Skip to content
Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: power up, any time, anywhere. Waterproof solar generator

Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: power up, any time, anywhere. Waterproof solar generator

    Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: power up, any time, anywhere

    The Jackery Solar Generator 500 really delivers on its solar promise, which is quite an achievement. It is quite heavy though, which limits the range of uses, and isn’t waterproof, so will need careful handling in damp conditions.

    • Super-powerful panels
    • Decent battery
    • Easy to use
    • Solid build quality

    Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

    All the best features, news, tips and great deals to help you live a better life through technology

    Thank you for signing up to T3. You will receive a verification email shortly.

    There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

    By submitting your information you agree to the Terms Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over.

    The Jackery Solar Generator 500 promises to keep all your gadgets and devices juiced up at all times, using just the power of the sun. Solar chargers for the outdoors used to be a miserable business; heavy, poor power output and useless, tiny solar panels coupled with UK weather made the whole affair relatively pointless. Luckily, times have changed, and today’s best solar chargers boast vastly improved lightweight battery packs, enormously better-performing solar panels, and convenient, all-in-one setups. Can this Jackery model compete? I put one to the test to see. Here’s my Jackery Solar Generator 500 review.

    Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: design and build

    The Jackery Solar Generator 500 consists of two key parts: a solar panel and a shoebox-sized battery pack unit. My review model also came with a natty insulated carry case and a beefy mains-DC adaptor to charge the battery pack from the wall. The build quality is very good throughout, the only minor gripe a slight hollow plastic-iness to the handle area of the 518Wh (21.6V, 24Ah) Li-ion NMC cell battery pack.

    Aside from the inbuilt handle, the Jackery has a DC input, a display, and three blocks of output plugs: a trio of DC outputs, one like a car cigarette lighter socket, a trio of USB A ports, and a single UK 240V wall socket plug. A slightly incongruous addition is the small torch built into the end, which is fine, but not particularly useful in most situations as it’s part of a 6KG lump (really, if you want light on your trip, it’s not going to replace your handheld torch or camping lantern).

    The second major part of the package is the solar panel, in this case a 100W number, 24 x 21 x 1.4 in (610 x 535 x 35 mm) folded. The panel is entirely stiff, hinging in the middle when you pull the handles apart. Magnets keep the two parts latched together when not in use. On the back of the panels are a zipped and two folding legs, which prop the opened panels up at a roughly 45 degree angle.

    The panels are quick to set up; just pull apart, flip out the legs and connect the charge cable to the main battery body, while the zip holds a dc output cable, and also contains the direct ports (one USB a, one USB C), which can be used to charge devices directly from the sun. Weirdly, the manual avoids mentioning this, but rest assured, you can (I did, anyway).

    Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: performance

    Even in the murky depths of the UK spring, when I did my testing, performance from the Jackery Solar Generator 500 is pretty impressive. The 100W panels kick out a decent charge, to the point that during initial testing with a smartphone and an action camera, all batteries hit 100% and we had to go off and find other devices to charge. In overcast conditions we got 10-15 Watts from the panels, and in actual sunlight considerably more, although never the full 100W, unsurprisingly.

    As the above photo shows, even without the main Jackery battery pack, the solar panel alone is enough to charge a smartphone – not at PD speeds, but perfectly competently, pulling around 1.5amps, and just under 8 Watts into a venerable Google Pixel 5. A MacBook managed to easily max out the USB C port, pulling 2.96A of a possible 3, winding up to 13 Watts – not enough for a fast charge, but plenty to trickle-charge in a predicted 7 hours from 50%. Admittedly, the orange port on the rear of the panel did get quite hot thanks to this abuse, but not hot enough to cause damage.

    Obviously if you want fast, the main battery pack comes into play, kicking out way more juice than most portable devices need. A 500W capacity with a 1000W surge peak is enough to run a huge range of appliances, from fridges to TVs, amps and speakers, to fans on hot days. It’s not quite enough to run DIY tools direct, or super-high demand things like fan heaters, but smaller home devices should be fine. The display on the main pack is simple, but easy to understand, and the pack retains the charge well too, not dropping after a couple of weeks of storage.

    Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: verdict

    Now to the important bit of my Jackery Solar Generator 500 review: is it any good? The first obvious thing to point out is that this isn’t a very portable setup; the battery pack weighs just over 6KG, and the panel a shade under 5KG. It’s certainly possible to carry, but not very far, so perfect for car-camping or van-life adventures, especially more irregular ones, or where you’re using a trailer rather than a dedicated campervan, which would probably have solar panels anyway. (If you can sacrifice the solar part, you’ll find plenty more portable options, in T3’s best power bank guide.)

    As a super-cheap solar system for a van there’s real value here (formal panels and inverters add up fast), and for basecamp or off-grid devotees this is a usable amount of power that could be carried into a remote location – albeit not casually. For all those home workers who couldn’t be bothered to run power to their writing shed, the Jackery Solar Generator 500 would be a perfect, low hassle solution. The only major problem with all this is that the solar panel isn’t really waterproof, so it needs rescuing when rain arrives (which is pretty often in the UK).

    Overall, as long as you’re happy to stash it when rain comes, this is a top-notch product and a bit of an outdoor power game changer, but only in the right circumstances.

    Patriot Power Generator 100-Watt Folding Solar Panel

    Double Your Power Instantly! Cut your charge time in half double the power of your Patriot Power Generator with a second (or third!) 100-Watt solar panel.

    • Double your power instantly
    • Charge your generator 2X faster
    • Sets up in seconds
    • Folds and transports anywhere… anytime!
    • Ships from Utah, USA
    • 100% Money-back satisfaction guarantee
    • FREE shipping handling to USA 48

    Here’s What You Get With Your 100-Watt Panel

    Double Your Power Charge 2X Faster

    Solar power is peace of mind that you’ll never have to worry about a dead battery, or electrical outlet. Because you’re powered by the FREE energy of the sun.

    And now you can boost the charging power of your generator with additional Patriot Power Generator Folding Solar Panels.

    The more you add, the faster your generator will charge in the sun. You can safely connect up to four solar panels to maximize the power of your Patriot Power Generator.

    These solar panels are not fragile pieces of equipment. they’re built to be tough. Made with a rugged, durable metal frame and reinforced corners, the Patriot Power Generator Solar Panels fold easily for discreet storage and include a sturdy carrying handle so that you can take them anywhere.

    Click “Add to Cart” to start your order now.

    24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

    “Got 2 Solar Panels To Power My Generator 2X Faster!”

    Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

    Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

    into Your Generator

    When using your Patriot Power Generator you can double, or even triple your power… and to cut your charge time in half… when you “daisy chain” your solar panels.

    Daisy chaining is the process of hooking multiple solar panels together to charge your generator faster. No additional cords to buy or difficult instructions to follow. Simply chain your solar panels together, by snapping together the panels’ cords and in seconds you get almost 4x the charging power into your generator.

    When you claim your solar panels today, you’ll not only get more emergency power to use in a crisis… you’ll also get tremendous peace of mind knowing your critical devices can stay charged no matter what life throws at you.

    Set Up is as Easy as 1-2-3

    Your solar panels are ready to use right out of the box. To set them up simply…

    • Unfold and set up your solar panel in the sunlight.
    • Plug your solar panel into the Patriot Power Generator.
    • Now plug in your devices into the generator to use FREE power from the sun!

    0-Watt Folding Solar Panel Information:

    How to Daisy Chain

    100% Satisfaction Guarantee

    Claim Your 100-Watt Panels Now

    24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

    Customer Reviews: Folks Love Their Solar Panels

    I Daisy Chained 3 Together

    I wanted to decrease the solar charging time of my generator, so I daisy chained three of the Solar Panels together which seemed to be about right for a full sun to partial sun day. I had enough power to run it at night without having to cycle the fridge/freezer on/off.

    They Are a Must Have

    “You can’t go wrong with these chargers. They’re very rugged and durable. We tested one and really love it. We have been without power in the past for days. I think these little solar panel chargers are a must have. Would recommend it to anyone.”

    Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

    Your 4Patriots Order is 100% Risk-FREE

    100% Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee

    If for any reason you’re not satisfied with your 4Patriots products, just return them within 365 days (that’s a full year) from the date of purchase and we’ll refund 100% of your purchase price.

    Your Order Helps USA Veterans

    When you shop with 4Patriots, a portion of the proceeds goes to charities that support our veterans and their families. Including Operation Homefront, Fisher House, A Soldier’s Child-Foundation and Team Rubicon.

    4Patriots and our affiliated brands have donated more than 975,000 since we founded the company. And the number keeps growing!

    jackery, solar, generator, review, power, time

    You can feel good knowing that you’re supporting our veterans while getting the peace of mind you deserve.

    An American Company You Can Count On

    Thanks to your support, we’re able to employ 175 American men and women from all across the USA. People who work hard and truly enjoy helping folks get prepared for emergencies.

    Our office is located in Nashville, Tennessee. We’re real people – Americans. Not some 800 number in a foreign call center.

    So, if you need help… please call or chat with our friendly, America-based customer service team today.

    Claim Your 100-Watt Panels Now

    24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Are these solar panels waterproof?

    Q: Would these solar panels be affected by an EMP while stored?

    Q: What if I change my mind?

    Q: Is it safe to buy online?

    jackery, solar, generator, review, power, time

    Q: What if I can’t afford this?

    • All testimonials in this advertisement are from real people; sometimes names and photos have been changed to protect their privacy and some were given free products in exchange for their honest feedback. Testimonials represent exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to guarantee that anyone will achieve the same results. The organizations, publications and people referenced on this site are not affiliated with 4Patriots. They have not endorsed, sponsored or recommended this product; no affiliation or endorsement is claimed.Terms conditions apply.

    Join our email list or VIP Text Club for early access to deals new-product releases!

    Contact Us

    2920 Berry Hill Dr., Suite 300Nashville, TN 37204

    This is the corporate office. No customer drop-ins, please.

    Follow Us

    jackery, solar, generator, review, power, time

    Customer Menu

    Refer and Earn

    Testimonials featured on this site are from real people. Sometimes names pictures are changed to protect their privacy safety; some were given free products in exchange for honest feedback. Testimonials represent exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser, and don’t guarantee that you’ll achieve results. Cade Courtley is a former Navy SEAL who served 9 years of active duty and has been compensated by 4Patriots for his hard work in helping us test and endorse products. The United States Military (including the U.S. Navy SEAL Team) and other organizations, publications and people referenced on this site, are not affiliated with 4Patriots. They have not endorsed, sponsored or recommended this product; no affiliation or endorsement is claimed.

    You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience.

    .5” Battery Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lantern Accessory

    Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 2 total votes

    A portable power station includes solar and a backup battery that powers every outdoor and home emergency use device with 280 Wh capacity, 1500W AC power and 3000W peak power giving you the fastest mobile charging. The Battery Management System (BMS) enables voltage control, temperature control and more advanced safety operations. The back is designed with heat dissipation holes, which have excellent heat dissipation performance.

    • Multi-charging output: supply power for 11 devices at the same time.
    • Emergency light: Built-in 3-level brightness LED flashlight, emits 2 lighting modes (steady light and flash, SOS mode) to meet your needs.
    • Nevada R100-19 GSL Compliant: Yes
    • Power Source: Battery Powered, Solar Powered

