Solar panels are not the only way to go solar. You can also choose to invest in solar generators. They are compact and serve as a reliable source of power backup in times of need. They use solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electrical energy to charge or power up appliances.
They are easy to travel with and quite convenient as well. This is why they are not only suitable for indoors but outdoors as well.
There are a plethora of solar generators on the market and deciding on one can be a daunting task. To make it easier, we have picked some of the best solar generators on the market on the basis of quality, features, and power. You can go through them and pick one that best suits your needs.
Let’s dig in and look at some of the best solar generators out there:
- 1 Best Solar Generators: Comparison Table
- 2 Best Solar Generator Review
- 2.1 1. Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro Max All-In-One Portable 2000Wh Solar Power Generator
- 2.2 2. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Panel
- 2.3 3. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station Kit with Boulder 50 Solar Panel
- 2.4 4. Audew 220Wh/60000mAh Portable Battery Generator Power Station
- 2.5 5. SUAOKI Portable Power Station, 150Wh Camping Generator
- 3 How Do Solar Generators Work?
- 4 Solar Generator Buying Guide
- 5 What Are The Benefits of Going Solar?
- 6 Who Should Buy Solar Panels?
- 7 How To Properly Set Up A Solar Generator?
- 8 Solar Generators: FAQ
Best Solar Generators: Comparison Table
Solar panel included
41 x 39 x 11 inches
Built-in solar panel
24 x 26 x 30 inches
18 hours from a wall outlet and 40 hours using two 30 watt solar panels
Yes (100 solar panel)
21.8 x 26.8 x 1.8 in
5 hours from a wall outlet and 16 hours from a solar panel
Yes (50 solar panel)
13.4 x 7.9 x 5.1 inches
7.26 x 4.31 x 4.67 in
8 hours from a wall outlet and 10 hours with a solar panel
Best Solar Generator Review
If you are in search of a solar generator that is capable of delivering lots of power then Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro can be a good pick.
It is a top-notch device that is built with quality materials and will easily keep heavier appliances running during power outages.
This unit only takes 3 hours to charge fully. This is an amazing feature and makes this generator more desirable.
Extreme power is another plus point of this unit. You get 2000 watt hours from this generator. This is enough power to run big appliances like refrigerators, TVs, etc.
What good is a solar generator if it’s not fit for portability? Fortunately, this one is super light and most importantly, it has a briefcase design that makes it super compact.
It is also quite easy to use – open the latch on the briefcase and keep it under the sun for the panels to produce electricity.
Versatility is another strong point of this generator which makes it a lot better than rival solar generators. Since it contains several USB charging outlets and wall outlet plugins, you can use it to charge a plethora of appliances.
This is a powerful solar generator that is quite easy to travel with thanks to its briefcase design.
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 is one of the best solar generators on the market because of the sheer power it brings to the table. It can cover most of your charging needs without any hassle.
Goal Zero 1250 can power 10 different gadgets at the same time. It produces 1200W of continuous power. You can further increase the power by connecting the unit to a 100 mAh lead acid battery.
The device is easy to charge back up. All you’ll need is an AC plug or solar panel to do so. It comes with all the required accessories including a Boulder 100 Briefcase solar panel, cord, and kickstand.
The cord is quite long, hence you will face no difficulty in using it. The kickstand can also be used to properly position the unit. Apart from that, you also get a rolling cart and charger to roll the device and get access to supplemental power when required.
Its monocrystalline design makes it very attractive and easy to move. Using the unit is a breeze thanks to the LCD that shows important information such as input, output, remaining charge, and generator status. This feature will aid you in keeping the generator well-maintained.
You can charge the generator in two ways: a solar panel that needs to be bought separately or AC plug outlet. It takes around 18 hours to charge fully.
This solar generator will take care of your charging needs like a pro. It charges fully in 18 hours and offers long runtime.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 is the right fit if you need a portable solar generator that’s also affordable.
The unit is equipped with a BMS system that restricts you from overcharging and damaging it. Thanks to this feature, the flow of current will stop once the unit is fully charged. This is why the battery on this generator runs for years.
You can easily charge up to 7 products with this unit as it offers 396wh when fully charged. It can charge a phone over 30 times and a laptop up to 5 times.
This solar generator works on pure sine wave technology and makes sure to pass clean electricity. Hence, it is an ideal choice for sensitive electronics.
It shows useful information such as charging status, watts used, input and output charge, etc. Keeping tabs on the information will help you keep the unit well-maintained and will let you know which appliance is using how much of power.
