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Solar generators use solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and then store that energy in a battery to be utilized later.
Solar generators are ideal for RV camping, boats, cabins, houses, and other facilities that may require power in an outage or when access to power is limited.
Read on for our expert reviews of the best solar generators available. Check the latest prices to ensure you get a great deal!
- 1 Our Picks of the 5 Best Solar Generators
- 2 Best Solar Generators
- 2.1 1. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
- 2.2 2. Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station
- 2.3 3. Rockpals RP250W Portable Generator
- 2.4 4. AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station
- 2.5 5. Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station
- 3 Solar Generator Buying Guide
- 3.1 Introduction to Solar Generators
- 3.2 What Are Some Reasons to Have Solar Power?
- 3.3 What Is a Solar Generator?
- 3.4 How Does a Solar Generator Work?
- 3.5 What Are the Different Types of Types of Solar Generators?
- 3.6 What Are the Advantages of Solar Generators?
- 3.7 What Size Solar Generator Do I Need?
- 3.8 Features to Look for in Solar Generators
- 3.9 Conclusion
Our Picks of the 5 Best Solar Generators
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station
Rockpals RP250W Portable Generator
AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station
Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station
Best Solar Generators
1. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
The Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station is an absolute masterpiece for entry-level portable generators that are easy to use and offer complete control. With this uniquely designed solution, it’s possible to have power in hand at all times.
240-Watt Battery Pack
The battery pack offers a robust 240 watts making it ideal for multiple devices at the same time. This high-powered solution works on solar power and is easy to keep in working condition year-round.
Built-In MPPT Controller
The MPPT controller is ideal for those who want to recharge the battery pack quickly. It is intricately designed to provide a fully integrated solution for long-term results. This is an essential quality to have when you are moving around from place to place with the portable power station in hand.
Power Up To 4 Devices
The idea of having something like this is knowing you are going to have complete control over it at all times. This portable power station is excellent as it allows you to charge up to 4 devices at a time without breaking a sweat. It will easily power them and continue to maximize charging efficiency.
4 Ways of Recharging
The goal of recharging is to have the ability to mix things up rather than having one option. This portable power station allows you to go through four different paths, including charging with a wall outlet, solar panel, and/or car outlet, depending on where you are with the portable power station.
- Offers a diverse set of recharging options
- Ideal for moving around in different settings without power loss
- Comes with a complete MPPT controller for customization purposes
- Built to last for a long time
- Does not offer the capacity to charge 200 watts at the same time
2. Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X is a refined solution that is made with a high-powered set of components. It is versatile, offers fast charging, and is ideal for those who are going to be traveling all the time.
60W USB-C Power Delivery
The USB-C power delivery is perfect for those wanting to charge their smartphones and/or laptops. Everything is energy efficient and on par with international standards. Getting a complete charge within a few hours makes it a lifesaver in your time of need.
It offers fast charging solutions, whether it is through solar power, car outlets, or a traditional power outlet. The versatility is great for those in a rush and wants to make sure the portable power station doesn’t let them down.
Battery Management System
It offers an all-encompassing battery management system making it easier to determine whether the portable power station can keep up with your needs. In a matter of seconds, you will know when it is time to recharge the portable power station to make sure it has enough energy for you to see results.
It offers six outputs making it easy to connect a long list of personal devices based on your needs. These outputs provide a consistent stream of power and are varied in terms of the port. This includes USB-C, AC inverter, and USB-A, ensuring you find what you are on the lookout for.
- Ideal for charging multiple devices at the same time
- Offers a complete battery management system to customize your experience
- Built to last for a long time in all types of conditions
- Charges quickly
- Can take a bit of time to set up out of the box
3. Rockpals RP250W Portable Generator
The Rockpals RP250W Portable Generator is an exceptional solution for those who want a steady, high-powered option that isn’t going to let them down in their time of need. It’s well-built, easy to operate, and continues to work well in the background.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
The core of this portable generator comes in the form of its pure sine wave inverter. This simplifies the electricity output and ensures the results are in favor of your needs.
