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Best Portable Solar Generators: Power When You Need It! | Survival-Mastery

Best Portable Solar Generator

Solar generator technology has advanced over the past few years, and this article provides powerful options for your off-the-grid needs.

Portable Solar Generators often have the misconception that they are not powerful and won’t power many devices.

This is far from the truth.

Whether you are car camping or preparing for a worst-case scenario, there is probably a solar generator that will fit your needs since they come in all shapes and sizes.

This article will explain what you need to know about solar-powered generators and then take you through some of the best portable solar generators on the market right now.

See also: Best Solar Battery: 6 Product Reviews to Keep You Charged

What is a Solar Generator

When people talk about solar generators, they typically refer to a portable power system that uses solar panels to produce electricity stored in a battery for later use.

Solar-powered generators are often used in RV’s, boats, and backup sources of power for grid outages.

How Do Solar Powered Generators Work?

There are a few basic steps and components used in a common solar-powered generator.

  1. Solar panels attached to the generator collect and convert sunlight to Direct Current (DC Energy).
  2. The DC is passed through a charge controller, which controls the voltage of the energy going to the battery to be stored for later use.
  3. Once the energy in the battery is needed, it passes through an inverter that converts it to Alternating Current Energy (AC).

Most portable solar generators have AC Outlets, USB Ports, and 12 Volt Carports. This allows you to charge multiple devices or small appliances.

How Much Power Will My Generator Provide

This, of course, depends on the size of your generator and how long the sun is shining – meaning how long the battery is allowed to charge.

Battery storage is also important. Convert your amp hours to watt-hours and make sure you have the storage to meet your needs. Add 3 days for those cloudy days.

Example

To get watt-hours from amp hours, multiply amps times volts. The watt-hour rating for a 12-volt 100 amp/hr. battery is 1200 watt-hours.

Take a look a the following appliances.

  • Light Bulb = 60Wh
  • Refridgerator = 900Wh
  • Cell Phone = 40Wh

If you anticipate you will use 1,000 watt-hours each day, multiply this times 3 and you will need batteries to store at least 3,000 watt-hours.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Like any power source, solar-powered generators have their advantages and disadvantages. Before you say NO, it is too expensive, consider this.

They may be heavy, and they may be expensive, but they are probably going to last you 20-25 years, and when all other fuel is gone, you can sit this bad boy out in the sun and turn on the lights!

Advantages

  • Quiet – Nice when camping in the backcountry or wilderness.
  • Clean Energy – no smelly or expensive fuels and pollutants.
  • Less maintenance – there are not a lot of moving parts.
  • Life expectancy – 20 to 25 years!

Disadvantages

  • Price is currently high, but as they become more popular and technology advances, prices will come down.
  • Slow to Charge – they can take all day and are much slower than gas generators.
  • Power Supply – they depend on the sun being out. Battery size is important.

Additional Tips to Consider When Purchasing

In addition to the overview above, this article “What to Look for in Solar Generators” provides a comprehensive review of what to look for when purchasing your portable solar generator.

If you are thinking about purchasing a portable solar generator, there are a few additional things you should keep in mind.

  • Inverters – Make sure your inverter is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter. This is the type of AC electricity your appliances and electronics use.
  • Most solar-powered generators include a charger, inverter, and battery. They do not often include solar panels unless you purchase a kit.
  • Batteries – make sure you have the right size and type of battery.
  • Recharging times should be reasonable, especially in the winter or with volatile weather.
  • MPPT Charge Controllers are more efficient. Keep in mind they are not 100% efficient.
  • The charge controller determines how many solar panels you can add. Make sure the voltage input is not too narrow.

Best Solar Powered Generators

There are a lot of choices when it comes to solar-powered generators. I’ve read reviews, consumer reports, articles, and reviewed comments on manufacturing websites.

Based on consumer feedback, these are currently four of the best generators available at a reasonable price in both the small and mid-size categories. All of the generators below receive 4.5 – 5 stars and have hundreds or thousands of reviews.

