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Best Solar-Powered Generator: Top-rated Reviews And Ratings

There are over 200 results for solar generators on Amazon alone – and most of them look great on paper. But which one is right for you? If you choose the wrong one, you might end up frying your new $1800 iPhone, or worse, end up with a lemon that simply doesn’t work.

We’ve done the research. And the testing. We want to help you find the best solar generator for YOUR purpose. Whether it’s for camping trips in your RV or home emergency use; we’ve got you covered. 

And a quick browse of our buying guide will show you how to understand the technical details, and what to ignore.

The 10 best solar generators of 2021

Product Name Details
Top Pick Top Pick Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
  • Best solar generator – large battery capacity with fast charging time
  • Powerful inverter that can power almost anything, including a microwave
  • At 45.6 lbs, it’s difficult to carry on a trip
SEE ON AMAZON
Budget Pick Budget Pick FF FlashFish 300 Watts FlashFish 300W Solar Generator
  • Super portable at 5.6 lbs, but still has a lot of battery (222Wh)
  • Can power several small electronics simultaneously
  • Can’t be used while it’s charging
SEE ON AMAZON
Best For Camping Best For Camping Jackery Explorer 1000 Watts Jackery Explorer 1000
  • 1000W power with 1002Wh battery is enough for most appliances
  • 22 lbs weight makes it easy to carry while camping
  • Slower charging speed than others (8 hours)
SEE ON AMAZON
Best For Home Emergency Use Best For Home Emergency Use Titan Solar Generator
  • 3000W inverter is the most powerful in its category – can run all home appliances
  • 2000Wh battery can be expanded up to 12000Wh (and 2000W solar input) – best for home emergency power
  • At 67 lbs (with one battery), it’s too heavy to carry anywhere
CLICK FOR BEST PRICE
Best Charging Time Best Charging Time EF ECOFLOW 1800 Watts EcoFlow DELTA Power Station
  • Fastest charging time – XStream technology takes only 1.6 hours till 100%
  • 13 output ports – you can charge all your devices together
  • Solar input charges quite slowly (6 hours)
SEE ON AMAZON
BALDR 330 Watts BALDR Portable Power Station
  • Portable and easy to set up and use – perfect for CPAP machines
  • 5W wireless charger makes it easy to charge your phone
  • Can’t be used for more power-hungry devices
SEE ON AMAZON
MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500 Watts MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station
  • Large 1500Wh battery at an affordable price
  • Features all the necessary charging ports and a 1000W pure sine inverter
  • At 37.9 lbs, it’s not very portable
SEE ON AMAZON
Pecron Q3000S 2000 Watts Pecron Q3000S Portable Power Station
  • Massive 3024Wh battery and 2000W inverter is best in price range
  • Has wheels and a handle to roll around easily
  • Very slow charging time
SEE ON AMAZON
Aeiusny 500 Watts Aeiusny Portable Power Station
  • Portable, and offers 400W of power at affordable price
  • In-built flashlight helps navigate while camping
  • Battery can be unreliable at times
SEE ON AMAZON
Westinghouse 100 Watts Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station and Outdoor Solar Generator
  • Lightest generator (3.75 lbs) but still packs a lot of power
  • Great for charging electronics while on the go
  • Slow charging time
SEE ON AMAZON
6 friends sitting on a mountain top with the best solar powered generator providing power

We’ve spent several hours researching solar generators, exploring features, and testing some of the models out ourselves. Here are our in-depth results to aid your search.

1. Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station – Top Pick

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X

Specifications

  • Power: 2000W

  • Capacity: 1500Wh
  • Weight: 45.6 lbs (20.7 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion NMC (10.8V, 140.4Ah) 
  • Charging Time: 3 Hours (via 600W adapter), or 4 Hours (via 4x200W Boulder solar panels)
  • Output Ports: 2 AC, 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 1 6mm, 1 12V Car, 1 12V Power Pole

The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X solar generator is our top pick because it features a massive battery capacity, a large power output, a ton of ports to connect all your devices, and a sturdy, reliable build in a portable format.

