Can A Solar Generator Catch Fire?

solar generator for family

We are certain that most of you reading this article have heard about exploding mobile phones before. 

Like this story for example. Where a student who brings his phone in for repair explodes just as the technician begins working on it.

While not common, these unfortunate events do in fact occur. However, we feel it is important to keep things in perspective when it comes the accident vs safe ratio. 

According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there is more than 10.98 Billion mobile connections globally. That surpasses the worldwide population by 3.002 billion.

So yes, accidents do happen, but when putting things in perspective, how frequently do they happen in comparison to the sheer volume of safe phones on planet earth (just some food for thought here).  

Ok, but why are we even talking about mobile phones? 

You want to know about solar generators and whether they can catch fire. 

The answer comes down to what is inside both types of technology. 

The battery. 

Can solar generators catch fire?

using solar generator

This is one of the most common concerns for new time solar generator buyers. Before we answer this question it is important that you know what makes up a solar generator. 

Understanding its components will allow you to better understand any potential fire (among other) hazards. 

A solar generator is made from the following components: 

  • Solar panels (attachable)
  • Inverter
  • Charge controller
  • Battery
  • Wiring
  • Circuit boards 

Now that you have a a better idea on what makes up a solar generator, it'll be easier to understand what could be potentially hazardous.

Component Safety
Solar Panels Safe
Inverter Safe
Charge controller Safe
Battery Potentially Hazardous

 

Out of all the components that make up a solar generator there is only one piece of that technology that has the ability to explode or catch fire (under unfavourable circumstances) the battery. 

However, it must be mentioned that the overall probability of something going wrong really all comes down to the battery chemistry used in your solar generator. 

Some battery chemistries are less stable than others. 

Here are a few: 

  • Lithium-Ion.
  • Lead-Acid.
  • Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP)
  • Nickel-Cadmium.

With the above in mind, it is important to note that solar generators often only incorporate lithium chemistries in their solar generators. However it is not unheard of for DIYers to use lead-acid batteries.

Lithium-ion is the same battery chemistry used in mobile phones today. 

Why lithium-ion batteries may explode

Whenever a lithium-ion type battery is charged, ions move from the positive to the negative electrode (generally at quite a high voltage).

These moving ions are actually moving through a liquid electrolyte which is an extremely flammable substance.

This is why a battery has the potential to explode (in flame) if it overheats. Now remember, most modern batteries have a built in battery management system (which prevents this from happening). 

What is the safest battery technology? 

common lithium-ion battery type characteristics diagram

One of the safest battery technologies on the market are Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (LiFePO4 or LFP). This by the way is the same battery technology that BLUETTI uses in all their new solar generators

LFP batteries are the safest lithium technology on the market today. This is because they are unlikely to overheat. And even if they were punctured for some reason they are unable to catch fire. 

Additionally, the cathode material is non-hazardous and therefore poses no immediate environmental risk.

Why are BLUETTI solar generators safe? 

solar generator charging

So as we have already mentioned. BLUETTI only uses LiFePO4 batteries in their latest products. 

Standalone these types of batteries is the safest lithium technology on the market. Additionally, all our solar generators are equipped with the latest MPPT charge controllers which ensure that the battery do not overcharge. 

Alongside our charge controllers, our batteries are also equipped with power BMS's which further ensure the chemistry is not damaged by any unforeseen circumstances such as short circuits, over-current, over-voltage, overload or overheating.

With all this being said, we do not recommend opening our products yourself and working on them. This could potentially compromise any safety measures that have been put in place. 

How long do BLUETTI solar generators last? 

We have compiled an easy to understand table which indicates how long each of our solar generator models will last you: 

Model Chemistry  Lifecycles
EB3A LFP 2,500 +
EB55 LFP 2,500 +
EB70S LFP 2,500 +
AC200P LFP 3,500 +
AC200 MAX LFP 3,500 +
AC300 + B300 LFP 3,500 +
EP500 Pro LFP 3,500 +

 

To put these numbers in perspective for you. You can expect your solar generator to last you between 6.8 to 9.5 years!

Final thoughts

We hope this article shed some more light on how batteries explode and which technologies are the safest out there. 

just to recap, it is important to remember that LFP technology is the safest and that all BLUETTI solar generator batteries are equipped with this battery chemistry.

Additionally our solar generators have a built in BMS which ensures short circuits, over-current, over-voltage, overload or overheating is prevented.

Lastly, to our knowledge, there has been no recorded incident of a solar generator bursting into flames. Thus far, the safety track recorded has been unscathed. 

Which BLUETTI Solar Generator Is Best For Me?

Written by Kyle Browning

This article is for those of you who already know you are choosing BLUETTI but need help deciding which BLUETTI solar generator is best for you. 

Read more

Winter Camping With Portable Solar Panels

Written by Mike Jezek

With winter upon us, many campers and RVers are hanging up their keys and putting away their gear for the season.  But for those who crave adventur...

Read more

Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying Portable Solar Panels

Written by Mike Jezek

By asking yourself the following questions before buying a portable solar panel, you can be sure that you are making the best decision for your needs.

Read more

Portable Solar Generators for Boating and Sailing

Written by Mike Jezek

Here, we'll discuss the benefits of portable solar generators and how they can help you enjoy your time on the water while reducing your environmen...

Read more