Below is a comparison with additional details on each generator. I’ve also highlighted the generator that I would choose.

Small Portable Solar Generators (100W – 600W)

My favorite generator in the small group is actually the EF Ecoflow. Still, it provides more power than I need for this group, which is why I chose the small AIMTOM solar-powered generator.

The AIMTOM is exactly what I need to run small tools and electronics if I’m off-grid or on an overnight camping trip. Its 3x USB ports, 3x DC outlets, and 1x AC outlet give me the versatility I need to charge power what I need.

The AIMTOM also has a great price @ only $129.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
PAXCESS Portable Power Station 200W, 230Wh/62400mAh Emergency Backup Lithium Battery, 110V Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, QC 3.0, USB-C PD Input/Output, Solar Generator for Home/Outdoor Camping Adventure
Runner-Up
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER, 288Wh Backup Lithium Battery with 3 600W (Peak 1200W) AC Outlets & LED Flashlight, Clean & Silent Solar Generator for Outdoor Camping RV Emergencies Home
My Choice
AIMTOM 42000mAh 155Wh Power Station, Emergency Backup Power Supply with Flashlights (Solar Panel Optional), for Camping, Home, CPAP, Travel, Outdoor (110V/ 100W AC Outlet, 3X 12V DC, 3X USB Output)
Dimensions
5.19 x 9.05 x 7.67 inches
9 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches
11.3 x 7.7 x 7.3 inches
7.48 x 6.69 x 3.54 inches
Weight
6.82 pounds
7.74 pounds
11 pounds
3.63 pounds
Wattage
200 watts
200 watts
600 watts
100 watts
Voltage
110V
110V
120V
110V
Charge Time
5 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Time not provided by manufacturer. Depends on how you charge
1.6 Hrs. depending on how you charge
7-8 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
AC Output: 110V, 200W (400W peak) | Car Port: DC 12V, 10A, 120 Watt | USB Outputs (2): 5V, 2.4A (each)
1x Car Port: 12V/10A | 2x 5mm DC Port | 1x AC Output: 110V | 2x USB Output | 1x USB-A QC Port | 1x USB-C PD Port
AC Output (x3) | USB-A Output (x2) | USB-A Fast Charge (x1) | USB-C Output (x1) | Car Power Output (x1) | DC5521 Output (x2)
3x USB Outputs | 3x DC Outputs | AC Output: AC100V~120V
Energy Storage
240Wh
230Wh
288Wh
155Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Type not provided by manufacturer
MPPT
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
24 Months
24 Months
12 Months
Includes
1* Power Station Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station (240Wh) 1*AC Adapter 1* Car Charger Cable 1* User Manual
1x ROCKMAN 200 Portable Power Station 1x AC Charging Adapter 1x Car Charger Cable 1x Warranty Card 1x Safety Precautions Card 1x User Guide
1. EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station 2. DC5521-DC5525 Cable 3. 1.5m MC4 to XT60 Solar Charging Cable 4. 1.5m AC Charging Cable 5. 1.5m Car Charging Cable 6. User Manual 7. Warranty Card
1x AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station 1x Cigarette Lighter Adapter (for 12V Output) 1x Wall Outlet Charging Power Adapter 1x Car Charging Adapter 1x User Manual
