Порівняйте ціни та відгуки про постачальників сонячної енергії поблизу вас в Інтернеті. Резервний сонячний генератор

Сонячні генератори для кемпінгу та фургонів

У Goal Zero ми великі шанувальники сонячної енергії, але сонячна енергія дійсно корисна лише тоді, коли у вас є спосіб зберігати та використовувати всю зібрану енергію. Ось чому ми любимо сонячні генератори. Вони поєднують чисту енергію сонця зі зручною портативністю акумуляторних електростанцій, щоб ви могли робити більше і залишатися на природі довше.

Що таке сонячний генератор?

Сонячний генератор. це комбінація сонячних панелей та електростанції. Ви можете використовувати сонячні панелі для збору та перетворення енергії сонця. Електростанція дозволяє зберігати зібрану енергію, а потім використовувати її для живлення ваших пристроїв.

Вибір сонячного генератора

Сонячний генератор. ідеальне доповнення до вашого наступного кемпінгу або фургону. А коли ви не в дорозі, вони чудово підходять для резервного живлення будинку. Є три ключові фактори, які слід враховувати при виборі сонячного генератора, який підійде саме вам.

Потужність

Сонячна енергія дозволяє підзаряджатися більш-менш нескінченно, але потужність вашої електростанції впливатиме на те, скільки ви можете працювати одночасно, як довго ви можете підтримувати роботу, і як часто вам доведеться підзаряджатися. Наприклад, якщо ви обираєте сонячний генератор для кемпінгу, ви можете обійтися меншою потужністю, ніж вам потрібно для резервного живлення будинку.

Розглядаючи потужність, вам також потрібно буде подумати про кількість сонячної енергії, яку ви хочете отримати. Більша електростанція має більшу потужність, але потребує більше сонячних панелей для повної зарядки. Це збільшує вартість сонячного генератора і означає, що він буде займати більше місця.

Портативність

Портативність. це величезна перевага, якщо ви берете сонячний генератор в похід або в дорожню подорож, але вона може не бути пріоритетом, якщо ви встановлюєте його поза мережею або вдома. Всі наші сонячні генератори можна переносити та брати з собою, але менші сонячні генератори набагато легше переносити та переміщати.

Універсальність

Принадність портативного сонячного генератора в тому, що ви можете використовувати його як завгодно. Якщо ви хочете мати можливість запускати високоенергетичні прилади під час відключення електроенергії та заряджати свій ноутбук під час походу, універсальність буде пріоритетом. Ми пропонуємо сонячні генератори, які досить легкі, щоб їх можна було переносити, але достатньо потужні, щоб годинами забезпечувати роботу телевізора, гриля або холодильника.

Найкращі сонячні генератори для кемпінгу

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

Наші улюблені кемпінгові сонячні генератори невеликі та легкі, що робить їх простими у встановленні та переміщенні.

Беручи з собою в похід сонячний генератор, ви зможете підзарядити телефони, ноутбуки, акумулятори фотоапаратів та інші невеликі пристрої, а також матимете достатньо енергії для роботи портативного холодильника та живлення кухонних приладів, щоб насолоджуватися смачною їжею протягом усієї подорожі. Ці сонячні генератори легко переміщати, тому ви можете встановити їх біля місця приготування їжі вранці, а потім перенести до намету, щоб підзарядити телефон під час полуденного сну, і одночасно зарядити портативний динамік, щоб ввечері слухати музику біля багаття.

Сонячні генератори Yeti 200X для кемпінгу

Yeti 200X важить лише 5 фунтів, а це означає, що навіть ваші діти можуть нести його, допомагаючи пакувати машину. Ми пропонуємо його в 3 різних комплектах сонячних генераторів, залежно від того, скільки сонячної енергії ви хочете з’єднати з ним.

Ми вважаємо, що Yeti 200X Boulder 50. ідеальний сонячний генератор для кемпінгу, тому що він неймовірно портативний і простий у налаштуванні. Сонячна панель Boulder поставляється зі зручною підставкою, тому ви можете встановити її практично в будь-якому місці. Він може повністю зарядити ваш Yeti 200X за 4-8 годин.

Сонячні генератори Yeti 500X для кемпінгу

Перейдіть від кемпінгу до глемпінгу з невеликою додатковою потужністю. Потрібно кілька додаткових портів, щоб ви могли надути надувний матрац і підключити портативний холодильник одночасно з грилем?

Ще один улюблений сонячний генератор для кемпінгу. Yeti 500X Nomad 100. Ви отримуєте Yeti 500X з більшою кількістю портів і більшою потужністю, а також складну сонячну панель Nomad 100, яка важить трохи більше 10 фунтів, що дозволяє легко пересуватися протягом дня, щоб отримати найкраще сонячне світло.

Найкращі сонячні генератори для життя у фургоні

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

Універсальність є ключовим фактором при виборі сонячного генератора для фургона. Простір обмежений, тому розумно придбати щось компактне, але оскільки ви живете там тривалий час, вам потрібно щось досить надійне, щоб забезпечити світло, холодильники, електроінструменти та інше, а ваші пристрої залишалися зарядженими.

Ми пропонуємо багато чудових рішень для сонячних генераторів, але одним з найкращих варіантів для фургонів є Yeti 1500X (4) Boulder 100. Це дає вам електростанцію, яка може працювати з високоенергетичними приладами та чотирма сонячними панелями, які ви можете встановити на даху вашого автомобіля або встановити на землі, коли ви знайдете гарне місце для зупинки.

Solar generators can help you get more out of your next adventure whether you’re headed on a weekend camping trip or a month-long van trek. And when you aren’t hauling it around, they provide home backup power for emergencies. Choose from Goal Zero’s wide selection of solar generators to find one that’s best for you.

Can a home with solar panels use a generator?

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

One of the biggest misconceptions about solar panels is that they’ll keep your house running when utility power goes out. However, contrary to popular belief, solar panels actually can’t send electricity to your house when the grid is out.

