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Our everyday lives depend on electronic devices. So what can you do for backup power when you need it? With so many generators on the market, it can be hard to know where to even begin. A solar generator is an excellent solution for power needs; no matter if it’s for a camping trip, hunting, off grid living, or as your source for home backup power. Most importantly, they help to combat climate change! The need for a gasoline generator has almost disappeared with this new technology available. So, how do you choose the best solar generator? What is the best solar generator for that matter?
|TopBest overall||BLUETTI EB240 Portable Power Station 2400Wh||Check Price|
|Best for trips||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500||Check Price|
|Best for backup||BLUETTI AC200P Solar Generator 2000W||Check Price|
When buying a solar generator, there are a few factors to consider. You’ll need to consider a few factors like price, ac power output, USB outlets, lithium battery life, portability, charging speed – just to name a few. The number one question you need to answer is how much power you need? Will this be your home backup power source in case of a power outage? Do you plan to use it for camping trips? Once you’ve decided what you’ll use your solar generator for, you need to estimate how much power you will need. This will help inform your decision.
On that note, let’s take a look at some of the best solar generators you can buy today:
As portable solar generators go, the Jackery explorer is an excellent all rounder. It contains a 518 watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and also features an MPPT charge controller, 3 USB ports (USB-A), a 12 volt car port and a Pure Sine Wave AC outlet. It also features an LCD screen which will display the input and output as well the charge of the solar generator.
A great feature of the Jackery Explorer is the 500-watt inverter (1000-watt surge power) which provides enough power to charge an iPhone 8 53 times, power a 600w mini fridge for 37 hours or a 60w TV for 7.5 hours. It’s also very light weight and easy to carry, coming in at 13.3lbs. You can charge the explorer 500 in four different ways – car charger, solar panel, ac wall plug or electric generator.
Another area in which the Jackery Explorer 500 excels is its rechargeable battery. When connected to a 100w solar panel, it will charge in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, it will charge in 7.5 hours via a wall outlet, car outlet or generator making it convenient for quick charges before a trip.
All these factors combined are what make the Explorer 500 so versatile as a portable power station. Its size and output make it ideal for camping or hunting trips, but it can also manage as a serviceable back up in case of a power outage in the home – but only for a limited time.
By the way, did you know that you spray a lot of harmful chemicals on your body during camping trips? If you want to know more, check out our article about natural mosquito repellents.
Although this model is impressive, it comes with a high price tag – especially when compared to other portable solar power generators of a similar size. The cycle life is 500 uses – once you get to this point, the 518-watt rechargeable battery will need to be replaced or serviced at a minimum.
- LCD screen
- Quick charging
- High price tag
Of the portable power stations we’ll review in this piece, the AIMTOM portable solar generator is the most compact offering. Weighing just 3.48lbs, the AIMTOM is very portable and suited for packing light on the road. Containing a 155 watt hours lithium ion battery, the AIMTOM is ideal for charging small devices and appliances on the road. It will run a car fridge comfortably for 3.8 hours, charge an iPhone Xs 24 times, run a 50w laptop for 3 hours and power a 5w camping lantern for 31 hours.
This is achieved via a 110v AC outlet, 3x USB ports, and 3x 12v DC outputs. It can also comfortably and quietly power a CPAP machine over night. The inbuilt cooling fan will help with running time. Other built in features include a MPPT charge controller to assist with safe charging and a battery management system to help protect your devices.
Charging the AIMTOM is a quick with multiple charging options available. Charging via a wall outlet or a car will take between 7 and 8 hours, and charging via solar panels will take up to 9 hours.
As small solar generators go, the AIMTOM is fairly reliable. In an emergency situation at home however, the AIMTOM doesn’t offer much. Whilst its capacity for its size is admirable, it doesn’t offer enough to power essential appliances such as your fridge or freezer. In this respect, the AIMTOM portable solar generator is a built for purpose option. Its ideal for short camping trips but is not worth considering for larger power needs – such as extended trips, RV holidays or as an emergency back up for your home. The price of this portable power station is attractive, but it’s also worth noting that the solar panels for this model are often sold separately, which will lead to some extra costs.
- Compact and easily portable
- Great for trips
- Great capacity for its size
- Not suitable for home backup or large appliances
- Only for shorter trips
Maxoak’s Bluetti portable generators have been consistent performers in this space for years. Simply scanning solar generator reviews online will tell you that the Bluetti’s offer reliable performance. As portable solar powered generators go, the EB240 lives up to the brands reputation.
The high capacity Bluetti EB240 brings a lot to the table. Boasting a 2400Wh maximum capacity and a 1000w continuous output. To back up this performance, the battery cells also come with high and low temperature protections. Also adding to this impressive battery performance, the Bluetti EB240’s 1000w pure sine wave inverter allows the battery to perform at its peak until the charge is depleted safely – so you won’t damage the unit.
