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Solar Battery vs. Generator: Which One is Best for My Home. Generator with solar system

Solar Battery vs. Generator: Which One is Best for My Home. Generator with solar system

    Solar Battery vs. Whole Home Generator—Which is Right for Me?

    There is no shortage of reasons why Arizona homeowners are looking to gain greater energy independence. From preventing power outages, to reducing reliance on the grid, avoiding peak demand charging. to just simply having control of your own energy whether fully off-grid or grid-tied with behind-the-meter power generation.

    For backup power in times of a power outage, many homeowners right here in the greater Phoenix area need access to life-saving electronic medical equipment or consistent refrigeration for medications. Some homeowners prefer to keep a backup power option to run necessary safety equipment or home essentials, like a well pump or security system, and some homeowners don’t want to say goodbye to all the food in their freezer every time the power goes out. Whatever your reason for needing an independent backup solution for your home electricity. you likely find yourself at the crossroads of choosing between a whole-home generator vs a solar battery backup system. Each type of system has its pros and cons—here is what the solar installation experts at SouthFace Solar want you to know about choosing between battery-assisted solar power or a generator.

    Powered Backup Generators

    If you’ve ever heard a low hum coming from a neighbor’s house when the power goes out, you were likely hearing the hum of a backup generator. These are combustion-based generators that provide electricity by burning a fossil fuel like natural gas or propane. Backup generators can be designed to turn on automatically when an outage is detected, or manually turned on when needed. The cost of backup generator installation depends on how large your home is and what kind of appliances you would like to keep operational during an outage.

    The Benefits of a Whole-Home Backup Generator:

    • On-demand backup power
    • Lower installation costs compared to other backup options
    • Can utilize an existing gas line
    • Can be added to a home with or without solar

    While backup generators are a popular choice for backup power, there are some drawbacks to using this type of system. They can be particularly noisy (if you related to hearing the low hum, you understand!), they require regular maintenance and will incur gas costs, even if you don’t need to use them, and they burn fossil fuels that create harmful carbon emissions.

    Solar Battery Backup

    Solar battery backup. also known as solar battery storage, is a battery that can store and disperse the renewable electricity generated by solar panels. You may have heard about solar battery products like the Tesla solar battery, Tesla Powerwall. A solar battery system is best combined with a new or existing system of solar PV panels and an inverter, and can be designed to operate in conjunction with the electrical grid or independent of the grid. These are called on-grid and off-grid systems, respectively. Batteries can also be used without solar but will need to be charged by an energy source like from the electricity grid.

    Home solar battery storage ensures that your home uses as much of the renewable electricity coming from your solar panels as possible, and can be used during times of low solar output (like at night), during an outage, or to avoid times where electricity is more expensive (like time-of-use/peak demand charing programs).

    solar, battery, generator, which, best

    The Benefits of Solar Battery Backup

    • Automatically detects power outages
    • Used to balance peak demand charges
    • Qualifies for solar tax credit incentives
    • Further decreases your carbon footprint when paired with solar
    • Quiet operation
    • Low maintenance

    What’s the drawback? If you pair solar with a solar battery, you’ll have power as long as the sun is shining but what happens if you need that backup power during a cloudy week? Depending on your backup power requirements, a generator may be the better option. Also, solar battery will always vary, depending on the size of your system and what kind of solar panel battery storage system best meets the needs of you and your home. While solar battery storage system costs are higher than a backup generator, battery storage can also qualify for valuable solar incentives like tax credit savings and be used for offsetting peak demand rates.

    Choosing What’s Right for You

    So, which option is going to be best for your home? If you have no plans to install solar in the future and are only looking to keep your essential appliances up and running during an emergency situation, a backup generator may be the most appropriate option.

    If you are looking to keep the lights on during an outage, reduce the peak electricity charges from time-of-use rates, or already have an existing solar PV system, a solar battery backup system will likely be the best option for your home.

    Solar Battery vs. Generator: Which One is Best for My Home?

    When the power goes out in your area, what are your options? Unless you have backup power at your home, it’s likely you’ll be sitting in the dark.

    Fortunately, dozens of backup power options are available to choose from – including propane, diesel, natural gas-powered generators, and solar battery systems.