All that means that you’ll spend less time charging it and more time using it. With its versatility, it’ll be useful in any situation you need it for. 

Goal Zero has certainly made a name for itself over the past decade with its innovative products, such as the popular Yeti 400 and 1400. This new model is a significant upgrade over them, so you get better features for the same money. 

The new Yeti features a 2000W AC inverter (with a 3500W surge) that can power almost anything you connect to it. Including a hairdryer, a circular saw, or even a microwave. 

The large 1500Wh capacity can run a full-sized refrigerator for over 28 hours. Even if you connect a variety of devices (phones, laptops, cameras, and small appliances), you can get a day’s worth of energy from it – enough for any camping trip.

What makes Goal Zero products unique is their WiFi integration – you can monitor and control the device’s power consumption remotely from your phone. This means you’ll never have to worry about the battery running out unexpectedly. 

If you need even more power than this model, you can check out the Yeti 6000X, which is good enough to run an entire home for more than a day. Or, if you want something more portable for going out, you can also check out the Yeti 500X

If you pair this with four 200W Boulder solar panels, you can get it charged up in just 4 hours that’s ridiculously fast. The included 120W wall adapter can charge it up in 14 hours, but you can opt for a 600W charger to charge it in just 3 hours instead.

Ready for the best part? You can charge and use it simultaneously! You might never run out of electricity again – as long as the Sun is shining. 

And the integrated MPPT charge controller ensures you get maximum efficiency from solar power. Plus, this has a pure sine wave inverter that’ll offer clean, reliable energy to all your devices and prevent any malfunctions.

If you really want the best of the best, we can’t recommend the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X enough. This is simply the best portable power station you’ll get for your dollar’s worth.

2. FlashFish 300W Solar Generator – Budget Pick 

FF FLASHFISH 300 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 300W

  • Capacity: 222Wh
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs (2.5 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion
  • Charging Time: 5-6 Hours (via 15V/4A adapter), or 8 Hours (via 50W solar panel) 
  • Output Ports: 2 AC, 2 DC, 3 USB-A

We like the FlashFish 300W solar generator for the pure value you get from this little unit. It’s budget-friendly, super portable, and you can get a surprisingly long draw time from a single charge.

While you aren’t going to get days of power out of this small device, you can use it with a mini-fridge for up to seven hours with its 222 Watt-hour capacity.

You can power laptops, phones, a TV, a CPAP machine, an outdoor projector, or pretty much anything within a power usage of 300 Watts. 

What’s best about this thing is that it weighs just 5.6 lbs, so it’s really easy to carry it wherever you go. This is perfect for small camping vans where you just need some juice to keep your electronics running, and combos expertly with the best portable solar panels.

This solar generator has three USB-A ports for charging a few electronics at once, as well as two three-pronged AC outlets. The built-in safety guards protect sensitive devices from over-voltage, and a cooling fan prevents overheating.

The manufacturer recommends an 18V/50W solar panel (that does not exceed 100 watts) to charge this device (which needs to be bought separately). Charging it with a solar panel can take up to 8 hours or more, but using the adapter can charge it within 6 hours. 

Now, it’s worth noting that this device can’t be charged and used at the same time (disappointing, I know). But with the value you’re getting at such a low price, it’s still worth it. 

There aren’t a lot of small and portable solar generators that offer such reliable energy on a budget. If you’re looking to get a great solar generator without breaking the bank, this is our most recommended option.

3. Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station – Best For Camping

Jackery Explorer 1000 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 1000W

  • Capacity: 1002Wh
  • Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion NMC (21.6V, 46.4Ah)
  • Charging Time: 7 Hours (via AC adapter) or 8 Hours (via 2x100W SolarSaga solar panels) 
  • Output Ports: 3 AC, 2 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 1 USB-A QC 3.0, 1 Car

The Jackery 1000 Watt solar generator is powerful, robust, and efficient. Best of all, it’s really easy to carry when you’re going on a camping trip. You can just pop it in the trunk of your car and take it anywhere you like. And it can power all your essential devices for more than a day. 

