Solar generators work with solar panels to provide backup power to your homes in situations such as power outages. With solar power accounting for 39% of the USA’s total new electricity generating capacity, the importance of solar generators cannot be undermined.
So, can a solar generator power a house? Yes and no. A single solar power generator is not adequate for a household. However, it can keep lower consumption appliances running, such as fans, lights, etc.
If you want to power all your devices with solar generators, you will probably have to install multiple panels in your solar system.
In this article, we will explore the working of a solar generator and understand how we can calculate which size solar generator we require.
- 1 Types Of Solar Generators
- 2 Components Of A Solar Generator
- 3 How Do Solar Generators Work?
- 4 How Do Gas-Powered Generators Work?
- 5 Solar Generators vs. Diesel Generators Solar generators are great if you’re living away from home, say on a boat or at a camp. However, at home, you can only use them to power devices that have little to medium load. Diesel generators are an excellent emergency backup power source for residential purposes. If your solar generator is inadequate for high-power appliances, a diesel unit might be helpful. How To Calculate Your Total Solar Energy Needs?
- 6 How Much Solar Generator Power Do You Require?
- 7 How Long Can Solar Generators Keep Running?
- 8 What Solar Panel Size Do You Need?
- 9 Which Solar Batteries Will You Need?
- 10 What Size Inverter Do You Need?
- 11 Closing Notes
Types Of Solar Generators
Generators are much needed in areas that experience frequent power outages. In residential settings, there are two main kinds of solar generators.
Portable Solar Generators
As the name suggests, you can use these generators on the go. They are ideal for RVs, cabins, cars, homes, and boats. You can even use them on a camping trip.
Solar panels recharge the batteries of the portable solar generator. However, you may run into some issues with them.
A portable solar generator might have insufficient wattage capacity to power heavy appliances. Moreover, it may not be able to power multiple devices in a go.
Portable generators remain a popular choice since they are affordable, low maintenance, and do not release carbon dioxide or noise.
Solar Backup Generators
These generators are designed to provide a backup power supply in case the electric grid fails. Backup generators are a great alternative to installing complete solar panel systems.
They are adequate for turning on lights, computers, televisions, and other small to medium appliances.
It usually takes about 48 hours to charge these backup power generators fully. The charging speed will depend upon the amount of sunlight the generator system receives and the size of the solar panels.
Due to their weight, it is not easy to move solar backup generators. While they are large enough to power large properties, they are also quite expensive.
Components Of A Solar Generator
Let us discuss the different components a solar generator consists of.
Solar panels contain crystal conductors that produce electricity when they come in contact with solar energy. In regards to the generator, their role is to recharge the solar generators’ batteries.
You will be able to recharge your solar battery within hours, depending on the size of your solar panel system.
The solar charge controller regulates how much energy gets transferred from the solar panel to your battery to prevent overcharging.
Charge controllers typically feature a load input, which enables you to add light-duty appliances to the controller.
It balances the solar battery energy with the load, and in case the battery power gets very low, it automatically cuts off the load.
An inverter is essentially a conversion device that transforms DC into AC electricity.
The solar panels, battery, and charge controller all produce direct current (DC) electricity. However, most home appliances work on AC power. Hence, you need an inverter to convert the electricity.
A battery is simply stored energy. We come across batteries every day, from our phones to laptops, to cars.
Most solar generators use lithium-ion batteries that are robust and reliable. These batteries enable portable appliances to run for a long time, maybe even all day.
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar generators work much like batteries—they get charged and then discharged based on the electrical power available to them.
Solar panels are the primary source of charge for solar generators. The panels convert sunlight into direct current, which then passes through the charge controller.
The controller regulates the voltage in the solar batteries. The energy remains in the battery storage until it is eventually used.
When it is time to use the energy, the inverter converts DC into AC so that it can be used by electrical devices.
Solar panels are not the only way to charge the generators since most solar generators provide the option to connect to the grid or allow charging via the DC outlet of the car. However, you’ll get the fastest results with the solar panel network.
How Do Gas-Powered Generators Work?
Gas generators are perhaps the most popular choice for backup power supply in residencies. They can easily be installed alongside solar panels.
In such a generator, the automatic transfer switch detects a power outage and moves the power source from the grid to the gas generator.
Gas generators can run on various types of fuels, such as gasoline, propane, and diesel.