The 10 Best Solar Generators for Camping & Home Use in 2018
Thanks to the advancement of technology, homeowners are now able to invest in the best solar generator that they can find as an emergency power backup. This not only helps to ensure that you are able to have a reliable source of power should you ever be caught in a power emergency – it also helps to reduce your carbon footprint. However, in recent years, people have begun to expand on their use of solar generators – and technology in general. If you like travelling, view our guide If you are looking for a solar charger for camping.
It is now quite common to see these devices being used to power RVs, cars, and other mobile home systems and devices. However, even though it is now common for solar generators to provide consistent power instead of supplemental power, many people struggle to find a device that is best suiting of their needs.
Table of Contents
- View the Best Solar Generator on the Market, Below.
- How do Solar Generators Work?
- Are Solar Generators the Best for Me?
- Are solar Generators Worth it?
- Can a Solar Generator Power a House?
- What size Solar Generator do I Need?
- Can solar Panels Replace Generators?
- What to look for when Buying a Solar Generator?
There are simply too many devices on the market to sort through in a timely manner for the majority of homeowners, travelers ,and clean energy users. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem for you. We’ve taken the time to compile a list of the top 10 best powerful solar generators on the market – all you have to do is determine which of these devices is best suited for you and start your clean energy adventure.
|Goal Zero Yeti 1250||103 lbs||24 x 27 x 30 inches||1200W|
|Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+||63 lbs||30 x 34 x 5 inches||900W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 150||12 lbs||7.8 x 6.8 x 5.8 inches||150W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 400||29 lbs||10.25 x 8 x 8 inches||400W|
|AUDEW Chslycxc1440||5.5 lbs||13.4 x 7.9 x 5.1 inches||220W|
|PAXCESS S320||3.3 lbs||6.5 x 3.1 x 6.9 inches||100W|
|Renogy Phoenix||12.8 lbs||3.9 x 16.1 x 13.8 inches||150W|
|Humless 0842||76 lbs||8.85 x 8.85 x 18 inches||1300W|
|Be Prepared Solar 25P-22-150||140 lbs||31 x 20 x 20 inches||2500W|
|HomeGrid 5000HD||120 lbs||16 x 20 x 43 inches||5000W|
Buyers Guide Questions
How do Solar Generators Work?
Despite the fact that more and more consumers are beginning to recognize the importance of solar technology, very few people understand how the technology they use works. This is largely because people are worried that the information will be too complicated for them to digest. However, this isn’t the case. Solar panels (that make up the sun powered generators we use) are comprised of many smaller parts called photovoltaic cells. These cells have the unique ability to take in energy from sunlight called photons and convert them into solar energy that we can use to power our electric devices.
This is done through a simple process that requires an electric field to be created. Electric fields, like magnetic fields, are created by the collision of two opposing forces. In the case of an electric field, it is created when a positive charge and a negative charge are forced to collide. When a photovoltaic cell is created, this is done by using two pieces of semi conductive material and giving them opposite charges.
The majority of the time, silicone is used as the semi conductive material.The two pieces of silicone have to be given different charges and are then placed on top of one another to create an electric field. To do this, the first piece of silicone is treated with phosphorus. This adds more electrons to the silicone, which gives it a negative charge. Once this has been done, the second piece of silicone is treated with boron.
This takes electrons away from the silicone, giving it a positive charge. Once both pieces of silicone have been charged, they are laid on top of one another and the photovoltaic cell (and electric field) are created. Once the photovoltaic cell has been created, it is combined with more cells, some metal, and wiring to create a solar panel. When the panel is laid out in the sun, it is able to absorb photons. These photons are used to create a reaction in the electric field and free electrons from the atoms they are attached to.
These electrons can then be collected in the pieces of metal at either end of the solar panel and transferred to our electronic devices through wires. That’s all there is to it! Though efficient and reliable, the process they use to create solar energy is quite simple and easy to understand. Additionally, this form of energy requires little to no upkeep – you’ll likely be able to use your solar panels for decades before they need to be replaced.
Are Solar Generators the Best for Me?
Though solar energy is growing in popularity with the public, many people still hold their doubts about how powerful and effective solar energy can be. This is largely due to the fact that people don’t understand how this new solar technology works or how they are able to capture energy from the sun. However, this concern is unnecessary – solar energy is extremely effective and definitely worthwhile. While harvesting energy from the sun has always been an effective form of power, the newer sun powered generators are able to make several large and much needed improvements to this form of technology.
The first is that they have become more efficient at transferring the solar energy they’ve captured. It used to be that a large portion of the photon energy that was captured wasn’t able to be properly transferred to our electrical devices and batteries. However, thanks to some problem solving and ingenuity, this is no longer an issue. Another improvement that has been made is the ability of solar panels to gather energy more effectively. When the first models were released, any sort of cloud interference was enough to prevent the solar panel from being able to charge properly. Now however, this isn’t the case.
