Best Solar Generators – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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Solar power generators are a great off-grid alternative power source for light use. Portable solar powered generators are more lightweight, don’t produce any fumes nor run on fossil fuels and don’t make noise like regular portable generators.

Many solar powered generators are actually an all-in-one portable power station with a rechargeable battery that can be charged with a solar panel, wall outlet AC supply or through a CIG port.

Below are 8 examples of great solar power generators. Read on for our quick portable solar power generator buying guide to help you decide which portable power station is most suitable for you.

1. Ecoflow River Solar Power Rechargeable Portable Power Station

EF ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station Generator 412Wh 114000mAh High Capacity 500W Output Max Quiet Rechargeable Emergency Power Supply 11 Charging Ports Easy Carry Handle

Features

  • Running Watts: 300
  • Surge Watts: 600
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Capacity: 412 Wh

More features: Has 11 outlets for powering multiple devices and can reportedly hold a charge for up to 1 year.

The Ecoflow River portable power station is quite powerful for a solar power generator and packs that power in a sleek and compact design. It is also a very sturdy design with proven functionality in temperatures between -4° – 140° Fahrenheit.

The Ecoflow River has a capacity of 412 Wh which the manufacturers claim is enough to power light for 100 hours, a mini portable refrigerator for 10 hours and fully charges laptops at least 5 times and mobile phones at least 30 times. You can connect these appliances using any of the 11 outlets including AC, DC and CIG outlets and USB ports.

Above the electrical outlets is an informative LCD screen showing battery level, how much longer it can run and its power output.

It is very lightweight for how much power it has and also nicely portable with its carrying handle. The power station is compatible with the Ecoflow Solar Panel Charger but this is sold separately.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet powerful
  • 11 outlets
  • Smart temperature management system

Cons

  • Does not include solar panels

2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Solar Power Station

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator Kit with Nomad 20 Solar Panel

Features

  • Running Watts: 300
  • Surge Watts: 600
  • Weight: 41 lbs
  • Capacity: 396 Wh

More features: Can recharge from AC, 12V or solar panels. Has US-based customer service center.

Goal Zero Yeti is a well-respected brand in portable solar power generators.

Let’s translate these watts into what you can charge. At full charge the Goal Zero Yeti 400 can fully charge a laptop 5 times, a mobile phone 30 times and run small household appliances like a coffee maker for several hours.

You can directly connect up to 7 electrical devices to the solar power generator at the same time. There are two 120 volt AC outlets, two 2.1A USB ports and two 12 volt DC outlets and one outlet for charging the battery from the car.

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is delivered with the Boulder 50 solar panel which is a 50 watt monocrystalline plug-and-play solar panel. The Boulder 50 solar panel can stand on its own using the detachable kickstand which you can remove for a permanent installment.

The LCD display offers useful information such as the run time, realtime input from the solar panel and real time power output. This offers insight on whether the solar panel is ideally placed and whether you should consider plugging in the generator into a home outlet for charging.

The Ecoflow River has a capacity of 412 Wh which the manufacturers claim is enough to power light for 100 hours, a mini portable refrigerator for 10 hours and fully charges laptops at least 5 times and mobile phones at least 30 times. You can connect these appliances using any of the 11 outlets including AC, DC and CIG outlets and USB ports.

Above the electrical outlets is an informative LCD screen showing battery level, how much longer it can run and its power output.

It is very lightweight for how much power it has and also nicely portable with its carrying handle. The power station is compatible with the Ecoflow Solar Panel Charger but this is sold separately.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet powerful
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • Can charge with regular outlet

Cons

  • Can take awhile to charge

3. Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator

Renogy Phoenix 246.24Wh/150W Portable Generator All-in-one Kit with 20W Built-in Solar Panel for Outdoors Camping Travel Emergency Off-Grid Applications, Phoenix, Black

Features

  • Running Watts: 150
  • Surge Watts: 150
  • Weight: 12.8 lbs
  • Capacity: 210 Wh

More features: Can charge via solar, AC or car power. Lightweight and compact.

This is one of the most portable solar power generators thanks to it being lightweight and in an easy to carry briefcase design. The Renogy Phoenix folds open to expose two pre-installed 10 watt monocrystalline solar panels, 1 AC outlet, 2 DC outlets, 3 USB ports and 1 CIG port.
The Renogy Phoenix is expandable to up to 100 watts using any solar panel brand which speeds up recharging the battery to just 2.5 hours. This portable generator can also be charged through a wall outlet or car outlet.