The 1000W inverter can’t run energy-hungry devices like hair dryers or microwaves, but it can recharge all your electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops with ease. And it’ll keep the mini-fridge running too. 

The battery can be recharged in just 7 hours via the AC adapter, or you can get two 100W SolarSaga solar panels that’ll get it charged in under 8 hours. You can even charge it using your car outlet.  It’s not the fastest charging in the market, but it preserves the battery life for longer.

The Jackery comes with a range of outlets to connect all your devices, including a QuickCharge USB 3.0, two USB-C, and three 110V AC ports with pure sine-wave inverters (with a remarkable efficiency of 84%).

This means that all your devices get clean energy, so there won’t be any malfunctions due to improper electricity. Plus, the DC outputs provide maximum efficiency. 

This entire unit comes in a rugged, heavy-duty plastic box with a matte finish. It’ll certainly survive some rough usage. Here’s what Luke from The Outdoor Gear Review says about this product (1): 

This is by far the best power station I’ve used for off-the-grid living, surviving in the wild, overlanding, and prepping.

What separates the Jackery from other products is that, despite the rugged design and large battery, it still remains very portable at a weight of just 22 pounds.

And if you don’t need something as large as this, you can also check out the Jackery 500W variant, which weighs just 13 lbs.

Simply put, this is THE best solar generator for camping. 

But, the fair price of this unit combined with the durable build quality, high capacity, low noise, and the ability to use it while charging makes it a worthwhile investment for anyone. 

Add to that a 30-day return policy and a 2-year warranty, and you’ve got a solid product that can be used in the roughest of terrains. Even if anything goes wrong, you’ll get a new unit sent to you. 

4. Titan By Point Zero Energy – Best For Home Emergency Use

Specifications

  • Power: 3000W (peak 6000W)

  • Capacity: 2000Wh (per battery) 
  • Weight: 32 lbs + 35 lbs (per battery) (30.4 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion (29.4V) (Expandable) 
  • Charging Time: 4 Hours (via AC adapter), or up to 2000W of solar input
  • Output Ports: 6 AC, 4 DC, 6 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 1 Car

Point Zero Energy’s Titan is one of the new kids on the block, but it’s already picked up a lot of attention. This unit is a beast of a solar generator, with the highest power rating we’ve seen yet, combined with a massive battery that can be removed and expanded.

The Titan features a 3000W pure sine wave inverter – the best available on the market. This unit can power microwaves, fridges, hairdryers, and most of your household appliances in the event of a power cut (or even armageddon!) (2).

And with the 2000Wh capacity per battery, you can chain up to 6 batteries together for a total capacity of 12000Wh! That’s enough to last you for days. Note that to use the full 3000W power, you should have at least two batteries.

Add to that a maximum solar input of 2000W, and you can keep this beast running forever. And what’s more? You can charge it via the AC adapter, solar panels, and a car port all together for maximum efficiency. Here’s what DIY solar expert Will Prowse said about this product (3): 

People should be buying this because it has everything that we want. 2000W input, 3000W inverter, and a huge battery that you can scale.

This is not a portable unit, however. Its all-metal chassis is built to last and weighs 32 pounds. And each battery you add on top adds another 35 lbs to it. But at least you know that it’ll survive as long as you will.

The pure sine wave inverter along with the regulated DC outputs ensure that all your devices get absolutely clean energy. The 13.8V rating on the DC ports is also the best in this class. 

Point Zero Energy also sells an EMP-proof cover for this generator, so even if a nuclear bomb or some other EMP device went off – this generator will continue working. Talk about being apocalypse-ready! 

If you’re a prepper looking for the best solar generator for home emergency use and backup during a power cut, this is the one you need. Honestly, it’d probably survive the apocalypse too. It’s an expensive investment, but it’s definitely going to pay for itself in the long run. 

