A few decades ago, it was commonly said that “solar energy is the future of power” whenever solar technology was talked about. And with all the solar products being churned out nowadays, it seems that the future is already here. Gone are the days when a power outage meant you had to depend on gas-powered generators (which are high maintenance) or remain in the dark totally. With the best solar generator, you won’t even notice any difference when it comes to the production of electricity. More significantly, a solar generator will help you cut down on your monthly energy bills.
Since solar technology is a new technology though, only a few people are familiar with it. Therefore, you need all the help you can get when you’re in the market for a solar product such as a generator. Nobody understands the dilemma you might be facing better than us, and that is why we have combed the nook and cranny of the internet to bring you the top nine solar generators currently out there. The key factors we consider for our selection include the type of battery, the capacity of the battery, output power, and outlets.
Top 9 Solar Generators Review 2020
In our usual fashion, we have spent tens of hours scouring the internet in order to recommend only the best models for you. Apart from thoroughly reading reviews and specifications of each product, we have also read customers feedback. In the end, we have come up with this meticulous guide which contains a handy comparison table, a products review section, a buying guide, and a FAQ section. Bear in mind that everything included in this article has been designed to steer you toward the best solar generator in the market.
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 WiFi – Editor’s Choice
- Battery: lithium-ion (NMC)
- Capacity: 1425Wh
- Output power: 1500W (rated), 3000W (peak)
- Outlets: (1) 120V AC inverter, (1) 5V USB-A, (1) 5V USB-C, (1) 5V USB PD port, (1) 12V DC, (1) 12V Power Pole Port
- Weight: 43.7 lbs
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 10.4 inches
- Warranty: 1-year
Without an atom of doubt, you can’t mention the top five brands in the solar industry without mentioning Goal Zero. They have consistently released high-quality solar products for several years, and the Yeti 1400 adds to the ever-increasing list. With a 1,425Wh capacity battery built into the unit, we assure you that it can run your big appliances like refrigerators, CPAP machines, and even some power tools, and it is the best solar backup generator around. Moreover, it’s equipped with nearly ten versatile ports which support USB, AC, USB-PD, USB-C, and 12-volt ports.
Furthermore, the generator has a peak power of 3,000 watts and a continuous power of 1,500 watts, which allows it to charge up to ten electronic devices simultaneously or charge a laptop more than 20 times, without any risk. Besides, it can actually run a fridge for more than 23 hours uninterruptedly. Featuring a smart LCD display, this unit tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the generator without any fuss. Additionally, there is a Yeti application that enables you to control and monitor the machine remotely through a Wi-Fi connection.
You can fully charge the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Solar Generator in 14 to 28 hours, through any compatible model. Bear in mind, however, that the charging duration depends on the visibility of the sun. You can also charge the unit through your AC outlet in around 25 hours. The only con we found is the fact that it needs to be reset once the outlets have been overloaded. Otherwise, this is a great unit for any sort of emergency.
- Easily rechargeable
- High-capacity power source
- Easy to setup
- Comes with many versatile ports
- Charges quickly
- WiFi compatibility
- No battery expansion pack
SUAOKI G500 – Best Value for Money
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 500Wh
- Output power: 300W (peak 600W)
- Outlets: 1 USB Type-C, 2 USB Type-A, 2 DC, 2 AC, and 1 cigarette socket
- Weight: 22.05 lbs
- Dimensions: 11 x 7.5 x 8.3 inches
- Warranty: 1 year
Looks shouldn’t really be paid too much emphasis or consideration when buying something such as a power generator, and the Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station shows exactly why. It is one of those models where the manufacturers seem to have invested more time in more important things like power output rather than aesthetics. With its 500Wh powerful lithium-ion battery, a 300-watt pure sine wave inverter, and a series of versatile USB ports, this is one of the most reliable options you can get for basic electrical needs.
