The portable solar power generator is an all-in-one photovoltaic solar system that includes a battery, a power inverter, a battery monitor, and wires. Whether you go camping, caravanning, or in an emergency where the power goes out, you can take it with you.
It is also ideal for properly charging electrical gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, and other low-powering devices. This post showcases the top portable solar power generators that are reasonably priced and meet your needs. Please take a look at the following:
Reviews of the 5 best portable solar power generators
We’ve reviewed the top 5 best portable solar power generators to provide continuous power during outdoor activities and blackouts. Let’s get started.
1. Editors choice: jackery portable power station explorer 500
This is our number one best portable solar power generator. The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 has a 24Ah lithium-ion battery that can produce 500 watts of running power and 1000 watts of peak power.
Because of its enormous power capacity and light weight of 13 pounds, it is ideal for camping, CPAP projects, tailgating, and other outdoor activities. It could be the best 500-watt solar generator based on its benefits.
- It is equipped with a 24Ah lithium-ion battery that provides 500 watts power to 1000 watts peak power.
- The BMS and pure sine wave inverter ensure protection from over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature.
- It can run a TV for 8 hours, a mini cooler for 37 hours, and a CPAP machine for more than 30 hours on a full charge.
- It can be charged up from a home socket within 8 hrs, solar panel within 14 hrs, and carports within 16 hrs.
2. Best portable generator for multiple devices: Aeiusny portable solar generator
The Aeiusny Portable Solar Generator has a robust 24Ah battery that delivers 500 watts of rated power via a 12V output converter. The high-capacity solar generator can charge a smartphone up to 40 times, a laptop for over 8 hours, CPAP machines for over 28 hours, and various electrical gadgets.
Its LED flashlight also helps with survival in low-light situations. The power level is displayed on the solar generator’s digital display.
- It has a 24Ah powerful lithium battery that provides 500 watts of power supply.
- Its multiple AC, DC, and USB ports allow using several devices simultaneously.
- The 4 way solar generator charging systems make it a versatile generator.
- Pure sine wave technology ensures safety from short circuits, over-voltage, etc.
3. Best generator for sensitive devices: Flashfish 300w solar generator
The Flashfish G300 portable power station includes a 60000mAh large-size battery that offers 300 watts of continuous power and 350 watts of peak power. The digital monitor shows the AC output level and battery life. After all, it is the greatest portable solar generator for camping.
Solar Generator flashfish 300W features
- It has three 20Ah batteries, for a total of 60Ah, and delivers 300 to 350 watts of power supply.
- It also has dual AC outlets, three USB ports, and two DC connectors, allowing us to connect many devices simultaneously.
- Solar panels, car chargers, and household outlets can be charged in 5 to 8 hours.
- It weighs only 5.6 pounds and has a handle for carrying it for camping and other outdoor activities.
- Its pure sine wave system and cooling fan guard against over-voltage, short circuits, and overheating.
4. Very lightweight portable generator: Nusgear 155wh 42000mah camping solar generator
The NusGear lithium battery portable solar generator has a capacity of 42000mAh and a power output of 155 watts, making it ideal for camping, tailgating, blackouts, and indoor use. You can charge a laptop 3-4 times, a smartphone more than 20 times, an LED for more than 40 hours, a CPAP machine for 4 hours, and many other electronic devices with the power station.
- It has a 42000 mAh lithium-ion battery that provides 155 watts of rated power.
- It has multiple output ports that allow us to connect multiple devices simultaneously.
- It has a 3-way charging system: solar panel, car charger, and wall socket that takes 8 to 12 hours to charge fully.
- It has an LED flashlight and display that shows the power level and lighting in the dark area.
5. Overall winner: Nexpow portable power station
The NEXPOW Portable Power Station includes a 48000mAh lithium-ion battery with 120 watts of running output and 150 watts of peak power. It makes minimal noise when running, less than a whisper, making it ideal for CPAP patients, and it can run for up to 4 hours.
Nexpow portable features
- It has a 48000mAh lithium-ion battery that delivers a 120 to 150 watts power supply all day.
- The fast charge PD 3.0 port allows us to charge the MacBook and similar devices without an adapter.
- It can be charged in 5 to 12 hours using a PD 3.0 port, solar panel, carport, and home wall outlet.
How do solar panels work?
Every solar generator includes the following basic components:
- Solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity
- A battery to store power
- A charge controller that controls the flow of current to the battery
- An inverter converts power from the battery into the type of current required to power household appliances.
What’s a watt?
A watt is a unit of measurement for electrical power. You need to know that every electrical device you own needs watts, which are all ‘rated’ for how much they require. When you add up all the wattage, you should be able to run everything on an ordinary day. This means you already know the total watts you need to generate in a typical day. An average single-family home takes 6000W or 6 kW (kilowatts) per day to function. However, a campsite may only require 60W.
