Will a Solar Generator
Do What You
Need it To?

Solar generators can vary widely in size, power, and price.

What most of these generators have in common is:

1. A solar panel

2. A battery

3. An inverter

The different elements of the solar powered generator are usually wrapped up in a self-contained package for easy use and portability.

(Of course “portability” is relative and you would need a pick-up truck to move some of these generators.)

The benefits of a solar generator over a conventional diesel or gas powered generator are:

  • No noise (If you’ve ever fired up a gas powered generator you’ll know how nice this silence will be)
  • No moving parts (so maintenance will be minimal)
  • No toxic fumes or fuel costs

Some of the more popular reasons people want a solar generator include:

  • Running a laptop or gadgets while camping
  • Powering some lights in a workshop or garage
  • Having back-up power in case of a power outage
  • Running a few appliances at your off-grid cabin

You can get a solar power generator that will cover you for all these needs and more. The catch? It’s going to be really expensive.

So instead of buying BIG, you’re better off really looking at how much power you need and then checking out these options:

Entry Level

For a little over a hundred bucks you can get a solar generator like the Xantrex XPower Powerpack. It’s got a five watt solar panel, a 10 amp hour battery, a 400 watt inverter, two AC outlets, a DC socket and a USB port.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Tread carefully, though, solar power is like anything else: you get what you pay for. Many people are a little underwhelmed with the power offered by these cheap generators. They can also take a long time (45 hours!) to bring the battery to full charge.

xantrex solar generator

Briefcase Power

There are some briefcase-style generators that will keep your devices powered up. The Voltaic Systems 1005 Generator features a 15 watt solar panel, a 15 Wh battery, and adapters that will fit most laptops and phones.

It also costs about 500 bucks.

Real Power

This is probably the kind of thing you’ll want if you’re thinking of back-up power or off-grid possibilities. These have 1800 to 3000 watts of power, a solar panel in the 75-130 watt range, and batteries of up to 245 amp hours.

Two of the companies offering this kind of generator are Harvester and SUNRNR. Prices will range from $2000 to $4000.

harvester solar generator

Monstrous Power

If you looked at the previous generators and said “Not bad, but what about something ten times as big?” this is your lucky day.

The PowerCube 6000 has 3500 watts of power, 600 watts worth of solar panels, and 2400 amp hours of battery storage. If that isn’t enough (?) you can daisy chain multiple PowerCubes together for more power.

The PowerCube does fold into a nice, neat box too. A nice, neat, 2000 pound box (remember what I said about portability being relative?). And it costs $25 000.

powercube solar generator 2

As you can see, a solar powered generator can handle any need if you’re willing to pay for it. Like most solar power options, generators are constantly improving in quality and coming down in price.

So if you’re not ready for one yet just keep an eye out until you see something that meets your needs and your price.