How Do LiFePO4 Cells Make a Difference in Bluetti Solar Generators
Bluetti is known for its range of modern solar generators and solar panels. Unlike conventional generators, these solar generators can run appliances in your home or RV without generating noise or smoke. And the real Hero in most of these generators like the AC300 and the AC200MAX is the LiFePo4 (Lithium Ion Phosphate) cells. These cells promise a long battery life, and can operate in various temperature ranges.
However, that’s not the only factor that makes LiFePO4 different from typical Lithium-ion batteries. These modern cells bundle quite a few interesting features. And in this post, we will explore how LiFePO4 cells make a difference in Bluetti solar generators.
Long Life Cycle
As noted earlier, one of the major benefits of LiFePO4 cells is the longer lifecycle. These batteries can run more than 3,500 charge discharge cycles. A longer life cycle means you can plan for long-term use. When we say long term, we mean the usage in terms of years without replacing the battery. In short, it translates into lower maintenance costs.
A typical lead-acid battery carries about 500-1000 life cycles. That translates to a slower replacement process and fewer elements go into the electronics graveyard. Today, when sustainability is the key, a battery with a long lifecycle is a much-needed advantage.
And it’s not just the long life cycle of the cells that makes the LiFePO4 cells stand out from the rest. These cells are also highly efficient. If we talk numbers, you will be able to use up to 90% of the battery’s capacity. over, the self-discharge rate is low at around 2% per month. And a lower discharge rate ensures that a charged battery will not die on you sooner.
Naturally, this leads to fewer encounters with dead batteries. If you pick up a fully charged LiFePO4-powered solar generator after a few months, the odds are that the generator will still have enough power to get you going for some time before needing a recharge.
Interestingly, the high capacity means you will be able to get the most out of the remaining charge. And the fast recharge rate adds to the efficiency of the product. The latter means less waiting time even when you have a higher capacity solar generator like the Bluetti AC300.
Wide Temperature Range
One of the primary advantages of LiFePO4 cells in Bluetti solar generators is that they can operate over a wide temperature range. As you may already know, high (or low) temperature impacts the overall performance of most batteries. Thankfully, LiFePO4 cells can handle extreme temperatures well without deteriorating. Naturally, this feature makes them versatile for any environment.
Even if you plan to use it on your road trip to Death Valley, you can rest assured that the LiFePO-powered generator will work as expected. And the same holds for low temperatures as well.
On top of that, Bluetti also adds a few significant features to the battery casing. For example, the aluminum casing is airtight and can withstand temperature fluctuations and variations.
Speaking of safety, these batteries can tackle pressure changes and absorb the brunt of impacts and falls. At the same time, the science behind LiFePO4 batteries is stable, which makes them one of the safest lithium batteries. It’s incombustible and doesn’t catch fire, making it reliable to take on long road journeys.
Plus, the fact that it maintains its cool even when running at its max is the added advantage.
Last but not least, solar generators with LiFePO4 cells are lightweight and compact. The weight of solar generators depends on plenty of other factors such as hardware, outer casing, etc. And in this case, the internal batteries don’t contribute much. The lightweight form factor makes it convenient to carry the generator in your car.
Interestingly, Bluetti solar generator bundles sturdy handles that make it a wholesome package. For instance, the Bluetti AC200MAX has a massive power output of 2200W and can power several devices all at once. And compared to the massive internal power, the cumulative weight of 61.9lbs is decent.
At the same time, the compact nature translates into a smaller solar generator. Naturally, this paves the way for easy stowing when not in use.
Bluetti has bundled LiFePO4 cells in a few of their products like AC300 B300 Modular Power Stations, AC200MAX solar generator, and the EB70S Power Station. These products pack in ample amounts of ports, and the power under the hood lets you run several high-power devices. importantly, most of these are easy to carry and stow.
Last updated on 16 April, 2022
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What makes BLUETTI’s solar generators last longer. LiFePO4 battery cells
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Over the past couple of years, Bluetti has established itself as a leading authority in the field of clean energy and solar generators. The company started with the EB150 and EB240 solar generators in 2019, following which they released the flagship AC200, powered by NCA cells. The massive popularity of the AC200 allowed them to generate 7 million dollars via a crowdfunding campaign within two months!
Snapdragon Satellite Explained Watch our video to learn more about how Snapdragon satellite works and the advantages it offers.
