Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Markeyus Franks
A solar generator can easily power a house given the proper circumstances. If you keep the energy-draining appliances away(microwave, toaster, or personal heater) and turn off your AC unit, then you can power many other appliances in your house.
Before purchasing a Solar generator for your home, it’s important to size up your house to see what type of load you will need. You can easily do this by purchasing a watt reader and plugging in your appliances one by one. Here’s a great Watt Meter on Amazon. After you have some idea of how many wattage each appliance uses, then you can take a look at some solar generators, but first, let’s define what a solar generator is.
A Solar generator is nothing more than a solar panel, inverter, charge controller, and battery compact into one box. So instead of purchasing each component separately, a solar generator gives you the benefit of having all of what you need in one container for plug and play purposes. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, and your battery is fully charged, then all you have to do is plug in your devices and you’re good to go.
- 1 The Components of a Solar Generator
- 2 3. Inverter
- 3 Why should I buy a Solar Generator
- 4 Gas Generator Vs. Solar Generator
- 5 When to use a Gas powered generator
- 6 When to use a solar Generator
- 7 The wattage of Common Home Appliances
- 8 Conclusion
The Components of a Solar Generator
Let’s go over some of the components that make up a solar generator
1. Solar Panel
Solar panels are basally crystal conductors that generate electricity when the sun’s rays come in contact with them. Over the years solar panels have become cheaper and a lot more efficient, making them a popular and reliable source of energy to use. The role that a solar panel plays when it comes to owning a solar generator is they recharge the generator’s battery. Let’s say you used half of your battery life last night and need to recharge it for the next day. With a solar panel, you’ll be able to recharge that battery in a matter of hours depending on the size and quantity of your solar panel set up. The solar panel is the mechanism that makes everything work over and over again.
2 Charge controller
This device controls how much energy from the Solar panel gets transferred to your battery so that it does not overcharge. It also gives you the current-voltage of your battery. Most charge controllers will also come with a load input, here you can add a light or other light-duty DC appliances to the controller. The charge controller will essentially balance the battery energy with the load and if the battery power gets too low it will automatically cut off the load. This device is a vital component that makes up a solar generator.
An Inverter is an electric conversion device that converts DC to AC Electricity. Your solar panel, charge controller, and battery all produce Dc electricity (direct current) but the only problem with that is most home appliances only run on AC electricity (Hence the need for an inverter.) The inverter will take in DC and convert it to AC so that you can use all your appliances.
Note: Pay attention to the wattage on the Inverter. If you buy a 300-watt inverter and decide to plug a device in that’s 5oo watts then you will blow out that inverter.
You can basically view a battery as stored energy. We are very familiar with batteries because we used them every day on our phones, tablets, laptop, and cars. This is what truly makes a solar generator useful. Over that last 2 decades, battery technology has become more advanced. Lithium-Ion batteries have made it possible for many common portable appliances to run all day. In a solar generator, you will most likely have a Lithium-Ion battery that can charge and run your appliances for a long time. These batteries are robust and very reliable.
Why should I buy a Solar Generator
With a solar generator, you can go completely Off-Grid and never have to purchase gas again. If your battery runs out, all you have to do is use your solar panels to recharge it. It’s highly convenient and easily manageable, and with the increased usage of lithium-ion batteries, some of these generators are lighter than you think.
Gas Generator Vs. Solar Generator
Gas generators have been around a long time. Many people use them for camping and emergencies. The gas generator combusts gas that turns a rotor, this rotor passes by magnets which subsequently charges the copper wire. This engine system is highly efficient and can produce a large amount of electricity when needed.
- Gas Generators are less expensive
- They are easy to install (plug and play)
- They are fast, just fill with gas and turn on
solar generators are the new kids on the block. With the decrease in prices over the last decade, solar energy has become quite popular for many families. You can usually find people using a solar generator for camping, hunting, and hiking. They are not yet as popular as gas generators but are gaining ground fast.
- Can be charged by an electrical outlet or Solar Panel.
- Does not need gas to operate
- You can place the generator indoors without the exhaust gas and smell
- They are quite
- Require little to no maintenance
When to use a Gas powered generator
You will most likely use a gas-powered generator when you need a significant amount of power fast. Gas generators can run high wattage appliances as long as you have enough gas to run them. Gas generators are usually everyone’s go-to when the powers go off.
When to use a solar Generator
As stated before, solar generators are used for camping, hiking, and traveling. With its high portability benefit, you could take a solar generator with you anywhere In recent years solar generators are packing more of a punch with higher wattage and battery limits. You can now run many appliances in the house at once.
Here’s a list of standard appliances that will work on a Solar generator:
- Small heater ( No more than 600 watts)
- Lights ( Low wattage 5-35 watts)
- Cell phones
- AC Unit (only if it’s low wattage and you have your Solar panels charging your generator)
List of Appliances you should not run on your Solar Generator
- Ac unit
- Air Blower( Depending on the wattage of the blower and the solar generator, you could probably get away with this for only a few minutes.
- Sound systems
The wattage of Common Home Appliances
- Refrigerator- 1500 watts (This depends on the size)
- TV- 80-400 watts ( 40 inches or below)
- Microwave- 1000 watts ( Not Recommended)
- Light bulbs- 5-120 watts
- Freezer- 600 watts
- Fan- 65 watts
- Space Heater- 200-600 watts
- Laptop- 50 watts
- Cell phone- 5 watts
- Internet Modem- 5 watts
- Printer- 8 watts
We’ve conducted a list of solar generators we feel may be best suited for you. If you want that all home experience where you can survive on one generator for several days, then it’s best to go with the ExpertPower Alpha 2400 Lithium Power Station – Link to Amazon. This can be a little pricey, but it’s going to give you everything you need out of a generator for years to come.
If you’re the camping/hiking type, then a smaller generator would do wonders for you. We would choose the Maxoak Portable Power Station. It packs an amazing punch and with 1500wh/1000 watts of power, it can charge several small devices for hours. This Power Station is so powerful that you could use it to power many appliances in your house as well. If you don’t want to go too pricey with the first generator, then choose this one instead.
If you’re on a budget and can’t purchase some of the more expensive generators, here’s a list of cheaper generators to get you started:
- Goal Zero Yeti 400 -Check prices on Amazon
- Regency Foldable Suitcase – Check prices on Amazon
- Rockpals 100w foldable suitcase- Check prices on Amazon
Technology is changing rapidly and these generators are tailored made for the type of technology we use today and for the future. If you love new technology and solar panels don’t intimidate you, then purchasing a solar generator is your best bet for emergencies. We hope this article will help you decide if a solar generator is something you might want to consider for your home.