How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for Your Outdoor Adventures
Solar generators are a great option to have in your home for camping and RV use. They can also be a great backup electricity option for storms or other bad weather. They are also perfect for major power outages.
Choosing a solar generator is also an amazing, eco-friendly option. With a solar generator, your home can be powered with clean and renewable energy directly from the sun. While using a solar generator, you won’t have to worry about harmful fossil fuels and other emissions going into the atmosphere.
Solar generators can also be a perfect addition to any camping or outdoor adventure because they are usually more lightweight and smaller than regular generators. They will be able to fit safely inside your tent, RV, or other vehicles.
We have reviewed ten of the best solar generators in this article. All of the reviews are based on a few factors that are extremely important when choosing the best solar generator for your home or outdoor adventure.
The battery capacity is one of the most important ranking factors because it will determine how much energy your generator can store. It will also determine how long the generator can last between recharges.
Inverter rating is also an important part of any solar generator. It will turn solar energy into actual electricity that you can use to charge and use appliances. The inverter rating will tell you how much power you can get from the generator.
The power output will determine how much power comes from the generator and will tell you what appliances you can charge. Make sure your power output can successfully charge all the appliances you need.
If you plan to power an entire RV, you will need more outlets. Determine how many appliances you will be charging at the same time, and try to get a generator with the number of outlets that you need.
Of course, the price will determine what kind of generator you buy. All of the generators in this article offer great options for any budget.
Last, you will want to determine the expandability. This will allow you to add more solar panels to the generator if needed. This might be important if you want to power an entire home.
- Best Solar Generators at a Glance
- Review Section
- 1. Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator – Best Overall Solar Generator
- 2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station – Best Solar Generator for Camping
- 3. Jackery Explorer 1000 – Best Portable Solar Generator
- 4. Goal Zero Yeti 1,400 – Best Solar Generator for Home
- 5. EcoFlow DELTA – Best for RV Use
- 6. Point Zero Energy Titan – Best for Festivals
- 7. Suaoki G500 – Best for Durability
- 8. Westinghouse iGen600s – Best Budget Solar Generator
- 9. MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P – Best High-Capacity Solar Generator
- 10. Renogy Lycan Powerbox – Best for Long Battery Life
- Q&A Section
- How Does a Solar Generator Work?
- Can a Solar Generator Power My Whole House?
- What Are the Benefits of a Solar Generator?
- How Do I Pick the Right Solar Generator for Me?
- How Do I Determine How Much Power I Need?
- How Portable Should My Generator Be?
- Do Portable Power Stations Include a Solar Panel?
- What Kind of Solar Panels Should I Choose?
- Can I Charge the Solar Generator in My Car?
- What Types of Batteries Are Used in Solar Generators?
- Best Selling Solar Generators
Best Solar Generators at a Glance
- Best Overall Solar Generator – Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
- Best Solar Generator for Camping – Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station
- Best Portable Solar Generator – Jackery Explorer 1000
- Best Solar Generator for Home – Goal Zero Yeti 1,400
- Best for RV Use – EcoFlow DELTA
- Best for Festivals – Point Zero Energy Titan
- Best for Durability – Suaoki G500
- Best Budget Solar Generator – Westinghouse iGen600s
- Best High-Capacity Solar Generator – MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P
- Best for Long Battery Life – Renogy Lycan Powerbox
Check out the following reviews to help guide your selection process.
1. Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator – Best Overall Solar Generator
- The Phoenix is an all-in-one portable solar power system specifically designed for mobile, off-grid applications and is ideal for emergencies
- This compact, lightweight back-up system combines highly efficient Renogy 20W Mono-crystalline Solar panels and can expand up to 100 watts with additional paves
- The Phoenix can be charged by solar, AC power, or car power and comes with a 17. 1Ah li-ion(neck) Battery
This is one of the smallest generators on the list making it ideal for camping or sports events. You can just throw this generator into your car and bring it with you everywhere. It is only 4.6 lbs.
It includes a 110 V AV outlet, three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, a carport, and one DV power output port. This makes it ideal for charging several devices at one time and can even be used for charging a whole home if need be – in case of emergency. Despite its small size, it is very powerful.
