When the power goes out, are you prepared? Do you need access to power when you’re camping? No matter the reason, a solar generator may be the best option for you! Want to know how a portable solar generator works or how to pick one that’s best for your needs? Keep reading! We’ve put together a helpful guide to help you do just that.
What Is a Portable Solar Generator?
A solar generator is an electrical device that uses solar power to charge its battery. Once the battery is charged, the device can use the stored energy to power everything from a home to electronic devices or appliances, depending on its size.
Portable solar generators can look similar to this product, but they can range in size, capacity, and battery type.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
A solar generator is made up of an inverter, battery, solar panels, and a battery charger. Each of these components works together to harness the sun’s energy so you can power your household, appliances, or other electronics.
The solar panels absorb the energy from the sun. The generator’s battery stores the energy, and the inverter converts it from DC power to usable AC power. Once you have AC power, you can power any electronic device.
How to Find the Best Solar Generator?
If you want to buy a solar generator, determine your needs and decide from there. Powering your entire home will take more battery capacity than simply charging a few minor electrical devices. Choose a generator to meet your power demands.
When purchasing a solar generator, battery capacity should be top of mind. There are a variety of battery types and sizes on the market.
The most common battery types are lead-acid and lithium-ion. In general, a lithium-ion battery tends to last longer and is more reliable than its lead-acid counterpart.
Lead-acid batteries do tend to be less expensive than lithium-ion, though. If your system isn’t used frequently, you can consider lead-acid.
As for capacity, this will depend on how often you use your portable solar generator and what you are using it to power. 1000-3000 watts of capacity can usually power what you need, but it’ll depend on what you are powering and the types of solar panels you have connected to your generator.
Another thing to keep in mind is the charge speed of your battery. In an emergency, you want to be able to charge your battery while it’s being used. Get it back up to 100 percent so you can keep things powered until the grid comes back online.
The speed of charging a solar unit depends on a few different things, like the amount of sun you get in a day and how many watts you can charge per hour. Most solar units can’t charge faster than 250-400 watts per hour. Adding extra batteries can help you keep things charged for longer.
If you cannot charge fast enough to keep up with power consumption, adding extra batteries can be essential. The more battery capacity you have, the longer you’ll be able to run crucial devices and appliances.
Having extra batteries on hand is helpful no matter the circumstance and setup. Keep them charged up and ready to go in case an emergency goes on longer than expected.
To increase the portability of your generator, you want something you can easily move around. A generator you can carry in one hand is ideal, so something between 20-35lbs is the easiest option for most people.
You likely want something you can pick up and take with you in an emergency: the lighter, the better in these scenarios.
There are heavier units that you can roll around on wheels if need be. If you use your system to power an RV or the equivalent, a heavier unit on wheels might be the right choice.
Size of the Inverter:
The inverter on a solar generator converts the DC power stored from the sun and turns it into usable AC power. The size and its continuous power ratings determine what can be powered by your generator.
The inverter size will let you know how much wattage you can run without the generator going into safety mode, or shutting off. You also want to go with a Pure Sine Inverter when charging your typical household appliances.
Input and Output Types:
Your solar generator should have the correct outputs depending on what you want to power; AC, DC, and USB outputs tend to be the most common.
Some units will also have an option to charge a car. If your car battery is dead, this can be a real issue in an emergency. Having a car charger on your generator can help you get moving quickly.
Purchasing a solar generator can be costly, and you want to make sure you are covered should something go wrong. Try to find a unit with excellent customer service and a robust warranty policy.
Ready to Buy a New Solar Generator?
Now you know what a solar generator can do! You can power your home during times of emergency using green, sustainable energy alone. Find a generator that works for your needs today.
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