Why? Well, it’s a safety thing. Grid-tied solar panels send electricity to utility lines, and if they aren’t shut off during a power outage, they would continue to send electricity, posing a threat to utility workers fixing the lines. That means, in order to prevent any harm, your solar panels go out when the grid does.

So if you want your lights to stay on when the rest of your neighborhood goes dark, you need a backup plan. The good news is, homes with solar panels can be connected to gas-powered generators, but how it works can be a bit tricky.

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Find out how much you can save monthly by installing solar

How do gas-powered generators work?

Before we get into how generators and solar work together, let’s go over some basics about whole-home backup generators. Often referred to as ‘standby generators’, these large generators are able to backup entire homes for extended periods of time. Some popular standby generator manufacturers include Generac, Kohler, and Cummins.

The generator’s automatic transfer switch, or ATS, is able to detect a power outage and then immediately switches your home’s power source from the grid to the generator. There are multiple types of whole-home generators that run on different types of fossil fuels, including natural gas, gasoline, diesel, and propane.

Do solar panels and generators work together?

Here’s the deal. even if you have a standby generator hooked up to your home, your solar panels aren’t going to turn on when the grid is down. Unfortunately, you cannot run your home with both solar power and generator power at the same time.

In other words, the generator and the solar panels cannot operate parallel to one another.

Like we said earlier, solar panels send feedback to the grid, creating a dangerous scenario for utility repair workers. Similarly, if the panels remained on, they would send feedback to the generator and thereby cause damage to the generator, the solar system, or both. Plus, the energy generators produce isn’t powerful enough to boot up most solar inverters anyway.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a standby generator if you have solar, or that you can’t get solar if you already have a standby generator installed. There are many homes that have both solar panels and generators, especially when it comes to off-grid systems.

The panels and generator just need to be wired properly so that the two won’t interfere with one another. Your solar installer or a certified electrician will be able to help you figure out the best (and safest) way to do this.

Is a standby generator or solar battery system better for you?

Instead of buying a generator, you can install a solar battery to provide backup power to your home in the event of an outage. Whether a generator or a solar battery is best for you really depends on the reasons why you want to install a backup system in the first place.

A standby generator is best if you live somewhere that regularly experiences multi-day power outages and you want to be able to power your entire home, as generators offer more power than a solar battery can. Generators also tend to be cheaper than a solar battery storage system.

If you’re looking to have access to emergency backup power for a day or two that can power your most important loads (like your fridge, lights, and wall outlets to charge electronic devices), and you also want to reduce your day-to-day reliance on the utility, then a solar battery is a better choice.

Another benefit to solar batteries is that you can use them daily to maximize the amount of solar energy your home uses. Plus, a battery can keep your solar panels running when the grid is down. something a generator cannot do.

You can maximize your home’s resilience against power outages by installing both a solar battery and a standby generator. Much like with solar panels, a generator and battery cannot power your home at the same time. When the power goes out, the solar battery will power your home first until it is depleted. Then the generator will kick in.

Below, solar expert William White discusses pairing solar generators and batteries with solar systems.

Do you really even need backup power with your solar panels?

For most homeowners, installing backup power with your solar panels probably isn’t necessary. It costs thousands of dollars and most places in the U.S. have a fairly stable utility grid.

It’s a different story for those who do live somewhere with unreliable access to grid power. If your area experiences regular blackouts due to extreme weather events, or if you live in a more rural area, then backup power isn’t such a bad idea. You can choose either a standby generator or a solar battery, but which one is better really depends on how you want to use your backup source.

Even though a battery or a generator doesn’t always make sense for a home, installing solar panels is a different story. In most parts of the country, installing solar panels has a substantial financial benefit for homeowners and lets you run your home on clean, renewable energy.

You can use our solar panel calculator to understand what kind of savings a solar system can provide you, and what installation solar companies are offering in your area.

Find out if installing battery storage is worth it where you live

Key takeaways

  • Solar panels do not work during power outages, so homeowners need a backup power supply if they want to run their home without the utility.
  • Gas generators are the most popular form of backup power and can be installed at a home that has solar panels.
  • Even if you have a standby generator, your solar panels will remain off during a power outage.
  • If you want your solar panels to stay on during a power outage, you need to install a solar battery, which adds considerable costs to a solar installation.
  • You can install both a solar battery and a solar generator with your solar panels if you want to maximize the amount of backup power available to you.

Catherine Lane

Written Content Manager

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

How to Pick a Solar Panel and Battery Backup System

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

We’ve added information on extended solar and battery-installation tax rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Everyone’s looking for a way to keep the lights on when the power goes out. With increasingly intense weather knocking the power grid offline for days at a time in some regions, traditional fossil-fuel–based backup systems—namely portable or permanent generators—seem increasingly unreliable. That’s why residential solar power combined with battery storage (once an esoteric niche industry) is rapidly becoming a mainstream disaster-preparedness choice, according to more than a dozen installers, manufacturers, and industry experts we interviewed.

For homeowners, multi-kilowatt batteries that charge from rooftop solar panels promise resilience in the event of a natural disaster—a reliable, rechargeable, instantaneous source of electricity to keep important devices and appliances running until the grid comes back online. For utilities, such installations promise a more stable and lower-carbon electrical grid in the near future. Here’s how you can set it up for your home. (Just brace yourself for sticker shock.)

Who should get this

Backup power in an outage is crucial for anyone looking to maintain basic comfort and communication abilities. Scale it up to a larger system, and you can go beyond the basics, backing up more appliances and tools for more time until the grid power returns. These solutions are too customized for us to recommend specific batteries, to suggest how many kilowatt-hours of storage you need to run your home when the grid is down, or to outline how much solar production you need to keep your battery charged. Keep in mind, too, that other variables—including your specific energy needs, budget, and location (just about every state and utility has its own incentive programs, rebates, and tax credits)—all factor into your purchase decisions. The federal Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 also contains incentives that may affect your decision to add battery backup to an existing solar system: Through 2032, you’ll be able to claim 30% of the project cost as a tax credit when you file with the IRS.

