What Is a Solar Generator? Everything you need to know
 
 
 
 
 
 

What Is a Solar Generator?

/ 10:26 AM April 21, 2022

A solar generator can power your home by using energy from the sun. Learn more about the pros, cons, and best solar generators.

If you consistently experience blackouts, storms, cyclones, or tornadoes in your area or are merely in need of a backup power source when going camping or as a preparatory measure for unforeseen emergencies, you may want to consider purchasing a solar generator.

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Solar Generators tend to be overwhelming since they have an enormous variety to choose from that offers a broad scope of functions to suit your requirements. However, who wants to grapple around with the hassles of gasoline-powered generators? From maintenance issues and noise pollution to their impractical sizes and weight?

Solar-powered generators are the best approach. They’re lightweight, odorless, quiet, and environmentally friendly, unlike their counterparts.

We’ll break down their workings as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Thus, at the end of this article, you’ll have a better comprehension to decide if it’s worth the investment.

What is a Solar Generator for House?

What is a Solar Generator for House?

Technically, a solar generator is a portable battery storage system powered by solar panels. They convert sunlight into electricity in your homes or even offices. Unlike other solar generators, they don’t emit harmful emissions because of the way they utilize sustainable energy and not conventional fuels.

In addition, they don’t need an electrical technician for installation and can be stored, packed, and moved to various locations with ease due to their convenient size.

Types of Solar Generators

Both Solar backup generators and portable solar generators give solar power; however, they vary in wattage limit, energy capacity, and price.

Solar Backup Generators

Solar backup generators are intended to run when the electrical grid cuts out. The drawback of these solar generators is their weight, which, to some degree, makes them challenging to move around. Typically, their charging duration takes under 48 hours to reach its total capacity, contingent upon the size of solar panels.

Portable Solar Generators

These solar generators are lightweight and designed to be carried around. It takes less time to recharge and is a necessity for outdoor activities.

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How does Solar Generator work?

How does Solar Generator work?

To better comprehend their workings, we will explore each of its four major components and discuss their separate functions:

Solar Panels

Solar panels are an essential component of a solar generator. There is a wide range of solar panel advancements available, so it’s significant to do your research before buying one. A few are more effective than others, and some are better qualified for particular weather conditions.

Solar panels can’t function as solar generators all by themselves. In addition, the more you secure, the more power your generator will create. When you position your solar panels out in the sun, they convert sunlight into electrical current—generating direct-current (DC) electricity stored in batteries.

Solar Battery

The solar panels are connected to a solar battery, which functions as the storage unit for the power in the form of chemical energy. The size of the solar battery will decide the generators’ power capacity and their run time without sunlight.

In addition, consider the type of batteries when settling on a battery bank for your solar generator. Lithium-ion batteries have been utilized in a wide assortment of solar generators. However, you can still use lead-acid batteries. But it is strongly recommended to use lithium-ion batteries. It has more advantages than its counterparts and, over the long haul, is a more reasonable purchase.

Charge Controller

A charge controller is a vital component that regulates the flow of electricity from the panels to the batteries. It balances the power dynamics between the two. However, charge controllers typically have distinct features for charging and discharging, relying upon the battery type and panel combination that you are utilizing. Its key objective is to promote the battery’s durability. It constrains the solar battery from overcharging and protects it from excessive current.

Inverter

The electric charge will then travel through the inverter from the battery, whose purpose is to convert the stored Direct Current (DC) electricity from the batteries into Alternating Current (AC) power. An inverter will likewise have a wattage rating that determines how much power it can provide. The electrical current will then go through the extension cord to run household appliances and electronic devices.

Electronic devices that warrant Direct Current (DC) power can manage without the inverter since the power does not need to be converted.

In short, here’s the step-by-step process:

  • Solar panels capture energy from the sun.
  • Built-in battery bank stores the current.
  • The inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) power
  • Alternating Current (AC) power is then released to run electronic devices.

Pros and Cons of Solar Generators:

Pros and Cons of Solar Generators:

The concept of a solar generator traces back to the mid-1990s when solar panels were introduced to prospective shoppers. Despite that, these frameworks never became popular because of the significant intricacies associated with their establishment and maintenance. However, in the past decades, solar generators in the market have been steadily growing in substantial demand, but similar to other products, there are advantages and disadvantages to using solar-powered generators, including:

Pros of Solar Generators

Clean Energy

Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels contaminate our air daily as the world adopts environmental movements for a more sustainable approach. There’s a need for us to carry out our part, and one way is by minimizing our carbon footprints. Solar-powered generators don’t emit fumes and pollutants during operation to generate energy since they rely on renewable energy sources. Thus, there’s no compelling reason to stress over a negative environmental impact, unlike the customary fuel-dependent solar generators that are hazardous to the environment.

Noise-free

The last thing you need is to hear the ceaseless clamor of a generator running in the background while attempting to work or unwind. Solar generators have no moving parts, and this makes them run accordingly without the incessant noise pollution you would experience with standard fuel-powered generators. This makes them the ideal option to use in workplaces or residential areas.

Free Fuel

Set up your solar panels and enjoy the limitless source of energy compared to the traditional costly diesel and gasoline that fluctuate in price.

