15 Best Solar Generators

MySolarHome's expert solar team brings you the 15 Best Solar Generators of 2020 and answers all your questions about Solar Powered Generators.

Read reviews and compare over 50  Battery Generators, Portable AC Power Supplies, Portable Power banks and Portable Solar Generators.  Buying Guide, Pros and Cons and FAQ's galore covering everything you need to know about every kind of Solar Powered Generator.

Table of Contents

15 Best Solar Generators

starting with the top 3 Solar Powered Generators under $ 100

Three top Solar Power Banks with sub hundred dollar prices and rave reviews and performance.

Renogy Phoenix - Portable Power Bank

Renogy is a well established brand manufacturing a host of solar products. The Renogy 100 is their smallest Portable Power Supply.

Portable and usually allowed on board flights, its the size of a soda can. But, do make sure prior to boarding a flight.

renogy 100 portable power supply

Use it to charge your phone, camera and laptop.  It will charge your laptop to a 100% only once and then run out of juice.

Rav Power 80 - Portable Power Bank

Rav Power's 80 watt unit has marginally less power than the Renogy 100. But, the Rav Power blows away both the Renogy and the Novoo in terms of fast charging speed.

Unlike standard USB and USB C charging ports that charge at around 10 watts or 18 watts per hour, the Rav Power is super speedy.

Rav Power 80 Portable Power Bank

30 watt charging speed charges an Iphone 12 in just 30 minutes to 50% power capacity.

Regular USB charging is as fast as USB charging in similar battery generators.

Novoo 81 - Portable Power Bank

Novoo 81 is new in the market and its creating some buzz with its design. 

Comparable with the other two in terms of power, but with 60 watts of AC power it will not power  an xbox or smaller TV's that use slightly more than 70 watts.

Novoo 80 Power Bank

Regular USB and USB C charging is standard and the unit is 3.9 pounds, a shade heavier than the other two in the category.

Top 3 Solar Powered Generators under $ 200

Three top Portable AC Power Supplies with sub two hundred dollar prices and superb reviews and performance.

Aimtom 155 - Solar Generator / AC Power Supply

The Aimtom 155 squeaks into our top three primarily based on its value tag line.

It's the least expensive amongst these three solar power supplies.

And it is the lightest of the lot at 3.5 pounds.  However, they are all in the same ballpark size and weight. 

Aimtom 155 size

This solar generator is a shade under powered with an AC output of 100 watts. USB and DC outputs are plentiful. 

Jackery 160 - AC Power Supply

Jackery has a complete range of Solar Generators starting with the Jackery 160 featured here.

Like all Jackery products the Jackery 160 is aggressively priced and pumps out a decent 100 watts of AC.

Thats like a featherweight fighting in the middleweight category. Jackery leverages a high quality inverter to deliver this punch.

Jackery 160 Solar Generator

2 USB and 1 USB C charging is standard and the unit is 3.9 pounds, a shade heavier than the other solar generators in the category.

Renogy 200 - AC Power Supply

Pricier than the Aimtom and the Jackery, the Renogy 200 has more power under its hood than the aforementioned solar generators.

The AC output at 200 watts is higher than both the Aimtom 155 and the Jackery 160 Solar Generator.

Stylish high performance with 2 AC outlets and 4 USB outlets,  this 4.4 pound solar powered generator has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Renogy 200 Solar Powered Generator

Renogy has been around for many years and is a reliable company promising great after sales and warranty support.

Top 3 Solar Generators under $ 350

The next three solar generators are mid sized power houses. They are ideal companions in an RV or a boat as well as the longer camping sojourns.

Jackery 240 - Camping Solar Generator

With 200 watts of AC power, the Jackery 240 is the ideal RV or camping companion.

Charge your laptop multiple times, run a small fridge, power a TV for a couple of hours and let the music run for hours on end.

A little short on outlets with 1 AC outlets and 2 USB outlets, the Jackery builds on a history of reliable trouble free performance

Jackery 240 Solar Generator

Another value offering from Jackery with excellent reviews on both performance and  after sales support.

Baldr 330 - Camping Solar Generator

A new entrant, the Baldr 330 scores most where it matters, thumping 330 watts of AC output.

Drones, X Boxes, Regular Fridge... anything that is 330 watts or less in power consumption is fair game for the Baldr 330.

Plenty of output ports to power multiple devices simultaneously, charge 4 USB devices at the same time, particularly great when you are out with a group in the wilderness.

No scrimping on the DC outputs either, 2 12 DC and the cigarette lighter charging port are an added bonus.

Baldr 330 Solar Generator

Baldr has a large cohort of supporters giving it high marks on Amazon.

Renogy 300 - RV Solar Generator

Speedy is my name and you have to pay a little more for me.

The Renogy 300 is a good $80 more than its nearest two competitor from Baldr and Jackery. Tha's the permiu mfor super fast charging.

6o watt USB C and 18 watt USB are the fastest available charging speeds in portable batteries. 

Decent capacity and AC output with the Renogy signature design, this solar generator has a lot of fans.

Renogy 300 RV Solar Powered Generator

The lightest of the trio, it also has two AC output's allowing you to run two AC devices simultaneously.

Top 3 Solar Generators under $ 500

And here are the middle weight champions. Beefy power without the pounds of flab. The best combo of weight and power.

Wattfun 500 - Solar Powered Generator

Wireless charging is my game and I have the looks to turn heads.  The only solar generator in this line up with wireless phone charging capability that maxes out at 10 watts.

500 watt hours of battery capacity gives you the power to last long hours on an outdoor vacation.

Two AC output ports that deliver a total of 300 watts at a time, that's less than the 500 watt AC outputs of the competing Jackery 500 and the Aimtom 540.

wattfun 500

Fast USB C charging (45 watts), great looks and very aggressive pricing with overall excellent customer reviews on Amazon means the Wattfun lives up to its name.

Aimtom 540 - Solar Powered Generator

Aimtom products are new on the market and are giving the competition a run for their money.

The lightest amongst the 3 solar generators at 11 pounds, the Aimtom also has 2 AC outlets. That's convenient and should negate the need for an extension strip.

No scrimping on the other outputs either: 3 USB  and 1 USB C port plus a cigarette charger outlet and  dual 12 volt DC outputs. 

Aimtom 540 - 2

Like all the other specifications, the Aimtom also added a little extra to their Lithium ion battery, its capacity at 540 watt hours is slightly higher than the competition.

Jackery 500 - Solar Generator

Jackery has standardized on its design and value offering. Get the most power you need but with standardized design and no frills performance.

A single AC outlet, 3 USB ports and the cigarette charger port with dual 12 volt DC outputs, the Jackery 500 has a 518 watt hour Lithium Ion battery to power upto 7 devices.

Jackery offers optional solar panels under the Jackery brand name which are a welcome addition for long trips.

Jackery 500 Solar Power Generator

13.3 lbs and easy to carry, this is a favorite of beach goers and boat owners.

Heavy Duty Solar Generators over $ 1000

The biggest solar powered generators in the market are all over $1000 in price. They are heavy and can be called portable in quotes. They pack significantly more power than their counterparts, but they should not be considered for whole home power backup.

Jackery 1000 - Heavy Duty Solar Generator

The 1002 watt Jackery heavy duty solar powered generator is a combination of power and excellent value; at a $ 1000, it is the best of the lot as far as price goes.

