If you are looking for the best solar powered generators review, you have come to the right place! In this article, I will describe what a solar generator is, let you know how to choose the right solar generator for your needs, and tell you the best solar generator of 2020. Our best rated generator is the nature’s generator.
What is a Solar Generator?
Solar generators are essentially energy banks you can use to power electronic devices when you don’t have access to electricity or in the event of a power outage. Solar generators can be charged via solar panels, a wall socket, or a car cigarette lighter port. Some solar generators come with solar panels but with most of them you have to buy the solar panels separately. The generators convert the photons from the sun into energy that is stored in batteries inside the generator.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
Solar generators are essentially big batteries that hold a charge and are able to be recharged. They can be recharged by: solar power from the sun, electricity from an outlet, or the electric charge from your car battery. The batteries inside hold the charge until you are ready to use the power through the plugs on the generator.
Powering the generator
The generator itself can be powered by solar panels, a wall plug, or a car cigarette lighter plug. The solar generator will have several outlet plugs on each side. It will have input outlets and output outlets. The input outlet is where you plug in the generator to a solar panel, a wall outlet, or a car cigarette lighter plug. While you have the input plugged in, the solar generator will be charging the batteries inside. Solar generators can be charged fastest by using a wall outlet. So if you are planning on bring a solar generator on a trip, it is a good idea to charge it at home by using your wall outlet first.
Using the generator
Once the generator is charged you can simply plug your devices into the output outlets on the generator. Most solar generators come with several outlets, such as: USB outlets, DC outlets, AC outlets, etc.
What Size Solar Generator Do you Need in Watt Hours?
Generators come in many sizes and have several different electric ratings to take into consideration. Some solar generators are rated by their watt-hours, or Wh. This will tell you how many watts you can use per hour. The watt hour rating is based on the battery size. The batteries are rated by capacity and displacement, or amps and volts. You multiply the battery amps (ah) times the volts (v) to get the watt hours. You can use the watt hour rating to determine how long your appliances will last and determine if the solar generator will be capable of powering your devices. There is, however, another factor to take into consideration to determine if a generator will be able to power a certain device, and that is the “Rated Power”.
What is Rated Power or Watts?
Rated power tells you the amount of power that the machine is designed to handle for long periods of time. For example, if you have a 500w (500 watts) generator, it will supply up to 500w of output at a time. So if you add up all of your appliances, they should average at about 500w.
The maximum rated power, or surge power, is the maximum amount of power that a solar generator can produce. The surge power is only available for short periods of time. So if a generator has a maxium rated power or surge power of 1000w, that is the max amount of power it can supply (only for a short period of time).
Ok that’s all great and technical, but really, what size solar generator do I need?
The size of generator you need is determined by the type and number of appliances or devices you want to power. Here is a general list, but you may need more or less power, depending on your devices.
- Rated Power: 100W, Watt Hours: 160Wh – Outdoor adventure/road trip back up power, devices such as laptops, cell phones, radios, LED lamps, camera, drones, tablets.
- Rated Power : 250W-500W+ Watt Hours: 250Wh-500Wh – Camping, RV trips, CPAP machines, small TV’s, air pumps, mini fridges.
- Rated Power: 1000W+ Watt Hours: 720Wh – Temporary small house back-up, refrigerator, boiler pumps, gaming systems, small heaters/ box fans, etc.
Calculate how many watts you need
You can use this list to determine the wattage of your appliances. Just write down each appliance and the wattage. Then add up the total to find out the maximum watt rated generator you will need.
Are Solar Generators Waterproof?
Most solar generators are not waterproof. Since there are many electronic parts inside, they have to be kept away from the elements to prevent damage and decay. A few solar generators on the market are water resistant. Such as this Renology Solar Generator.
Do solar Generators come with solar Panels?
Most solar generators do not come with solar panels. However there are a few that do. Purchasing solar panels shouldn’t be too difficult though. Just check the specs on the solar generator you are purchasing to find out what size solar panels you need. Many of the portable solar generators we have reviewed on this page require 50W to 100W solar panels to be purchased separately. They can be purchased for anywhere from $50 to $100 in addition to the solar generator.
6 Best Solar Generators Comparison
Solar Generators vs. Gas Fired Generators
Better For the Environment
Solar generators have zero emissions, unlike natural gas and diesel generators. When natural gas and diesel generators run, they emit harmful greenhouse gasses that contribute to pollution and global. Generators powered from solar on the other hand have zero emissions because energy from the sun or from a wall outlet is stored in batteries inside the generators. Diesel and natural gas generators use combustion engines to burn the gas and convert it into energy.
Solar powered generators don’t make any noise. Diesel and gas generators are relatively noisy due to the combustion engines inside them. And when I say noisy I mean noisy. It sounds like a lawnmower married a motorcycle without a muffler on. So if you just need a small generator, get a solar powered generator.
Although solar generators are better for the environment and don’t make any noise, they also are not as powerful as gas and diesel generators. Solar generators are good for camping, outdoors trips, road trips and for powering small electronics when you lose power. However, they can’t provide power for long periods of time without having to be recharged. They can’t power an entire house or a commercial building like gas and diesel generators can. Gas and diesel generators can be much more powerful than solar generators and supply power for longer periods of time.