5. EcoFlow DELTA Power Station – Best Charging Time 

EF ECOFLOW 1800 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 1800W (peak 3300W)

  • Capacity: 1260Wh
  • Weight: 30.9 lbs (14 kg)
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion (50.4V, 
  • Charging Time: 1.6 Hours (via AC adapter), or 4-8 Hours (via 4x110W solar panels)
  • Output Ports: 6 AC, 4 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 1 Car

The EcoFlow Delta is one of those solar generators that’s garnered a lot of attention recently – mostly because of its insanely fast charging times. This thing can charge a massive 1260Wh battery in just 1.6 hours. That’s way faster than anything else on the market right now.

That means when you’re in a hurry, you’ll be able to charge this up quickly and get back to work. For camping trips, this is super useful as it’ll save you a lot of time. 

And the 1800W inverter can easily provide power to most of the electronic devices that you use regularly. A fridge, microwave, 5-6 mobile phones, or even a welding machine.

It has 6 AC outlets, 4 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, and a 13.6V car port. That means it can simultaneously power 13 devices! So you can use all your devices in the event of a power cut. 

The digital display on the front of the EcoFlow Delta is one of the best we’ve seen. It’s easy to read and accurately gives you information regarding the current power draw and the estimated time that it’ll run, so you won’t be caught unaware when the battery runs out. 

But we should note one drawback here. While it charges extremely fast using an AC adapter, it only accepts 400W of solar input, so it still takes over 4 hours to charge with solar energy. 

This unit weighs 30.9 lbs, so it’s not the most portable machine here. But, with the wealth of features onboard alongside the big battery, it’s definitely worth carrying this around when you need it. 

It’s also one of the quietest generators around, with ambient noise levels of roughly 35-45 dB. So it won’t disturb your sleep if you’re using it at night. 

Whether you want a power source for your RV or a reliable emergency backup to power your fridge and lights at home during a blackout, the EcoFlow Delta is certainly a worthwhile investment. With the fastest charging time that we’ve seen on any device, you’ll be able to spend more time doing what you love.

6. BALDR Portable Power Station

BALDR 330 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 330W

  • Capacity: 293Wh
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs (3.2 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion (86.5 Ah, 3.6V) 
  • Charging Time: 5-6 Hours (via wall charger), or 6-8 Hours (via 100W solar panel) 
  • Output Ports: 1 AC, 2 DC, 3 USB-A, 1 USB-C, 1 Car

The BALDR portable solar generator is another fantastic budget option for users that need something simple. It’s lightweight (at just 7.1 pounds), easy to use, and includes some pretty nifty features that aren’t commonly found in this price range. 

This unit has a pure sine-wave inverter with a rating of 330W – which is enough to recharge and power your small electronic devices like phones and laptops, and run some simple appliances like lights as well. Since it offers clean power, you can use this with a CPAP machine too.

The 293Wh capacity can keep this running for over 6 hours at moderate usage. And with a CPAP machine, this can run for several days. Plus, the LED screen is helpful in letting you know how much battery is left. 

You only need an MC4 cable connected to a solar panel to get it up and running properly. You can use any 50-100W solar panel with this, but it’s recommended to use TogoPower panels. 

The charge time on this is about 6 hours with a wall charger, and 6-8 hours using a 100W solar panel. Note that the input on this is limited to 52W. 

Though this unit is small, it’s got all the necessary ports – 1 AC, 2 DC, 3 USB-A (with QuickCharge 3.0), 1 USB-C, and a car outlet as well. And the DC ports can be used even when the device is being charged (but not the AC ports). 

Plus, it’s got a 5W wireless charger on top for your phone too. That means you can charge all your electronics together in the event of a power outage. 

Don’t expect to power blenders, coffee makers, hairdryers, electric kettles, or other devices over 330W with this generator. However, you can still run a mini cooler, 32” TV, and emergency lighting. 