    When you find the right solution for your home, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your household will keep running, even if the grid goes down.

    Here at Sandbar Solar Electric, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners turn to solar and battery backup on the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast in California, so we know a thing or two about the value of a good backup system.

    In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between solar battery backup systems and generators and help you understand which is right for you.

    What is a Generator?

    Generators and solar battery systems both provide backup power in the event of an outage. The way they do it, though, is very different.

    Generators are the type of backup power systems most people are familiar with. Today, most generators run on liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel.

    Freestanding generators sit outside the home and either turn on manually or include sensors that detect outages and turn the generator on automatically

    Compared to solar battery backup for power outages, generators are more affordable on the front end.

    Despite the low upfront cost, though, generators require regular maintenance and typically come with small recurring costs. Generators typically require weekly self-tests and need continual refueling to run during outages.

    They produce sound when they are running as well as exhaust that is harmful to the environment.

    When a generator is maintained regularly, it can last for 10 years.

    Here are a few of the pros and cons of backup generator systems:

    Pros:

    • Generators are more affordable upfront than solar batteries. However, solar batteries save a household money over time and there are many rebates and incentives available that can lower the upfront cost.
    • Generators are easy to connect to existing natural gas lines.
    • Generators provide round-the-clock power, as long as they have an ample fuel supply.
    • Generators are available in a variety of sizes, from small, portable units to whole-home systems.

    Cons:

    • Most generators are noisy to operate.
    • Even high-end generators require annual and monthly maintenance.
    • Generators require fuel to operate, which means they are not eco-friendly.
    • Fuel left too long in a generator can go stale, causing problems with the equipment and additional repair costs.
    • Generators create emissions during operation, creating an unpleasant smell and a high carbon footprint.

    What is a Solar Battery Backup?

    Solar battery backup systems run on electricity and are charged by a connection to the home’s solar energy system.

    The batteries store excess energy produced by solar panels and save it for later use.

    Some of the most common types of battery backups available today include:

    Solar battery storage systems are popular because they are reliable.

    When the grid goes down, a solar-powered battery backup system will draw stored energy from the batteries to power your home with no interruptions or downtime.

    In addition to providing unparalleled reliability, battery backup systems are cleaner and quieter than generators and are also a more environmentally-friendly option.

    Pros:

    • Battery backup systems operate almost silently.
    • When combined with solar, battery backup systems run entirely on renewable energy, which means you don’t have to spend money on dirty, expensive fuels.
    • Battery backup systems increase your home’s daily solar consumption.
    • Installing a battery backup system can increase the value of your home.
    • Some systems qualify for state and federal tax credits in California.
    • Battery backup systems offer low maintenance requirements and a long lifespan.
    • These systems operate seamlessly during grid outages.

    Which is Most Cost-Effective?

    The exact amount you’ll pay for backup power depends on your home’s size and energy needs. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical price range for a generator system is 1,413-7,594, and installation costs vary and may add upwards of 10,000 or more to the total cost. Most of these generators are powerful enough to run a typical home during an outage.

    By comparison, solar battery backup systems start at around 9,000, not including installation costs.

    If you’re budgeting for a battery backup system, you can expect to spend between 25,000 and 30,000 including batteries, installation, and other equipment.

    Fortunately, incentives and rebates can help you access a solar battery backup system.

    Don’t let the upfront price deter you, though. Financing programs are available for qualifying applicants, and battery backup systems offer long-term savings that generators don’t.

    When you purchase a generator, you need to buy fuel, perform monthly and annual maintenance, and replace the generator at the end of its lifespan.

    On the other hand, battery backup systems pair with solar energy systems to create a renewable power source. Over time, this can save you thousands of dollars on your electric bill.

    Installing a battery backup system may also allow you to access federal and state tax incentives or participate in the SGIP Equity Resiliency program – which we’ll discuss more below.

    Solar Battery Backup vs. Gas Generator: Which Option is Best for Me?

    Now that you have the background on each option, which is right for you? Here’s our recommendation:

    Buy a Standby Backup Generator if…

    A standby backup generator is an ideal solution if you don’t mind the noise and maintenance required, you only want a system that can provide emergency power, and you have no intention of installing solar panels in the future.