    .56” Battery Powered Outdoor Lantern Accessory

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars. 13 total votes

    Details: 550WH battery power outdoors: Featured a 550WH large capacity and weighed only 15 lbs. Simply plug in and switch on to charge your smartphone, laptop, jones, camera, etc. If you are going on a camping trip or excursion, take along a comfort UA550 power station to charge your outdoors for hours or days. Multiple outlets power emergencies: 9 outlets in 6 types including 1200W pure sine wave AC output, 12V DC output, carport, type-C (PD) and QC 3.0, etc. Provide secure power to CPAP (40W), electric blanket (260W), mini refrigerator (65W), and blender (300W), despite the hurricane, flood, blackout, or other power outages. 3 ways to recharge solar quick charging technology: Hook on comfort 18V/100W solar panel (sold separately) and recharge it during your road trip, RV camping, or in any off-grid spots that have sunlight. Pre-install most optimization module delivers maximum solar charging efficiency making it recharge 30% faster than a traditional power station. Can also be recharged with a wall charger and a car charger. 12V DC regulated voltage 110V 50/60hz Smart frequency: This is the first power station with a switchable frequency system in the world. Goforth UA550 will automatically adjust the frequency according to different regions. Advanced voltage stabilizing technology keeps your appliances charging safely and smoothly, with zero worry about recharging the power station in your car while driving. Intelligent temperature control: Equipped with a battery management system protecting the comfort of UA550 from short circuits load, overheating, over-current and overcharge, built-in radiator, IC chip control, silent cooling fan, and heat dissipation featured pure aluminum shell will prolong battery service life and improve battery performance to a great extend.

    • Power Source: Battery Powered
    • Battery or Batteries Included: Yes
    • Built-in USB Port: Yes

    Great for camping and blackouts! Nice to know I have a plan. Anonymous 2022-03-22 13:06:05

    ” Solar Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lantern Accessory

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars. 11 total votes

    Reusable solar generator, solar charging, environmental protection and energy saving, you can use it in anywhere when there is adequate sunshine.

    jackery, solar, generator, review, power, time

    Ok. Anonymous. here in TEXAS. 2022-04-04 22:31:31

    .8” H Temperature Controlled Portable Steel Freestanding Outdoor Shower with Detachable Shower Head and Footwash Spout

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars. 32 total votes

    Freshwater anytime The Portable Propane Water Heater/Shower from Hike Crew lets you enjoy hot, steamy water in an instant—anytime, anywhere. Our all-in-one system comes equipped with everything you need to get started and is designed for a variety of outdoor applications. The innovative system runs on a propane gas tank to heat water for multiple purposes like showering, washing dishes, cleaning hands, etc. Smart technology turns off the gas burner when water reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit also has a tilt switch, water flow sensor, and fuse protection for added safety. Digital panel control allows you to start the pump and monitor the precise water temperature. AC/DC Adapter plugs into standard outdoor generators or RV outlets to provide power to the unit. A convenient carry case is included for easy travel. Anytime, anywhere – A system that provides you with fresh, hot water when needed Easy to control – Integrated digital control panel makes pump easier to control Convenient power options – Use the provided AC or DC plug to power the unit Multipurpose – Ideal for showering, washing dishes, cleaning hands, and more Safety matters – Equipped with fuse protection to keep the system operating efficiently Product Highlights Portable outdoor water heater Comfortable campsite showers Automatic safety shutoff Convenient compact design Simple heat controls Package Contents Water heater Gas regulator Pump hose Showerhead attachment AC/DC Adapter 12V DC Power Adapter Pump hose power adapter Carry bag User guide

    Nice unit except I need to carry a battery back up pack or stay close to vehicle. Anonymous. US. 2021-09-06 19:16:40

    .56” Battery Powered Outdoor Lantern Accessory

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars. 11 total votes

    Details[1100Wh Battery Power Outdoors]Plug in and switch on Gofort UA1100 portable power station you can walk to the mini fridge(65W), take out a fresh bear to match the sandwich just did by a mini electric grill (760W), sit beside a fan(40W), watching videos with the laptop(49W) in front you while a string of warm bright lights(20W) glowing above enlighten your summer camping night.[Multiple Outlets Power Emergencies]9 outlets in 6 types including 200W pure sine wave AC output,12V DC output, carport, Type-C(PD) and QC 3.0, etc. Provide secure power to CPAP(40W), TV(110W), and microwave oven(600w), despite the hurricane, floods, blackouts, or other power outages.[3 Ways to RechargeSolar Quick Charging technology]Hook on Gofort 18V/100W solar panel(sold separately) and recharge it during your road trip, RV camping, or in any off-grid spots that have sunlight. Pre-install MPPT optimization module delivers maximum solar charging efficiency making it recharge 30% faster than a traditional power station. Can also be recharged with a wall charger and a car charger.[12V DC Regulated Voltage110V 50/60Hz Smart Frequency]The first power station with a switchable frequency system in the world. Push the AC button 3 times to adjust the frequency according to different regions. Advanced voltage stabilizing technology keeps your appliances charging safely and smoothly, with zero worry about recharging the power station in your car while driving.[BMS Intelligent Temperature Control]Equipped with a battery management system protecting the Gofort UA1100 from short circuits, overload, overheating,over-current and overcharge, built-in radiator, IC chip control, silent cooling fan, and heat dissipation featured pure aluminum shell will prolong battery service life and improve battery performance to a great extend.