Charging the Bluetti is also an exercise in efficiency. You can charge the Bluetti EB240 by using the AC wall charger cable or solar panels. Depending on the panels you’ve connected to, the Bluetti EB240 can be charged within 15 hours by 200W solar panels (with ideal sunlight of course). You’ll also receive an MC4 adapter which means you can connect any solar panels, regardless of the brand, to charge your unit. If you connect to a wall outlet, the unit will charge in around 10-12 hours. This battery charging capacity makes the unit an excellent choice for use on the road.
Output wise, there are multiple USB and quick charging USB ports. There is also a regulated 12v port and two AC wall outlets. There is an LCD display to monitor the charge levels and button controls to operate the features of the unit.
As a portable solar power station, the Bluetti EB240 is very versatile. It can charge a smart phone at least 200 times or charge a drone 35 times. It can also run an 800w refrigerator for 2.5 hours, an 800w electric drill for 2.5 hours or a 60w CPAP machine for 32 hours. So whether you hope to use the EB240 for extended camping or RV trips or as a backup power supply, the Bluetti is up to the task. Especially as it can comfortably power household appliances like a large fridge or TV. Weighing 48.5lbs, the Bluetti EB240 is still portable for its size.
A con of the Bluetti EB240 is that you can’t charge it from your car. For those using this on the road, this could prove inconvenient. Also, while there are a number of ports available, for some users there may not be enough.
- High capacity
- LCD display
- Can’t charge from your car, need an extra adapter
- Takes a while to fully charge
- Bit on the heavy side
The Sungzu 500w Portable Power station is another handy solar generator available online. This high capacity 500w portable solar power generator is ideal for short camping trips, fishing trips or outdoor excursions. Its small size makes it easily transportable and is best suited for portable electronics such as phones, laptops and camping lanterns. Plus, it only weighs 17lbs, making it easy to take wherever you go.
The Sungzu 500w is equipped with 2x AC outlets, 4x 12v DC ports, 1x 19v DC port, a flash charging USB port and LED display to monitor the battery and charging status of the unit. It will charge a phone 30 times, run a 60w fan for at least 12 hours and a 50w car fridge for 15 hours. The Sungzu also offers simultaneous charging.
Despite its convenience, the inverter can be inconsistent. Particularly with larger devices. Outside of portable electronics, the Sungzu won’t provide the power that you need. For a back up supply or larger requirements, consider other models. Its also worth noting the 12v output isn’t regulated, which means if the battery is running low, the output of this port will lower as well.
- LED screen
- Simultaneous charging
- The inverter can be inconsistent with larger devices
- The 12V output is not regulated
- Only for portable appliances
Goal Zero is another consistent performer in this space, delivering a number of reliable portable power stations over the past few years. This includes renowned models like the Goal Zero Yeti 400 and the Goal Zero Yeti 1400. The 500X has been designed to replace the Yeti 400 model and despite having a larger battery capacity, the 500X is lighter (12.9lbs in weight) and offers faster charging than the Yeti 400 portable generator.
The 500X contains a 500watt-hour lithium battery and can power a number of devices comfortably. In regard to output, there is a regulated 12v output port, a 6mm output port, two 120v ac ports, two USB-A outputs and a USB-C port. This range of outputs offers users a power supply for a wide variety of devices and small appliances. The Goal Zero Yeti has the power capacity to charge a smart phone 42 times, a Laptop 10 times, run CPAP machines for 8 hours and a portable fridge for 20 hours. The 500x also comes with a high-speed power delivery port for charging USB-C powered laptops and devices quickly. It can even be used for rechargeable batteries for power tools, overhead lamps, lanterns and a pellet grill.
The 500X also has built in maximum power tracking, or MPPT, to ensure safe and the most efficient charging possible – a feature lacking in the Goal Zero Yeti 400 unit. The 500X solar powered generator has three methods of recharge. Solar panels can be used to effectively charge the unit – it will charge faster through a higher watt panel. Alternatively you can charge via a wall ac outlet, which will take roughly 10 hours. You can also charge the 500X Yeti from your car, however it is recommended to only do so using a specific Goal Zero Yeti 12v cable. A unique feature is that the 500X can also be powered by any USB-C power supply.
The versatility of this unit and what it offers in terms of wattage capacity make it an excellent tool for weekend warriors and a serviceable back up supply in emergency situations. Of the 500watt-hour options we’ve reviewed so far, it is the most expensive. So if budget is a concern, you may want to consider other solar generators available that offer similar specs and performance, such as the Jackery 500 Explorer.
- Can charge from your car
- Can be powered by USB-C power supplies
- High price tag
This is the second model from Bleutti’s range of generators that we’ll be reviewing, which is a statement on the brands quality. The Bluetti AC200P is one of the most powerful solar generators on the market. It offers a 2000w pure sine wave inverter for continuous AC power and a massive 2,000 watt hours battery storage capacity.
The Bluetti AC200P comes with 17 featured outlets, including: 6x AC outlets (wall), 4x USB-A outputs and a USB-C output, 1x 12V output, maximum power point tracking MPPT, 2x 15w charging pads, intelligent cooling fan and a LCD touch screen control panel. These features are supported by the quality of the Bluetti AC200P, which has over 3500 life cycles.