Bluetti’s solar generators have a knack for lasting longer than most other solar generators on the market. There’s a simple reason for their products’ efficiency. they’re powered by LiFePO4 battery cells. Below, we describe how LiFePO4 batteries work, why they’re superior to NCM and lithium-ion batteries, and why they’re perfect for solar generators.
Introduction to LiFePO4 Batteries
LFP (LiFePO4) is short for Lithium Iron Phosphate. This battery’s anode material is LiaC6, the cathode material is LibFePO4, and the carrier is Li. Thanks to the nano-scale phosphate cathode material found within the battery, it offers the best electrochemical performance with incredibly low resistance on the market. longer lifespans with more efficiency.
Benefits of LiFePO4 batteries:
- Long lifespans and increased efficiency
- Thermal stability in extreme temperatures
- Optimal current ratings
- Additional layer of security
Components of LiFePO4 batteries:
- Cathode. positive electrode
- Anode. negative electrode
- Lithium metal oxide (LiFePO4)
- Lithium salt
- Polymer membrane
How do LiFePO4 batteries work?
During the charging process, LiFePO4 batteries release lithium ions from the cathode to the anode via the electrolyte. This process is reversed when a power load is applied — the lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode, draining the battery. Electrical charge is produced because of the movement of lithium ions between the cathode and anode via the electrolyte.
LiFePO4 Batteries vs. NCM Batteries vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries
The true value and beauty of LiFePO4 batteries become evident when it’s compared against NCM and lithium-ion batteries. The following is a general overview of the comparative findings of the batteries from Bluetti (LiFePO4), Ecoflow (NCM), and Jackery (lithium-ion), the three leaders in the field of solar generators.
Levelized Cost of Storage
Bluetti’s LiFePO4 battery offers a significantly higher life span than other batteries. Furthermore, the upfront cost of Bluetti batteries may seem comparable to Ecoflow and Jackery, but the Levelized Cost of Storage (LCOS) over the long run, calculated based on the capacity, upfront cost, and life cycles, is significantly lower.
Advantages of Using LiFePO4 Batteries in Solar Generators
Based on the comparison shown above, it’s clear that Bluetti’s LiFePO4 batteries are significantly better than other battery types. They last longer, are more efficient and reduce your long-term energy costs. Below, we provide a detailed overview of the specific advantages of using LiFePO4 batteries for solar generators, which will help you understand why Bluetti solar generators are considered revolutionary.
Lightweight batteries for optimal mobility and portability
LiFePO4 batteries are significantly lighter than other battery types, which, in turn, reduces the overall weight of the solar generator. The Bluetti AC200 Max weighs only 61.9 pounds, making it significantly lighter than other solar generators. You can easily carry this solar generator in your RV or vehicle while camping, making it highly portable.
Increased lifespan optimizes the long-term cost of operation
LiFePO4 batteries last significantly longer than other battery types, as illustrated previously. They can charge and discharge thousands of times without losing their efficiency. The latest Bluetti solar generators have a proven life cycle of 3500, making them last several years more than other solar generators. You don’t have to purchase a new generator every few months.
Higher efficiency and the ability to drain the battery more
LiFePO4 batteries are incredibly effective and efficient. Most batteries shouldn’t be drained completely because that sacrifices their quality and durability, but LiFePO4 batteries can be drained beyond the 90% capacity, making them ideal for long-term use. You don’t have to constantly monitor the battery’s energy levels.
No maintenance ensures a stress-free experience
Most battery types come with a wide range of maintenance instructions. You need to follow all of the instructions to the letter to ensure optimal efficiency. But LiFePO4 batteries can be charged and discharged however you want. there is no need for additional maintenance or major precautions. As such, LiFePO4 batteries offer stress-free experiences.
Capacity to withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and more
LiFePO4 batteries are safer and more durable than other battery types. They’re available in airtight aluminum cases capable of withstanding extreme temperature changes, pressure variations, punctures, and impact, making them suitable for regions with erratic weather conditions. If you need solar generators for outdoor use, LiFePO4 batteries are ideal.
BLUETTI Solar Generators
All BLUETTI solar generators are equipped with LiFePO4 batteries, making them the safest, most affordable, and most efficient solar generators on the market. Some of their latest products, such as the AC200 Max and AC300, can offer incredibly high amounts of energy, especially when they’re combined in a series of two or four batteries. Please explore the BLUETTI range of solar generators for your clean energy requirements.