While it won’t perform extraordinarily on powerful devices, it works really well for phones and laptops. The Suaoki G500 is equipped with a 300-watt pure sine wave inverter with 600-watt peak power. Of course, the device can be used to power and recharge an extensive variety of AC appliances and gadgets when you’re off-grid. Obviously, it features three QuickCharge USB ports, two AC sockets, one USB-C port, two USB-A outlets, a 12-volt carport to power the gadgets in your car, and a pair of 12-volt DC sockets.
Like we already mentioned, this unit may not have a spectacular design, especially with the doubtful LED indicators and a little orange display, but it’s easy to use and has a lightweight design. Therefore, it is an interesting choice for individuals who are only looking for something basic for their journey, but also in need of something a bit more dependable than other devices in this class.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight construction
- Powerful battery
- Perfect for your sensitive devices
- Only useful for basic needs
Goal Zero Yeti 400 – Most Versatile Model
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Capacity: 428Wh
- Output power: 300W (1,200W peak)
- Outlets: (3) 2.4A USB ports, (2) 12V ports
- Weight: 16 lbs
- Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 11 inches
- Warranty: 1 year
Coming with a new lithium battery and advanced features, it’s definitely worth it to take a look at the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station. This is a great alternative source of power for long trips, especially with the latest battery-management system built into it. Apart from being outfitted with a replaceable battery, it’s also equipped with a very handy LCD display that shows you important things you need to know like its battery level and input and output levels.
With a maximum battery capacity of 428Wh, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 can charge up to seven devices at the same time. Besides, it produces 1,200 watts of surge energy and 300 watts of clean energy, making it a perfect choice for your sensitive electronics and devices. The battery can also be recharged using two ways, with the first being with the included solar panel and the second being through a wall outlet. It takes about eight to sixteen hours to reach full charge when you use the solar panel while it takes only seven hours when charged through a wall outlet. Unfortunately, numerous customers have reported that the battery of this product doesn’t last for long.
Offering support for three different outputs – two 12V, two AC, and two USB ports – this machine is a very versatile option. While it isn’t one of the most lightweight options on this list at 16 pounds, it has a very discreet operation, which makes it perfect for indoor usage and at campgrounds. Overall, we would only recommend this product to anyone in search of an effective solar generator for basic needs.
- Can be recharged with multiple options
- Produces clean power
- Discreet operation
- Has an LCD display
- Well-engineered for portability
- The battery isn’t long-lasting
- A bit heavy
Rockpals 300W – Best Solar Generator for Home
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 280Wh
- Output power: 300W (rated), 600W (surge)
- Outlets: (1) 120V AC, (4) 12V DC, (1) 24V DC, (2) USB2.0, (2) QC3.0
- Weight: 7.3 lbs
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.1 x 6.9 inches
- Warranty: 18-month limited
In order to match what is being offered by other brands, Rockpals has decided to upgrade their invention to 300W. And with several versatile powering options which include four USB ports, AC outlets, 24V DC output, and 12V output, we think this is a perfect option for emergency power backup for home or camping. In fact, it is safe to charge delicate electronics devices like tablets, iPhones, iPads, TVs, and laptops. Moreover, it also sports an informative display that features a battery level indicator, an input/output meter, and a power condition indicator.
Weighing just 7.3 pounds, this solar generator also has a portable construction. The 280WH lithium batteries are sufficiently powerful to charge laptops four to five times, and smartphones up to 25 times, as well as power 32-inch TVs for four hours, mini-refrigerator and other small appliances. Also, the unit is very suitable for RV-ing, camping, or wherever you need emergency power. You can easily recharge the generator from the sun using any compatible 50-watt or 100-watt solar panel, which is sold separately. You can fully charge the battery pack in only eight hours when you plug it to the wall outlet.
Furthermore, this unit supplies clean energy, which is suitable for your sensitive devices. Asides that, it also has a quiet operation, which means you can easily run it beside you while you sleep peacefully in your RV or camp. But while most users have no issues with this machine, a lot of people complain about the company’s terrible customer service, which we think you might want to keep in mind when making your final decision.
