In the age of modern green technology, solar generators are gaining in popularity all around the world.
Countries like South Africa, the United States, Canada and Australia are all making the switch from gas powered generators, to solar powered generators.
The main question that continues to arise is, can solar generators completely replace electricity like their once popular gas cousins could?
In this article we aim to answer this question, and in general talk about electricity consumption and how it works.
Let's get started.
How does a solar generator work?
For those of you who are not familiar with solar generators, it's important to note the main components that make up the device.
Solar generators comprise of the following:
- charge controller
- solar panel
Let's talk about each component to give you a better understanding.
The battery is the life force behind the solar generator, without it, the machine would be obsolete. This is because, unlike gas generators, solar generators have no moving parts, and thus do not actually generate their own electricity.
Instead, electricity is stored in the battery, which can then be used at your please. The bigger the battery, the more electricity you can store, thus the longer you will be able to use it.
battery technology is developing each year, and bigger isn't always bigger. The type of battery used, makes a major impact on the storage capacity and efficiency.
The charge controller is usually shaped in a square or rectangle and is responsible for ensuring your batteries stay healthy, and don't for example over charge.
This component is basically the first link between the solar panels and your battery, without it, you would almost certainly damage your battery.
Ever heard of Thomas Edison, or Nikola Tesla? If not, I really recommend you read up on both of them. they are the reason I am able to even write this article right now.
Mr Edison is responsible for creating DC (direct current) power and Mr Tesla for AC (alternating current).
Most, if not all the appliances you see in your home utilise AC electricity. Solar panels and batteries however, produce and use DC electricity.
Therefore, it would be impossible to power any of your homes appliances with your battery alone. To do this, you need to convert DC to AC. This is where the inverter comes in and does just that.
This is where the magic happens. We stated earlier that unlike gas generators, solar generators do not have any moving parts, and therefore rely on an external source for electricity generation.
Enter, the solar panel.
Solar panels work by capturing the sun's energy and converting it into electricity, DC that is, well that's the gist of it anyway.
Solar generators don't need to have a solar panel attached to work, in fact most companies sell them separately, because you could in theory just charge your generator by mains electricity.
But that would defeat the whole point of a "solar" generator wouldn't it?
By putting all these components together you get a machine that is able to capture, generate and store electricity for later use.
But can they replace electricity?
Can solar generators completely replace electricity?
This is the question everyone wants to know. We already know gas generators can, but can solar generators, and if they can't why should we even make the switch?
Here's the answer, solar generators are electricity, at least they give you access to it.
Can they completely replace it, well this depends.
It depends on how much electricity you actually require in the first place.
It all comes down to kWh consumption, how high is yours?
Don't know? Then contact your utility company to find out.
If you live in the United States, then your daily kWh consumption likely sits around 30 kWh. Season dependent of course.
Solar generators were first designed for portability, which usually mean't they had much less capacity than their gas powered cousins.
However, companies like ours are starting to build bigger and better solar generators, ones designed to supply your entire home with electricity should there ever be a blackout.
In fact recently, we have launched one of our most powerful solar generators to date, the AC300, which at full capacity can supply you with 24,576 Wh, or 24,6 kWh.
Now, can a solar generator completely replace electricity?
But only for a limited time period, how long this time period actually lasts depends on you and how much electricity you consume.
Take the average kWh consumption per capita of a Zimbabwe: 1.38 kWh a day.
One full charge of our fully stacked AC300 would allow for 17 days of continuous electricity usage, and of course within those 17 days they would have continuous recharges through the solar panels, effectively allowing for non-stop energy supply.
Can a solar generator completely replace electricity in this scenario?
However, most developed countries use much more kWh per capita and thus one full charge may only last 1 - 7 days in comparison.
Battery and solar cell technology continue to become more efficient every day and soon solar generators will be able to replace a small homes electricity completely, giving the correct charging system was put in place.
One of our main aim as a society should be to consume less electricity each month, and the energy that we do consume, should come from green sources such as solar, wind, or geothermal.
Bluetti Power Inc. aims to continue supplying the world with the smartest green tech solutions available.
If you have a few more moments to spare make sure to read more about our LAAF project here.