. I was able to use the BaseCharge 1500 to help prop it up a bit, but it wasn’t an ideal solution.
One thing that I did like about this unit is that, like the Anker 625, it incorporated a sundial, which helped me to situate the panel at the right angle to maximize the energy output.
However, even with that advantage, this was by far the weakest panel in my test, only generating about half of its claimed output even on a clear day with sunny skies. If you choose to go with a BaseCharge 1500, it’s worth considering pairing it with a Goal Zero Boulder 200W, a pairing that proved successful during testing.
Best Customization: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
- Power Station Capacity: 1516 watt hours
- Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
- Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 73 watts
- Max AC output: 120 volts and 2000 watts
- Solar panels also available at 200-watt and 300-watt capacity
- power station s available in sizes ranging from 187 watt hours to 6071 watt hours
- Possible to monitor the power station from another room using the app
- The larger power station s could power major appliances for days without recharging
- Less intuitive than other power station s I looked at
- Difficult to recharge if you lose the original cables
The Yeti 1500X was one of the most complicated user interfaces to navigate, and included several details that I have mixed feelings about. The most glaring one is that when the unit is plugged into a power source, a light blinks blue continuously until it is charged, when it switches to solid blue—if you are in the same space as this unit when it is charging, this is very distracting. Next is the three buttons above the display—which read “unit,” “light,” and “info.” Unit is fairly straightforward—it toggles the input and output measurements between volts, amperes, watts, etc. This is pretty handy if you’re curious about how much power a given device is chewing through. Next is light—on other power stations, this button turns on an actual light, which is useful if you’re trying to see what you’re doing in the evening hours. The Goal Zero, however, does not have a built-in light; what this button turns on and off is the display screen showing the power supply. The info button only seemed to turn on the display (not off)—it was unclear what other use this was meant to have.
Interestingly, despite having one of the most powerful AC ports in my test, there was only space for two plug-ins. Most of the time, I suspect this will be plenty for people (and it does help to cut down on the unnecessary juice being lost out of these ports), but others might find themselves digging out a powerstrip to make up for the lack fo ports.
One of the more unusual features of the Yeti 1500X is a top lid, which has storage for charging cables, or anything else you want to throw in there. Underneath, it also has detailed descriptions of all of the power limitations of the various ports, plus evergreen reminders about not letting your power station get wet—all in semi-legible font. Surprisingly that can’t be said for any of the power stations in my test (including the Anker 767, which despite having the largest surface area strangely didn’t include this information at all). There is also a second 8mm port under the lid as well as a 12V HPP output port.
The amount of power it was being charged with supplying—1385 watts through a single AC port (I had plugged it back into the Anker 767 unit) was higher than anything else I tested, due to this being the only combination where that was available—the maximum input capability of the Yeti 1500X is 150V from AC power). The icon showing how much power was remaining did, however, stay consistent.
Like the Anker 767, the Yeti 1500X has an app that you can use to monitor the battery’s power usage. This app was not as intuitive to use as the Anker 767’s, requiring several more steps to get to the point where I could monitor the battery usage (it also asked me to upgrade its firmware seemingly every other time I opened it). However, once you have the whole thing set up, it provides just as much information and control as the Anker 767 app.
The Solar Panel
I tested both the Boulder 100W and the Boulder 200W from Goal Zero. These are basically the same panels (although with different ports (HPP versus DC), affecting what other power stations you might be able to pair them with), just at a different size, so whether you choose one over the other will depend on your energy needs, and your personal strength.
These panels are significantly bulkier and more cumbersome than anything else I tested. While the likes of Jackery’s SolarSaga series and the Anker solar panels are a bit like someone took a backpacking solar panel and just blew it up to 20x the size. The Boulder series from Goal Zero looks like a solar panel off your house that’s shrunken down to something you could throw into the back of your car.
Both the 100W and the 200W solar panels come with carrying cases, which due to the placement of the zippers are kind of a nuisance to use. But use them you should because the way these panels fold up leaves the solar cells on the outside of the package, rather than on the inside (like the rest of the solar panels in my test). While the 100W panel was heavy, but otherwise easy enough to move thanks to the inclusion of a comfortable handle on the long side of the folded-up panels, the 200W had a tendency to drag across the ground (at least this was my experience, as a 5 foot 5 inch individual), forcing me to lean to one side as I walked. Did I mention that these panels were heavy? At 42 pounds, the Boulder 200W is extremely heavy.