And there is a lot more going on; 3 AC outlets ( max AC power 1000 watts) , 1 USB , 2 USB C and an additional fast charging (35 watt) USB C port. 

A little short on overall power capacity, the Lithium Ion battery has 1002 watt hours of capacity. Also, optional Jackery solar panels are available too.

Jackery 1000 Solar Powered Generator

It's also the lightest in the heavy duty range at just 22 pounds, but that's in part because of its lower power capacity.

Bluetti 1500 - Heavy Duty Solar Generator

The Bluetti 1500 ruled the roost for a while when it is one of the very few 1500 watt hour solar powered generators on the market.

Even with competition it continues to attract buyers with its 1000 watt output  AC outlets ( 2 of them) and its 5 USB ports including a 35 watt fast charging USB C port. 

A perennial favorite among RV and Boat owners the silent heavy duty Bluetti is very reliable.

Bluetti 1500 Solar Powered Generator

Power Tools and  Household appliances other than a central AC /washing machines are all game for the Bluetti. 

Yeti 1500x - Heavy Duty Solar Generator

Utah based Goal Zero has a full range of Yeti Solar Generators.  The 1500x is its most popular heavy duty model

2000 watts of AC power knocks everyone else out of the park. Powerful enough to run most household appliances and tools the Yeti 1500x is versatile and competes with lower end portable generators.

A 1516 watt hour capacity Lithium Battery powers 2  AC outlets and 5 USB ports including a 35 watt fast charging USB C port. 

More power and capacity come at a price it is the most expensive amongst the 3 we have showcased.

Yeti 1500x Heavy Duty Solar Generator

Superb design and looks are another plus. The only drawback is it is slightly overweight at 43 pound.

More Solar Generator Reviews

Top 10 Trending Solar Generators On Amazon

easy focus 300

Now that you have seen the top 15 solar powered generators, you might want to see more.  Solar pros at MySolarHome evaluated over 55 products to bring you the best of the best.

The Amazon marketplace sees new product launches every day. Check out the latest portable and home solar generators making waves on Amazon by clicking on the trending box.

Superior performance, build quality, features and value are all hallmarks of these best of breed Solar Generators.

We made a video of the top 15 solar generators too..

Video Review : 15 Best Solar Powered Generators

Home Solar Generators

Home Solar Generators can run a window AC, your communication devices, your Home Refrigerator and lighting etc for a few hours.  They are not a substitute for a regular Portable Generator or a as a full home backup solution.

They are great to run power tools on a job site or running a cabin in the wild.  But, not enough power for complete home backup.

Lets start with the top 5 Best Home Solar Generators

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Li  - full sized

Weight : 68 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 3024 watts 
AC output : 1500 watts AC pure sine  with surge 3000 watts
Yeti 3000 Lithium
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 2
USB  - 4
DC 12v  - 4
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1
Anderson DC Socket  - 1

Yeti 3000 Lithium 

Goal Zero's big daddy, 3024 watts of storage and 1500 watts of regular AC output.  Enough energy to power a cabin or a small home's essentials for the night.

Comes with a nice dolly to help you lug around the Yeti 3000.  Goal Zero is a US based company with outstanding customer service with a superb line of Solar Generators.

Ecoline 1260  - full sized

Weight : 30 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 1260 watts 
AC output : 1800 watts AC pure sine  with surge 3300 watts
Ecoflow 1260
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 6
USB  - 4
USB C - 2
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Ecoline 1260 

Super quick charging - and that is a really big deal. All full sized solar generators take hours and hours to charge up, but the Econline takes just an hour and a half to go to full charge.

And there is more, the 1800 watt AC output is enough for almost everything in your home and the tool shed. 1260 watts of storage with rapid charging makes this a really attractive choice.

Maxoak Bluetti 1500 Li  - full sized

Weight : 38 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 2400 watts 
AC output : 1000 watts AC pure sine  with 1200 watt surge
Maxoak Bluetti
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar
Outputs
AC  - 2
USB  - 4
DC 12v  - 1
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1
Laptop PD  - 1

Bluetti 1500 

2400  watt hours of battery capacity and a 1000 watt steady power output gives the Bluetti some serious staying power. Run your power tools over over 2 and a half hours on a full charge. (  1000 watt or below)

The Bluetti has a smaller 1500 watt version that is around $500 cheaper

Inergy Apex

Weight : 25 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 1100 watts 
AC output : 1500 watts AC pure sine  with 3000 watt surge
Inergy Apex Outputs
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar
Outputs
AC  - 6
USB  - 2
DC 12v  - 1
30 Amp RV Plug - 1

Inergy Apex 

A high performing heavy duty solar generator from the Idaho based Inergy.  The Apex boasts of much faster charging speeds compared to its peers. Came out 2nd in terms of charging time, behind Ecoline 1260.

An RV plug plus 6 AC outputs and the ability to daisy chain, i.e. to add more of these to increase power. Very light weight at 25 pounds for its 1100 watts of capacity.

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Li  - full sized

Weight : 43 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 1425 watts 
AC output : 1500 watts AC pure sine  with surge 3000 watts
Yeti 1400 Lithium in use
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 2
USB  - 4
DC 12v  - 4
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1
Anderson DC Socket  - 1

Yeti 1400 Lithium 

Goal Zero's mid range full sized solar generator the Yeti 1400 Lithium brings the pedigree of Goal Zero's US based customer service and broad choice of outputs.

Ability to run power tools with power load of 1500 watts or lower and a surge or running watts spec of 3000 watts or lower.


Best Camping RV or Boat Solar Generators

The next  Best Mid Sized Solar Generators are  great for Camping and for your RV or Boat and even for limited Home Power backup.  

Goal Zero Yeti 500 x - mid sized

Weight : 18 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 505 watts 
AC output : 300 watts AC pure sine  with surge 1200 watts
Goal Zero Yeti 500X
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 2
USB  - 2
USB C - 2
DC 12v  - 1
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Yeti 500x

Goal Zero's 3rd generation 500 x has more power backup for you at 505 watts.  The new high power USB C input output port gives out a blazing 60 watts for quick charging of your Mac and other devices. 

Like all mid sized units you are limited to devices with power draws of 300 watts or less.

Amongst the lightest mid sized units the Yeti 500x  is a winner.

Jackery 500  - mid sized

Weight : 12.5 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 518 watts 
AC output : 500 watts AC pure sine  wave with 1000 watt surge
Jackery 500
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 1
USB  - 3
DC 12v  - 2
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Jackery 500 

Jackery specializes in blowing away the AC power output that it generates. With steady 500 watt AC output and a 518 watt hour battery, a full hour of operations even at full blast.  A good choice if you want to use smaller tools while you are out.

Aeiusny 288 - portable

Weight : 7.6 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 288 watts 
AC output : 500 watts AC pure sine
Aeisuny 288
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 3
USB  - 4
DC 12v  - 4
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Aeiusny 288 

Punching over its weight the Aeiusny 288 has a powerful inverter able to output 500 watts of steady AC power. Much more than the Jackery 240 and the Yeti 200x.

With a price comparable to most Portable Solar Generators, the Aeiusny packs 288 watts of capacity.  Straddling the portable and mid sized gap, this is a good value for money buy, and the in-built flashlight is nice too.

Best Portable Solar Generators

These are the  best Portable Solar Generators. These are suitable for powering light AC loads such as a Laptop,Small Fan, Mini Fridge, Drone etc.