It can be connected to a 50-watt boulder solar panel that’s quite durable as it is made up of monocrystalline materials. The advantage of using a solar panel for charging is that you won’t have to use any adapters or charging devices. Simply expose the panel out in the sun and plug the connector to the Yeti 400.
Safety is another feature that you will find on this unit. It doesn’t give off any harmful emissions, but it’s still better to not sit very close to it.
This is a good solar generator but may not be a good option for users looking for a lot of power. It is best used to run sensitive items.
If safety is your top priority then we recommend Audew Generator Power Station. It is a blend of safety and quality which makes it the best fit for RVs, campings, and trips.
This powerful device is able to deliver 220 watt hours and 60,000 mAH to kickstart appliances. It can also be used as a supplemental power delivering source to light up appliances when the power goes out.
It has one AC output that lets you power up to 250W, two USB outputs that support up to 60W, and two DC outputs. This way, you can charge 5 various appliances together.
It takes 8 hours for the unit to charge completely because there’s no fast charge feature on this one. However, the good thing is that you don’t need to wait for it to fully charge in order to use it.
Thanks to pure sine wave technology, it is safe to use and can run even sensitive appliances. Other than this, it comes equipped with a BMS (battery management system) for added safety.
It allows the generator to automatically adjust power and prevent overheating. Therefore, this is one of the safest solar generators on the market. Plus, there’s no risk of corrosion.
Apart from that, you can customize wall plug-in settings and change it as per your requirement to fit the prongs used in your country. This feature is for international customers who have different prongs.
Audew 220Wh/60000mAh Portable Battery Generator Power Station is one of the best solar generators on the market. You can charge it in two ways and use it to run a variety of appliances including TV sets and refrigerators.
Suaoki solar generator will take care of your electrical needs when you’re traveling or facing power outage at home. It delivers clean electricity and offers 10 outlets to connect various appliances.
You will find modern features on this unit such as 3.0 quick charging facility, maximum power point tracking technology, multi-device charging, battery indicator, and lots of LED status lights.
This 150wh solar generator is powerful enough to charge a number of appliances. It is super light at only 3 pounds and has compact dimensions of 7.3” x 4.3” x 4.7”. Thus, traveling with this beauty is a breeze.
There are 4 DC outputs on this unit that let you power appliances such as vacuum cleaners, inflator pumps. It also has two 120v AC outlets to run a small fan, laptop, mini fridge, UAV, etc. Lastly, three 5v and one QC3.0 fast charging USB outlet let you charge electronics such as phones, laptops.
It comes with a universal MC4 connector that allows you to convert energy and store it as well. However, you will need to buy a solar panel separately. Moreover, the unit has a built-in MPPT controller that has the capability of adapting to optimum voltage levels and auto-charge in the presence of sunlight.
You can charge the unit in three different ways.:
Car’s 12V socket.
It takes about 8 hours to charge but may be more depending on the method used.
This solar generator is commendable for the price it has. It’s extremely lightweight and easier to carry around. The best thing about it is that it contains 10 ports to power 10 different gadgets.
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar generators are slowly replacing conventional generators as they are efficient and also good for the environment.
A solar generator works in a simple way. It traps the sun’s energy using solar panels and stores it in the battery for later use. They capture photos and have an inverter to convert this power into useable electricity.
The bigger the solar panels, the more sunlight they’d be able to consume.
Solar Generator Buying Guide
Solar generators are the “IT” when it comes to getting back up power in times of power outages or when traveling. However, it is a tad difficult to pick one out of so many.
If you are confused about a solar generator and which one you should pick then this buying guide will help you. There are some features that you must look into when buying a solar generator.
- Battery Storage: The metric used with solar generators is Wh-watt hours. The higher the watt-hours, the better.
Different appliances need different watt-hours. For example, an iPhone requires 5.5 Wh while an electric blanket needs 200Wh. This means that you must buy a solar generator that has more than 200wh of power if you wish to charge and power up an electric blanket at the same time.
With that being said, make sure to choose a solar generator that offers lots of watt-hours. It will help you charge multiple appliances and even kickstart a few heavier ones if they require low-wattage.
- Pure Sine Wave Technology: Solar generators must have this feature so they can run sensitive appliances without any trouble.
It is important for generators to cause no voltage fluctuation to ensure the units or appliances face no trouble.
- Ways Of Charging: Some generators only offer solar charging which can be a bit slower if you are using a 50-watt boulder panel and a small watt-hour battery. Sometimes, it can take up to 18 hours for a small solar generator to charge using these components.
To make sure that you don’t need to wait for such a long time, choose a solar generator that offers other means of charging as well. For example, there are generators that offer electrical charging using an AC outlet. They hardly take 5-8 hours to charge fully.