While the Boulder solar panels were reasonably easy to set up, the way the legs are designed give you fewer options for maximizing the angle of the sun in the winter months, when it’s lower to the horizon. This showed during testing, when the panels only pulled in 73W for the 100W panel, and 143W for the 200W panel.
EcoFlow Delta Review 1800W / 1300wH Solar Generator: Is It Worth Buying? (2021)
When the EcoFlow Delta 1800 first hit the market, solar generators were a real game-changer. Whereas a traditional solar power system requires installing expensive, bulky, and complicated components, a solar power generator can act as an all-in-one solar power station.
Today, the best solar generators feature a high-capacity internal solar battery, both a built-in charge controller and an integrated power inverter, as well as a variety of useful output ports.
In other words, the best solar generators can be paired with solar panels to give you the ability to generate, store, and access power from even the most remote locations.
The EcoFlow brand was established in 2017 with a simple goal – to reinvent the way people access power. They wanted to offer reliable, portable, and renewable power sources that customers could use for adventures in remote, off-grid locations or as reliable power banks for emergencies and power outages.
Honest Review of the EcoFlow Delta 1800
The EcoFlow brand was established in 2017 with a simple goal – to reinvent the way people access power. They wanted to offer reliable, portable, and renewable power sources that could be used for adventures in remote, off-grid locations, or as reliable power banks for emergencies and power outages.
In the brand’s short history, it has earned an impressive reputation for offering durable, high-performance solar products at affordable prices. Out of all of its products, the EcoFlow Delta 1800 continues to stand out as one of its best sellers.
To understand whether or not the Delta 1800 deserves its status, we dissect some of its internal components and look at its specifications.
EcoFlow Delta: Battery Capacity, Life Cycles, and Shelf Life
One of the first things consumers look for when presented with a solar generator is the battery capacity.
The Delta features a built-in 1,260Wh (350Ah, 3.7V) deep-cycle solar battery, which is fairly impressive given its compact and lightweight design. For comparison, similarly-sized units, such as the Patriot Power Generator 1800, only feature a 652Wh internal battery.
Put bluntly, you get nearly twice the battery capacity you would get with other solar generators in the Delta’s price range.
For perspective, this means that a fully-charged Delta 1800 could charge and power electronic devices and appliances in the following ways:
|Large refrigerator||15 to 18 hours|
|Coffee maker||50 cycles|
|Standard Laptop||27 recharges|
|CPAP Machine||20 hours|
|32” television||23 hours|
|10W LED flood light||140 hours|
As you can see, having a high battery capacity is incredibly important.
Whether you want to charge portable electronics, like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, or supply power to your more demanding electronic appliances, such as a toaster, refrigerator, blender, air conditioner, or oscillating fan, the Delta’s nearly 1,300Wh lithium-ion battery is up to the task.
While battery capacity is important, it is also worth noting its shelf life. Essentially, shelf life refers to the amount of time you can leave a battery charged before it will lose its charge. While all batteries suffer from a natural draining process over time, some batteries hold their charge longer than others.
As you can imagine, shelf life is important for those who plan on using solar generators as source of emergency or backup power. Fortunately, the Delta 1800 delivers. With a shelf life of over 12 months, buyers could conceivably leave the unit untouched and in storage for a full year and still rely on it to have a fully charged battery in the event of a power outage or emergency.
For comparison, similar units, like the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X, tend to have a shelf life of only three to four months.
The Delta 1800’s battery is rated for 800 life cycles, which is, again, impressive. Essentially, life cycles refer to the total number of times the battery can be charged and drained before it starts to lose some of its capacity.
While this might lead you to believe that you can only use the battery about 800 times until you start to see signs of degradation, it is important to remember that a cycle refers to a full recharge followed by a full discharge. In other words, partially discharging the battery would not necessarily impact the battery the same way that a full discharge cycle would.
You could only use some of the Delta’s stored power before recharging the battery, and the impact on the battery’s lifespan would be negligible.
The fact that the Delta’s powerful power inverter allows you to discharge the battery fully is fairly unique. Some of the less efficient solar generators shut off before you can completely drain the battery.
