How Do I Choose a Solar Generator?

How Do I choose a Solar Generator

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Markeyus Franks

The best way to choose a solar generator is to understand how much stored energy you need. Solar generators are the new kids on the block as far as generators go. They basically generator energy from the sun and store it for later consumption. You can charge up a solar generator by a standard power outlet, a car cigarette lighter, or by solar panels.

How to size up your solar generator?

Sizing up your solar generator all depends on what resources you need for the given circumstance. If you are camping for the weekend compared to camping for the entire week then your energy needs will vary. The good thing is there are many different solar generators for the given situation. Today’s solar generators come in all different shapes, sizes, and capacities. You can purchase a generator as low as l00wh to as much as 24 kWh. Now let’s go over some scenarios to help you decide which generator is the best for the situation.

Which generator is the best for camping over the weekend?

If you plan on going camping for a day or the weekend, then you’re going to want a pretty decent generator to get you through those days. We would recommend a generator that is anywhere from 200- 750Wh depending on what you need. This size generator should run the majority of your mobile products.

Also, if it’s just for a day or the weekend you probably will not need a solar panel to charge the generator. A 500wh generator can easily charge and run all your appliances throughout the weekend. Take a look at the chart below to see what a 500wh generator can run.

Generator NamePower Capacity DC/AC Inverter capacity
Jackery Explorer
Allwei Portable power staion280 wh

Jackery Explorer 240

Allwei portable power station

Which solar generator is the best for weekly camping?

Now if you expect to be camping for more than two days to a week, then you’re going to want to get a higher capacity generator alongside solar panels to charge during the day. There are plenty of solar generators within the second-tier range. We would recommend any generator from 700 wh- 1500wh. This range of stored capacity can help when out camping for several days. You are also going to want to
consider using your solar panels during the day.

Most of these generators offer an option to purchase their own solar panels to go with the generator. on a good day with no obstructions, you can generate a lot of power from the sun, and depending on the charge controller capacity inside the generator( Amps or Volts) and battery capacity, Solar panels can charge you generator fully in just a few hours. Here is a list of mid-range solar generators that can get the job done.

Best solar generator for RV Living

Generally, people who live in an RV or Van, have off-grid systems instead of solar backup generators, but with new generators being created yearly that may change very soon. With generators, you have pretty much all the components you need in one box making it easier for setup and portability. This is a great advantage when traveling or setting up a home backup system. With a general solar setup, you will have to purchase all your items separately, making it harder and a little bit more dangerous because you may lack the electrical knowledge you need. If you decide to use a solar generator for your RV or camper then we suggest going with a 1500 -30000 wh generator. Here are some great generators:

Best Solar generator for Tiny Homes

If you are lucky to live in a Tiny home, then you know what it takes to run an off-grid system – Although creating an off-grid system is cheaper, with a solar generator it takes the guesswork out of building an off-grid system. As stated before with an off-grid system you have all the components inside of one box which makes it a lot easier to set up power in your Tiny Home
For a Tiny home, we would recommend 3000 kWh- 12kWh depending on power usage. Here a some good

Eco Flow Delta

Eco Folw Delta Pro

Also note, that if you plan on heating your tiny home. We would recommend using a propane heater or a small space heater. Heaters and solar generators don’t go well together. Typically a standard heater that could heat up a small home like a tiny home will at least run at about 1000-1300 watts an hour. Now unless you have a huge battery bank to accommodate the power draw, we don’t recommend using a generator to consistently run a heater.

You can get away with a small 200-400 watt space heater that can warm up a smaller room pretty efficiently. As you can see, these space heaters use low watts which is perfect for a small battery bank or an average solar generator. For example: If you have a 1500wh solar generator and you need to heat up your insulated cabin for the night. With 1500wh you have some capacity space to run your heater. To get the run-time of your heater just divide the 1500watt by 200w (heater) and will have about 7.5 hours of use until battery depletion. If you get a more powerful heater then expect a shorter run-time.

Best solar generator for a Small Home

If you wish to have a small emergency backup generator, then small generators ranging from 200 to 2000wh with a 700-1500watt inverter capacity would do the trick. At this range, you can adequately run most small appliances in your house and still have room to spare. Here is a list of recommended backup generators for small Homes:

Eco River

Best solar generator for a Large Home

– A typical house uses about 30kw a month. A larger house will
use up to 50kwh a month. If you want to have an adequate source of battery backup we would go
for a 28 kWh solar system.

General home-backup system for when the power goes out?

Most households will probably fit into this category. The average U.S. power outage is around 2 hours per year. Although a little inconvenient, that’s not very long at all, so a small to medium size generator is all that is needed. You would want to look for a generator that can keep your phones, tablets, laptops charged, and also run a small fridge going for hours. The generators below are ideal for general purposes.

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