Removable / Expandable Battery
The battery is removable and expandable. This innovative approach will give you greater portability and flexibility in what you can power with your solar generator. By simply adding more battery packs you can expand or replace your batteries quickly and easily. By separating the battery from the other components, you can easily carry each component.
Dual MPPT Charge Controllers (2000 watts total) with a wide voltage range
With the Titan, we only used quality, reliable components. For example, most solar generators use cheap, low quality charge controllers that cannot step the voltage down to produce high amps. Most don’t allow for voltages over 30-50 volts. The Titan on the other hand, can take up to 145 volts. This means your solar panel wires will have very low amps running through them making them much more efficient (they will be cool to the touch where others will be very hot). It also makes wiring up your solar panels much easier and safer.
00 Watt Hour Lithium Battery
The 2000 watt hour lithium battery is one of the largest available in solar generators. It is about twice the capacity of similar systems, with a life span of 10 years.
Fast AC Charging 400 Watts Standard; up to 1450 watts with two 25A chargers
With the Titan we will include one powerful AC charger that will charge your battery pack in around 3 hours (5 1/2 hours if you choose the 14A charger). Other systems on the market can take up to 24 hours. You can also add a second charger to double the charging power (for when you have more than one battery).
00 Watt High Efficiency Inverter
The 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter is extremely powerful- twice as powerful as comparable solar generators. However, it is extremely efficient with a no load power draw of as low as 5 watts, and efficiencies up to 92%! Generally, the larger the inverter the more power it uses just to run- like a large truck burns more gas than a small car. This is comparable to having a 500 HP race car getting better fuel mileage than a geo metro.
We have designed the Titan solar generator to be compatible with nearly every battery type (24V). The Titan Solar Generator uses a lithium Ion battery with a voltage range of 20V to 29.4V (only charged to 29.2V). With this setup, it works perfectly with a 24V LiFePo4 (19.2V to 29.2V) and a led acid battery (20V to 29.2V).
As you can see there is virtually no difference between the 3 batteries voltage range, so they can be used together without any changes to the charging profile without damaging any battery. Note: Any battery connected to the system must be charged to the same voltage as other batteries in the system. See the manual for more instructions.
Battery specs for each battery:
Battery Voltage:29.4V (only charged to 29.2) Battery Capacity:74ah (usable) 2000 watt hours (usable) Maximum charge current:40A (approximately 1000 watts) Maximum continuous discharge:100A (approximately 2500 watts) Suggested continuous discharge (for long life):1500 watts Maximum surge discharge current (10 seconds or less):300A (approximately 7700 watts ) Weight:35lbs approximately Size:12×18.5×4.5 in
Output voltage:120V AC (pure sine wave) Continuous power output:3,000 Watts Peak power output:6,000 watts Inverter no load power consumption:5-15 watts (typical 10 watts) Size (top portion not including the battery):12 x 18.5 x 7.75 in Weight:32lbs (approximate)
Solar MPPT charge controller:
Dual MPPT controllers Input volts:35V to 145VDC Maximum input amps:30 amps per input port Maximum charging amps:80A (40A per port) Charge rate:up to 2000W (using both ports, and with two or more batteries)
AC charging:Up to 1450 watts with two 25A chargers (must have two batteries to use two chargers) Car port charging:85 watts (with optional charger) Number of outlets:6-15A, and one 30A RV outlet USB ports:Depending on options at purchase 12V ports:4. regulated at 13.8V (20A each with a maximum of 20A total) Weight:32lb power module; 35lb battery Dimensions:18.5x12x12 (battery and Power module together)
Optional USB port specs:
USB-Dual type A Output:5V 3.1A Dual port (PD type c USB type a): When charging two-port together, the total output 18WWhen charging single port, the output will be as follows: Type c port output:5V3A, 9V2A, 12V1.5A USB-A output:5V 2.4A
(1) Titan solar generator (power module and one battery) (1) MC4 to SAE (for jump starting with a solar panel) (2) MC4 to anderson adapter (for solar panels) AC Charger
Depending on options chosen at purchase: Extra batteries Car charger for charging from a car cigarette port USB adapters for charging phones, laptops, etc
FAQ- Solar Batteries
