What is Solar Power Generator?
Wikipedia defines Solar Power as the conversion of renewable energy from sunlight into electricity, others define it as portable power stations that uses solar energy instead of fossil fuels to create electricity. It works by capturing the sun's energy and then stores that energy in a battery to be used whenever needed. Energy from the sun converts into electrical power that can be used to power appliances, tools and anything that requires electricity.
To a consumers point of view Solar Power Generator can now be classified as a special need to people and places that does not have access to electricity. During these time that the whole world had been plagued by the Corona Virus most of us have been forced to stay at home or chose to stay some place away from the suburbs or the city. Some chose not to be connected with the outside world and not participate in society even avoiding connection public and private connection utilities such as electricity, gas and even water they chose to live what they call off grid.
While some chose to live their lives in a motor home vehicle that were designed to have living quarters for accommodation. They decided they would want to experience life travelling from one place to another more of like camping trips at the same time working anywhere.
Whether you chose one or the other, you would definitely need to have a back up power to run your laptops for work, the household appliances you have even to run your water supply and solar powered generators should be able to address these needs.
How does Solar Power Generators work?
A solar generator works when a solar panel converts sunlight into a direct current(DC) electricity that passes through the charge controller. Solar panel needs sunlight as a source of energy to be converted into a renewable energy which is electricity. These electricity are then collected during daytime and put in a battery storage or battery storage system. The electricity or power you have collected can be used anytime and anywhere. These days most solar power generators are compact and transportable, even solar panels are convenient and can be installed anywhere, even at the top of your car while you are travelling. Gone are the days that generators are solely for industrial purposes only. You can now power up a light-post using a very small solar panel even run a car using solar power.
These days solar powered generators are so convenient to use and to bring, together with portable solar panels and batteries that you can easily use by plugging to wall outlet to run your major appliances even your air-conditioners. You can just set up a portable power station to charge your phones and your laptops. You can even use wind turbine to generate power if solar is not sufficient at times.
Depending on the inverter output, solar power generator can be used off-grid, for camping, road trip, RV living and can be used as a back up power during power outages.
What to look for in a solar powered generator?
2. Quiet and Low maintenance
3. Running Watts
4. Watt hours
5. Charging time
6. Battery Capacity
Solar Power VS Gas Power Generators
1. Convenient and lighter
2. Recharges from Solar Energy
3. Very quiet
4. Starts with a push of a button
1. Hard to operate and is heavier
2. Constant refueling
3. Higher maintenance as you continuously use it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Generator
Environment friendly is one of the primary benefits of solar generators, unlike it's counterpart gas generators that burns fuel and releases emissions into the air. Solar generator rely solely on sunlight to generate power which makes them more sustainable option for generating electricity. Furthermore, solar generator are quiet and relatively easy to operate.
However, there are few drawbacks to consider as well. Solar generator requires a sunny location in order for it to work properly. In addition to that, having a single 100 watt solar panel requires a lot of time to fully charge your solar generator. Unlike the traditional generator that can generate electricity as long as being fueled.
Thus, before buying a solar generator for off grid and black outs, you need also to take into consideration the ability to expand and customize. Solar generator must allow you to expand the capacity and add more solar panels and wind turbines to have additional way of recharging your solar generator even at night making it best power source for off grid and black outs.
What to look for in a Solar Power Generator:
1. Minimum Inverter Output Wattage
Inverter output wattage is the maximum wattage the solar generator can produce. This is important to consider when choosing a solar generator. You want to make sure it has enough power to meet
your needs. Most solar generator companies advertises their product as best for off grid or back up power during a blackout or power outage while having 1000-Watt output capacity.
If you want a solar generator for off-grid, during blackouts or power outage, you need a solar generator that has at least 1800-Watt output capacity which can power up multiple electronic device at the same time can power up high power devices like computer, fridge or toaster. Always put in mind when buying a solar generator "The higher the output capacity the better".
You have to also take into consideration the size of the inverter; if the size of the converter goes up so does the cost. This is because a larger inverter can handle more wattage, and therefore produce more power. However, a larger inverter also has other benefits. It can be more efficient, meaning it will convert more of the sun's energy into usable electricity.
2. Sine Wave Inverters
Sine wave inverters are devices that transform power from a battery into the same type of power you get from a typical wall outlet in your own home or office. Sine wave inverters transform direct current (DC) from a battery into an alternating current (AC). Sine wave inverters will deliver power just like a wall outlet will give you power.
There are 2(two) types of sine wave inverters - Pure and Modified.
Pure Sine wave inverters create an AC power that matches the actual sine wave.Modified sine wave inverters, on the other hand, switch polarity from positive to negative. A pure sine wave inverter can supply exact voltage, while a modified sine wave inverter cannot and can cause problem to sensitive electronic devices like fridge, computer, smartphone, medical equipment, microwave and more.
It is better to choose a solar generator that produce a pure sine wave since it replicates the same electricity your power company does and you are able to power up any devices you want to.
3. Watt Hours and Run Times
Watt hours is another important factor to consider when choosing a solar generator. watt hour is the amount of energy that the generator can produce in an hour. It is important to make sure that your solar generator has sufficient watt hours for your needs. You also have to consider how long you need to run the generator. Some solar generator have a runtime of several hours, while others only have a few minutes of run time. Since solar generators are typically small and portable, they only have a minimum of run time. But this run time increases if your solar generator can recharge itself from the energy captures by the solar panel despite being used.
4. Best Battery Type
There are two (2) types of batteries: Sealed Lead Acid and Lithium Ion
Sealed Lead Acid batteries are heavy and low on capacity, but affordable while Lithium Ion batteries are light weight with high capacity but costly.
Without a doubt Lithium Batteries are best in portable electronic devices like solar generator. They can produce more watt-hour than a regular Sealed Lead Acid batteries (SLA). But you need to understand that Lithium Ion Batteries are dangerous. If you are planning on buying Lithium Ion Battery solar generator with a budget of $3000 or less you better think twice because probably they are made with substandard lithium battery materials making them dangerous to use. It is not safe to use at higher temperatures thus in the case of smart phones that overheats, lithium-ion batteries can become explosive and catch fires.
Unlike the lithium-ion battery, sealed lead acid(SLA) batteries has lesser watt hour and are heavy. But sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries have been around for centuries and are proven and safe. Sealed Lead Acid(SLA) batteries are environmentally friendly, safer and affordable. Unlike the Lithium Ion battery, the Sealed Lead Acid(SLA) batteries are 99% safe and recyclable. You can even trade your old SLA battery for a discount when purchasing a new one.
5. Convenience of connectivity
By installing a power transfer switch into your home you'll be able to easily make use the power of solar generator to keep appliances going in case of power loss. The power transfer switch links your solar generator to the existing power lines in your indoor breaker panel, thus you'll have a continues power without having to move big items like your fridge or getting into cramped spaces to unplug devices on your wall.
When buying a solar powered generator, there are a lot of things you have to take into consideration. What I have mentioned above are just few and will definitely be based on the type of the generator you need.