Our aim is to help you think through three things: the questions you need to ask yourself about the whats and whys of installing solar battery backup in your home, the questions you should ask potential installers when you meet with them, and the question of whether a battery-storage system primarily represents an investment in your own home’s resiliency or in the future grid as a whole. “That’s just like the first hour and a half of my conversations: telling people what they need to think about,” said Rebekah Carpenter, founder of Fingerlakes Renewables Solar Energy in upstate New York.

I can see why. I needed to put in hours of research just to wrap my head around all the ins and outs, reviewing installation examples and playing the role of a prospective buyer. And I empathize with any person making this investment. You’ll be facing a raft of major decisions—from your choice of contractor to the design and manufacturers of your system to financing. And all of it will be wrapped in layers of technical jargon. Blake Richetta, CEO of battery maker Sonnen, said one major challenge he faces is simply to translate this information for his customers, or, as he put it, to “make it palatable for regular folks.” There truly is no simple way to address the question of whether, how, and why you should adopt solar battery storage.

Why you should trust us

Before I began this guide, my only experience with solar power was getting zapped by sun-powered cattle fences on a ranch in the high desert. So to give myself a crash course in solar battery storage, I spoke with more than a dozen sources, including the founders or executives of six battery manufacturers; five highly experienced installers, from Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, and Illinois; and the founder of EnergySage, a respected “unbiased solar matchmaker” that offers free and detailed advice to homeowners on all things solar-related. (EnergySage vets installers, who can then pay a fee to be included on the company’s list of approved contractors.) In an effort to provide a breadth of views as well as depth of knowledge, I sought out installers in areas of the country not always seen as solar-friendly, as well as those of diverse backgrounds, including one who focuses on providing solar power to impoverished rural communities. Late in the process, just for fun, I joined a call between an installer and my brother and sister-in-law (prospective solar and battery buyers in Texas), to hear what kinds of questions a pro asked them (and vice versa) about planning a new installation.

What does solar with battery backup mean, exactly?

Solar panels with backup battery storage are nothing new: People have been using banks of lead-acid batteries to store solar power for decades. But those systems are bulky, require regular maintenance, rely on toxic and corrosive materials, and often must be housed in a separate, weatherproof structure. Generally, they’re limited to rural, off-grid applications. This guide focuses on so-called grid-tied solar systems, in which solar panels supply power to both yourself and the grid. So we’re talking instead about the modern, compact, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that first appeared in the 2010s.

For many people, the first such system they heard of was Tesla’s Powerwall, announced in 2015. As of 2022, according to EnergySage founder Vikram Aggarwal, at least 26 companies are offering lithium-ion storage systems in the US, though just seven manufacturers account for almost all installations. From highest to lowest share, those manufacturers are Enphase, Tesla, LG, Panasonic, SunPower, NeoVolta, and Generac. You’re likely to encounter several of these names as you begin your research. But to ensure that you’re giving yourself the widest array of choices, it’s important to speak with multiple contractors, since most of them work with only two or three battery makers. (The differences between the batteries largely come down to chemistry, the type of input power they take, their storage capacity, and their load capacity, as described in the following paragraphs.)

Fundamentally, though, all of the batteries work the same way: They store power from rooftop solar panels as chemical energy during the day, and then they release it as needed (most commonly at night, when the solar panels are idle, as well as during power outages) to keep your home’s appliances and fixtures running. And all batteries charge only via DC (direct current) power, the same sort that solar panels produce.

But beyond that, there are many differences. “Batteries are not made the same,” Aggarwal said. “They have different chemistries. They have different wattages. They have different amperes. And how much amperage can be extracted from a battery at a given time, i.e., how many appliances can I run concurrently? There is no one-size-fits-all.”

The amount of power that a battery can store, measured in kilowatt-hours, will of course be a key factor in your calculations. If your area rarely experiences long blackouts, a smaller and less expensive battery may suit your needs. If your area’s blackouts last a long time, a larger battery may be required. And if you have critical equipment in your home that absolutely cannot be allowed to lose power, your needs may be higher yet. These are all things to think about before you contact potential installers—and those professionals should listen to your needs and ask questions that help you refine your thinking.

You have to consider a few other things, as well.

The first is whether you’ll be installing a new solar system at the same time that you install battery storage, or whether you’ll be retrofitting a battery to an existing system.

If everything will be new, you’ll have the widest range of options in both your choice of battery and your choice of solar panels. The majority of new installations use DC-coupled batteries. That means the DC electricity produced by your panels feeds into your home and directly charges the battery. The current then goes through a device called an inverter, which converts the DC (direct current) electricity to AC (alternating current) electricity—the type of power that homes use. This system offers the most efficient way to charge the batteries. But it involves running high-voltage DC into your home, which requires specialized electrical work. And several of the people I spoke with expressed reservations over the safety of high-voltage DC.

So you can instead opt for what are called AC-coupled batteries, and install a solar array that uses microinverters behind each panel to convert their output into AC on your roof (which means no high-voltage current enters your home). To charge a battery, integrated microinverters in the battery itself then reconvert the electricity to DC, which gets converted back to AC when the battery is sending power to your home. AC-coupled batteries are less efficient than DC-coupled batteries, because with every conversion some electrical energy is lost as heat. Have a frank discussion with your installer about the pros, cons, and relative safety of each approach.

If you already have a solar array and want to install a battery, the big news is simply that you can now do so. “I’ve been doing this for 20-something years, and being able to go in and look at a system and retrofit it is amazing,” said Rebekah Carpenter of Fingerlakes Renewables. “I remember when there was absolutely no option to retrofit a system. You just weren’t going to be able to use solar at all if the grid went down.”