Solar Powered Generators Review 2019
#1 Best Solar Powered Generator 2019
This solar generator by Nature’s Generator has everything you need to get power! This is about the most powerful solar generator you can get without having one custom made or shelling out thousands of dollars. It is 1800W and has 720 Watt Hours. So you can power anything from your CPAP machine to your washing machine, to your electric lawn mower. This thing is powerful for a solar generator. It also comes with the solar panel, so you don’t have to go out and buy one of those. And if you want, it has wind power capabilities, but the wind turbine is sold separately. The only drawback I see to this generator is that it weighs over 100 lbs. So if you are wanting to travel light, this might not be the generator for you.
#2 Best Solar Powered Generator 2019
This is the second best solar generator on our list. It is portable, and weighs only 7 lbs. It has the best power rating of all of the smaller portable generators at 500w. The battery in this generator will give you 288 watt hours. It will power items such as: laptops, tvs, coolers, drone, cpap, camera, iphone, and ipads. It also comes with a built-in flashlight which is cool. This powerful portable solar generator will be your best friend on camping adventures, road trips, and during power outages. You can charge the generator at home using your wall outlet, in your car using the cigarette lighter outlet, or with an external solar panel (sold separately).
#3 Best Solar Powered Generator 2019
Coming in at # 3 is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer. This solar generator has 150w peak output and 167 watt hours. This is a great solar generator for someone who isn’t needing a whole lot of power., but wants reliable back-up power. This will power laptops, cell phones, tablets, drones, camping lights, and other smaller appliances. It will not power a CPAP machine. You can charge the generator at home using your wall outlet, in your car using the cigarette lighter outlet, or with an external solar panel (sold separately).
What is the best solar generator for home use?
If you want a back-up solar generator for you home, you have several options. You can spend thousands of dollars on a Tesla Wall or other solar powered home back-up battery. These batteries are not portable can be purchased and installed from companies that install solar panels on your roof. Another option, if you are looking for something less expensive is to purchase a large portable solar generator or inverter.
#1 Best Solar Generator for Home Use
A device such as the Solinba 3KW(Peak 9KW) Off Grid Power Inverter Converter Generator Pure Sine Wave 80A Battery Charge Function DC48v to AC110v 60Hz+DC+AC LCD Display can serve as a back up generator for your home. It is twice as powerful as the 1800w natures generator. This is capable of powering 3kw or 3,000w. This device is not only a generator, but an inverter. An inverter powers up instantly when the main power is lost. This inverter charges its batteries directly using electricity from the house. Solar panels can also be used, but you might need a solar controller depending on the voltage of the solar panels you are using. This inverter also doesn’t include the batteries. You will have to buy the batteries and controller separately. However, you have more capabilities for modification and use with this device. You can tie it to the grid, use it with different types of batteries such as these 8 battery types: Gel U.S.A, AGM1, AGM2, Sealed lead acid, Gel Euro, Open Lead Acid, Calcium, De-Sulphatio. It also comes with standard input plugs such as the USB plug and a universal home plug.
You can use this inverter/generator to power the following devices: air compressors, buffers, blenders, computers, coffee makers, circular saws, drills, fans, facsimile machines, fluorescent and incandescent lights, grinders, game consoles, high – pressure sodium lamp. ice markers, lawn mower, musical instruments, metal halide lamp, monitors, microwave, motor, printers, pump, razor, sanders, scanners. shavers, sewing machines. sewing machines, satellite equipment, toasters, television, VCRs, vacuum cleaners, weed and hedge trimmers.
#2 Best Solar Generator for Home Use
The Nature’s Generator 1800W Solar Powered Generator, 3 Solar Panel+ 1 Generator+1 Power Pod is one of the most powerful solar generators that comes pre-manufactured. It also comes with an extra power pod to extend the time frame you can use the generator. It can be used as a back-up power source during power outages. Other users have used it to power small holiday houses, such as cabins and beach houses. It is reported to be able to power refrigerators, heaters, electric lawn mowers, washing machine, televisions, and any appliances up to 1800w combined at one time.
How to Calculate What Size Generator You Need
Ok, so you know you want a generator, but you don’t know what size you need. Never fear, Utility Hacker is here! All you have to do is make a list of all of the devices you need to power up. Then figure out the running wattage of each device. You could total up the wattage of all devices, but that is only if you are going to want to power everything at once. Then once you figure out the running wattage of your devices, pick a solar generator that has a wattage rating above the running wattage of your devices. If you don’t know the wattage of your devices, check out this wattage guide.
To figure out how much wattage you need, you can use the wattage guide and make a spreadsheet. You need to find out the wattage of the generator to power all of your devices at once. If you don’t need to power everything at once, you can get a smaller generator. To figure out how small you can go, add up the wattage maximum amount of appliances you will be using.
If you go on road trips, camping trips, fishing trips, or just need a reliable source of power or back-up power, solar generators have you covered. This new technology can pretty much change your life. If only they could power your entire house!
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