Embracing Clean Power with the Best Solar Generators
Solar generator technology has been advancing rapidly, and it’s now easier than ever to find a reliable, effective, and cost-efficient solar-powered generator. Whether you’re looking for a backup generator for power outages or you want a portable generator for your nomadic lifestyle, solar generators are the ideal choice. Find the best solar generator for your power needs and embrace the independence of renewable energy.
Reviews of the Best Solar Generators
A few years ago, it took a lot of work to find a solar generator, but today, a wide variety of choices are available with different features and capabilities. When you have more options, you need more information, so to help you decide, here is an in-depth review of the seven best solar generators on the market.
Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station
- Best solar generator for portability
- Four different output options, including AC, 12V, and USB-C
- Advanced multi-sensor battery management system (BMS) protects battery life
- Charge with solar panels, car chargers, or wall outlets
At a glance
- Capacity: 180W
- Battery capacity: 505Wh
- Weight: 12.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.25 x 5.8 inches
The Yeti brand is synonymous with durability; this solar power generator is no exception. The Goal Zero 500X packs a powerful punch with its compact size and plenty of ports to connect all the devices you need when you’re on the go.
The Goal Zero 500X is the perfect choice for lightweight usage and longer camping expeditions, and it will power all your small and medium-sized devices, including coolers, CPAP machines, and pellet grills. The lithium-ion battery has enough power to charge a laptop 8 times and run a small TV for up to 8 hours. It takes about 8 hours to charge in a wall charger but less than 3 hours with the maximum input from solar panels.
- Best solar power generator for camping
- Can be used weekly for 10+ years
- Can power up to 8 appliances at one time
- Charges in 1.8 hours with an AC adapter
At a glance
- Capacity: 126W
- Battery capacity: 1,002 Wh
- Weight: 25.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.1 x 13.4 inches
Jackery has emerged as a top-name brand in solar generators, and they have several models to choose from depending on your energy needs. The Jackery Explorer 1000 is one of the most portable solar generators on the market due to its compact size, making it a great choice for on-the-go power.
The Jackery 1000 offers several bundles to choose from, and they have a handy calculator on their website to help you determine how many panels you need based on your energy usage. The base package is the Jackery Explorer 1000 + SolarSaga 100W bundle ($1298.00). It has one 100W solar panel, an AC charger, a car charger cable, and a SolarSaga Y cable, so you can add another panel.
Renogy Portable Power Station 200
- Most economical portable solar power station
- One of the smallest and lightest power stations available
- Perfect for charging peripheral devices when you’re on the go
- LED light bar lets you see your energy consumption in real-time
At a glance
- Capacity: 200W (400W surge)
- Battery capacity: 222Wh
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.1 x 7 inches
Are you looking for a portable power station to charge everything from drones and laptops to handheld video game consoles? The Renogy Phoenix 200 might present the perfect solar power station for off-grid meetings, camping adventures, and emergency backup power. It also provides safe, stable output for powering sensitive equipment like CPAP machines. It also features pass-through capability for use as a UPS.
This compact solar power station lets you choose the output type to reduce internal power usage. It has numerous ports for powering all your devices, including USB-C, USB-A, 12V, and two 120V AC ports. When all you need is to be able to run a few devices and charge your phone and laptop, this is the most economical portable power station you can buy.
EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station
- Best solar generator for home backup
- Comes with an extra battery
- Expandable up to 25,000Wh
- Control your system with WiFi and smart technology connectivity
At a glance
- Capacity: 3600W (7200W Max)
- Battery capacity: 3600Wh
- Weight: 99 pounds
- Dimensions: 25 x 11.2 x 16.4 inches
If you’re looking for the best home solar generator, this is the one to get. It’s less portable than many other solar power stations, but it’s large enough to run power tools and appliances. That also includes an RV air conditioning unit. Whether you’re using it at home or on the road, you can monitor your system from your phone with the app.
It’s the perfect choice for emergency power outages and home standby power because it can be plugged into your home’s transfer switch for a whole-home backup power source. The EcoFlow Delta Pro efficiently runs things like refrigerators and other devices during a power outage for up to 48 hours, and you can add extra batteries and solar panels to this expandable power system to handle all your power needs.
- Best solar generator for living off the grid
- Expandable system
- Recharge to 80% in just 1-hour
- LFP batteries rated at 3,000 lifecycles
At a glance
- Capacity: 1500W (Max AC)
- Battery capacity: 1229Wh
- Weight: 43.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.2 x 11 x 15.2 inches
The Anker 757 Solar Generator is a top choice when you’re looking for emergency backup power, and the expandability of this generator makes it an ideal solution for off-grid living. When connected to 700W of solar panels, it has enough power to power most of your home appliances, including blenders, coolers, and televisions.
