Best Portable Solar Generators 2020

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I update this list each year and only include models that receive overwhelmingly positive customer feedback on various forums and tech websites.

December 17, 2020: . Unsurprisingly, given the current trajectory of solar-power technologies, it was a very busy round of updates.

A combination of availability issues, poor consumer feedback and new-and-improved models led us to all but rebuild this list from scratch, with our only remaining selection being the Renogy Phoenix.

If you aren’t particularly electrically inclined, this can be a bit of a confusing category to shop in. If that’s the case, we likely don’t have enough space here to provide you with the answers to all of your questions, but we can give you a few tips.

Here’s three important things to keep an eye on while you assess your options:.

Solar Panels: Not all models come with one. In fact, it seems that many top companies sell their panels separately, affording their customers the flexibility of being able to decide just how much panel (or how many, for that matter) they need.

Without a companion panel, your solar generator will essentially act as a basic (though, albeit, sometimes very large) external battery pack.

You can use their adapters to charge them up with a standard 120-volt receptacle or your 12-volt car outlet, but when they run out of juice, you’ll be out of luck — until you can find your way back to a power source.

Models we ranked that come with, or have an option to come with, a solar panel include the Wawui Travel, Jackery Explorer 500, Jackery Explorer 1000 and Goal Zero Yeti 400.

If you're considering a model that doesn't come standard with hardware, then you might be interested in checking out our list of Best 100-Watt Solar Panels. Capacity: The vast majority of the time, battery capacities in this category are expressed in watt-hours.

Efficiency ratings can complicate this calculation, but for the sake of keeping things basic: a watt-hour denotes, quite simply, that a battery can put out a watt for an hour.

So, for example…. a fully charged 1,000-watt-hour battery can provide 1,000 watts to a single load for one hour;. a fully charged 1,000-watt-hour battery can provide 500 watts to two loads for one hour;. a fully charged 1,000-watt-hour battery can provide 500 watts to a single load for two hours;.

In this respect, models we ranked varied drastically. Units with larger capacities will very typically have bigger dimensions and larger unit weights, not to mention heftier price tags, so you’ll likely want to select a unit that balances portability and affordability with a capacity equal to or greater than your needs.

At 84 watt-hours the Wawui Travel has the lowest capacity of any model we ranked, while the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has the largest, at 2,982 watt-hours. Output: Regardless of what their rated watt-hour capacity is, each of these machines will have a separate maximum power output that's rated in watts.

While a unit's rated capacity will determine how long it can keep a load running for, its rated output determines which loads it can accommodate without causing an overload or overcurrent fault.

For example, The 120-volt AC outlet on the Jackery Explorer 160 has a 100-watt maximum output, which restricts it to things like charging laptops or powering small lamps.

2. FF FLASHFISH 300W Solar Generator

By contrast, the three 120-volt AC outlets on the Jackery Explorer 1000 have a 1,000-watt maximum output, which makes it possible for them to supply more demanding loads, like an electric grill or pressure cooker.

FAQ: How much power do these different generators provide?

If you have a good idea what loads you're hoping to supply with this generator, it's a good idea to check what their rated watt demands are, and make sure that they're equal to or lesser than the generator in question's maximum output rating.

June 14, 2019: . A solar generator usually consists of two main components: A panel and a portable power generator. The panel converts sunlight into electricity, and the generator is made up of an inverter and a battery.