Portable Solar Generators Are Inspiration If You’re Heading To Live Off The Grid: An Environmentally Friendly And Reliable Way To Charge Your Devices On The Go
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Solar energy is one of the most useful resources we can harness in the world.
The development of technology has meant that over the years, we have been able to assemble generators and power sources into smaller units, making solar generators incredibly useful for the consumer market, especially when it comes to powering and charging your devices when camping or on the move.
In this article, we’ll look at a number of different styles of solar generators on the market right now, as well as compile a list of things to watch out for to ensure you find the right generator that fits your needs.
What is the right solar generator for me?
This largely depends on the type of activity you do and the types of equipment you will be running, but the first thing to know is that there are many different units and generators, of all shapes and sizes, to choose from.
However, their versatility is one of their main strengths – our recommendation is to choose a generator that has a fair amount of “head space” for your appliances, ensuring you have enough spare power.
What size solar generator do I need?
Larger devices will be able to power things like refrigerators, electrical appliances, and televisions, and the smaller, more portable options on this list will be able to store enough power to charge devices like laptops, cameras, smartphones, and tablets.
With many solar generators, the panels can be purchased separately, allowing the units to be charged via mains if needed. However, there are alternative options available, and we’ve tested and included two options here that include collapsible panels with the unit itself, either in a suitcase or collapsible and extendable units.
What wattage should I look for in a solar generator?
In terms of available power, look for the highest possible watt-hour, which determines the capacity of the battery pack. Running watts is the power a generator can produce continuously – the various device requirements are usually listed on the devices themselves – you need to make sure the numbers on the generator are above the device requirements.
The best solar generators at a glance
Get ready for hiking and backpacking adventures
Here are our recommendations for the best portable solar generators on the market right now
Target Zero Yeti 1500X
If you have aspirations to live off the grid, you will need a solar generator that can produce enough energy to power everyday appliances and gadgets.
The Yeti 1500X, while pricey, is one of the best on the market right now for this purpose – the charge controller means you get efficient solar power, which can also be added into the mains if you need to, and the unit can Provides power for household gadgets and equipment – including a full-size refrigerator if you need it.
We’re also happy to recommend this option if you’re working on off-network events.
Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station
If you’re looking for a power option with slightly more portability, weight is a major consideration.
One of the lightest lithium battery generators on the market right now, the Jackery Explorer 500 features a 518Wh battery and performs well when paired with SolarSaga 100W solar panels, as is many of the generators featured here, which are sold separately.
In terms of power, we would be comfortable powering small items with this generator such as mini fridges, air pumps, small TVs, laptop and charging devices.
160W Ecoflow Foldable Solar Panel
The EcoFlow 160W Foldable Solar Panel Charger’s immediate approach is one of its main selling points – once the panels are exposed, energy from the sun can be captured and used to charge devices within seconds, making it a great choice for charging devices and equipment when camping or out in the wild.
It’s also IP67 dust and water resistant, and has a kickstand included to stand on it to get the most out of the sun’s rays, no matter where it’s in the sky.
Bluetti Poweroak 500Wh . Portable Solar Power Plant
If your primary consideration is making sure you get enough charge in your devices, this is our go-to for technology.
It’s specifically designed to power drones, laptop equipment, cameras, cell phones, and tablets, and its size makes it a great option for camping and weekend trips away, or if you’re building a truck, for example.
Using a 120W solar panel (sold separately) can produce enough power for about 4-5 hours of charging time.
Anker 521 PowerHouse 200W
Equipped with LiFePO4 batteries, Anker claims that this generator provides 6 times longer life than generators that use conventional batteries.
Whatsmore, they’ve added a 5 year warranty, so this is definitely the option to go if longevity and long lasting energy are a major consideration.
We love the fact that it has a number of different outlets as well, so you can leave the adapters at home – USB, AC power, and car outlet are all available.
It’s also small, portable, and quiet, too, which is a welcome feature.
Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel Suitcase Portable Power Station
This is one of the smallest portable power stations we’ve seen on the market, but it’s a great option if space is at a premium or if you want to take the power pack on adventures.
The solar panels are shipped with the generator and fold neatly into a suitcase, with a sturdy handle and a sturdy protective case.
It’s easy to set up remotely in a variety of locations and Renogy and if you need more power, Renogy also offers a 200-watt version.