Why should you invest in a portable solar power generator?
You should get a portable solar power generator for various reasons, including eco-friendliness. The following are the reasons:
- Portable solar power generators are simple to operate. You flip the switch to turn it on, and you’re ready to go.
- A solar generator contains no hazardous materials, such as flammable fuels or cords that might cause cramping. They also have BMS technology, which avoids over-voltage, short circuits, overheating, and over-discharging issues.
- Like a photovoltaic plant, a solar power generator produces no noise and is so quiet that you can sleep while it is operating.
- They do not emit any smoke or odor, so you can use them indoors without concern.
- Because solar generators are compact and light, they can be taken everywhere, including camping and indoor and outdoor celebrations.
What is the best sun exposure for solar generators?
The panel element of your system requires maximal sun exposure to be successful. This is often a 300-degree angle between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. On the other hand, high latitude installations will not get that kind of exposure in the winter, and in the summer, the sun is more directly overhead, reducing the angle.
If you live without much sunlight, the panels will still work, but they won’t produce as much power. A solar generator is reported to charge a battery in three hours fully under ideal conditions. If you deploy the system in an area with dense fog or foggy weather, you should temper your expectations.
Think about where you’re going to position the panels as well. In the heat, shady trees will not boost your power. If the distance between your panels and the battery is too great, you will experience some charge loss, though it will be minor compared to obscured sunlight.
Are solar generators only for emergencies?
Solar generators are increasingly used in various typical applications, ranging from remote off-grid sites to mobile applications. The benefit is mobility since the solar generator system may be moved from one field to the next as needs change. They are effective for communications towers, fire watchtowers, motorized access gates, and open water systems such as lit marine buoys.
Don’t discount the value of having one of these devices in your emergency pack, especially if you live in an area where power outages due to natural catastrophes or unstable power networks are common. When you don’t have to rely on the electrical meter circling or a noisy and fuel-dependent gas generator, safety and security are a certainty.
Why are solar power generators better than gas-fueled?
Gas-powered systems rely on fuel to function. If a cyclone hits your location and there is no gas supply, you will only be able to operate for as long as you can fill your generator’s tank. They make a lot of noise, emit poisonous gases, and consume many natural resources.
Solar generators are renewable energy sources that can run for years with little or no maintenance other than keeping the solar panels clean. Once you’ve invested in your system, you’re done, with no extra payments or hassles. They can run in the sun as well as on cloudy days.
How much energy can a solar generator produce?
Solar panels and batteries are the limiting components of a solar generator system. Larger solar panels create more power. Hence the larger your array, the more power capacity your system has. Solar panel technologies have improved to the point that very small arrays may provide a lot of power.
The charge controller is programmed to alter the amount of electricity coming in by the capacity of your battery or batteries. If the electricity from the panels exceeds the capacity of your single battery, you can add extra batteries and store even more. Installing more batteries and panels than you need on sunny days can be a useful technique to assist you in getting through the cloudy periods if your sun exposure fluctuates substantially.
A typical whole-house system would have a roof full of panels and a large closet full of batteries and other components to ensure that everything works together. In some circumstances, you may be able to connect to your local utility’s power grid, feeding back any excess power to the network, helping others, and earning you credit rather than a bill. In that instance, you become a mini-power company with none of the headaches that come with running a utility.
How much does solar power cost?
Solar power was considered a luxury fifty years ago, with initial installation prices and ongoing replacement expenses of around $100 per kilowatt. Solar power now costs less than a dollar to produce the same amount of energy. As a result, it is becoming cheaper to a wider spectrum of consumers daily.
The price has decreased due to increases in the efficiency of solar panel production and lower manufacturing costs. Many utilities and municipal governments offer buyers tax breaks or other incentives, lowering the cost of a solar generator system even further. Financing alternatives have also become more common, which means you can typically return your initial investment through reduced utility expenses in a matter of years or decades.
If you still can’t afford a whole-house system, try purchasing a smaller generator for specialized applications such as pool filters (heated by solar panels), sump pumps (in an emergency), or workshops or sheds. Today’s systems are long-lasting and sturdy, ensuring that your investment will only grow in value over time. That means you’ll have peace of mind even if a natural disaster or power outage never occurs.
How to choose the best solar generator for your house or RV
Making the ideal pick necessitates more than a price comparison and solar generator reviews. Because everyone’s needs vary, it’s like contrasting apples and oranges. The first step in selecting the best portable solar generator is determining how much electricity you require to power the critical equipment during an outage.
The average American home consumes approximately 25,000 watts of electricity per day or 1000 watts per hour. Most solar generators can generate 900 to 5,000 watts of electricity per hour, implying that they can power everything from your fridge to your pool.