- Suitable for sensitive devices
- Lightweight construction
- Versatile powering options
- Easy to recharge
- Poor customer service
Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator – Most Lightweight Model
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 155Wh
- Output power: 100W (rated)
- Outlets: (1) 110V AC, (3) 12V DC, (3) 5V USB
- Weight: 3.48 lbs
- Dimensions: 7.67 x 6.73 x 3.54 inches
- Warranty: 1 year
When you’re in the market for a portable generator that is powerful enough to serve you both outdoors and indoors, this model, in particular, should be at the top of your considerations. While it is adequately versatile for outdoor use, this unit describes itself accurately as an option for emergencies. It offers support for an extensive variety of applications to make sure that all your power needs are handled efficiently. Featuring a 42000mAh battery, multiple 12-volt DC outlets, USB ports, and AC, you can effectively use this unit to charge your TV, laptops. DVD, Christmas lights, amongst other devices.
What’s more, this machine allows you to also charge your car vacuum, car air fan, and car refrigerator with the aid of the three DC ports built in. With this, you will be able to boost your smartphones, RC helicopter, iPads, and cameras. And if you’re not in the position to charge the battery using a solar panel (which you have to buy separately by the way), keep in mind that there are multiple methods to recharge the machine – wall outlet or a car charger. Design-wise, the machine measures just 7.67 x 6.73 x 3.54 inches while weighing 3.48 pounds, which makes it lightweight and compact enough for you to easily carry.
For optimum transportability, the machine also sports a carrying handle. And besides charging your gadgets, the unit also doubles as an emergency light and a backup light. For this purpose, it’s equipped with an ultra-bright LED that switches to a blink mode during an emergency. Using this generator on your devices is safe since it uses a battery-management system whilst also providing over-power, over-current, short-circuit, low-voltage, and over-temperature protection.
- Easy to transport
- Doubles as an emergency and backup light
- Lightweight and compact
- Can be recharged in multiple ways
- Can be used both outdoor and indoor
- Suitable for basic needs only
Jackery Explorer 240 – Best Warranty
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 240Wh
- Output power: 200W (rated), 400W (peak)
- Outlets: (1) 110V AC, (1) 12V DC, (2) 5V USB
- Weight: 6.6 lbs
- Dimensions: 9 x 7.8 x 5.2 inches
- Warranty: 2-year limited
As suggested by its name, this portable unit from Jackery is a Jack-of-all-trades, which is perfect for explorers and adventurers. You can either use it as a backup plan in case of a power outage or take it on a camping trip. Bear in mind that it offers you multiple ways to charge your devices and offers multiple ways to recharge it. Using this unit, you can recharge a phone about 18 times, recharge your laptop, run a TV or a mini-fridge for many hours, thanks to the inbuilt 240Wh battery that supplies power from the carport, two USB ports, or AC outlet.
Weighing only 6.6 pounds, the Jackery 240 is not the heaviest of the lots and is sufficiently small to hold with a single hand. Its lightweight construction is especially great for avid adventurers and campers as it won’t add any significant weight to their already heavy load. This model is like most other models on this list as it also doesn’t come with a solar panel, but it is a portable power station that is perfect for RV outdoors, a power outage, and camping.
In fact, it is an excellent way of getting started with battery stations as it is very easy to use and offers a free solar charger. It is, however, important to bear in mind that this generator from Jackery isn’t capable of handling heavy-duty tasks, so you should only use it to cater for your small power needs if you don’t want to be shopping for another solar generator in a few months. Although it comes with a two-year warranty, you don’t want to be going through that a stress you can avoid.
