9 Best Solar Generators for Maximum Efficiency (November 2018)

Emergencies happen all of the time and we don’t always think of the power going out in our homes. Yes, it happens when camping, but being reliant of electricity is so important that many people completely shut down at the first hint of a power failure. Homeowners now have the opportunity to invest in a solar generator to help combat this problem.

I generally use some form of a generator for camping. Instead of reverting to the Stone Age to complete basic tasks, these generators help you take the modern era to your camping experience. However, they are easy to find but hard to choose and this is where we come in. This article should shed some light on the best solar generator options and their reviews, helping you make an accurate choice.

The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit is a massive device that can handle all of your charging needs. This generator is large and comes with a decent 100 boulder stand that should help you get it going. 2 lead acid batteries have also been included to enhance the runtime, helping many people at home and on camping trips.


Best Solar-Powered Generators For Camping And Home Use

They are intricate and they have many advanced features that make them hard to choose for many people. However, our research team has done some legwork to find out more and after finding the top features, we could easily find the best equipment. Here are the top options for your camping and home use.

 

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit – Top Pick

With the ability to charge up to 10 devices simultaneously, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit is one of the most powerful devices on the market today. The 1250 watt lead-acid battery is what gives it this power and when combined with the 1000 watt pure sine inverter, you need not worry about anything not charging.

Since it can be used chained with 2 100-watt lead-acid batteries that are much more affordable, this can give you much longer runtimes. With an AC plugin, the device can easily be recharged, but the solar panels are small and easy to use as well. The 100 boulder kickstand and solar panels are relatively easy to set up when you need recharging.

Lastly, the microcrystalline design means better photon harvesting abilities for anyone to enjoy when camping. It might be a little expensive, but you will never need to use another solar generator ever again. While many people might only recommend it for camping, we believe it is versatile enough for homeowners to use as well.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can be connected to other batteries
  • Charges up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Offers an AC recharge plug

Cons

  • Expensive

Audew 220Wh/60000mAh Portable Battery Generator – Best For Travelers

Next, we have the Audew 220Wh/60000mAh Portable Battery Generator comes with a massive 60,000 mAh capacity that should meet all of your needs with relative ease. It is lightweight at just over 5-pounds that keeps the device portable and enables you to move it at will when you are traveling around.

2 charging ports are included, allowing you to charge 2 of your devices at the same time. While this does not seem effective, the charging speeds are actually really fast. The battery management system is something we don’t give much attention to. However, I really like it and it will help to prevent any sudden surges in power.

As for the price, this is actually an affordable option compared to the first one. It has all the basic features that you will need and offers value for your money. This equipment has advanced solar panels and it will only take mere 8-hours to fully recharge. If you are an avid traveler, this will be one of the best options for you.

Pros

  • Really small and portable
  • Has a massive power supply capacity
  • Recharges in 8 hours
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • It does get pretty hot when charging

HomeGrid 5000HD Portable Solar Generator – Best Survivalist Generator

While not the smallest and definitely not the lightest of generators, the HomeGrid 5000HD Portable Solar Generator is one of the best options for your home. With 5000-watt power, it can charge multiple devices, but also run your home appliances for a decent amount of time. It comes with 4 120-watt solar panels that take some time recharging the device.

What I love about this device is the massive capacity. It can give you up to 3700-watt-hours of use and this will run your house for quite some time when talking about watt to hour ratio. It can run some of the large appliances as well, removing the need for you to activate your normal electricity again as well.

Yes, this is one of the largest and most expensive options, but it is not really designed for the avid camper. The device is mostly made for the serious survivalist and should offer you what you need. It also comes with state of the art wheels on a small trolley, allowing you to move it wherever you feel it needs to be.

Pros

  • 3700-watt hours of power
  • Massive capacity
  • Can run all your devices
  • Made for survivalists

Cons

  • Really expensive

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator – Best For Travelers

Those who love the fast-paced lifestyle on the road will also love the small Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator. Not only does it come in a small and stylish case, but the 150-watts of power should charge most of your devices with relative ease. It might not be the survival professional’s dream generator, but it can be charged with solar panels, an AC plug-in, and your car.

