While there are several ways that each and every home can work proactively to minimize emissions of carbon so as to protect the environment, nothing is as beneficial or exciting as using a solar generator. With the right installation, care and maintenance, your home can operate without having to rely on the grid, using energy from the sun to generate power independently.
But how do you ensure that the solar you acquire will stand the test of time? How will you ensure you get value for your money? What specifications will you go for to get the right specifications that will suffice your entire household? If these are some of the questions bothering you, you are in the right place. Below are best portable Solar Generator Reviews, that answers these questions, and much more ensuring that you are armed with right info about generators in general and solar generators in particular.
List of the best solar generators on the market today
The list of best solar power generators will help provide you with the facts you need to know about each make and model. Use this list as a base point to consider during the shopping process!
(Rate at the time of publishing)
What is a solar generator?
A solar generator is an appliance that converts energy from the sun into electrical energy as output. Note that a generator does not create electrical energy, but it uses energy tapped from the sun by use of solar panels to charge batteries which are later discharged to provide useful electrical energy to an external load or electric circuit.
As for the solar panel, it comes in two types: Unlike the photovoltaic panel (PV) that converts sunlight straight into electrical current, a thermal solar generator utilizes the sun’s heat to generate electricity. The PV panels tend to be more suitable for individuals use. The technology employed by these generators comes with very many advantages compared to ordinary generators in that it does not emit carbon that emanates from natural or coal gas power plants.
How Does A Solar Generator Work?
Solar Generators tap the sun’s energy through solar PV panels; store the energy in a battery bank before finally discharging the energy through an inverter for use in standard AC electrical equipment. Technically, the solar generator, unlike normal generators which convert mechanical energy of an external source to electrical energy, essentially converts energy contained by the sun into electrical energy, that is first stored by battery bank before being output as electrical energy to power electrical appliances.
How Do I Find The Best Solar Generator?
Your best solar generator will be dictated by your intended use. Notably, there is a wide range of solar generator specifications exists, all designed to best serve certain specific purposes. It is, therefore, not possible to give a one-off answer without considering what you plan to use it for. So, the following are factors to consider:
● Based on your power needs – Be sure to buy a solar panel that supplies at least the amount of power you household needs. The best way of going about this is to consider cloudy days or winter seasons when specifying you solar panel ratings. There would be no point of buying a solar panel whose power ratings will only suffice on sunny days. Generally, a typical daylight panel is better than the sunlight one. With the right inverter, the solar generator will still operate optimally even during the times of fun sun. This is because an inverter will act as a safety switch preventing the flow of excess current to the load (appliance).
Should Read: What size generator do I need?
● Price Ranges – The following is a rough price guide. The prices do not include the solar panels since they are sold separately.
✇ For Solar Generator power of 150 W and below, the cost is approximately 199.99 U S Dollars
✇ For power range from 151 W to 400 W, the solar generator costs about 388.77 US Dollars
✇ For solar generators with wattage exceeding 400 W up to 1250 W, the price is about 600 to 1,406.57 US Dollars
The price guide in the list above only refers to the cost of the solar generator without solar panels. So how much does a typical solar panel cost? About 150 US Dollars only! This means you need to add about 150 US Dollars for every solar panel to the generator’s cost price. Stronger generators need at least 2 good PV panels so as to function efficiently. What is the implication? Your average price guide above will increase the cost of the necessary solar panels.
● Features of a Solar Generator – The following are some of the main elements a user has to look out for when shopping for a solar power for home use or outdoor activites.
✇ Solar Panel: Essentially the element that converts solar rays to electrical energy that is directly channeled to the battery for storage. Solar Panel’s most important measurement is Solar Panel Input-the power a solar generates. Note that in solar generators, solar panels are sold separately. Having sufficient Solar photovoltaic (PV) input allows for constant and continuous solar generator usage while the solar panels are charging, and low recharging times after usage.
A solar PV panel is rated by its Watt-generation capabilities. For instance, a 140 W solar panel generates 140 watts of power when exposed to full sun. Note that fun sun lasts for approximately six hours per day, from 10am to 4 pm. At other times, PV input comes in still, but less that rated. Considering there is less sun on cold days and in winter, having manageable recharging times enables the solar generator to support reliable usage.
✇ Inverter: This device will be needed for many purposes including for safety purposes, converts low voltage DC to the standard 120 V AC power. This enables you to conveniently use the power from PV panels (Usually in DC forms) for a wide variety of power applications.
Additionally, inverter chargers (a more sophisticated form of an inverter) also enables you to charge your battery bank from an external source, by plugging it into, say the grid, car or gas generators and at the same time routing the incoming Alternating Current to the battery bank in DC form. They are rated in watts, indicating maximum wattage you can draw at any given time from your solar generator.
✇ Output: To make solar generators useful for a variety of uses, it is designed with a wide range of output-AC, DC and USB. The generator can therefore be used to power appliances with USB import ports, those requiring Alternating current as well as those that only use Direct Current. For diverse generator use, purchase one that has all the different types of outputs. This will not only ensure that your generator serves all its intended purposes, but will also prove very useful during times of emergency.