If you’re looking for another affordable portable power station, then the BALDR 330W might be the one for you. With a remarkable battery capacity and a slew of advanced features, this unit stands out as a real ‘value for money’ product. 

7. MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station

MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 1000W

  • Capacity: 1500Wh
  • Weight: 37.9 lbs (17.2 kg) 
  • Battery Type: Li-ion (14.8V)
  • Charging Time: 9-10 Hours (via 160W AC adapter), or 3-4 Hours (via 500W solar panel)
  • Output Ports: 2 AC, 4 USB-A, 1 USB-C, 1 DC Car port

The MAXOAK Bluetti EB150 is one of the best options if you want a large battery capacity at an affordable price. It’s a direct competitor to the Jackery 1000, with all the necessary ports, a larger battery, and a pure sine wave inverter as well. 

This unit supports a high-load, continuous output of up to 1000W, so it can easily power energy-hungry appliances like small microwaves, blenders, and hair dryers (as long as they fall within the 1000W range). 

The 1500Wh battery is the best that you’ll get at this price too. You can power a standard refrigerator for a couple of days with this! When you experience a blackout for more than a day, you’ll be thankful for this eco-friendly generator (4).

With ample power and more prolonged use, overheating could be a concern. However, this generator has a cooling fan that automatically starts when attached to appliances with over 100 watts. This ensures that it’ll run efficiently in temperatures up to 104°F. 

This solar generator is best for extended use on emergency items, such as appliances like a full-sized fridge, electric drills, emergency lighting, laptops, a TV, and even a CPAP machine.

You also get a convenient carrying handle and an LCD screen to monitor the amount of power left on the generator. 

If you’re looking for something with even more battery capacity, you can also consider the MAXOAK Bluetti EB240, which features a 2400Wh battery so you can keep everything running even longer. 

This unit takes about 9-10 hours to charge using the supplied 160W wall charger, but if you have a 500W solar panel array like our top-rated kit here, you can get this charged in just under 4 hours in most cases. 

MAXOAK’s customer service is excellent too. For most users, this handy solar generator works reliably well for a long time, with a battery that’s rated for 2500+ cycles.

One of the main drawbacks of this unit is how heavy it is. At nearly 38 pounds, it’s not easy to carry wherever you want to go. But its sturdy build makes it great for keeping at home or in an RV. 

If you’re looking for a powerful solar generator with a large battery backup, the MAXOAK Bluetti line of products is a superb choice. It offers a large battery with a lot of power at an affordable price, making it a great buy for those that need an inexpensive solar generator for home backup power. 

8. Pecron Q3000S Portable Power Station

Pecron Q3000S 2000 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 2000W

  • Capacity: 3024Wh
  • Weight: 59.5 lbs (27 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion (25.9V, 104Ah)
  • Charging Time: 11-12 Hours (via AC adapter), or 20-21 Hours (via 300W solar panel)
  • Output Ports: 3 AC, 2 USB-A, 1 DC Car

With 2000 watts to run high-energy devices, the Pecron Q3000S is another one of our favorites. It’s amongst the most powerful solar generators we’ve seen, and features a HUGE battery of 3024Wh as well.  

This generator has a pure sinewave output that can power a mini-fridge, a pressure cooker, electric grills, coffee maker, drones, laptops, and even an induction cooker.

And with its overcharge, over-voltage, and overheat protection, you don’t have to worry about damaging any of your devices. 

Pure sine wave inverters offer clean, efficient energy and prevent excessive current from flowing into the device.

The large, 3024Wh lithium-ion battery boasts an 85% efficiency, which is pretty great considering how affordable it is. This can run your largest appliances for a couple hours, and it’ll work great as an emergency backup as well. 

The lithium batteries are rated for 70% at 1000 cycles, so it’s going to last a couple years at least. The drawback to this generator is its huge size and weight. 