The solution lies in hybrid inverters, which offer two key abilities. First, they take input as either AC or DC, and then they use software to figure out where it’s needed and make any conversions necessary. “It’s an either-or-and,” said Carpenter. “It’s using it to charge batteries [DC], it’s using it for the home or grid [AC], or if it’s got enough power coming in, it’s using it for both at the same time.” She added that what she terms “agnostic” hybrid inverters are of particular value for retrofitting battery systems, since they can work with batteries of several different brands; some battery makers restrict their hybrid inverters to working only with their own batteries. Carpenter mentioned Sunny Island as one maker of agnostic inverters. Sol-Ark is another example.

If you already have a solar array and want to install a battery, the big news is simply that you can now do so.

Second, hybrid inverters can generate what’s called grid signal. Solar arrays need to sense that the grid is online in order to work. If they lose that signal—which means there’s a grid outage—they stop working until the power returns; this means you are without power until that time too. (It’s a matter of safety, explained Sven Amirian of Invaleon: “The utility requires that you don’t feed back energy when there are [people] working on the lines.”) By generating grid signal, hybrid inverters let your existing solar system keep running in an outage, powering your home and charging the battery by day and using the battery to power your home at night.

In addition to storage capacity, measured in kilowatt-hours, batteries have load capacities, measured in kilowatts. The term continuous capacity refers to how much power the battery can send out under normal conditions, and it indicates a limit on how many circuits you can run at once. The term peak capacity refers to how much power the battery can put out for a few seconds when a large appliance, such as an air conditioner, kicks on and creates a sudden, brief need for more juice; such an event requires a robust peak capacity. Consult your contractor to find a battery that will meet your needs.

Lithium-ion battery chemistry is complex, but there are two main types used for solar. The more common ones are NMC, or nickel-magnesium-cobalt, batteries. Less common (and a more recent development) are LFP, or lithium-iron-phosphate, batteries. (The odd initialism comes from an alternative name, lithium ferrophosphate.) NMC batteries are the more power-dense of the two, as they are physically smaller for a given storage capacity. But they are more sensitive to the heat generated during charging and discharging (they have a lower flash point, or ignition temperature, and thus in theory are more susceptible to what’s called thermal runaway fire propagation). They also may have lower lifetime charge-discharge cycles. And the use of cobalt, in particular, is of some concern, since its production has been tied to illegal and exploitative mining practices. LFP batteries, being less energy-dense, need to be somewhat larger for a given capacity, but they are less sensitive to heat generation and may have higher charge-discharge cycles. Ultimately, you’ll wind up with whichever type of battery best fits into the design you settle on with your contractor. As always, however, be proactive and ask questions.

And that brings up a final point: Speak with multiple solar installers before you pick one. “Consumers should always, always comparison shop,” said EnergySage’s Aggarwal. Most installers work with just a few battery and panel manufacturers, which means you won’t get a full picture of what’s possible from any one of them. Keith Marett, president of clean energy services at Generac—a manufacturer of fossil-fuel backup systems that’s rapidly expanding into renewable backup—said that “the big thing for homeowners, really, is figuring out what they want their lifestyle to be during an outage, and building a system to support that.” Adding battery storage is a major investment and, to a big degree, locks you into a particular system, so don’t rush your decision.

What will this cost—and do you really need it?

I live in New York City, where indoor solar battery storage is not allowed because of the fire code, and outdoor battery storage means navigating a Kremlinesque bureaucracy (PDF). (The joke being that almost nobody here has outdoor space to begin with.) Nor could I install a battery even if it were allowed—I live in a co-op apartment, not a freestanding home, so I don’t have my own roof for the solar panels. But even if I could install a battery, researching and writing this guide made me question whether I would. It’s worthwhile to ask yourself some fundamental questions before you pull the trigger.

For starters, installing battery storage is inherently expensive. EnergySage’s data shows that in the last quarter of 2021, the median cost per kilowatt-hour of battery storage was almost 1,300. Of course, that means that half of the batteries on the company’s list cost less than that per kilowatt-hour (and half cost more). But even the lowest-cost battery maker on EnergySage’s list, HomeGrid, charges over 6,000 for a 9.6 kWh system. Batteries from the “big seven” (again, that’s Enphase, Tesla, LG, Panasonic, SunPower, NeoVolta, and Generac) cost from nearly one and a half times as much to over twice as much. “Currently it is for the well-to-do,” said EnergySage’s Aggarwal with a sigh. He added, however, that the cost of battery storage has long been on a downward trend, and he expects the trend to continue.

Do you really need to spend a ton of money to meet your needs in a power outage? There are less-expensive options than high-kilowatt solar storage, including portable gasoline generators, lithium-ion portable power stations, and small solar battery chargers aimed at keeping devices running.

The Best Portable Solar Battery Charger

We tested 12 solar phone chargers and found that the BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is the best option for USB charging in the great outdoors.

Those portable methods—even the rechargeable ones that are safe to use indoors—aren’t as convenient as plugging things into a wall outlet. Yet there are even ways to get household circuits working in an outage without a traditional rooftop-solar system. Goal Zero, which has had success selling solar generators to campers and RVers, also offers a home integration kit that uses those generators to power houses. In a blackout, you manually disconnect your home from the grid (a physical transfer switch is included in the installation work). You then run your home’s circuits on an external Goal Zero battery and recharge it with Goal Zero’s portable solar panels. In some ways, this Goal Zero kit splits the difference between the fully installed solar-plus-battery system and a more-basic solar battery charger. The use of a manual disconnection switch adds an extra step versus the automatic transfer switches used in grid-tied solar systems. The price? “We start at about 4,000 installed in your home for our 3-kilowatt-hour battery,” said company CEO Bill Harmon.