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Offers multiple charging and recharging options
- Comes with a free solar charger
- Quite powerful battery
- Only suitable for basic needs
Aeiusny Portable Generator – Easiest to Use
- Battery: lithium-ion
- Capacity: 288Wh
- Output power: 500W (continuous), 1000W (peak)
- Outlets: (3) AC, (4) DC ports, (2) 5V USB-A ports, (2) USB-B ports
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Dimensions:11.4 x 5.2 x 4.3 inches
- Warranty: 1 year
Durable enough to withstand anything nature throws at it, and sufficiently lightweight to fit perfectly in your backpack, the Aeiusny Portable Generator is perfect for adventurers and campers. Featuring seven output ports, this solar generator can be used to charge seven devices at the same time. Due to its extreme versatility and ruggedness, this unit is usually used by construction workers to power their power tools in a site’s odd areas and by off-grid homesteaders.
With its 288Wh battery, the Aeiusny Portable Generator is one of the most powerful models in its category, and definitely a must-have for every outdoorsman. It also comes with a user manual that is sure to get you started easily, meaning you won’t face any difficulty when trying to use it for the first time. There are three ways by which you could recharge it – through the AC wall outlet, through your car’s AC adapter, or through a solar panel which you need to purchase separately.
This model offers you the independence and flexibility to strike off alone while being disconnected from a power grid. And it runs very quietly, which makes it great for people who obtain peace from quietness. The only downside we found is the fact that it loses charge a lot quicker than expected, which might be a huge concern for people who like being outdoors for long.
- Can charge seven devices simultaneously
- Very powerful for its class
- Three ways of recharging
- Very rugged and versatile
- Easy to use
- Loses charge quickly
Renogy Phoenix 150W Portable Generator – Best Solar Generator for Camping
- Battery: 16Ah lithium-ion (NMC)
- Capacity: 210 Wh
- Output power: 150W (continuous)
- Outlets: (1) 110V AC, (4) 5V USB, (1) 12V DC (12.5A), (2) 12V DC (3A)
- Weight: 12.8 lbs
- Dimensions: 16.24 x 11.95 x 3.94 inches
- Warranty: 1-year
The solar technology keeps gaining more popularity these days, thanks to companies like Renogy who would stop at nothing to ensure the technology is adopted all over the world. Their recent invention, the Renogy Phoenix 150W Portable Generator, is an all-encompassing product that’s apt for emergency situations and for individuals in search of a portable power source for camping. Engineered for emergency power needs and light outdoor activities, this machine can charge an iPad for eight times, a laptop for five times, and a normal phone for more than 20 times.
Furthermore, this product produces pure sine wave energy that allows you to safely charge your delicate devices like laptops and smartphones. Equipped with one AC outlet, two DC outlets, one carport, and four USB ports, you can easily charge different types of devices with this generator. Further, it’s outfitted with a useful LCD display that gives you vital information. Not only that, but it also has an incorporated MPPP charging technology that tracks the skies to locate the best sport for charging. It also has two 10-watt solar panels which make 20 watts in total, and they can charge the battery fully in about 15 hours. You can also charge it through a wall outlet or through the DC outlet of your car in around five hours.
One vital tip to keep in mind is never to put the Phoenix outdoors in very hot environments for long periods as the device has a tendency of getting overheated, and exposing it to excessive heat can damage its panel. In general, the Renogy Phoenix is excellent for only light-duty tasks like charging your devices in your boat or trailer caravan. And it’s brief-case design means it’s really perfect for campers and men on the go.
- Produces clean energy
- Lightweight design
- Simple to follow instructions
- Many charging options
- MPPP charging technology
- Vulnerable to heat
SereneLife SLSPG20 Portable Generator – Budget Pick
- Battery: Lithium-ion
- Capacity: 155Wh
- Output power: 120W (180W peak)
- Outlets: 10V Dual AC outlet, (3) 12V DC ports, (3) 5V USB ports
- Weight: 4.7 lbs
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 6.7 x 7.7 inches
- Warranty: 1-year
Indeed, good things don’t always come in big packages, and this portable generator from SereneLife is proof. Weighing only four pounds, this stunning generator produces 180 watts of power, and its compact design makes it suitable for tailgating, camping, and home backup. And due to the spark arrestor, this rugged machine is both CARB and EPA compliant, which means it’s totally safe to utilize in any park. The engine will deliver the power required to power your modern devices and appliances at the same time.
