All About Solar Power Generators


Sunday, February 6, 2022


In the ongoing energy crisis all over the world, one thing is for sure — solar power is the future. From solar panels to solar-powered generators, the world is slowly understanding the true value of solar energy. Having a portable generators as a backup power station can be an amazing option in the event of a power cut. However, the question remains — how much power can solar power generators provide you, and is that enough? People also have queries regarding what exactly a solar-powered generator is and how it works. Throughout the article, we'll be covering all these common questions giving you a detailed overview of solar generators.

What Exactly Is a Solar Generator?

A solar-powered generator is one of many kinds of power generators. Its a device with solar panels that provides automatic backup power whenever the main power grid fails to provide it. It's a portable power station that collects solar power through solar panels and stores it into solar batteries. The device has an inverter that can convert solar energy into AC current, making it usable for home appliances and many electronics. The solar panels, solar batteries, and inverters combine to make perfect solar-powered generators.

How Do Solar Generators Work?

Solar-powered generators consist of two main products: one is a solar panel, and the other is battery storage. In order for a solar-powered generator to work, the solar panels need to generate DC (Direct Current) electricity from the solar power. These solar panels generate electricity all day, and a component in solar generators called 'charge controller' ensures the DC electricity is stored in the battery storage. Later, if you wish to use the stored energy, it will pass through an inverter which turns the DC into AC electricity for regular usage. This electrical power station is a great option as a backup to your usual electric generator. How much energy it can store depends on its battery capacity. Once there is enough power, you can simply plug in your devices to the generator and use the AC current.

Components of Solar Powered Generators

In order to have a better understanding of how Solar Powered generators work, you should know a tad bit more about their key components and how they're used. The best solar-powered generators consist of solar panels, solar batteries, inverters, and charge controllers.

Solar Panel

A solar panel consists of a number of cells made from silicon or similar semiconducting materials. Solar panels often consist of polycrystalline solar cells as well. Once light shines on the solar panels, it converts the energy into electricity, thereby creating an electric flow. These cells often don't require direct sunlight as they're compatible with cloudy sky as well. That being said, the more sunshine, the better for a solar panel to generate electricity!

Battery

Solar panels generate electricity through solar power, and the solar battery stores that energy for using it in later times. In a solar power generator, the battery is considered as the storage unit. In general, Lithium battery is used over lead-acid battery because they're more efficient. However, Lithium batteries are relatively more expensive, while Lead batteries are found in more abundance. That being said, lithium-ion batteries are definitely a much safer and a better option than lead-acid batteries, and we'd recommend you to use them in your solar generators.

Charge Controller

This is a crucial component of solar-powered generators as it protects the battery from getting overloaded with electric power. It promotes the durability of a solar battery and comes with a number of different features for discharging and charging depending on the type of the battery and solar panels. They're very important because they maintain the balance of power between batteries and solar panels.

Inverter

This is the final component that converts DC into AC. In a power outage, this component will work as an AC outlet as it provides you with the necessary power. Since most of your household electronic devices work on AC, this conversion is crucial. However, if you have devices that don't require an AC wall outlet, you might not require the inverter after all!

Why Do You Need Solar Generators?

You might not need it now, but there will be a time when everyone in the world would be looking for portable power stations — but won't be able to find them so easily. The way the people in the world are draining all the natural resources, it's only natural that at some point, the fossil fuels will come to an end. When looking for renewable resources, solar-powered generators can actually be a feasible solution for you. Let's not think about the future. You might require solar generators even if you're living in a place where frequent power outage occurs. For example, in areas where tornadoes, hurricanes, heavy snowfall, or high winds are common, it's natural that power cuts will be a frequent scenario. But in this era of technology, you can't really afford to be disconnected from the world- even for a day. This is where you'll require portable power stations — in this case, solar generators. Having such a backup system will also give you some sort of relief about the unforeseeable future. Solar-powered generators have the ability to give you off-grid energy on a constant basis for a long period of time. It doesn't require anything other than sunlight and is actually a very reasonable option if you want to save mother earth. Instead of polluting nature with fossil fuel-based generators, you can simply opt for this one and help save our planet. As a matter of fact, if your solar generator has decent battery capacity, it can power large appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators alongside other smaller appliances.

Are Solar Generators Better Than Fossil Fuel Generators?

Yes, generators based on fossil fuels are still the most common and widely used machines. However, they might not be the best option as an emergency backup. Before we go to that discussion, let's look at the pros and cons of solar-powered generators and see if they're worth it!

Solar Generator Pros

If you care about climate change and want the lightest option for storing electricity for emergency situations — solar powered generators are a great option. But that's not it all!

