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Best Solar Power Generator

Solar Power Generator 3

Solar Power Generator Reviews

One of the latest designs in solar power are solar powered generators. These devices have the convenience of being able to charge then will AC and DC adapters along with the option of using solar energy. These compact devices allow you to charge electronics and camping gear when outlets and electric current are not available. With new technology it is important to select companies that are providing top quality products and top customer service. As the market grows new, less reliable products become widely available as copycat products hit the market. We are focused on providing top quality companies that stand behind their innovative products.

Most Popular Solar Power Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 150

5/5 Product Rating

The Goal-Zero-22004-Solar-Generator can provide solar power to power laptops, lights, smartphones and other electronic devices, when no electrical outlets are available. The unit is compact and is only 8″ tall and 10″ wide. The convenient handle makes it easy to move from place to place. The solar power generator can be charged with solar power of the sun, a wall outlet or a car charger. There are 2 Ampere USB outlets, 12 volts of output and 80 watt AC inverter included. It operates with 1 12V battery, which is included with the unit. Whenever you need power and don’t have access to an outlet, this generator is the perfect solution. It will keep all your devices charged and even power convenience items like fans, flashlights, and other electronics, while you are camping or away from power.

  • Powers laptops and electronics without an electrical outlet
  • Can power the solar generator through solar panels, electric outlet or car charger
  • 12 volt battery included
  • Compact at only 8X10 in size
  • Convenient carrying handle for additional portability

Best Overall Solar Power Generator

Goal Yeti 500X

4.9/5 Product Rating

The Goal-Zero-Yeti-500X-Recharging-Inverter provides power when outlets are not available. Charge the generator with an outlet, car adapter or solar power. It takes approximately 2-3 hours to charge from a wall outlet, 4-6 hours to charge from a car charger and 5-10 hours to charge from solar panels depending on the sun and weather. Included with the generator are Nomad 13 solar panels so you have everything you need to operate this generator under a number of different circumstances. The Goal-Zero-Yeti-500X-Recharging-Inverter is compact, lightweight and yet rugged enough to be transported and used in the outdoors. The unit is compact and is only 3 pounds and 10.5 inches X 9.2 inches X 2.8 inches in size. The rechargeable battery is a lithium battery which is known for holding a strong charge over time. So whether you are looking to save on your electric bill and use the solar panels to recharge your electronic devices, or using it during camping and back country experiences where outlets are not available, you will find you are using it on a regular basis.

  • Charges with solar panels, wall outlet or car charger
  • Lightweight and compact weighing only 3 pounds
  • Lithium rechargeable battery for long recharges
  • Compact design is only 10.5″X9.2″X2.8″
  • Solar Panels included

Best Budget Solar Power Generator

Goal Zero Nomad 13

4.7/5 Product Rating

The Goal-Zero-12003-Black-Nomadis lightweight enough to carry while camping or backpacking. Whether you need to charge your phone, lanterns, or flashlight batteries, this solar generator can get the job done. It includes 13 watt efficient monocrystalline solar technology. The Goal-Zero-12003-Black-Nomadis lightweight foldable design makes the unit very portable and can fit in any backpack. It only weighs 1.6 pounds and is 10.5″X9.2″X1.2″. You can also clip it on the back of the backpack and let the sun charge while you are hiking. Charge your devices through the USB or charge battery packs for later use. It has a built in pocket to store devices and cords. You can store additional power with the Sherpa 50 power pack which is sold separately.

  • Lightweight for backpacking and camping
  • Solar panels for charging devices on the go
  • 13 Watt efficient monocrystalline solar technology
  • Lightweight foldable design
  • Built in pocket to store devices and cords

Solar Power Generator Buying Guide

Solar Power Generator 5

A solar power generator serves as an alternative to conventional electricity today. It helps people save electricity bills to a great extent since it uses the sun’s energy which is stored in a battery bank via solar panels and released through an inverter so that it will be utilized for standard AC power. Having your own solar power system lets you enjoy independence from the local electricity supplier, however, before you one, you have to consider  and understand its key elements, overall performance and the factors to watch out for in the plethora of systems available in the market these days.