Nonetheless, unlike gas-powered generators, which can create a consistent electricity supply as long as the tank is full, solar generators cannot. They are powered by energy stored in batteries, which must be recharged between usage.
The key to selecting the best generator is determining how much power you require, what you can spend, and which characteristics are most important.
What to look for when buying the best portable solar generator
Whole-house solar systems with several roof-mounted panels and big battery banks can keep everything working smoothly around the house. To begin with, the panels capture more energy. As some of the numerous batteries are depleted, others are charged, resulting in a continuous power source that can run whatever a household desires—at a cost.
No portable generator can store enough electricity to power all of your home’s appliances. On the other hand, portable solar generators are inexpensive, easy to store, and can provide at least your basic demands for on-the-go power or emergency use.
What size solar generator do I need?
Solar generators have two key watt ratings: continuous watts and surge watts. Continuous watts are the amount of electricity the generator can produce steadily.
To determine how many watts of continuous power your generator requires to suit your needs, add the total number of watts per hour used by your key equipment and multiply it by the number of hours or fraction of hours you’ll need to utilize them daily. Let’s look at a few examples using a chart showing average appliance power consumption.
A full-size refrigerator consumes approximately 500 watts of power every day. If your generator generates 1000 watts per day, keeping things cold will cost you half your backup power source in 24 hours. A coffee maker consumes around 1500 watts of power each day. However, when used for ten minutes (1/6th of an hour) each morning, it consumes only ten watts.
On the other hand, the surge watt rating demonstrates how well your generator can manage the high initial burst of power required to start electric motors. The surge should last less than a second.
Suppose the same refrigerator that uses 500 watts of continuous electricity requires 2000 watts to start. In that case, you’ll need a solar generator with a minimum of a 2000-watt surge rating to restart it in an outage.
Most portable solar generators will struggle to power high-draw equipment such as air conditioners, well pumps, and laundry dryers. They are enough to power the basics without fuel by controlling power needs and using tiny, energy-efficient gadgets.
Things to think about when purchasing a solar system solar panels
Watts are also used to measure the amount of electricity produced by solar panels. The total number of watts the panel can produce each day is determined by multiplying the watt rating on the panel by the number of hours of solar exposure it receives each day.
For example, a 100-watt solar panel receiving 6 hours of sunlight should provide 600 watts of power for that day, but the sun is never straightforward. Day-to-day and seasonal variations in light exposure are significant, and even the greatest solar panels produce limited power on gloomy days.
There are three major types of solar panels, and their efficiency determines how many watts they produce for their size.
1. The most frequent type of panel is monocrystalline. They are made from single-crystal silicon wafers and are slightly more efficient than their polycrystalline counterparts but slightly more expensive.
2. Polycrystalline solar cells are constructed of melted silicon particles. These panels have a good but slightly lower efficiency rating because electrons travel less freely between fragments. The difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels is statistically insignificant in most systems.
3. Thin-film panels, also known as amorphous crystal panels, are a relatively recent technology. They are light, slender, flexible, inexpensive, and long-lasting. Still, they are only half as efficient as monocrystalline panels and require double the space to produce the same amount of power, making them less practical for compact portable generators.
Capacity and power rating of the battery
The capacity of a solar battery is the total quantity of electricity it can store, but it does not reflect how much power it can provide at any particular time. You’ll need to check the battery’s power rating for this.
Generally, a high-capacity battery with a low power rating will deliver less electricity for a longer period and vice versa.
Keep in mind that solar generators use stored energy. A system can have enough panels to produce 1,000 watts of electricity, but if the battery only stores 500 watts, that’s the most power you’ll have without adding more capacity.
It is important to note that only the best portable solar generators feature batteries that can be charged while in use. This is known as trickle charging, and it is a vital feature unless you have many batteries to cover your power needs over several days.
If your battery needs to be recharged in less than eight hours, an average portable generator with trickle charging capability should offer steady power, refilling itself only on solar power. If it doesn’t have trickle charging capability, you’ll be without electricity for as long as it takes to recharge the battery.
For efficiency, most portable generator components are sized to maximize each component’s capacity. Expanding one component frequently necessitates upgrading others, but the essential thing to remember is those superior systems may be expanded to meet changing needs.
There are various types of batteries, but the two most prevalent are lead-acid and lithium-ion.
Lead-acid batteries, such as those found in automobiles, are the most ubiquitous and least expensive. They have a shorter lifespan but are more affordable for domestic use. Some designs use a specific gel to improve longevity and safety, but the power performance is comparable. Deep-cycle batteries that withstand repeated high discharges last longer and are generally worth the extra expense.
Lithium-ion batteries, which power most cordless equipment, are lighter, smaller, and last longer than lead-acid batteries. Despite their greater price, they are becoming increasingly popular in portable solar generators due to their smaller size and weight.
