The 10 Best Solar Generators Reviewed
Solar generators come with tons of benefits and potential for the future. Technology has improved dramatically over the years, and now solar generators are not only environmentally friendly, but cheaper to use, useful in an emergency, quiet, and compact. Green energy like solar is more reliable and cleaner for the environment, making it the perfect option for you to take camping and RVing.
You will, of course, need a solar panel to go along with your generator to create power for the generator to store. First, let’s talk about how solar generators work. Solar panels capture energy from the sun using silicone cells, and then a generator takes the energy and converts it into electrical power that it stores. Later, you can use the stored power with an inverter.
A portable solar generator comes in different sizes, shapes, and with multiple options. Find the right options for your needs without spending hours researching the pros and cons of hundreds of product reviews. We found the best options for you and compiled a list to make your life easier so you can get out in the wilderness and still run electrical items with ease. Take a peek and find the best option for your needs.
The Best Solar Generators
For a low price, the ENKEEO can provide 155Wh with this 100W solar generator. It comes with two US standard AC outlets, three USB ports, and two DC jacks. You can recharge the generator with a wall outlet, car charger, or a solar panel depending on where you are and how much sunlight you have available.
The 155W lithium portable station can power up to seven devices at the same time with 100W continues and a 150W peak rating inverter that uses a BMS system to safeguard devices during usage. It takes about 8 to 10 hours to charge the unit in the wall fully, and a little longer using a solar panel, you will need to purchase separately.
With foldable lift handles, a small weight of 3.7 pounds, and a size of 8.3 x 3.6 x 7.4 inches, you can take this anywhere you need to charge devices. The quiet fan, electrical protections, and built-in light you get a valuable addition to your camping trip. Includes an LCD display to show you how much charge you have available. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
Those with a smaller budget and charging needs may find the NEXPOW Solar Generator suits their purposes as it comes with a lower price tag. It also comes with a built-in light making it an excellent option for outdoor uses as you can see what you need to charge even in the dark. It offers 178Wh or 48000mAh and comes with a handle to carry the tiny 8.9 x 3.1 x 4.1 inches, 3.1 pound device.
Along with 150W of portable power, this station comes with a lithium-ion battery making it the perfect unit to store energy. It comes with a uniquely designed USB-C PD 45W so it can charge MacBook Pro 13.3 inches and under. In addition, it includes ports a USB-C PD 3.0 (out/input 45W max), AC outlet (120W max, peak power of 150W), DC port (7A 84W max), and 2 USB ports with 15W max. Use this generator to charge phones, tablets, cameras, drones, CPAP machines.
Recharging the generator is easy with multiple options such as a solar panel, wall outlet, or with a car charger. You will need to purchase a solar power separately, but it does come with the car charger. Do not use it to power devices over 150W. Check the LED display to find out how much juice the solar generator has available.
Are you looking for an eco-friendly and quiet power source? The Jackery Explorer 240- watt-hour (16.8Ah, 14.4V) comes equipped with 240 watt-hours and a lithium-ion battery pack. With this solar generator, you can pack light for your travels outdoors. It’s capable of charging laptops, drones, and other similar or smaller electric-powered devices for a mid-range price.
The explorer features an AC outlet (110V, 200W, 400W peak), 2 USB-A ports, and 1 DC car port. You can pair the generator with a 60 or 100W solar panel to charge the generator. It comes with an easy to carry handle for added usefulness, too, as well as a guide to help you understand how to use your new toy.
Furthermore, it comes with an easy to read LCD display screen that shows you the charge level, input, and output. The generator measures 9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches and weighs 6.6 pounds, meaning it’s light enough to take with you anywhere you go.
Finally, You can charge devices in as little as three hours, depending on the device. Do not use this solar generator to power devices rated over 200W, including hair dryers, drills, electric kettles, induction stovetops, rice cookers, or microwaves. It’s meant to be used outdoors for portable items, so check the wattage of your devices before using it. For example, a cell phone draws a max of 18 watts, and a laptop consumes between 15 to 45, so both are acceptable.
Take the Progeny 280W Generator on your next camping trip to power smaller electronic devices and even some smaller appliances. This high capacity power station provides 280Wh (3.7V 67500mAh 12V 10Ah with a 27 pack of 18650 lithium battery packs. With this much power to run a CPAP machine for a few nights in a row if you use a DC-DC converter. It can also recharge a laptop, TV, mini-fridge, or other small appliances multiple times.
The generator offers multi-functional uses with built-in inputs and outputs, including an AC output 110V, 3 DC 12V/5A ports, and 2 USB ports. It’s perfect for camping to use as a backup power source or to recharge small devices. The generator comes with a handle and a small portable design without noise, vibrations, or harmful emissions and no maintenance.
Charging the generator is easy with multiple methods, including a solar panel, wall outlet, or a car charger. It’s compatible with 60 or 100W solar panels sold separately to get a full charge in 8-10 hours. In a wall outlet or car outlet, you can get a full charge in 5-6 hours. The generator includes an 18-month warranty.
