A solar power generator can save you money and frustration, but finding the right one takes time. If you’ve ever considered investing in solar power such as portable solar panels or you want a reliable backup that allows you to rely less on third-party energy, there are several things to consider before making your investment.

Solar Generators

First things first: you should understand what exactly a solar power generator is and why it’s an effective solution to your energy needs.

Solar generators and solar panels make it possible to convert the energy of the sun (solar) into usable power. People want to use the sun’s energy for power because it’s a renewable source. Other sources of energy (petroleum, coal, gas) are not renewable because there are limited amounts of these sources on earth—not to mention the effort involved in gathering those energy sources and the pollution those energy sources create.

Solar power is ongoing and there is little to no risk in gathering it as an energy source. Though it’s not as reliable as some other sources—when there’s no sun there’s no energy—it is now possible to store solar energy so it’s available when the sun isn’t shining.

In order to use solar power effectively, you need a solar power generator. Generators are made up of three parts: the part that collects the energy (the panel), the part that stores the energy (the power station), and the part that turns it into an energy source you can use.

Why Invest in Solar Energy?

In addition to the reasons listed above that illustrate why solar energy is a better option than other energy source, there is another benefit to using solar energy:

Independence and Freedom

Many people choose solar because it allows them to go off-grid and not rely on a third-party supplier for energy. This is great for those who want to live far from areas that provide connections to energy or for those who want to travel from place to place. It’s also ideal if you’ve just had it with relying on someone else (someone who isn’t always that reliable) to provide your energy.

Solar energy makes it possible to take care of yourself and meet your energy needs cleanly, efficiently, and effectively without any third-party support. With solar energy, you don’t need to worry about power outages caused by natural disaster or blackouts or brownouts created in an effort to preserve energy. You’ll have the energy you need when you need it, even if nobody else in your area has energy at a given time.

Choosing the Best Portable Solar Power Generator

Choosing the Best Portable Solar Power Generator

Now that you understand why solar energy is so beneficial, it’s time to think about investing in a solar power generator, or “portable power station”for off-grid power wherever you go. Generators are designed to store energy and deliver it when you need electricity for all your appliances or charging your electronic devices.

How are they different from a standard generator that can help you during a power outage or if you’re traveling and away from a traditional energy hookup?

Solar generators such as solar power systems with a battery pack can be attached to solar panels. They have the capacity to allow you to access and utilize the sun’s energy as a source of renewable energy. To effectively benefit from a solar generator and solar energy, you need only rely upon the sun rising day in and day out.  Dystopian fears and fantasies aside, chances are pretty good that’s something you can count on for the foreseeable future.

Choosing the best generator for you comes down a few considerations:

  • How much energy you need to use and store (is it just for light, charging mobile devices, or more powerful appliances)
  • How often you’ll travel
  • How you’ll install the necessary components
  • What you’ll need to create a comprehensive solar power system
  • How much you want to spend

Relying on the opinions of other solar power generator users is a great way to get a feel for what’s available and what is going to work for you. The best place to begin your search for a portable solar power generator is by reading reviews and noting points that stand out to you.

What Are the Top Picks for Solar Power Generators in 2018?

Off Grid Solar Generator’s Solar Generator Plug-n-Play Kit

Off Grid Solar Generator’s Solar Generator Plug-n-Play Kit

This system works great with solar panels and comes with a polycrystalline panel. It can be used inside but is also completely waterproof and windproof. It features a Duracell power pack, 12-amp hour AGM battery, and a 25-foot wire for panel installation.

Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Portable Solar Power Generator

This is one of the best and most powerful generators on the list. It can be used anywhere, including indoors. It’s also able to be recharged in a variety of different ways, including via solar panel, battery, and power outlet. The system weighs 29 pounds and comes with a 1.5 ampere USB outlet, one 12-volt outlet and 300 watts of pure sine AC inverter, which is included in the kit.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Solar Generator

Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Portable Solar Power Generator

Like its counterpart, this kit is efficient and practical. It is great for short-term power outages, but could also work while camping or traveling. It weighs about 40 pounds and comes with an AC inverter output, a USB outlet and a 12 V outlet.

Renogy Firefly Portable Solar Generator

Renogy Firefly Portable Solar Generator

This portable solar generator features an LCD display, making it easy to use even for those who are new to solar. It’s versatile and can run off of a number of devices. It weighs just under 11 pounds and has a handle, making it one of the most travel-friendly options on this list. The Firefly can provide up to 175 Wh of energy and comes with an internal 10A charge controller, 12 V solar panel, adaptor, and cable.

Aspect Solar Sunsocket Sun-Tracking Solar Generator 

Aspect Solar Sunsocket Sun-Tracking Solar Generator

This generator is the only one on the list that boasts a “sun tracking” solar panel. The kit comes with everything needed to utilize the unit, including panels and a lithium-ion phosphate battery. It weighs about 25 pounds, so it’s on the medium to heavy side of the panels on our list, but it’s still incredibly portable.

Committing to solar energy full-time is easier if you start relying on it on a part-time basis. We’ve found many people who invest in solar power generators as a backup energy source eventually convert to 100 percent solar.