The battery is a 16Ah Li-ion which is replaceable so you could potentially swap out the batteries for continuous power. The Renogy Phoenix can store its power for up to 2 months.

Pros

  • Extremely portable & compact
  • Quick recharge when expanded
  • Non-proprietary and expandable

Cons

  • Overheats in temperatures over 104F
  • Only suitable for light use

4. Jackery Explorer 440 Solar Generator

Jackery Portable Power Station Generator Explorer 440, 440Wh Solar Generator Lithium Backup Power Supply with 110V/300W (500W Peak) Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter for RV, Camping CPAP Fishing Emergency

Features

  • Running Watts: 300
  • Surge Watts: 500
  • Weight: 12.6 lbs
  • Capacity: 440 Wh

More features: Charges in 8 hours via wall socket and 8-10 hours via solar panels. Comes with convenient LED screen, temperature / voltage control and more.

The Jackery Explorer 440 has the largest capacity in its series with 440 Wh good for charging sensitive electronic devices like smartphones, drones and cameras. Like the Renogy Phoenix, this portable power station packs more power than you would expect for weighing just over 12 pounds.

This rechargeable battery features 1 AC outlet, 2 DC outlets, a CIG port and 2 USB ports. It also has a small LCD screen that shows the input, output and remaining run time.

The most compatible solar panel is the Jackery solar panel 100 watts which connects with a simple extension cable. The solar panel is not included.

Other useful safety features are the circuit breaker, voltage control, surge protection, temperature control and battery management system. The Jackery Explorer 440 is safe for overnight use since it has an automatic shutoff time when drawn under 10 watts of power.

Pros

  • Lightweight but powerful
  • Comes with multiple safety features
  • Good for outdoors, festivals etc.

Cons

  • Excludes solar panels
  • Can't charge via car port

5. HomeGrid 5000HD Portable Solar Generator

HomeGrid 5000HD Portable Solar Generator (Standard) 110V/220V: Heavy Duty 5000 watts w/Batteries and Solar, Long Term Backup Power, Off-Grid Complete Home Backup

Features

  • Running Watts: 5,000
  • Surge Watts: 10,000
  • Weight: 120 lbs
  • Capacity: 4,200 Wh

More features: Features an 1800 watt hour battery, 120V and 240V outputs, and is great if you need a heavy-duty backup power source.

Moving on to the most powerful portable solar power generator; the HomeGrid 5000HD. This big solar power generator was designed as home backup generator which is why it carries so much power.

Its 5000 watts of running power is enough to run a variety of household appliances like a refrigerator, AC unit or portable heater making it a great power source for emergencies power outages. The HomeGrid 5000HD is a heavy-duty portable generator that is weather resistant and designed for prolonged use.

This solar powered portable generator can connect to both 120 volt and 240 volt circuits making it a perfect fit for most homes. If you plan on using the HomeGrid 5000HD elsewhere, you can move it around using the trolley design wheels and pulling handle.

This model can store 3700 watts of power. Its rechargeable battery is also expandable for when you want even more power for your home.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty & weather resistant
  • Very powerful
  • Expandable rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Can be pricey for some

6. PAXCESS S320 100-Watt Portable Solar Power Generator

100-Watt Portable Generator Power Station, 40800mAh 151Wh CPAP Battery Pack, Home Camping Emergency Power Supply Charged by Solar Panel/Wall Outlet/Car with Dual 110V AC Inverter, DC 12V, USB Ports

Features

  • Running Watts: 100
  • Surge Watts: 150
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Capacity: 155 Wh

More features: Can be charged via sun, outlet, or car port. Care port and outlet adapters are included but solar panel is sold separately. 

This is the lightest portable rechargeable battery on our list of the best solar power generators. It is meant for light use but is an overall versatile design with both AC and DC outlets and USB ports.

The PAXCESS S320 is a very safe solar power station that is even IATA approved for air travel meaning you can carry it with you all over the world. It has a battery management system that controls voltage, current and temperature.

The PAXCESS S320 is most compatible with the PAXCESS 50 watt solar panel which only needs a connection cable for safe linking. PAXCESS recommends this rechargeable battery for CPAP machines but it should be connected to a DC converter for the longest run time.

