A solar powered generator is similar to that or a regular fuel generator with some basic changes. It can be used as an alternative to your back-up power. In a nutshell your solar generator take the sun rays and recharge the inverter, once it fully recharge it is available for backing up your electrical power.
How Solar Power Generator Works?
Solar generators are made up of photo-voltaic panels, batteries, a charge regulator, and an inverter. The panels are responsible for converting the sun rays into electricity and send it to the charge regulator. The regulator then push the electricity into the attached batteries, the flow goes on until the charging is full.
This process resulted in a sum of DC (direct current), which then need to be convert into AC (alternating current), the inverter is responsible for converting the DC into AC because that is what kind of electricity that you need for your home appliances to work properly.
You can use it for almost same purpose as you can do with conventional power generators, but first you have to calculate what your (watts) requirement is and then look for that particular need.
For example if you planning to use it for your home, you’ll first need to calculate the energy use of all of your home’s appliances you are going to use on the generator, to get your usage detail, either record how much power your electricity meter uses in a day or look at the power consumption stickers on all of your devices (it’s a tedious job, first option is a good one IMO), multiply by the number of hours you’ll be using that device that way you’ll find out how much power you’ll need per day (approximately).
Here are few of the cases where solar generators are mostly used:
for food truck
for air conditioner
for RV (Recreational vehicle)
anything you can think of instead of traditional electricity
Here is a quick video depicts the Yeti 400 solar generator in action
Benefits of a Solar Generator
There are enormous advantages of using solar generators, listed below are few of the main benefits:
Mobility – you can take the power with you where you go no matter indoor or outdoor
Eco-friendly – all of the listed items on this blog post runs on solar energy so no need of fuel and gas resulting in no toxic exhaust
Unattainable – once in action solar generators runs for hours without needing you to look after it, just setup and forget it and it will work on its own for most of the time. During the day, it gets energy from sun and charges the batteries and run whenever you need the power, it just goes on and on.
Detail Review of Best Solar Generators
#1 – Goal Zero Yeti 400 (23000) Solar Generator
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 comes handy and very convenient to use as alternative low power source for charging of phones and laptops, cordless phone, camping lights and or small LED TV. Using this solar generator with capacity of 400 watts and about 12 volts you can power through an outage without the noise and smoke of conventional back-up generators.
It’s safe for indoor and outdoor use. You can recharge it with multiple sources, such as wall mount, car batteries or solar panel, you have to buy solar panels separately to run this device.
The only concern most of the customers facing is of AC converter, few complaints that they are not getting the watts describe on product description, hopefully Goal Zero should fix this issue in the next product batch and will keep its customer happy by providing good customer support that could have helped a lot of people fix this problem.
Overall, the YETI 4OO solar generator is a great power back up solution. Last but not least check everything about this item before purchasing because this item is hazmat and its non-returnable.
#2 – Goal Zero Yeti (31901) 1250 Large Solar Generator
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The Goal Zero YETI 150 solar generator works great device to have as in emergency power needs, it’s a portable plug-and-play generator useful for emergencies or if you are going for camping it’s a mini powerhouse. It can be charged by multiple sources such as a compatible solar panel, a regular wall outlet, or even from your car’s 12V adapter.
It’s not suitable for bigger size device, such as fridge or a heater – these devices need much more power to run. So if you are looking to run such devices on Yeti 150 then, I think the YETI 150 is not a good for recommendation. Many customer complaint about the batteries, keep in mind checking the batteries as soon as it delivered to your home, also make sure battery won’t dried out quickly by using it if you face such issues get in touch with their customer support at your earliest.
This Firefly back-up solar generator kit comes with components such as battery and solar panels. The Firefly can easily powers lamps, fan, laptop and cell phones seamlessly and doesn’t take more than 7-8 hours charge 100%. The device is well built and impressive because it works just as promised and gives me good amount of power even when charged below average.
It’s packaged in a nice compact and portable suitcase design with a carrying handle; it was designed for mobile and portability thus making it a perfect off-grid application suitable for camping and outdoor activities.
The knob to open the compartment that houses the AC cord has to be made somewhat bigger to be easy to grasp. Overall, the Renogy Firefly solar power kit is a decent asset to own and of good value for a good price.
The Monerator Gusto 10 Eco Kit is built to give power at emergency time to charge mobile phones, laptops, home lights etc. “Gusto” is an excellent source for your urgent needs when you encounter a power outage and/or you are going for camping and needs some power. You can charge the “Gusto” by solar panel or by plugging into a wall outlet.
It works on the Lithium battery advanced technology that guarantees long lasting power in a very light and portable device. This device is portable and works so well with its 12 volts and 80 watts output. It’s highly recommended for people looking for an urgent power backup solution.
#6 – Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator Power Supply
This Suaoki solar generator comes with a 220Watt Lithium battery and an inverter. Apart from its awesome price for such a huge capacity for a back-up power, it also comes with great features that guarantee wonderful user experience. There are 3 options you can refuels this generator by 12V DC power, AC home power and from solar power (panel).
It has nice features of such as 3 buttons with lights indicator and a LCD screen to display battery consumption, charge and discharge status. It also features 4 USB ports to charge electronic devices.
It has a whopping 18 months warranty. Due to more power available you can use it in various scenarios such as jumping start your cars, powering up your tools, and helping you keep lights on for emergency use.
The Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator however has some noticeable technical issues that constitute draw-backs for this great device. The indicating lights behave crazily. DC output and inverter cannot work simultaneously when the device is on Solar input.
#7 – Kalisaya KP601 KaliPAK 558Wh Portable Solar Generator
I own the Kalisaya KP601 portable solar generator and I must say it’s the real deal. It has massive capacity in a compact design with protection against rain and other environmental demerits. I love this device because it gives me access to the power I need while on a vacation with lots of outdoor picnics which require playing music and powering fans and other gadgets for hours.
I have been charging the Kalisaya KP601 using solar panels and have never shown any defects. Sincerely, this product represents pure quality and a complete deviation from what quack products are known to be. Anyone looking for camping for long hour should own the Kalisaya KaliPAK without thinking twice.
#8 – Go Power – Complete Solar and Inverter System with 480 Watts
The Go Power solar is a complete kit for the household power need which powers almost every electric device found in your home. I have been having issues and doubts over the genuineness and honesty of various complete home solar kits after years of disappointments from similar products that promised lots of benefits.
I finally had this one after persuasion from my friend and I must say it has been the best so far. It provides you with possibility of running on stable, noiseless, smokeless power that is almost inexhaustible. Freedom to blast the loud stereo and power the voltage-consuming appliances is without limits.
I will always recommend this product for anyone looking for a convenient and reliable source of power for homes, offices and outdoor events.
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