All of these options have their downsides and limitations. A solar device charger will allow you to keep in touch with loved ones and give you access to news alerts in an emergency, but it won’t keep the fridge running. Fossil fuels can run out, leaving you stranded, and of course a fossil-fuel generator is not environmentally friendly. “But, that being said, if you’re only going to run it twice a year, two or three days a year, maybe you can live with the impact for now,” Aggarwal said. Several battery makers have incorporated the ability to use fossil-fuel generators to charge their batteries in the event of an extended blackout. Sonnen chairman and CEO Blake Richetta said if your goal is maximum resilience after a disaster, “You really should have a gas generator—a backup for the backup.”

In short, it’s worth weighing your expected future hardships in an emergency against the cost of gaining resilience. I spoke with Joe Lipari, vice president for projects at Brooklyn SolarWorks (which, as the name suggests, operates in New York City, where, again, batteries aren’t yet an option), and he mentioned the great Northeast blackout of 2003. It was an unpleasant couple of days before the power came back on. But I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years, and it’s the only time I’ve ever lost power. Purely from an emergency-preparation perspective, I asked Lipari what I should take away from the 2003 outage—that is, was it a crisis to fortify against or a minimal risk to absorb? “People bring that up to us,” he replied. “Paying an extra 20,000 to get a battery storage system? Probably not necessary.”

How long can you run your home on solar battery backup?

We asked a lot of experts how long these systems can last in an outage, generally speaking. The short and conservative answer: less than 24 hours on a single battery. But claims vary so widely that the thorough answer to this question is less conclusive.

In 2020, according to US Energy Information Administration figures, the typical US home consumed 29.3 kilowatt-hours per day. A typical solar backup battery can store somewhere around 10 kilowatt-hours. “I don’t have to tell you that this cannot run your whole house for a day,” said EnergySage’s Aggarwal. Batteries are generally stackable, which means you can string multiple batteries together to increase your storage. But, of course, doing so is not cheap. For many people, stacking is not practical—or even financially possible.

But “how long can I run my home” is really the wrong way to think about solar storage in the context of a blackout. For one thing, you can expect your solar panels to both deliver power to your home and recharge your battery during the day—in sunny weather—thus continuously regenerating your backup power source. That adds a form of resilience that fossil-fuel generators lack, because once their gas or propane runs out, they’re useless until you can get more fuel. And that may be impossible in an emergency.

to the point, during an outage, how much energy you conserve is at least as important as how much energy you can store. In order to make your battery last as long as possible, you’ll need to cut way back on your usage. Having lived through Hurricane Andrew in Miami, in 1992, I turned the challenges of that experience—no power for days, rotting groceries—into a line of inquiry. I asked all of the installers and battery makers I spoke to the same question: Assuming I want to keep the fridge running (for food safety), keep a couple of devices charged (for communication and information), and keep some lights on (for nighttime safety), how long can I expect a battery to last without recharging?

Keyvan Vasefi, head of product, operations, and manufacturing at Goal Zero, said he and his wife have run multiple tests on their 3 kWh battery, and they typically can go for a day and a half with “fridge running, multiple phone recharges, and master bedroom and bathroom with lighting.” They have also done tests with their solar panels hooked to the battery. Even bearing in mind that Vasefi has an interest in selling this tech, I can say that he does make a compelling case for it: “We try to pretend it’s the end of the world and see what happens, and we can effectively get an indefinite run time” on those limited circuits, he said. “Batteries back to a hundred percent every day at 6:00 p.m. And we feel really good about that.”

A 10 kWh battery can typically run a fridge, some lights, and several device chargers for two to three days, said Sven Amirian, vice president of Invaleon, a Massachusetts-based installer. That timeframe was echoed by Aric Saunders, senior vice president of battery-maker Electriq.

When you get a battery installed, your contractor may ask you to choose a limited “emergency subset” of your home’s circuits, which they’ll then route through a subpanel. During an outage, the battery will feed only these circuits. (As an example, my dad has a propane backup generator at his home in Virginia, and it’s hooked up to one of his three air-conditioning units, the fridge, the kitchen outlets, an on-demand water heater, and some lights. The house doesn’t have TV, laundry, and other conveniences until the grid comes back. But having a partially cooled home and cold drinks has meant the difference between comfort and misery during the frequent summer blackouts.)

You can also manually shut off individual breakers in your panel to limit the battery to feeding only those you consider critical. And all solar storage batteries come with apps that show you which circuits are being used, helping you find and eliminate power draws that you may have overlooked. “In real time, you can change your habits and maybe stretch out an extra day,” said Amirian. Note, though, that customer reviews of the apps are the same kind of mixed bag that we find for every Smart-appliance app we test: Some people love them, while others are frustrated by glitchy performance and buggy updates.

Finally, battery makers are beginning to offer Smart panels. Through these you can use your app to toggle individual circuits on and off remotely and thus customize which circuits are in use at various times (say, disabling the bedroom lights and outlets during the day and turning them back on at night). And the battery’s software will also take steps to optimize your power usage, closing down circuits that aren’t needed. But Amirian cautioned that installing a Smart panel is not simple or cheap. “There’s a lot of customer education that has to happen, the pros and cons, costs and benefits, of ‘I want to be able to control every circuit’ versus ‘That’s going to be 10,000 of electrical work for a two-day blackout.’”

The bottom line is that even with limited solar recharging, you’ll be able to increase the time you can maintain power off-grid—but only if you demand less of your battery. This calculation was neatly described by Jonnell Carol Minefee, co-founder of Solar Tyme USA, a Georgia-based solar installer that focuses on rural, minority, and impoverished communities: “I understand we’re Americans, we love our whatever-whatever, but we have to learn how to exist without all our luxuries some of the time.”

How solar and battery backup could make the biggest impact

Although solar battery storage will keep important appliances and devices running in an outage, the manufacturers and some installers I spoke with all said they consider that to be a useful but secondary function. Primarily, they view such systems as a way for homeowners to limit their utility bills by practicing something called “peak shaving.” At times of peak demand (late afternoon to early evening), when some utilities raise their rates, battery owners switch over to battery power or send power back onto the grid; this earns them rebates or credits from the local utility.