    • Power Source: Battery Powered
    • Battery or Batteries Included: Yes
    • Built-in USB Port: Yes

    Wow this a power horse it ran my freezer and ran percolator and a microwave I would buy another the only down side is Solar connecter not included. Anonymous. Anonymous. 2022-05-21 03:24:12

    The 7 Best Solar-Powered Generators of 2023

    Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.

    Our top pick is the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station. However, if you want a smaller, less expensive option, consider the Jackery Explorer 500W.

    It’s always good to have a backup in life, especially when the power goes out. Gas-powered generators can do the trick, but they’re loud, emit smelly fumes, and require a place for storing gasoline safely. They also contribute to climate change.

    Solar generators, on the other hand, are clean, easy to use, don’t require fossil fuels, and are becoming more and more affordable as solar technology improves. They can be particularly useful in emergency situations where other fuel supplies are cut off or difficult to access. Solar generators typically capture the sun’s energy via stationary or portable solar panels that are sold separately, convert it into electrical power, and store it in a battery for later use.

    What’s the best generator for you? First, estimate how much power you need to run appliances, laptops, and televisions in your home should a power outage occur or for whatever you’ll need to power up while you’re camping, living off the grid, or traveling in an RV.

    Once you know how many watts you’ll need; consider the other features you want such as USB charging ports and rechargeable batteries. You can avoid blowing your budget by selecting a generator with features that make the unit more efficient rather than more expensive.

    We researched the market to recommend the best generators that are compatible with solar panels.

    Best Overall

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

    Need to power your laptop, phone, power drill, coffee maker, and refrigerator all at once? The Goal Zero Yeti 1500x is a high-capacity power station that supplies electricity with the touch of a button or the Yeti 3.0 app. Weighing in at 43 pounds, it’s a solar option for those living the van life or to provide back-up energy when power lines go down.

    The lithium battery supplies 1500-watt hours, so you can charge your phone a hundred times or run a refrigerator for up to a day. Its industry-leading 2000-watt AC inverter is one of the most powerful on the market, making it our top overall pick. The integrated MPPT charge controller increases efficiency by 30% when recharged with a compatible Goal Zero solar panel. Everything is backed by a two year warranty.

    Price at time of publish: 1,800

    Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 43 pounds | Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 14 inches | Output Ports: 2 USB-A ports, 1 18 watt USB-C, 1 60 watt USB-C PP, 1 6mm port, 1 12 Volt (regulated), 1 12 volt HPP, 2 120 Volt AC inverters

    Best Portable

    Jackery Explorer 500 Solar Portable Generator

    Weighing in at a relatively light 13.3 pounds, the compact, durable, and affordable Jackery Explorer 500 lets you take solar-powered electricity along on every adventure. The 500-watt inverter provides enough juice for charging multiple devices in any either of the AC or DC ports or one of the three USB ports.

    It comes with a car charging cable and an AC adaptor. Like many of the solar generators in the Jackery family, the unit can be recharged from an AC wall outlet or with a Jackery SolarSaga solar panel (sold separately). The 518-watt rechargeable battery will need replacing after about 500 uses, but that’s after a lot of camping trips.

    Price at time of publish: 500

    Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 13.3 pounds | Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.6 x 9.5 inches | Output Ports: 1 AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W Peak), 3 USB ports, 2 DC ports, 1 car port

    Best for Emergencies

    ITEHIL LiFePO4 500W 500Wh Solar Generator

    If you’re looking for source of backup power that’s cleaner than a diesel generator, the ITEHIL power station is an excellent option. With high-speed charging, you can get your devices back up and running when the power goes out, as well as a built-in light. You can charge it via solar panels (ITEHIL separately sells panels that fold into a suit-case style envelope), a car charger, or a wall plug. There are both U.S. and international AC plug versions of the device.

