Solar generators are the way of the future. They’re clean and, in many cases, super easy to install and use. It’s a great way to save on your electricity bill and it can offer many of the comforts of traditional electricity for less hassle.
Of course, if you’re looking to buy a solar powered generator, you already know that. What you’re interested in is how to make the most of your purchase. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best solar generators currently on the market in 2020.
Whether you’re interested in high wattage, portability, or price, we’ve got you covered. Read on for more details.
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station
- 1 Best Solar Generator Reviews
- 2 What are the Components of a Solar Generator?
- 3 Can You Use a Solar Powered Generator for Backup?
- 4 How to Accurately Assess a Solar Generator?
- 5 What Appliances Will Your Solar Generator Power?
- 6 How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for your Home?
Best Solar Generator Reviews
Solar power has come a long way since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839. Today, you’ve got great options in terms of charging time, battery life, and overall energy output. Solar generators have kept up the rapid pace and are now a decent choice considering their quality to cost ratio.
Below are some of the best options that showcase just how far this technology has come.
1. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
Goal Zero is one of the best producers in terms of solar power, and this solar generator kit is no exception. Though not the most powerful generator out there, it still takes the top of our list for a perfect balance between quality and attractive pricing.
The kit comes equipped with the Yeti 1250 solar powered generator, as well as a Boulder 100 briefcase solar panel, and a cord and kickstand. In the same kit, you’ll also get a roller for easy transportation and a wall charger that serves as an alternative charging method for cloudy days.
With a battery capable of storing 1250Wh at a time, this generator can charge up to 10 small devices at once. It comes with four in-built 2.1A USB ports and two 120W or 12V ports. For additional charging power, it can be chained with other 100Ah (roughly 1200Wh) lead acid batteries. On its own, it will power up a small to average-sized fridge for one day and will charge a laptop several dozen times.
The kit is easy to maintain and built for outdoor stress. Both the generator and the solar panel can withstand heat and rain and are therefore perfectly designed for permanent installation. The generator frame is made of strong tempered glass and aluminum with additional corner protection.
- Kit includes solar generator, solar panel, and miscellanea for installation at a decent price
- 1.25kWh battery: enough to charge small devices several times over or to power a fridge for an entire day
- Can be chained with other, identical batteries for additional charging power
- Battery is not as powerful as other options
2. Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station
Still from Goal Zero, this Yeti 3000 unit features in almost all solar generator reviews. That’s because it’s by far one of the most powerful options on the market. The “3000” included in its name does not refer to the power output of its in-built inverter, as would be the case with most solar powered generators, but rather to its battery capacity.
In more familiar terms, this generator stores 3kWh when fully charged. It can run a refrigerator for several days, as well as other, small appliances. It will even power the AC in your home for up to an hour, which makes it one of the best solar generators available for purchase.
Still need more? You can turn it into a veritable backup generator for power outages by attaching additional identical batteries to it. This unit from Goal Zero is, in fact, one of the few solar generators that can reliably serve as backup for more than one day.
The solar powered generator does not come in a kit and is sold separately from solar panels. Still, it is built with quality components for extraordinary durability and is ideal for permanent installation in your home. Generally speaking, it requires 24 hours to fully charge when connected to an AC wall socket and 30 hours to charge using solar power.
- 3kWh Battery: one of the most powerful currently available for purchase
- Can be chained with additional batteries for reliable backup during power shortages
- Durable and weather-proof: ideal for home installation
- Is not sold in a kit so you’ll have to buy solar panels separatelyCLY 60 LED Solar Flood LightsMore expensive than other options
3. OG Solar 135 Amp Solar Generator
This unit by OG Solar is less powerful than the best solar generator by Goal Zero, which is why you won’t find it in most solar generator reviews, but it is also significantly cheaper. In other words, it’s worth the investment if you can’t afford its superior counterpart, since it performs better than solar powered generators in its price range and it features a decent battery capacity of 135 Amp or approximately 1.6kWh.
OG Solar’s generator is sold together with four 50W solar panels and it arrives completely equipped with battery and other miscellanea, which means you don’t have to worry about assembling it. Simply connect it to the solar panels as well as to your appliance(s) of choice: everything else, it will do automatically.
Its build is also fairly durable. The housing for the generator is rugged and weather-resistant, while circuitry, extension cables, and other accessories are contained inside dustproof and crush-proof cases. Though advertised as able to endure the elements, the producer recommends that the system be kept indoors or on a patio to ensure an extended lifetime.
The unit weighs no less than 100 pounds (or approximately 50kg), which makes it inappropriate for transportation or camping. It is, however, ideal for permanent installation. It can be tied into the power grid in order to lower monthly electricity bills or it can be used as a modest emergency backup generator for power shortages.
- One of the best solar generators in terms of performance to price ratio
- 1.6kWh Battery capacity that can easily power several small devices or an average-sized fridge for a day
- Rugged build for increased durability
- Very heavy: suitable only for permanent installationCLY 60 LED Solar Flood LightsNot as powerful as a Goal Zero Yeti 3000
4. Ascent Solar Generator Y1200
In terms of the best solar generators on the market, this is your top choice if you’re looking to travel sustainably. The unit weighs only 42 pounds (just under 20kg), which makes it up to 60% lighter than other options with similar wattage.
Ascent solar generator Y1200 features a decent battery capacity for its size and price. At 1231Wh or approximately 1.2kWh when fully charged, it can recharge a phone, tablet, or laptop more than a dozen times over.
It won’t power a large fridge for an entire day, but it remains a fantastic option for small indoor appliances and devices, as well as for camping, fishing, or hunting. You can even power a flat-screen TV in your tent overnight, if you’re inclined to do so.
Like most solar powered generators, this model makes minimal noise when compared to a gas generator, which is a big plus if you intend to bring it with you on the fishing boat. It can be used to charge multiple appliances at the same time, and it features a variety of ports for different devices.
- One of the lightest solar generators on the market
- 1.2kWh battery capacity, which is decent for its size and price
- A great option for camping, hunting, and fishing, since it is very silent when it operates
- Ideal for travelling, but not the best backup solar generator during long power shortages
5. Natures Generator, Solar and Wind Powered, Gold System
Nature’s Generator is a solar and wind powered generator with a battery capacity of 60Ah or roughly 0.7kWh. Compared to other models on the market, it is significantly less powerful, but it still features in many solar generator reviews because it comes equipped with a solar panel and the entire kit is more than affordable, even on a tight budget.
Of course, just because it comes equipped with a smaller battery, this solar generator is not to be dismissed. It is easy to transport, which means it can be used both at home and while camping. It features a total of 8 ports that provide appropriate access for a variety of devices. It’s also easy to use thanks to its LED screen, which displays charging status, battery level, as well as output usage.
On its own, it cannot be used as a suitable backup generator, but it can be connected to identical batteries for improved charging potential. Moreover, if you only intend to use Nature’s Generator in emergency situations or to power up small devices, it provides more than enough power to adequately fulfill its functions.
All in all, it’s the ideal investment for you if you’re on a tight budget and you don’t intend the generator to power a refrigerator or AC. If this is the case, why pay more when you can get what you need for a bargain?
- Mobile: can be used both at home and when travelling
- Very affordable: is sold together with a solar panel and miscellanea for installation
- Easy to use and intuitive, especially thanks to its handy LED display
- 0.7kWh Battery capacity, which is much less than a fridge uses per dayCLY 60 LED Solar Flood LightsMust be chained with identical batteries in order to become a reliable backup generator for an entire household