Despite being very budget-friendly, this generator is still top rated and it’s due to many reasons. The lightweight construction and carrying handle make it very easy to take on the go, and it also has rubberized feet that make it sturdy and firm on the ground. With its compactness, portability, and reliability, this generator will soon win your heart and become your best companion on your outdoor excursions or hunting trips.
Betting all previous industry standards, this machine enables you to easily power a computer, sump pump, microwave, power tools, television, or portable heater with maximum efficiency and ease. Apart from outperforming other models in its class, it also comes with a very affordable price tag, making it an amazing choice for anyone looking for something very efficient without being expensive. Although it may lose power slightly and may not be able to handle heavy-duty appliances, it will still give you a lot of value for your money.
- Three charging modes
- Safe to use
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Has a carrying handle
- It may lose power slightly
- It cannot handle heavy-duty appliances
Solar generator: what are the advantages, and what do you use it for?
In reality, a solar generator isn’t directly a solar generator – it is essentially a battery-powered generator. It is a compacted electronic box with three components joined together, which include an inverter, batteries, and a charge controller. strangely, a solar generator doesn’t come with any solar component and you even need to buy the solar panel differently most times. As long as you charge the battery inside the generator, it’ll be able to serve as a backup generator and power several devices.
Solar generators are nothing like gas-powered generators as they are whisper quiet, which means you could even place them right beside your television if you want. They produce 100 percent clean energy and are totally safe to use indoors. Therefore, you don’t need to go into the severe weather and you also don’t need to run cables through doors and windows in order to reach appliances that are far away. Simply set the machine down right beside it!
Apart from convenience, the biggest benefit of solar generators is expenses. while they may be more expensive up front, solar generators, over time, will make up for it since you don’t need to pay anything again once you’ve bought one. The sun costs nothing and supplies 100 percent of free power with a never-ending supply.
Our environmental strength gets weaker every day, mostly because of the excessive emission of gas fumes by our daily machines. While a gas generator isn’t likely to add any significant contribution, every little effort is helpful and getting rid of yet another device that sends gas fumes into our atmosphere is a huge step taken in the right direction.
How does a solar generator work?
Most people looking to buy a solar generator for the first time are always curious to know how solar technology works exactly, and it’s simple. These generators are driven by solar energy, which is harnessed by the solar panels connected to the generator. This process is also referred to as the photovoltaic effect, and it causes electrons to get rather unsettled from their regular atomic orbit. As a result, electric power is created in the panels, which is then transferred to the solar generator.
This is now where the inverted becomes useful. The DC is then automatically converted into AC by the inverter without you even having to do anything. Now, the solar generator is a source of people and you can utilize it to charge or power any device of your choice if the battery is fully charged. Keep in mind that you must ensure the battery in your solar generator is charged fully at all times or you will be left down by the machine.
Important features of a solar generator
There are a couple of things that you might need to look at before choosing a particular solar generator. Let us discuss the most essential considerations and features to bear in mind during your shopping.
Battery type and capacity
The most crucial thing to consider when purchasing a solar generator is probably the amount of power the battery is capable of storing and its peak power rating. In simple terms, high numbers will directly mean more energy for usage. While some of these solar generators produce as small as 100 watts, there are some like the Goal Zero Yeti 400 that produce about 300 or more watts; it actually hinges on your needs and requirements. If you intend to power TVs and other big appliances, you’ll require much more power than for basic tablet or phone charging. It is very important to know the kind of devices and appliances you want to connect and what their power needs are.
Power Output Options
Another thing you need to pay attention to is the number of power output options. In other words, you must determine the types of cables and devices the generator can handle before buying. The best models like the Goal Zero Yeti 1400, SereneLife SLSPG20, and the Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator will have multiple DC, AC, and USB ports as well. AC outlets are utilized to power devices such as TV, small lights, small fridges and other appliances like those.