The battery can also be an LED flashlight which makes it a great choice if you are planning to buy a solar generator for emergency purposes. It can also be used to charge phones, laptops, cameras, and many other devices.
Overall, this solar generator is amazing for off-grid applications and all emergencies, making it one of the best overall solar generators. Not only is it lightweight, but it is also very compact. The panels are monocrystalline and can expand up to 100 watts if you decide to add on additional panels later on.
The minimum inverter efficiency is 80 percent. The continuous output power is 150W, and the output AC frequency is 60 Hz. Since it also comes with a battery, it doesn’t have to run off solar power if you don’t want it to. It can be charged with AC power and car power.
This generator offers maximum expandability and has some of the best features regarding renewable energy. It is also dependable and will never leave you stranded in emergencies. Maximum portability also allows you to bring it virtually anywhere.
- Can be charged with solar power or AC power.
- Has several outlets and USB ports.
- Great for emergency and camping use.
- Renogy does not sell replacement batteries.
- Additional panels needed in cloudy environments.
2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station – Best Solar Generator for Camping
- 428Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (39,600mAh at 10.8V/119,000 at 3.6V)
- Continuous 300W, 1200W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.4A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
- Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Provides power for small appliances, lights, CPAPs and more
Goal Zero is an amazing solar generator brand. Some of their generators can even power a whole home. This particular one is perfect for camping because it is very small and compact. It is powerful enough to run several small appliances at one time. You can also use various sizes and types of solar panels. It can always be charged without a wall outlet or car.
This generator is considered midsize which makes it great for camping and boating. It can fully recharge in about 8–16 hours if you are using a 100-watt solar panel. If you choose a higher-watt solar panel, it will be able to charge even faster. If you don’t have access to solar energy, you can always use a 12-volt adaptor or simply plug it into the wall.
The power capacity is 428 Wh. This can recharge a smartphone over 20 times and a small television for up to 3 hours. You will be able to run smaller appliances like mini-fridges, but it won’t be able to charge large appliances. This makes it not suitable for home or large RV.
The items weigh 16 lbs, which is slightly heavier than other portable solar generators. The extra weight comes from the multiple inverters and ports. It has 2.4A USB ports, 120W 12V ports, and continuous 300W, 1200W surge pure sine wave inverters.
The generator has an informative LED screen with a battery indicator that is super easy to read. It will also show you the input/output meter and a runtime/recharge time calculator. This will let you know when you need to start recharging the generator, so it can effectively charge your devices and appliances.
The battery is fully replaceable, and you can easily replace it by yourself at home. This generator is made to last and has a very long shelf with no gasoline required which means no mess or fumes to ruin the environment around you.
- Awesome design with LCD screen.
- Easy to travel with.
- Offers continuous power.
- More expensive than other options.
- The solar panels will need to be bought separately.
3. Jackery Explorer 1000 – Best Portable Solar Generator
- Clean and Unlimited Solar Energy: 100% green energy with smart MPPT controller for optimal charging efficiency. The power station can be fully charged with 2 Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels...
- Easy to Use: The ergonomic shape of the handle grants an ease grip. And use in one touch with simple and speedy setup within 60s to enjoy outstanding charging efficiency.
- Safe & Reliable for Outdoor Camping: Features industry-leading cylindrical batteries (popular with manufacturers of Electric Vehicles) that meet UL safety standards. Certified with Impact-Resistance...
If you are looking for an overall best portable generator, this one by Jackery Explorer could be the best option for you. It only weighs 22.04 lbs which is extremely lightweight for all the features and power it can give you.
Jackery is also one of the leading brands in solar power generators. They specialize in making high-powered and lightweight generators for all camping and outdoor activities. With this model, they have exceeded expectations.
This generator can power larger appliances such as mini space heaters, mini-fridges, portable ovens, coffee makers, and many more appliances. It is also great for outdoor parties or other events because it can charge blenders, ice shavers, and pellet smokers. It can also be used to charge some grills.
