Looking to cut your home’s carbon emissions? A solar generator will do just that, as they harness the power of the sun producing clean energy. While they require a higher capital investment, their negligible running costs result in a sound economic investment. Furthermore, while fossil fuel generators are often only used as a backup power source during a power outage, solar generators have the distinct advantage that they can be connected to your power grid and used almost all the time (weather dependant) to help cut your utility bill. With many models on the market it can be hard to know what to look for. To help you we have included our favorite selection and solar generator reviews.
Table of Best Solar Power Generators
How do solar generators work?
Solar generators are generally made up of three components:
1. The solar panel, also known as the photovoltaic module, is what captures the suns energy2. A battery to store the energy produced by the solar panels3. An inverter that converts the stored energy in the battery from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The inverter will include at least one AC output, a 12 v output, and often a USB port allowing you to plug in your device(s)
What are the benefits of using a solar generator?
The most significant advantage of using a solar generator as opposed to a generator that uses fossil fuel is that it is clean energy. Not only do they produce no carbon emissions, they also do not produce any exhaust fumes. This means you can relax knowing that your family is not inhaling any toxic fumes. It also means that you can use the generator much closer to your house or even on a balcony if you live in an apartment. Furthermore while fossil fuel generators have large fuel storage requirements, solar generators do not. Another benefit is their lightweight portable nature providing you with extra flexibility. They also produce their energy with little to no noise, making them a great choice if you are looking for the quietest generator. Finally as the running costs are negligible, you are able to use solar generators as often as you wish providing the weather allows for it. This has the potential to significantly impact on your utility bill. Some models will even connect directly to your grid, meaning your home automatically uses the available solar power to reduce your standard power usage.
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Considerations when comparing solar generators
They are a few considerations to make when selecting a solar generator.
Firstly, you will need to consider your power requirements. To establish your total wattage requirement, you will need to consider how many and which appliances you wish to power using the generator. Generally, solar generators offer lower wattage capabilities than portable generators, ranging from low wattages less than 100W which you may only use to charge your mobile devices, to at the high end around 1200W which is sufficient to power a few standard household appliances. You may want to consider the dimensions and weight of the generator. If you want a higher degree of flexibility you may want a smaller model which is easier to move around. However this will likely influence the wattage the generator will be capable of producing.
A further consideration is whether or not a battery is included within the generator or kit. While some models include a battery, others do not which means unless you purchase a battery separately (recommended), you will not be able to store any energy and will only be able to use the generator during sunlight or daylight hours. Batteries will also vary in their charging time. You don’t want to be left stranded in the dark because your battery needed more time to fully charge. The charging time will also be affected by the size of the panels connected to the battery. Finally, the output options will vary from model to model. Usually, output will be available in the forms USB, 12v and AC outlets. You should ensure that the type and number of outputs match your needs.
How much do solar generators cost?
The price varies according to the model, the wattage produced, and what’s included in the kit. A basic 100W starter kit will cost around $200, while a 1200W comprehensive kit will cost around $3000. However it’s important to take note that this is just the upfront capital investment. Once set up, the ongoing costs are negligible as you require no fuel and little maintenance. Therefore solar generators offer a cost effective solution to your power needs.
Our solar generator reviews
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
This Renogy starter kit provides a complete package for any beginner wanting to try their hand in the world of personal solar generation. As an off grid generator, it is perfect for use with an RV or when camping. At 47 x 1.5 x 20.9 inches, it is a very lightweight 19.8 pounds. Offering 100W, this can be expanded to 400W with the included 30A PWM Charge Controller. The solar modules are EL tested, guaranteeing no hot spots. A 50 Ah battery can be charged from 50% in 3 hours using an ideal output of 500Wh per day.
- 【Efficient Performance】The Starter Kit will produce an average of 500Wh of electricity per day...
- 【Solid Quality】Advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet laminations protects...
- 【Smart Function】The Wanderer PWM Charge Controller is compatible with four different types of...