    If your home has an existing natural gas line, installing a standby generator may be relatively straightforward.

    Buy Solar Battery Backup if…

    Solar battery backup is an excellent option for customers who want a backup system that can work with an existing or future solar energy system.

    A battery system is right for those who prefer a quiet, low-maintenance, reliable, and environmentally-friendly solution.

    Consider investing in a battery backup system if you want to keep the lights on and power essential home appliances during a grid outage and also reduce peak electricity charges.

    Limited-Time Rebates for Battery Backup

    Solar battery backup systems create energy resiliency, which is something the state of California is very invested in right now.

    As a result, certain households who install a solar battery backup system may be eligible for a limited-time rebate under the existing equity resilience Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) allocation.

    This program benefits those living in a fire zone who are also on a Medical Baseline Rate Program. Funds are going fast, but the program funds 80-100% of total project costs if you qualify.

    There are also rebates available for those in a fire zone who are not on Medical Baseline. Additionally, officials expect one last rebate bucket for battery customers not in a fire zone or on Medical Baseline.

    This rebate offer will cover about 10-15% of project costs.

    Thinking of Getting a Solar Battery Backup? We Can Help!

    Now is an excellent time to invest in a solar battery backup system for your home, and Sandbar Solar is here to help.

    Our team has over 15 years of experience designing battery systems and can install new battery systems or retrofit existing solar panel systems for a battery backup.

    We service homes and businesses across the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast.

    About the Author

    Jeremy has worked in the solar industry since 2006. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies. Jeremy has spent most of his solar career in residential sales and Sales Management in both California and Hawaii. He was raised in Santa Cruz County and is passionate about helping local residents make the switch to clean and reliable renewable energy. Jeremy lives on the Westside with his wife and two boys and enjoys music, photography and hiking in his personal time.

    Solar Generators: A Guide to Portable Solar Power

    A solar generator is a portable power station that uses portable solar panels to charge a battery, and the stored electricity can be used to charge or operate other devices.

    As climate change continues to impact our planet in the form of extreme weather, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and more, we must look for sustainable solutions to more parts of our day-to-day life. This includes the move to using portable solar power generators to create and store renewable energy for all your backup power needs.

    Not only do solar generators create reliable clean electricity from the sun, but they also reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses associated with traditional portable generators. As a result, manufacturers are working hard to make solar backup generators better and more reliable than their fuel-powered counterparts. This mirrors the growth and popularity of home solar power systems as an alternative to powering your home with fossil fuels.

    With this article, you will better understand what a solar generator is, why solar generators are worth an investment, how to shop for a portable solar generator that’s right for you, and why solar-powered generators should replace traditional gas-powered generators.

    What Is A Solar Generator?

    The term solar generator usually refers to the combination of portable solar panels, battery, battery charger, and inverter into a single device that allows you to capture, store, and distribute power from the sun.

    Solar generators are popular for camping trips, boating, RV trips, and as emergency backup power.

    Unlike a traditional generator, which is normally powered by gas, diesel, or propane and includes an engine, fuel tank, and alternator, a solar generator lacks any moving parts. They’re essentially comprised of four elements:

    • Portable Solar Panels. Captures energy from the sun
    • Rechargeable Battery. Stores the energy captured by solar panels
    • Solar Charge Controller. Manages how much energy goes into the battery
    • Solar Inverter. Converts the sun’s energy into usable electricity

    Thus, a solar generator is basically a portable battery with some photovoltaic (PV) panels attached to collect sunlight.

    A portable solar generator turns out to be a great power supply, whether you’re on the road, camping, or needing electricity during a power outage. Depending upon your situation, you might want a solar generator with a variety of outlets, especially in emergencies where you have multiple power-dependent devices and appliances.

    Typically, solar generators have 12-volt sockets, AC outlets, and USB ports to allow you to charge different devices. The beauty of having several charging options with your portable generator is that you can get the power you need on your terms. For example, you can plug a smartphone directly into the USB port to charge, and then connect an extension cord to the AC outlet to power a set of string lights.