In case of emergency, the generator can power almost your whole house by giving power to your fridges, radios, computers, and phones. The generator has three standard pure sine wave AC outlets which are known to provide maximum power to all of your devices. There are two USB-C ports and one quick-charge 3.0 port.
The full kit is included, so no additional items need to be purchased to keep this generator running. The kit includes the generator, the AC adaptor, the car charger cable, a SolarSaga parallel adapter cable, and the user guide. It also comes with the 1002Wh portable power station.
The recharging time is convenient and can charge in as little as 5.5 hours up to 80% charge. If you are using the generator in your home and have WiFi access, you can also link the generator to the WiFi and the home’s security system. It can be easily stored in RVs and other campers.
- Up to 100 charges for your phone and 8 charges for your laptop with no recharge.
- It can charge multiple large devices at one time.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Does not come with solar panels.
- The internal fan can be loud.
4. Goal Zero Yeti 1,400 – Best Solar Generator for Home
- 1425Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (single cell equivalent capacity: 396Ah @3.6V)
- Patented AC inverter (output, pure sine wave) and 60W USB-C power delivery ports
- WiFi connectivity, simply connect a Yeti through your WiFi router and control it remotely using the Yeti App
Goal Zero is one of the most popular brands when it comes to solar generators. They are well-known to be some of the best durable and best solar panel kits. This generator is amazing for camping because it is built to power several devices at once.
It has ten ports which allows you to power pretty much all your devices at one time. It is so strong that it can even power a fridge for 32 hours. You may be thinking since it is so durable and has such a high storage capacity that it might be bulky or hefty. However, this is not the case. It only weighs 43.7 lbs which is significantly less than generators of the same quality.
It has 1,425 Wh of storage capacity and can be charged with either solar panels or a wall outlet. The generator has a special app called Goal Zero. It allows you to monitor your generator and your power consumption as long as you have WiFi.
The 100-watt solar panel is enough if you will be using 10–20% of the energy stored within the battery. If you think you will use more than that, an additional solar panel may need to effectively power all the things you need.
Overall, this is the best choice for a camping trip because it charges all the small appliances and devices that you bring with you. It can operate in cloudy or sunny environments, so you can live it out while you are camping or doing other outdoor activities.
The generator is exhaust-free and does not release any toxic fumes, so your campsite and park can be kept clean and safe.
Here are just some of the things it can charge and for how long:
- 32 LCD TV – 14 hours
- Headlamp – 230+ recharges
- Smartphone – 70+ recharges
- Tablet – 52+ recharges
- Laptop – 23+ charges
- POV camera – 230+ recharges
This list is not exhaustive, but it is some of the most popular items you may charge when on a camping trip. The generator can virtually charge anything for more hours than any other generator on the market.
- The app allows you to monitor your consumption.
- The battery is in a special waterproof casing.
- Perfect for long trips because it can run several devices at once.
- Heavier than some other options.
- More expensive than other generators.
5. EcoFlow DELTA – Best for RV Use
- 0-80% in under 1 Hour. Ecoflow DELTA power station recharged at 10 times the speed of most portable power stations in the market with just a standard AC cable.
- Huge 1.2kWh Capacity. Portability doesn't have to sacrifice capacity. DELTA is a solar powered generator with a massive 1.2kWh capacity. Enough for hours of backup power.
- Power Almost Anything. DELTA's huge AC output can even support power tools up to 1800W (Surge to 3300W, Pure Sine Wave). That makes it the best portable power station at this size for output.
This generator is best known for being very rugged and durable, which makes it great to throw into the RV and use for off-grid RV camping. It is known for its extremely fast charging time because you can go from zero percent to 80 percent in less than an hour. This is if you are using the wall outlet. The solar panels may take longer to charge.
It also offers 13 ports for charging devices, which is a few more than other generators of the same size. Honestly, the 13 ports and the insane recharging time are enough to make someone buy this generator. Let’s go over some more of the features though.
The ports and power are strong enough to charge laptops, smartphones, CPAP machines, blenders, refrigerators, cameras, drones, and many other small devices. With the extremely fast charging times, there are also three different rechargeable modes. You can use the lithium battery pack, a 10-65V solar panel, or the AC wall adapter and the car charger.