EcoFlow Delta: Power Inverter, Charge Controller, and Output Ports
One of the highlights of the Delta 1800 is its powerful and efficient internal power inverter. The 1,800W pure sine power inverter is impressive, especially when you consider the unit’s compact dimensions and lightweight design.
At 1,800W, there is nothing else like the Delta in its class. Most units this size feature far less powerful inverters, which is why most of the highly portable units are for charging smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, tablets, portable GPS units, and other handheld electronics.
As mentioned above, the combination of the Delta’s high-capacity battery and its 1,800W power inverter means it can power fairly demanding electronic appliances, like refrigerators, televisions, and more.
Not only is the power inverter rated at 1,800W, but it also offers 3,300W of surge potential, which means it can withstand the peaks and valleys you get with more temperamental electronics, like microwaves, blenders, toaster ovens, hairdryers, and straightening irons. Delta’s power inverter is so impressive that we have even seen it power some fairly demanding power tools!
The built-in MPPT charge controller protects the battery and ensures you make the most out of your power source. Generators with a far less efficient PWM charge controller require more solar power supply to charge the battery.
Your solar panels will perform effectively, and more of the DC power they generate will end up getting stored within your unit’s deep cycle battery.
The MPPT charge controller also protects against reverse battery drain, which can occur when power flows from the battery to a connected solar panel. With a low-quality charge controller, this usually occurs after the sun has set and the connected panels are no longer producing power.
The Delta also features a wide variety of practical output charging ports, including:
PowerG 1800 Solar Mobility Generator 12V 100Ah Solar Replacement Battery
We want you to be 100% satisfied. If for some reason you are not happy, return it to us.
We stock low cost, high quality batteries and here to help ensure you make the right purchase.
Free shipping on orders over 99, including freight.
If our product isn’t performing as it should, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team.
About Solar Batteries
Caring for SLA Batteries
- Recharge batteries after each use to prevent performance decline.
- Avoid complete discharges.
- Periodically check terminals for signs of corrosion or other wear which might cause failure.
- Always store battery fully charged.
- Store battery in cool, dry place (~68°F).
- Recycle batteries, do not dispose.
Frequently Asked Questions
All we do is sell replacement batteries, we are very good at that!Manufacturer’s are not able to process smaller orders quickly and efficiently.BatteryClerk specializes in processing any size order accurately and fast.
All AJC Battery orders placed Monday-Friday leave our warehouse the same day if placed before 2PM EST.
If your order is placed Friday after 2PM through Sunday, your order will be shipped out Monday morning.
We stand behind our products with 30-day easy returns and a 12 month warranty. Lawn and tractor batteries have a 6 month warranty.
Please enter the brand and model number of your device or battery you need to replace in the search bar at the top of this page.
As long as the voltage, terminals and dimensions match, then you will be able to use this as a compatible battery replacement option.
The Best 1800W Solar Generator: Nature’s Generator
If you’ve shopped around for solar generators, you may have found one that seems too good to be true. How can a 1800W solar generator be so much more affordable than its competitors? It has to be junk, right?
Wrong. Here’s what you need to know about the best 1800W solar generator on the market, the Nature’s Generator power pod.
What Can 1800W Power?
First, why would we need a 1800W solar generator? 1800W is a lot for a portable power station, especially with a 720 Wh capacity. That’s more than enough to power electronics like laptops, Wi-Fi routers, and televisions all at the same time.
Also, if you’re on the job site, you can easily power your corded drills, saws, and even larger electronic devices without running extension cords for hundreds of feet.
Sleeping in an RV? You can easily power lights, cooking appliances, and more all at once. 1800W is enough to run hairdryers, cooking stoves, and almost anything you would need on a camping trip!
What Makes Nature’s Generator Better?
Nature’s Generator has a few key features that separate it from its competitors. Here are a few key examples.
First, it’s incredibly affordable. Nature’s Generator is the most affordable 1800W solar generator of its kind, largely due to the 100 Ah sealed lead acid battery that it uses. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a solar generator, this is a great option for you, and you won’t have to sacrifice output!
If the 720 Wh capacity concerns you, the price easily makes up for it. You can compound Nature’s Generator with other power pods, including the Nature’s Generator Elite (with a conversion kit). This allows for incredible capacity and output for the lowest possible price.
Nature’s Generator is compatible with AC charging, car charging, and solar panels. This is about what you would expect from a solar generator, but Nature’s Generator has another trick up its sleeve: wind turbines.