- 【Full System Protection】The Wanderer PWM Charge Controller has a number of built-in protections...
Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit
This bundle kit provides the necessary components to expand on or complete an existing system. It includes 2 x 100W Monocrystalline solar panels, 1 x pair of branch connectors, 1x 9 in MC4 adaptor kit, and 1 x 30A PWM charge controller. At 47 x 21.3 x 1.4 inches, it weighs 16.5 pounds. It comes with a 25 year transferable power output warranty on the solar panels and a 1 year warranty on the remaining items.
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Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
Are you looking to go green and have a backup power supply for your important home appliances at the same time? Then look no further than the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit. Providing 1200Wh of clean and quiet energy, it is completely safe to use indoors. Using no fossil fuels requires no fuel storage and creates no fumes. With 1200Wh capacity, you will be able to power those appliances you really need in a power outage. As it can be used continuously, you can also use it to decrease your regular utility bill. This kit comes full of features, including 1 x solar generator, 4 x solar panels, 2 x solar panel carrying cases, 1 x solar tripod, 3 x lighthouse 250s, and 10 x boulder clips.
- 100 watt (18-22v) foldable and Weatherproof Solar panel
- Features an 8mm Goal Zero connector for plug and play adaptability to Goal Zero Yeti power stations
- Folds down to 20" X 15" X 2" In a compact portable size
- Best paired with a Goal Zero Yeti portable power station
Grape Solar GS-100-KIT 100-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit
This Grape Solar 100W kit will cover a range of DC uses including RVing, battery charging and small appliances. The kit includes 1 x polycrystalline solar panel, 1 x 35 Amp charge controller, cables and a manual. Note a battery will need to be purchased separately. Easy to install, the panels are constructed out of crystalline solar cells which are highly efficient and reliable. Construction is sturdy protecting your investment from the weather. Minimal maintenance is required. The charge controller enables the connecting of a further 4 panels to increase your output.
- Includes Grape Solar panels, 40A PWM charge controller, inline fuse, and cables
- Complete with cables from solar panel to deep-cycle or lithium battery for quick and easy setup,...
- Easy-to-read LCD display shows charging and battery parameters, and built-in USB port can charge...
- Includes 15' cable to be cut in half to obtain 7.5' male/female pair
Grape Solar GS-200-KIT 200-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit
This larger Grape Solar model provides the same benefits as the 100W model with some extra power! Providing up to 600W hours per day you can keep those appliances running. The kit includes 2 x 100W polycrystalline solar panels, a 35 Amp charge controller, a 450 watt inverter with two outlets, cables and a manual. Note that a battery is not included in this kit and must be purchased separately. The power capability can be expanded by adding additional panels.
- Ideal for running small pumps and lights or charging your portable electronic devices
- Grape Solar GS-STAR-100W polycrystalline panel features a two diode junction box for enhanced...
- 40 Amp Comet PWM charge controller allows you to add up to 3 more panels with additional cables.
- Battery not included, a minimum of one 12 Volt deep cycle battery is necessary to use this kit
Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar and Inverter System with 480 Watts of Solar
This ultimate kit will provide significant power for when you need it most. With the ability to run your appliances day or night using clean, quiet energy the Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar and Inverter System is highly recommended. The kit includes 3 x 160W highly efficient monocrystalline solar panels, 1 x 3000W inverter producing a clean electrical current to protect your sensitive appliances, 1 x 30 amp solar controller, 1 x 75 amp battery charger, 1 x 30 amp transfer switched, 1 x DC inverter fuse and cable install kit, 1 x inverter remote, cabling and mounting equipment. With its high end inverter you will have enough power to run 3000W of appliances while simultaneously recharging your battery. The manufacturer recommends a 400 amp hour battery pack.
- It is used for long term use on your RV, cottage, cabin or boat
- Run your TV and other AC appliances day or night without the noise of a generator
- Completely green power solution
- No noise, no fuel, and no maintenance
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