But an even more important use for batteries is on the horizon. Utilities are beginning to upgrade their grid infrastructure to be able to use privately owned batteries as virtual power plants, or VPPs. (A few are already operating, and such systems are expected to become widespread over the next decade.) Right now, there’s so much rooftop solar and so many solar farms that they stress the grid during the middle of the day. All of the power they produce has to go somewhere, so it flows onto the grid, forcing the utilities to power down some of their big fossil-fuel plants, to keep electricity supply and demand in balance. It sounds great—cutting CO2 emissions is kinda the point of solar, right? But that sundown spike in demand arrives right as solar panels stop producing electricity. (The daily cycle of excess midday solar production and evening excess demand produces what’s known as the “duck curve,” a term you may run across in your own research into battery storage.) To meet the surge in demand, utilities are often forced to fire up “peaker plants,” which are less efficient than the main fossil-fuel plants but quicker to get up to speed. The result, on some days, is that the utilities’ CO2 emissions actually exceed what they would have been were there no solar panels at all.

Virtual power plants will help solve this problem. Excess solar power will charge up homeowners’ batteries during the day, and then the utilities will draw on it during the evening spike, instead of firing up the peaker plants. (Battery owners will enter legal agreements with the utilities, granting them the right to do this and likely earning a fee for letting their batteries be used.)

I’ll give Sonnen’s Blake Richetta the final word, since there’s no way I could better convey what a revolution VPPs represent:

“The swarm control of batteries, to respond, to breathe in and out to a grid operator’s dispatch, to provide generation that replaces a peaker plant’s dirty generation, to make the grid run more efficiently, to decongest the grid and create deferrals on the cost of grid infrastructure, to stabilize the grid and to provide, to be totally frank with you, a much cheaper solution to the grid on frequency response and voltage regulation, literally to take solar from being a nuisance to being an asset that adds value, and, to capstone it, even to be able to swarm-charge from the grid, so if there are tons of wind farms in Texas producing gigantic amounts of power at 3 o’clock in the morning, to swarm-charge 50,000 batteries and soak that up—this is what we’re really for. This is the use of the battery.”

This article was edited by Harry Sawyers.

Meet your guide

Tim Heffernan is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter and a former writer-editor for The Atlantic, Esquire, and others. He has anchored our unequaled coverage of air purifiers and water filters since 2015. In 2018, he established Wirecutter’s ongoing collaboration with The New York Times’s Smarter Living. When he’s not here, he’s on his bike.

Further reading

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The Best Backup Camera and Displays

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The Best Portable Power Station

We’ve spent 73 hours testing 16 portable power stations, and the Jackery Explorer 1000 is the best option for going off the grid or prepping for an emergency.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

Portable Solar Generators 101: How They Work, Types Why You Need One

Solar generators are becoming a popular alternative to standby and gas generators. They’re portable, use clean energy, simple to use, and can operate indoors. Read on to discover more about how your solar generator works and the different types offered by Goal Zero.

How do solar generators work?

A portable solar generator is a combination of a power station and a solar panel. The power station stores energy in batteries, and the solar panel collects energy from the sun and converts it into electricity. The solar generator can be used to provide power for disaster prep aredness or unforeseen situations.

Solar generators are an increasingly popular option for portable power, as they offer a clean and renewable source of energy. Solar generators can power small appliances like lights and phone chargers or larger devices like TVs and refrigerators.

They are also becoming more popular as backup power sources for homes and businesses in case of power outages. Solar generators can be used in various applications, making them versatile for portable power.

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

Types of solar generators

There are two types of solar generators : Solar Backup Generators and Portable Solar Generators.

Solar Backup Generators are permanently installed and wired to your home’s electrical panel. They turn on automatically when the power goes out and provide backup power for as long as the sun is shining.

Portable Solar Generators are small, self-contained units that can be easily transported and used in various settings. They have built-in batteries that store solar energy when there is no sunlight available.

Why do you need a solar generator?

A portable solar or solar backup generator can be a lifesaver in many situations. If you live in an area prone to power outages, having a backup generator can mean the difference between staying comfortable and safe in your home and being left in the dark.

There are many reasons you might need a portable solar or solar backup generator. Maybe you live in an area often hit by hurricanes or other severe weather conditions that can knock out power lines. Or, perhaps you are someone who likes to camp and hike in remote areas where there is no access to electricity.

Having a backup generator can give you peace of mind knowing that you have a way to generate power when the grid is down.

If you consider purchasing a portable solar or solar backup generator, you should keep a few things in mind.

  • First, you will need to decide how much power you need to generate. This will depend on how many appliances and lights you need to run and how long you need to be able to run them.
  • Second, you will need to consider where you will store your generator. Find a safe and dry place to store it where the elements will not damage it.
  • Finally, you will need to decide how often you plan on using your generator. If you only plan on using it occasionally, then a smaller model may be all you need. However, if you plan to use it frequently, you may want to consider a larger model that can provide more power.

No matter what your reason is for needing a portable solar or solar backup generator, there are many different options available on the market today. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find the perfect generator for your needs.

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Why are portable solar generators preferred?

One of the reasons portable solar generators are preferred over traditional gas generators is that they are much more efficient. Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy, stored in power stations for later use. This means that you can generate power even when the sun isn’t shining, making them an excellent option for camping or other activities where you might not access traditional fuel sources.

When a gas generator is turned on, it is always burning gas. It burns the same amount of gas if you charge a cell phone or refrigerator. A solar generator is more efficient because it only outputs the amount of energy your device needs at that time.

Another advantage of portable solar generators is that they are much quieter than gas generators. Gasoline engines produce a lot of noise, which can be a major annoyance. Portable solar generators run silently, so you can use them without disturbances.

Finally, portable solar generators are better for the environment than gas generators. Gasoline engines produce harmful emissions that damage the ozone layer and contribute to climate change. Solar panels, on the other hand, generate clean, renewable energy that doesn’t pollute the air or harm the environment.

Why choose Goal Zero Solar Generators?

