Portable solar generators are now a powerful source of electricity and are a quiet, green solution to powering during power outages or off-grid travel. Are Solar Generators Worth the Investment? The answer is yes, now follow the editor to learn about the big reveal of the purchasing guide. The generators vary in size, power, and battery storage capacity. There’s a lot to be aware of.
Solar power is a clean and cost-effective way to power your home. But what many people don’t realize is that there are many types of solar solutions to choose from. For example, you might be interested in purchasing a solar generator rather than adding a whole set of residential solar panels to your house. We are all now more inclined towards convenient items.
Solar generators consist of solar panels and portable power stations that harvest energy from the sun and store it for later use. You can use one as a power bank, as a backup energy source for your home, or both.
The efficiency and versatility of solar generators, but with that comes to the initial investment. So, you might be wondering, are solar generators worth the money?
After the upfront cost of the equipment, there are no additional operating costs for solar generators compared to gasoline generators. They provide unlimited energy from direct sunlight, so there is no need to buy fuel. They also have no moving parts, which means lower maintenance costs.
If you’re looking at the long term and are interested in learning more about solar generators, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know to decide if a solar generator is really worth the investment. Here’s what you need to know before buying a portable solar generator.
Manage expectations for solar generators
In general, my biggest advice to anyone exploring solar generators or solar power is to keep your expectations realistic. Now, I’ve been using solar for years and I really like my system. That said, it takes a lot of work and a huge investment to set up. There are also restrictions.
With a solar panel system, you can adjust your lifestyle while off-grid:
- Bad weather – If it’s been cloudy for a week, you might reach for a blanket when the battery runs out.
- Snow – Are you ready to go out in a snowstorm and clear the snow off the panels?
- Something’s broken – there’s no power company to call, and it’s up to you if your power fails.
- Maintenance – to refill batteries, clean terminals, replace fuses, and clean panels.
Portable solar generators are a great gateway option until you go all-in on solar power. It enables you to explore the fundamentals of solar power generation and understand how the larger system works. It also gives you an idea of capacity (on a small scale) so you can scale up later. This is very useful because you start to really grasp what it takes to do different things.
Now, to be honest, the smallest solar generators aren’t very useful. The smallest can only charge phones or small laptops. Don’t expect a small investment or even a small DIY solar generator kit to give you enough power to live on the grid or run appliances.
Most small solar generators are under 500 watts (usually around 2-300 watts). You’ll invest around $500 in batteries and power packs, and you’ll need a panel or two, $3-400 each. These solar generators are not suitable for running your furnace or air conditioner (for those larger items, you’ll need a full solar panel system).
Traditional large systems that use lead acid batteries can be had for $1 per watt, while in a solar generator you should expect to spend $2-3 per watt as it is a turnkey system and typically uses higher performance lithium-ion battery or LiFePO4 battery.
What are portable solar generators for?
Where portable solar generators really come into play is when camping, or when there is an emergency. Having a small solar generator is perfect if you’re stuck in a hurricane, or if your city has a major power outage. People often buy them as emergency preparedness kits and shelters. You might not be able to power the whole house with it, but at least you’ll be brighter and able to power small electronics, which can save lives in some cases.
These small solar generators are also handy for tailgating and camping. If you own an RV or teardrop trailer, you can use a portable solar generator for your weekend travel needs. They’re great for charging your phone or running a small amount of power for things like lights. If you’re tailgating a lot, the solar generator will easily keep your radio from draining your car battery during races.
Solar generators are great for small fans, LED lights, charging small portable electronics, and other small, low-power tasks. Some high-efficiency TVs work well with solar generators. You can also use the solar generator to charge your laptop or tablet.
I also know many construction workers and builders who love these portable solar generators because they can keep their tools charged on the job. Using a solar generator on a construction site as a continuous power source for battery-powered drills, saws, power tools, and small pieces of equipment is great. Solar generators are perfect if your construction site is away from power and you are working for a few days. If you’re building a cottage or small house in a rural area, a solar generator will help you keep your tools running.
There are still many jobs that cannot be powered by solar power. These projects require too much power to run efficiently (or even not at all) on portable solar generators.
How solar generators work
The battery is a mobile power source. Depending on your battery voltage, it will keep power until you’re ready to plug in and run your device. These batteries are also used to charge cell phones, computers, and power tool battery packs. Solar cells are often finicky and delicate. While many of these solar generators use higher-quality lithium-ion batteries, it’s best to be careful not to damage them.
When people think of solar, they forget the battery pack, but it’s essential. If your power source is the sun, what would you do on a cloudy day? What will happen at night? Solar power is inconsistent. The battery stores power so it’s always available when you need it. If the sun produces enough energy, then it shunts that energy into the items you’re powering. If you overuse solar then your generator will go into the battery.
Another component of a solar generator is the inverter. An inverter converts direct current (direct current) electricity to alternating current, which is used by most tools and appliances. In the US, AC power typically runs on 110-240 volts, so the inverter boosts the battery’s voltage to 100-240 volts.
Some people prefer the DIY approach of solar generators. They buy the basic parts of a DIY system and assemble it themselves. It’s certainly possible, but it’s usually a challenging project for beginners. Time and time again I’ve seen people start down the DIY path but get frustrated and go out and buy off-the-shelf solar generators.
Learn about the SOUOP portable solar generators: core components
The SOUOP Solar generator consists of two distinct parts:
- Solar Panel Assembly
These are not the same as the solar panels you put in your home. But they also capture solar energy from the sun’s rays and convert it into direct current.
- Portable Power Station
The SOUOP solar generator also has a portable power station. This is where the energy you extract from your solar panels is stored.