Pros

  • Most lightweight on this list
  • Versatile functionality
  • 3 different chargins options

Cons

  • Only for light use

7. Audew High Capacity Portable Battery Power Station

Audew 220Wh/60000mAh Portable Battery Generator Power Station Lithium Battery Power Supply with Silent 110V/60Hz,Max 200W AC Power Inverter,DC 12V/5A &USB Ports,Charged by Wall Outlet/Car/Solar Panel

Features

  • Running Watts: 200
  • Surge Watts: 250
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Capacity: 220 Wh

More features: Easy-to-see LED indicator shows charge remaining. Good for outdoors or in power outage situations for charging small devices. Built in Battery Management System (BMS) for safety.

The Audew portable power station has a high capacity of 60,000 mAh. This rechargeable battery can fully charge with any 50 watt or 100 watt solar panel in 8 hours but it can also be plugged into a regular wall outlet or car outlet.

This portable solar generator has enough power for running a car refrigerator for 5 hours, a desk fan for 8 hours and fully recharges smartphones and laptops several times. It does not have amazing power for a solar powered generator but it is enough for the basic electrical devices.

This very portable model is also pre-installed with an intelligent battery management system (BMS) that controls temperature and voltage. A final unique feature is that the AC outlets is a universal plug so it can connect to devices designed for anywhere in the world.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile functionality
  • Safety features and LED indicators
  • Can get a good amount of use from one cycle

Cons

  • Not "technically" a solar generator but can be charged via solar panels

8. Suako Outdoors Portable Solar Power Station

SUAOKI 400Wh/120,000mAh Portable Generator Power Station Power Supply with Quiet 300W DC/AC Inverter, 12V Car, DC/AC/USB Outputs for Outdoors Camping Travel Fishing Hunting CPAP Trips

Features

  • Running Watts: 300
  • Surge Watts: 600
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs
  • Capacity: 400 Wh

More features: Features Battery Management System (BMS) for safety. Also has intuitive LED screen to easily monitor output, charge level and more in the dark.

This retro design portable power station packs good power in a lightweight compact design. It holds enough power for all the basic light use devices like personal electronics, car battery and lighting.

The Suako solar power station is suitable for outdoor power activities like camping and fishing as it is easy to carry with its handle. Though this solar power battery is compatible with other solar panel brands, using the Suako Solar Panels will give you the longest run time.

The design is quite sturdy since it is made with a high quality aluminum alloy casing. The design also features a button for switching between AC and DC electricity plus a small LCD screen for monitoring the input, output and battery life.

Pros

  • Easily switch between DC & AC
  • Lightweight but powerful for its size
  • Can charge via outlet, solar or car

Cons

  • Can't use when charging

Solar Powered Generator Buying Guide

A solar powered generator has many benefits but they are not suitable for every purpose. Ask yourself the following questions to decide whether a portable solar power generator will work for you and which type is the best solar power generator for your needs.

How much power do you need?

Most portable solar powered generators are very lightweight but this often goes hand in hand with low power output compared to inverter generators and conventional portable generators. First calculate how much power you need by checking the power consumption of all the devices you wish to power with the generator.

Remember that most solar power generators don’t carry much power so if you are hoping to use the generator as a home backup generator you might be better off with a heavy duty solar power generator.

Does the portable power station include a solar panel?

Not every portable power station that is labeled solar powered actually includes a solar panel. Check whether a solar panel is included and when it is not check whether the portable power station works with proprietary solar panels only or can also connect to other solar panels of other brands.

Do you need a quiet generator that does not emit any fumes?

A solar power portable generator is the only generator that is safe for indoor use because it does not run on fossil fuels and so does not emit any fumes. Plus, many models are a rechargeable battery without an engine so they are virtually silent generators.

How portable should the generator be?

Most solar power portable power stations are lightweight making them highly portable. However, a few heavy duty models are heavy and so not suitable for outdoor activities and road trips.

Is solar energy enough?

If you live in a place where you cannot rely on plentiful sun hours, you need a portable power station with alternative charging options. Fortunately, most portable solar power station are also rechargeable through a car outlet or regular wall outlet.

Bear in mind that fully charging a portable power station can take several hours so make sure that you keep the battery charged in case of emergencies. Also, not all units can be used while charging so check for this feature.

Are solar powered generators a good alternative power source for you?