Can I use my own solar panels with the Titan? Yes, you can use your own panels with the Titan. You just need to make sure they are arranged in a way to produce a voltage between 35-145V DC. Lower than 35V DC will not charge the Titan and a Voltage over 145V DC can damage the MPPT controller. What is the maximum solar input for the Titan? We have two solar inputs in the Titan, each capable of 1,000 watts or 2,000 watts total with a voltage range of 35V to 145VDC. Can I use a wind turbine with the Titan? Yes, you can use a wind turbine with the Titan power station. What kind of batteries do you use in the Titan? We use Lithium Ion NMC 2,000 wh battery. What is the life cycle of the Titan’s battery? Up to 2,000 cycles How much does the Titan battery module weigh? 35 lbs approximately
Can I wire the Titan into my home electrical system? The Titan is only 120V AC, so it cannot be wired into the entire electrical system of your house. However, an electrician can wire up a 120V sub panel to run emergency 120V appliances. This sub panel can even be put onto a transfer switch (manual or automatic). It is extremely important to follow any necessary regulations during this process. Point Zero Energy is not liable for any loss, cost, expense, inconvenience or damage that may result from use, misuse, or inability to use this product. Can the Titan only be used for temporary backup power? No. The Titan can be used in a variety of situations. We have many customers using their Titan on a daily basis for off-grid power. What can the Titan power? The Titan can power any 120V electrical appliance up to a total of 3,000 continuous watts. What is the Titan’s no load power consumption? 5-15 watts (typical 10 watts) How much does the Titan power module weigh? 32 lbs approximately
Introducing the Titan Solar Power Generator
reviews for Titan
I purchased one of the first units out and it’s still performing well, no issues! I would recommend an extra battery. To be able to upgrade and stack multiple batteries is a great feature of this unit. I live in the US Virgin Islands, the bowling alley for Hurricanes. This unit helped me through Hurricane Maria, allowing me to run multiple fans during the night. It can get real hot after these hurricanes, not to mention the mosquitoes. I was able to get a good nights sleep. This is very important to deal with the aftermath of any natural disaster. Point Zero I give an A. Keep up the good work. I would like to see more US made components in their units however! Thanks Joe US Virgin Islands
Thank you for sharing your experience! We’re so happy to hear the Titan helped you in a disastrous scenario! I wish we could also help with the mosquitos
My Titan developed an issue after a couple of years use. I was amazed at the quick turnaround! You guys had it for about 48 hours and it was out the door on its way back to me. Received the Titan yesterday afternoon and immediately plugged it back in. Working great! I now have lights and use of power tools and security cameras back in my barn. You guys are the best!
We work hard to support our customers the best way we can so thank you for sharing your positive experience!
Love this soler generator and point zero energy. I accidentally overloaded my generator with too many volts which blew the system and voided my warranty. I was afraid I would get taken advantage of for the cost of repairs and shipping. I did not! Point zero energy did a fast job getting my unit repaired and back to me at a cost much appreciated. Thank you to this company for the fantastic service they provided! I highly recommend point zero energy and all their products!
Titan is a great system ! We purchased and received the Titan and two batteries in 2021. Our main application was a bit unusual since we wanted to use the system in a DIY converted Promaster van/RV. The Knowledge Base articles at Titan’s website were very helpful for acheiving a van configuration. To charge the Titan from the vehicle alternator when driving we used a Victron Orion Tr-Smart 24|12 30, DC-DC converter, and it works great. We also added 400W of solar panels for charging when camping. Other modifications we did to better match our needs were: First was to add a step-down converter (Victron, 70A) to drop the 24V output to a 12V that is more suitable for powering the lights, two refrigerators, two fans and a water pump inside the van. Second, since we had the Titan stored under the bed and the display was not easily accesible we replaced it with a Victron 712 BMV that has Bluetooth and uses a 500A shunt that replaced the original. The Victron app on the phone is very flexible and can be configured for the Titan battery. During the winter we remove the Titan from the van and store it inside the house at room temperature and at 70-80% charge. We highly recommend the Titan to other RVers.
Received my Titan in Jan. 2020, first time I used it during our Texas ‘Polar Vortex’ in Feb. 2021. Initially charged the battery in Jan. ’20, 100% remaining when checked in ’21 prior to needing it when the elec. grid went down for 24 hours. The Titan worked PERFECTLY, used it for frig., elec. blanket, recharge cell phones, lamp. No issues whatsoever. SO happy with product! Encouraged ALL in our 55 community to get one. I remind everyone that traditional generators need liquid fuel, need maintenance, have noise and exhaust issues, not so with a Titan! Great product! Keep up the good work!