For slightly larger price, you can buy the Rockpals 300W Generator with a lithium-battery. It boasts an extra-large LCD display with multiple readings for convenience, along with a handle and multiple plugs to support multiple types of chargers. This unit has an AC output of 300W continuous with a 600W surge max.
It comes with 5 DC (16A/96W max), 2 USB ports, a regular AC outlet, and 2 other ports as well. You can charge the device by plugging it into your car, wall, or solar power for quiet power. Use this device to charge phones, tablets, laptops, fans, screens, lights, and other smaller devices under 300w. You can even use it to power smaller household appliances like blenders or even a CPAP machine.
The generator uses lithium batteries to storage energy and weighs just over seven pounds making it a perfect option for travel. You will need to purchase a 60W or 100w solar panel to use solar power to charge the device. It also includes a Pure Sine Wave inverter for inductive loads all without noise except for a small fan to reduce overheating. Lastly, it comes with a user guide and an 18-month warranty and measures a mere 6.5 x 3.1 x 6.9 inches.
As you can tell, 300W solar generators are one of the most common sizes as Flashfish offers a narrow version themselves with a lower price than the others making this a budget-friendly option. It provides 222Wh to function as a back-up power supply with tons of options for charging. Use it for phones, tablets, laptops, Christmas lights, and so much more. It also allows for 300W of continuous power with a peak power of 350W and 60000mAh battery capacity and pure sine wave inverter.
Charge the generator with your car charger, wall charger, or a 50W solar panel that you will need to purchase separately. It comes with 2 12V DC ports, 2 USB ports, and an LED screen to display charge level. The unit measures 9.84 x 3.35 x 5.12 inches and weighs just 5.6 pounds. Do not use the generator while it is charging.
Last of all, the generator includes multiple safety protections like short-circuit protection, lock-on protection, low-voltage protection, over-voltage protection, overheat protection, and over current protection, all with an easy to carry handle for the slim body. Several charger cords come with as well as a user manual. Check out Flashfish solar panels too.
So far we have introduced you to several smaller generators but the SUAOKI Solar Generator offers a whopping 500Wh (11.1V 45,900mAh/ /3.7V 137,700mAh) and has the ability to charge just about anything you need even a projector outside or anything you need for camping or RVing. It uses 300W Pure Sin Wave AC just like in your house and comes equipped with 2 AC outlets, 3 USB ports one of which works for newer Mac Books.
Use the versatile DC outputs to support 12V/3A in your car port or recharge with a wall outlet, or a solar panel you will need to purchase. It uses lithium batteries to store your power. Use a 100W solar panel sold separately to charge the solar panel in as little 6 to 8 hours. You can also charge in the wall or car in 6-10 hours.
Finally, it ways 15 pounds and measures 11 x 7.5 x 8.3 inches. It offers enough energy to charge multiple items more than once when you are out the road enjoying nature. Comes with a carrying handle and in a compact shape to not take up too much space even if you are in a small camper or tent.
Are you ready for some serious power? The Renogy Lycan Powerbox provides 1075Wh so that you can charge multiple items many times over on one charge. It comes with a custom lithium-iron-phosphate battery to allow for more cycles with up to 2000! The uses are unlimited as you can use it while camping, as a contractor, living outdoors, as backup power, and more.
The generator is compatible with most electrical devices and comes with four 110V (1200W max) universal AC ports, four 5V/2.4A (7A max) USB DC ports, a cig Port (12v 150W max), and 3 DC ports (12V 60W max). Though the generator is heavy-duty, it comes with a handle and sturdy wheels to make sure it’s easy to move where ever you need it to go. However, it is very heavy at 60 pounds and measures 15 x 15 x 12 inches, so you will probably want to use the wheels to get it around.
It comes with an LCD screen to tell you how much power you have available. Charge it with a wall outlet, in the car, or using a solar panels up to 300W to cut down the length of time it takes to charge. Find more ports on the back, including an Anderson Power Pole Port, XT90 Port, RJ45 Port, and External FUSW slots. It uses a Pure Sine Wave inverter to provide power and works for almost any power need.
If you’ve got the money and the space, the Goal Zero Yeti offers a dramatically large amount of power and comes with a couple of benefits, including WiFi! That’s right, it comes with connectivity by connecting it to your WiFi router, and you can then control the power station remotely using the Yeti App. It weighs 43.7 pounds and measures 18 x 13 x 13 inches making it massive but still portable and not too space consuming.
The inverter offers continuous output of 1500W and 3000W of surge capability for running power tools, fridges, and more. It features a 1425Wh capacity (132,000mAh/10.8V, 396,000mAH/3.7V) and has ports for AC, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, and 12V outputs and can run ten devices at one time. Charge phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, drones, blenders, lights, medical devices, and so much more.
This video shows some of the things the solar powered Goal Zero Yet can power:
Use the app to check the battery level, power in and out, and to turn on ports or to turn them off. It uses 18650 lithium cell batteries for increased stability in a high-capacity pack. The batteries are enclosed in a water-tight enclosure with a seal to keep the elements out and offers advanced cooling to keep the batteries at the perfect temperature.
