What are the pros and cons of a solar generator?
Dec 01, 2022
Whether you need to keep your lights on when the grid goes down or you want to charge your phone on a camping trip, solar generators are a great way to have extra energy on hand.
But, how do portable solar power generators stack up compared to conventional gas-powered generators?
What is a solar generator?
Technically, a solar power generator is any system that runs off of solar power. But what most people mean when they say ‘solar generator’ refers to a portable power station that uses solar panels, instead of fossil fuels, to provide electricity.
A portable solar generator uses solar panels to capture the sun’s energy, and then stores that energy in a battery to be used later. Most solar generators are used for RV camping, boats, and as a backup power source in the case of a grid power outage.
How do solar generators work?
Solar generators have four major components:
Portable solar panels
A solar charge controller
A solar battery
The solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity that is then passed through the charge controller. The charge controller regulates the voltage of the electricity into the battery, where the solar energy is then stored for use later. Most solar generators sold today are lithium ion batteries.
When you need to use the energy stored in the battery, the inverter converts the electricity into alternating current energy, or AC power, which is what most appliances and devices use. Solar generators typically have USB ports, AC outlets, and 12 volt carports to allow you to charge multiple devices.
What are the best uses for solar generators?
Solar generators are best used for charging devices and running small appliances. They’re a great source of backup power for a boating or RV camping trip because of their portability, plus they’re clean and don’t require you to keep lots of fuel on hand. Solar generators can power some key appliances in your home in the event of an emergency.