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7 Best Solar Generators for Backup in late 2020

Last update: Wed Aug 12 2020

Off-grid living sounds pretty inviting, especially in a world where technology and social media dominate our day to day. They are also handy tools to keep around for emergencies and are used as an alternative power source.

You have the portable solar generator options that are more easily transported and are much quieter than regular ones. However, most options on the market can function as a power station that can be charged through solar power, a regular ac plug, or a CIG port.

The big question is, do you need a solar generator? Just because you don’t live an adventurous life that takes you off the beaten path, a solar generator can still come in handy in times of crisis.


Reasons for a Backup Generator

1. PG&E Shutoffs

There are many reasons why PG&E may temporarily shut off power. Depending on where you live, you may be faced with severe weather conditions, fire threats, or other natural or man-made issues that may threaten public safety.

If the location of a part of the electric system is at stake, PG&E may decide to shut it off. In these cases, having a backup solar generator won’t leave you in the dust. You will still have access to power to charge your devices.

2. Power Outages During Wildfire Season

Most of us are familiar with the wildfires that devastated California last year. In these extreme cases, power outages can be inevitable. For this reason, the presence of a solar generator can offer you access to electricity regardless of outside conditions.

3. Hurricanes

Unfortunately, for some southern USA states, hurricane warnings come every year. Only a few of us have lived through the full impact of these storms, and many of us will say we wish we had access to electricity.

A preventative measure for when the next hurricane hits is to invest in a solar generator. This way, the machine can keep you protected during a storm.

4. Blackouts in General

Blackouts happen sometimes due to the failure of power grids. You can never really predict when they will hit, so to have a backup solar generator means you will always be ready.

5. Preserving the Contents of your Fridge

Solar generators come in different sizes and can keep small items like lightbulbs running to powering all your appliances. To guarantee the safety and freshness of the food in your fridge, a solar generator can keep things cool during a power outage.

6. Keeping Your Wi-Fi Working and Your Phone Charged

During disasters, people fear for the safety of their loved ones. Having working phones and computers is essential to reaching out to family and friends. A backup solar generator will keep your Wi-Fi running.


Benefits of Solar & Battery Powered Generators VS. Gas Generators

1. You Can Run Them Indoors

Since solar powered and battery powered generators are environmentally friendly and do not generate toxic fumes, they can be placed indoors. This means no running out in the cold and rainy weather to get them started!

They can be placed strategically and since the panels are portable, you can reposition them to optimize sunlight intake.

2. You Never Have to Buy Fuel Again

Solar powered generators do not require fuel as gas generators do. They get their power from electricity or the sun, so you never have to fear running out of power.

3. They are Noiseless

One big and very appealing benefit of solar and battery powered generators is their quiet operation. They are silent and will not permeate the room with loud background noise like gas generators do.

4. Portable

You can take solar and battery powered generators with you on a camping trip or set them up in your RV. This way, you will have access to electricity no matter where you go.

The Contenders


Maxoak Bluetti

The Maxoak Bluetti is a 1000W generator with a lithium polymer battery cell. It features multiple outputs for a variety of products and can power devices like mini fridges to lights and fans.


Despite or because of the name (what does it mean?), this is one of the most popular backup devices out there. See below a great review of the slightly bigger model. This relatively new company has been selling solar kits for a while now.

It also offers users the option to charge the Maxoak Bluetti with solar panels, but they are not included in your initial purchase. You can reach a full charge in just 12 hours to power your household items for longer than the average product.

You get everything you need right out of the box for an easy setup and the backup generator also features fancy capabilities such as an LCD display screen and more safeguards.

Pros

  • High power
  • Longer life cycle
  • Multiple outputs
  • Can be solar recharged
  • LCD display screen
  • Safeguards
  • Easy setup
  • Auto shut-off after full charge

Why We Like It

The Maxoak Bluetti has an auto shut-off function when the device is fully charged to prevent overheating.


Ecoflow Delta

The Ecoflow Delta features a sleek and luxurious design that packs a lot of power. It has a large invertor load, which can handle high-powered appliances under 1800W.


Originally launched on Kickstarter, this is a great backup generator with a very high max output in the kilowatts. Very strong inverter is the main selling point here.

The backup generator has three rechargeable modes: with the lithium battery, solar panel or AC wall adapter. It doesn’t matter where you are, you never have to worry about running out of juice.

The best part about the Ecoflow Delta is it charges to its full capacity in just 2 hours. This is due to the patented X-Stream Technology that allows the Delta to recharge at 10x the speed of regular generators.

Pros

  • Fast recharge time
  • Large invertor load
  • Triple recharge methods
  • High performance
  • 24-month warranty
  • Sleek design

Why We Like It

We like the Ecoflow Delta because it knocks it out of the park with the short recharge time.


Sunboxlabs

Sunboxlabs offers silent and gas-free generators ranging from 300W to 1000W depending on your needs. Each one is battery powered with rechargeable batteries and have the option of running on solar power by adding solar panels to your purchase for an additional price.


The solar generators from Sunboxlabs can run simple lights, your phone, laptop, basic household appliances, your Wi-Fi router and even coffee makers.