Newer panels are able to harvest sun energy even when the weather conditions are less than best, making them one of the best investments for home owners who live in an area with unpredictable weather. These improvements alone may not be convincing for the extremely skeptical, or for those who live in areas with minimal sun exposure opportunities, but the new hybrid generators might. Hybrid generators were created when the need for reliable and clean energy was evident, but the ability to provide this energy with one power source wasn’t plausible.
These types of generators can use multiple types of energy sources as the supplemental power source including water, wind, and yes – gas. The hybrid devices provide a comforting solution for many people who want cleaner energy but aren’t certain that the area they live in is capable of giving them enough power. It allows them to invest in enough solar panels to get useable energy for the entirety or majority of the day, while also providing a safety net for days that it isn’t possible to harvest enough energy from sunlight alone.
This option also makes it more possible for people to invest in clean energy sources who wouldn’t be able to do so otherwise. It makes it affordable and feasible for more consumers to lower their carbon footprint and be more conscientious about doing their part to take care of the environment.
Are solar Generators Worth it?
When people look into investing in solar energy, one of the first things that discourages them is the price. Sun powered energy seems like a very expensive energy source for most people. While it certainly isn’t cheap, it does have a way of paying for itself that many people overlook. Solar energy is unique because it doesn’t require you to pay a monthly fee in order to maintain your power source. Instead, you make a one time investment and then harvest energy on your own by finding the optimal sun exposure area and setting up your panels to be able to have the maximum sun exposure time.
Doing this is actually a fairly straightforward process that will help you save a lot of money in the long run. In addition to only having to make one investment into this type of energy, sun powered panels require very little upkeep. Every few months they will need to be cleaned off (mostly to take care of any dust that might be interfering with the process) and they will only need to be replaced every few decades. When examining solar panels in this aspect, it is much easier to see how they easily pay for themselves over time.
Another thing that many people don’t realize is that investing in sun powered panels can even be profitable. If you are able to capture more energy than you need to keep your home up and running, you may be able to store this excess energy in your power grid. You can then access this energy later on, or sell it to your local electricity company. The way that this is done varies by state and locale, but most areas will at least give you some sort of credit should you decide to do this.
Can a Solar Generator Power a House?
Many people are surprised to learn that sun powered generators can, in fact, provide enough power to sufficiently run a home. However, this option often works better for those who have smaller homes or live in some sort of mobile home like an RV or campervan. Solar generators that are designed for larger homes are often quite expensive. They make the best investment as a backup power source, but it would likely make more sense to invest in solar panels than it would invest in a generator. But in case of emergency its always good to have a backup ready.
What size Solar Generator do I Need?
To determine what size of sun powered generator you need to invest in, you should first determine how much energy you use on average. To do this, you need to look at all of your electrical appliances and devices and see how many watts they require per hour. You can do this by reading the tag and looking for the wattage sign. If you cannot find the wattage, but can find the amps you can still use this information to calculate how many watts the device uses.
First, you’ll need to determine how many volts is used by your electrical outlet. Usually, a home will have anywhere from 120 volts to 240 volts. Once you have this number, you’ll be able to use the following equation. Take the number of volts that your household uses (V) and multiply it by the number of amps your appliance uses per hour (A). The resulting sum will be the number of watts that your appliance uses per hour at maximum consumption (W). The equation looks like this when written out: V x A = W
Once you’ve determined the wattage of all your devices and appliances, you’ll need to figure out how many hours – on average, you use these appliances per day. You’ll want to factor in your highest usage time, which will likely mean making calculations for a weekend day or another day that you happen to be at home for the majority of the day. Once you’ve figured out the number of hours you use these devices, multiply that number by the amount of watts the device uses per hour at its maximum setting.
Once you’ve determined how many watts you use during a day at most, you’ll be able to decide on what sized solar generator you need to work with. You’ll also be able to determine if you can get by on pure solar energy or if you’ll need to incorporate a supplemental power system as well.
Can solar Panels Replace Generators?
Whether you need solar panels or generators is dependent on how much power you need to bring in. Generators are a one of the best options for anyone who doesn’t require a lot of electricity to operate their home. However, if you tend to use more energy to power your home, solar panels might be the better option for you. You’ll be able to buy more of them and increase your sun exposure output. Keep in mind that you’ll be able to get more power output if you are able to invest in a portable solar panel that you’re able to move around your yard during peak times of the day.
What to look for when Buying a Solar Generator?
If you want to make the best investment, there are several things you should look into when investing into a solar generator. There are lots of great options on the market and it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between which one is best for your needs. However, there are several things you should keep in mind when shopping for the best device for your needs to ensure that you get a good fit.
