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No matter where in the world you are, it isn’t possible to go too long without power. We need to charge our phones and computers, we need to use our appliances, and we need the lights to be able to find our way in the dark.
We certainly don’t need to waste any power watching a ridiculous movie like Thor III, Star Wars The Force Awakens, 22 Jumpstreet, or Neighbors II – no doubt about that!
Moreover, that’s the reason most of us keep a generator or inverter at home, in case the power goes out. Power outages aren’t unusual. From bad weather to an electrical fault, a lot of factors affect the electricity supply, plunging the world in darkness and paralyzing our lives.
As we are aware, generators are big and heavy. What if you’re heading out for camping and need to carry a power source with you? Surely you wouldn’t be taking along the one you have at home. For such purposes, solar powered generators have been created. These portable solar generators are small and lightweight, and can be used to power several appliances, from your phone to a coffee maker.
As the name suggests, these generators are solar powered, and use solar panels to capture photons from the sun to charge the battery. The machine then changes the energy into alternating current electricity.
A solar powered generator can do everything that regular electricity can. The popularity of solar powered generators has led several companies to bring out their own varieties. So how do you pick one that best suits your needs?
At a Glance: Our Choices for The 7 Best Portable Solar Powered Generators
Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each generator.
How To Choose A Great Solar Powered Generator
The benefits of a solar powered generator are not just for survivalists or outdoor adventurers. Anyone who wants an environment-friendly portable generator can invest in this machine. They require less space to be stored and are also easier to use because they are lighter.
Remember that solar powered generators can also be big and heavy like a regular generator. If you are going to carry it, you must specifically look for a portable one.
When in a survival situation, the need for a portable generator can occur at any time. If not for anything else, but for charging your phones a generator is very useful.
You could carry a power bank, but that’s hardly enough for extensive use, particularly when compared to the efficiency of a generator. Before you head to a store to pick up a solar powered generator, there are a few things to look for.
Ready to plug in
Unlike traditional generators that require an inverter to convert the energy into regular electricity, portable solar powered generators are ready to plug in your appliances, devices, extension cords, and other peripherals. Portable solar generators do not require a separate inverter, significantly lowering the cost of the product. The price of the generator will also vary with size and wattage.
A bigger solar powered generator can provide power for the whole family, but it also weighs over 100 pounds, so they are impractical for portability. Portable ones weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. When it comes to larger generators, they are usually mounted on wagons for easy movement. Portable ones can be lifted easily and carried from one place to another.
Solar powered generators come with default panels that are often of very low wattage. But you can easily upgrade to a bigger panel providing 100 watts or more. This is usually inexpensive and will dramatically increase the charging speed of the generator is charged as well as its overall capacity.
For as little as $250, you could get a pair of 100-watt panels that would drastically enhance the performance of the generator.
Modern solar powered generators have outlets for USB charging, 12V outlets, and standard 110-volt plug for heavy duty devices like the fridge.
There are several benefits of using a solar powered generator. Some of them are:
Environment-friendly: A portable solar generator needs no fossil fuel, making it an environment-friendly option. Plus, the sun is always freely available, which means whenever the sun shines, the generator has free fuel. On a really sunny day, you can charge the machine to the fullest for use when the power goes out.
It’s quiet: Unlike generator powered by fossil fuel, solar generators work silently. This means it can be placed anywhere without an unnecessary noise bothering everyone. It can also be carried outdoors to retreats and camping without any irritating noise.
Backup batteries: Worried about powering the generator when the sun isn’t shining? There are batteries for that very reason. When you haven’t been able to charge the generator on a cloudy day, the batteries will provide power.
No moving parts: A portable solar generator has no moving parts, which makes it more reliable for long-lasting performance.
Requires no vents: Since there is no exhaust fume, portable solar generators have no vents. This is another advantage of these machines.
No maintenance costs: After the initial investment, there is hardly any maintenance cost, because it doesn’t require fuel and has no moving parts.
Top 7 Portable Solar Powered Generators
Now that we have seen the benefits of a solar generator and the essential factors to consider when buying one, let’s take a look at the seven best solar-powered portable generators on the market today.
Goal Zero Yeti 1400
Charging laptops and phones and powering fridge, lights, and other tools just became easier with the Goal Zero Yeti 1400. This is a super high-capacity portable power station supplying power on-demand at just the push of a button. The product has even won numerous awards for efficiency, functionality, and design.