✇ Battery: Refers to the storage system that first stores electrical energy from the PV panel. Its important characteristic is its storage. Battery storage indicates the capacity of a generator allowing you to buy a generator that will serve you at night, during periods of limited sunlight and when energy requirements supersede solar input power coming in. Battery storage is rated in amp hours or more conveniently watt-hours. Note that usable watt-hours are most important, not the full battery rating.
✇ Adapters: Which convert AC power to DC power. Adapters are useful in solar generators because they enable the generators to provide DC power even when it is being charged though the utility. Solar generators are designed to be charged through a variety of ways, including the grid, a car in addition to the sun. When charged from the wall, it converts the AC power from the utility to DC that is outputted through, say, USB to charge phones.
✇ Cable: Almost all solar generator applications (emergency backup, off-grid, construction and events), require a level of portability. A cable serves to increase the portability a great deal. If you can move your solar generator, you will benefit immensely from solar tracking, on demand use and point of use electric power. Due to the presence of batteries, which tend to be very heavy, having good storage capacity translates to a heavy system that greatly reduces mobility. This issue is solved by not having unnecessary storage, mounting solar generators on tiny cheap plastic wheels and including a significant length of cable
✇ Component Quality: Other than component ratings, quality is a key factor with the potential of affecting usability and durability of a solar generator. Reliability cannot be overlooked regardless of the application for which the generator is acquired. It has to just function normally when needed, whether the purpose for purchasing it is to allow off-grid living, or for emergency.
Reviews of common Solar Generators
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
This is the best kit for a safe, silent electric power generation. It is ideal for use both indoor and outdoor to back up the most critical devices such as home healthcare appliances like a CPAP medical machine, refrigerators and freezers. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator is your ideal emergency backup power generator.
The solar generator has zero noise levels, has absolutely no fumes and wastes no power at all. Besides, it allows you to charge from a variety of sources including the sun and regular wall outlet. Full-size refrigerator runtimes on Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator depend on many factors, including the model, make, year of manufacture of your refrigerator and its volume, usage and fullness. For long runtimes and optimum performance, minimize opening and closing the refrigerators doors, especially when you are powering from Yeti 1250 Solar Generator.
Goal Zero 42005 Sherpa 50
This generator can be charged in 2 to 3 hours from a utility, or in 4 to 6 hours when you are charging from your car and 5 to 10 hours from a Nomad 13 solar panel. Goal Zero 42005 Sherpa 50, therefore, is the fastest to charge yet has notable runtimes on most common household appliances. The power it outputs is safe for use with sensitive equipment such as laptops and tablets. Most of its components are built-in, making it useful not only as a solar generator but also as a wall plug.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
Goal Zero Yeti 400 is among the lightest generators in existence thanks to its 12 pounds weight. It can be sued to power up all types of electric or electronic appliances, including the laptop, lamps (lights), cameras, smartphones, cameras and tablets besides having an AC inverter. If charging the generator from the sun is not possible, you can do so using a wall socket. Its handle is retractable and hence can pop-up as need may be. Meanwhile, the solar generator remains so compact that you may even fail to notice it.
Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-in-One Generator Kit
This solar generator is unique in a number of ways. For one, it has two built-in solar panels, each capable of providing 10 W and comes with a 10 amperes charge controller, a powerful inverter rated 150 watts. The entire solar generator is very powerful providing 175 Watt-hours. It is also both compact and easy to carry-made in the shape of a briefcase complete with a handle designed in such a way that every time you open it outside, it immediately starts charging its battery.
Renogy has an LED flashlight, with an SOS mode. The entire generator is somewhat less heavy compared to its Yeti counterpart- weighing a mere 10 pounds (4.5kg). Its 16 Ah Li-polymer battery is sensibly sealed in water-proof case.
LB1 High Performance PB160 Solar Generator Kit
A solar generator meant for outdoor use need to be solid and durable. LB1 High-Performance PB160 Solar Generator Kit delivers just that-durability. It is made with heavy metals that can last even in very bad conditions. PB160 solar generator is, therefore, your ultimate champion for camping and/ or outdoor life. For emergency purposes, this solar generator does not disappoint it stores sufficient energy for all possible urgent needs.
Multiple charging options – This kit features versatile options to enable you optimally utilize the power stored in its battery pack. It has multiple USB ports that can link any USB enabled phone, tablet or camera. Any standard electric device can similarly be charged from its 110 power port. Considering it charges BP160 battery pack, it can conveniently charge your laptop several times with a single full charge.
Are you tired of having to rely on the utility? Start using green solar energy equipment now by investing in a good solar generator that will give you sufficient amount of power to power all your household appliances, home medical equipment or even an outdoor event. Solar generators can either give you green emergency power from the sun during emergencies. With the best solar generator reviews, you will get all the information you need to purchase a solar generator that will perfectly meet your needs. Invest in a good solar generator now, and live your life off the grid and/or have a reliable backup energy.