Can Be Recharged In Three Ways
Being able to recharge it in three different ways – solar, car output, traditional outlet makes it easy to use in a wide array of scenarios. If it is time to recharge this portable generator, it will be ready to go within a few hours.
The output is what most people are going to be on the lookout for. This is a high-powered solution that doesn’t see dips in performance when more devices are connected. This has to do with the 250-watt output that you have to work with as a user.
Lithium Polymer Battery
The heart of this portable generator comes in the form of a lithium-polymer battery. This battery holds energy well and is one of the more energy-efficient solutions on the market right now. It’s versatile, easy to operate, and does well with all types of devices, whether it is your mini-fridge or a smartphone that is dying.
- Comes with a fully equipped battery that is ideal for charging multiple devices
- The consistent stream of energy makes it a reliable solution outdoors
- Takes only a few hours to recharge from 0%
- The battery is long-lasting and built to sustain its performance
- No “Off” switch for the 12V DC output
4. AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station
The AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station is a wonderful option for those who are always outdoors and want something easy to carry with them. It’s robust, offers a comprehensive battery pack, and is easy to adjust based on your needs.
The BMS is one of the finer benefits that come along with this high-quality portable power station. The BMS makes it easier to keep your devices safe instead of worrying about overcharging. This safety mechanism is something AIMTOM has thought of in great detail and implemented properly.
42,000 mAh Battery
The battery is what you will want, and this stands out for all the right reasons. It is a powerhouse for overall performance and offers multiple outlets making it easy to use in a long list of situations.
The indicators are an incredible sight and will make it a lot simpler as you are connecting multiple devices simultaneously. Playing around with the indicators is one of those benefits that will stand out as you are figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
The portability of this power station is impressive and makes it a joy to use. You are going to realize it is easy to pack away when you are RVing or camping. Just having the ability to power this up and use it in different situations makes it a versatile addition to your setup.
- Lightweight design makes it easy to move around from place to place
- Takes seconds to set up
- Has an eye-catching design that is ideal for carrying with you
- Offers multiple outlets making it easier to charge your devices
- Can start to see drops in voltage as it is used aggressively
5. Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station
The Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station is a high-quality solution that offers an eco-friendly option for those wanting to maintain power throughout the day. It has a wide array of outlets, a complete battery guard, and is easy to carry around in hand.
9 Different Outlets
It is the outlets that are going to impress as soon as it is put to the test. It can handle nine different devices simultaneously and does an excellent job of getting energy to all of them.
Built-In Battery Guard
For those who are worried about overcharging with so many devices at the same time, it is essential to look at the built-in battery guard. It provides complete protection from this type of concern and works instantly once turned on.
155 Watts of Power
This portable power station offers a refined 155 watts of power in one shot. This makes it ideal for those going to be on the go and don’t want to carry around a bulkier alternative. This is easy to manage and doesn’t get in the way at all.
The overall design is eco-friendly, meaning it doesn’t let off fumes and/or use dangerous energy sources. This is ideal for those who want to stick to a quiet, high-powered solution that is environmentally friendly at the same time. This does a good job when it comes to keeping the planet safe.
- Easy to charge a wide array of devices at the same time
- Offers complete protection from overcharging due to the battery guard
- Can recharge in a matter of hours due to lithium battery’s design
- Eco-friendly setup as it doesn’t require the use of gas and doesn’t let off fumes
- Can start to struggle with larger devices if other smaller devices are connected too
Solar Generator Buying Guide
This solar generator buying guide will help you determine which solar power generator will best suit your needs. There are many factors to consider when considering which solar power generator to buy.
Not all solar power generators are the same, so it’s essential to understand the function and uses of solar power and the solar power generators on the market today.
Here you’ll learn some of the different reasons and uses for solar power and the various available options in solar power generators.
Let’s explore the different uses and options of solar power and solar power generators.
Introduction to Solar Generators
With the high electricity cost, many people are looking for alternative ways to power their homes, offices, RVs, boats, and other buildings.
Solar energy is free. It’s harnessed from the power of the sunlight. Most people would choose to use free energy if they understood how easy it is to collect it.
Solar power generators are systems that run off of solar power to power a home or business. Instead of using fossil fuel, solar power utilizes the power of the sun to run electricity. They store the energy in batteries to use later.