That’s right. You can purchase wind turbines with your Nature’s Generator to ensure that you have access to clean energy during a storm, throughout the night, or whenever you need it! This makes it one of the best portable clean electrical energy solutions on the market!
The long-lasting pure sine wave inverter can handle up to 1800W of output at a time. You can spread this power across the 3 wall outlets, 2 USB ports, and the car charger for plenty of options.
So, how powerful is the inverter? Well, you can charge a 6,000 BTU wall air conditioner for over 16 hours on one charge, and even longer with solar panel input!
Speaking of standard gas generators, Nature’s Generator is incredibly quiet, even compared to another portable generator (without the toxic fumes). It doesn’t have an internal fan or any moving parts, making it incredibly quiet while running or charging. Don’t worry about noise while you’re out enjoying nature!
Buy a Nature’s Generator Today
Now that you know what makes Nature’s Generator so special, you can see why it’s so popular for workers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s powerful enough to run any power tools you need and cheap enough that you can afford to compound them!
Stay up to date with our latest product tips, and buy a Nature’s Generator today with free shipping and a price match guarantee!
What Size Solar Generator Do You Need to Run a Whole House?
Solar generators are all-in-one solutions for harnessing and storing off-grid power.
Gone are the days when you needed to run gas or diesel generators all day, creating excessive noise and pollution. Solar generators are the new standard for energy production, as they operate cleanly, quietly, and efficiently.
Solar generators can power a whole house — but how do you know which size of solar generator to purchase?
Consider your household’s electricity consumption, the frequency and duration of power outages, and other factors to determine the right solar generator size for your home.
Can a Solar Generator Run a Whole House?
Yes, a solar generator can power a whole house, but it depends on the size of the generator, the size of the house, and the household’s energy consumption.
A solar generator typically includes photovoltaic solar panels, an inverter, a solar battery, and other balance of system components. Your solar generator’s power output and storage capacity largely determines what appliances you can run and for how long.
The amount of solar energy your solar panel array can capture depends on the rated power, efficiency, and number of PV panels you deploy. It also depends on environmental factors — like peak sunlight hours at your location — but solar panels can capture solar energy even on overcast days.
Depending on your household’s electricity consumption, It may be necessary to supplement your solar generator’s output and storage capacity with grid-tied power or a backup generator during periods of low sunlight or high energy usage.
Many companies offer modular solar generator systems that can run a tiny home or RV off-grid. For instance, EcoFlow Power Kits include a power hub, distribution panels, inverters, stackable solar batteries, and other components.
For larger houses, a whole home solar generator will better suit your needs.
Here are the crucial factors to consider when determining how big a solar generator must be to power your household.
How Big Should Your Solar Generator Be to Power a Whole House?
The size of a solar generator required to power a whole home depends on your family’s energy consumption.
The typical American household uses around 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day, but using a ballpark figure when investing in a solar generator is never a good idea.
Determining Your Average Electricity Consumption
One way to estimate the size of the solar generator you need is to average the electricity consumption shown on your monthly electricity bills — preferably over the course of a year.
Depending on your location, your household’s electricity consumption can vary dramatically from month to month — particularly if you rely on electricity to heat or cool your home.
If your primary goal is to have a solar-powered whole home backup power solution during blackouts, you may not need to consume as much electricity as you do when the grid is available.
If that’s the case, calculating the electricity requirements of your essential appliances is a better method than looking at your average consumption.
Determining Your Essential Wattage Requirements
When deciding which solar generator, you should determine how much electricity you need. Here’s how…
- Identify the wattage requirements of your appliances. Survey the starting and running wattage requirements of the appliances and devices you plan to plug into the generator. You can usually find the wattage requirements labeled on the appliance, but we’ve also compiled the starting and running watts of typical household appliances in the table below.
- Convert volts/amps to watts. If your appliance’s power requirements are in volts or amps, you can calculate an appliance’s running watts with this equation:
Volts (V) x Amps (A) = Watts (W)
- Count the running watts of your appliances. Add up the running watts of the appliances you plan to use — does the total exceed the running watts listed on your generator? If so, consider buying a generator with more output capacity.
- Factor in starting watt requirements. Identify the appliance with the highest starting wattage. Add that appliance’s starting wattage to the running wattage total.