The Bluetti is also very efficient on the charging front. With a compatible solar panel, solar charging can take as little as 3.5 hours, or via a dual AC adapter to charge in a similar time. You can also charge via a 12v car port, another generator or via a lead acid battery using an appropriate adapter.
This solar powered generator’s greatest strength is the devices, appliances and even vehicles it has the capacity to power. For starters, its 4,800w surge and 2000w continuous output means that the Bluetti could run multiple full size fridges, appliances and even an A/C unit simultaneously. Furthermore, it can power a CPAP machine for over 25 hours, a large fridge for over 10 hours and provide enough charge for an electric vehicle to drive a short distance. What this means is that the Bluetti is a reliable emergency backup for anything you may need to power incase of a power failure. According to the Bluetti website, it can power 17 devices simultaneously.
Unlike smaller portable solar generators, this heavy duty unit will deliver the power you need in a time of crisis. However, this output capacity comes at a price. Weighing in at 55lbs, it is quite heavy for a portable generator. Although it has two built-in handles, it is better suited for a fixed location – such as an emergency back up for your home or in an Rv. The Bluetti AC200P was designed with ‘Van lifers’ in mind after all. This solar generator isn’t cheap either (as you would expect with this kind of performance)
- LCD touch screen control panel
- Heavy duty
- Fast charging
- Suitable for home emergency backup
The Titan Solar Generator is the most powerful solar power generator on the market. Boasting a 3000watt inverter (7700w surge), a 2000wh lithium ion battery and 2 MPPT charge controllers. Living up its name, the Titan can comfortably power large devices including a full size refrigerator, washing machine or dryer. Plus with 6x AC wall outlets, 1x RV plug, 8x total USB ports and 4x DC ports (12V), the Titan has been designed as an excellent backup power supply that can also charge portable devices and run small appliances with ease.
The Titan can charge in as little as four hours, via solar panels or an AC wall outlet. Thanks to its battery bank ‘stacking’ system, you can swap, charge and change out batteries regularly allowing for longer output. This however, detracts from the Titan’s portability. Weighing in at 66lbs, plus batteries, it isn’t the most convenient option for the road. So, using it as your emergency backup or to run your RV is highly recommended. It is also quite expensive when compared to others on the market, but you certainly get great bang for your buck in terms of performance. Plus, it’s much quieter than gas generators that deliver a similar output.
- Huge power output
- Fast charging
- High price tag
- Very heavy
Best Solar Generators
Let’s start this by saying there aren’t many reasons to look at buying gas generators. They are noisy, expensive to maintain and harmful to the planet. Solar generators can deliver all the power you need – whether its on the road or to power your home in the event of power outages. When choosing the best solar generator and solar panel kit, the most important thing to consider is the amount of power that you need. Other features, like usb outputs, are handy but what matters is the size of your inverter and the battery capacity and battery type.
For short trips, consider either the Jackery 500 Explorer or the Goal Zero Yeti 500X. These are two of the most versatile solar power generators available. Consider budget, shape and design preference when choosing between the two. Their size makes them incredibly portable for camping and offer enough capacity to power a variety of devices.
The best overall is the Bluetti EB240 portable solar powered generator. Not only can this comfortably power devices on the road, it can also power household appliances in a pinch. The EB240 is reliable and although larger than say, the Jackery Explorer or Yeti 500X, it is still convenient for camping and weekend warriors.
The best backup power supply is the Bluetti AC200P, it won’t let you down, it will more than deliver in an emergency situation.
And… here’s our Q&A about solar generators
Can a solar generator power a refrigerator?
In short, yes, as long as your solar generator has enough capacity and battery storage to run your refrigerator for a number of hours. Check the watt hour requirements of your fridge before selecting a solar generator as an alternative power source.
Can a solar generator power an air conditioner?
Similar to a refrigerator, a solar power generator can power your AC. However, your air conditioner needs to be in the same power output range as your generator. Do your research to make sure you purchase the correct generator.
Can a solar generator power a house?
A single solar generator kit will not be able to power a whole home on its own for an extended period of time. They simply don’t have the capacity for the power and multiple devices. They can assist as emergency backup power, but only for essentials such as lights and your fridge.
What size solar generator do I need?
The rule when purchasing solar generators is that your generator should be double the capacity of the converter. No doubt you will be using your generator for multiple devices or appliances. While supplying power to these outlets, it also needs to charge its own battery.
Where to buy a solar generator?
The best place to buy a solar generator is either online or at any store with a decent outdoor/camping section. Always do your research before purchasing to make sure you’re buying the best solar generators for your needs. Staff in store can provide advice or you can follow the findings in this article. The generators we are listing here are available for purchase on amazon or online.
What is the most powerful solar generator?
The most powerful solar generator available is the Titan Solar Generator, from Point Zero. In short, this impressive unit contains a 3000W continuous inverter. There are many other powerful solar generators available one of them is the Yeti 3000X from Goal Zero which can act as an emergency power station for all your appliances including your fridge, lights, tv and air conditioner.