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With fossil fuels being depleted more and more, it makes sense to shift towards sustainable products in the current day and age – solar generators are no exception to this.
How much does a solar generator cost, though? The price depends on the size and battery capacity of the solar generator. But generally, while an average gas generator will cost you $1000, the upfront cost of a solar generator will be about $2000
Read more to know about the prices of various kinds of solar generators based on size and battery capacity, whether solar generators are worth the cost or not, and other information to help you make an informed decision if you’re confused about whether to invest in a solar generator or not.
Prices of Solar Generators Based on Size and Wattage
A cost analysis of the different varieties of solar generators is given below:
1) Low Power Solar Generators
Low power solar generators may usually cost you around 100$. They usually come with multiple outlets and USB ports, and provide 5 watts of power. They’re inexpensive because they’re low power, so you can’t expect them to run much of your appliances in the house.
Some low power generators are able to charge small devices like phones and laptops, and you can expect a reasonable price of 500$ for them.
2) High Power Solar Generators
High power solar generators come in various sizes and battery capacities, with those costing around 2000$-3000$ being able to be used as backup power outlets for your home. They cannot be used to power the entire house alone off-grid, though.
There are, however, solar generators that are able to power an entire house or building, with prices ranging from 10,000$ to 50,000$ with the shipping charges being around 500$-1000$ depending on where you live.
Do Solar Generators Cost More than Gas-Powered Generators?
At first glance, it might seem like solar generators cost more than their gas-powered counterparts, but in reality, you save more with solar generators in the longer run, because of the following reasons:
1) Solar Generators Don’t Require You to Purchase Fuel
Unlike conventional generators which thrive on fossil fuels, solar generators draw their energy from the sun which is a renewable energy source, so you’ll be saving a lot of money by not having to constantly purchase fuel as in the case of gas powered generators.
2) Solar Generators Don’t Require Much Maintenance
Solar generators usually don’t have any moving parts unlike gas generators, which means you won’t have to constantly face situations like parts of your generator breaking and requiring you to get them fixed, which itself is a costly process.
Low maintenance is an aspect of almost all solar-powered devices, and it makes them cheaper in the long run as you won’t have to invest in extra maintenance costs every now and then.
3) Solar Generators Last Longer than Gas Generators
Because they draw their energy from the sun which is a renewable energy source, solar generators last longer, which means you won’t have to get them replaced that often, leading to the conclusion they cost lesser as compared to gas generators.
Can Solar Generators be Used Instead of Gas Generators?
This is where things get tricky a bit. While solar generators are an amazing investment, it might not be the best idea to use them to run the entire house.
Solar generators take a while to charge, and this may take longer on overcast days or if you live at a place where the weather is usually not that sunny. It is smart, however, to use solar generators in conjunction with gas generators.
Using them together means you’ll be saving more money and also be getting more efficiency. If you use gas generators alone, you’ll have to invest a bit too much in the fuel refilling and maintenance costs.
This does not mean you cannot run an entire house on solar generators. You can, but it is a bit of an expensive process and may require you some research based on the energy needs of your particular place.
Are Solar Generators Worth Buying?
Solar generators might cost a bit more at the front-end, but they’re a worthwhile investment. For one, you get a product that’s sustainable not just in terms of the environment, but also in terms of efficiency and longevity.
You can use solar generators not just as an emergency backup, but also if you just need something that can provide extra electricity. Their portability, compatibility with a variety of device, and user-friendly interface also justify their prices.
Amazon Product Recommendations
We’ve listed some of the best solar generators below based on their overall efficiency and the amount of power they can provide. Amazon links have also been mentioned for your interest.
This 800 watts solar power kit by ECO-WORTHY comes in a package that includes 4 pieces of 195W solar panels, a combiner box, a 60A charge controller, and so on.
It’s very suitable for home or RV use as it provides a high power output of 3.2 KWH. It can run plenty of devices such as refrigerators, coffee makers, phones, laptops, roof vent, etc.
Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station provides 1500 Watt hours, and is one of the best solar generators for those living in an RV. It’s also quite portable so you can take it along with you on campsites or just use it as a backup energy source at home when the power runs out.
It’s also very user-friendly, as you can operate it simply through the Yeti 3.0 app on your phone. When recharged with a Goal Zero solar panel, the MPPT charge controller increases efficiency by 30%.
BLUETTI Portable Power Station can be used not only to power various appliances but can also be relied on in the case of unexpected power outages. It not only has a decent 2000Wh of energy capacity but is also charged fast within 3-3.5 hours on a 700W solar input.
It can also power up to 17 devices simultaneously and has the option of an automatic Eco mode which shuts the generator down when not being used. There’s also a smart LED screen displaying how much battery is remaining.
To save money, solar-powered generators of any sort without batteries are a good option. However, solar generators with a battery have a lot of benefits. Solar-powered generators are listed as “solar with battery–type.”
If you end up having a solar panel that directs the electricity to your house through an inverter, you won’t have any power during the night or during bad weather. In these cases, having a battery would not only help you have electricity during the nighttime and during bad weather, but it would also help you get by better in peak hours, thus saving you even more on the electricity bills.
Another benefit of having a battery included with your solar-powered generator is that you won’t be wasting that abundant solar energy at noon, and you’ll be able to utilize that energy for later use—and this is not possible for the setup that doesn’t include a battery.
The last benefit that we will discuss here would be emergency use. If the grid power is turned off in your area, the solar-powered generator will not work, and the inverter will not supply energy even when the energy-absorbing time is at its peak. This is simply because of the safety measures in place during these scenarios.
To be able to power your house even when the grid is off, it’s mandatory that you would need to have a battery. As another plus, though, you would also be able to solely use solar completely at peak hours, thus lowering your bill even more. The only downside to the inclusion of a battery is the high cost.
What Are Some of the Cons of Solar Generators?
Solar generators are sustainable yet functional devices, yet they have their own drawbacks. The biggest is that they recharge slowly, and how fast they charge depends on weather conditions, so you’ll have to rely on gas generators alone if the weather is unsuitable.
Apart from that, solar generators may provide you limited energy, unlike gas generators that can be refueled anytime.
Do Solar Generators Come in a Kit?
Most solar generators in the market come in a kit containing all the necessary equipment to help run them, such as the battery inverter and the solar panel. Some sellers may just sell you the isolated generator though, and you’ll have to buy the other parts separately.
Do You Still Pay Electricity Bills with Solar Panels?
You do, but only for the energy, you’ve used from the grid. That means you’ll be saving through the amount of energy you consumed only from the solar panels since that isn’t counted in the electricity bills.
Yes—solar-powered generators are great! Although the initial cost may be high, the return on investment is what makes them a really great deal.
The smaller ones are adequate for occasional outlanding or some slight emergencies, and the bigger backup generators can supply electricity along with your main electricity lines, helping you cut down on your electric bills. The government subsidies are a huge plus as well and will help you save even more bucks.
Yes, actually, a solar backup generator can run a whole house. However, it does depend on some of the factors listed below:
- The capacity of your solar power generator
- The number of appliances you want to run
- The amount of charge that the batteries have stored
- The KW of the solar-powered generator
- Weather conditions
- Time of the day
Yes, solar-powered generators can run refrigerators. They can even run a microwave oven, but you can’t expect a tiny model of a solar-powered generator to do that for you. A generator that can cost somewhere around $200 would be able to run that much for just a few hours only. A bigger, more expensive generator will be able to accomplish this for a much longer period of time.
This is where the KWh unit comes in handy. With finding out the KWh rating of an appliance, you will then be able to calculate just how much KW the appliance is going to require within an hour and can plan your purchases and use of your generators accordingly.
Solar-powered generators are safe. However, they do tend to get hot. If you put them out in the open like the solar panels themselves, you can expect a fire to very likely break out.
It is advised to place any solar-powered generators under a shade or highly shaded area away from sunlight. Ideally, this would be inside the house or someplace else significantly cool.