The Bluetti AC200P uses LiFePO4 batteries, which are lithium iron phosphate batteries. They are known for being safe and economical, with lower toxicity and a longer lifespan than regular lithium-ion batteries. This battery type is combined with the Bluetti BMS, which manages the discharge and charging process. That’s why this solar power generator’s battery life is several times longer than other portable generators, making it a top choice for daily use.
- Best solar generator for construction sites
- Customize and monitor your solar power station with the Yeti 3.0 app
- Can back up multiple circuits in your home during power outages
- Fast power delivery with 60W USB-C ports
- Integrated rolling cart
At a glance
- Max output: 2000W (3500W surge)
- Battery capacity: 3032Wh
- Weight: 69.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.25 x 10.23 x 13.6 inches
Another Goal Zero solar-powered generator that made the list is the Yeti 3000X, which is in a different class than the 500X. The Yeti 3000 is Goal Zero’s second most powerful generator, with 3,032 watt-hours. It’s powerful enough to back up home power circuits or live comfortably off the grid in a tiny home.
The Yeti 3000X is the best choice for jobsites because it’s large enough to run power tools while still being portable. Connect the Yeti 3000X to a series of three 200W panels, or top it off on your way to work with the 12V adapter. You can also keep it charged by plugging it into an outlet when you get home.
Bluetti AC60 600W Portable Power Station
- Best portable solar generator for camping or remote work
- Light enough to pack into remote locations
- Three charging methods to choose from (1.5 hour fast-charge)
- Can be charged while using 12V and USB ports (pass-through)
At a glance
- Capacity: 600W (1200W peak)
- Battery capacity: 403Wh
- Weight: 20.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.1 x 9.2 inches
The Bluetti AC60 600W Portable Power Station offers high power capacity in a small package. It has enough juice to power your cell phone, laptop, and camping equipment gear. At only 20 pounds, you can pack up this unit for a trip to the mountains. It also works great for emergencies. Heck, you can even go hiking with a CPAP machine.
This solar generator is a great choice for tailgate parties because it will run lights and sound for hours. Keep it in your vehicle for on-the-road emergencies. It’s loaded with safety features to protect the life of the LFP batteries and the devices plugged into it.
How Solar Generators Work
Solar generators, also called portable power stations, collect and store solar energy for later use. They have a battery to store the energy collected by the solar panels, which is converted to AC power with a built-in inverter. They are essentially compact solar systems that you can use for backup power, camping, or life on the road.
Benefits of Solar Generators
Solar generators are quieter, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly than gas and diesel generators. Here are some of the benefits of solar powered generators:
- Run on free solar energy, so there’s no additional cost to operate
- Low maintenance, especially compared to generators that run on fossil fuels
- Eco-friendly power generation that doesn’t pollute the environment
- Operates with almost zero noise, compared to gas generators, which contribute to noise pollution in RV parks and campgrounds
Solar generators have a higher initial cost than other types of generators, but long-term savings make up for it.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Solar Generator
When selecting the best solar generator for your intended purpose, several factors must be considered.
A solar system’s storage capacity is measured in watt hours (Wh). With an expandable system, you can add more batteries to increase the storage capacity to operate more devices or appliances.
Before you decide which solar generator is right for you, take a moment to assess your power needs. What appliances or devices do you need to charge or operate? Find a solar generator that meets your needs by tallying up your typical daily power usage.
With solar power, charging time is affected by the maximum input, the number of panels you have, and how much sunlight is available. Many solar generators also have alternate charging methods, so you can plug them into a wall outlet or a vehicle to charge them.
Durability and Portability
If you’re packing your solar generator on weekend camping trips all summer, you need it to be durable and portable. Consider the size and weight of the solar generator you choose and how easy it is to pack up and take with you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Generators
How does a solar generator work to generate electricity?
Solar generators are compact power stations that collect energy with solar panels. The energy is transferred to a built-in battery and converted from 12V DC power to 120V AC power that you can use.
Can I use a solar generator to power my entire home?
There are solar generator systems large enough to power an entire home. One of the best solar generators for home use is the EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station. You can expand this system to produce 25kWh. The average home runs on about 30kWh of electricity per day.
What can I run with a solar generator?
The capacity of a solar generator depends on its size and power output rating. Many solar generators can power a variety of electronic devices, including lights, TVs, laptops, and medical equipment. Solar generators with more capacity can power large appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and AC units.
How long does it take to charge a solar generator?
The amount of time it takes to charge a solar generator depends on the input capacity and how many panels you have. Solar generators won’t charge as quickly on cloudy days, but some can be charged in a couple of hours with a vehicle charger or AC adapter.
Are solar generators noisy?
One of the biggest benefits of solar generators is that they produce very little noise other than a slight hum from the inverter or internal cooling fan, making it much easier to enjoy your RV or camping experience compared to using a gas-fueled generator.