Best Solar Generator for Home Backup and Emergencies

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

With natural disasters and power outages becoming more common, having a home solar generator sounds like a good idea. However, the best solar generator for home backup has to be the right size. But are these devices necessary? Follow along to see their importance and some of the best solar generators on the market.

Are Solar Generators Worth Having?

Yes. The sun is one of the best and leading natural energy sources, and harvesting that power is sustainable and perfect in situations where you might need electricity while the grid is off.

Of course, we all rely on electricity to function. After all, most of our gadgets require electricity to power on and operate. Consequently, With more electrical grid fails, you need to be prepared.

Solar generators are very easy to set up and operate. Additionally, a large one can power up a house and last between 2-8 hours. Of course, you can conserve energy and increase efficiency by reducing the house's load. Additionally, compared to gas-powered generators, solar generators are silent.

Let's look at the top solar generators for house backup power below:

Best Solar Generators for Home Backup

1) Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Solar Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station, 2982Wh...
  • PORTABLE POWER STATION: Power your life at home, at work, and on...
  • EXPERIENCE BACKUP POWER LIKE NEVER BEFORE: Increased 2000W AC...
  • EASY TO USE: Power a wide range of devices with seven different...
  • THREE WAYS TO CHARGE: Plug the Yeti 1500X into any 230-watt wall...
  • POWER IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND: Monitor, control, and optimize...

The wattage is the first thing I like to look at in solar generators. Powered by 2000 watts and 3032 watt-hours, this portable solar generator powered up my entire house. Of course, I had to remember my household appliances, specifically the induction cooktop.

Nevertheless, I was very pleased by how much power this generator supplies. The best part is I can comfortably power on and use my power tools for maintenance jobs around the house.

Image Source: ecotality.com

The running time when the generator is fully charged is different for every household appliance. However, I appreciated the seven port options to charge every gadget and power certain appliances. If there's a power outage, even with 60% battery power, I still have a few good hours of power output due to the maximum power point tracker that optimizes flow.

This is by far the best solar power generator I've come across. The company also gives you three ways to charge the generator. This is very convenient if there have been current and multiple outages in your area. You can charge the generator from a wall, car outlet, and Goal Zero solar panels. Still, I bought the solar panels separately.

While the device is portable, it is by no means lightweight. It weighs a hefty 70Lbs, but the wheels help in maneuvering it. If ease of movement is what you want, check out our review of the best portable generators. Nevertheless, this device can't be near water under any circumstance. Besides that, it is a good backup to have.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Fast-charging
  • It can use sustainable energy
  • Long battery life
  • High battery capacity
  • Silent

Cons:

  • It's not weatherproof.

2) Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Solar-Powered Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station for Homes,...
  • PROFESSIONAL-GRADE POWER: Equipped with 6,071 Watt-Hours and...
  • EXPERIENCE BACKUP POWER LIKE NEVER BEFORE: Increased 2000W AC...
  • EASY TO USE: Power a wide range of devices with seven different...
  • THREE WAYS TO CHARGE: Plug the Yeti 6000X into any 600-watt wall...
  • POWER IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND: Monitor, control, and optimize...

When I powered this generator on for the first time, it was like I was connected to the grid; that's how powerful it is. This generator makes an awesome portable power station for everything you can think of, including a full-sized fridge, phones and other gadgets, my wife's new electric mixer, and a blender.

Image Source: gadgetflow.com

It is also convenient that I can charge the generator using my car charger, solar panels, or a wall outlet. Like most solar backup generators, this one doesn't produce any toxic fumes like gas generators. Therefore, I can comfortably go camping yearly with it, since those campsites have a ban on some fuel generators.

This portable power station unit can power my entire RV without a problem. Additionally, carrying portable solar panels helps when you are outdoors. You won't struggle to charge it. Another feature worth mentioning is that you can control and optimize the power station and battery life with a remote control feature.

However, this unit needs 12 hours to charge to full capacity, especially when connected to an ac outlet.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Silent operation
  • Portable
  • High-capacity power station
  • Long-lasting battery capacity

Cons:

  • 500 discharge cycles bring the capacity to 80%

3) Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Solar Powered Portable Power Station

Sale
Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station, 1,516...
  • RELIABLE PORTABLE POWER: With a lithium-ion battery at its core,...
  • HIGH POWER ON THE MOVE: Our best-selling large power station...
  • EASY TO USE: Power a wide range of devices with seven different...
  • THREE WAYS TO CHARGE: Plug the Yeti 1500X into any 120-watt wall...
  • POWER IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND: Monitor, control, and optimize...

This is the unit for you if you want a smaller device that only provides backup power. It is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that ensures the energy storage capacity is always at an optimum level. I immediately hooked the generator onto all my power-hungry devices and got to rest easy.

Image Source: inverse.com

I was also impressed by the seven ports, including USB-C and USB-A ports. Depending on how much battery capacity I need, I have the option of hooking up my solar generator to a 600W outlet to charge it for 3 hours. Additionally, like other solar-powered generators, I can easily monitor and optimize the level of power left through its battery management system.

This unit is powerful enough to power up all my devices and some home appliances. Additionally, I found it easy to transport to my job sites. Still, I prefer purchasing a solar panel instead of using an electrical outlet since the panel is portable. Furthermore, this unit can be retrofitted in your garage, so you don't have to drag it out of storage every time.

Pros:

  • High battery capacity
  • Portable
  • Fast charging
  • Reliable
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Leaks power when not in use

4) Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 500

Sale
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh...
  • LONG LASTING ENDURANCE: The Explorer 500 portable power station...
  • THE PERFECT CAPACITY: With a 518 watt-hour (24Ah, 21.6V)...
  • SUPPORT PASS-THROUGH CHARGING: This power station features 1* AC...
  • DESIGNED FOR PORTABILITY: Same size as a basketball, this...
  • WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station...