Finally, to charge, you can place it in a wall charger for 25 hours, or you can use solar panels to recharge it when off-grid in around 30 hours depending on conditions. It comes with a 10-12 month shelf-life so you can use it as an emergency power supply. This is perfect for camping with a large group and can even power a fridge!
Nature’s Generator comes with several unique benefits, but the first is 1800W of power. Even better, you can use either the included solar panel or wind to generate power to charge the device. It also comes with a long handle and on wheels so you can roll it to where ever you need. Even better still, it comes with the solar panel, and it’s on wheels too! It costs about half the price of the last Generator above also.
You can add as many units as you want to expand the amount of power you need. This would work for living off-grid or even powering an off-grid medical center. It uses pure sin wave power to give you the best power, and you can change out the battery yourself with ease. The system also use it as an uninterrupted power supply for items like your refrigerator.
One unit can produce 720Wh of total output on a single charge. Includes a 100W polycrystalline power panel on wheels to transport with the Generator. It comes with several outlets, including 3 x 120V AC outlets, 2 x USB ports that produce 3A of combined power, 1 x 12V DC outlet, 1 x Solar Input (200W charge controller built-in), and 1 x Wind Input (300W charge controller built-in). Use the LCD screen to view battery levels, charging status, output usage, and so much more.
The Generator with the cart measures 23 x 17 x 22 inches and weighs 90 pounds, which is why you will want to drag it around on the cart! Next, the solar power panels measure 40 x 6 x 30 inches and weighs 28 pound. Lastly, what you will love most is the app to track all of the different settings on the Generator via Bluetooth.
Questions About Solar Generators
How do I know what size generator I need?
Solar generators come in two-watt ratings, which are surge watts and continuous watts. Continuous watts refers to the power your generator produces consistently. The surge wattage rating refers to how your generator can handle the initial burst of power needed to start electrical items. This surge usually only lasts for a second at most, but some items require more initial surge than others and can drain the battery faster.
Know this will help you to understand the larger a solar generator is, the more power it can store. Each generator above comes with a watt-hour (Wh) to help you decide. You will also need to know the wattage of the appliance you want to run, so you know how much to charge it to a usable level. For example, a 100W device and a generator with 150Wh will take 1.5 hours to recharge.
Most solar generators offer a storage capacity of 1 or 2 kWh, and the average American household uses about 30 kWhs of electricity per day. So a generator can only store enough power for a couple of devices at most like charging your phones or maybe a television or large appliance at most when off-grid.
How can I figure out the working hours of the generator?
It’s a simple equation to figure out the working time of a device – Wh x 0.85 / working power of the device = the amount of hours. For example: a 250Wh device using this equation provides 7.08 hours.
What are the maintenance requirements of a solar generator?
One of the benefits of solar generators and solar panels is that neither of them requires a lot of maintenance. Neither item utilizes moving parts, meaning they are less likely to fall apart. At most, you will have to remove debris and do some light dusting and cleaning.
The batteries should be check occasionally for degradation and more often if you use them on a regular basis. Checking the batteries means checking the battery voltage and performing statistics listed on the system’s screen.
How long will a solar generator last?
Depending on your usage, a solar generator can last your entire life or only a couple of years. If you use it on a daily basis, you will probably have to replace it in a couple of years. However, if you only use it for weekends or the occasional camping trip and its sitting in storage the rest of the time, then you may get decades of use from your generator.
Solar generators use batteries to store the power, and depending on the type of battery, you may have to replace it sooner. Generators come with two types of batteries – lead-acid or lithium-ion. Lead-acid batteries are the most common and cost-effective but have a shorter life span, although some come with a special gel to improve the lifespan and safety. Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, compact, and last much longer than their counterparts but are much more expensive.
What are the benefits of a solar generator over a gas generator?
Solar generators offer many benefits compared to a gas generator. The two most notable reasons are solar is quiet and doesn’t come with a noxious smell or produce fumes. Cost is another factor, solar uses the sun and doest require refueling, unlike gas generators, which cost to refuel.
Another advantage of solar is you don’t have to store flammable liquids in your home or camper. Solar generators are also super simple to use with no extra maintenance, unlike gas generators, which require tons of work, cost, and mess with your senses. The last benefit of a solar generator is they do not deplete the world of resources we cannot renew as the sun is free with unlimited potential for harnessing power.
What else do I need to go along with my solar generator?
As your solar generator stores energy for later use, you will also need energy, which is why you need solar panels to harvest energy. Most solar panel kits include a charge controller because it’s an integral component. It serves to protect and promote the durability of the battery, it’s the brain for your battery. Next, you will need an inverter to convert the DC to AC from the solar power at the generator can then store, and these are often purchased separately from the solar panel kit.
Wrapping Up Solar Generators
Before you decide which model to get, decide how many items you may need to charge while off-grid. If you have the money and need tons of energy, the Nature’s Generator – 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Generator offers the most function and charging for a relatively low cost. Also, you can use wind or solar to charge the unit, and monitor it from your phone using Bluetooth. If you only need a smaller unit, try the 300W Portable Solar Generator by FF Flashfish as it will meet most campers’ needs without costing a fortune or taking up a ton of space.