Price
$199.99
$189.99
$349.00
$101.99
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Dimensions
5.19 x 9.05 x 7.67 inches
Weight
6.82 pounds
Wattage
200 watts
Voltage
110V
Charge Time
5 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
AC Output: 110V, 200W (400W peak) | Car Port: DC 12V, 10A, 120 Watt | USB Outputs (2): 5V, 2.4A (each)
Energy Storage
240Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1* Power Station Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station (240Wh) 1*AC Adapter 1* Car Charger Cable 1* User Manual
Price
$199.99
Buy Now Button
PAXCESS Portable Power Station 200W, 230Wh/62400mAh Emergency Backup Lithium Battery, 110V Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, QC 3.0, USB-C PD Input/Output, Solar Generator for Home/Outdoor Camping Adventure
Dimensions
9 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches
Weight
7.74 pounds
Wattage
200 watts
Voltage
110V
Charge Time
Time not provided by manufacturer. Depends on how you charge
Output Options
1x Car Port: 12V/10A | 2x 5mm DC Port | 1x AC Output: 110V | 2x USB Output | 1x USB-A QC Port | 1x USB-C PD Port
Energy Storage
230Wh
Solar Charge Mode
Type not provided by manufacturer
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1x ROCKMAN 200 Portable Power Station 1x AC Charging Adapter 1x Car Charger Cable 1x Warranty Card 1x Safety Precautions Card 1x User Guide
Price
$189.99
Buy Now Button
Runner-Up
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER, 288Wh Backup Lithium Battery with 3 600W (Peak 1200W) AC Outlets & LED Flashlight, Clean & Silent Solar Generator for Outdoor Camping RV Emergencies Home
Dimensions
11.3 x 7.7 x 7.3 inches
Weight
11 pounds
Wattage
600 watts
Voltage
120V
Charge Time
1.6 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
AC Output (x3) | USB-A Output (x2) | USB-A Fast Charge (x1) | USB-C Output (x1) | Car Power Output (x1) | DC5521 Output (x2)
Energy Storage
288Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1. EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station 2. DC5521-DC5525 Cable 3. 1.5m MC4 to XT60 Solar Charging Cable 4. 1.5m AC Charging Cable 5. 1.5m Car Charging Cable 6. User Manual 7. Warranty Card
Price
$349.00
Buy Now Button
My Choice
AIMTOM 42000mAh 155Wh Power Station, Emergency Backup Power Supply with Flashlights (Solar Panel Optional), for Camping, Home, CPAP, Travel, Outdoor (110V/ 100W AC Outlet, 3X 12V DC, 3X USB Output)
Dimensions
7.48 x 6.69 x 3.54 inches
Weight
3.63 pounds
Wattage
100 watts
Voltage
110V
Charge Time
7-8 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
3x USB Outputs | 3x DC Outputs | AC Output: AC100V~120V
Energy Storage
155Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
12 Months
Includes
1x AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station 1x Cigarette Lighter Adapter (for 12V Output) 1x Wall Outlet Charging Power Adapter 1x Car Charging Adapter 1x User Manual
Price
$101.99
Buy Now Button

