Are you tired of urban city life? All set to break free and live in a remote town or rural area? If yes, you need to think of ways to keep yourself powered. One way to supplement your energy needs is to include portable solar generators.
This might make you wonder what a portable solar generator is, how it works, and how you can choose the right one for your needs. Well, we will answer all these questions in our guide here as we talk about portable solar generators for living in remote locations.
Solar Generators: What Are They?
A solar generator is essentially a combination of portable solar panels, battery charger, inverter, and battery into a single device that can capture, store, and distribute energy generated by the sun.
Solar generators have become extremely popular for RV excursions, boating, and camping trips, along with backup electricity for emergencies.
Unlike an ordinary generator that’s typically powered with diesel, gas, or propane and includes a fuel tank, an alternator, and an engine, solar-powered generators don’t have moving parts. It basically consists of four key components.
- Mobile Solar Panels: Collects the sun’s energy
- Battery: Accumulates the energy collected by the portable solar panels
- Solar Inverter: Transforms the energy supplied by the sun into consumable electricity
- Charge Controller: Controls the amount of energy flowing inside the battery
Therefore, solar generators are essentially portable batteries with attached photovoltaic panels to capture energy from the sun.
Portable solar generators are an excellent source of power, whether you’re camping, on the road, or need energy during an electricity breakdown. Depending on your needs, you might want a portable solar generator with several outlets to help you stay connected in remote locations.
Portable solar generators usually have AC outlets, and USB ports, along with 12-volt sockets to power various appliances and devices. The best part about having several charging options with your solar generator is that you can get the energy you require on your own terms and conditions. For example, you can directly plug your mobile phone into the USB port for charging and then plug an extension wire into the AC power outlet to supply energy to a set of lights.
In many cases, you’ll have the option to get various parts, such as portable solar panels and batteries, separately. Nevertheless, you can also buy them as an all-in-one kit. We suggest buying the accessories you require to produce and capture sufficient energy for your required use.
How do Portable Solar Generators Work?
A portable solar generator works by creating electricity from the sun and reserving it in a battery for later use. Here is a detailed outline of the process:
- Portable solar panels transform sunlight to DC power and run it through the charge controller.
- The charge controller regulates the electricity’s voltage before storing it, making sure the correct amount of current enters the battery.
- The solar battery reserves all the solar power for future use.
- The solar inverter transforms the captured energy from the battery into AC output that most electrical devices and appliances use.
Advantages of Using Portable Solar Generators
Here are some of the top benefits of using portable solar generators for devices.
If you’re an eco-conscious individual aiming to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll find a portable solar generator to be a great device! For starters, a solar energy system uses plentiful energy from the sun rather than consuming fossil fuels that damage the planet.
If you want to keep your planet clean and bring minimal impact on the Earth, a portable solar generator is the right option to choose. It works efficiently and silently, doesn’t produce any odors, and thus doesn’t contribute to global warming and climate change.
Using the electricity supplied by the grid means depending on power companies that use dangerous materials and processes to produce and supply power. Switching to mobile solar generators is a great way to ensure a low carbon footprint and a clean environment.
2. Lower Costs
Investing in a portable solar generator is a one-off cost that’s actually going to save you money in the long term. By using this device, you’re going to help save the environment and significantly reduce your energy bill.
Another great thing about solar generators is that they aren’t vulnerable to breaking down. This means you can save a great deal on maintenance and repairs. All of these benefits mean that solar generators provide the most value for money when it comes to staying connected in remote locations.
3. Low Maintenance and Silent Operation
The best thing about portable solar generators is their silent and low-maintenance operation. Compared to gas-powered generators, they don’t have any moving parts that are susceptible to wear and tear that can significantly lower the amount of maintenance and repairs they require, not to mention that they’re going to produce minimal noise while working.
4. Easy to Set Up and Run
Solar generators are portable and allow plug-and-play operation. You are not going to need an expert to set up the system or maintain it, as the setup process is typically straightforward and simple, given that the entire ensemble is not connected to the primary grid.
When it comes to portable solar generators, you will not find complicated infrastructures or wires. All you have to do is follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Plus, you don’t need any special tools or training.