Also DC Loads like an LED light, Cooler, Inflator Pump, Small Vacuum Cleaner and USB outputs like Smartphones, Coolers and USB Fans.   

They are great for a weekend trip. For longer trips you should consider buying solar panels that can recharge them for longer usage. 

Yeti 150 - portable

Weight : 12 pounds 
Battery Capacity : AGM 150 watts 
AC output : 80 watts AC modified sine  wave 
Portable Solar Generator
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 1
USB  - 2
DC 12v  - 1
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Yeti 150

The first rockstar solar generator was the Yeti 150. Easy to carry and able to take a beating in the outdoors, this has remained a perennial favorite among outdoors folks.

Small, low maintenance and great value for money, never mind its AGM battery, you will like its solid construction and smiling face in all outdoor conditions. 

 Jackery 240 - portable

Weight : 12.5 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 240 watts 
AC output : 200 watts AC pure sine  wave with 400 watt surge
solar generator jackery 240
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 1
USB  - 2
DC 12v  - 2
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Jackery 240

A Small powerful package from Jackery which is very popular with a terrific digital display and easily accessible output.

Powerful enough to keep your laptop  and drone powered during your weekend camping get away. 

Yeti 200 x - portable

Weight : 5 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 187 watts 
AC output : 120 watts AC modified sine  with surge 200 watts
Yeti 200x
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 1
USB  - 2
USB C - 2
DC 12v  - 1
Cigarette Lighter Socket  - 1

Yeti 200x 

The Yeti 200x is a new generation compact solar powered generator.  Gives you a little more power with 187 watt hours under its hood and the ability to generate a steady 120 watt modified AC output. The new USB C output port can belt out 18 watts . 

Suaoki 150 - portable

Weight : 3 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 150 watts 
AC output : 100 watts AC pure sine with 150 watts surge
new Suaoki 150
Solar Panels : not part of kit
Charging : AC, Solar, Car charger
Outputs
AC  - 2
USB  - 4
DC 12v  - 4

Suaoki 150

Suaoki products are backed by excellent customer service and this gives the other portables stiff competition. AC output is true sine wave and that gives additional protection for your devices. Great for charging  Laptops,Tablets and similar gadgets with  a 100 watts or lower power rating. 

Soyond - ultra portable

Weight : 3 pounds 
Battery Capacity : Lithium 32 watts 
AC output : Not available
Soyond
Solar Panels : 6 watt panel included
Charging : AC, Solar 
Outputs
AC  - None
USB  - 1
DC 3.7v  - 4
Flashlight, Bluetooth MP3 player, FM Radio 

Soyond

The Soyond is ultra portable, more like an extra large battery pack. It's got bells and whistles like a Flashlight, BlueTooth Player for you to play Spotify from your phones. It's got no AC output and it is can power small DC devices like smart phones, a USB fan, shaver etc.

It is the only Solar Generator in our selection that actually includes a very small solar panel in the kit to keep the unit charged at all times.

Solar Generator Comparison Table

Understanding Solar Generators

Solar Powered Generator : A Solar Generator stores Solar Energy as Electrical Energy inside an in-built battery.  They are clean, non polluting, portable and environmentally friendly backup power storage devices. 

The image below is the Yeti 500x Solar Generator from Goal Zero. It is one of the more advanced mid sized products in the market. 

Looking at the front of the unit we see almost everything you are likely to encounter in any top line solar powered generator. 

On the top left you have a 12V Regulated Output Port and a 6 mm Output Port. These are the two DC output ports of the unit. The 12V port is exactly like the cigarette lighter charger in your car, anything you can plug in your car charger can be plugged in here. 

The 6mm Output Port is for connecting DC lights - usually great for camping or christmas lights.

Right below that is the 8 mm Charge Port (this is an Input Port) for the Yeti. Here's where you connect external solar panels to charge the internal battery of the Yeti. Remember Solar Panels are usually a separate purchase.  Many users never buy panels and get by regular wall AC charging.

what is a solar generator

Different Solar Generators have different input connectors for the power flowing out of Solar Panels - Andersen Connectors, 8mm, EC8, DC7909 etc. 

And solar panels themselves have different output connectors; MC4, 8mm etc. You have to match the cables to correctly connect to the Solar panels on the one hand and into the Solar generator on the other side. 

Also be cautious while buying Solar Panels - you will also have to match the power output of the panels (voltage and current) to match what your Solar Powered Generator can accept. If all this is bit much; just stick to charging through a wall AC outlet and forget the solar panels.

The Interactive LED Screen shows battery display with input watts : showing how much power the solar panels or wall charger is pushing into the internal battery, and output watts shows power used by connected appliances. 

Right below is the Output panel with 2 standard USB ports with 2.4 amp output in the middle. The 60 watt USB C port on the left is both an input and output port USB C port.  On the right is a 18 watt USB C output port.

To the right of the unit are the 2 standard AC outlets - the Yeti output is 300 watts AC pure sine wave.  Make sure you buy a unit that produces enough AC power for your favorite appliances.

Don’t be left hanging with a unit that does not have enough power for the Tool or appliance you wanted to use, because the max steady AC output for the solar generator is less than what you needed. 

Inside a Solar Generator

what is inside a solar generator

And above is my artistic rendition of the inside of the Solar Generator. At the center of it all is the embedded battery, usually a Lithium Ion chemistry based battery, but sometimes Lead Acid as well. The battery shown here is just for representation.

Inbuilt Battery : The battery in the Solar Generator can be charged using Solar Panels or AC power and sometimes a car charger too. Once the internal Battery is charged, the Solar Powered Generator is ready to power your appliances. 

The Charge controller is the electronics that ensures the battery is charged correctly (overcharging can lead to over heating) and also to ensure it never drops below a certain threshold charge. All that to extend the battery life to the max.

Finally the Inverter to convert the battery power which is in DC form into usable AC power through the output ports we saw earlier. Converting the DC output of the inbuilt battery into AC to help power your TV or Fridge is the job of the Inverter.

DC output ports like the USB and the 12V ports are directly powered by the battery.

Integrated Electronics : Thus a Solar Generator is a complex electronic device which combines the battery, a solar charge controller and an inverter.  

All of that electronic wizardry finally creates a sleek good looking Solar Generator that will be your  backup Power source during a power outage, camping trip, Boat, RV or tailgate party. 

Pros & Cons of a Solar Generator

PROS

  • Indoor or Outdoor usage
  • Clean power, great for the environment
  • No fumes, no emissions just clean power
  • No messy oil changes or running to buy fuel
  • Portable and Long lasting with no moving parts
  • Maintenance free
  • Easily recharged with Solar Panels, or direct AC
  • Great for Outdoor Camping, Tailgate & Beach parties,RV, Boat and Home use

CONS

  • Limited power as compared to regular generators.  Not a good solution for full home power backup
  • Solar Panels are usually optional and have to be purchased separately. But most buyers do without solar panels.
  • Fastest charging times for most models is over 8 to 10 hours from a wall AC socket
  • Internal Batteries usually run out in 3 to 5 years
  • Some Solar Powered Generators have Batteries that are not easily replaceable.