While this is by no means a full home power backup, it is still very helpful for emergencies. After all, it is also one of the best solar-powered outdoor generators. It's a great power station that can charge phones and power a TV, a projector, or a lamp light. It also has an ac outlet and USB ports for versatile uses.

Image Source: poweredportablesolar.com

When I first opened the generator package, I was surprised to see how small the generator was. Of course, I didn't expect a large device, just not as small as a basketball. However, for a small generator, it gives the same power as most portable solar generators. Plus, it is easily portable, and the strong handle is part of the unit, which made sense to me.

Like most solar generators, this one goes beyond expectation, especially for the size, which is overkill and comes in handy on camping trips with my family. However, I would rather have extra power than no power at all. But how long can a generator continuously run?

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • High battery capacity
  • Long-lasting charge
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Not fast charging

5) EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

Sale
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA, UPS Power...
  • 【Multiple Charging Outputs Provide More Options】DELTA...
  • 【Triple Rechargeable Modes Efficient Solar Generator】EcoFlow...
  • 【Recharge From 0% TO 80% Within 1 Hour】EFDELTA can be...
  • 【High Performance and Handy Power Source】DELTA is a portable...
  • 【Product Guarantee & What You Can Get】 EcoFlow provides our...

With other solar generators, there is fast charging. However, this generator goes to full capacity within 2 hours of being charged from an ac outlet. Additionally, I realized that with maximum power point tracking, there is optimal battery function and power supply. This means I can easily charge my devices on multiple output ports and still have enough power.

Image Source: roadloft.com

When it comes to versatility, this solar generator takes the lead. I can use it at home as a power station for all my gadgets and still use it outdoors. Of course, depending on how much energy you need, you might need to carry additional batteries to meet all your electricity demands.

This one operates very silently, unlike generators that burn fossil fuels and are super noisy. It is one of the best innovations if you prefer portability and functionality above everything else. Plus, it's suitable for low-power needs or when you are off-grid.

Pros:

  • Silent operation
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Multiple-use function

Cons:

  • Not weatherproof

What Should You Look for When Buying a Solar Generator?

Image source: generatorshopusa.com

A solar generator power station is a very handy device. With the right maintenance, your generator will serve you for years. But how long do generators last with correct maintenance? Before settling on a solar generator, you should consider the following:

a) Battery Capacity

Before purchasing a generator, I learned solar generators run on stored energy through batteries. So, it is important to know the stored capacity and output rating. This will let you decide whether or not to buy the generator considering all other external factors, including the weather.

A battery with a high capacity and a low power rating will give you less electricity, but for an extended time. For example, if you get a 2000W solar generator with an 8000WH battery, you will get a peak power of 2000W. So unless you want a low power output, ensure you know what you want in terms of battery capacity.

b) Solar Panels

Solar panels exist for solar charging. Most solar panels for solar generators are purchased separately. However, it all depends on where you purchase your solar generator.

There are 3 types of solar panels:

i) Thin Films

Image source: globalopportunityexplorer.com

Thin film panels are a newer technology that makes solar panels cheaper, more flexible, and more durable. Therefore, most people go for them. However, it's important to consider that thin film panels are less efficient than other panels.

ii) Monocrystalline Panels

Image source: opsil.net

These are the most common types of panels. They are also more efficient than polycrystalline panels and hence generate more power. In addition, most of these panels come with a 25-30 year warranty.

iii) Polycrystalline Panels

Image source: forbeshome.com

Polycrystalline panels have the lowest efficiency however, they are suitable for roof-mounted arrays among homeowners.

c) Weight

I realized that the weight of your solar generator is important to consider depending on what you want to use it for. For example, it was much easier to carry around my Eco-Flow Power Station for a camping trip than my Yeti Generator. Although both power appliances are efficient, I will only take the Eco-Flow for portability. Solar generators range in weight, and portable generators start from 10Lbs and can go up to 70Lbs.

Generators under 1000WH will keep your electronics charged. However, you might need a 1500WH generator for a more permanent backup. If you have many appliances, calculate how much wattage they require collectively. This will inform the type, weight, and capacity of the generator you should consider buying.

d) Battery Type

You will have to choose between a lithium-ion and a lead-acid battery. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than their counterpart. However, they are lightweight. Lead acid batteries are used to power things like vehicles, while the other ones can be used to operate power tools.

Additionally, while Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than their counterparts, they have a longer lifespan. This is why some of the best solar generators use them for storing power.

e) Inverter

Simply put, an inverter converts direct current from the solar panel to an alternating current you can use. If you aren't using your generator often, a pure sine wave inverter might not be for you because it is expensive. But, even though they are expensive, they are very efficient, and you won't have to buy another one for ages.

A solar panel can function without an inverter; however, your generator will be damaged. You can power a television or lights, but it won't be efficient. It is also recommended to use the energy in your solar panels as frequently as possible. Failure to use the stored energy will result in energy discharge from your panels, especially at night.

f) Other Features to Consider

You can choose a solar generator with these features if you want multiple ac outlets, USB/C ports, and LED panel lights. However, buying your generator from a reputable company with excellent customer service is important. Therefore, a warranty should be issued upon purchase.

The Bottom Line

The solar generators I have recommended here are very useful. Not only will you get many years of usage, but they are also a fabulous way to have power during emergencies. Furthermore, solar generators are one of the best innovations of our time and are very sustainable.

Featured Image Source: palmettosolar.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.