At 59.5 lbs, it’s one of the largest solar generators we’ve seen (alongside the Titan). Thankfully though, it has wheels and a handle to move it around like a suitcase.

Another drawback is its slow charging time. It takes about 11-12 hours to charge via a wall adapter, but up to 20 hours to charge it via a 300W solar panel (you can use a 500W panel as well). 

This portable power station can offer a peak output of an impressive 4000 watts, and the lithium-ion battery backup can last weeks with moderate usage. 

If you want a robust generator that also has the eco-friendly and quiet benefits of solar power, the Pecron Q3000S is definitely one to consider. It’s a great solution for home emergency power.

9. Aeiusny Portable Power Station

Aeiusny 500 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 400W

  • Capacity: 296Wh
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)
  • Battery Type: Li-ion (10.8V, 25.5Ah) 
  • Charging Time: 10-15 Hours via AC adapter or using a 60W solar panel
  • Output Ports: 3 AC, 2 DC, 4 USB

The Aeiusny solar generator comes fully charged, which is a nice little perk for this portable, affordable power source. This model is also super quick to power up—you’ll probably be able to juice it up faster than you can figure out how to pronounce the company name.

Don’t let that stop you from considering this handy generator, though. Customer service is easy to reach with their email, and the device is well-built. 

You can refill the battery with solar power, but you can also recharge with a wall outlet, cigarette lighter socket, or another generator. It takes about 10-15 hours to recharge with 60W of input. 

This generator is not suitable for keeping a full-sized fridge going during a blackout, but at a weight of just 7.5 lbs, it’s fantastic for camping trips. 

You can run a computer, car cooler, camping lights, and even a CPAP machine (with the heater and humidifier off) with this portable generator.

This solar-powered generator works best if you refresh its charge at least every six months. 

If you’re on a tight budget and want a backup generator for your smartphone, laptop, small lights, and would also like an emergency flashlight built into the device, the Aeiusny is a great unit to consider. 

10. Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station and Outdoor Solar Generator

Westinghouse 100 Watts

Specifications

  • Power: 100W

  • Capacity: 155Wh
  • Weight: 3.75 lbs (1.7 kg)
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Charging Time: 6 Hours (via AC adapter), or 6-7 Hours (via 60W solar panel)
  • Output Ports: 2 AC, 3 12V DC, 3 USB-A, 1 USB-C

Westinghouse is an exceptionally reputable name in generators, whether they be solar-powered or traditional gas-powered. So, when we found this portable, budget-friendly, solar-optional iGen 160s model from Westinghouse, we had to take a look.

You get two-prong and three-prong AC outlets, 3 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C port, and three 12-volt DC ports on this small generator. 

This ultra-quiet generator can power laptops, tablets, headlamps, cameras, and other small devices. All of the standard electronic safety features are built-in, including over-voltage, over-current, low-voltage, and short circuit protection.

A handle and a flashlight are also designed into this super-lightweight 3.75-pound generator. With its small size, it’s really easy to take it anywhere you go. 

Solar panels are sold separately, but you can plug in any solar panel to the DC13V-25V/2A max port that fits 5.5 x 2.1mm.

If you don’t get a solar panel immediately, or have a long stretch of rainy weather, you can charge up this model with a house outlet or car cigarette lighter.

Though this unit has a small battery and a small power output, it’s a worthy contender for its notable features, varied selection of outputs, and superb portability. 

Those looking for a small generator from a reputable brand with top-notch build quality and a ton of features at an affordable price will certainly be happy with this tiny powerhouse.

How To Choose The Best Solar Generator For You – Top 3 Tips

Investing in something as pricey as a solar generator can be daunting. We did the homework first to make it simpler for you.

How much Wattage do you need? (3 simple steps to find out) 

Wattage is crucial and one of the most vital components when selecting a generator. Let’s find out how to estimate your power needs:

STEP 1: Find out the Wattage Draw of your equipment

If you don’t know where to start, you can try out an energy calculator to get an estimate. For most appliances, such as refrigerators, you can simply multiply the voltage by the current (Amps). Most appliances will have a sticker with these numbers, and some state the power rating as well. 