The USB and DC outlets are usually perfect for powering and charging small appliances and devices such as phones, tablets, flashlights, and other similar things. You need to determine the connectivity options incorporated in the portable solar generator and compare those options against your own requirements and needs. While some of these devices don’t come equipped with AC outlets, most of them are compatible with the right accessories.
Size and weight
Since the entire point of purchasing a solar generator is giving you highly portable energy, you need to look at the specific model’s size and weight. You need to think about your needs for the generator and your own spatial requirements as well. If you need something lightweight you can easily carry on your outdoors trip, then you need to be looking at something like the Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator which is the most lightweight model on our list at 3.48 pounds.
Despite the immense improvement that has been seen by solar technology in recent years, most people aren’t really confident about their durability and longevity. In that case, it is extremely important to look for a model that’s backed by a long-term warranty, which will give you rest of mind and provide you with a sense of security. With its two-year warranty, the model with the longest warranty on our list is the Jackery Explorer 240.
How to set up a solar generator?
Place the sun-powered generator on the level ground. Ensure it is stable and even. In the event that the machine is on a bed at the top of your truck, park everything on the level ground. Now look at the control panel and find the electric button igniter and then press the power button. Give the thing a chance to warm up properly before powering your appliances,
Check the label on your appliances to read their amperage requirements. You can purchase and install an amperage meter on your generator’s control panel (if it comes with none pre-installed). If you have something that’s really demanding to run, plug in power cords.
While the solar generator may be slow at a time, it will return to its normal output once it’s warmed up. Always disconnect your power cords at the receptacle. In order to ensure that everything is running smoothly, you must adjust your generator’s output. Be careful about the output and mind how you utilize the entire thing.
Yes, of course. You can power several devices and appliances at the same time with your solar generator, depending on your generator’s power output options. For instance, a model like the Aeiusny Portable Generator is capable of powering seven different devices at the same time, which is really remarkable.
While a solar generator can effectively power small appliances like phones, laptops, lights, and even TVs, you can’t expect it to power electrical appliances or power tools that have large start-up loads such as air conditioners, air compressors, and the likes.
Typically, how long a battery will last depends largely on how it is used. Charging and recharging a battery constantly will weaken it over time. For instance, a solar-powered generator that is kept in a closet while being charged continuously for most of its lifetime and only utilized sparingly will likely last for a long time, perhaps even for life. However, if it is being exhausted and recharged constantly, you may only be able to squeeze just a few years out of it before the battery is damaged.
Yes, you can charge your solar generator and use it to power your appliances at the same time. However, you just have to ensure you’re getting sufficient current to keep the batteries reaching absorbing in a well-timed manner.
Solar generators usually have a battery which is charged by a solar panel – they don’t charge directly, and it’s understandable. There are a few reasons why a battery is essential for this process. While solar panels aren’t capable of generating sufficient power to power an appliance directly, they can accumulate higher wattage through a battery. So, if you want to figure out the amount of power you need, you simply need to read the labels on your appliances and check their power consumption. Then, check the generator’s output as well and compare the numbers.
With the surge in the popularity of solar technology in recent years, it’s safe to declare that an evolution is happening, and with products such as the Goal Zero Yeti 1400, Goal Zero is at the forefront of that evolution. Versatile, functional, charges easily, and easy to set up, this powerful generator from Goal Zero has absolutely everything and is our pick for the best solar generator.
Also coming from a popular company, the SUAOKI G500 Portable Power Station is our second choice, and it’s hard to debate this decision considering everything it’s equipped with. While it’s not as powerful as our first pick, it also comes with features to claim a spot among the best in the game.
Our third pick is another popular from Goal Zero, which further highlights why Goal Zero is one of the best brands in the industry. With a series of advanced features and a new lithium battery, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 comfortably sits among elites here.