Solar power generators: live off grid - the best solar panel generators from Jackery, Anker, Bluetti, EcoFlow
Portable solar generators are a god-send if you’re heading for off-grid living: an eco-friendly, reliable way of charging your devices on the move
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One of the most useful resources we can harness in the world is solar energy.
Developing technology has meant that over the years, we’ve been able to package up generators and power sources into smaller units, making solar generators incredibly useful to the consumer market, especially when it comes to powering and charging your devices when camping or on the move.
In this article, we’ll be looking at a number of different styles of solar generators on the market at the moment, as well as compile a list of things to watch out for to ensure you find the right generator to suit your needs.
What solar generator is right for me?
This largely depends on the kind of activity you’re doing and the kinds of devices you’ll be powering, but the first thing to know is that there are a multitude of different units and generators, of all shapes and sizes, to choose from.
Their versatility however is one of their key strengths - our recommendation would be to choose a generator that has a fair bit of ‘head room’ for your devices, ensuring you’ve got enough surplus power available.
What size solar generator do I need?
Larger devices will be able to power things like fridges, power tools and televisions, and the smaller, more portable options on this list will be able to store enough power to charge devices such as laptops, cameras, smartphones and tablets.
With many solar generators, panels can be purchased separately, which enables the units to be topped up via the mains if required. There are alternative options available however, and we’ve tested and included a couple of options here that include the foldable panels with the unit itself, either in a suitcase-style carry case or foldable, extendable units.
Can a solar generator help keep my power on in a power outage?
Yes - depending on the energy output, solar generators can help keep the power on for devices around 240V. The means lights, electric heaters, ovens - what you need to keep your family life happily running during an extended power outage.
But you do need to keep the solar generator topped up to ensure the run time and energy is consistent during a blackout - so keep the solar panels in direct sunlight to capture energy.
What wattage should I look for in a solar power generator?
In terms of power available, look for as high as possible watt-hours, which determines the capacity of the battery pack. The running watts is the power that the generator can produce continuously - different device’s requirements are normally listed on the devices themselves - you need to make sure the figures on the generator are higher than the requirements of the device.
Best solar generators at a glance
- Best for large amounts of power: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
- Best for lightweight power: Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station
- Best for charging on the go: EcoFlow 160W Foldable Solar Panel
- Best for tech: Bluetti Poweroak 500Wh Portable Solar Power Station
- Best for longevity: Anker 521 PowerHouse 200W
- Best for portability: Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel Suitcase Portable Power Station