Outstanding customer support! Last year I placed a pre-order just before COVID hit. In May 2020 I lost my job. Unfortunately I had to cancel my order. Point Zero Energy gave me a full refund with no hassles and very responsive. I’m just getting back to work and cant wait to place a new order! So many great reviews on the system, and such great feedback from those i know with the system. Thanks Point Zero!!
I recently received my new Titan solar generator with three batteries. I am extremely impressed with the fit and finish, the attention to detail, and the extremely high quality of the Titan. I ran a test today by cutting the main breaker off for my home and connecting the Titan via the 30 amp RV plug to a 6 circuit transfer switch. I was able to power 6 rooms in my house, and a large pond pump for 8 hours and I only used about 50% of the battery. I used two 25 amp AC chargers to recharge and it was back to 100% in just a few hours. I am also able to power my entire RV with a simple 30-50 amp RV plug adapter and it runs everything – even one air conditioner, dishwasher, washer/dryer combo, two TVs, microwave, etc. (not all at the same time). I could not be happier with this product and I would recommend it to anyone in search of the very best portable solar generator money can buy. I have also been very happy with the sales experience, customer service, and tech support I have received from Point Zero Energy. Every time I have reached out to them for anything, they get right back to me and they are always willing to help. Just like most other buyers, I had to wait four months for mine to ship, but it was well worth the wait. It is very refreshing to be able to do business with a company like this.
We’re very happy with the Titan. We have 3 batteries stacked under it and they are being recharged almost every day via Renergy solar panels and we live in Washington.
I purchased the Titan and two additional batteries. The folks at Point Zero have been MOST patient and helpful along the way as I modified my order a couple of times. Technical support is outstanding and amazingly prompt. Great company, great product, innovative features. My purpose was/is to run key household appliances and comm gear such that the load is constantly replenished by the PV panels battery, independent of local utility feed, which goes down with distressing regularity here on Northern California. The gear is really quality and works well. I paired with my own locally sourced PV panels to provide maximum generation in the smallest rooftop panel area. I highly recommend both company and product.
The unit is excellent and appears to be a quality product. the only problem was the delay in delivery but that is understandable considering the pandemic. I haven’t had a chance to use the Titan yet but I will be using it when I go south for the winter. Thank you, Point Zero, for your excellent customer service and hard work. You are a one-of-a-kind!
We bought the Titan and 2 batteries so we can boondock in our rv. Since the rv is 20 years old we didn’t want to mount all the parts of a solar unit plus extra batteries that we have no space for, on a unit that old. If our rv gets replaced we just take the Titan with us. We can also have it for a backup at home if we lose power. We recharge the batteries with the rv generator or with shore power at a campground. We are not using solar panels. We are on a trip in the rv and the Titan has worked great for 6 weeks until I hooked something up wrong and damaged the Titan. Since we were within a few hours of his facility, I called Dave and he said I could bring it there and they would look at it. Dave had one of his guys stop what he was doing and fix my problem the minute I arrived. This was not a warranty issue, nor should it be, but it is great customer service after the sale.
My Titan ran perfectly for just 5 days. I was worried when I ran into a snag in energy discharge and emailed Point Zero. I didn’t know what to expect from a relatively new company, especially after reading a negative review about service. I was happy to get a phone call within 24 hours and pleased with an immediate resolution to the problem. The personal attention, answer to questions both before and after purchase, and quick response to a problem gives me confidence Point Zero. They stand behind their product and promise. I couldn’t ask for more. I’m using the system for a seasonal RV set up. Titan runs everything I need with power to spare.
It’s nearly impossible to find a product that is engineered as well as the Titan. You can tell that Point Zero Energy thought through every detail in order to create a product that will last as well as work in a wide variety of scenarios. If you every watched a review for a “solar generator” and thought “but can it do this”, only to be disappointed by some later revealed limitation…well the Titan probably can do it!
We are super happy with both the Titan and the excellent customer service that they provided us with. They went out of their way with help for our setting it up, and on answering all of our questions. We will be purchasing more items from them as time goes on. We have a lot to learn about solar and they are the perfect company to walk us through the path of being able to camp off grid. We highly recommend them and are grateful to have found them.