Top 5 Reasons to get a Solar Generator

Not sure if  a Solar Generator is right for you. Here are the top reasons to consider buying one :

5 Reasons to buy
  1. Completely Silent Operation : Solar Powered Generators are completely silent and a boon at night time campsites, trailer parties or a power outage.
  2. Environmentally Friendly : Unlike regular generators that release noxious fumes and odors, they are non-polluting and great for the environment.
  3. Clean AC and DC Power : Solar  Generators produce super clean power that is great for sensitive electronic devices like Laptops, Music Boxes, Ham Radio's etc.
  4. Built for Indoor or Outdoor use : Incredibly versatile, they don't need ventilation or special site preparation making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
  5. Ultra Portable : Most models, including the larger Home Solar Generators are light and portable and easily moved around in your RV or ,Boat, Truck or home.

Portable Solar Generator Buying Tips

Planning to use the unit outdoors :  You will have to think about how long you plan to be outdoors. If it is a 2 to 3 day trip, you could get by without recharging your unit, so the optional solar panels may not be necessary.

Planning a longer Trip :  Buying external Solar Panels might be the way to go.  Make sure you match the Solar Panel specs to the Input specs of the Solar Generator.  Buying the wrong panels and connectors is a very common mistake.

Planning to us it as a backup power for your AC appliances :  Look for a unit with high AC output watts in their specifications.  Make sure the AC output watts are more than your devices requirement.  

Be extra careful as some units have a high power rating in watt hours but a relatively small AC power output. And some units may not even output AC power. 

Backup Power for DC appliances : If you are carrying just smart phones, a CPAP machine that can work off DC power, a mini fridge that works on DC, Lights that are DC powered etc then you ought to make sure the unit has DC 12 volt outputs.

5 Secrets for choosing the best solar generator
Yes

Plan your appliance load. It is critical to know what you plan to power  with solar. You should have a good idea of how many watts your unit should be capable of supporting.


Learn about the most common appliances you can power with one. If you want to get more specific about the loads - here is a good place to start.  

Yes

Based on your load requirement in watts, shortlist the generators which meet the power requirements. The Solar Calculator will help you select the models.

Yes

Weight and portability are the next factors to consider. Are you planning to have the unit stationary most of the time or do you plan to move around with it a lot.



Yes

Look for the best bang for your buck. The higher the power capacity, the more power you will get.  If you are planning to run AC appliances you will have to maximize both the AC and DC power outputs.


The comparison table has both those numbers.


Yes

Finally, decide on the solar panels. Do you plan to power the generator using solar panels?  If so how many would you need, how expensive are they and how long would they need to power the internal battery of your unit. 


Many buyers don't even buy panels as they plan to charge from a wall outlet.

Solar Generator vs Regular Portable Generator

SOLAR GENERATOR

  • Great for Indoor or Outdoor usage
  • Clean power without fumes or emissions and relatively low maintenance
  • Regular recharging with solar panels or an AC wall socket
  • No need to buy fuel or be near the electric grid. Solar Charging is awesome during emergencies or disasters
  • Portable and use anywhere : at a beach, tailgating, camping, in your RV or Boat or even at home 
  • Long lasting with no moving parts, but not easily serviceable when they develop trouble

PORTABLE GENERATOR

  • Only for Outdoor use, never use Indoors
  • Fossil Fuel based, usually messy and require frequent oil change and maintenance
  • Fuel or Propane required regularly, however they are ready to start immediately
  • Without gas in emergencies they are useless
  • Not very portable, usually need to have a permanent well ventilated spaced outdoors for installation
  • Repair and maintenance is easy but likely to require frequent servicing


BEST SOLAR GENERATORS: PROS
  • Safe to keep indoors and easy to move around with
  • Long life as there are no moving parts
  • Relatively maintenance free
  • Once it is set up it keeps running and you can forget about it
  • No Running costs once set up
  • Fume free non polluting and great for the environment
BEST SOLAR GENERATORS: CONS
  • Setup takes a little time and you have to learn the basics
  • Additional space for the solar panels – yard or balcony
  • Re charging the batteries takes time
  • Batteries will eventually need to be replaced
  • Not as powerful as regular generators
REGULAR PORTABLE GENERATOR: PROS
  • Available off the shelf
  • Easy to set up
  • Less expensive
  • Repair and maintenance is simple
  • Refueling is easy if you have gas or propane handy
REGULAR PORTABLE GENERATOR: CONS
  • Its dirty power producing noxious fumes
  • Has to be outdoor for ventilation
  • Need to buy Gas or Propane on a regular basis
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Of no use, if you run out of gas or propane - remember the long lines during Sandy and Harvey

What can a Solar Generator power ?

The larger home units can run a single window AC, a couple of power tools, a small fridge, lights, computers and devices for a few hours, but not for the whole night.  

Even the largest Solar Generator cannot power a whole home for heating, cooling (air conditioning) and all the appliances during a power outage - you are better served by a Large Generator.

A smaller load  like a couple of  Computers, a few lights, an XBox, your phones and Laptops could run for up to 24 hours powered by a mid sized Solar Generator . 

The smaller portable units are ideal for USB powered devices, CPAP machines, an electric blanket, a small fridge and so on; perfect for camping and the outdoors.

Most Portable Solar Generators can run the smaller loads for up to 2 days.  The Solar Generator Calculator below tells you how long your devices can run on a single charge.

Can a Solar Generator power an Electric Saw?

So will your  solar powered generator be able to power the Electric Saw or Electric Heater or whatever ?  Easy :  you need 3 numbers of make that assessment.

  • Power  of your model that is usually mentioned in watts per hour or just watts
  • AC Power Output of the Solar Powered Generator
  • Power Rating of your Appliance

The Power Rating is the watt hour number for your unit. AC Power Output of your Solar Powered Generator is the maximum AC power that your model can produce. This is usually indicated in watts. 

The Appliance will usually have their power usage in Watts mentioned on their identification plate/stamp.

THE CALCULATION

Let's work on an example.  We have a  500 watt Power Tool. Our model is the Chafon 346. Can the Chafon run the tool? 

If you plan to run a DC Tool or Appliance, go straight to Step 2.

a) Step 1. :   Since the Power tool runs on AC, we need the AC output of the Chafon. And from the comparison table we have the AC Output of the Chafon as 500 watts.

If the AC Output of your unit is greater than or equal to  the Power of your Appliance - you are good to go.  In this case the AC Output of the Chafon is 500 watts.  That is is equal to the power of the Tool, so we are good. 

STEP 1 - Make Sure the AC Power Output of the Solar Generator is equal to greater than the wattage of your appliance.

If it is a DC Device - Skip STEP 1 - go to Step 2.

b) Step 2   :  We need Power rating of the Solar Generator.  This is usually mentioned as a watt hour or watt rating for all Solar Generators.  Check our comparison table and you will see that the the Chafon 346 mid sized portable model that is rated 346 watt hours.

Divide the power rating of the unit by the  power of your tool   346 / 500 = 0.692 hrs. This gives you the amount of time you can run your tool.  In this case the Chafon would run the tool for about 0.692 hours or 42 minutes.  

STEP 2 -  Calculate how much time you can run your device using the unit. 

If you  are happy with time, you are good to go. But it you think you need more time, look for a larger Solar Powered Generator.

The Chafon 346 has an AC Power Output that is larger than the Appliances wattage.  And it can run the appliance for 42 minutes. Thus the Chafon will be a good choice for this Power Tool. 