  • Free, Unlimited Energy

First things first — it's free. There's no tax on sunlight, so you can generate enough alternating current from the sun using a solar generator. On the other hand, fossil fuels are very, very costly, so if we consider the cost, solar-powered generators definitely have the edge over fossil fuels. As a matter of fact, solar panels have a longer lifespan and can provide you with relentless service for 25-35 years.

  • Minimal Maintenance Cost

The thing about solar generators is that they don't have moving parts like the fossil fuel ones, so there's no need for liquid fuel. Since the solar battery and solar panel both don't require any additional tools, you don't have to pay anything extra for them to work. Apart from the occasional repairing fees, the maintenance cost of a solar generator is quite low.

  • No Noise, No Problem

The environmental upsides of installing a solar power station in your house are undeniable, but we'll discuss that later. That aside, a solar generating system relieves you of the air pollution that a fossil-fuel generator causes. Moreover, fossil-fuel generators are unnecessarily loud because of their engine. But no matter what the battery type of the solar generator is, they don't make much noise.

Solar Generator Cons

Solar generators aren't flawless — they have their issues otherwise, everyone in the world would have used them!

  • Relatively Low Energy Capacity

The main problem with solar generators is that even though they provide free energy, the power doesn't stay for a longer period. They have a low power rating compared to fossil fuel generators and might not be the best option as an AC outlet if you plan to power the whole house with a solar generator. You can use it to power multiple devices or run small appliances, but you can't expect it to run appliances on different powerful devices at the same time. For an electric grill or a car plug — you'll still require a fossil-fuel generator.

  • High Upfront Cost

While it is true that solar generators have a minimal operating cost since it's recharged by the sun's energy — the cost of buying the whole set isn't low. As a matter of fact, if you plan to buy one with a high power-rating or lithium-ion battery, the upfront cost might as well be more than the other fossil fuel products. However, if you choose one with a lead-acid battery, the cost can be minimized.

  • Slow Recharging Time

A gas generators or Fossil-fuel generator has a much faster recharging time than a Solar powered generator. The whole recharging procedure is done in daylight, and on cloudy/rainy days, the generator might not be able to recharge properly.

How Long Can Solar Powered Generators Last?

If we're talking about portable solar generators for running small appliances that require less electricity — they usually last around 25-35 years in general. That's typically longer than other power generators such as propane generators solar powered generators. The technology is fairly new, and it's difficult to put a stamp on the exact timeframe. However, if we consider how many watts it will provide and what sort of devices would be used with the power – they should last at least over three decades. But if you're talking about how long the power of a solar generator will last in a day- then it depends on the sunlight. Let's say, in a normal situation with full sunlight, the generator should last something around 1-10 hours at night. The amount depends on the size of the generator, the type and capacity of the battery, and the number of devices you'll be using the power on. If you're using the generator on a constant basis — then it will run out of power faster. Also, if you plan to use it on small devices like a coffee maker or USB ports — then it can last longer than expected.

How Much Do Solar Generators Cost?

It depends on a lot of things. To put things into simpler perspectives, if you buy generators with higher capability, they'll cost you more. The cost depends on the quality and availability of the components. For example, a lithium-ion battery is more expensive than a lead-acid battery. The branding also matters as renowned brands like Jackery Explorer or Goal Zero Yeti will cost you more than the less-known ones. The type of cells in a solar panel also affects the overall price of the solar generator. For example, monocrystalline panels are relatively more expensive than regular silicone panels. If we consider all the factors, we can say that the best solar-powered generators range from $2000-$10000 in general. However, you can get a solar generator for around $500 too, if you're okay with random unknown brands.

Impacts of Using a Solar Generator in Your House

Having a solar generator at home won't have a significant impact on the house — at times, you might not even feel that it's in the house! Interestingly enough — that's the best thing about them.

Loudness

Solar-powered generators do not have any sort of engines; they're run on solar power — hence they're way quieter than the other types of generators. They don't have moving parts like fossil fuel generators, making them a relatively peaceful option. As a matter of fact, until you launch a house party and introduce your new solar generator to everyone — your neighbors will hardly notice it!

Storage

Most of the solar-powered generators are portable, hence it doesn't take up any significant space. All they require is sunlight, and once that is provided, they won't need anything else. You can always be safe and place the solar panels and the battery in a place where they're safe from different natural hazards. But apart from that, they don't need a lot of maintenance too.

Overall Environment

If you're even a tad bit conscious about mother earth — then solar generators are a great option for you. They don't emit any greenhouse gasses, they don't make any sort of pollution, and they're nearly silent. Would it be wrong if we say that they're the best friend of nature?

Final Words

Solar generators are the future. When the world runs out of other energy sources, they'll have to get back to renewable energy sources. And Solar power generators are a very smart alternative to other traditional generators. So if you want a safe, fume-free, and quiet backup generator for your house — you can very well opt for a solar-powered generator!

Solar Power Generators