Make sure to use the correct solar panels, and try not to use a third-party brand because the wiring may not be able to correctly connect. The portable 1260Wh generator can give you electricity in a wide variety of settings such as camping, long road trips, or just for regular use in your home and RV.
It should reach a 100 percent charge in just 2 hours if you are using the wall outlet. This is about ten times faster than similar generators made by other brands. This charge can be achieved with the standard AC cable, so no adaptor is required like with other generators.
The entire kit comes with the 1260Wh portable power station, three types of charging cables, a storage bag, and a user guide. The charging cables are the AC plug, the car charging cable, and the MC4 to XT60 solar panel cable.
Some common items you may use and their supported times by the generator are the following:
- Toaster – 0.6–1.2 hours
- Hairdryer – 0.6–3.3 hours
- Laptop – 23+ hours
- Light- 36+ hours
- Fly pan – 0.7–1.5 hours
- Freezer – 10–20 hours
- Coffee maker – 50–60 cups
The generator also comes with built-in overload protection and high-/low-temperature protection. You won’t have to be stressed about unplugging the generator during certain temperatures or environments.
- Extremely fast charging time – 13 devices all at the same time.
- Can charge small appliances and devices numerous times.
- Durable and rugged design.
- One of the most expensive generators on the market.
- Customer service is not the best and returns are not usually accepted.
6. Point Zero Energy Titan – Best for Festivals
- Raptic Titan, formerly Defense Titan, is equipped with 225 watt-hours of capacity. Easily powers mobile devices, CPAPs, computers, and small appliances. Titan has a 200W inverted size with a...
- Charges your laptop up to 5 times, a smart phone over 20 times, or even run small appliances like mini fridges for over 10 hours of use.
- Recharge your Titan with USB-C or with the included wall adapter.
With summer coming and venues reopening, many people are attending festivals. Summer is one of the most common times to attend music festivals or other outdoor events where you may be camping for days or weeks at a time. Having a small solar generator can be a great way to keep your devices charged during the time you are away.
This generator by Point Zero can offer a fast charging time for several small devices such as laptops, smartphones, and mini-fridges. A smartphone can be charged over 20 times, and a laptop can be charged over 5 times. It is also a great option if you plan to travel with a CPAP machine or other small medical devices.
The generator can also be recharged with the USB-C or the wall adaptor. Both are included with the purchase. Overall, this generator is very small and compact. It has an aluminum body and rubber protection on all four corners. This makes it very durable and extremely easy to carry around with you.
It comes with a leather strap, so you can throw it over your shoulder and easily tote it with you all the time. The complete kit comes with the power station, an AC wall charger, and a 12-month warranty.
This 10 lbs charging station should be your go-to for your next outdoor event or festival. It has a 225Wh capacity to keep all your small devices charged and ready to go. It is also perfect for adventure travel because it can charge popular outdoor cameras like Go Pros up to 35 times before needing a recharge.
- Extremely lightweight and easy to carry around.
- It has a very durable design, perfect for outdoor travel.
- It can hold a charge for up to 4 months.
- Does not power large appliances.
- The solar panels will need to be bought separately.
7. Suaoki G500 – Best for Durability
- 【500WH ULTRA-HIGH CAPACITY】 500Wh (11.1V, 45,900mAh/3.7V 137,700mAh) portable battery pack is powerful enough to charge iPhone X 42 times, JBL GO speaker 120 hours, mini fridge(40W) 9 hours,...
- 【300W PURE SINE INVERTERS & VERSATILE DC OUTPUT】 2* 110V/300W (600W surge) pure sine wave AC outlets provide significantly higher efficiency for sensitive devices like laptops, speakers, TVs and...
- 【EASY 3 WAY RE-CHARGE】 Fully recharged the mobile lithium power supply from a wall outlet about 7-8 hours (AC adapter included); use SUAOKI 100W solar panel (NOT INCLUDED) to charge the portable...
Any solar generator should have a design and other features that make it highly durable. This is because the majority of solar generators will be used outdoors or within bad weather conditions. Always make sure your generator is built with a rugged design and a waterproof compartment for the battery.