Reliability: Goal Zero has the most reliable solar generators to invest in. With features like backup power and an emergency power supply, you can ensure that your generator will be there when you need it most.

Safety: They are designed with safety in mind. Features like having an increased inverter that can handle surges make the generator safe.

Portability: These generators are portable. making them easy to take. Whether you’re tailgating, camping, or hiking, you can take your generator.

Ease of Use: They are easy to use. even for first-time users. With clear instructions and a user-friendly interface, you’ll be able to get started using your generator right away. They also come with different accessories, making them even easier to use.

Affordability: Goal Zero generators offer great value for your money. making them an excellent option for those on a budget plus a worthy investment for home or office use.

Emergency backup power and sustainable living. all in one.

Portable solar generators are a great way to have backup power for when the grid goes down or you need some extra juice while camping, tailgating, or during disaster prep. They’re also perfect for people who want to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Not sure where to start? Goal Zero is here to help. Visit our website today and learn about all the different portable solar generators we offer.

Solar Generators: A Guide to Portable Solar Power

сонячної, енергії, сонячний, генератор

A solar generator is a portable power station that uses portable solar panels to charge a battery, and the stored electricity can be used to charge or operate other devices.

As climate change continues to impact our planet in the form of extreme weather, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and more, we must look for sustainable solutions to more parts of our day-to-day life. This includes the move to using portable solar power generators to create and store renewable energy for all your backup power needs.

Not only do solar generators create reliable clean electricity from the sun, but they also reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses associated with traditional portable generators. As a result, manufacturers are working hard to make solar backup generators better and more reliable than their fuel-powered counterparts. This mirrors the growth and popularity of home solar power systems as an alternative to powering your home with fossil fuels.

With this article, you will better understand what a solar generator is, why solar generators are worth an investment, how to shop for a portable solar generator that’s right for you, and why solar-powered generators should replace traditional gas-powered generators.

What Is A Solar Generator?

The term solar generator usually refers to the combination of portable solar panels, battery, battery charger, and inverter into a single device that allows you to capture, store, and distribute power from the sun.

Solar generators are popular for camping trips, boating, RV trips, and as emergency backup power.

Unlike a traditional generator, which is normally powered by gas, diesel, or propane and includes an engine, fuel tank, and alternator, a solar generator lacks any moving parts. They’re essentially comprised of four elements:

  • Portable Solar Panels. Captures energy from the sun
  • Rechargeable Battery. Stores the energy captured by solar panels
  • Solar Charge Controller. Manages how much energy goes into the battery
  • Solar Inverter. Converts the sun’s energy into usable electricity

Thus, a solar generator is basically a portable battery with some photovoltaic (PV) panels attached to collect sunlight.

A portable solar generator turns out to be a great power supply, whether you’re on the road, camping, or needing electricity during a power outage. Depending upon your situation, you might want a solar generator with a variety of outlets, especially in emergencies where you have multiple power-dependent devices and appliances.

Typically, solar generators have 12-volt sockets, AC outlets, and USB ports to allow you to charge different devices. The beauty of having several charging options with your portable generator is that you can get the power you need on your terms. For example, you can plug a smartphone directly into the USB port to charge, and then connect an extension cord to the AC outlet to power a set of string lights.

In most cases, you will have the option to buy components like solar battery storage and panels separately, though you can also buy them as a complete all-in-one kit. We recommend purchasing the accessories you need to generate and store enough electricity for your intended use.

How Do Solar Power Generators Work?

A solar battery generator works by creating electricity from sunlight and storing it in a battery for future use. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the process:

  • Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electricity and pass it through the charge controller.
  • The charge controller regulates the voltage of electricity before storage, ensuring the right amount of current goes to the battery.
  • The battery stores all the solar energy for later use.
  • The inverter converts the stored energy from the battery to the AC power that most appliances and devices use.

Who Benefits From Using Solar Generators?

Solar generators don’t burn fuel to generate electricity, making them ideal for anyone looking to reduce reliance on gas-powered generators, combat blackouts and other power outages, and have a reliable backup power source option in case of emergencies.

You can use the energy stored in a solar generator during a power outage, to charge your devices when camping, and as source of energy on an RV or boating trip. Essentially, a solar-powered backup generator is ideal for a range of real-life situations, meaning it’s useful to have around for more than just emergencies.

People Who Want to Make Eco-Friendly Choices

Traditional generators run on fossil fuels that pollute the environment. If you’re conscious of the danger these fuels possess, then a solar backup generator is ideal for you.

People Bothered by the Sounds and Smells of Traditional Generators

Traditional generators are noisy and stinky because they’re combustion engines running on fossil fuels. Over time and even with proper maintenance, they can become noisier and smellier. If you’re looking for a generator that creates zero sounds and smells, a solar power generator will not let you down.

People Who Enjoy Spending Time Outdoors

You will find solar power generators are helpful if you enjoy being outside, yet still want to bring along a few modern perks. For example, during a camping or boating trip, solar batteries come in handy to ensure you have continuous power access. You could string up lights after sundown, charge your phones, run small kitchen appliances, and any number of conveniences you had to do without in the past.

Key Factors When Shopping for a Solar Generator

Solar generators come in different sizes and shapes, so picking one that will address your personal needs should be your priority. Choosing a solar generator can be challenging, especially when you are presented with different options, so we created this shopping list as a good starting point.

Since not all portable solar backup power generators are the same, people need to know what the generator can and cannot do. Knowing how you intend to use your generator should help guide you to the right solution.

Some of the top brands to compare include Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, Bluetti, EcoFlow, Point Zero Energy, Renogy, and Tacklife. Each company makes its products unique, so a closer look at what each one offers can help you make a sound decision.

Your Energy Requirements

The amount of electricity you need should be your top consideration for determining the size of your solar powered generator. For example, if you plan to use it outdoors, you should calculate how much energy your devices and appliances use when comparing the storage capacity of potential solar generators.

