We’ve all found ourselves in a situation in which a reliable solar powered generator would be very helpful. Be it either at home, when camping or relaxing at your off-grid cabin, having a backup generator gives you a peace of mind knowing you’re connected to the electricity whatever the circumstances may be.
If you’re looking for the best back-up power source, investing in a solar power generator is a great choice. Solar generators are the way of the future: they recharge with free and clean energy from the sun, don’t emit dangerous exhaust fumes, and they are extremely quiet, making them an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor use.
All you have to do is set up the solar panels to face the sun and the generator will start accumulating solar energy to power up your electronics.
How do solar powered generators actually work?
The main components of a solar generator are:
- photovoltaic (PV) panels
- a battery bank
- a charge controller
- an inverter
The solar generator uses solar panels to capture photons from the sun, converting them into electricity, which is then being sent off to a charge controller.
The charge controller transfers the electricity into the battery bank and stops it when they are fully charged. Before the power is being used, an inverter converts the DC (direct current) electricity from the batteries into AC (alternating current) electricity, which is what most appliances use today.
Depending on the number of solar panels and battery capacity, a solar powered generator can power anything from small devices and laptops to entire households.
In this buyer’s guide, you will find a list of the top-rated solar generators available online. We have also listed their capacities and features to help you find the right one for you.
#1 Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
If you’re on the hunt for a system that can collect and store large amounts of electricity from solar energy, look no further than the Goal Zero Yeti 1250. This is a super simple and powerful kit designed to sustain a multitude of power needs.
Whether it is used during power outages, for camping, tailgating, or light duty construction, this solar generator won’t let you down. It’s super easy to use, even for those who don’t feel they have a lot of technical knowledge.
This handy kit comes with a portable power station, a solar panel with cord as well as a wall charger and a roll cart.
The sturdy solar panel is built with an aluminum frame and tempered glass for maximum durability, and the kit comes with a canvas bag for extra protection.
#2 Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Solar Generator Kit
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 with Nomad 28 Solar Panel comes as highly recommended as it’s more powerful counterpart above. Both are quiet, renewable backup power options for indoor and outdoor use.
This particular kit is not quite as bulky as the above, so it’s more suitable for those with lower-key power needs. The 400 Wh station with 2 USB ports has the capacity to power several small devices at a time, such as phones, cameras and small appliances.
This is a great option for a generator for those looking for a cleaner way to power outdoor patio lights or keep your electronics charged while camping. It comes with several USB ports, so you can keep every member of the family happy. Plus, the battery level indicator makes it simple for anyone to use.
#3 Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-in-One Generator Kit
The Renogy All-in-One kit is an outdoor gadget that goes the extra mile—in fact, it’s more than just a gadget, it might just be a savior. It features multiple ports for charging, a 16 Ah lithium battery and 20 watts of power in the solar panels.
This is such a cool device because it’s basically a solar panel suitcase—an all-inclusive easy power generator to carry around in any circumstances. It’s compact and easy to move around.
This amazing product can be charged a number of different ways: by car, by solar power or via an AC source.
This piece is not only very durable and well-priced, it also stands out for a key feature: the battery that can be replaced.
And here’s a cool bonus: If you buy additional solar panels for extra power, result of this you’ll have more charging power, even if you leave it in the shade.
#4 Wagan (EL2547) Solar e Power Cube 1500 Plus
If you’re looking to lessen the stress on your outdoor adventures, look no further than the Wagan EL2547. This is called a solar power “cube” because of its portability and shape, which consists of a central battery area and solar panels that fold out at the top.
This is a generator that you can take almost anywhere. The AC power inverter offers 1500 watts of continuous power, which can go a long way when you’re off the grid for a while.
The Wagan EL2547 features a couple of outlets for AC and DC, plus to USB ports. The LED display makes it easy for anyone check the battery life, and just to make it simpler, there’s absolutely no assembly needed with this unit.
This one even comes with special storage areas to hold your extras, and you can fold it up and take it any place you like.
#5 Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro All-In-One Portable Solar
The Peppermint is a portable and easy-to-use kit that’s so easy to take with you, you can carry it with one hand. Not only that, but it comes in both 500 Wh and 2000 Wh options, allowing you choose your preference as to the amount of power and portability that’s ideal for your own use.
One thing that makes the Peppermint stand out against its competitors is its long runtime and fast charging time – batteries can be charged in just a few hours.
Use this to power multiple items in your house, yard or RV—anything you want to take out and about on trips, this will help immensely.
This little piece of equipment goes a long way, because it has a forever power source—the sun.
Things to Consider When Buying Solar Generators
Solar power is an easy and efficient way of going green—which not only means saving the environment, but saving the health of your loved ones and some cash, too.
You’ll want to take note of a few important details before purchasing your generator.
Here are some things to consider:
Solar powered generators are generally very low maintenance, however you need to make sure that the solar panel is connected to a power source regularly to recharge it, even if you are not using it.
Keeping the battery charged at least 50% will ensure that the batteries are topped up and keep it ready for emergency situations.
It’s important to note that while these can be powerful, you cannot power an entire house with one. At the 1200 Wh range, you can power a few large appliances, and at lower ranges they are more suited to smaller appliances.
That being said, so long as they are recharged properly, you can usually buy extra panels as add-ons to give them a bit more power.
Purchase an additional solar panel in order to decrease your recharge time.
Because the energy source is readily available, you will not have to worry about running out of power and they recharge forever.
Buying a solar powered generator is not only an earth-friendly choice for your recreational home and the environment—it might just save your life.