    In most cases, you will have the option to buy components like solar battery storage and panels separately, though you can also buy them as a complete all-in-one kit. We recommend purchasing the accessories you need to generate and store enough electricity for your intended use.

    How Do Solar Power Generators Work?

    A solar battery generator works by creating electricity from sunlight and storing it in a battery for future use. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the process:

    • Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electricity and pass it through the charge controller.
    • The charge controller regulates the voltage of electricity before storage, ensuring the right amount of current goes to the battery.
    • The battery stores all the solar energy for later use.
    • The inverter converts the stored energy from the battery to the AC power that most appliances and devices use.

    Who Benefits From Using Solar Generators?

    Solar generators don’t burn fuel to generate electricity, making them ideal for anyone looking to reduce reliance on gas-powered generators, combat blackouts and other power outages, and have a reliable backup power source option in case of emergencies.

    You can use the energy stored in a solar generator during a power outage, to charge your devices when camping, and as source of energy on an RV or boating trip. Essentially, a solar-powered backup generator is ideal for a range of real-life situations, meaning it’s useful to have around for more than just emergencies.

    People Who Want to Make Eco-Friendly Choices

    Traditional generators run on fossil fuels that pollute the environment. If you’re conscious of the danger these fuels possess, then a solar backup generator is ideal for you.

    People Bothered by the Sounds and Smells of Traditional Generators

    Traditional generators are noisy and stinky because they’re combustion engines running on fossil fuels. Over time and even with proper maintenance, they can become noisier and smellier. If you’re looking for a generator that creates zero sounds and smells, a solar power generator will not let you down.

    People Who Enjoy Spending Time Outdoors

    You will find solar power generators are helpful if you enjoy being outside, yet still want to bring along a few modern perks. For example, during a camping or boating trip, solar batteries come in handy to ensure you have continuous power access. You could string up lights after sundown, charge your phones, run small kitchen appliances, and any number of conveniences you had to do without in the past.

    Key Factors When Shopping for a Solar Generator

    Solar generators come in different sizes and shapes, so picking one that will address your personal needs should be your priority. Choosing a solar generator can be challenging, especially when you are presented with different options, so we created this shopping list as a good starting point.

    Since not all portable solar backup power generators are the same, people need to know what the generator can and cannot do. Knowing how you intend to use your generator should help guide you to the right solution.

    Some of the top brands to compare include Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, Bluetti, EcoFlow, Point Zero Energy, Renogy, and Tacklife. Each company makes its products unique, so a closer look at what each one offers can help you make a sound decision.

    Your Energy Requirements

    The amount of electricity you need should be your top consideration for determining the size of your solar powered generator. For example, if you plan to use it outdoors, you should calculate how much energy your devices and appliances use when comparing the storage capacity of potential solar generators.

    How Much Electricity The Solar Generator Can Provide

    The longer a generator can provide power, the better. (This is usually calculated in watt hours.) Considering you don’t always know when you will have an opportunity to recharge it, it is best to have one that can run efficiently for a long time. That way, it will be easier for you to go about your daily activities or complete what you were doing, knowing you have enough backup power.

    How Long The Solar Generator Takes To Charge

    In addition to comparing the battery capacity of a solar generator, you should also pay attention to how long it takes for the battery to achieve a full charge. Some even have the ability to quick charge from a home AC power outlet. This will help with planning how much time you’ll need to be without power in the event a recharge is necessary.

    What Features and Benefits are Included

    You can do a lot with a solar generator that has helpful features. For example, more USB ports and power outlets give you the freedom to charge multiple devices at once.

    Weight is another essential consideration, especially if you plan to use your generator for outdoor activities. Batteries can be heavy, so you might want to look for a solar generator that has focused on keeping the weight down if you plan to move it around a lot.

    What the Warranty Covers

    We recommend examining any benefits you might enjoy from the product warranty. The larger and more reputable the company, the more perks you will likely receive to support your solar power generator. The top options include replacement parts for any necessary repairs, as well as a longer length of time your solar generator is covered by the warranty.