Mid-size Portable Solar Generators (1,000W – 2,000W)

My Choice
BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P 2000W 2000Wh Solar Generator 700W Max Solar Input Backup Battery Pack with 6 2000W AC Outlet(4800W Peak) for Van Home Emergency Outdoor Camping Explore
Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station, 1516Wh Portable Lithium Battery Emergency Power Station, 2000W Portable AC Inverter Generator, Outdoor Portable Generator, Portable Solar Generator for Solar Panels
MAXOAK Power Station 2400Wh/1000W Inverter BLUETTI EB240 Portable Solar Generator Emergency Battery Backup Pure Sinewave 2AC Outlet Power Storage Multi-use Power Storage for Outdoor RV Van Home
Runner-Up
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1500, 1534Wh Portable Generator with 3x110V/1800W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Overlanding, Emergency
Dimensions
16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches
15.25 x 10.23 x 10.37 inches
19.4 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches
14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches
Weight
60.6 Pounds
45.64 Pounds
48.5 pounds
33.1 pounds
Wattage
2000 watts
2000 Watts
1000 Watts
1800 Watts
Voltage
120V
120V
110V
110V
Charge Time
3.5 Hrs. depending on how you charge
3.0 Hrs. depending on how you charge
8-9 hours depending on how you charge
4 Hrs. @ 80% depending on how you charge
Output Options
6*AC outlets, 1*12V/25A RV port, 2*15W wireless pad, 1* PD 60W USB-C, 4* USB-A, 1*12V/10A car port and 2* 12V/3A
2 USB-A, 18W USB-C, 60W USB-C PD, 6mm, 12V, 12V Power Port, 2 120V AC Inverter
2*AC110V, 1*12V9A, 1*PD 45W USB-C, 4*5V3A USB
AC Output - 3 x 110V~ 60Hz, 16.4A, 1800W (3600W Peak) | USB-A - 5V-2.4A| Quick Charge - 18W, 5-6.5V-3A, 6.5-9V-2A, 9-12V-1.5A | USB-C - PD60W, 5V-3A, 9V-3A, 12V-3A, 15V-3A, 20V-3A | Car Output - 12V-10A | DC Input - 2 x 48V-6.25A (Double to 500w Max)
Energy Storage
2,000Wh
1,516Wh
2400Wh
1488Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
24 Months
24 Months
24 Months
Includes
1*portable power station (AC200P), 1*500W AC wall charger, 1*PV solar charging cable(MC4 to XT90), car charging cable(Car to XT90),XT90 to aviation plug(input),1*user manual, 1*customer service card
Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station 120W Power Supply (AC Wall Charger)
1*Portable Power Storage (EB240), 1*200W AC Wall Charger, 1*PV Solar Charging Cable(DC7909 to MC4), 1*User Manual
1*Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station, 1*AC&AC Cable, 1*Car Charge Cable, 2*Solar Panel Parallel Adapter(Cable), 1*User Manual
Price
$1,699.00
Price not available
$1,499.00
Price not available
My Choice
BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P 2000W 2000Wh Solar Generator 700W Max Solar Input Backup Battery Pack with 6 2000W AC Outlet(4800W Peak) for Van Home Emergency Outdoor Camping Explore
Dimensions
16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches
Weight
60.6 Pounds
Wattage
2000 watts
Voltage
120V
Charge Time
3.5 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
6*AC outlets, 1*12V/25A RV port, 2*15W wireless pad, 1* PD 60W USB-C, 4* USB-A, 1*12V/10A car port and 2* 12V/3A
Energy Storage
2,000Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1*portable power station (AC200P), 1*500W AC wall charger, 1*PV solar charging cable(MC4 to XT90), car charging cable(Car to XT90),XT90 to aviation plug(input),1*user manual, 1*customer service card
Price
$1,699.00
Buy Now Button
Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station, 1516Wh Portable Lithium Battery Emergency Power Station, 2000W Portable AC Inverter Generator, Outdoor Portable Generator, Portable Solar Generator for Solar Panels
Dimensions
15.25 x 10.23 x 10.37 inches
Weight
45.64 Pounds
Wattage
2000 Watts
Voltage
120V
Charge Time
3.0 Hrs. depending on how you charge
Output Options
2 USB-A, 18W USB-C, 60W USB-C PD, 6mm, 12V, 12V Power Port, 2 120V AC Inverter
Energy Storage
1,516Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station 120W Power Supply (AC Wall Charger)
Price
Price not available
Buy Now Button
MAXOAK Power Station 2400Wh/1000W Inverter BLUETTI EB240 Portable Solar Generator Emergency Battery Backup Pure Sinewave 2AC Outlet Power Storage Multi-use Power Storage for Outdoor RV Van Home
Dimensions
19.4 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches
Weight
48.5 pounds
Wattage
1000 Watts
Voltage
110V
Charge Time
8-9 hours depending on how you charge
Output Options
2*AC110V, 1*12V9A, 1*PD 45W USB-C, 4*5V3A USB
Energy Storage
2400Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1*Portable Power Storage (EB240), 1*200W AC Wall Charger, 1*PV Solar Charging Cable(DC7909 to MC4), 1*User Manual
Price
$1,499.00
Buy Now Button
Runner-Up
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1500, 1534Wh Portable Generator with 3x110V/1800W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Overlanding, Emergency
Dimensions
14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches
Weight
33.1 pounds
Wattage
1800 Watts
Voltage
110V
Charge Time
4 Hrs. @ 80% depending on how you charge
Output Options
AC Output - 3 x 110V~ 60Hz, 16.4A, 1800W (3600W Peak) | USB-A - 5V-2.4A| Quick Charge - 18W, 5-6.5V-3A, 6.5-9V-2A, 9-12V-1.5A | USB-C - PD60W, 5V-3A, 9V-3A, 12V-3A, 15V-3A, 20V-3A | Car Output - 12V-10A | DC Input - 2 x 48V-6.25A (Double to 500w Max)
Energy Storage
1488Wh
Solar Charge Mode
MPPT
Warranty
24 Months
Includes
1*Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station, 1*AC&AC Cable, 1*Car Charge Cable, 2*Solar Panel Parallel Adapter(Cable), 1*User Manual
Price
Price not available
Buy Now Button