Lightweight

Compact and weighing less than traditional solar generators, making them easy to maneuver and transport around—the ideal companion for off-grid excursions or as a backup power source during rolling blackouts.

Cost-Efficient

Who wants to be plagued with maintenance issues surrounding a fuel generator? Plenty of replacement requirements such as air filters, spark plugs, or fuel switches. The sun is free, and once you’ve purchased the underlying set-up, there are no abiding maintenance costs. In addition, investing in a high-quality solar generator will not only save you money in the long haul, but it will likewise last for a long time.

Cons of Using Solar Generators

Higher Initial Price

They will generally be more costly than conventional solar generators. The beneficial thing is that the maintenance expenses and running costs are to the barest least.

Inconsistent Energy Supply

The sun’s energy is unreliable, and they demand considerable sunlight to work effectively. Limited sun hours and abrupt cloudy weather conditions influence the productivity of solar panels and can be a drawback in generating energy.

Inadequate Power Output

If you wish to power your house on solar alone, it requires more than one solar generator since most portable solar-powered generators have a restricted wattage output, which implies that they cannot run large appliances or electronic devices.

Best Solar Powered Generators

Best Solar Powered Generators

Before navigating through best seller listicles and comparing portable solar-powered generators accessible for your home and outdoor events, you’ll initially have to consider your electricity needs to estimate and decide the power, capacity, and size of the unit you will require.

Factors to Consider

Purpose

It’s vital to focus on your motivation and user activity for buying a solar-powered generator and the intent you desire to achieve with it, whether it be for unforeseen disasters or simply to power your RV homes.

Capacity

The primary factor to contemplate while searching for a solar-powered generator is its battery capacity since it determines the duration and runtime of the generator. It is recommended to consider solar generators with a minimum battery capacity of 500 watt-hours.

Size

The majority of solar-powered generators are lightweight and intended to be portable, yet lithium-ion batteries weigh less than conventional deep-cycle batteries and are smaller in size.

Price

They vary in cost depending upon their battery capacity. However, you’ll likewise need to allocate a separate budget for solar panels, which are ordinarily excluded from the generator.

Power

Watts determines the rate of energy moving from its battery to an electronic gadget, while watt-hours are the highest degree of power it can manage. You might need to upgrade the capacity of your solar-powered generator when you need more electricity. If your battery capacity doesn’t uphold additional solar, your power expandability is unattainable.

Top Picks for the Best Solar Generators

The following items define some of the best solar generators concerning size, power, battery limit, price, and other key features.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

Price: $299.99 

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 1200Wh, 1000-2000W
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Power Outlets: 3 (Carports, 3 AC Outlets, 2 USB)
  • Voltage: 110 Volts

Pros

  • Portability
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology
  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Guarded by Battery Management System (BMS)
  • It ensures the safety of use with appliances while charging.
  • Supports PASS-THROUGH CHARGING

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Solar panels not included

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MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI

Price: $799.00

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 1000 watts
  • Weight: 37.9 lbs
  • Power Outlets: USB port, AC port, and 12V Car Port
  • Voltage: 110 Volts

Pros

  • 5-8 hrs to charge
  • High-Capacity, suitable for large electronics
  • Built-in Battery Management System (BMS)
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology
  • 8 devices powered simultaneously
  • Handle Built-in

Cons

  • Solar panels not included
  • Expensive
  • Heavyweight

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BLUETTI AC200P Solar Generator with Panels

Price: $2599.99

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 2000 watts
  • Weight: 60.6 lbs
  • Power Outlets: 6 AC ports, a car charging port, 2 USB ports, a DC port, and an aviation port
  • Voltage: 120 Volts

Pros

  • Lightweight and Monocrystalline solar panels included
  • Quick charge duration
  • Kickstand Built-ins
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology
  • Equipped with Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Expensive

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Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station

Price: $199.95

Key Specs

  • Wattage: 168Wh
  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Power Outlets: 2 USB ports, an AC port, and a 12V port

Pros

  • Budget-Friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Can charge up to 5 devices simultaneously.
  • 3 hours charging duration on solar
  • Travel-friendly

Cons

  • Short lifespans
  • Manufacturing defects

Conclusion

Overall, solar-powered generators are the ideal option in contrast to conventional gas-powered generators. Moreover, they are also the best green alternative when in need of off-the-grid power. They’re convenient, simple to operate, cost-efficient, and require minimal maintenance. They may have a couple of downsides, such as the need for a considerable amount of sunlight and limited power output. However, the primary advantage is that sunlight is always readily accessible, and in the long run, they save you money while navigating a greener lifestyle.

FAQs

How long will a solar generator last?

Exceptionally rely upon many variables. In addition, the main ones are battery power and quality. Picking a prominent brand will mean reliable performance. In general, it may last between 25 to 35 years.

Difference between a solar generator and a battery?

Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into usable power that is stored in a battery bank.

Can solar panels work without a battery?

Yes, a grid-tied solar panel can work without battery backup equipment however, off-grid solar panels require a battery bank to store the current.

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Can you use a car battery for solar?

No, it won’t power up a solar-powered home since each battery type serves a different purpose.

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