How Much Electricity The Solar Generator Can Provide

The longer a generator can provide power, the better. (This is usually calculated in watt hours.) Considering you don’t always know when you will have an opportunity to recharge it, it is best to have one that can run efficiently for a long time. That way, it will be easier for you to go about your daily activities or complete what you were doing, knowing you have enough backup power.

How Long The Solar Generator Takes To Charge

In addition to comparing the battery capacity of a solar generator, you should also pay attention to how long it takes for the battery to achieve a full charge. Some even have the ability to quick charge from a home AC power outlet. This will help with planning how much time you’ll need to be without power in the event a recharge is necessary.

What Features and Benefits are Included

You can do a lot with a solar generator that has helpful features. For example, more USB ports and power outlets give you the freedom to charge multiple devices at once.

Weight is another essential consideration, especially if you plan to use your generator for outdoor activities. Batteries can be heavy, so you might want to look for a solar generator that has focused on keeping the weight down if you plan to move it around a lot.

What the Warranty Covers

We recommend examining any benefits you might enjoy from the product warranty. The larger and more reputable the company, the more perks you will likely receive to support your solar power generator. The top options include replacement parts for any necessary repairs, as well as a longer length of time your solar generator is covered by the warranty.

Comparing Portable Solar Generators with Traditional Gas-Powered Generators

The Pros of Solar Generators

Investing in a portable solar generator is a good way of reducing your environmental impact and enjoying numerous other benefits:

Portable

Generally lighter than traditional gas-powered generators, solar generators are ideal for outdoor events, camping, emergencies, and general on-the-go activities. Some of them are even equipped with a luggage-like pull handle to enhance portability.

Low Maintenance

Wear and tear due to moving parts in traditional emergency generators can lead to high maintenance costs. Solar generators have no moving parts and don’t rely on gas to generate electricity. This design helps lower the possibility of having to pay for repairs.

Clean Energy

Solar generators generate clean, renewable energy that doesn’t hurt the environment when running. Traditional generators run on fossil fuels which contribute to air pollution and climate change. As an added benefit, you can access solar energy freely instead of paying for pricey fossil fuels.

Easy Operation

Solar generators are easy to use as they don’t require fueling, oiling, starting, and maintaining. Just turn it on, connect your devices, and draw power from it.

The Cons of Solar Generators

There are a few disadvantages to using solar generators that you should consider before making a purchase:

Higher Upfront Cost

Solar generators typically require a higher initial investment than traditional generators. However, the costs of operating are lower than traditional options, so you’ll save money over time.

Lower Energy Storage

Solar generators aren’t ideal if your power demands are too high. For instance, during a power outage, your generator may not be sufficient to operate all devices and appliances in your house. In most cases, they are best for operating a few devices at a time, such as lighting, a television, or a refrigerator.

Slower Energy Generation

Compared to traditional gas-powered portable generators, solar generators are not the best option when you need instantaneous power. If your battery runs out of power, you have to wait for it to recharge to get power to your appliances and devices, which can vary depending on the weather conditions. With a traditional generator, you simply need to add more fuel to generate additional power.

The Pros of Traditional Generators

Generators powered by fossil fuels do have some advantages, including:

Portability

Traditional options are available in different sizes, and there are smaller sizes that you can bring with you when traveling. Just remember that you also have to carry gasoline, so they aren’t quite as portable as solar generators.

Familiar Technology

Having been on the market for years, traditional generators are more familiar to some people. However, that market dominance also means the technology hasn’t been dramatically improved because of the lack of competition.

Electricity On-Demand

Traditional generators produce electricity as soon as they receive fuel, while a solar generator must be recharged to provide electricity. Hence, gas-powered generators are more convenient when you need instant power.

The Cons of Traditional Generators

Despite their popularity over the years, traditional generators have their shortcomings. Here are some of the reasons why people are ditching them:

Fuel Costs

Traditional generators rely on costly fossil fuels to run, which increases their long-term costs over the initial purchase price. You may also have to pay more to access that fuel if you aren’t near a gas station or other fuel source.

Toxic Gases

Traditional generators are notorious polluters. Each gallon of gasoline contains about 20.35lbs of carbon dioxide, and the average camping generator emits around 1-2 lbs of carbon dioxide per hour, even when running at 1/4 of the max rated load.

In addition to carbon dioxide, gas-powered generators can also release other harmful gases into the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxides.

Noisy Operation

Because of all the moving parts that make up a traditional gas-powered generator, they produce a lot of noise when operating. This is especially true for smaller portable generators, which are designed to prioritize size and weight over noise prevention.

Ongoing Maintenance

You have to continuously pay to take care of your traditional generator if you want to keep it in good working order. That regular maintenance occurs because the generator uses moving parts to process fossil fuels into electricity, and those moving parts need to be cleaned, oiled, and replaced over time. In addition, the fuel can go bad if it sits unused for a long period of time. Those routine costs definitely impact the total price of owning a gas-powered generator in the long run.

Key Takeaways

Solar generators are growing in popularity, and with advances in solar technologies, people who like clean energy are increasingly picking them over gas-powered generators. Solar generators offer low maintenance, portability, clean energy, and sustainable living to combat climate change. The numerous benefits of owning a solar generator make it worth the investment.

Before you buy a solar-powered generator, make sure you analyze the key features of different brands to pick one that will address your power needs. Brands like ​​Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, and Bluetti make a wide range of different solar generators to match your needs.

If you want to store even more backup solar power than even the best solar generator can provide, you should consider solar battery storage that connects to your home solar panel system. While your home solar panels can definitely charge your portable solar generator so you have on-the-go power whenever you need it, solar generators are not designed to act as a home standby generator for your entire home.

If you’re shopping for backup power options, the experts at Palmetto can help you understand the long-term solutions that are right for your electricity needs and system requirements. Get started today with a Free Solar Savings Estimate, and then speak with one of our solar professionals on how you can always have the energy you need when you need it most.

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