My order was complete and arrived without any damage. I installed it, charged the battery and needed to call to better understand the battery meter settings and how to calibrate it. I also watched some videos on the Zero Point channel on YouTube which were very helpful. It has been a pleasure doing business with Zero Point and the people who work there. Definately 5 stars
The Titan is an excellent value. The service at Point Zero is exceptional. Previously, I have added Solar to a VW Rialta using a Goal Zero 1400 lithium. Its 1500 watt inverter worked fine for essential RV living. Refrigerator, LCD lights, water pump, laptop and cell phone. That draw only allowed for about 12 hours of reserve. Your Solar recharge was slow because the GZ 1400 hundred only comes standard (you can purchase an MPPT add on. That brings the GZ 1400 closer to 2000) with a PWM controller. In addition you could only charge with your solar panels in a less efficient parallel array. By investing just a little more than 1000 extra in a Titan, you get two MPPT controllers, the ability to attach your solar panels in a more efficient series (up to 1000 watts with a single battery) array, 2000 watts of Lithium battery, a 3000 watt Inverter that will run the big draw items like a Microwave, electric water heater ,etc. etc., and many many other benefits. To be specific, my Titan with one battery (I did purchase a second battery) will run my efficient refrigerator/4L Freezer and laptop (full time internet) for 70 hours. Amazing! Whether you are purchasing to upgrade or build an RV, or as power for your home…In my opinion, This is the best value and most efficient, beautifully designed Solar generator in the world. It will do it all. When you add the fact that Point Zero, the manufacturer of the Titan, is a family owned American company that is very pleasant and helpful to work with, this is an easy purchase you can make with confidence. At this time, I don’t work with or have any affiliation with Point Zero. I just love my Titan, and am very impressed with the customer service. Best, Louie
I am so very happy to have made this purchase. Not only does the Titan Solar Generator have the most complete and well implemented features I could find on any similar product but the post sale support has been top notch. Multiple e-mail questions have been more than helpful and responded to very quickly.
I have had the pleasure of owing a Titan for a little over two months. To say i am thrilled would be an understatement. The performance of the Titan in conjunction with the great customer service i have received makes me a very satisfied customer. Better yet, a customer for life! I have used it for plethora of jobs around the house and even succumbed to temptation and powered my entire 7.2 home theater system that includes, a receiver, Blu-ray player, seven amplifiers and two subs in addition to the flat screen and few other pieces. So far, everything i have thrown at the Titan, the Titan has handled with ease, never suffering defeat in form of a shut down. A great performer in my book and worthy of the name Titan. Kudos!
I recently received my Titan with one extra NMC battery that I purchased through poweredportablesolar.com and I am very pleased with the unit. I do have a few questions about future expandability. 1) When the LiFePo4 battery packs come out, will we be able to stack them with the NMC batteries in parallel; and 2) Can I hook up a 24V 200 ah LiFePo4 battery pack to the external battery connection on the Titan even though my two stackable batteries are NMC chemistry? Thanks again for a great product.
I am a 67 yr old grandma with no technical experience but I found the Titan very easy to set up and use. I have been using it (testing it) for 3 days now, plugging in various items that I might need in a power outage. The Titan has handled everything with ease. I am even able to lift the individual components by myself, so I feel confident I can move it around as necessary. Thanks!
So Happy with my purchase I purchased another, easy to setup and even easier to integrate into my homes generator backup
The Titan is a FANTASTIC product! What a dream come true to be able to be off grid with a system that you can plug your RV 30amp cord right into and be able to run things as if hooked up at a campground! Crazy cool! The owner and creator David is a genius and has been such a help with any questions we had. His company has friendly and knowledgable customer service reps as well when we have called. The instruction manual made set up a breeze and we are enjoying our freedom to go anywhere on our own terms by harnessing the sun through this generator. He truly thought of everything when creating the Titan. It is worth every penny in our book! Please Subscribe to my YouTube channel “Everyday Mama” to see our Titan in action this summer in our RV VLOGS. These videos are not sponsored- we just love the product and want to share all the benefits of it for RVers. We highly recommend the Titan to anyone for home use, RVers, or preppers.
Solar Generators Vs. Solar Systems: Which Are Better?
If you’re new to the world of solar power, you may have questions about how to get started. While deciding among different types of panels, batteries, and more, you’ll encounter another big decision: Should you opt for a solar generator or get a full-fledged solar system instead?
We’re exploring these two similar technologies, their fundamental differences, and what they mean to you as you start generating your own clean, renewable power.
What Is a Solar Generator?