Another example -  Power Add

Lets look at the the Power Add unit. The Power Rating is rated at 370 watt hours.  The AC power output for the Power Add is 100 watts.  

So, the Power ADD fails step one of our test -  The AC Power Output 100 watts is less than the 500 watts requirement of the Tool. 

Even though the  Power Add Solar Powered Generator has higher power rating of 370 watts as compared to the Chafon which is rated at 346 watts, the Power Add cannot run this Power Tool.

The Power Add  lacks AC output power, while the Chafon scores even with less total Power.

Buying the Right Sized Solar Powered Generator

STEP 1.    Look  at the table below and make a list of everything you would want your Solar Powered Generator to powerAgain, Solar Powered Generators are not suitable for high power requirements such as whole house heating or cooling or complete home power backup. You will be better served by a Standby Generator.

After selecting your appliances go to  SETP 2 which is below the table.

TAILGATE / CAMPING/RV/BOAT
ApplianceRunning WattsStarting WattsApplianceRunning WattsStarting Watts
Fan900Laptop500
String Lights20042″ Plasma TV2400
RV AC (10000btu)15003000Inflator Pump50150
Tablet500Phone Charger150
EMERGENCY BACKUP
EssentialsRunning WattsStarting WattsEssentialsRunning WattsStarting Watts
Sump Pump 1/3hp8001300Sump Pump 1/2hp11002200
Well Pump 1/3hp10002100Sump Pump 1/2hp11002200
Light 60W600   
HEAT / COOL  HEAT / COOL  
Space Heater15000Furnace Fan 1/2hp8002400
Furnace Fan 1/3hp7001400Window AC 10,000btu12003600
Central AC 10,000btu15003000   
LAUNDRY  LAUNDRY  
Iron12000Washing M/C11202250
Dryer Gas7001800   
KITCHEN  KITCHEN  
Microwave 625w6250Microwave 1000w10002250
Coffee M/c10000Elec Can Opener1700
Dishwasher15001500Blender350500
Toaster8500   
GADGETS  GADGETS  
XBox1500DVD Player3500
42″ Plasma TV240032″ LED TV500
Desktop Computer5000Hair Dryer12500
Security System5000Laser Printer5001200
POWER TOOLS  POWER TOOLS  
Circular Saw12002400Disc Sander 9″12001200
Halogen Light3000Paint Sprayer3601080
Electric Drill 1/4″300300Cordless Drill Charger70150

STEP 2.    How many watts do you need ?

After Step 1, you should have a list of appliances devices which your solar generator must power. Here is an example of what your list might look like :

MY LIST OF APPLIANCES
ApplianceRunning WattsStarting Watts
Fan900
Laptop500
String Lights200
42″ Plasma TV2400
RV AC (10000btu)15003000
Inflator Pump50150
Tablet500
Phone Charger150
ADD Running Watts of all your appliances  90 + 2050 +20  + 240 + 1500+ 50 + 15 = 1965 watts
Choose the appliance with the largest Starting Watts, in this case it is the RV AC with 3000 starting watts.  That is the surge capacity you need  =  3000 watts
It needs to produce at least 1965 watts  – with a surge capacity of  3000 watt .

The Solar Powered Generator  Sizing Calculator says you need a 1965 watts generator with a surge capacity of 3000 watts.  Your choice is thus narrowed down to the Goal Zero 3000 watt Lithium or the Be Prepared 5000 watt or the Forty2Max 2000.

Solar Generator Calculator

To use the Calculator, start by Answering Question 1 : Enter the power rating in watts for your solar powered generator.   For example, it is 1100 watts for the Inergy or 434 for the Anker or 150 for the Yeti 150.  Look up the figures in the Comparison Table.The answer to Question 1 is pre-filled as 100 watts,  – just overwrite it with the power of your Solar Generator.

Next, select the appliances you plan to use. Now, scroll to the bottom of the calculator – you will see the number of hours you can operate your selected appliances before your solar generator runs out of power.

It also shows you how many times you could charge your laptops and phones if you used the Solar Generator only for charging the Laptop/Tablet/Smart Phone.

Once the Solar Generator runs out of power, you will need to recharge it.

Click here to see a real example calculation of what devices a Solar Generator can power that appears at the end of this article.

And more Solar Generators

There are a huge number of solar generators available today. Here are reviews, both good and bad, of  almost every solar powered generator available today. This comprehensive listing of solar generator kits for homes and houses includes smaller solar powered generators as well as larger solar generator kits.

We start with a video of the 10 best solar generators of 2018 - many of them are still around and doing very well.  And thereafter a lot more models are looked at in more detail.  The top 15 models of 2020 are not covered here, click on  this link to see those.

Best Solar Generators Video

_______________

Now that you have seen our selection of the best solar generators, here are many more models.  followed by  new models in the New arrivals section.

Kisae HS 1800

Solar Generator Kisae HS 1800

Power : 720 watt hr

AC Power -  1800 watt Pure Sine Wave 

Battery :  AGM 

Battery Charging - AC, Solar

80 Watt Solar Panels

Output - AC (4), USB (Nil),DC 12V (Nil)

Weight : 76 lb

_______________


Super Heavy Duty SOLAR GENERATORS - 1500 watt hours

Wagan Ecube

Wagan Ecube Heavy Duty Solar Generator

Power : 1500 watt hr

AC Power - 1500 watt Pure Sine Wave 

Battery :  AGM 

Battery Charging - AC, 12 V, Solar

80 Watt inbuilt Solar Panels

Output - AC (2), USB (2),DC 12V (2)

Weight : 132 lb

New Solar Generators : Just in

New models : MySolarHome is constantly looking out for new offerings in the market. The new entrants tend to be more efficient and built to suit specific needs like RV use or Camping or for a contractor jobsite.

Here are the newest models on the market.

Nature’s Generator – 1800W – HOME SOLAR GENERATOR KIT

POWER : 720 WH (AC Output : 1800 watts)Weight : 90 lbs

Natures Generator : 1800Natures Generator
11 Reviews

Solar Panel 1 100 watt includedBattery :12V, 60 Ah SLA Batery
Recharge : AC, 12V, SolarOutputs : USB (2),12V(1), AC(3)

Price on Amazon :$999.99

See on Amazon

 

Full Kit with panels : Nature’s Generator has a new offering, and it is a complete home solar generator kit with a Solar panel included. So, that’s definitely a plus to have a matched solar panel along with the Solar Generator, Pricing is in the value range, the kit comes for around a thousand bucks.

Home Solar Unit : With power capacity of 720 watt hours, this is a mid sized Home model. A wheel-drawn drawn Main Generator unit houses the Sealed Lead Acid Battery (SLA Battery that is akin to a sealed car battery).

Additional Capacity: An easy way to increase capacity is to buy additional battery storage in the form of Nature’s Generator Battery Pods - one of these will add a 1000 watt hours of capacity catapulting your power to 1720 watt hours. And you can add multiple pods.

SLA Battery: A Lithium Ion battery would have been better, but as long as you make sure not to let the SLA Battery drain, you will be fine. And even if you do forget, the unit comes with backup, you have a battery protection feature to prevent over drainage or over charging.

Pure Sine Wave Inverter: No such problem for the Inverter, the 1800 watt pure sine wave AC inverter is ready to tackle even a small Air Conditioner - albeit for a short while. A large LCD display with Battery life and output indicators is a big plus.