5. Easy to Carry
A lot of heavy-duty gas-fired generators can weigh a lot, in some cases up to 250 pounds. On the other hand, solar generators, such as our EP500 Pro, weigh approximately 180 pounds. Surely, the less powerful the generator, the lighter it’s going to weigh. However, in conclusion, solar power generators weigh significantly less than gas-fired generators.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Portable Solar Generators
The factors mentioned below are extremely important for a portable solar generator to have. If you have made up your mind to get one for yourself, read this section carefully before purchasing.
1. Battery Cells
Presently, portable solar generators primarily use lithium-ion batteries, which are small-sized, lightweight, have a long life cycle, and perform stably. Nevertheless, some lithium batteries are vulnerable to explosion and fire due to overcharging or short-circuiting due to incorrect use or poor technology. Thus, you should always pick a portable generator with fire-proof and explosion-proof features.
When buying a portable solar generator, you need to pick the standard voltage one to better adapt to other electronic equipment, maintain the stability and high efficiency of the current output and voltage, and prevent your devices from getting damaged.
The higher the wattage of the portable solar generator, the more devices it can power. When you are camping or playing outdoor sports in remote locations, it’s generally necessary to carry some electronic devices, such as flashlights, mobile phones, video cameras, cameras, laptops, stoves, headlights, small refrigerators, drones, etc. The more electronic devices you have, the bigger your portable solar generator needs to be.
4. Battery Capacity
The larger the battery capacity, the longer the continuous output of electricity. If you’re planning a long trip to a remote location, the power of electronic devices will not be sufficient. This won’t just lead to an inconvenience but can also result in accidents. Therefore, the battery capacity is a parameter you need to pay attention to when buying portable solar generators for devices.
5. Charging Technology
Presently, portable solar generators can be charged with solar panels, car chargers, etc. Ideally, you should choose a portable solar generator with more charging methods and higher charging efficiency. If you are someone who enjoys outdoor adventures in remote locations, you surely need to have portable solar generators in your gear.
6. Charging Speed
Portable solar generators are notorious for charging extremely slowly. Nevertheless, some generators charge more quickly than others. If you are someone who doesn’t want to spend an eternity charging your solar generator, it’s a good idea to invest in a device that charges up in a couple of hours.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for models with hybrid charging so that you switch your charging spots from solar to AC to DC, depending on your convenience.
How to Correctly Size a Solar Generator for Your Needs?
To figure out which solar generator offers the right power capabilities for you, you need to perform the following steps.
Step #1 – Choose the Items You Wish to Run on Your Solar Generator
The first step in choosing the right solar generator is understanding your needs. This involves choosing the particular devices you wish to power with your solar generator and roughly estimating how long you want to power them.
Some common electronic devices that people power with solar generators in remote areas include:
- PCs and laptops
- Mobile chargers
- Mini refrigerators
- Kitchen appliances
Step #2 – Figure Out How Much Energy the Devices Use
After you know which devices to run, you need to figure out how much energy you require. The starting point towards calculating this is figuring out the watts your devices require to run. The number is usually mentioned on the device itself. However, if you only have a measurement for amps, you can simply multiply that number by the voltage of the item to convert it into watts.
The next step is to choose the number of hours you have to power all the devices. Multiply the number of hours you have chosen by the wattage of all the items. This way, you can get the total watt-hours you need to power all the devices.
Step #3 -Add Up all the Watt-Hours
You have to carry out the calculation you did in the previous step for all the items you wish to run with your BLUETTI Solar Generator. Then, just add up all your answers together to get the total number of watt-hours you require for the solar generator to provide and attain the targets you have for it.
For instance, let’s assume you require 400 watt-hours to run your PC, 400 for a solar-powered phone, and 300 to power your lights. Your overall watt-hour requirement would then be 1,100 (400 + 400 + 300).
Step #3 – Determine the Watt-Hour of the Solar Generator You Need
By now, you will have all the information you require to choose the right solar generator. Just take the answer from the previous stage and compare it to the wattage of each solar generator you consider. Just ensure you choose a solar generator that has a wattage higher than the cumulative watt-hour requirement you calculated in the previous step.
Last Few Words
A portable solar generator is an excellent alternative to the grid energy supply and gas-powered generators. They work silently and use renewable and eco-friendly energy. They’re also low on maintenance and can save you plenty of money in the long term.
At Bluetti, we have a vast range of portable solar generators catering to all your needs. Check out our website and see which product suits you best!