Solar power generators are typically used to generate electricity for RV camping, backup power sources, boats, cabins, houses, and other facilities that may require power in a power outage for grid power.
Solar power generators are available in various styles and sizes, so it’s important to understand solar power options and benefits.
What Are Some Reasons to Have Solar Power?
With electricity prices soaring, many are seeking to reduce or eliminate the cost of their electricity. Some are simply choosing to use solar lanterns and solar power chargers. However, thanks to solar power and solar power generators, many can achieve this goal with ease.
From using the sunlight to heat a room or providing plenty of light to an area to using solar power to generate power for lanterns and other devices such as solar phone chargers, solar power works well to generate electricity.
Thanks to modern technology and equipment, solar power is easier than ever to use and rely on. With the proper equipment, solar power can be used to power entire homes, offices, RVs, boats, and more.
Depending on where someone lives, there are many reasons to consider using solar power. Solar power can be used exclusively, or it can be used as a backup if there are power outages for a variety of reasons.
Here are some typical reasons that a person may wish to have solar generators for electrical power backup:
- Reduce the cost of electricity or eliminate the cost of energy
- High Winds
- Heavy Snowfall
- Power outages
- High Heat
- Ice Storms
- Civil Unrest
- Rolling Blackouts
- Unavailable Power (due to the location being off the grid)
What Is a Solar Generator?
A solar generator is a portable power station that collects and disperses solar energy.
There are many significant advantages to solar generators, including the fact that they don’t require fuel to power the electricity.
Solar generators run on solar power, and this is a renewable form of energy that requires minimal maintenance.
An average home will require anywhere from 14 to 36 solar panels to run the home’s electricity. The ultimate number of solar panels will depend upon the number of items using solar power.
Some homes are run exclusively on solar power, while others choose only to run the essentials during an outage. The solar energy will be collected in the solar panels.
This energy is then stored in the battery, which is built into the solar generator. These are deep cell marine style batteries that store the energy until it is required to power the house’s appliances.
Most solar energy systems use anywhere from 2 batteries upwards to 7 or more batteries depending on the amount of power you’re trying to generate to run your home, boat, RV, business, or other buildings.
Using the inverter, this energy is converted from the raw form of DC power into AC power and then released into the appliances and other electronic devices that require power to work by the flip of a switch.
Some solar power generators must be manually turned on to function. In contrast, others automatically come on when the power goes out, so that homeowners and other solar power users have to turn on the appliance and use it without giving it a second thought.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
Regular energy appears to work at the flip of a switch. The truth is that the power is connected via wires and power poles that connect to the home and run the power.
Solar power is similar in that it connects to the home, however, this connection is via the solar generator and the panels that store the sun’s energy.
Solar generators work by capturing the sun’s energy into a DC electrical current stored in the unit’s batteries.
When solar energy is required, the inverter converts this energy into the AC that is used to power the house or other dwelling or building that requires power.
Solar generators hold power until it’s required. The energy is stored in the batteries so that when it’s needed, it’s ready.
It’s important to note that there are different kinds of solar power generators. You’ll want to understand the different kinds of solar power generators before you go out and purchase one so that you will have one that will suit your needs and requirements.
What Are the Different Types of Types of Solar Generators?
It’s easy to think that all solar generators are alike, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There are actually three basic types of solar generators that are typically used.
Depending on the needs of the user, these are as follow:
Portable Solar Generators
Just as the word portable sounds, these are portable. You can take them with you in an RV or boat, camping, to family events at a park, or you can move them around on your property as required.
Many of these also have backup power of gas, propane, or diesel in addition to the sun’s energy.
The biggest issue with a portable solar generator is that it must be manually turned on, and you’ll have to keep it positioned to capture the sun’s energy.
Inverter Solar Generators
These are pretty similar to portable solar generators in that they can convert power into energy. The inverter will then convert the energy into power to use your appliances or other devices.
An advantage of the inverter solar generators over the portable solar generators is that they have the inverter built-in and can hold the backup energy for a more extended period. The energy is stored in the batteries until it’s required.