- Calculate the sum. That final number is the total starting watts you need from your generator. As discussed above, to avoid overloading your generator, do not exceed its starting watts rating.
Starting and Running Watts of Typical Household Appliances
|Appliance||Rated (Running) Watts||Starting Watts|
|20” Box Fan||200||350|
Here are several other things to consider when sizing a generator:
Number of People in Your Household
How many people living in your home will directly impact the system size you need. If you live alone, you can probably get away with a smaller solar generator, such as the EcoFlow DELTA Pro 400W portable solar panel. A single DELTA Pro provides 3.6kWh of battery storage and up to 1,600W solar charging capacity. With four rigid 400W solar panels, the DELTA Pro solar generator can suffice for households of two or three people.
Families of four or more will benefit from the added security of a Whole Home Solar Generator. With up to 3,200W of solar charging capacity, 25 kWh of storage, and power output of 7,200kW/240V, this system can run your home indefinitely.
Electricity Consumption During a Blackout
If you keep your usage low during power outages, you can get away with a smaller generator. However, if you wish to keep your fridge and freezer running or use electricity for your HVAC system, you’ll need a solar generator with significant power output and storage capacity.
To maximize your power during an outage, try these simple tricks:
- Use LED lights or flashlights for lighting when possible.
- Keep a small supply of biodegradable disposable dishware and utensils on hand to avoid using the dishwasher and limit hot water consumption
- Instead of using an electric stovetop or oven, cook your meals on an outdoor gas grill or over a fire pit
- Keep the freezer and refrigerator closed as much as possible.
- Limit your air conditioning and heater usage
Keep in mind, you may need more or less energy throughout the day. Electricity consumption varies within a 24-hour period. Size out your system to accommodate peak energy use.
Solar Panel Array
You can have all the solar batteries in the world, but you need a correspondingly-sized solar panel array to capture the sun’s energy and keep the batteries charged.
For short-term power outages, this doesn’t matter as much. For example, EcoFlow’s solar generators offer multiple charging options — including AC (household) electricity. Keeping your solar generator fully charged between blackouts shouldn’t present much of a challenge.
But suppose you plan to reduce or eliminate your dependence on the electrical grid altogether. In that case, you’ll need to capture a substantial amount of solar power to keep your solar generator charged.
Purchasing enough solar (PV) panels to run a whole house may require a significant upfront investment. But, like all the best investments, it can pay off in the long run.
Even when grid power is available, you can save money on electricity bills by switching to your solar generator during peak hours. With a large enough solar array and generator, you can eliminate your electricity bills completely.
How often does your region experience power outages?
If your primary goal is home power backup and you only get blackouts once or twice a year — and for only a few hours — you can probably get away with using a smaller solar generator like the EcoFlow DELTA 2.
However, if your area has been subject to prolonged blackouts from winter storms, hurricanes, or other issues, investing in a larger solar generator system makes sense.
With more power storage, output, and solar generation capacity, you can ensure your family has uninterrupted electricity access even during frequent or extended blackouts.
Can Using a Solar Generator Save You Money?
Yes, using a solar generator can save you money on your electricity bills in the long run. The initial cost of purchasing and installing a solar generator system can be substantial, but the savings from reduced energy bills can add up over time.
Additionally, the cost of solar technology is constantly decreasing, making it more affordable.
Government tax incentives and rebates can also help significantly reduce the initial costs of going solar. Depending on which manufacturer or retailer you choose, financing options are also often available.
The amount of money you can save on your utility bills over time also depends on your local electricity rates, your electricity consumption, and how much of your consumption is provided by solar.
In some regions, homeowners with grid-tied solar power systems can also sell excess energy they generate but don’t consume back to the grid. Typically, a utility company will provide excess solar energy production credits through net metering.
Net metering usually won’t put cash in your. but it will offer utility credits you can use to offset on-grid electricity costs.
A solar generator is a wise safeguard against grid uncertainty, rising energy costs, and more frequent power outages.
With the right size solar generator, you can power your entire home and give yourself peace of mind.
For a reliable whole house solar generator solution, consider the EcoFlow Smart Home Ecosystem. It can store up to 25 kWh of energy to sustain most families during a power outage or in off-grid applications.
Plus, with a wide selection of rigid, flexible, and portable solar panels, you can customize your array to maximize your solar power generation — no matter the size of your home.
Check out EcoFlow and join the solar revolution today.
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.