Typical fridges consume somewhere between 100-250 watts, or roughly 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a single day (5). 

You might be surprised to find that running a hairdryer typically takes about 1000-1500 watts! A standard-sized microwave can suck up between 850 and a whopping 1800 watts during use.

For smaller electronics like phones and laptops, you can estimate their wattage requirement using their chargers’ maximum output power. This is typically in the range of 20-40W for a phone, and 50-100W for a laptop. 

So, make a list of all the essential electronics that you need to keep running with their power ratings, and add it all up to get your estimated wattage draw. 

STEP 2: Estimate the Runtime(s) you’ll need for your equipment

Now that you know the power consumed by each appliance/electronic, let’s make a list of how long you need to run each device. 

List all the items you will need to plug into your generator, roughly how many hours/minutes they will run, and what they drain in wattage. 

You may want to keep the fridge running for 12+ hours in the event of a power outage, or perhaps you have a mini-fridge on your camping trip. This can take up a large chunk of power.

High-power appliances like microwaves or hair dryers use a lot of power, but since they don’t run continuously, their energy usage is generally not that high. 

Small electronics like laptops, phones, and cameras have much lower energy requirements and can be recharged several times. 

Similarly, you’ll need to keep track of a general runtime for any item you plan to plug into your solar generator.

STEP 3: Find a solar generator that can power ALL your equipment and satisfy your desired runtime

Now that you know the power requirements and runtime of your desired appliances in a simple list, you can do the math and come up with your final requirements.

Let’s clarify here: Power is the energy used by a device, expressed in Watt (W). Energy is simply power x time. The capacity of a battery simply refers to the total energy that it can provide. 

For example, a 1000Wh battery can run a 1000W appliance for only one hour. But it can run 100 Watts for almost 10 hours.

So, multiply the power rating of each device by the desired runtime, and then add these up. You’ll get the total power required to run these devices, as well as the capacity. 

Here’s a sample list we prepared using typical values of common appliances (6): 

ApplianceDesired Runtime (r)Power Rating (p)Energy Usage (=r*p)
Refrigerator6 Hours150W900Wh
Microwave0.2 Hours800W160Wh
Hair Dryer0.2 Hours1200W240Wh
Laptop Charger1 Hour60W60Wh
Smartphone Charger2 Hours10W20Wh
LED Bulb5 Hours7W35Wh
TOTAL2227W1415Wh

Note that this is only an indicator, and you should check your own list based on your specific appliances. Plus, it’s unlikely that you will be using all of these appliances together, so your mileage may vary.

How and where will you use your solar generator?

So you’ve calculated the power rating and the capacity of the generator that you need. But, where and how are you going to use it? You might want one to take with you on a camping trip, or maybe to power your RV on a road trip, or you want an emergency backup for your whole house.

Solar-powered generators are used in a lot of ways. And some of them are built for specific purposes. For e.g., we recommend the Jackery 1000 for camping trips because it’s lightweight but still offers more than enough power.

And the Titan, with its expandable batteries and large inverter rating, can easily power your essential appliances in the event of a power blackout. You can never be too prepared for disasters, can you?

Most solar generators can be recharged using your existing solar panels.

If you know that you won’t use a generator for much besides powering your smartphone and a small fan while camping, a small, budget-friendly model will likely work well for you.

So consider your usage scenario, and pick one that’ll work best for it. Durability, weight, portability, charging time – all of these are important factors to look out for. 

