Off-grid solar generators have an incredible amount of applications. Most of which, are perfectly suited to that of the needs of a digital nomad.
Off-grid solar generators work by collecting the sun's energy through PV input and then storing that energy into their built-in solar battery for later use.
How solar generators work, is in fact so intriguing we decided to dedicate an article explaining the exact mechanics of this green technology - which you can read over here.
This article however, is dedicated to all the digital nomads out there, which according to MBO Partners is about 4.8 million of you!
What is a off-grid solar generator?
An off-grid solar generator is essentially a smart machine capable of capturing the sun's energy and storing it for later use.
Additionally, they are highly portable devices, not requiring a connection point in order to work, hence the off-grid part.
Off-grid solar generators are comprised of the following components:
- Solar panels
- Charge controller
- Solar battery
Each one of these components play an important role, let us explain.
The solar panels are usually an external addon to most solar generators. We say external because a solar generator does not actually need a solar panel to work.
You could in theory charge your generator via mains electricity and then simply use that stored energy to power your devices on the go.
However, as a digital nomad you may not be able to always rely on being connected or even close to the local power grid.
In this scenario, have external solar panels attached to your generator makes it capable working anywhere, no matter how off-grid you find yourself. As long as there is sun, you will always be able to recharge your solar generator.
A charge controller regulates the power output (voltage) of your solar panels. Basically, charge controllers make sure that the power coming from your solar panels doesn't over charge your battery and damage it.
Solar batteries are the defining component of all off-grid solar generators. They determine how much energy can be stored from your solar panels which ultimately defines how long you will have stored electricity for and how much of your electronical devices can be powered.
A solar battery is essential and many generators use outdated technology in order to save on costs. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for.
Bluetti uses the latest and safest battery technology in their off-grid solar generators, that is lithium-ion technology.
So, your solar panels have generated electricity which has been regulated by your charge controller and safely stored in your solar battery.
Now in order to actually use that stored energy on your electrical devices, you need something to convert the stored direct current (DC) into useable alternating current (AC). That is where your inverter comes in.
Most electronic devices require AC in order to work. Feeding them DC would not be a good idea.
Your inverter takes care of that conversion for you. Meaning all you have to do is connect your device directly to the off-grid generator and you will have useable DC power to charge your devices.
How does an off-grid solar generator work?
A solar generator works by collecting various amounts of solar energy (depending on the direct amount of sunlight in your area) through solar panels and then stores that energy into its on-board solar battery.
An inverter (of varying degrees of wattage) then converts that energy into alternating current (AC power) before it is released into whatever appliances or electronical devices you would like to power.
Together, these components will allow you to stay off-grid for longer or potentially a limitless amount of time.
Who are digital nomads?
Digital nomads are a diverse group of people, made up of no particular generation, profession, or socio-economic class.
While the majority are young male, a rising number (one-third) are female and 54 percent are over the age of 38 years old.
Creative professions usually dominate that of the digital nomad, but IT and marketing groups also make up a large percentage of the movement.
About one in six digital nomads earn more than $75,000 a year with a relatively even split between part time and full time workers (46% to 54%)
Digital nomad - 10 quick facts
- Approximately 31% of digital nomads are women and 69% are men.
- 54% of digital nomads are older than 38 years old.
- 17% of American digital nomads (1.9 million people) are part of the #vanlife movement.
- 56% of workers actually have a job where working remotely is in fact possible.
- 44% respondents claimed that real-time communication tools such as Slack are important for helping them continue staying connected.
- Approximately 70% of digital nomads travel to five or more countries every year.
- 51% of digital nomads live in a hotel.
- 16% of digital nomads live in a hostel.
With ever evolving technology such as a portable solar generator we believe an ever increasing number of digital nomads will begin or consider working off-grid, joining movements such #vanlife and #cabinlife.
Best off-grid solar generators for digital nomads
Digital nomads who find themselves working off-grid, need a lightweight, portable solar generator with high capacity in terms of energy storage.
Ultimately, your energy needs will determine the type and size of solar generator you need.
The two main factors you will want to consider when choosing your solar generator is the total amount of Watt Hours (capacity) and Watts (output potential).
Below we have listed some of the best off-grid Bluetti solar generators for digital nomads.
AC50S - Off-grid Solar Generator (Option #1)
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)
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)
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
5 Reasons our off-grid solar generators are perfect for digital nomads
1. Safe high performance lithium battery storage
As we have already mentioned, battery storage is one of the most important aspects of your off-grid solar generator. There is no point in investing in one, if it is barely going to power any of your devices.
Some solar generators on the market use less superior battery technology for example lead acid chemistry.
Bluetti only uses lithium-ion technology and in our latest models LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate).
This technology means your solar generator will last much longer and your battery can be recharged many times over, increasing the overall battery lifespan.
2. Attachable addon solar panels
Without solar panels, it would just be called a generator really (a silent one, at least). Bluetti sells both 120W and 200W solar panels which you are able to connect to anyone of our solar generators.
This means with sun, you are able to stay off-grid for pretty much as long as you want, always allowing the sun to recharge your solar generator.
Bluetti allows you to buy your solar generator and solar panels separate (for those who already have PV panels) or together as a bundle.
3. Outlet variety
All our solar generator models come with a wide variety of outlet points. This means you can charge multiple devices (as long as you don't exceed the total wattage) at the same time.
This is especially useful for digital nomads in the videography/photography field. on any given day you may find yourself using both your phone, camera, drone and your laptop.
Being able to recharge multiple devices at once will allow you to get back out into the field immediately the next day.
4. MPPT charge controllers
There are currently two charge controller technologies on the market, PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker).
With a PWM charge controller the current is drawn out of your solar panel at just above the battery voltage limit. However, with a MPPT controller the current is drawn out of the panel at the solar panels maximum power voltage.
Bluetti uses the more effective MPPT technology in their off-grid solar generators.This means your solar panels can operate at their most efficient, crucial if you are a digital nomad working off-grid.
5. More bang for your buck
Compared to other solar generators on the market, Bluetti gives you more performance at a better price point. Take our mega EP500 solar generator for example:
Being able to charge your most valuable electronic devices as a digital nomad is much more of a necessity than it is a luxury.
Digital nomads many times require off-grid power to make a living for themselves and their family.
Without it, they are pretty much stuck. Having many digital nomads working for Bluetti, we know the in's and outs of the business and many of our products have been made to spec based on the recommendations of such creatives.
In summary, Bluetti’s off-grid solar generators are ideal for power outages, hurricane preparations, campervan backup power supplies, and as a mobile power station in rural areas with no electricity (i.e. off-grid applications).
They can power almost anything with moderate power consumption, including complete refrigerators, washing machines and some continuous power tools (depending on the model of solar generator you buy).