Solar Powered Generator Bundles (With Solar Panels)

Many of the solar-powered generators come packaged as “bundles.” The “bundle” typically includes solar panels, and if you purchase them together, you get a discount versus buying them separately.

I’ve listed some of the bundles below. Before purchasing separate panels with your portable solar generator, though, check the manufacturer warranty. In some cases, you may find that they don’t guarantee the generator if you don’t use their panels.

Small Portable Solar Generator Bundles

Mid-size Portable Solar Generator Bundles

Portable Solar Generators – Final Thoughts

All of the solar generators I have listed are well-made and will provide you with the power you need when you need it.

Personally, I would charge them with solar panels, and you will be surprised at how quickly they can be charged if you string panels together.

If you are setting up one of the larger generators in camp, you can set the generator up during the day and have it fully charged and ready to power up your appliances and devices when you return at the end of the day.

About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.

10 Comments

  • The portable solar generator is my best friend during storms. I have the KISAE 40402 1800-Watt power kit; it is amazing. One time during a storm, I used it to power the heater and keep the house warm in the cold weather, I also used it for cooking when the power was out. It continued to run even after the storm. I need another one for my office.

  • I got the Yeti 400 solar generator kit; it has everything I’ve been looking for in such a device. I usually charge it through AC during the night, and sometimes through the sun. The next morning it charges my iPhone and iPad in a short time. The display is easy to use and understand; it stays lit as long as I need. In fact, this was my first solar energy device I bought and I’m impressed with the results.

  • I own both the Sunforce 50048 60W Solar charging kit and the Wagan EL 2546 Solar e-Cube 1500. Personally, I haven’t had any problems while operating them, but I can’t tell you which one is the best because I haven’t used any other model. If you just want to keep small items, like a GPS or a smartphone, charged up, the Sunforce is great and is relatively compact and rugged.

  • Ahmad,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Portable solar chargers are a step towards independence from fossil-based energy.

    David

  • I need a little help here. I am a simple girl who cannot live without my iphone with me, and I am about to leave for a hike this coming month. I am in search for a portable solar generator that can speed up my phone charging. In fact, I have tried buying one, but it is an epic fail. The advertisement said that it’s a 2A/2A+ outputs, but it hardly reach 2 amps. Do you have any recommendations for me?

  • We have presented you with some of the best camping/emergency portable generators, but you can always settle for smaller and ultra-lightweight solar chargers, such as the battery pack AKEEM portable charger or the Nektec 20W Solar charger.

  • Thanks for presenting to us some of the best portable generators in town. I have been thinking of purchasing one for my grandfather’s farm; it is about 10-11 acres. The area is somewhat far from the city; thus, my grandfather wanted to buy long lasting portable solar generators to suffice the needs of the farm. How many years could this type of generators possibly last?

  • With typical usage and proper maintenance of a portable generator, it should be able to serve you for more than ten years. There are some that can last 30+ years.

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