While this device is rather small for some of your massive gatherings, it will still be really effective and the 400-watt alternative can also be found for a reasonable price. Both of these devices are worth their weight and they are ideal for the avid adventurer. I just don’t see them running an entire campsite for too long and overheating.

As you might have seen, most of these generators are fairly expensive and that should not be a surprise to anyone. This is one of the best affordable options and I believe that it will be great for road travelers. One of the upsides to such a small generator is the exceptional charging time to have it ready for use.

Pros

  • Relatively fast charging time
  • Reasonably priced
  • Small and portable
  • Reliable quality

Cons

  • Not the best charging capacity

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station – Best Wi-Fi Enabled Option

Once again, we have another Goal Zero product. The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station is one of the most technologically advanced options on the market today. Featuring lithium batteries, the device has a much longer shelf life before they need to be replaced and this will save you in the long run.

Since it can be controlled with Wi-Fi, this generator is perfect for knowing exactly when it will die down. The Yeti app will enable you to see all the usage and how much life remains. You can also see which of the devices are pulling too much energy, but the 1400-watt continuous motor will definitely allow you to charge multiple devices with ease.

The solar kit version of this equipment is a little expensive, but you won’t need to spend any extra. As we have mentioned, the lithium batteries also have an extended shelf life, giving you a little more long-term savings if needed. We would recommend this generator to those with a little technology background and for avid campers.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi enabled device
  • Great motor power output
  • Fast recharging time
  • Reliable brand
  • Lithium batteries over lead-acid

Cons

  • Really expensive

SUAOKI Solar Charger 60W Portable Solar Panel – Best Portable Generator

The SUAOKI Solar Charger 60W Portable Solar Panel is not one of the most popular options currently on the market, but it does actually offer some great value for your money. With 20% conversion efficiency, the charger is well known for giving a great output. This is all part of the 60-watt power output specified by the manufacturer.

With a 1 5-volt USB output and another 18-volt DC output, you can charge 2 devices simultaneously without too much effort. It also folds up quite nicely into a stylish briefcase and the generator is not all that heavy when you need to carry it for prolonged distances. However, it might not be ideal for massive homes or survivalists.

Once again, this is one of the cheaper models and it works well for those on short camping trips. I have even used it for tailgating and it runs the small satellite dish without too much effort in your RV. If you need something small and easy to use, this will be one of the best options on the market to consider without breaking your budget.

Pros

  • Really affordable
  • Packs up in a small and lightweight briefcase
  • Decent power output
  • Recharges really fast

Cons

  • Only 2 charging ports

Humless Portable Solar Generator – Best Solar Panels

With renewable energy being the focal point in many modern conversations, the Humless Portable Solar Generator seems to gradually be building a solid following of fans that feel the need to protect the environment. It uses advanced lithium technology and this will extend the life of the battery, without all of those lead-acid emissions.

One of my favorite aspects is the overall versatility. Yes, it does come with its own battery that will give you power for charging, but these solar panels are really functional. If you have another battery that needs to be charged, you can also use these solar panels. However, we always recommend using the right panels for the right battery.

These panels are actually affordable for all of these quality features. They also feature a limited 1-year warranty on the solar panels, giving you some additional peace of mind when you need it. I won’t use these panels for my home, but when camping or on a day trip, they will be really handy and offer you some value for your money.

Pros

  • Top quality solar panels
  • Offers versatility
  • Reasonably priced
  • Long lasting lithium battery
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No real cons to be found for now

Suaoki 400Wh/120,000mAh Portable Solar Generator – A Camper’s Delight

One of my favorite past time activities is camping and the Suaoki 400Wh/120,000mAh Portable Solar Generator is one of the best generators for doing this. It features a massive 120,000-mAh capacity and the 400-watt continuous power will definitely ensure that almost all of your devices have been fully charged.

The 600-watt surge pure sine inverter is one that can be changed to when you feel the need to run a few of your larger devices. However, this will also drain your battery a little faster. The advanced battery management system also factors into play and this keeps the battery safe and overheating, but this is not an eco-friendly battery.