With 3 ways to charge the battery - AC, Solar, and Wind, this unit gives you a lot of choices. Output options are generous as well, with three 120V household AC outlets, two USB ports (3A total) and a 12V DC port with 240 watts max output.

The included 100 watt panel will take about 10 hours of direct sunlight to charge the unit, so it might be a good idea to add a second panel. An in-built solar charge controller can take the solar inputs from two 100 watt panels at the max. That would allow a recharge in about 6 hours.

The Generator is a hefty 90 pounds, but the wheel base makes movement easy enough. Included in the kit are Solar panels that sport wheels and weigh 28 pounds. Bluetooth connectivity through your phone is a good plus.

Overall a sturdy Solar Generator Kit from Nature’s Generator. Will give it a bigger thumbs up once the reviews start pouring in. The initial feedback is definitely a positive.

 ECOFLOW : mid sized solar generator
New Ecoflow

Quick Highlights -  Lithium Ion 412 watt hour battery.  

300 watts of continuous pure sine wave AC output.  200 watt DC output Cigarette Charger and high speed USB outputs.

6 hours to charge directly from a wall AC outlet.

Convenient good looking and with a good warranty

EcoFlow River 500 - Portable Solar Generator - Steady 300 watts AC power - 412 watt hour capacity
EcoFlow River 500 - Portable Solar Generator - Steady 300 watts AC power - 412 watt hour capacity
AC: 2 Pure Sine wave AC outputs at steady 300 watts for laptops, phones, tablets, cameras, drones, CPAP machine, mini refrigerator, speaker, projector and more

Four USB output ports - 2 are fast charging and 2 are USB C for charging your mobile devices Cigarette Lighter Charger output for your Cooler or Pump

Charge its Lithium batteries with external solar panels (not included) or directly from a wall socket or from Car Charger.

Charging Time about 6 hours from the wall or car charger.

Dimensions are 9. 8 x 6.3 x 8.2 inches. Easy Carry handle and very large informative LCD display

High Performance Battery Management System to protect the unit and your devices. Return Guarantee from the manufacturer.

CYBERPOWER PR750LCD

Quick Highlights -  This is an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and not a true Solar Generator.  However, it is a very capable and great value UPS. With replaceable Lead Acid Batteries it provides short term backup for critical computer, server and electronic loads upto 525 watts. 

CyberPower PR750LCD Smart App Sinewave UPS System, 750VA/525W, 6 Outlets, AVR, Mini-Tower
CyberPower PR750LCD Smart App Sinewave UPS System, 750VA/525W, 6 Outlets, AVR, Mini-Tower
108 Reviews
  • 750VA/525W Smart App Sinewave Battery Backup Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) System - designed to support Active PFC and conventional power supplies. SNMP/HTTP remote monitoring available with optional RMCARD205 (sold separately)
  • 6 BATTERY BACKUP AND SURGE PROTECTED NEMA 5-15R OUTLETS: Safeguard corporate servers, department servers, storage appliances, network devices and telecom installations
  • EXTENDABLE MULTIFUNCTION LCD PANEL: Can be removed and relocated when installed in hard to reach places using attached 4.5’ cable. Displays immediate, detailed information on battery and power conditions, including: estimated runtime, battery capacity, load capacity, etc.
  • AUTOMATIC VOLTAGE REGULATION (AVR): Corrects minor power fluctuations without switching to battery power, thereby extending the life of the battery
  • 3-YEAR WARRANTY – INCLUDING THE BATTERY, $375,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee and FREE PowerPanel Business Edition Management Software (Download)

Aspect SunSocket : Solar Powered Generator Kit

POWER : 250 WHPrice : $2,800.00

Aspect Solar SunSocket : PORTABLE SOLAR GENERATOR KIT
4 Reviews

Solar Panel –Inbuilt 60WBattery :20 Ah Lithium Ion
Recharge : AC, 12V, SolarOutputs : USB (4),12V, AC

Price on Amazon :$2,800.00

See on Amazon

Aspect Solar’s sun-tracking SunSocket(tm) solar powered generator is portable yet without the 65 plus lbs. of weight to carry around (like they usually have)! it is 25 pounds and whether you are taking camping, to another country, whatever the case might be it is easy to cart around with its light-weight briefcase style.

Space Age Design : The Aspect Solar has some cool in built technology. It is compact and has the panels integrated into the suitcase. The automated slide out and unfolding of the panels as they emerge out of the suitcase is very high tech and reminiscent of a satellites panels opening up.

High Efficiency SUN TRACKING Mono Crystalline Solar Panels : The 60W mono crystalline solar panels which work at 19% efficiency track the sun and generate power to charge the built in 20AH LiFePO4 lithium ion phosphate battery.

USB DC and AC outputs : At night you press a button and slide the panels into the suitcase;
that really convenient.  Power outputs include four 4 USB ports, a 12V DC outlet and an AC socket.

The Aspect Solar Sun tracker weighs 25 pounds with dimensions of 20.2 x 4.2 x 16.5 inches and a nice futuristic look.

AWARD WINNER : The 250 watt capacity backup power wizard won an innovators award at the 2014 CES show. Here is a link to the Aspect Sunsocket on Amazon .

Best Portable Power Supplies
The Suaoki 500 is a new entrant. This mid sized Solar Generator has quickly built up amazing reviews on Amazon and is our choice for the Best Portable Power Supply.
Suaoki 500 Medium Sized Solar Generator
Suaoki 500 Medium Sized Solar Generator
40 Reviews
Suaoki's new medium sized Solar Generator is getting great word or mouth. Two 110 volt AC outlets generate pure sine wave output.

The steady AC output of 300 watts (600 watt peak) works very well for laptops, phones, tablets, cameras, drones, CPAP machine, mini refrigerator, speaker, projectors and more.

One USB 3.0 port and two fast charging USB ports, 2 12V DC outputs and 1 DC Car Charger Port are more than adequate for a long outdoors trip.

You have the flexiblity to charge its Lithium batteries with external solar panels (not included) or directly from a wall socket or from Car Charger. At 22 pounds this is a mid sized solar powered generator.

A convenient handle, large informative LCD display and a protective battery management system round out this top line Suaoki Solar Generator
Best Backup Solar Generator

Wagan Power Cube 1500 Home Solar Powered Generator Kit : The Wagan eCube is our preferred choice as Solar Backup Generator because of its multi faceted capability giving you power in every imaginable circumstance. In-built Solar Panels, Powerful Battery Backup, Easily portable with wheels and very good customer feedback on Amazon.

POWER : 1500 WHWeight : 132lbs

Wagan PowerCube 1500 Heavy Duty Solar Generator KitWagan

Solar Panel –Inbuilt 5 16W modulesBattery :100 Ah AGM Battery
Recharge : AC, SolarOutputs :  USB (2), DC(2), AC (2)

Price $$$

See on Amazon

The Wagan can be expanded with additional solar panels and batteries. Customers report running a 55 inch TV, A small heater and Xbox 360 for 2 and half hours with the unit still retaining substantial charge. This is a good choice if you looking for a nice affordable all in one solar powered generator. It is heavy but a briefcase handle and wheels to roll it help.  Overall this is a performer.

Power and Looks : The Wagan Solar Power Cube 1500 Plus Heavy Duty Solar Powered Generator not only generates 1500 watts of continuous power with 3600 watts peak surge, but also generates envy because of its looks.