Moreover, some generators can be charged via the car socket as well on 12V charge.
Hence, go for a solar generator that offers at least two ways of charging.
- LCD Display: Running the generator blindly can have disastrous consequences. The LCD screen can show valuable information such as power used, output delivered, charge left, etc.
This information is important to not only understand how the generator works but also to keep it well maintained.
- Number Of Outlets: Look for generators that offer at least 6-10 outlets. The more outlets they have, the more number of appliances you’d be able to charge. It’s even better if they have all three types of outlets: AC, DC, and USB outlets.
However, having lots of outlets doesn’t mean that you can simultaneously charge appliances as per your will. You must calculate the amount of power required and the amount of power the generator can deliver.
- Portability: Most solar generators are light in weight, still it’s important to pay attention to the size and dimensions.
What Are The Benefits of Going Solar?
There are many benefits of going solar. These include:
Who Should Buy Solar Panels?
Solar panels are for everyone who lives in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. This is because most generators require this much sunlight to work properly.
Other than this, they are a good option if you want to save the environment while also getting to save money.
How To Properly Set Up A Solar Generator?
The idea of getting a solar generator and using the sun’s energy to charge it up sure looks fascinating but it’s not easy. You must know the right steps to set up a solar generator. Here’s what you need to do:
The rule of thumb is simple, some solar generators require little to no installation while some need to be set up professionally.
When your goal is to power a lot of appliances and your solar generator packs some serious watt-hour capacity then you need to buy large solar panels and install them in an open space. It could be the roof, garden, etc.
The next step involves connecting the panel or panels to the generator to make a connection and then installing a regulator. After that, you need to connect auxiliary batteries to wire the generator.
Now, there are two ways of setting up a solar generator, on-grid and off-grid.
On-grid installation is more common and easier than off-grid installation. All you need to do is position the solar panels on the roof and connect them to a grid inverter which further connects to an electrical network. It will then serve as a standby generator.
All you need to do is connect the solar panel/panels to the solar generator and connect it to a 3-pin plug at home. The solar energy trapped by the solar panels will be utilized by the generator to charge appliances.
However, make sure to use a controller charger to make sure that the unit doesn’t get overcharged.
Off Grid Installation
An off-grid setup is ideal when you want power while on the move.
First, you will need to determine the amount of power required to power the appliances. Once you do that, you need to buy four deep cycle batteries along with 2-3 solar panels.
However, if you wish to power up heavier appliances and support an entire house then you will need a huge budget.
For now, let’s focus on the average solar generator off-grid system:
Solar Panels: You need durable and efficient solar panels to charge the batteries. If you are looking for efficiency then we recommend to go for monocrystalline solar panels. They are durable and last for a very long time because they are made with a sturdy aluminum frame.
On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are less expensive but not as efficient as monocrystalline panels. Both these options may come with warranties so make sure to shop around.
Next comes positioning which decides the amount of sunlight panels trap. The best position is south, at an angle of 30 degrees. However, the right position also largely depends on how your house is built. It is best to let experts decide where to install the unit.
Battery: You will need a deep cycle battery to charge the generator using the solar panels. You can choose between lithium or lead acid batteries. Connect the battery to the solar panel for it to work.
Voltage Regulator: A charge controller serves as a voltage regulator here. Its job is to prevent the batteries from overcharging. They are vital components that make sure that total voltage doesn’t exceed actual capacity.
However, they do have a drawback. Charge controllers will cause a loss of power (20% to 60%).
Solar Generators: FAQ
#1 Can I place the generator anywhere?
Ans. The panels must be out in the sun so they can catch sunlight and produce electricity.
#2 Will I have to wait for the generator to fully charge in order to use it?
Ans. Depends on the model, some may require to be fully charged before they can be used but some can be used while charging.
#3 Do solar generators only work when the sun is out?
Ans. No, the batteries can collect power that can be used anytime you need it.
#4 Do panels need cleaning?
Ans. Yes, they do. Dust and pollen can get accumulated on solar panels and prevent sunlight from being collected properly. This is why it is important to clean the panels, especially if there’s no rain.
Best Solar Generators: The Bottomline
These are some of the best and reliable solar generators on the market. Our favorite is SUAOKI Portable Power Station, 150Wh Camping Generator as it’s feature-rich but it does not come with panels.
You can go for Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro Max All-In-One Portable 2000Wh Solar Power Generator if you want a unit that comes with solar panels and is also save to charge all kinds of appliances.
Other units on the list are also quite good, look around and pick one that suits you the best.