The Benefits of Portable Solar Generators
If you’re looking for a cost-effective, eco-friendly source of power off the grid, portable solar generators are an excellent choice. Providing quiet, efficient energy that is easy to transport and long-lasting, these generators are a great option for many environment-conscious individuals, or anyone who wants a good power source for the campsite, the worksite, or the home.
Silent and Clean
The great thing about portable solar generators is that they operate silently. Unlike gas generators, there is no sound at all — so no bothering the neighbors or having to tolerate loud sounds yourself. These generators operate cleanly, with no gas involved and no fumes/exhaust.
There are no additional costs involved in operating solar-powered units, and the long lifespan of a portable solar generator is at least 10 years. In addition, metal casing makes sure that these generators are extremely durable and weather resistant. In the case of bad weather, plugs that are exposed to the elements have covers that are meant to be used outdoors, even in rain. Sensitive components are housed within the units so they are protected from wetness or snow.
Solar generators are also extremely portable. While they are a bit large, they’re much lighter than they look. Portable generators include rubber bike tires to allow units to be wheeled by one person to any location for sun reception. In addition, solar tracking can be enabled on any portable generator, allowing for tracking to achieve over 40% more total wattage than normal.
Things to Look For
The most important elements to look for when buying a solar generator is its battery storage, its solar PV input, the component quality of the unit, its portability, and a well-balanced design within the system to ensure premium performance.
Battery Storage Capacity
Battery storage is critical because it determine the generators true usability. Having high battery storage means you can use the generator at night or when cloud cover obscures the sun. Or, if your energy needs go beyond the sun levels that are currently coming in, battery storage will make or break your generator’s ability. Look for amp hours for battery life. A 12-volt 100amp/hour battery is the typical installation you’ll see. To convert amp hours to wattage, you’ll be able to better determine how well it will power your devices. First, multiply amps times voltage. So a watt-hour rating above 12 volt 100 amp per hour battery is 12*100, or 1200 watts per hour.
This means that usable wattage hours of system battery storage can now be measured. The 100-amp/hour battery indeed stores 800 usable wattage hours. So with one 100-amp/hour battery, you can run a laptop that uses 100 wattage for 8 hours before needing to recharge the generator.
Solar PV Input
Solar PV input is also critical. The panels are what allow the generator to generate power from the sun. Usually the sun WILL be at its fullest for six hours during the day. PV input may still be coming in, but it won’t be quite as intense. So to determine how well your solar generator operates, consider the recharging time after it is fully depleted. 6 hours or less is usually the standard.
Quality of Internal Components
Having a solar generator means needing high quality components that will last for many years and under a lot of use. not all generators are created equal, though. American-made parts are typically very reliable and have two to five year warranties. But some generators use cheaper components that are imported. Keep in mind that China, which produces many PVs, produces high quality as well. Unfortunately though, the U.S. is in conflict with China over the illegal dumping of solar panels at less than market price which it currently partakes in. So to buy panels at China’s prices doesn’t support the sustainable industry.
Avoid generators with plastic casing or unnamed components. Be sure your generators’ casing appears fully durable and the parts state where they’ve come from.
Best Solar Generator Manufacturers
While you can generally obtain a good solar powered generator online, there are many local US-based firms that provide solar power through portable generators. Goal Zero is one of the best portable generator distributes, as well as BePreparedSolar. This firm is based in Utah and produces high-quality solar power generators. Its prices are also quite reasonable, beginning at around a thousand dollars.
Another premium solar company to look at is OG Solar. After 5 rigorous years of research, the company began with the goal of helping people live in mobile homes and condos without having to be fearful that their electricity would run out. The company’s generators are praised for being high power and durable.
When to Use a Portable Solar Generator
Portable solar generators are great as emergency power sources in blackouts and natural disasters, as well as for emergency response situations. They can provide power off the grid for RVs and trailers, as well as greenhouses and cabins. These generators are excellent for accidents, security, military, and crime scene needs, as well as for tiny homes — mobile, efficient living, or off the grid.
In addition to providing power for living situations, portable solar generators make excellent sources of construction site power, particularly in quiet work areas or for roadwork, utility repair, and building repair. They can be used to power events such as concerts or conferences with stages, booths, and vendor areas set up. Because of their versatility, they’re excellent for powering cell phones and computers or tablets, as well as cameras or any type of sensitive equipment. They are fully eco-friendly, sustainable, and focused on giving back to the environment.
Features of Most Units
Most portable generators include a two-PV panel extension, bringing solar charging input to 420 watts, with panels to attach to struts with bolts and wingnuts. Deep cycle batters can be added to ensure higher power production. Look for two 12-volt plugs at minimum to make sure you can power as many devices as you need. Additionally, having a watt inverter or charger is a good idea in case your batteries go down. Then you can plug the unit into a traditional power source to power it back up.
Ultimately, solar power generators are a great choice for the eco-friendly consumer. These units are quiet, efficient, and easy to move and charge. They are also very cost-effective, making them an excellent method of powering all your sensitive devices in any location, be it construction site, home use, or concert/conference vending areas.