Look for bonus features that excite you

Once you’ve settled on the general requirements you need in a solar generator, check the “extras.” Each model has specific little features that are designed to make your life easier and more comfortable. Here are some common things to consider that might excite you:

  • USB ports to charge smartphones, laptops, cameras (including USB-C ports for modern devices)
  • A built-in flashlight
  • Lightweight with a handle to make it easy to carry
  • Three-prong AC outlets to plug in anything from a mini-fridge to an electric grill
  • Various charge options, such as recharging via your car, a solar panel, or your wall outlet
  • Fast charging time for when you’re in a hurry
  • Included solar panels 
  • The ability to support a variety of power tools like drills
  • Extra-long battery life when not in use (and more cycles)
  • Weather-resistant and waterproof
  • Pure sine wave inverters for clean, uninterrupted energy
  • MPPT charge controllers for better solar charging
  • Notably-exceptional customer service
  • Rolling wheels for the heavy units
  • LCD display to monitor the remaining charge

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Powered Generator to Buy Today?

So you’ve read our reviews for the top solar generators as well as our buying guide that explains the important, technical aspects of choosing the best. 

But if you’re still confused about the one for you, we recommend the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X. This unit offers the perfect balance of power, battery capacity, durability, and ease of use at a quite affordable price. 

However, if you’re looking to go camping, we recommend the Jackery Explorer 1000. It’s extremely portable and still offers a ton of power for those week-long hikes and camping trips. It’ll ensure that you have enough juice to enjoy your trip without worry. 

And if you’re preparing for doomsday, or just need a home backup solution, the Titan solar generator is simply the best option for you. Expandable battery and a large inverter mean you can power everything and keep it running for a long time. 

Want more top-rated solar gear for your home, off-grid living, and more? Check out our best solar charge controller of the year to help bring your home into the future, or check out our Homepage with our full list of highly-reviewed equipment.

FAQs

The size of the solar generator you need depends on your power and energy requirements. Check back to the three steps on calculating your wattage needs and run time of the equipment you plan to use your solar generator with, and focus your sights on models that can handle your power needs. Also, make sure you use proper safety when utilizing any generator. (7)

Yes, solar generators are definitely worth it in our opinion. They are an exceptional innovation, and really eco-friendly. You don’t have to deal with the noise and fumes of gasoline generators, and you can use various charging methods too. 

If a real emergency arose, these units could supply you with power and keep that power going without any electricity to charge the battery, and without needing to travel to a gas station to refill your gas can. All you need is the power of the sun and a proper setup, and you’re ready for a wide range of situations.

Consider this: A solar generator could be potentially lifesaving. If you need to keep a small heater running during a frigid winter power outage, you don’t have to worry about poisonous fumes from a solar generator as you do with a gas-powered model. You don’t have to keep a solar generator outside for that reason. (8)

Solar generators are a large one-time investment. But when the worst happens, you’ll be thankful for being prepared with these. And if you keep recharging with solar, they’ll certainly pay for themselves in the long run. 

Yes, a solar generator can power a house. But you will need multiple units connected to a large array of solar panels. Large units like the Titan are best suited for this task. You should consult with an energy advisor to ensure that you get enough solar energy to keep your house running off the grid. 

The best solar generator for camping is the Jackery Explorer 1000. This unit is lightweight, sturdy, durable, and has a big battery with a large power rating that can charge all your necessary electronics with ease. Plus, it has a built-in flashlight to help you navigate in the dark.

  1. Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station – Real Overland Review. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11ZVLXAcYUo
  2. Power Outages | Ready.gov. Retrieved from: https://www.ready.gov/power-outages
  3. Titan Solar Generator. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/0ZGTjT3a81c?t=680
  4. Be Prepared For A Power Outage. Retrieved from: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/power-outage_information-sheet.pdf
  5. How Much Power a Fridge Uses – in Watts, Cost & kWh. Retrieved from: https://reductionrevolution.com.au/blogs/news-reviews/fridge-power-consumption
  6. List of the Power Consumption of Typical Household Appliances. Retrieved from: https://www.daftlogic.com/information-appliance-power-consumption.htm
  7. Using Portable/Emergency Generators Safely | Department of Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/ceser/activities/energy-security/emergency-preparedness/using-portableemergency-generators-safely
  8. Winter Weather | Ready.gov. Retrieved from: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
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