Solar Charge Controller
SOUOP power stations usually have a solar charge controller. This regulates the energy flow into the battery so nothing is damaged as the power moves through the system.
Portable power stations also have inverters, which are the heart of the power station. This is the part that converts the energy the panels collect from the sun into a usable form.
Putting it all together: How portable solar generators can provide power in 5 steps
Here are step-by-step instructions on how all the parts of the solar generator system work together to provide us with electricity:
Solar panels collect energy from the sun.
This energy is regulated by the charge controller.
The energy is sent to the battery for later use.
When you want to extract energy from the battery, it goes through an inverter to make sure it’s in a usable state.
You can now use this power however you want.
How to optimize solar panels for use with power stations
Another thing worth mentioning is that solar panels used with power stations are usually portable. This is what makes the SOUOP solar generator such a versatile tool. You can move around the solar panels they use to generate energy so that no matter where you are, they are in the best position to capture as much solar energy as possible.
7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a SOUOP Solar Generator
There are many good reasons to own a solar generator, and there are some factors that may make another solar product a better fit for you.
Let’s explore these:
- SOUOP solar generator is very quiet
One of the biggest selling points of solar generators is how quiet they are compared to gas generators.
In particular, SOUOP’s generators hardly make any noise when running. So you can use it without even noticing it, which is almost impossible if running a gas generator.
- SOUOP solar generator is easier to use
Unlike gas generators, the components of SOUOP solar generators – portable power stations have no moving parts.
This reduces the chance of problems with the generator as there are fewer components that can fail.
- You use one to support clean energy
SOUOP solar generators are also a cleaner energy solution than traditional gas-powered models. For example, using the SOUOP Solar Generator 1500 can help reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 250 pounds – the equivalent of planting five trees a year.
Also, if you’re a regular generator, you know how fast fuel prices can go up. However, this is not a problem for solar generators.
These devices generate usable energy from the sun. This means you can get a steady supply of energy without paying for it. This can save you a lot of money over the life of the system.
- SOUOP solar generator is safe to use
Another important factor to keep in mind is that solar generators are completely safe to use.
They do not have any of the safety issues associated with gas generators, such as flammability. So you can use one or the other without worrying about something dangerous happening.
- Solar generators require a lot of upfront investment
One thing you need to keep in mind when buying solar generators is that they require a significant upfront investment.
In the United States, the average price of a solar generator is about $2,000.
That being said, while it’s a solid amount of money, it’s not more than what you’d pay for a gas generator. In fact, you can even save some money by opting for a solar power plant instead of a gas one.
This is because the average cost of a natural gas generator is between $1,900 and $5,000, while the average cost of a solar generator is between $300 and $5,000.
- They can only generate electricity when the sun is out
This is one of the general limitations of solar energy. Solar panels can only collect energy when the sun is shining. But this probably won’t actually affect how often you use your solar generator.
Remember, solar generators use portable solar panels to harvest energy from the sun. You can move them around as often as you need to find the sun. This means you usually don’t have to worry about shadows affecting the generator’s functionality.
- Battery size is usually relatively small
It’s also important to note that solar generators typically have much smaller battery sizes than you’ll find on residential solar systems. That’s why it’s usually not a good idea to rely on one or the other to power your entire home.
However, there are many different solar generators to choose from, which gives you the flexibility to find a solar generator with a battery size that meets your needs.
For example, the solar generators sold by SOUOP can expand the amount of power that a single battery charge can provide. They range from as little as 18 hours of mini-cooler usage to as much as 66 hours.
How to determine the portable solar generators you want and need
Portable solar generators can be a smart choice for anyone with a variety of needs. That said, there are situations where buying makes the most sense.
You use a lot of outdoor gear that requires power
SOUOP portable solar generators are at their best when you’re on the go. They allow you to charge your outdoor gear and use appliances while camping or enjoying multi-day outdoor adventures.
SOUOP’s equipment is even powerful enough to support RV, van, and cabin life. With one of our solar generators, you can bring a touch of comfort to any outdoor experience.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel because as long as the sun is shining, your generator’s portable solar panels will always be able to give you more energy to use.
You need backup power for your home
Some people also choose to purchase solar generators to support their home’s energy system. This is also a great use case for a solar power station, as it can give you some protection in the event of a power outage to your home.
Remember, solar generator batteries are not meant to power a complete home for long periods of time. If you get one, only hope to use it as a stopgap until your power is turned back on.
You want to contribute to a cleaner planet
If you are someone who cares a lot about the planet, a solar generator is also a great purchase tool. They offer a cleaner alternative to traditional methods of energy production, meaning using an energy source can be a way of doing your part in the fight against climate change.
How do I choose the best portable solar generators for my needs?
Finding the best solar generator for your needs is all about determining what you want to get out of it. A good start is to figure out how much energy your solar generator needs to generate in a given amount of time.
For example, maybe you want to buy a solar generator as a backup to your home’s existing power source. If so, you can figure out how long you want it to be able to power you by calculating how much energy your device uses over a certain period of time.
Click to find out how long the SOUOP solar generator will last while charging your device.
There may be other factors that are important to you when purchasing a solar generator. For example, you may live in an area where you worry about excessive noise. If so, you might want to look for solar generators that operate at low decibels.
Find your ideal solar generator with SOUOP
No matter what type of solar generator is right for you, SOUOP has you covered. We offer a variety of solar generators with different power generation capacities, storage capacities, and solar panel sizes. This makes finding the right solar generator for your needs very easy.
Check out our page on solar generators to learn more about our solar generators and help you choose the best generator for your needs.