Power inverter rating
Power inverters convert the direct electrical current (DC) generated by your solar panels to the alternating current (AC) required by your appliances. This is the same kind of power that comes from a wall outlet.
Inverters are labeled with a watt rating indicating the greatest amount of power they can manage, which should always be the maximum amount of power the system can generate.
Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive, but they are more efficient and produce less wear on some equipment, such as microwaves, televisions, and CPAP machines. Nonetheless, they may be too high for infrequent use at twice the price of modified sine wave inverters.
To prevent batteries from overcharging, a charge controller limits the current from the solar panels.
The simplest controllers sever the battery and the panel connection when the maximum voltage is reached. They are dependable but not especially efficient. 3-stage or maximum power point tracking (MPPT) models handle current flow more effectively and extract more power from your system.
Look for waterproof controllers with an LED display that provides basic information about the efficiency of your system for best performance. As you learn more about solar power, you will be able to make the most of your generator.
The weight of a portable solar generator ranges from 20 to 200 pounds, mostly due to the panels and the batteries. It is difficult to change panel weight considerably without opting for lightweight frames. Other components decrease durability, and lithium-ion batteries are much lighter than lead-acid batteries but more expensive.
The key to mobility is frequently found in the dispersed weight rather than individual components. Parts placed in a strong, wheeled box are easier to carry than individual pieces. Folding solar panels, similar to suitcases, reduce bulk, making them easier to handle at the same weight.
Weight is a problem but less of an issue if your system remains relatively constant. If you move it daily, lightweight systems will save your back and be less likely to be damaged during transport.
Features for your convenience
The last thing a generator should be is difficult or time-consuming to use. Consider the following top convenience characteristics when shopping for a real plug-and-play solar generator:
- Multiple AC outlets
- Integrated USB ports and a 12V output
- Energy-efficient accessories that maximize power savings
- System expandability and adapters that make connecting batteries and multiple panels easier
- Replaceable batteries Back-lit LED panels that allow you to monitor your system’s function in the dark
Things to avoid when buying a solar generator
Early portable solar generators were designed with proprietary components, making it impossible to expand or update the system with off-the-shelf components. Even now, certain systems are built with non-replaceable batteries.
If a part breaks, you’ll have to buy a replacement straight from the manufacturer, which isn’t what most people want in an emergency vehicle. Proprietary systems can be a terrific alternative, but the risks and advantages should always be balanced.
When shopping for a portable solar generator, avoid the following:
- Incomplete kits that necessitate the purchase of costly additional components
- Proprietary systems for which replacement parts are no longer available
- Electronic components that are not completely waterproof
- Generators with limited warranties or manufactured by companies with little industry presence.
Here, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions concerning portable solar power generators.
Do solar panels still work when the power goes out?
Your solar system determines it. Normally, solar panels cannot operate in off-grid modes, such as gloomy weather and a power outage. The off-grid solar panels are linked to an auxiliary battery that operates when the power goes out.
Do solar panels work at night?
A solar panel cannot generate power at night since it requires sunshine. Some powerful solar panels can generate electricity using photovoltaic cells even after the sun has set.
Will these units charge my devices if the sun is shining during the chilly winter days?
Solar panels operate in all four seasons, rain or shine, hail or light snow. However, solar panels provide less energy in the cold. Because the days are shorter, there are fewer hours of daylight and, on average, the sun is lower in the sky. Therefore, these generators will produce less than on a sunny day.
Can the batteries be replaced?
Under typical operating conditions, the batteries will endure for many years before being replaced by the factory with the most recent version.
Does the inverter produce a clean sine wave?
The normal inverter is a modified sine wave inverter.
Can you charge completely with the sun?
You certainly can. It is intended to be solar-powered.
How long will a solar battery last?
Solar batteries typically have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years, depending on the model and quality. If properly cared for, it might survive for 20 to 30 years.
Can solar panels work in the absence of batteries?
Maximum solar panels operate in an off-grid mode, which necessitates the use of a battery. A solar panel cannot function without a battery, and using a solar panel without a battery would cause damage.
Is it necessary to clean my solar panels?
You should clean the solar panel two or three times a year. If you reside in a dusty environment, you should clean the panels at least once a season or four to six times yearly.
How long can a solar generator last?
Solar panels use sunshine to generate solar generators. A solar generator can survive for 25 to 35 years with adequate care and maintenance and loses roughly 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent of its efficiency annually.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best portable solar power generators to fulfill your needs. But suppose you’re looking for one of the best portable solar generators. In that case, I recommend the Jackery Portable Electricity Station Explorer 500, which has a 24Ah powerful lithium-ion battery and can output 500 watts to 1000 watts of power.
It contains one AC outlet, three USB ports, and two DC in/out sockets for connecting several devices simultaneously. Its pure sine wave inverter and BMS technology protect your electrical device from overload, low voltage, and short circuits.
Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API