    Comparing Portable Solar Generators with Traditional Gas-Powered Generators

    The Pros of Solar Generators

    Investing in a portable solar generator is a good way of reducing your environmental impact and enjoying numerous other benefits:

    Portable

    Generally lighter than traditional gas-powered generators, solar generators are ideal for outdoor events, camping, emergencies, and general on-the-go activities. Some of them are even equipped with a luggage-like pull handle to enhance portability.

    Low Maintenance

    Wear and tear due to moving parts in traditional emergency generators can lead to high maintenance costs. Solar generators have no moving parts and don’t rely on gas to generate electricity. This design helps lower the possibility of having to pay for repairs.

    Clean Energy

    Solar generators generate clean, renewable energy that doesn’t hurt the environment when running. Traditional generators run on fossil fuels which contribute to air pollution and climate change. As an added benefit, you can access solar energy freely instead of paying for pricey fossil fuels.

    solar, battery, generator, which, best

    Easy Operation

    Solar generators are easy to use as they don’t require fueling, oiling, starting, and maintaining. Just turn it on, connect your devices, and draw power from it.

    The Cons of Solar Generators

    There are a few disadvantages to using solar generators that you should consider before making a purchase:

    Higher Upfront Cost

    Solar generators typically require a higher initial investment than traditional generators. However, the costs of operating are lower than traditional options, so you’ll save money over time.

    Lower Energy Storage

    Solar generators aren’t ideal if your power demands are too high. For instance, during a power outage, your generator may not be sufficient to operate all devices and appliances in your house. In most cases, they are best for operating a few devices at a time, such as lighting, a television, or a refrigerator.

    Slower Energy Generation

    Compared to traditional gas-powered portable generators, solar generators are not the best option when you need instantaneous power. If your battery runs out of power, you have to wait for it to recharge to get power to your appliances and devices, which can vary depending on the weather conditions. With a traditional generator, you simply need to add more fuel to generate additional power.

    The Pros of Traditional Generators

    Generators powered by fossil fuels do have some advantages, including:

    Portability

    Traditional options are available in different sizes, and there are smaller sizes that you can bring with you when traveling. Just remember that you also have to carry gasoline, so they aren’t quite as portable as solar generators.

    Familiar Technology

    Having been on the market for years, traditional generators are more familiar to some people. However, that market dominance also means the technology hasn’t been dramatically improved because of the lack of competition.

    Electricity On-Demand

    Traditional generators produce electricity as soon as they receive fuel, while a solar generator must be recharged to provide electricity. Hence, gas-powered generators are more convenient when you need instant power.

    The Cons of Traditional Generators

    Despite their popularity over the years, traditional generators have their shortcomings. Here are some of the reasons why people are ditching them:

    Fuel Costs

    Traditional generators rely on costly fossil fuels to run, which increases their long-term costs over the initial purchase price. You may also have to pay more to access that fuel if you aren’t near a gas station or other fuel source.

    Toxic Gases

    Traditional generators are notorious polluters. Each gallon of gasoline contains about 20.35lbs of carbon dioxide, and the average camping generator emits around 1-2 lbs of carbon dioxide per hour, even when running at 1/4 of the max rated load.

    In addition to carbon dioxide, gas-powered generators can also release other harmful gases into the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxides.

    Noisy Operation

    Because of all the moving parts that make up a traditional gas-powered generator, they produce a lot of noise when operating. This is especially true for smaller portable generators, which are designed to prioritize size and weight over noise prevention.

    Ongoing Maintenance

    You have to continuously pay to take care of your traditional generator if you want to keep it in good working order. That regular maintenance occurs because the generator uses moving parts to process fossil fuels into electricity, and those moving parts need to be cleaned, oiled, and replaced over time. In addition, the fuel can go bad if it sits unused for a long period of time. Those routine costs definitely impact the total price of owning a gas-powered generator in the long run.

    Key Takeaways

    Solar generators are growing in popularity, and with advances in solar technologies, people who like clean energy are increasingly picking them over gas-powered generators. Solar generators offer low maintenance, portability, clean energy, and sustainable living to combat climate change. The numerous benefits of owning a solar generator make it worth the investment.

    Before you buy a solar-powered generator, make sure you analyze the key features of different brands to pick one that will address your power needs. Brands like ​​Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, and Bluetti make a wide range of different solar generators to match your needs.