Standby Solar Generators
These aren’t portable as the above-mentioned solar generators. These are permanently installed outside of a home or business and will automatically kick on if there is a power outage or required due to a power surge or brownout.
While they are more complicated in their function and setup, they are very reliable. They can switch on automatically, which can be a massive bonus if you have inclement weather and require power.
What Are the Advantages of Solar Generators?
There are many advantages of solar generators. Solar energy is a green form of energy and renewable.
Here is a more detailed list of the benefits of solar generators for solar energy:
Free Energy from the Sun
Electricity costs a lot of money, but the sun’s energy is free for everyone. Just collect the energy and use it as required.
The initial cost of solar power is the equipment used to collect solar energy. Other than that, it’s free (and most systems pay for themselves within just two short years of being implemented).
Green or Clean Renewable Energy
Even if it’s cloudy, you can still harness solar energy. As long as you have the proper setup, you can rely on your solar energy to power your home, RV, boat, etc.
Low Impact or Low Carbon Footprint
In today’s economy, everyone is talking about reducing their carbon footprint. By using a renewable energy source, is very doable.
Quiet Energy Systems
Other kinds of generators (that rely on diesel, gas, or biodiesel) are noisy. Solar power generators are very quiet.
You can sell your excess power back to the power company (net metering) in many locations, thus earning an income.
The electrical company will “buy-back” your excess power, and you will be credited on your regular energy bill or receive a check each month for this net metering.
Low Maintenance Due to No Moving Parts
This means fewer repairs. Other types of generators have moving parts and will require replacement as they break down. With no moving parts, there is nothing to replace in solar power generators.
This can save the homeowner a lot of money in the long run. There are never any power poles to fall in a storm, and there are no wires to replace due to ice breakage, etc.
What Size Solar Generator Do I Need?
The size of the solar generator required will vary according to the size of the facility that is using the solar power.
It will also be dependent upon the number of appliances requiring power at any given time.
Another determining factor is the length of time that will be required for the solar power usage and the coverage that will be required.
If the power grid is down and the entire home requires power, there will be a greater need for a larger-sized solar power generator.
However, if the essentials are being powered up during an outage, a smaller solar power generator may be used to power up the facility.
Features to Look for in Solar Generators
The features to look for in solar power generators will depend upon the amount of power that is required to power up the appliances, facility, and other items that require power in the dwelling or facility.
Here are some essential considerations to use to help determine what to look for in solar power generators.
- Solar panels being used – How many solar panels will be required for the particular situation?
- Battery capacity – The more power that is required, the more capacity will be required in the batteries.
- Power rating – How much power is going to be required?
- Type of battery – There are different types of batteries to use for solar power. How many and what type is a huge consideration.
- Charge controllers -How many will be required and for what purposes?
- Inverter – The inverter will determine how much power is converted at any given time.
- Expandability – can you expand your system? Or, will you have to buy another unit?
- Weight – Will you need to move it around? Is it on wheels? Or is it stationary?
- USB Ports – Does your inverter offer USB ports?
- AC Outlets – How many AC outlets are there on the solar power generator?
- Warranty – What kind of warranty does the solar power generator offer? Most offer a year or more warranty.
- Industry Credentials – What are the industry credentials?
Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to choose the best solar generator. Please see our picks of the top solar generators at the beginning of this article.
When considering which solar power generator to purchase, the most crucial factor to consider is the battery capacity. How much energy will the battery hold? The watt-hours or Wh will measure this.
The higher the capacity of the battery, the longer the battery is going to last. For example, a 1000 WH solar power generator can power a 60-watt lightbulb for nearly 17 hours.
By determining your needs and expectations, you can make an educated decision on which solar power generator will work best for your needs.
Not all solar power generators work the same, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve factored in whether or not you need a portable or a permanent solar power generator.
For larger homes and uses, you’ll want to consider a larger capacity solar power generator. This will allow you to power your entire home if desired.
Many people choose to use a portable until they can afford a more permanent solar power generator system. This is fine, but if they intend to power the entire house, it’s wise to invest in the best solar brands and system and that they can afford at the time.