Purchase Consideration

Battery Storage Capacity

The capacity of the battery storage is the most significant key element in the actual usability of a solar power generator. This will let you use the generator at night, when there is limited sun and in periods your energy has to exceed the amount of solar input coming in.

Batteries come in terms of amp hours (amp/hr) however, in order to get a convenient battery rating, it would be better to convert amp hours to watt hours. As a rule, not all of the rated watt hours should be utilized. Manufacturers recommend that consumers should only use 2/3 of the full capacity in lead-acid batteries so that its life span will be preserve and failures will be reduced.  You have to know the usable watt hours of your solar power generator in order to determine its capacity to run specific applications.

Solar Panels

Solar panels or solar PV input is what powers the solar power system. If you have enough solar PV input, you can use the solar generator during the day and recharge it less often after using it at night. The rate of solar panels depends on their watt-generation capabilities. For instance, a 140 watt PV input generates 140 watts of inbound generation capabilities in full sun. Generally, full sun can last until 6 hours during the day, at other times of the day, the input continues to come in but it can be less than rated.

If you want to have a system with solar tracking feature, choose a portable solar generator or a solar power with separate PV panels. Through solar tracking you can move your panels along with the sun’s arc in order to capture the best solar input continuously.

In a solar power generator, PV input is closely related to storage capacity since there is a need to store energy for a later time usage. Appropriate recharging time after depletion is within six hours or less for solar power systems that have less 2500 usable watt hours. Recharging it over this time will affect its usability.

It is important to note that allowing the batteries to sit without being fully charged or using not fully charged batteries before night usage will reduce its lifespan. Therefore, you have to keep in mind that solar generators should have solid PV input so that there is an available energy during the day, which strongly suggest the need to keep the batteries fully charged at night.

Solar Power Generator 4

Inverter Rating

The energy stored in the battery bank of the solar power generator is released through an inverter that converts low volt DC to 120 volts, the standard AC power. This way you will enjoy the power captured from the PV panels using a variety of power applications.

Also, there areupgraded types of inverters like an inverter charger that has the ability to charge your battery bank externally through a grid or gas generator then route the incoming AC power to the batteries of the solar generator in DC form.

You will know the maximum watts you can pull from a solar generator by checking out the rates given by your inverter. If you pick a 1500 watt inverter, it allows you to pull up to that watt rate in the AC power. However, pulling the maximum watts you can get from an inverter will minimize the capacity of the lead-acid batteries in a much faster manner. To avoid this effect, opt for generators that use lithium batteries.

Component Quality

The huge factor that can affect the durability and usability of solar generators is its component quality thus, it is imperative to get components with warranties and longer life spans. American made solar controllers and inverters are proven to be durable and offer 2-5 year warranties which really ensure long term usage. Unfortunately, this cannot be the case for some of the least pricey imported components utilized by many solar generators.

Generators with plastic casing may break down over time due to natural wear and tear, heavy sun exposure and other rugged conditions. Thus, it would be better to choose solar panels that have metal casing because it can withstand exacting usage as well shield their valuable components over time against any environment condition.

Portability

Choosing a solar generator that is portable allows you to achieve on-demand usage, point of use power and solar tracking. At most, weight significantly increases due to batteries with solid storage capacity. To ease this problem, manufacturers came up with the great idea of mounting heavy solar power systems on a small, cheap plastic casing with wheels.

Indeed, proper weight distribution and bicycle wheels help to secure the capability of portable solar generators to be used in steep hills, dirt trails or potholes. Portable solar generators can be conveniently used in different locations or wheeled on ramps into a van or truck. However, it would be great if these systems are not only portable when you first tried them in the shop or in best conditions, but should work in real environments.

Balanced System Design

Considering all the key elements of a usable solar power generator will give you a good picture of an imperative need to have a balanced system design. Solar power systems would really work great if they have quality components that fit well to each other and feature ratings that support end usability.

At best, a well balanced solar power system combines the pairing of usable storage capacity, proper inverter rating and solid PV input, or in other words, havingat least 1500 watt hours storage capacity, a 1000 watt inverter and 250 watts PV input.

Ultimately, with a balanced system design and high quality components, you are assured that you are getting a solar generator usable in any environment, needs and applications.

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