    If you want to store even more backup solar power than even the best solar generator can provide, you should consider solar battery storage that connects to your home solar panel system. While your home solar panels can definitely charge your portable solar generator so you have on-the-go power whenever you need it, solar generators are not designed to act as a home standby generator for your entire home.

    If you’re shopping for backup power options, the experts at Palmetto can help you understand the long-term solutions that are right for your electricity needs and system requirements. Get started today with a Free Solar Savings Estimate, and then speak with one of our solar professionals on how you can always have the energy you need when you need it most.

    solar, battery, generator, which, best

    Zendure Solar Generator

    A portable solar generator is a combination of a power station and a solar panel. It can convert sun energy captured by solar panels into electrical power and then stores it in a portable power station for later use. It can provide you with renewable clean energy and reduce your dependence on the electrical grid. In addition, a solar generator is also a reliable and clean power source for campers, RVs, or as an emergency backup if your power goes out.

    Zendure SuperBase V Solar Generator

    SuperBase V Portable Power Station Zendure 400W Solar Panel

    Starts at 5,599.00

    Zendure SuperBase M Solar Generator

    SuperBase M Portable Power Station Zendure 200W Solar Panel

    Starts at 999.00

    How Does A Solar Generator Work?

    A solar generator works by capturing solar energy with solar panels and storing it in a solar battery or portable power station. Zendure solar generators convert DC into AC electricity to power your devices and appliances both indoors and outdoors.

    FAQ

    Solar generators work by storing the electricity generated by the solar panels. Solar panels convert solar energy into the free electricity which is stored into the battery in a generator via wires.

    Of course, the general high-power appliances ratting is between 800-2000W, so it is recommended to choose Zendure SBPSBV, SBP can output 2000W and SBV can output 3800W ,which can completely meet the needs of high-power equipment in life.

    Yes, solar generators are safe than fuel generators. First, solar generators don’t produce harmful gases,such an co.Second, they don’t need fuel oil to generate electricity,which is more environmentally friendly.Third, Zendure’s solar generators have a real-time monitoring BMS battery management system to ensure safety.

    Solar generators have many benefits. It can use solar panel to get free electricity, saving you money. It’s also not as noisy as a fuel generator, which doesn’t disturb your life. Solar generators provide a safe, renewable way to keep your equipment and appliances running when you need them. whether during a power off, off-grid or a trips to remote areas. Solar generators are clean, efficient,convenient and versatile, which help clarifying their growing popularity.

    The Fuel generator is not only noisy, but also produces harmful gas, which with expensive maintenance is not suitable for indoor use. Solar generator without maintenance is low noise, more portable,small and suitable for indoor use.

    Some of our solar generators can be used as UPS. For details, you can ask a customer service help. For example, the SuperBase Pro 2000 can be used as an offline UPS that automatically switches to SBP power supply mode within 13ms when there is a sudden power off.

    The devices and appliances you can run depend on the generator’s capacity. Lower wattage generators like the portable Zendure SuperBase M with a 600Wh capacity can power your smaller devices, such as laptops and smartphones. To power larger appliances, like a refrigerator, you will need a higher capacity generator like the SuperBase V, which has a starting capacity of 4.6kWh that you can expand up to 46kWh.

    Zendure current solar generators support a variety of charging methods. For example, the SBV 4600 can be recharged by grid ,solar panels,satellite battery,EV charging pile ,car charger and generator.

    The recharging time depends on the capacity of the solar generator and the power of the solar panel input. For example,Zendure SuperBasePro 1500 has a capacity of 1500Wh, which takes about 1.6 hours to fully charge with three 400W solar panels in series.

    When people talk about the ‘size’ of a solar generator, they generally mean its power capacity. The capacity is most often measured via their wattage. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a generator with almost double the capacity you need to ensure you have sufficient power even during a prolonged blackout.

    Depending on the brand and the quality of the battery, you can expect a solar generator to last years. For example, the Zendure SuperBase V4600 uses a state-of-the-art LFP battery, which will last for 6000 cycles before reaching 60% of its original capacity.

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