This generator by Suaoki is reinforced with aluminum alloy and can be thrown and carried around without you worrying about it getting damaged. It has also passed the Ul certification to make sure it is safe to use in a wide variety of weather conditions.
It has a display that is easy to see and read. It shows the input and output data and the battery level. You will always know how much power you have and when you need to start recharging the device. The generator is also fully foldable and has a padded handle that is very easy to tote around.
This makes it very safe and compact to carry around. Like other generators, there are three different ways to charge this generator so that it can then charge your other devices. The lithium battery can be fully charged with the wall outlet in about 7–8 hours.
If you choose to use solar panels, you will need to buy the 100W solar panel also by Suaoki. It is not included with the purchase of the generator. Keep in mind that you should always buy a solar panel in the correct wattage and by the same brand as your generator. Sometimes, other brands are not compatible, and the wiring will not be able to be connected properly.
You can also use the 12V/24V car port cable that is included with the generator. The built-in battery management system can control the voltage, current, and temperature. This takes away the stress of needing to constantly check the generator and its settings.
It has an output of 110V/300W with a 600W surge. The pure sine wave protects against charging sensitive devices. This is especially important for laptops, speakers, and CPAP machines. You can also ensure that all your medical devices will be safely charged all the time.
The generator also has two 12V/3A outputs that are perfect for walkie-talkies, tablets, phones, cameras, and many other small devices.
- Charges within 7–8 hours – quicker than many other generators.
- The management system monitors overheat or temperature issues.
- Easy to carry around.
- The customer service is not the best.
- A bit heavier compared to other generators.
8. Westinghouse iGen600s – Best Budget Solar Generator
- 600 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts – Sturdy and Compact Portable Power Station Ideal for Outdoor or Home Use; Powered by Lithium-Ion Batteries; Four Charging Methods With Included Wall Charger, Car...
- Versatile and Efficient – Two 120V Household Outlets, One 12V 8mm DC Port, Four USB Ports including QualComm Quick Charge 3.0 Port and a USB-C Outlet Makes This Perfect for Charging Small Sensitive...
- Adventure Ready – Lightweight Portability at 11 lb. With a Built-In Carrying Handle and LED Display With Flashlight and Reading Lamp; Ultra Compact and Easily Tucks Into a Bag or Vehicle Storage...
Solar generators can be on the expensive side if you are looking for several ports or other special features. However, many low-budget options are great options for people on a budget.
It comes with four charging methods including lithium-ion batteries, the wall charger, the car charger, and the optional solar panel. The solar panels are sold separately.
This generator is much more portable than other options because it only weighs 11 lbs which is very lightweight for its budget size. There are two 120V household outlets, one 12V 8mm DC port, four USB ports, and a USB-C outlet. This makes it perfect for charging small, sensitive devices such as laptops, smartphones, cameras, drones, headlamps, lights, and even some speakers.
It also has a carrying handle and a LED display that will show you the battery life and many other features. This allows you to carry it everywhere and also see how much battery life you have left.
There is virtually no maintenance needed, no fuel, and no noise. It operates completely silently. It also has to overheat protection, overload protection, and short-circuit protection.
- Protected from potential voltage spikes.
- Has a built-in flashlight that has three different brightness options.
- LED screen showing you all the information regarding battery life.
- Only works with smaller appliances.
- The plastic is not as durable as other options.
9. MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P – Best High-Capacity Solar Generator
- [Power Monster] - With the remarkable 2000Wh of capacity and a strong 2000W inverter, this AC200P power station can power 99% of home devices, giving you confidence in any emergency.
- [3500+ Life Cycles to 80%] - The ultra-safe LiFePO4 battery cells and premium BMS tech offer multiple protections to your AC200P, making it a reliable power backup that can last longer than a decade.
- [Efficient Recharging Rate] - AC200P supports up to 700W solar and 500W AC input, allowing you to fully recharge it in 2.5 hours by solar+AC or dual AC charging.
This generator offers a whopping 2000 watts of charging available. It also has a 4800W surge. The voltage is 120. Between the extremely high voltage and wattage, this generator has an amazingly high capacity. It is perfect for meeting various charging needs and has enough power to charge the appliances and devices of your whole family.
