Have you considered going entirely off the grid? I’ve been considering disconnecting from power stations and adopting a clean energy lifestyle and off-grid living. One of my main concerns is what I can use as a reliable power source for my off-grid home. With so many solar generators on the market, finding the best solar generator for off-grid living can be challenging, so I’ve compiled a buyer’s guide to the best solar generators for off-grid living conditions.
About Solar Generators For Off-Grid Living
When choosing the best solar generator, there are a few factors to consider. These include the cost, the longevity, and how much power the user needs. For example, choosing portable solar generators for camping will be entirely different from choosing the best solar generator to power an off-grid home.
It can be challenging to choose which generator is best for off-grid living. The more I searched for the best solar generators, the more questions I was left with. To help in guiding your choices I’ve answered the main questions below like “which size solar generator is the most powerful” and “how much power do I need for my off-grid cabin or home”.
Read on to discover more…
What Is A Solar Generator?
Solar generators convert energy from the sun into electrical power output. Most solar generators can be used for a variety of purposes, including powering homes, businesses, and vehicles.
An off-grid Solar generator is becoming an increasingly popular choice as more people look for ways to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and move towards renewable energy sources. They are also relatively easy to set up and use, making them a great option for those who are looking for an alternative to traditional generators.
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar generators work by using solar panels to convert sunlight into electrical energy. This electrical energy is then stored in external batteries, which can be used to power devices or appliances when needed. Most solar generators can be used to power a wide range of electronic devices, including lights, computers, TVs, and refrigerators.
What Are The Benefits Of Solar Generators?
There are many benefits of solar power generators, including the fact that they are more environmentally friendly than traditional generators as they do not produce emissions or pollution like the energy you get using on-grid power stations.
They are much quieter than traditional generators, so you can enjoy peace and quiet when you are using them. The best solar generators can also be used in a variety of settings, including homes. They can also be used to power and charge multiple devices and appliances.
Can A Solar Generator Power An Entire Off The Grid Home?
Even the best solar generator may not be able to provide all power for a typical home. Still, if an off-grid home has minimal appliances and electronic devices, a solar generator may be able to provide sufficient power output capacity.
The best way to see if a solar generator can power a home is to calculate the number of watts used daily and the heaviest load.
According to the EIA, the average home in the US uses 900kWh per month. So based on this calculation, a solar generator needed for an off-grid home should be 2000 kW with lithium-ion batteries backup of 2000 Wh.
If planning on living entirely off the grid, I recommend getting a battery that can hold many charges and handle large household appliances.
It’s not only the battery that counts but also the type of solar panel. Buying optimum quality, powerful panels is better than having to purchase additional solar panels that are of inferior quality.
The appliances in an off-grid home are the key thing in determining if you can live with an off-grid solar generator. If using portable solar generators for off-grid extended camping trips, a basic generator that can charge devices and power small appliances will be sufficient. But to use solar power for an entire home can be difficult.
How Big A Generator And How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Live Off-Grid?
The amount of solar power needed for living off-grid living depends on the amount of electricity used. Finding the best solar generator to suit your needs is essential, but the number of panels needed is even more critical.
When setting up an off-grid home with solar-powered generators, I recommend calculating how many solar panels are required to power an off-grid home.
To calculate the size of solar panel array you need, calculate the following:
- The amount of roof space available to install the panels?
- The amount of direct sunlight the panels will receive?
- What type of panels are going to be purchased?
- How much solar power or energy usage does the off-the-grid home have?
Larger solar panels offer better performance compared to smaller ones. The recommended solar panels needed for off-grid living are 200-watt panels.
Each off-grid home has power requirements, and determining how much energy and how many solar panels are needed can be complex. However, the below table provides a general overview of a solar system setup and the number of panels required.
Solar System Set Up To Power An Off The Grid Home
|Solar System Size||Average Spent On Electricity Per Month||Amount Of 200-watt Solar Panels Needed|
|5 kW||$60||26 panels|
|10 kW||$120||52 panels|
|20 kW||$240||105 panels|
|50 kW||$600||255 panels|
|100 kW||$1200||510 panels|
Emergency Backup Power – Which is the best backup power source for an off-grid system?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including personal preference, budget, and availability of resources. Sunlight is not guaranteed in all parts of the country and this is the biggest Achilles heel for renewable power systems like solar and could cause power outage problems.
If you are banking on solar to be your only source of energy, then you need to have a backup plan for when the sun isn’t shining. For example, if you are someone who values being eco-friendly, then a battery backup system that can store solar power for days or weeks when the sun isn’t shining would probably be the best option for you.
However, if you are someone who is on a tight budget, or values convenience and cost-effectiveness, then using a backup system that uses fossil fuels like natural or propane gas generators might be a better option.
No matter what backup system you choose, make sure that you have a plan in place for when the solar power system can’t produce enough reliable power. To sum up, there is no one “best” backup power source for an off-grid setup. It ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.
Best Solar Generators – Top Picks 2023
1. Bluetti AC200P Solar Powered Generator
The Bluetti AC200P can support various devices, including refrigerators, hair dryers, and microwaves. This robust and optimally designed generator has steel construction and only takes 3.5 hours until it’s fully charged.
With the Bluetti AC200P, The output capacity is impressive. I can power 17 devices at the same time. In addition, it has numerous safety features to protect against overcharging and voltage surging protection.
The only downside to this generator is that it is pretty heavy. However, if using it for an off-the-grid home and it is mostly staying in one place, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
The package shown below comes with solar panels, but you can also buy these separately.
2. Jackery Solar Generator 1000
The Jackery Solar generator 1000 has a few outlets that can charge appliances like coffee machines and kettles. The Jackery is easy to use and operates quietly. This compact generator comes equipped with two solar panels.
Its small design makes it convenient to move around its considered one of the most durable solar generators on the market. Its structure enables it to withstand challenging circumstances. In addition, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 comes with a USB connection for easy charging for a laptop, tablet, and phone.
The drawback of this generator is that it can only power a few small appliances. Still, it will not be powerful enough to support larger appliances like a stove. The package below comes with 2 x 100W solar panels.
3. EF ECOFLO Delta Solar Generator
The EF ECOFLO Delta Solar Generator has a lithium battery that is fast charging and durable. I can charge an Ecoflo generator using a solar panel or AC battery. This solar generator comes with 6 AC outlets making it perfect for home appliances and tools.
The Ecoflo Delta can be fully charged with solar panels in 4 hours and power 13 devices simultaneously. The only drawback to this generator is the cost. It costs more than most of the best solar generators.
The package below does come with solar panels but can be purchased separately if required.
4. Goal Zero Yeti 3000x Solar Generator
The Goal Zero Yeti is a durable, powerful, and portable solar generator. It has a 2982Wh lithium battery and seven output ports that allow the user to operate 10 appliances simultaneously like a kettle, stove, and refrigerator. In addition, its built-in wheels make it easy to transport and use when camping.
In addition, the Goalzero can be charged within a couple of hours when plugged into a wall outlet and charged with solar panels. It is also weather resistant and compatible with most appliances. The downside to these off-grid solar generators is the cost; however, compared to its rivals it is definitely a powerful solar generator.
5. Bluetti EP500 Solar Generator For Off Grid Living
The Bluetti EP500 can power your entire home. This generator has an impressive 5100Wh battery capacity and is one of the top of the range efficient generators built by Bluetti. In addition, the Bluetti EP500 has unique features like an app remote control and a smart touch LCD screen.
This solar generator has a slick design. The only disadvantage is that it’s heavy and not easy to move around. It is also one of the most expensive, but it certainly packs a punch with its impressive power output. This one is a serious contender if you are looking to power a lot of electrical appliances.
6. EF Ecoflow River 288wh Portable Solar Generator
The EF Ecoflow River has one of the fastest charging times for most appliances. It recharges from 0-80% within an hour and reaches full charge in 1.6 hours. This portable solar generator is compatible with 80% of devices like power tools and kitchen appliances.
This solar generator may not be the most suitable to power the home as it can only run a limited number of devices and appliances simultaneously.
7. Golabs Solar Generator R300 For Off The Grid Living
The Golabs R300 solar generator is compact and highly reliable. This solar generator offers 2 110 volts AC outlets and 2 DC outlets with two quick charging USB ports. It’s one of the best portable generators and has a lightweight design weighing only 8.37 lbs.
The output wattage could have been better on this solar generator. Opting for another may be the best option depending on the user’s circumstances.
Which Solar Generator Is The Most Powerful?
There are few very powerful generators on the market. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to compare which is the most powerful as many generators have different features. Here however are three of the best solar generators that make the list of the most powerful solar generators.
EcoFlo Delta Pro
The EcoFlow Delta Pro offers enough power for hours of heavy-duty use. This portable generator has a 3.6kWh battery capacity, making it easy for off-the-grid living. The EcoFlo can power appliances like a microwave, kettle, oven, aircon, heater, and refrigerator.
The Bluetti AC 200 has a 2000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter and 17 outputs for multiple devices. This solar generator can power appliances like a coffee maker, electric grill, and air conditioner.
The Jackery solar generator 1000 is easy to use and operates silently. This generator can take 8 hours to charge by connecting to 2 1000W solar panels. The Jackery website offers this solar generator with the panels as a bundle deal.
In my research for the best solar generator there were pleasingly lots of options on the market, deciding which one to purchase can be complex. My advice as mentioned above is to make sure you thoroughly assess how much power you need to begin with and then work through the various extras you require to meet your demands.
You may struggle to power anything other than a small off-grid dwelling with 100% solar energy alone. A hybrid system incorporating a few energy sources e.g A wind turbine, all feeding into the same battery system may be a viable option though.
A few of the best options for solar in my opinion include the Bluetti AC200P, EcoFlo Delta, and the Jackery 1000.
Purchasing the right solar generator can be quite an investment for off-grid life. Although the upfront costs are steep, the benefits are numerous.