A solar generator is a great way to have extra energy on hand, whether you need it to keep your lights on during a power outage or you want to charge your phone while camping. 

Solar generators are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason – they’re a great way to have renewable energy that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. Plus, they’re portable so you can take them with you wherever you go. 

What is a Solar Generator?

A solar generator converts light into electrical power. Solar generators may be utilized to power homes, businesses, and even cars.

Solar generators can be divided into two categories: photovoltaic (PV) and thermal.

Solar panels are used in solar PV generators to convert light into electricity, whereas thermal solar generators make use of the sun’s heat to create power.

Solar generators are a form of renewable energy that does not rely on fossil fuels and produces zero emissions.

Related: RV Solar Panels vs Generators | What’s Better When Camping?

How Solar Generators Work

Solar generators utilize solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. PV solar generators employ solar cells to transform light into electric power. Solar cells are made of semiconductor materials like silicon, among other things.

When sunlight hits the solar cells, the photons knock electrons loose from their atoms. These loose electrons flow through the material to create an electric current.

Thermal solar generators make use of the sun’s heat to produce electricity.

Solar thermal collectors capture the sun’s heat and transfer it to a fluid, which is then used to generate electricity.

Related: Can Solar Generators Be Used Indoors? (MAYBE?)

The Pros and Cons of Solar Generators

Pros of Solar Generators:

  • Are a renewable energy source that does not produce emissions.
  • Relatively low maintenance.
  • No need to burn fossil fuels.
  • Literally no noise.
  • Saves you money in the long run.

Are a renewable energy source that does not produce emissions

The good thing about solar generators is that they’re a renewable energy source. This means that we won’t run out of them and they don’t produce emissions.

Solar generators are also relatively low maintenance.

Once you have the initial setup, there’s not much you need to do in terms of upkeep.

No need to burn fossil fuels

Another great thing about solar generators is that they don’t rely on fossil fuels to generate electricity.

This is important because burning fossil fuels releases emissions into the atmosphere, which contributes to air pollution and climate change.

Literally no noise

Solar generators are also literally noiseless. This can be a big plus if you live in an area where noise pollution is a problem. This means they add nothing to the noise pollution in our environment.

Saves you money in the long run

Solar generators may be more expensive up front, but over time, they will save you money. The cost of fossil fuels will continue to increase as fewer people purchase them.

Cons of Solar generators:

  • The initial cost can be high.
  • Solar generators require a lot of space.
  • They only work when the sun is shining.

The initial cost can be high

One of the main disadvantages of solar generators is the initial cost. Solar generators can be expensive to purchase and install.

Solar panels are usually the most expensive component of a solar generator. The average cost of a single solar panel can range from $200 to $600.

Solar generators also require a lot of space.

They need to be installed in an open, sunny area in order to work effectively. This can be a problem for people who live in urban areas or who have small properties.

They only work when the sun is shining

Another disadvantage of solar generators is that they only generate electricity when the sun is shining. This means that they’re not effective at night or on cloudy days.

If you live in an area with a lot of cloudy days, a solar generator may not be the best option for you.

What Are The Best Solar Generators On The Market Today?

One thing to keep in mind when you’re looking at purchasing a solar generator is the battery capacity. This is how much power the generator can store.

Solar generators with a higher battery capacity will be more expensive, but they’ll also be able to power more devices for a longer period of time.

The battery capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh).

A generator with a 100-watt-hour battery can provide 1,000 watts of power for 10 hours, or 100 watts of power for 100 hours.

Here are some of the best solar generators on the market today:

What Are The Best Applications For Solar Generators?

If you’re looking to charge small appliances like phones, laptops, and cameras, a solar generator with a battery capacity of 100 watt-hours should be plenty.

But if you’re looking to power larger devices like TVs or refrigerators, you’ll need a generator with a higher battery capacity.

That’s why they’re perfect for RVs, Caravans, Motorhomes, etc. They can provide enough power to run the essentials without being too large or bulky.

Solar generators are also great for outdoor events like camping, fishing, and hunting trips. They can provide power for lights, cookers, and other devices.

And if there’s an emergency (for example, a power cut), solar generators are perfect for powering a small device like your WIFI router so you can stay connected.

Just remember, that 100 watts won’t be able to power anything large or very any long periods of time. But it’s still a great way to have backup power in case of an emergency.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solar generators have many advantages, including being environmentally friendly and saving you money in the long run. However, they also have some disadvantages, like the initial cost and the fact that they only work when the sun is shining.
  • The best solar generators on the market today are the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station, the Jackery Solar Portable Generator, and the Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station.
  • The best applications for solar generators are small devices like phones and laptops, and large devices like TVs and refrigerators. They’re also great for outdoor events and emergency situations.
  • Solar generators have many advantages, including being environmentally friendly and saving you money in the long run.

FAQs

Do solar generators work at night?

Yes, solar generators work at night, but only if they’re connected to the grid. They’ll need to be recharged during the day in order to work at night.

Do solar generators need batteries?

Today, the most common type of battery used in solar generators is a lithium-ion cell. The inverter transforms the power generated by the photovoltaic system into alternating current energy, or AC power, which is what most appliances and technology use.

How long do solar generators last?

Solar generators can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on how well they’re maintained.

Can you take a solar generator on a plane?

Solar panels and batteries from your portable solar power kit are certified for international and domestic flights, although they cannot be carried in the same bag. Solar panels can be folded and kept in either your carry-on or checked luggage. The batteries, on the other hand, cannot be transported as checked luggage items.

Do solar generators emit carbon monoxide?

Solar generators do not emit carbon monoxide. This means they can be used indoors without worrying about ventilation.

Are solar generators safe?

Solar generators are safe to use, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to keep the generator in a well-ventilated area and keep flammable materials away from it.

Can solar generators power AC devices?

Yes, solar generators can power AC devices. The inverter in the generator transforms the power generated by the photovoltaic system into alternating current energy, or AC power.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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