Solar generators are a great way to provide power for RVs, off-grid homes, camping, or as a backup power source.
They are quiet, environmentally friendly, and extremely easy to use. And, with advances in solar generator technology, they are now more affordable than ever!
If you are looking for the best solar generator on the market, we have got you covered!
In this blog post, we will provide an in-depth review of the 5 best solar powered generators on the market. We will also provide a complete buying guide to help you choose the right solar generator for your needs.
So, whether you are looking for a generator for camping or want to go off-grid, we have the perfect solar generator for you!
Before getting into the reviews, there are a few things you need to understand about solar generators.
A generator can be represented by 4 numbers: wattage (W), watt-hours (Wh), peak wattage (W), and solar system wattage (W).
1. Solar Generator’s Wattage
This is the maximum amount of power that the generator can output at once.
The higher the wattage, the more and the bigger electronic devices you can run at the same time.
Suppose we need to power:
- A 500W refrigerator
- A 70W fan
- A 100W bug zapper
- Three 10W LEDs
- A 50W laptop charger
To power all these appliances simultaneously, we need a generator that can provide at least 750W (500+70+100+3*10+50).
We also need to consider the generator’s efficiency. Most solar generators have a power factor of 0.85. This means that the generator will only be able to output 85% of its advertised wattage due to power losses.
So, if we need 750W of power, we need an 882W generator (750/0.85).
2. Solar Generator’s Capacity
This is the amount of power that the generator can store. It is usually measured in watt-hour (Wh) or ampere-hour (Ah).
The bigger the capacity, the longer the solar generator power your appliances.
For example, a 1000Wh generator can theoretically power a 100W appliance for 10 hours (1000/100) or run a 500W device for two hours (1000/500).
3. Solar Generator’s Surge/Peak Power
Peak power is the maximum amount of power that the generator can output for a short period of time.
This is important because some appliances, like refrigerators, air conditioners, and power tools, require a lot of power to start up but use less power once they are running.
For example, a 500W refrigerator may need 1500W of power to start up. In this case, we need a generator that can provide at least 1500W of surge power.
Your solar generator will have enough surge power to start up your appliances most of the time. However, it’s always a good idea to check before buying.
4. Solar System’s Wattage
This is the maximum amount of power that your solar panels can generate per hour. For example, a 200W solar panel will be able to produce 200W of power per hour (200Wh).
You need to make sure that your solar system can generate enough power to recharge your generator’s battery.
Also, you must check the maximum solar system size that your generator can handle, as some generators have a limit on the amount of power they can take from solar panels.
Now that we understand the basics let’s get into the reviews!
Best Solar Generators Review
1. Best for One Night Adventures: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
- Running Wattage: 240W
- Peak Power: 400W
- Battery Capacity: 240Wh
- Size: 9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches
- Weight: 6.6lbs
- USB Ports: 2
- Ac Outlets: 1
When you are out on an adventure, you need a small portable solar generator that is lightweight, easy to carry, and provides you with just enough power to run your essentials.
And the Jackery Power Station is just perfect for that!
It only weighs 6.6 pounds, making it one of the lightest solar generators on the market. In fact, it’s light enough that you can carry it in your backpack!
Despite its small size, it packs a punch with 240 watts of power and 400W surge power, which is more than enough to run lights, charge phones & cameras, and operate small appliances like fans.
In terms of capacity, the Jackery Power Station features a 240Wh lithium-ion battery that can fully recharge your phone 24 times! It also has a built-in MPPT charge controller to protect the battery from overcharging and prolong its lifespan.
Speaking of charging, this solar powered generator features 3 ways to recharge: wall outlet, car outlet, and solar panels (not included). It also supports parallel charging, which means that you can charge and use the generator at the same time!
The only downside of this generator is that it only has 1 AC outlet, so you can only power one appliance at a time.
But overall, the Jackery Portable Power Station is an excellent choice for those looking for a small and lightweight generator for their one night adventures!
What we like
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Stylish design
- LCD battery charge display
- 3 ways to recharge
- Affordable price
What we don’t like
- Only one AC outlet
2. Best for Camping: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000
- Running Wattage: 1000W
- Peak Power: 2000W
- Battery Capacity: 1002Wh
- Size: 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 inches
- Weight: 22lbs
- USB Ports: 4
- Ac Outlets: 3
If you want a portable solar generator that can do more than just power lights and charge phones, then the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 is the best option for camping.
As its name implies, this generator has a much bigger capacity with 1000 watts of power and 2000 watts of peak power.
With that much power, you can easily run a mini-fridge, electric grill, heat blanket, and even a mini-split AC unit!