Pure Sine Wave AC Output : An in-built AC inverter provides pure sine wave output through two 115 volt AC outlets.

Lots of Power Outputs : Additionally there are two 12 volt outlets for powering DC devices, two USB power ports (5 volts, 2.1 amps, combined) and a digital LED battery status indicator.

Fold Out Solar Panels : Unlike most other solar powered generators the solar panels fold out from the top of the unit and roll out from either side. There are 5  16 watt panels which outputs a total of 80 watts of power to charge the  Wagan 100 Amp Hour AGM battery.

Best Home Solar Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium : A Whole Home Solar Powered Generator has a lot riding on it, it has to power appliances, maybe a small space heater and a window AC. Of course not all at the same time. The new Yeti 3000 Lithium is a perfect choice : the most powerful Yeti generator from a very reliable brand powered by Lithium batteries for really long life.

Yeti 3000 Lithium : Home Solar Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Home Solar Generator
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Home Solar Generator
26 Reviews
This is Goal Zero’s most powerful Solar Power Station. This version is without Solar Panels, a kit with Boulder 200 watt solar panels is also available..

This Home Solar Generator from Yeti has a powerful 3024 watt hour lithium ion battery built with the new high performance 18650 lithium cells that are known for increased stability and performance.

The AC inverter produces 1500 watts of continuous pure sine wave output at 10 amps that will safely power the most sensitive electronics as well as Power Tools with a draw of less than 1500 watts.

A 3000 watt surge capacity gives the Yeti 3000 the ability to run a wall AC unit in your home or RV for an hour or so. With smaller power loads like a Refrigerator, a few lights and cellpones and laptops, you will have enough power for 3 to 4 days.

Two 120 volt AC ports with pure sine wave output. Three 12 V DC Ports for Ham Radio, Cigarette Lighter charger and standard 6mm DC port for lighting.

Three USB ports including a USB A port : 2.4A (12W max), a USB C port : 3.0A (15W max) and a USB PD port : 3.0A (60W max).

What's not so good : Heavy at 68 pounds but that is taken care of by the included dolly wheels. Charging time currently is 18 hours from a wall outlet - Yeti has promised a fast charger soon.

US based Goal Zero Customer Support with 12 month warranty and impressive digital display and huge 3024 watt hour power capacity makes it a winner.

What can the Yeti 3000 Lithium power?

  • Laptop : 51 charges
  • Phone/Go Pro : 605 charges
  • TV/ Mini Fridge : 51 hours
  • CPAP : 41 hours
  • Regular Fridge : 21 hours
  • Circular Saw : 3.1 hours
  • Desktop : 6.1 hours
  • AC : 2.1 hours

Kisae HS 1800 Watt Heavy Duty Solar Generator Kit

POWER : 1800 WHPrice : $961.33

Kisae HS 1800 Watt Heavy Duty Solar Generator KitKisae HS 1800
3 Reviews

Solar Panel –Folding 80W panelsBattery :60 Ah AGM Battery, Can Daisy Chain
Recharge : AC, SolarOutputs : USB,AC (4)

Price on Amazon :$961.33

See on Amazon

Customer reports are good, with a caveat that the included Solar panels produce a little less power than needed. To make it more efficient buying addtional panels is a recommendation.

Value for Money : At approximately a $1000, the Kisae HS 1800 is a great value for money.

Serious Power : With 1800 watts of power under its belt, it pretty much will power all the loads you would expect from a solar powered generator.

Solar Panels : The unit ships with a folding 80W solar panel with a stand. However, that is too small for a generator this size. You will have to consider buying atleast a couple of 100 watt panels if you plan to charge using only solar panels. The 80 watt panel will take forever to charge the unit.

Charging & Outputs : The Kisae HS 1800 can be charged directly from an AC wall outlet or with solar panels. It has 4 AC outputs which is a great plus, but it has just one measly USB port and no DC outputs.

Size and Weight :  The Kisae HS 1800 weighs 76 pounds and does not have wheels or a strap. So it not particularly portable unless you are Superman. However, it is reasonably small in size at 14.5 x 10.5 x 14 inches.

Conclusion : The Kisae HS 1800 is an excellent value for money home solar generator kit. You will have to plan to buy additional solar panels if that is your preferred mode of charging. The unit is heavy and thus not very portable. But the $1000 price tag with included albeit slightly lower power solar panels is a very yummy combination.

Here is a link to the Kisae HS 1800 on Amazon .

VIDEO REVIEWS – Portable Solar Generator

Video Review of Chafon 346

Yeti 400 Lithium Video Review

Video Review Suaoki 500 vs Anker Powerhouse 400

Aimtom 155 Portable Solar Generator Video Review

Portable Solar Generator FAQ's 

How much does a Solar Powered Generator cost ?

PORTABLE SOLAR GENERATORS

The smallest solar powered generators have power capacity of 200 watts or less.  These are best for charging phones, laptops, cameras and smaller home appliances. They are typically below the $200 price point.  

Almost all models ship without solar panels. Adding Solar panels will add a couple of hundred dollars to your budget. 

MID SIZED SOLAR GENERATORS

The mid sized solar generators are between 200 watts and 600 watts in output. These can support additional loads in your home such as boomboxes, laptops, desktop computers, a small sump pump and even small power tools and power them for a few hours. Median pricing is between $200 to $600.

HOME SOLAR GENERATORS: HEAVY DUTY

The heavy duty home units can power larger home appliances like a microwave, refrigerator, 42" TV and coffee maker and have run times of up-to 12 hours on a single charge - assuming you don't use all the devices continuously - and assuming you don't run a heavy duty appliance like an AC off it for too long.

These are great for many types of power tools for home DIY projects or as a home backup power solution. Home models have price tags of  $1000 or more.

Click here to see  top 15 solar generators now or here to see the top trending solar generator models on Amazon.

Can I use them in my RV or for camping ?

Yes most certainly. They are designed for indoor operations without the racket of a regular generator. 

They have less power than a regular generator, but are great for most of your camping and RV power requirements.  See the best units for camping and RV.

If you are looking to maximize power and portability, we suggest the Inergy Kodiak since it is only 20 pounds and has an RV plug and can be expanded with external AGM batteries to maximize power.

Will a Solar Generator power my whole home ?

Unfortunately, Solar Generators are not suitable as a home power backup. The largest Home Solar Generators can power a window AC, power tools and the like for a few hours at the most. You will be better served by a Regular Home Generator.

They cant power a central AC unit or electric heating or any large appliance which uses over 1500 watts or more of power. This section shows the typical loads that a solar generator can supply efficiently.

Are they a good power backup solution during an outage ?

They are a great emergency backup solution. You could use them to run your essential communication devices, a few lights, a fan and use your XBox or CPAP machine.

Power backup for heating or cooling is beyond the pale of these units.  Emergency backup for smaller critical loads is their sweet spot.

Depending on the size of your solar generator,  you will have to plan your power backup loads.  Solar Panels give you a longer time horizon for power backup as you can re charge the unit.

Will a Portable Solar Generator power a refrigerator ?

Most Portable Power Supplies and the larger Portable Solar Generators will be able to power a regular refrigerator for a few hours.  However, the smaller units wont have enough power.

Will they work on a cloudy day ?

Solar Generators provide power from an internal battery. If the battery is charged they can provide power on all kinds of days including cloudy days.

However, if you charge your Solar Generator using Solar Panels - you might not be able to get upto full charge on a cloudy day and thus have limited power backup.

