Should I Buy a Solar Generator?

A solar generator is made up of a PV inverter, solar batteries, a battery charger, and sometimes multiple solar panels.

Today, off-grid connectivity leads the solar generator market with residential usage leading the pack quite significantly.

It is predicted that by 2023 the US solar generator industry will reach 525 million U.S. dollars globally.

Should I buy solar

With the market growing at such a fast pace, it makes sense that you would ask yourself the questions: Should I buy a solar generator?

If you are looking for an alternative way to power your homes critical appliances during a blackout, then yes a solar generator would be a sound investment and you should buy one.

Additionally, solar generators make great companions for people who enjoy going on RV or camping trips. 

Regular power is not always available during these types of trips and owning a solar generator gives great peace of mind in knowing you have access to power at any time. 

If you are still in the decision making process on whether you should buy a solar generator or not, then this is the article you need to read! 

We will answer all the questions you are likely to have when deciding on whether or not to buy a solar generator. 

Should I buy a solar generator?

As already mentioned, if you are looking for a backup device to power your homes critical appliances during the worst of power outages, then yes, you should buy a solar generator. 

Currently you have about three options to power your appliances during a blackout:

  • Residential solar installation 
  • Gas generator
  • Solar generator

Residential solar installation

If you can afford to install a large scale solar system, then go ahead and do so! By far, this is the most efficient way to rely on your own energy production and reduce your carbon footprint. 

The main reason people do not install solar systems is largely due to the initial installation costs. 

For example, if you live in sunny San Diego, a 3.8kW solar system will cost you around $15,943 (before federal tax incentives).

Although your utility savings would be $29,236 after 20 years, most people still don't have the capital to fork out for a large scale solar installation.

Gas generators 

Although gas generators are certainly more powerful than solar generators (for now), there is two things you need to keep in mind.

  1. They are extremely noisy. Gas generators will typically emit noise in the 65 to 80 dB range. That is the same amount of noise level your standard vacuum emits. If you have a large home, you may be able to hide your gas generator far away outside somewhere, however if your home is slightly smaller, you are going to be stuck with that noise until the power comes back on.
  2. They are bad for the environment. Standard generators emit particulate matter which contain burnt hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. If your generator is not in the best of conditions, it can also emit unburnt hydrocarbons. These are even worse for the environment, including your lungs. 

Solar generators

Solar generators come in various different sizes (usually rated by their battery capacity/inverter wattage). Which one you buy depends completely on your particular application.

If you are looking for a backup power solution you will want to get a solar generator with large capacity and high inverter rating. For example, the EP500 would be the best choice as your homes backup power unit. It is rated at 5100Wh with a 2000 watt inverter.

The EP500 is capable of powering the following items:

Do solar generators really work?

Yes they do, typically your solar generator will be rated by their battery capacity which will be shown as Watt Hours, or Wh. 

The more Wh your solar generator has, the longer it will be able to power or charge your appliances.

Above we already gave an example of what our most powerful solar generator, the EP500 can power. 

However, there are range of smaller solar generators out there to fit every application.  

For example, if you are simply looking for something to recharge your phone, camera or laptop during a camping trip, then a 500 watt solar generator such as the AC50S should be the solar generator you buy. 

The AC50S is capable of powering the following devices:

  • Iphone X 42+ Recharges
  • Laptop (60w) 7+ Recharges
  • Led Lantern Light (10w) 17 Hours
  • CPAP (60w) 6+ Hours
  • Gopro (14w) 80+ Recharges
  • Mini Fridge (40w) 10+ Hours
  • Air Pump (40w) 10+ Hours
  • Drone 18+ Recharges 

How much can I buy a solar generator for?

The price of a solar generator depends on the following factors:

  • What battery size and type has it got
  • What inverter size and type has it got
  • What charge controller size and type has it got
  • Does it come with solar panels

When it comes to size, as with most things, the larger it is, the more expensive it is. Below we have created a table of reference for you. Here you can get a better idea on how price is influenced by battery capacity.

Capacity   Price
300 Watt Hour $299
500 Watt Hour $429,99
716 Watt Hour $599
1500 Watt Hour $1,009
2000 Watt Hour $1,799

 

Battery

Solar generators can comprise of many different types of batteries. Most modern solar generators use lithium-ion technology as battery storage. Bluetti has begun using LiFepO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries in their solar generators one of few companies doing so. This technology is incredibly advanced and allows your solar generator to have the longest lifespan. 