It also has a built-in Maximum Power Point Tracking system (MPPT) for optimal charging and an LCD display that shows you the current battery level and charging status.
In terms of capacity, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 features a 1002Wh lithium-ion battery, which is enough to power your appliances for hours!
This one also supports 3 charging options: wall outlet, car outlet, and solar panels (not included).
The only downside of this generator is its size and weight. It weighs 22 pounds, which is quite heavy in my opinion.
But overall, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 is a great choice for those who are looking for a powerful and feature-packed solar
What we like
- 1000W of power for running multiple appliances
- 100% clean and silent operation
- 3 AC outlets
- LCD battery charge display
- Supports 3 ways of charging
What we don’t like
- Heavy and bulky
- It can be overkill for some people
3. Best for RVs: BLUETTI AC200P Portable Power Station
- Running Wattage: 2000W
- Peak Power: 4800W
- Battery Capacity: 2000Wh
- Size: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches
- Weight: 60.6lbs
- USB Ports: 4
- AC Outlets: 6
- DC Outlets: 2
- Wireless Charging Pads: 2
Having a reliable and powerful solar generator is important when you’re RVing, and we believe that the BLUETTI AC200P Portable Power Station is the best option in this category.
This solar powered generator has a running wattage of 2000 watts and a surge wattage of 4800 watts that can run your fridge, air conditioner, TV, and other appliances simultaneously.
It also has a 2000Wh lithium-ion battery with a built-in MPPT charge controller and an LCD display that shows you the current battery level and charging status.
This solar generator features 5 charging options: wall outlet, car outlet, solar panel (included), gas powered generator, and lead acid batteries, so you never run out of charge.
Unlike other portable solar generators on today’s list, the BLUETTI AC200P comes with 3 pcs 200W foldable solar panels that can fully recharge the battery within 3-7 hours, depending on the amount of sunlight you get.
I really like the addition of the 2 wireless charging pads, as it allows you to charge your phone even if you lost your cable, which is very thoughtful of them.
The only downside of the BLUETTI AC200P is its capacity. For a 2000W portable power generator, I wished they packed it with a bigger battery so that it could last longer.
You can still opt for the BLUETTI 2200W Solar Generator with 2 B230 Expansion Batteries, which have a capacity of 6144Wh, but it’s not really cheap, if I might say.
Overall, this is a solid solar generator that comes with everything you need to power your RV.
What we like
- 2000W of power for running multiple appliances
- It comes with three 200W solar panels
- LCD display
- 6 AC outlets
- 2 wireless charging pads
What we don’t like
- The battery could be bigger
- It’s on the expensive side
4. Best Backup Generator: EF ECOFLOW DELTA Pro Portable Home Battery
- Running Wattage: 3600W
- Peak Power: 7200W
- Battery Capacity: 3.6kWh-25kWh
- Size: 25 x 11.2 x 16.4 inches
- Weight: 99lbs
- USB Ports: 6
- AC Outlets: 5
- Extra Battery Ports: 2
If you often worry about power outages and blackouts, you’ll need a reliable solar backup generator like the EF ECOFLOW DELTA Pro.
This solar power generator is specifically built for emergencies. It connects directly to your home via the Ecoflow smart home panel that immediately reroute to delta pro during emergencies, providing uninterrupted power to your appliances and devices.
Each unit has a power output of 3600 watts and a battery capacity of 3600Wh. The 2 extra battery ports allow you to expand the battery capacity up to 25kWh, giving you enough power to last for days.
Ecoflow also got you covered with 6 different charging options, including solar, wind, wall outlet, car outlet, and smart generator. You can even use EV stations to fully charge the battery in less than 3 hours!
I like the addition of wheels, as the generator is quite heavy and this makes it much easier to move around. But what I really, really like about this generator is the Ecoflow app.
It notifies you when the battery is low, when it’s being charged, and even lets you manage power usage, all from your phone. That’s just super convenient, and I wish more solar power generators had this feature.
The only downside of the EF ECOFLOW DELTA Pro is that while the app is a great idea, the software is pretty bad and has many bugs.
But overall, this is a great solar backup generator for emergencies that will keep your family safe and connected.
What we like
- Sleek and modern design
- 3.6kWh battery capacity expandable up to 25kWh
- Ecoflow smart home panel for emergencies
- Ecoflow app for managing power usage
- 6 different charging options
What we don’t like
- The app is buggy
5. Best Off-Grid: Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box
- Running Wattage: 3500W
- Peak Power: 7000W
- Battery Capacity: 4.8kWh-19.2kWh
- Size: 32.9 x 20.0 x 28.5 inches
- Weight: 264.6lbs
- USB Ports: 0
- AC Outlets: 2
The Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box is a perfect solar generator for those who want to live off-grid.