    At nearly 19 pounds, it’s heavier than our Best Portable pick, but is still light enough to be moved around fairly easily, and has built-in handles. Our tester notes that it’s not big enough to power most full-size refrigerators, but could power a small electric cooler. It has an intuitive display that shows how much battery capacity is remaining.

    “It seems to be well-designed for safety, and includes warnings like ‘do not stick fingers directly into the power port.’” ~ Lloyd Alter, Treehugger Design Editor

    Price at time of publish: 500

    Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 18.74 pounds | Dimensions: 14.17 x 13 x 13.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 AC outlets (100-120V 500W), 2 USB-A ports, 1 QC USD-A Poert, 1 Type C, 1 DC ports, 1 car port

    Best Budget

    Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station

    While many of the budget generators still cost over 200, this affordable option from Jackery comes in at under 150 and has a two-year warranty. It’s also one of the lightest option on the market at just under 4 pounds, making it another great pick for camping or even backpacking.

    It can be charged using a solar panel, wall outlet, car outlet or electric generator. It’s great for charging your phone or camera, or running small appliances like a fan or laptop. It has a surge capacity of 150 watts, but you should avoid using it with any device that has a 100 watt or higher rating.

    Price at time of publish: 150

    Output: 100 watts | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.5 x 6.7 inches | Output Ports: 1 100 watt AC outlet, 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A

    Best High Capacity

    Bluetti AC200P 2000WH/2000W Portable Power Station

    With just as many watts as our Best Overall pick, the Bluetti 2000W Portable Power Station can be charged five different ways and has 17 different output ports, each of which is covered by a high-quality dust cap. You can charge it using solar panels (not included), a via a wall outlet, car plug, using a generator, or lead acid battery.

    You can hook up a number of smaller devices, at the same time, like a laptop, camera charger and several phones. Or you can use it as back-up power for larger appliances—according to the manufacturer, you can power an 800 watt wall refrigerator with this power station for over two hours.

    A nice feature is the LED touch screen, which can tell you how much energy you’re drawing down and how much battery charge is remaining. You can also set it to an Eco mode, which will shut the device down if it senses you’re not using it after several hours. It has rubberized feet, so the unit won’t slip around on smooth surfaces. It’s also quite heavy so it’s not ideal for camping situations where you’d need to carry it, but it is compact enough to fit into a car trunk.

    Price at time of publish: 1,599

    Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 60.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches | Output Ports: 6 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 DC 12 Volt/10A, 1 DC 12 Volt/25A, 2 DC 12 Volt/3A outlets, 4 USB-A ports, 1 USC-C port, 2 wireless charging ports

    Best for Home

    Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator

    True to its name, the Titan is packed with power. Its 3000-watt inverter has enormous output capacity for powering up household appliances like refrigerators and portable AC units with ease. Are you in heavy Cloud cover? No problem. The Titan includes a stackable battery bank, which can be combined with additional batteries (sold separately). You can recharge the generator via solar panels, an AC outlet, or a DC car charger.

    In addition to extra batteries, you can also add on USB adaptors or a car charger. THE MPPT charge controllers allow it to reach full battery capacity in about four hours making the Titan a versatile, efficient, and reliable backup plan.

    Price at time of publish: 2,716

    Output: 3000 watts | Weight: 67 pounds | Dimensions: 18.5 x 12 x 12 inches | Output Ports: 6 AC outlets, 4 DC 12 Volt outlets, 1 NEMA TT-30

    Also Great

    MAXOAK Bluetti Portable Power Station

    During extreme weather events, generators like the ones on this list can sell out quickly. So, if other options aren’t available, there’s a lot we like about this one. The Bluetti stores plenty of power at an affordable price. It’s 1500-watt-hour lithium-ion battery is quick-charging and ample for powering up most home appliances during a blackout.