You can always charge them using a wall AC power socket regardless of weather - of course that won't work if you are outdoors.

What is a Portable Solar Generator ?

A Portable Solar Generator is a portable lithium ion battery, weighing 10 pounds or less, with inbuilt AC, USB, USB C, DC 12 V and Cigarette Charger outlets.

Ideally suited as a charging station for Mobile phones, Laptops, Boomboxes, mini Fridges, TV's and most small power appliances.

LCD displays with battery charging and remaining capacity indicators are common. 

25 Best Portable Solar Generators

Quick charging from a wall AC outlet is best.  Solar Panels are almost always optional and solar charging is very slow.

Portable Solar Generators are a terrific portable power solution on a camping trip, RV, Boat, Tailgate or Beach Party or just a power outage.

The name is really an oxymoron. Most Portable Solar Generators never end up either seeing the sun or using solar on a regular basis.

It is an appropriated name to take the positive connotations of clean renewable solar power

Indoor Charging

charging in a car

Powering up or recharging in your kitchen or inside your car or in your camping tent.

RV adventure or the great outdoors while hiking on trails or simply curling up at your mountain cabin.

On your boat or in your tool shed or even your basement or garage, these are portable and reliable sources of power.

Most Portable Solar Generators are usually smaller than a milk gallon carton, but bigger than a smart phone.

Light and easy to move around, they fit in right at the Tailgate or Beach party.

Truly Silent, clean and emission free sources of green power.

Silent Indoor Generators are related as they produce power too, but they are noisier as they mostly run on gas.

Powering small appliances

At a party blasting out Sia to the moon or writing the next story on your laptop you always need a power outlet.

Power outage or simply off grid situations are the  perfect entry  for the Portable Solar Generator.

Power up Smart Phones, Laptops, small CPAP machines, Drones,  Mini Fridges, smaller TV's, camping blankets and lamps and DC lights.

cant power
can power


Most Portable Solar Generators have a power rating of 200 watts or lower.

They are unable to power larger devices like Hair Dryers, Cookers, Heaters, Tools, Microwaves, Blenders etc.

Interested in larger solar generators that can power these power hungry appliances : click here.

Power on the move

The Portable in the Portable Solar Generator is the only truth you will find in that name. All these devices are typically lighter than a gallon of milk and a shade smaller.

In the crook of your arm or over the backpack or into your handbag, they make very little fuss.  Mostly powered by Lithium based batteries, Portable Solar Generators are light and really portable.

Baldr
Rav Power
What about the Solar in the Generator?

Yes, where in the heck does the Solar come in?  The Portable looks good but Solar would be terrific too.

When the rubber hits the road, your Portable Solar Generator is just a battery that stores power for your use later.

And Surprise Surprise : You will have to charge that Battery before you use it. And voila !  that's where the Solar comes in. All Portable Solar Generators can be charged using Solar Panels. 

Now the bad news and the reason a Portable Solar Generators is really an oxymoron.  The morons who sell these: they never give you the solar panels.

95% of them are shipped without solar panels. The very few that are shipped with panels usually are under powered and take forever; I mean 15 plus hours to charge with Solar Panels. The good news is that charging from a wall AC outlet is much easier and much much faster.

yeti 400 lithium solar generator

So! If you plan to use Solar Panels to charge your unit, be prepared to shell out a couple of hundred dollars for additional panels and charging cables. 

Me, I am happy without the Solar Charging.  Good old  charging from a wall outlet is always fast and quick. Once fully charged they are good for a few days.  And in an emergency you can always charge from your car cigarette charger.

Ahh... no I haven't forgotten... why call them generators? 

That's because they do a similar job to those pesky noisy smelly portable gas generators. They provide power and hence the generator in the name.  But, the truth is they are a battery storage device - not a generator at all.

I rest my oxymoron case !!

Will I have to buy Solar Panels?

Only if you plan to be outdoors, camping or in an RV for long, should you consider buying the optional solar panels along with your Portable Solar Generator.

You will likely have to buy them separately as they are optional accessories with most models.  Fortunately, all of them can be charged directly from the wall AC outlet too. So, it's pretty common to use them without panels, charging them directly from a power outlet.

What kind of Solar Panels are compatible with my solar powered portable generator?

Be ultra careful while reading the user manual or specifications. Solar Panels come in a wide variety of voltage and current specifications.  Most of the smaller units might require smaller panels under 60 watts and input current of below 2 amps.

60 watt to 100 watt panels would be ideal for Portables above 200 watt hour capacity.  But, read the specs - make sure you are buying the correct size.

Here are three very popular Solar Panels, one of  which is likely to be compatible with any one of the Portable Solar Generators in this article :

  1. HQST 100 watt Solar panels for the larger more powerful capacity units. 
  2. Goal Zero Boulder 60 watt  watt and 100 watt panels for Goal Zero Products.
  3. Rockpals Foldable 60 watt panels.

How long does it take Solar Panels to charge my solar powered portable generator?

A very rough back of the napkin estimation would work like this.  Check the generator power - say 220 watt hours. Then check the panel watts - say 60 watts.  

Divide the Generator power by the Panel Watts and multiply that by 2.5. 

220 / 60 = 3.67  and multiply by 2.5  = around 9 hours.  

Since, Solar Panel production varies widely by amount of sunlight, your location, panel efficiency and panel age; use this figure as a rough and tumble estimate.  

What size Portable Solar Generator should you buy?

The Generator should be matched to your power requirements. If your needs are purely for your personal electronics, the smaller units under 150 watts  will work for you.

For use with appliances with power requirements of more than a 100 watts but less than 300 watts : like a Drone, DVD player, XBox etc; a unit under 300 watts would work best.

Kill a watt meter

The products under 400 watts are slightly more powerful and can be used for a desktop computer and printer or to power a small cabin with lights and a small fridge and a fan. They will provide power for much longer as compared to the smaller units.

If you are not sure of what your power usage is likely to be, you probably need a Kill a Watt Meter. This handy plug in tool will tell you the wattage of your device.

They makes it easy as pie to properly size the portable solar generator.

But if you want to look at all the options, a complete list of solar generators starting from the portable and going up to the home solar generators, check this article on all the solar generators .

What can a portable solar generator power?

A portable solar generator is an effective source of power for  your mobile phones, smart phones, laptops, camping lights, CPAP machine, small fridge, a fan or a desktop computer etc.

They are not suitable for heavier tools like a power saw or for a window AC. Those are better powered by Heavy Duty Solar Generators or by regular Generators. 

How is a portable solar generator different from a regular portable generator?

They are very useful as a power backup solution for compact devices. Also far more portable than a regular portable generator since they are lighter and smaller.

You can use them indoors safely  unlike regular portable generators.  They are completely silent and environmentally friendly. 

What kind of batteries do they use and how long will they last?

Most Portable Solar Generators use Lithium Ion Batteries. Some use AGM batteries which are slightly heavier and need to be kept regularly charged. Those models should last between 2 to 4 years.

The more advanced Lithium ion batteries require much less care, they are lighter and they last longer, between 4 or 6 years. However, they are more expensive.

Take me back to the Best Solar Generators now.

If you are done exploring solar powered generators, you can look for more in my solar home in these other popular posts. Thank you for visiting MySolarhome.us. You might like visiting this Solar Energy Directory too.

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