If you are gearing up for off-grid living, the chances are good that you are on the market for a solar-powered generator. It's a smart way to go off-grid —and with good reason: a high-quality off-grid solar generator operates odor-free and quietly while being eco-friendly, unlike the traditional gasoline-powered generators with a high carbon footprint.
When choosing the right solar generator, it would be wise to consider your everyday power requirements, budget, and future energy needs. You can then pick a model with suitable capacity, outlets, and dimensions.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before investing in an off-grid solar generator.
What is a solar generator?
A solar generator is a standalone solar photovoltaic (SPV) system that helps generate electrical power through a series of solar panels and then stores the generated electricity in a built-in battery for off-grid or later use.
More often than not, a portable solar power station uses photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight energy into DC power, then wire to the battery pack via the charge controller. When the energy is needed, the system will uses an inverter to convert the electrical power into usable AC power that can be used for lighting, charging, and running everyday appliances.
Solar generator can also refer to any system that runs off solar energy instead of gasoline & other fossil fuels to create electricity storable in a battery. As such, this nifty generator is a viable energy resource that can make you 100% independent of the grid and impervious to power blackouts, making off-grid living easy and hassle-free.
In practice, solar generators are typically used as backup electricity sources in times of power outages. They are also found in boats, RVs, motorhomes, and off-grid facilities. That makes such a solar generator a handy solution especially when you are going camping, boating, cross-country road trips on your RV, and other off-grid activities.
5 Benefits of Using Off-Grid Solar Generators
1. Off-grid Solar Generators Are Eco-friendly
If you are an eco-warrior looking to lower your carbon footprint and go green, then you will find a solar generator to be a good fit. For one thing, the solar system uses sunlight energy, which is in abundance, instead of guzzling the fossil fuel that causes damage to our planet.
If you wish to keep your environment clean and bring as little impact as possible on the Earth, a solar generator is the way to go. It runs silently, efficiently, odor-free, and therefore does not contribute to ever-concerning climate change.
Depending on the grid for electricity means relying on power-generating companies that use hazardous processes and materials to generate power. Switch to off-grid solar generators to ensure a clean environment and low carbon footprint.
2. Reduce Your Energy Costs
An off-grid solar system is a one-off cost that will save your money in the long term. By using it, you will help save the environment and cut your electricity bill by a considerable margin.
Besides, solar generators are not susceptible to breaking down and can save money on repairs and maintenance. All of these upsides mean a solar generator offers the most value for money when it comes to off-grid living.
3. Quiet And Low-maintenance Operation
The true beauty of solar generators is in their low-cost, silent operation. Unlike gasoline-operated generators, they lack any moving parts that can be prone to frictional wear and tear, which can dramatically reduce the number of repairs and maintenance they need, not to mention that they will produce practically zero noise when operating.
4. Great Solution for Remote Areas
One of the biggest hurdles residents of remote areas face is the exorbitant cost of getting connected to the primary grid. It can be sinfully expensive and resource-heavy. So if you are relocating to a rural region or owning a second home in a remote area, an off-grid solar generator will be a viable solution.
5. Easy Setup And Upkeep
Most off-grid solar systems are usually portable, and support plug-and-play operation. You won't need an electrician to set it up or maintain it because the setup process is usually simple and straightforward, given that the whole ensemble isn't connected to the main grid.
You won’t find many wires or complicated infrastructures when it comes to solar generators. All you need to install your generator is to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. No training or special tools required.
Recommended Off-Grid Solar Generators
The most capacious option of our recommended products is the EB240 Portable Power Station from BLUETTI. It boasts a whopping 1,000 W output rating, which is quite impressive. In other words, this solar generator can power an entire HVAC unit or refrigerator for quite some time.
As far as off-grid living goes, this is the option you want for your home, since it can make for a superior backup power device. We love that this model is incredibly portable with an easy-grip handle on top. The battery storage capacity is 2,400 Wh, which puts it at par with some roof solar systems.
The icing on the cake is that the generator comes with a variety of ports and handy outlets, including two 12V/3A ports, a 12V/10A carport, four USB-A ports, one PD 60W USB-C port, two 15W wireless pads, a 12V/25A RV port, and six 120V AC outlets.
The BLUETTI AC200P portable power station is a great solar generator for off-grid living, emergency backup preparedness, and outdoor activities.
The unit outputs at a higher wattage of 2,000W. It sports a smart LCD with touch capacity, a lead-acid battery with a power storage capacity of 2000 Wh, and a pure sine wave inverter, as well as an open-circuit voltage.
Unlike the EB240 option above, this unit is a bit heavier, tipping the scale at 60.6 lbs. As well as the pure sine wave inverter outlets, it also features numerous ports for additional capacity to supply multiple devices. The AC200P can be charged using an SPV system and a lead-acid battery, regular generator, car plug, or wall outlet.
How to charge Your solar generators?
There are at least three ways to a solar generator for off-grid or outdoor living:
1. SPV (Solar Photovoltaic) System
Using an SPV system is perhaps the most efficient and feasible way to charge your off-grid solar generator. After all, today's solar panels are more advanced and efficient than ever before, making them an eco-friendly, effective, and flexible means of charging your off-grid solar system. It can also be an excellent solution when power blackouts strike or for camping and areas where the main grid isn't accessible.
2. 12V Car Charger
Most solar generators for off-grid usage come with ports that allow you to charge it from your car's 12V outlet. This is an excellent option for road-trippers and RV owners who want to take advantage of their mile on the highway. You may need to install a dual battery system in your car for plug-and-play charging your solar generator.
3. AC Charger
Most solar generators also come with an AC port that allows you to plug them into your wall outlet at home. Essentially, this will allow you to juice up your off-grid solar generator before you leave for camping, boating, or other outdoor activities.
Q: Is a solar generator a good investment?
A: Yes, a solar generator is a great investment. Although you may expect the upfront price to be high, the costs of running a solar generator are much lower than those for a gasoline-powered generator. Plus, you can expect a high-quality unit to last anywhere from 25 years all the way up to 35 or 50 years, depending on the manufacturer.
Even better, all solar generators have warranties, so they can be fixed or replaced for free if something is amiss.
Q: Can you power a generator with solar panels?
A: Yes, you can power a generator through solar panels. The off-grid solar generator is equipped with a controller and battery for power storage.
Q: How long will a solar generator run?
A: It depends on the load, the battery charge, and the battery storage capacity of the solar generator. If many appliances draw power from the unit at once, your solar generator will run out sooner rather than later.
Q: Can a battery-powered generator run a house?
A: Yes, battery-powered generators rated higher than 1000W for output can run a modest house, especially when it comes to lighting, light appliances, and charging electronics. Yet power-heavy units like air conditioning and fridges may not be powered for too long.
An off-grid solar generator is a great alternative to the grid and gasoline-powered generators. They operate quietly and use renewable energy, which is friendly to the environment. They are also low maintenance and can save you oodles of money in the long run.