    While it serves as a great home power supply during an emergency, the MaxOak Bluetti is also portable enough take along on fishing or a road trip. It includes two AC ports and five USB outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet that can handle a mini-fridge. There’s also a nifty LCD display to help you track the generator’s performance.

    Output: 1000 watts | Weight: 37.9 pounds | Dimensions: 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 12 Volt regulated DC, 45 watt USB-C, 4 USB-A ports

    If you’re looking for something high powered to help you weather a storm, the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station is our top choice. If you need something portable for a camping trip, then the Jackery 500W might be your best new travel buddy.

    What To Look for in a Solar Generator

    When deciding what solar powered generator is right for you, consider which types of appliances, tools, and devices you need to charge and how often you’ll be without a traditional power source. Here are some other tips to help guide your decision-making.

    Solar Panels

    There are three common types of solar panels—monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar cells, and thin film, or amorphous crystal panels. They each offer different efficiency levels. Monocrystalline panels are most common and slightly more efficient than polycrystalline cells. Thin film panels are a newer technology and are light, flexible, durable, and more affordable than the others, but about half as efficient as the other types. Sometimes they’re included with the generator and sometimes they’re sold separately.

    Battery Capacity and Power Rating

    Solar generators run on stored energy so you’ll want to consider the battery’s capacity (the total amount of electricity stored). You’ll also want to know the power rating (how much power is delivered at a time). A battery with a high capacity, but low power rating typically delivers less electricity for a longer period of time.

    Battery Type

    Lead-acid and lithium-ion are the most common options. Lead acid are used to power things like automobiles, while lithium-ion options are often used to run power tools. They’re increasingly used in solar-powered generators because they’re lightweight. While they tend to be more expensive than lead-acid varieties, they typically have a longer lifespan which saves money on replacement batteries and keeps them out of landfills.

    Charge Controllers

    In order to regulate the current between the solar panels and the battery, the simplest controllers cut the power when maximum voltage is reached. This isn’t as efficient as models that use three- power point tracking (MPPT).

    Inverter

    Converting direct current (DC) from solar panels to alternating current (AC), inverters carry a watt rating to show the maximum output of power they can generate. Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive, but more efficient. But they’re not necessarily a cost-effective option if you only plan on using the generator occasionally.

    Weight

    Will you be using your solar generator in your home or on the go? For portability, look for units that are easier to carry and maneuver, and that house parts in a sturdy box rather than as separate pieces.

    Other Features

    Note the presence of multiple USB ports and AC outlets, replaceable batteries, and LED panels that help you monitor your system when it’s dark. Finally, consider the length of a unit’s warranty, or any other manufacturer grantees.

    When determining the size of generator, you’ll want to look at output measured in watts, as well as storage capacity measured in watt hours (Wh). As a general rule of thumb, generators with under 1000 Wh can keep electronics charged, and are great for camping. To power many devices in your home for longer, you’ll want a large generator with around 1500 Wh capacity.

    If you want to keep those devices charging and in use for five hours:

    So, in this case you’d want a generator with at least 85 watts of output and 425 Wh of capacity. When in doubt, round up. For another way to calculate your needs, you may find this explainer from the manufacturer Jackery helpful.

    Keep in mind that most solar generators do not connect to your home’s electrical panel, so they won’t power hard-wired devices like your hot water heater or ceiling lights; for that type of power you’ll want to consider a home battery system.

    Solar generators should last at least 20 to 25 years. Many manufacturers offer warranties that cover repairs and replacements should anything malfunction within the first few years of use.

    Most high-capacity solar generators cost between 1000 and 2000. Generally speaking, larger generators cost more than smaller, portable devices. The generators on the list range from between 140 and 3,400 without taking into account sales or discounts.

    Why Trust Treehugger?

    Treehugger is committed to helping our readers transition away from fossil fuels, and we deeply researched the market to find the best generators compatible with solar panels.

    A travel and adventure writer for many years, author Heidi Wachter knows how handy the sun’s rays can be for keeping her phone and camera charged.

    Maggie Badore is an environmental reporter and editor based in New York City. She started at Treehugger in 2013 and is now the Associate Editorial Director.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *