Electricity is now so entrenched in our everyday lives that we can barely think of doing anything without it. Of all the things that can go wrong, power failure is one of the worst. There is barely any aspect of our lives that would work optimally if there was a power failure. This is why it’s essential to have backup rather than having to practice living life without power.
Imagine a scenario where a natural disaster occurred. In cases like this, survival usually depends on how prepared one is. The power grid is out, and so are other utilities. A family is stranded in their home, scared and confused. All they have for vision is a dying rechargeable flashlight
. They can’t use the light on their phones nor call for help because the battery on those, too, are out. It’s getting unbearably hot, fast making their predicament a dire one. This is a classic case of over-reliance on the public power grid.
If they had a backup power source such as a portable solar generator, their situation would have been a bit easier to cope with. They would have been able to charge their phones to call for help. Further, a battery-powered fan
would have eased the heat; yes, backup is certainly a must.
It’s understandable that a portable generator
could have done the same, but then, there would be the noise to deal with. Considering they’re trapped, it would not have been wise to take that option, as the fumes would have caused more harm than good. The best things can become harmful if not used appropriately.
The best portable solar generators have a long battery life and multiple recharge options. They’re lightweight and convenient to carry around, and thus are an ideal way to be prepared for power outages, to go out exploring the great outdoors, or just to reduce your utility bills. As you read on, you’ll have a good understanding of how to select the best portable solar generator for your needs.
You don’t want to end up with one of those cheap portable solar generators just because you’re trying to save cost. If you do, you’ll end up spending more in the long-run to buy another. They are poorly designed with inferior materials and won’t serve their purpose.
On the other hand, a high-end portable solar generator with all the nice add-ons can cost close to $1000, while the modest ones fitted with just what you need can go for around $225. The battery type and capacity, the wattage, and some other technology used in a solar generator are often the factors responsible for the price variations.
Solar generators are fast becoming a must-have. They’re a life saver when the grid isn’t available, and are increasingly becoming capable of many more things just to make our lives easy and convenient. If you think it’s a good idea to have one, here are some of the features to look out for:
- Charging Options
These features and further information will help you decide which combination of them you want in your ideal solar generator.
Construction and Design
Portable solar generators are needed as alternative power sources, the keyword being ‘power’. A solar generator is only as good as how much power it can dole out, which is why this is a feature worth paying attention to. The power of a solar generator is measured in wattage, or watts for short. Some solar portable generators have as much as 1500 watts, while others have a significantly lower rating. As a rule of thumb, the higher the wattage, the higher the price. It’s never a good idea to go for a low-powered generator just to save cost—it’s better safe than sorry. Another reason it’s good to opt for higher-powered solar generators is that the ones with low wattage take longer to charge.
Your solar generator’s battery capacity is also an important aspect of its efficacy. First off, the type of battery used plays an important role. For instance, it’s usually advised not to use up more than 2/3 of the power on a lead-acid battery to keep it functioning optimally and to extend its lifespan; this is not the case with a lithium-ion battery. A lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery has a higher capacity than other batteries used in a solar generator and is even lighter, which is an extra advantage. Batteries are rated in amp hours, and the more it has, the longer it will power your devices.
Portable solar generators come in different shapes and sizes, even though they’re all designed to be portable. They’re usually lightweight—typically weighing less than 15 pounds—and are designed in many different sleek shapes. A lot of portable solar generators come in the form of a briefcase as it is easy to carry and won’t take up much space.
Performance and Ease of Use
Portable solar generators run on batteries; therefore, they will go flat sooner or later and need to be recharged. Most solar generators have multiple ways to recharge their batteries. A lot of them can charge via a solar panel, which is either built into them, bundled, or purchased separately (more on this below). Some even let you attach more solar panels to the already existing one so they can charge faster. Another recharge option is with the regular AC power outlet; you just have to connect the solar generator with the provided cord to the wall socket, just like any other device. A third option is via the 12V vehicle cigarette lighter port, which enables you to charge the generator on-the-go.
Quite a number of portable solar generators come bundled with a solar panel or one that’s built into them. There are also a few that come with foldable solar panels to offer extra portability. Portable solar generators have USB ports of varying numbers that are used for charging enabled devices. They also have DC ports, but since most devices run on AC, manufacturers often throw some DC-to-AC converters into the package. This enables users to utilize those ports for additional functionalities.
Now you have the information you need to make up your mind on the combination of features you want in an ideal portable solar generator. All you need to do now is head over to the review and make a choice.
We trust you’ve been well-guided with the information you now have, and have decided which features you would like in a portable solar generator. Now go on to our review of individual brands/products with your needs in mind. This will make it easier for you to choose the best portable solar generator for you.
You’ve done great coming to the end of a long, enlightening read. We hope the information you got is sufficient for you to confidently choose the best portable solar generator for your needs. Now it’s time to get up and make that purchase—and feel proud of yourself for being environmentally responsible. Do note, however, that the products we featured are just one among many that the brands have to offer. So, you will do well to check them out if you need more options.