A solar panel generator is a portable power station that pairs a battery with a set of solar panels. They’re often used in off-grid situations like camping, tailgating or to provide backup power during a natural disaster. They’re a more eco-friendly option than gas generators and can be cheaper to operate if you don’t need to refill your fuel tank.
A good solar generator should be able to provide enough power for most basic uses, such as charging phones and laptops, lighting a tent, running a refrigerator, or even running a small power tool or two during a DIY project. It should also be able to recharge in a reasonable amount of time.
The best generators will have a high watt-hour capacity, which means they can store enough power to provide energy for several hundred or even several thousand hours. That’s a big difference from something like a light bulb, which requires 120 watts to operate for just one hour.
The Importance of Maintenance for Your Solar Generator
This is why you want to check a generator’s watt-hour capacity before purchasing it, to make sure it will meet your needs. That means taking into account how much electricity you’ll use, how long it will take to recharge, and how you plan to charge the battery.
Most solar generators are designed to be charged with a solar panel, but some also have AC inputs for charging from a wall outlet or your vehicle’s 12-volt plug. This allows you to recharge it while you’re off-grid, preparing at home, or on the go with your vehicle’s charger.