The devices themselves go for a reasonable price, but we will admit the addition of solar panels can really rack up the price. However, once you consider the benefits of solar power such as unlimited access, the price is well worth it.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Option to add solar panels
  • Noiseless
  • Gas-free
  • Can power most household items
  • Offers 1-on-1 support if necessary
  • Free shipping

Why We Like It

The backup generators from Sunboxlabs are straightforward to set up, eco-friendly and can be charged while in use.


Goal Zero Yeti


Goal Zero Yeti is no greenhorn in the solar power generator field. The Yeti 400 for example can charge regular household appliances multiple times before needing a recharge. You can connect up to a whopping 7 separate devices to the generator at once. It includes a 400Wh battery, and a 300W pure sine inverter for powering the outlets.

The 400 comes with a Boulder 50 solar panel, which offers 50 watts of power through sunlight absorption. To make operating the device easier, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 has an LCD display screen that will illustrate information such as runtime and more.

The Goal Zero Yeti solar generators are relatively lightweight compared to other brands and are very easy to set up.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Optionally comes with a 50-watt solar panel
  • LCD display
  • Easy to set up
  • Can charge up 7 to 7 devices simultaneously
  • Batteries can be recharged with a regular outlet
  • Powerful

Why We Like It

Goal Yeti solar generators are lightweight yet powerful, which makes them a great contender for lovers of the outdoors.


WattFun Solar Generator


The WattFun solar generator has a small and compact profile that weighs in at a mere 13.5 pounds. However, due to the small size it also has less power than other options. For this reason, we recommend the WattFun solar generator for short camping trips and quick emergency power.

The small solar generator was designed specifically for wireless charging of mobile phones laptops and other small outdoor appliances. It is also equipped with an LED light and SOS mode for emergencies.

There are three ways to charge this solar generator and the ports are suitable for most electronics. The small size makes the WattFun solar generator easily portable without any fumes or noise!

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Lightweight
  • Wireless charging (!)
  • Three charging options
  • Ports suited for most devices
  • LED light
  • SOS emergency mode
  • Everything included in the package

Why We Like It

The Wattfun solar generator is a small option for those just looking for power during a quick getaway.


Nature’s Generator


Nature’s Generator is the ultimate option for eco-enthusiasts with the inclusion of a 100-watt solar panel and a wind turbine!

It’s one of the only backup generators out there that can operate on wind power. With the addition of this wind turbine, you will have an additional method of charging to guarantee you never run out of power even during overcast days.

It’s extremely versatile and great for off-grid traveling and homeowners. The generator is capable of providing 720-watts of power. It’s small size makes the generator highly portable for a variety of functions.

Pros

  • Extra wind turbine
  • Solar power
  • Chargeable
  • Small size
  • Highly portable

Why We Like It

The additional wind turbine puts to rest any concerns users have about overcast winter days.


Rockpals


Rockpals solar generators come with different wattages. The 300 watt is the highest capacity offered by Rockpals with a lithium power pack.

The solar panel is sold separately but can add to the existing wall charging method for quick recharging of the device.

It features a pure sine wave inverter, which inductive devices such as microwaves will run faster and quieter than with other backup generators.

Pros

  • Small size
  • Can be solar powered
  • Lithium power pack
  • Pure sine wave inverter
  • No fumes
  • Sturdy construction

Why We Like It

The pure sine wave inverter will guarantee smooth, quiet and faster operation for inductive devices.


Jackery Explorer


The Jackery brand specializes in outdoor power solutions. It features pure sine wave AC outlets that are compatible with most devices that utilize the same charging method.

You can recharge the Jackery Explorer generator anywhere thanks to the 100-watt solar panel that is sold separately. It’s the perfect solution for electricity access for RVs, short trips, and living in the outdoors.

The smooth interface is easy to use and the generator features an LCD screen that displays vital information including battery power, and power input and output.

Pros

  • 500 watts
  • Can be solar powered
  • A variety of uses
  • Easy to use
  • LCD screen
  • Pure sine wave inverter

Why We Like It

The Jackery Explorer backup generator has a quiet and smooth operation to give you peace of mind even in the middle of the night.


FAQ

Is this good battery backup for an apartment?

Yes, if you purchase one with a compact size, a solar powered portable generator is a great option as a backup power source for an apartment.

Are these good temporary solar panels for renters?

Yes, a backup generator with solar panels for recharging is a great temporary solution for renters. It can even help save on your utilities bill over time (though the savings will be small due to the small system size). You can then take it with you when you move, unlike a solar panel that is attached to your roof.

What if the power goes out?

When the power goes out, a solar powered backup generator can provide a quick and easy solution until the issue is fixed. Solar-powered backup generators can power most household appliances and give you access to the internet during emergencies.


Conclusion

There is no debate that a backup generator is essential to shield you from the effects of power outages. It’s difficult to estimate how long power outages can last, especially if it’s due to natural disasters. In this case, a solar powered backup generator can power your home until the issue is solved.

Backup generators can preserve the contents of your fridge to keep your family fed, power regular appliances such as microwaves and TVs as well as your Wi-Fi router to ensure you can communicate with the world in the case of emergencies.