It weighs 60.6 lbs, so it is best for home use or for a trip where you won’t be moving locations very often. The power station is AC200P. It has enough power to charge huge appliances like fridges, window air conditioners, heaters, grills, and drills.
It can also charge small appliances as well, such as coffee makers, microwave ovens, hairdryers, and CPAP machines. It can also charge your smart devices and laptops.
Overall, the AC200P is a powerful monster, and you can ensure that all your devices will have a stable charge. This makes it a perfect generator for emergency uses or power outages. The generator can be fully charged in just 3–3.5 hours. It is a much smaller charging time than other generators of the same size.
For car charging, it will take about 10–20 hours for a full recharge. The solar panels will give you about a 40% faster charging time.
The AC power and the solar power combined will give you a fully recharged generator in just 2.2 hours. This is because the combined wattage is about 700 watts, which is much higher than what other generators offer.
This is in an all-in-one power station that can charge 17 devices at one time. It can be used for emergency power backup, home uses, parties, camping, or other outdoor events.
The generator comes with an LED screen that has touch abilities. The display shows the current, the voltage, the power, the temperature, and the charging status. There is also a smart temperature-activated fan that will keep the fans running at the correct temperature no matter how many devices you have plugged in. There is also the BLUETTI ECO mode which can prevent up to 50% of wasted electricity lost.
The solar generator kit comes with a 24-month warranty, the portable power station, the AC wall charger, the solar charging cable, the PV charging cable, a car charging cable, and the XT90 aviation plug.
- Ability to charge multiple devices at the same time.
- Amazing choice for emergency uses.
- You can charge large appliances.
- One of the more expensive options.
- Very heavy.
10. Renogy Lycan Powerbox – Best for Long Battery Life
- 【Large capacity】1075wh, can charge 100 times of an iPhone x, 93 times of a galaxy S9, 260 times of a go Pro, 13 times of a regular laptop.
- 【Long life battery】the Custom lithium-iron-phosphate Battery allows more cycles in the life of your battery- up to 2000 cycles.
- 【Widely applications】whether you are contractor, outdoor survivalist, or family man this power source is a sustainable solution perfect for all. Three ways to charge: Solar power, car power...
All generators should have a pretty long battery life to keep all your devices powered during emergencies or camping trips. This power box by Renogy has one of the longest battery lives on the market.
It has a custom-made lithium-iron-phosphate battery which allows up to 2000 cycles. This makes it an amazing option for needing a generator with very long battery life.
It also has a large capacity by being able to charge a variety of devices:
- Galaxy S9 – 93 times
- iPhone – 100 times
- Go Pro camera – 260 times
- Laptop – 13 times
You will be able to charge all your devices for the duration of your trip easily. There are three ways to charge the device including solar power, car power, and AC power. It can support almost any electrical device.
It has four 110V AC ports, four USB DC ports, a 12V cig port, and three 12V DC ports. The generator is also highly portable because it has a heavy-duty handle and very sturdy wheels. It will also have room for an extra battery on hand in case you need to reload it at any time.
- Very portable.
- Extremely long battery life.
- Can charge many devices at one time.
- More expensive than other options.
- After a few years of use, the battery may need to be replaced.
Now that you’ve read some reviews on the best solar generators on the market, you may be wondering which generator is the best choice for you. It ultimately depends on your needs and what you will be using the generator for.
It also depends on how big your family is or how many people will be using the generator. Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions about solar generators.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
Solar generators work by converting sunlight into DC electricity that passes through a charge controller. The solar energy is then stored in the battery near an inverter. The inverter will then turn the electricity into usable AC power.
Can a Solar Generator Power My Whole House?
Some solar generators can power a whole house, but they will need to be heavy duty and high capacity. They will probably also be expensive and heavy. However, a generator that can power your whole home needs to be of good quality because you don’t want your appliances and other devices to get ruined by a cheap generator.
Solar generators also rely, of course, on solar power. The area you live in will need to have plenty of sun hours for the generator to power your entire home. Consider getting a generator that can also be charged with a wall or car outlet. This will ensure that you can use the generator even on days when there is more cloud coverage.
