If you’re someone who likes to keep the comforts of home with them even when you’re camping somewhere remote, you’ve probably looked into finding a generator to power your devices on the go. However, traditional generators need a constant supply of fuel, which is just as scarce in the wilderness as an electrical outlet!
Enter solar generators: a power source that runs off the sun. But do these gadgets really work? Read on to find out all about solar-powered generators and how to use them.
How Do Solar Generators Work?
At the most basic level, a solar-powered generator is a device that captures energy from the sun and stores it for later use. All solar generators need solar panels, a battery, a charge controller, and an inverter.
The panels absorb energy from the sun, the battery stores it, and the controller and inverter help turn that energy into usable power. Each of these parts has an impact on how much energy a solar generator puts out.
If your solar generator has a small battery, it won’t matter how much sunlight the panels capture. The battery capacity limits the capacity of the generator. At the same time, if the battery has a large capacity, but you don’t get enough sunlight, or the inverter is bad, your generator will make less usable power.
What Are the Best Conditions for Solar Generators?
The best conditions for a solar generator are clear skies and direct sunlight. Solar generators are a great source of clean, quiet energy, but they require post-peak conditions. You can’t control how often you get enough sunlight, so you have to maximize the weather you do get by choosing your generator carefully.
Because solar generators need strong sunlight, you’ll be better off investing in a high-capacity generator even if you don’t think you’ll need the full power. A small generator like the Patriot Power Solar Generator can take almost three hours to charge in peak conditions. If it’s cloudy, that charge time can stretch up to nine hours.
Once it’s full, that charge may only last you five hours, and only if you never use more than 1200 watts at a time. Like the Titan Solar Generator, a generator with a higher capacity can make five times that power in perfect conditions. Even in poor weather, this generator will perform better than a cheaper one in perfect weather.
What Can You Power with a Solar Generator?
The solar panel capacity and battery capacity make a huge difference in what items you can power with your solar generator. Almost all solar generators have a relatively small capacity, comparable to a portable generator that uses gas or diesel fuel.
You’re more likely to find a portable solar generator than a solar generator for a house. The amount of energy necessary to run a household requires a large surface area for solar panels and a significant battery capacity. Using solar energy for your home is possible, but it’s best achieved with a slightly different system than a generator.
Solar generators are more useful for powering items like cell phones, laptops, and smaller appliances. They make great power sources for camping trips, boating, or other outdoor activities when you only need a small amount of power.
Harness the Sun on Your Next Trip
Using portable solar generators is a great way to reduce your power footprint when you’re away from home. These gadgets might not be able to run your household, but they can power your campsite!
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