The first thing you’ll want to take into consideration is the battery capacity of the device you’re considering. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to calculate your highest daily power expenditures and plan to have enough sun powered energy to exceed this number. This will help to compensate for days with less than ideal weather conditions. You’ll likely also want tio take your geographical area into account when thinking about how much battery capacity you need. If you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of consistent sun throughout the year, you may want to consider investing in a hybrid unit.
Next, you’ll want to think about the size of the device you’re working with. Are you investing in a device that is easy to move and isn’t too bulky? Even if you’re not looking for a portable generator, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to fit the device into your home layout without too much difficulty. If you are looking for a portable device that can easily be adjusted to capture more sunlight, you’ll want to make sure that it has a design that is easy to work with. Even if the device is light in weight, you’ll need to make sure that its design isn’t too bulky or awkward to work with.
You’ll need to take weight into consideration so you know you can handle the device properly. You don’t want to choose something that is somewhat manageable – make sure you invest in a device that you know you can easily move from place to place if you plan on getting a portable solar generator, as mentioned in the study here. If you don’t need a portable device, you’ll have a few more options to work with. However, you’ll want to make sure that you plan everything in advance and have enough tools and equipment to put the device together on your own, or have spoken in detail with the contractor you plan to hire to get the job done.
What is the surface area of the device you’re working with? How much space is it going to take up? And will you have enough room in your yard or on your roof to maximize your sun exposure potential? You’ll need to take all of these questions into consideration when looking at the dimensions of the panel in question. You want to make sure that you’re able to get the maximum surface area so you can get the best possible surface area dimensions and maximum sun exposure for your money.
Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure you have enough watts to cover your highest daily maximum power consumption rate. You’ll need to be able to produce more than this to be on the safe side, and to ensure that you’ll be able to meet your daily maximum even on cloudy days when the ability to harvest photon energy isn’t the best. If for any reason this doesn’t seem to be possible, look into the hybrid model possibilities and see if you can find a supplemental power source to guarantee that you will always have enough power to work with.
- Wattage ( 5000W )
The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator is an excellent device that is capable of providing and impressive amount of power in times of emergency or energy crisis. You’ll be able to rest at ease with the knowledge that you have a sun powered device that is more than capable of keeping you supplied with power until the lights come back on.
The device can be charged with either its AC plug in charger or by use of a solar panel, making it a versatile and worthy investment. Additionally, you’ll be able to use the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator to power up to 10 different devices at once. Last but not least, you’ll be able to easily transport the sun powered generator from place to place thanks to the rolling cart that comes with the device.
The Peppermint Portable solar generator is an excellent choice for anyone who lives an on the go lifestyle, and in our opinion it’s one of the best solar back up models on the market. The sun powered generator is incredibly easy to use and makes it very simple to take your work out with you on trips. You’ll be able to easily charge your devices many times over with the power this device can hold. It has one of the fastest charge times in the industry and can hold up to 2,000 watt hours of energy. In addition to this, the Peppermint Portable solar device is very simple to use. All you have to do to charge the device is set it out in the sun and open the latch.
The device will start charging on its own and will be ready to go within a few hours. If necessary, you can use the power that is harvested by the generator before the Peppermint Portable generator is completely charged, however you should only do this when the device isn’t trying to harvest solar energy (click here for study). If the Peppermint Portable generator is still harvesting energy when you try to charge your devices, you’ll need to wait until it’s done. Not doing so could cause a sudden drop in charging power, followed by a surge of power that could damage or ruin your device.
Last but not least, this is an excellent device to use if you need to provide power for larger devices like a TV or even a refrigerator. This generator can keep all of them in operation for hours without running out of a charge. It’s by far the best sun powered generator to take with you if you need a reliable tool to help you on long camping trips or act as an extra source of power on the road.
The Goal Zero Yeti 150 generator is an excellent device that is best for charging small devices. This makes it best for weekend outings, camping trips, or power outages. You’ll be able to keep your devices charged and online until you reach a useable power source again, regardless of what your situation is. The device is small, compact, and able to hold an impressive charge, making it a best value buy that doesn’t make you compromise on any important performance aspects. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 device is designed to produce enough power to keep your devices up and running until you’re able to find another power source to work with.
The Goal Zero Yeti 150 generator is able to charge a smartphone 15 times, a GoPro 25 times, a Digital Camera 12 times, a tablet 6 times, and a laptop 1 to 2 times depending on the size. You’ll be able to maximize the power output of this device without having to worry about running out of solar power anytime soon – read the study here. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 generator is a powerful and effective device that is best for those who enjoy road trips, camping, or other types of outdoor exploration. You’ll be able to travel without having to worry about not having enough power to make it through your trip.
Additionally, the generator has some impressive charge times. If you charge the device through an AC outlet (wall plug in) you’ll be able to have a full charge within 6 hours. However, with the right solar panel, you could see a full charge in as little as 3 hours. This makes it easy to keep the generator fully charged and ready to go, no matter what situation you find yourself in. When it comes to value, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than the Goal Zero Yeti 150 generator.