What to Look for in a Portable Solar Generator for Emergency Support and Worksites

woman carrying a portable solar generator

Portable solar generators come in handy if you need high-capacity power for your next off-grid construction job. Not only do they pack a lot of energy, but they can also keep emergency medical supplies refrigerated and laptops running to provide emergency services broadcasting and internet access.

But before you purchase one, there’s some things you should know. In this guide, we’ll look at key things you should consider before buying a solar generator – based on your needs and lifestyle.

Portable Solar Generators: Checklist

Here are some of the most important considerations you should factor in when looking for such a generator for your purposes.

1. Wattage

The wattage of a portable solar generator is an essential factor to consider when deciding which one to buy. Most generators come with a wattage rating which tells you how much power they can produce on average. This number is significant because it shows whether your generator will be able to meet your energy needs when the power goes out.

For example, if you bought a generator rated at 500 watts and your household only used 300 watts of power each hour, you would have enough electricity stored in the battery bank to run your home for about five hours. However, if your household used 500 watts of power each hour which is quite possible, then you would only have enough energy stored in the battery bank for two hours before needing another charge from the grid or other source of electricity.

2. Weight

The portable solar generator weight should also be considered when buying one. The lighter it is, the easier it will be to carry around with you wherever you go. This makes it very useful in emergencies when there is no power source available or when there is no electricity supply in your area due to natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes. In this case, having a lightweight and portable solar generator would make life easier for you when trying to get back on track after such natural disasters strike your area.

3. Easy Portability 

setting up portable solar generators

Easy portability with wheels is a must-have feature when you want to move your portable solar generator around. It makes it much easier to move the unit. The wheels are made from durable materials such as steel or aluminum alloy, which can withstand bumps and other minor obstacles while transporting the unit. If you are looking for a portable solar generator that can easily be moved around, this is one feature you should look out for when selecting one on the market today.

4. Number of Ports

The number of ports on your portable solar generator will determine how many devices you can charge at once. If you plan on charging several devices at once then look for models with at least two ports. However, if you only need one device charged at a time, then one port should suffice. The best portable solar generators will have at least one or two USB ports, but some models have up to four or even five ports. If you plan to buy a portable solar generator for home use, you should consider having at least one USB port. However, if you are looking for a backup power source for camping or mountain climbing, multiple charging ports will be more helpful.

5. Charging Speed

One of the most important things to consider when looking for the best portable solar generator is charging speed. If you need to charge your device quickly, you will want a unit that can do so quickly. This is because it is not always convenient to use a power source like this. You may have to go camping or on a road trip and need to charge your devices while out in the wilderness. In those cases, if your battery takes forever to charge up, you may end up with dead batteries if you do not have access to another power source.

There are many factors that contribute to charging speeds on portable solar generators. Some of these include:

Size of the Solar Panel – The size of your panel will determine how much power it can generate at once. The larger it is, the more power it will generate at one time, and thus the faster it will be able to charge up your device's battery.

Quality of Charger – The quality of the charger also plays a vital role in how quickly your device charges up when using a portable solar generator.

Battery Capacity – The battery capacity, or amp-hours (AH), determines how much energy can be stored in the battery and thus how long it will take for it to charge up again after being drained down by usage.

6. Recharge Time

The recharge time is the amount of time it takes to charge your generator fully. This is an essential factor to consider when buying a portable solar generator. The typical range for portable solar generators is between 8-12 hours of charging time, but some models can take longer depending on how much sunlight they get during the day. This means that if you have a 10 amp-hour battery with a 12 amp-hour charger, you will need to plug in your device for at least 8 hours before using it. If you do not want to wait around all day while your device charges up, consider purchasing an additional battery so that you have one charging while another is in use.

outdoor life with solar generator

7. Battery Type 

Another most important thing to consider when buying a portable solar generator is the battery type. Most of the time, you will find two types of batteries: lead-acid and lithium-ion. The choice between these two batteries depends on your needs and what you intend to use your generator for.

Lead Acid Batteries

These are probably the most common type of batteries used in portable generators. As their name suggests, they are made from lead plates immersed in sulfuric acid solution. This means that they must be completely discharged before recharging them again, which can be inconvenient if you want to fill up your battery at certain points during an emergency. They also have a limited lifespan and need regular maintenance to function correctly.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid ones but offer several advantages over them:

  • They do not require regular maintenance as lead-acid ones do
  • They are lighter than lead-acid ones
  • They can be recharged many times without losing their charge capacity

8. Inverter Type

When shopping for a portable solar generator, one of the first things you should look at is the inverter type. Inverters are used to convert DC power into AC power. They are needed for running any standard household appliance or device.

There are two primary types of inverters: modified sine wave and pure sine wave. While both offer reliable electricity, they differ in how they handle voltage and frequency.

Pure Sine Wave (PSW) – This is the most common type of inverter used in portable solar generators. It uses sinusoidal waves to produce electricity that various devices can use. Some devices may require a certain frequency or voltage level, but this power supply can usually be adjusted with an external adapter or regulator. These inverters are more expensive but can handle almost any appliance you throw.

Modified Sine Wave (MSW) – This type of power supply uses a modified form of sine wave output that reduces costs while retaining most performance characteristics. The reduction in cost means that MSW generators are often less expensive than PSW. They can typically power small appliances like laptops, cell phones, tablets, and other devices that require less than 300 watts of power. They will also work well with most portable lights and radios.

A modified sine wave inverter will work for most applications, but if you are going to be using it for energy-intensive electronics, then it is best to get a pure sine wave inverter.

9. Durability

When searching for a portable solar generator, one of the most important things you need to look at is its durability. This will ensure that your investment is not wasted. If you choose a generator that is not durable enough, it will break down after some time, and you will have to spend more money on getting another one. The durability of a portable solar generator can be determined by its design and construction material. You should also look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer so that if there are any problems with your generator, you can get it replaced quickly.

10. Warranty

When you buy a portable solar generator, you want to ensure that the warranty is included in the price. There are many fake companies that will try to sell you a solar generator without having a warranty on their price. This is because they know they can get away with it because not many people will learn how to get their warranty if they do not receive it with their product.

In contrast, the genuine portable solar generators come with a warranty that usually covers parts and labor for up to two years. Some companies offer more extended warranties on their products, but this is not always necessary. This means that if you run into problems with your generator, you can send it back to the manufacturer, and they will repair or replace it. Having a warranty of at least five years and ideally longer will ensure that you are covered in case anything goes wrong with your device down the road.

11. Accessories 

Accessories are an essential part of any generator and help make them even more helpful. Whether it is a solar panel or some other accessory, you can use it to extend the life of your portable solar generator and make it even more worthwhile. Some solar generators come with accessories included, but others do not. If you want to get the most out of your generator, you should always look for something that can be added later. This will allow you to get the maximum amount of use out of your generator in the future.

The best way to find out what is included with your portable solar generator is by reading the product description carefully. Some models come with extras like cables, jump starters, or even flashlights that can be useful in an emergency. In addition, some models include outlets that allow you to charge multiple devices at once instead of having to plug each device into the generator individually.

The Bottom Line

Having said all that, the Bluetti solar generator is a highly-portable eco-friendly device that comes with a host of features. It produces enough power to help you get through a long day. It can take a lot of punishment of being transported, and it can recharge entirely in as little as six hours on a sunny day. If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to give your electronics a boost while outdoors or for emergency preparedness, Bluetti solar generators are the answer.

Learn more about solar generators