A solar generator converts the sun’s energy into electricity that you can use immediately or you can store for later use. The term solar generator generally refers to smaller, more portable systems.
You can set these up and take them down as needed or rearrange their position for optimal sun exposure. Think about them as you would a typical, gasoline-powered portable generator.
How Does a Solar System Differ from a Solar Generator?
A solar system relies on many of the same principles as a solar generator, but with some key differences. Like generators, solar systems convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity that’s either used or stored in a battery bank.
But unlike generators, solar systems are dedicated systems that harness sun power. This might include panels you install directly on a home, RV, or boat, or It could mean portable panels that feed into a full-fledged system.
So how do these two variations on solar technology stack up, and which one is right for you? We’ve broken down the differences in five key areas.
How you’ll use the system will be an important determining factor when weighing solar generators vs. solar systems. Solar generators are typically reasonably portable, as you can stow them away and bring them out as needed. This means you can even bring your generator with you on the go, if desired, which makes it a great option if you are going to be needing solar power in multiple portable applications.
Solar systems, however, involve more permanent installations, even if the panels themselves may be portable. You’ll connect them to your home, RV, or boat’s electrical system at all times. And you won’t need to set things up again when you need the system’s power. The benefit here is that the system is always operating, even when on the move, and will provide more power overall per the same size panels.
Solar generators have a small battery that allows them to be portable, something that may be handy when you need to be able to carry power out to a location.
Solar generators don’t require you to use all of the energy they generate immediately. However, the battery capacity built-in to the generator is typically small, and in most cases, the capacity isn’t expandable. This leaves you unable to store significant electricity for use during dark hours.
Solar systems don’t run into this issue. As they’re broken into various components, you can expand your system with multiple batteries for extra storage. Generally speaking, your budget is the only limit.
Your budget may be a determining factor between solar generators and traditional solar systems. While solar generators can easily cost 1,000 or more, you can find some low-wattage models for several hundred dollars. These may be enough for you to get started and power a few devices or appliances.
Traditional solar systems may be more powerful, but they’re typically more expensive, with costs for parts and installation ranging well into the thousands.
Solar generators only recharge when they’re out in the sun, so you have to be the one to remember to set it out there to recharge. And depending on the size of the panels, the charging of the internal battery may be a slow process. If the system is put away for travel, no power will be generated.
On the other hand, solar systems benefit from their permanent installation. You set them up to use and then receive power without any thought from you. That means that as long as your system operates correctly, your backup power should be waiting when you need it.
All solar panels require inspection, primarily to keep them clean and ensure no cracks or other issues threaten their function. However, solar system panels might require more maintenance and are more cumbersome to inspect and maintain–especially those that are mounted permanently. The constant exposure to the elements is the culprit here, as opposed to solar generators that you store or cover when not in use. The exception to this is portable solar panels that connect to a full system but that you can set up or take down as needed.
Solar generators also have the edge when it comes to ease of maintenance as you can move them as desired. Permanently installed systems mean climbing to wherever you’d mounted your panels.
Solar Generators vs. Solar Systems: the Winner
Now that you’ve seen the significant differences between solar generators and solar systems, which one comes out on top?
Best Overall: Solar Systems
The real answer here is it depends on your application. Solar generators have their place in portable power applications and lower use needs. In general, however, for most applications and users, a built-in solar system will beat out a solar generator. Using a solar generator for an RV or home application works for short backup use applications but is less appealing for long-term use. Solar systems are always ready, meaning you can always tap into electricity and be prepared if there’s a blackout.
Unlike the limited battery capacity of most generators, you can expand solar systems to store as much energy as you choose. It’s perfect for covering the power needs of heavy users.
Solar generators simply don’t produce or store enough to run more than a few items or appliances over a short period. While they can be more budget-friendly, the extra money for full-fledged solar systems is worth it. And affording the setup may be more attainable than you think thanks to federal tax credits and other benefits. Plus, well-maintained solar systems can last two decades or more if properly cared for, while the life of your generator will likely be shorter.
Is a Solar System Worth It?
Solar generators and solar systems each provide an amazing way to generate clean, renewable energy straight from sunlight. But the two also have important differences in usage, storage, cost, maintenance, and more.
While solar generators have their uses, most homeowners, boaters, or RVers will find the always-ready, expandable power of a true solar system is a great power choice. It’s best both for day-to-day extra electricity and backup juice when the power is out.