It comes with 4.8kWh of power and is expandable up to 19.2kWh with the addition of 4 more batteries. This gives you enough power to run most appliances and devices for several days without recharging.
Like the ECOFLOW DELTA Pro, this solar generator can be connected directly to your service panel to provide 24/7 uninterrupted power.
The Renogy Lycan also features breakers and surge protection devices to protect your system from overloads, making it one of the safest solar generators on the market.
You can equip this generator with up to 4400W solar system, making it an excellent choice for those who want to go off-grid.
The Lycan is also one of the most rugged and durable solar generators I’ve seen. It’s made with a heavy-duty aluminum alloy casing that can withstand the harsh elements, and it even comes with IP55 waterproof rating.
Unlike the generators mentioned in this review, this one doesn’t have a built-in LCD display but it has an application that shows you how much power is left in the battery, the current wattage, and even has a charging indicator.
There aren’t really downsides to this solar generator, but if I had to nitpick, I would say that the lack of an LCD display is a bit odd. But other than that, this is a great solar generator for those who want to live off-grid.
What we like
- State of the art pure sine wave inverter that provides similar quality to the grid
- 4.8kWh-19.2kWh expandable battery
- Can be connected directly to your service panel
- Built-in circuit breakers and surge protection devices
- Sturdy and durable
What we don’t like
- No LCD
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar generators typically have three main components: solar panels, batteries, and an inverter.
The solar panels are the generator’s heart and are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity. The size and type of solar panels you need will depend on the wattage rating of your generator.
Batteries store the electricity generated by the solar panels and provide power to the inverter. The larger the battery capacity, the longer the generator will run without recharging.
The inverter converts the DC (direct current) power from the batteries into AC (alternating current) energy that is compatible with most appliances and devices. Some solar generators come with built-in inverters, while others require an external one.
How to Charge Solar Generators?
Solar generators can be charged in several ways:
1. Solar panels
The most common way to charge solar generators is with solar panels. Solar panels can be permanently installed on your roof or set up as a portable system.
2. AC outlet
With the help of a power adapter, solar generators can also be charged from a standard AC outlet. This is a good option if you don’t have access to sunlight or if you want to charge the generator quickly.
3. Car charger
Solar generators can be charged from a car charger, which is perfect for road trips.
If you have another generator, you can use it to charge your solar generator. This is a great option if you need to charge your generator in an emergency situation.
Solar generators can also be charged from a battery. This is a good option if you have a backup battery or if you want to charge the generator in an off-grid location.
6. EV Chargers
Some solar generators can be charged from EV chargers. This is a good option if you are on the road and need to charge your generator quickly.
What are the benefits of solar generators?
Solar generators offer a number of benefits, including:
Solar generators are a more environmentally-friendly option than traditional generators. They don’t produce harmful emissions, making them a great choice for those who care about the environment.
Unlike gas powered generators, solar generators are quiet and don’t produce any noise. This makes them a great option for those who want to use a generator but don’t want to be disturbed by the noise.
Solar generators are lightweight and portable, making them easy to take with you on camping trips or road trips.
Solar generators are designed to last for many years, making them a great investment for those who need reliable backup power.
What are the disadvantages of solar generators?
Solar generators have a few potential disadvantages, including:
1. Limited power
Solar generators typically have a limited amount of power, making them less suitable for large homes or businesses.
2. Weather dependent
Solar generators rely on sunlight to generate power, so they may not be able to generate power on cloudy or rainy days.
3. High initial cost
Solar generators can be expensive, particularly if you need a large one to power your home or business. However, the cost of solar panels has been decreasing in recent years, making solar generators more affordable than ever.
4. Requires maintenance
Solar generators require some maintenance, such as cleaning the solar panels and replacing batteries. However, this is typically not difficult or time-consuming.
How Long Does a Solar Generator Last?
Solar generators are designed to last for many years, making them a great investment for those who need reliable backup power. However, the length of time a solar generator will last depends on several factors, including:
- The quality of the generator
- How often it is used
- Whether it is properly maintained
- The type of batteries used
- The climate conditions where it is used
However, most solar generators should last for 25 years with proper maintenance.
Solar generators are a great way to generate power without harming the environment. They are quiet, portable, and long-lasting, making them a perfect choice for those who need backup power.
When choosing a solar power generator, it is important to consider the size, weight, power output, and features that you need. You should also compare the costs of different models to find the best value for your money.
We really hope that this article was of some help. Thank you for reading!