Inverter

Bluetti uses Pure Sine Wave inverters in their solar generators, the most advanced technology. Pure sine wave inverters contain many more complex components when compared to sine wave inverters and thus the price can be increased or decreased based on this technology.

Charge Controller

There is currently two types of charge controller technology on the market: PWM and MPPT. 

Bluetti only uses the more efficient and advanced type in their solar generators, the MPPT. Again, the more complex the components, the more expensive the device.

Solar Panels

Most solar panels are sold separately from their generators. Indeed, it would become a problem for consumers if they already had solar panel technology and were thus forced to buy more solar panels with their generator purchase. 

Solar panels can influence the end price greatly. For example our EB70 solar generator costs: $600 without solar panels. With solar panels it costs: $978.

While it may seem smart to go for a cheaper solar generator at first, bear in mind that it is likely their components are of inferior quality which means your device is not as likely to last as long.

Is buying a solar generator a good investment?

Forbes published an article in 2013 which indicated how much powering your favourite gadgets actually costs you every year. They determined that you could run your phone, iPad and laptop for a whole year for about $10.

If you plan to buy a solar generator (let's say the AC50S) to power an charge your smaller gadgets, you would see a rough ROI within 43 years. Obviously, this is not worth the investment, or at least shouldn't be the reason why you buy a solar generator in the first place.

For powering gadgets, you solar generator is adding efficiency and convenience to your life, you can decide how much that is worth!

However, if you plan to buy a solar generator for home backup power purposes, then you have a few other things to consider.

For example, if you suffer from sleep apnea and rely on a CPAP machine at night, a solar generator can be incredibly useful should the power cut whilst you are asleep.

Additionally, lets say you are out for the day and the power cuts, having a backup solar generator will save all your refrigerated food from going off should your area experience a power outage. 

What can I use a solar generator for?

You can use a solar generator to power or charge a host of things:

  • Refrigerator
  • Electric frying pan
  • E-Scooter
  • Air conditioner
  • Laptop
  • Drone
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Washer
  • Space heater
  • Power tools
  • Desktop
  • Microwave oven

And more.

What are the best solar generators I can buy?

This completely depends on your application and how much power you require for said application. 

Below we outline some of the different solar generators we offer and how much power they have:

AC50S - OFF-GRID SOLAR GENERATOR (OPTION #1)

off-grid solar generator

Our AC50S is perfect for digital nomads that are still close to or somewhat connected to the power grid. It is perfect companion for weekend trips. It has the following charge and powering capabilities: 

  • Iphone X  42+ Recharges
  • Laptop (60w) 7+ Recharges
  • Led Lantern Light (10w) 17Hrs
  • CPAP (60w) 6+Hrs
  • Gopro (14w) 80+ Recharges
  • Mini Fridge (40w) 10+Hrs
  • Air Pump (40w) 10+ Hrs
  • Drone 18+ Recharges

EB150 - OFF-GRID SOLAR GENERATOR (OPTION #2)

off-grid solar generator for digital nomad

If you plan on going on longer off-grid trips, then our EB150 may just be the device you have been looking for. It has the following charge and powering capabilities: 

  • Refrigerator (800w)  1.6+ Hrs
  • CPAP (60w) 22+ Hrs
  • Laptop (60w)  22+ Recharges
  • Fan (12w) 106+ Hrs
  • Smartphone 128+ Recharges
  • Led lantern light (10w) 128+ Hrs
  • LCD TV (100w) 12.8+ Hrs

AC200P - OFF-GRID SOLAR GENERATOR (OPTION #3)

AC200P Off-grid solar generator

One of our most powerful off-grid solar generators is the AC200P. Perfect for digital nomads going on longer trips that need to power more devices at the same time. It has the following charge and powering capabilities: 

  • Refrigerator (800w) 2.1+ Hrs
  • CPAP (60w) 28+ Hrs
  • Laptop (60w) 28+ Hrs
  • Fan (12w) 140+ Hrs
  • Smartphone 180+ Hrs
  • Led lantern light (10w) 170+ Hrs
  • LCD TV (100w) 17+ Hrs

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have a better idea on whether or not you should buy a solar generator.

In our experience, having access to your own clean energy supply can come in handy in many different situations.

Whether that's as a backup power supply for your home, or whether that's being able to recharge your most important devices in the middle of the Nevada Desert.

Feel free to browse through all our solar generator options over here.

Additionally, you can give our blog a read where we provide you with free in depth information covering everything that's got to do with the renewable energy sector. 

 

 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published