The price is very similar to many of the average generators that we find on the market today. You also receive a state of the art 2-year limited warranty and this should add some peace of mind. We believe this equipment is one of the best options for camping, but can also be used in the comfort of your own home if you like.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Decent capacity
  • Can be used for larger appliances
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • A lot of powered is wasted when only using the USB

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station – Best Home Generator

As you will see, Goal Zero is probably the best brand when it comes to designing these types of outdoor tools. The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station is where they take it to the next level with the 3000-watt power supply that will run virtually any device you have inside your home or that you are camping with.

It can charge up to 10 different devices at once and the battery is lithium, which means none of the power is actually ever wasted. Once again, this device can be solar charged, but you can also have it recharged with an AC power supply if needed. However, you won’t since it does have an extraordinary capacity and battery life.

All of these features will come at a price and this is one of the more expensive options on the market. However, it is still highly sought after and should offer you some excellent value for your money as it has done for me. We would recommend it for emergencies at you home, but it can also be used for survival purposes if needed.

Pros

  • Massive power capacity
  • Excellent power output
  • Multiple charging options
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • A little expensive

Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Solar Generator

Choosing the top generators with limited knowledge are no easy task and that is why we have done some in-depth research to try to find the best options we could. However, we needed to understand all the features that make them great. To help you understand these features as well, here is a small breakdown of each:

Battery Capacity

The battery capacity is probably the most important aspect that you need to consider. To do this, you will need to look at all of your appliances and devices that need to be charged. Before you buy the right one, calculate all of your expenditures when it comes to power and this will enable you to find the ideal option for your needs. We also recommend finding something with more power than you need for those days when the weather does not want to work in your favor.

Size and Weight

Once again, this will come down to the need you have for the generator. If you need something smaller and portable, you might need to give up some of the battery capacity. However, now you can move the generator without too much effort and even pack it along on your travels. The top survivalists will need something large to help them support most of their power devices.

Recharging Time

All of this equipment take some time to recharge. Depending on the battery capacity, you need to look at the time it will take to recharge the device. Fortunately, modern technology has allowed manufacturers to take it to the next level. Now you can have your solar generator recharge with an AC power supply as well. We have also seen some of the smaller generators being recharged by your car battery.

Battery Type

You will need to choose between the lead-acid battery and the lithium battery and while the lead-acid battery is much cheaper, they don’t have the same shelf life. This means it could cost more in the long run when it comes to replacements. The lithium battery does have a decent shelf life and many people generally choose it for this reason. Lithium is also much safer for the environment.

Price

Buying an overly sized generator that you will never use up might be seen as a massive waste of money. These things need to be serviced occasionally and this can be quite expensive. Choosing the best generator all depends on your needs, but we recommend only buying one that will meet all of these needs. This will ensure you have some additional spending money for other camping gear as well.


Frequently Asked Questions

All of these features are great and once you have the battery, you might still be a little lost. Fortunately, we have found some of the most asked questions that should help you. If you don’t have much experience, consider reading through these questions as you might have some of them at a later stage:

Can a solar generator power a house?

To be honest, the solar generator cannot actually power a house in the way that you might want it to. Yes, it can power many appliances, but if you live in a large home where the electricity expenditure is rather high, you won’t be able to sustain it with it. If you really want to go without electricity lines, you will be much better off actually choosing to install solid solar panels.

How long does a solar generator take to charge?

Depending on the battery size, these can charge in a matter of hours. However, they can often take a little longer. When charging your generator, you might also want to keep the weather conditions in mind. Should the weather conditions not be on your side, the device might take a little longer than usual to charge.

Solar panels vs. a generator in your home:

As we have already mentioned, the best option for long-term and sustainable power is to have quality solar panels installed. These might be expensive at first, but they will make a massive difference in the long run. This is mostly seen as a backup plan. Many people only bring out the generator in times of emergency and for camping trips.

Are generators safe?

They might not be the safest bet on the market today, but your solar-powered alternatives will be a little safer. Nevertheless, you also need to keep the safety features in the back of your mind and battery management system technology is really great for keeping them from overheating or overcharging.

 

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