What Are the Benefits of a Solar Generator?
Solar generators have many benefits. One is that they do have fumes or toxins like other generators or electricity options. This makes them safe to use inside your home and outside. All of the energy is renewable and environmentally friendly.
Solar generators also last longer than regular generators because they can constantly be used with sunlight rather than with traditional electricity. The batteries also have a long shelf life and don’t need to be replaced regularly.
Solar generators also make significantly less noise than traditional generators. This will ensure that your home or campsite runs quietly without waking up the whole neighborhood.
How Do I Pick the Right Solar Generator for Me?
This depends on what you need it for. Check the charging abilities, the outlets, the wattage, and the voltage before buying a generator. If you want to take your generator camping or to an event, consider getting one that has a handle and is lightweight.
Some generators have wheels which could be beneficial if you will be moving them from the car to a campsite. The wattage will be determined by how many devices you will be charging at one time. Small devices can be charged with smaller generators.
If you want to charge a fridge, fan, or other high-powered devices, buy a heavy-duty generator. Some generators also have the ability to add more solar panels. This could be beneficial if you want the generator to be able to expand and change.
How Do I Determine How Much Power I Need?
The easiest way to determine how much power you need is by first gathering all the devices you plan to use with the generator. Check the power consumption of each individual device and then add them together.
This will give you a good idea of how much power output your generator should have. Keep in mind that lightweight generators usually offer less power output than heavier ones. If you want to charge your whole home or RV, your needed generator will probably be on the heavier side.
If you are only charging phones, cameras, or other small devices, you can get away with buying a smaller and lightweight generator.
How Portable Should My Generator Be?
If you are only using the generator in your home and for power outages, it will not need to be very portable. Portable generators are more beneficial for camping, hiking, and RV use. Heavy generators are hard to move around and shouldn’t be brought with you camping or to a sporting event.
Emergency-use generators should also be more portable so that you can bring them with you and move them around easily.
Do Portable Power Stations Include a Solar Panel?
Not all portable solar power boxes have the solar panel included. Most kits only come with wall charging and car-charging capabilities. You will need to buy solar panels separately.
If you have invested in a high-cost solar generator, make sure your solar panels are high quality and can effectively be used with the generator. Most solar generators can only use solar panels from the same brand. Other brands of solar panels may not have the same wiring and will mess up the effectiveness of your generator.
Using a solar panel from the wrong brand or wattage can also void your warranty on the generator if you have one.
What Kind of Solar Panels Should I Choose?
As mentioned above, the solar panel should be in the correct wattage range and from the same brand as your generator. This will ensure that the wiring can be connected properly and safely.
There are many different kinds of solar panels, and some are more effective than others. Monocrystalline panels are the most commonly sold panel and are known to be the most efficient. They are also the most expensive.
Thin-film panels are also common because they are thin, lightweight, flexible, and durable. They are half as efficient as others though. They are usually the cheapest option.
Polycrystalline solar cells and amorphous crystal panels are also common. They are more efficient than thin films but less efficient than monocrystalline panels.
Thin-film panels and amorphous crystal panels also require twice the footprint to produce the same amount of power. This makes them especially less effective on small and portable chargers.
Monocrystalline panels are by far the best choice, especially for smaller generators.
Can I Charge the Solar Generator in My Car?
Yes, most solar generators come with a car charger cable. The car charger will usually take a longer time to charge than the wall outlet or the solar panels though. Using the car charger is most ideal when you need to charge on the go or between trips.
To prolong the battery life, try not to charge the devices at the same time the generator is charging.
What Types of Batteries Are Used in Solar Generators?
Batteries come in many different types, but for solar generators, the two most common types are lead-acid and lithium-ion.
Lead-acid is cheaper and a common option. They usually have a shorter life span than lithium-ion, but they are a cost-effective option for those not wanting to spend too much money at the beginning.
Lithium-ion batteries are usually lightweight and compact. They have a longer life span and are more expensive. They can also power almost all devices and tools. Buying a lithium-ion battery is a better choice if you want to charge larger appliances or several appliances at one time.