Are you thinking of getting a solar generator?
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, interest in solar generators has boomed. On paper, they appeal to many but they still aren’t mainstream yet. So you might not be sure if they could even be a good option for you.
Don’t worry! Read on for our guide to the pros and cons of a solar generator.
What Is a Solar Generator?
The term ‘solar generator’ refers to a rechargeable battery that charges via a solar panel. The machines that use them differ from standard fossil fuel generators. They have different technical specs.
The standard set up for a solar generation is:
- Rechargeable battery
- An inverter
- Solar charger
- Solar panels
Energy is drawn from the solar panels and passed through the solar charger. Then it goes to the rechargeable battery and into the inverter. The inverter converts the DC electricity to AC.
In a world increasingly conscious of environmental impacts, solar power has its advantages. The sun shines all over the world and is a free energy source, accessible to everyone. Here are a few key advantages of using solar generators.
With solar generators, there is no engine needed. Conventional fossil fuel-powered generators do have an engine. Without an engine running, this cuts out a big noise pollutant.
The shaking of moving parts in conventional generators also causes a lot of noise. There also aren’t any moving parts in a solar generator so this isn’t a problem with them. They’re great for situations where you don’t want to annoy people with too much noise.
It’s Free Energy
Harnessing energy from the sun is free (once you’ve first purchased the hardware to do so). This means you’ll have access to unlimited energy. In remote areas, solar energy is more accessible sometimes than diesel or gas – as long as you’re in a sunny climate!
Many Different Power Sources
As they’re also portable power stations, you can charge them with other power sources. You can use regular AC electricity from your wall sockets or you can use your car’s CIG port.
Low Running Costs
Compared to standard fuel-powered generators, solar generators have low running costs. There is no need to buy fuel, as you can harness the sun’s energy for free. You also don’t need to replace any oil in the unit.
With no moving parts, there is less chance of something breaking or getting damaged. This reduces the risk of needing to buy replacements.
Traditional fossil fuel generators will release carbon monoxide, which is a huge health risk. This means you can only use them outside and a safe distance from buildings or people. Solar generators don’t release any fumes though. This means that they’re a safer option and can be used indoors.
Good For the Environment
Solar energy is one of the most eco-friendly renewable energy sources. Using a portable generator powered by solar energy is far better for the environment than using a standard fuel-powered one.
With solar generators not giving off any fumes, it isn’t polluting the air. Clean energy goes in, and the output remains clean also. It’s also a limitless source of energy. Easily harnesses, no environmental damage needs to occur to get it. This is not the case with the standard fossil fuels.
Engines and batteries are the heaviest parts of standard fuel-powered generators. With solar-powered ones, they only have the battery so that the extra weight of an engine isn’t there.
As such, solar generators are lightweight, with a lot of models coming in at under 25 pounds. Also, there are a lot of portable models available.
This means that you can always have access to power when you need it most. To learn more about portable solar generators – visit https://poweredportablesolar.com.
As with anything, solar generators aren’t perfect. There are some things that standard fuel-powered generators will still excel at. Here we’ll take a look at some of the disadvantages.
It might sound ironic, but some solar generators can’t take prolonged exposure to heat. Look for a solar generator that mentions having a Battery Management System (BMS). This, among other things, is what controls the temperature of the power station.
Inconsistent Energy Supply
While the sun’s energy is constant – the amount and intensity aren’t guaranteed. Some places will only get limited hours of sunlight. At certain times of the year, there is more daily cloud cover too. This and other weather factors can impact the effectiveness of solar panels.
Solar generators tend to sit on the more expensive end of the spectrum. They seem more expensive too when you compare the amount of power you get for that price too.
This makes solar generators a larger initial investment. But it’s important to remember, as we have seen above, the long-term costs will be lower than a standard fuel-powered option.
A Bigger Size for More Power
Solar generators are built for light use. As such, they’re smaller in size and more lightweight than conventional options. If you want to make the power of a conventional fuel-powered generator then you will need a heavier solar generator.
The lighter the weight of your solar generator, the less power it can hold. So if you want anything over 1500 watts, an inverter generator would be lighter than a solar option.
Slow to Charge
Most solar generators have up to 3 different charging options as we’ve seen. But they are all often slow to charge. It isn’t uncommon to see a charging time of 8 hours for many models of portable solar generators. In an emergency, this isn’t ideal obviously.
To limit this, a lot of models use panels capable of storing power. But this will always be less than a full charge.
The Overal Verdict on Getting a Solar Generator
So there you have it! We’ve gone through the pros and cons of a solar generator. The biggest thing to note is it’s going to depend on your needs as to whether a solar generator is suitable.
If you want something that is for lighter use, it’s perfect. Lightweight and portable, you can use it on the go. But with a slow charge, make sure you have enough battery charge before taking it out.
With little to no noise output, they’re great for situations where you don’t want to make too much noise. Their clean input and output also make them perfect for outdoor and indoor use. But they won’t be as effective when direct sunlight is limited.
If you found this article useful, check out our other blog posts. At Upgifs.com we have tips for all your lifestyle needs.