This 1500W battery-powered generator is ideal for powering devices such as pumps, fridges, microwave ovens, coffee makers, and more. It also features several outlets, including AC, USB, and 12V, capable of powering ten devices at once.
There is no gas needed to run this generator, and there are no fumes or noise. This ready to plug in generator is easy to use and safe enough to use in small spaces and store at home.
It weighs just a little under 46 pounds, light enough to grab and go. You can use it in the car for running lights at your next camping site or for powering TVs and speakers at your next outdoor party.
Although way above $1,500, this is one of the best portable solar powered generators in the market today that will last you for years without the noise and fumes. With such a clean generator, you can safely power your devices without harming the environment or your own health.
Conclusion on the Goal Zero Yeti 1400: For all-round superior performance, look no further than the Yeti. It’s efficient, capable, and is powerful enough for all your household devices. It provides 1500W of power without noise or fumes.
Without noise! Too bad your uncle could be less noisy during that sporting event you watched on TV!
Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
|Capacity:||1425 watts 132,000mAh/10.8V, 396,000mAH/3.7V|
|Output:||300W, 600W surge, 2 DC Ports /4 USB ports /1 cigarette lighter socket /1 jump starter port for 12V 4L gas car|
(+) Small, compact, and lightweight
(+) Efficient for powering various devices and appliances
(+) 440W of max capacity
(-) USB ports don’t work without a power inverter
(-) No way to turn off 12V output
A small, affordable generator that fulfills all your needs, this Suaoki portable solar power generator is lightweight, with zero sound or fume.
Easy and safe to use, this power station is the ideal solution unexpected blackouts and power outage, or for outdoor activities. You can top up the generator by an AC adaptor, or your car cigarette socket, or a solar panel.
The machine supplies 444Wh of power for your electronic devices, household appliances, camping CPAP, mini fridges, jump-starting your cars, powering electrical tools, and keeping lights on during emergencies. This portable generator is great for taking to campsites, hunting, fishing, farming, or other outdoor activities.
The generator has a continuous output of 300W and a surge of 600W. It also comes with an LCD screen to display the battery consumption, charge and discharge status, and three buttons with light indicators for changing the different ways of a power supply.
The Battery Management System (BMS) protects the machine and the connected devices from over-current, over-voltage and over-temperature. The generator comes with a handle, an aluminum alloy shell and built-in input and output ports. Its weight is only a little more than 12 pounds.
Conclusion on the Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator: If you’re looking for a convenient, affordable solar generator for everyday use, this one should be on top of your list. It’s one of the most portable and golden power stations for under $500.
Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
|Output:||1 x AC Input Port, 1 x AC Output Port, 1 x Cig Input Port, 1 x Cig Outout Port, 2 x Solar Input Ports, 2 x DC Output Ports, 4 x USB Output Ports|
(+) Handy and compact
(+) Superior efficiency
(+) High-quality build
(+) Several output and input ports
(-) Outer case heats up quickly
This is an efficient all-in-one system for all your power needs under $500. The best part about this generator is the number of different input and output ports, namely an AC input port, an AC output port, a CiG input port and two CiG output ports, two solar input ports, two DC output ports, and four USB output ports.
This means no matter what kind of device, it can be safely plugged in and powered. There are 20W built-in monocrystalline solar panels expandable up to 120W. The replaceable 16Ah Li-ion battery powers the generator when the sun isn’t shining.
The system is rechargeable with AC, solar, and Cig Port. The Phoenix has been designed for mobile, remote applications, whether it’s an outdoor picnic or an emergency.
This lightweight, compact generator has a maximum capacity of 150W, and weighs 12.8 pounds. The compact design and high-quality case make this a superior system in this price range. The outer case heats up very quickly, so having an external solar array is a good idea.
While it isn’t powerful enough to last through a weekend trip or power heavy duty devices, it is useful for emergency power backup at home or for short weekend trips when you need to charge your phone or camera.
Conclusion on the Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator: For a solid, durable, outstanding generator under $500, look no further than the Phoenix. It might be small, but packs enough power for all household devices and electrical appliances.
The KaliPAK 601 is the flagship product by Kalisaya, with the energy output superior to any other power station in the range. Portable and compact, weighing only 14 pounds, this generator runs on the four solar panel of a total 40 watt, which is easy to charge wherever the sun shines. There is also a lithium-ion battery for when the sun isn’t shining.
The KaliPak 601 can charge a device like a high-end smartphone an average of 95 times. There’s also a Bluetooth transmitter and the KaliAPP to help you check the energy consumption. The generator gives a maximum of 558Wh. The generator comes with the KaliSaya Mini Powerkit that includes a 40W solar panel, an AC/DC wall charger, and car-lighter adapter.
There are four USB charge ports and two 12V DC ports. There is no DC to AC converter built into the system, but this can be easily solved by getting an inverter. In fact, minus the inbuilt inverter, the generator is smaller, more convenient and portable.
It can easily charge phones and laptops for a week only with the help of the sun, and can also handle a 12V fridge and TV. Those who prefer a lightweight compact generator that doesn’t produce noise or fumes should grab the KaliPak 601.
Conclusion on the Kalisaya 601: For such a new company, the build, quality, and craftsmanship are remarkable. Besides the product, the company also has excellent customer service and is prompt enough to address questions and concerns immediately.
If only the VA years ago (2009, 2010) was so caring to veterans but this is another topic.
Jackery 500Wh Portable Generator
The Jackery Powerpro 500Wh Portable Outdoor Generator weighs only 12.5 pounds and comes with a comfortable handle to take it wherever you go. It’s the smallest and lightest generator with a rechargeable lithium battery, and produces no noise or fumes, ideal for places like cabins, base camps, and during unexpected power outages.
This all-in-one power station has a 110V AC outlet meant for small, two 12V DC ports, a DC cigarette lighter socket, and two USB ports. The LCD battery screen displays the battery consumption, charge and discharge status, while the built-in flashlight can be used for illuminating dark outdoor spaces. The product is ETL Certified for safety, and the Battery Management System (BMS) makes sure the battery is never overheated.
Although the generator is meant to run on solar power of 102 watts, the panels aren’t included with the product. This is a big downside to this generator. If you’re willing to spend more money buying the solar panels, this could be a good generator for you.
Conclusion on the Jackery 500Wh Portable Generator: If you purchase the solar panels separately, this will be a good, light, compact, eco-friendly generator for everyday purposes.
No, there is no reason for you take this to your office at work, that would be unnecessary!
ACOPOWER 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
|Capacity:||300W (Pure Sine Wave) Peak Output Power: 450W|
|Output:||DC 4×USB Port: 2×5V2.1A & 2×5V1A, 1×12V Car Port: 120W, 2×DC 6mm Port: 2×12V3A|
(+) Lightweight and portable
(+) Solar panels included
(+) AC, DC, and USB ports
(+) LCD battery display
(-) Pricey for the size
(-) No product support
If you’re looking for a lightweight portable solar generator under $500 (and with tax cuts, that number is not as high as it used to be!), the ACOPOWER 400Wh Portable Solar Generator is a safe buy. This ultra-light and compact generator has a 100W solar panel that charges fully in 4 to 5 hours.
Weighing only 12.3 pounds and with dimensions no more than nine inches, this generator also has built-in high energy density lithium ion battery, an LCD battery display, short-circuit protection and overcharging protection. It has a capacity of 400wh, with two AC 110V outputs, a DC output, as well USB port.
Conclusion on the ACOPOWER 400Wh Portable Solar Generator: A nice option under $500, this one is most remarkable for its small size and portability.
No, your dog does not care too much for this; your dog wants his/her belly rubbed three times a day, that is it!
Inergy Kodiak Solar Power Generator
The Inergy Kodiak is one of the most premier portable solar generators, which weighs far less than most other generators in this range. It’s durable, versatile, and built to last a lifetime. Whether you’re a householder or survivalist, this generator is indispensable for outdoor activities as well as emergency power outages.
You can charge with the means of solar panels, wall charger, and car charger. It weighs only 20 pounds, comes with one AC Adapter and solar panel for up to 270W watts and a high current charging port for car, solar, wind, and solar up to 32 volts.
The generator provides up to 1000W of continuous power and continuous 1100 Watt for one hour. It comes with seven AC outputs, four USB outputs, two VDC outputs, along with one year warranty.
Conclusion on the Inergy Kodiak Solar Power Generator: Capable and efficient, the Kodiak is one of the most superior products of its kind on the market today. Although it costs well above $1,500, it is worth every penny.
Yes, the Inergy could be used to power your oven so you can cook a pumpkin pie! Now you are living. Being civilized is always good!
A solar powered generator is an expensive investment. Before making a purchase, it is important to do careful research and choose the best for your needs and budget.