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When is it worth getting a solar generator?

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You may consider a generator if you’re prone to power outages or need to generate power when you’re off-grid.

Generators offer peace of mind and an energy solution, but there are a vast variety of generators to choose from, gas generator, standby generator, portable generator.

Most generators rely on fossil fuels to produce their power output, be it diesel, petrol, or natural gas, but if you’re looking for a renewable power solution you may be considering buying a solar generator, also known as a portable power station.

Solar generators use solar energy to produce power. They use solar panels to harness the sun’s energy, and the solar input is stored in a battery bank ready to provide battery power when you need it.

Although sunshine is not something we are always blessed with in the UK, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you can generate and store energy.

If you’re conscious about the environment or are worried about the supply of fossil fuels, it may be time to consider investing in a solar generator.

Why do people get a solar generator?

One of the main reasons people buy a solar power generator is sustainable living and the desire to use renewable energy. Something the world is quickly transitioning to in hopes of protecting the environment.

With rising energy costs and fears of fossil fuels becoming unavailable, solar power is becoming more and more popular. So now you’ll see an increasing number of homes with a full solar panel system installed to power the entire home, saving money on the electricity bill.

Solar generators can be used as a backup power source, and people often use them to offset energy use in the home or office. Depending on how much energy the solar generator can produce, it might be used to power tools or certain appliances, such as an air conditioning unit.

People often favour solar generators because they are quieter than fuel or gas generators. If you’re camping, for example, you can leave your solar generator harnessing the sun’s energy throughout the day and use the stored energy in the battery pack to quietly power devices overnight.

The other substantial positive of a solar-powered generator is that unlike gas generators and fuel-powered generators, solar generators don’t burn fuel to generate energy, meaning they don’t emit pollutants or harmful carbon dioxide fumes.

How much do solar generators cost?

The potential downside for most solar-powered generators is the initial investment. Like any generator, it depends on what size solar generator you need and whether you want the best solar generators on the market.

Deciding on the ideal solar generator for your power needs is vital. When buying a solar generator, like any generator, you need to know what you’ll be using it for, and the more power you need, the more likely the initial investment.

On average, you’ll be looking at costs between £300 – £2,000 for a solar-powered generator, depending on the size and use and whether it’s a portable solar generator or fixed. You may also have additional costs for solar panels and solar panel installation.

You may have Additional costs for solar panels and batteries

Most solar generators will come with an inverter and battery storage but not always solar panels. Depending on the battery capacity, you may also want to invest in multiple batteries to store all the solar energy you need.

The type of solar battery you buy for your solar generator will also affect the price. Typically batteries used to store solar energy are lithium-ion batteries or lead acid batteries. On the whole, lithium batteries are the best solar generator battery solution, although they do tend to cost more.

Although the initial costs are pretty substantial, solar generators will generally last 25-30 years. You will save on fuel and energy costs in the long run, which can make a solar generator worth having.

What are the pros and cons of a solar generator?

Solar-powered generators have many benefits. Using solar panels to harness energy from the sun, storing that energy in a battery, and then converting the energy into AC power, which will enable you to power most appliances or devices.

Portable solar generators tend to have USB ports and AC outlets so you can charge and run your devices on the go.

Suppose you’re using a solar-powered generator at home or in the office. In that case, you’ll be able to use the energy drawn through the solar panels to power appliances and equipment such as an air conditioner.

Unlike fuel or gas powered generators, solar-powered generators don’t require you to buy fuel regularly, you’re getting this free from the sun!

Of course, the downside (especially in the UK) is you’re not always guaranteed sunshine. If there is no stored power in the battery and the solar panel isn’t getting enough sunlight, you could be caught short in sudden power outages.

What makes solar generators worth their weight in gold is their environmentally friendly ability to use a clean, renewable energy resource, which is a huge advantage over fuel and gas powered generators.

Here’s a snapshot of the pros and cons of solar generators

Solar generators advantages

  • No fuel is required
  • It’s clean, renewable energy
  • They run quietly
  • They are low maintenance

Solar Generators disadvantages

  • They are a more expensive investment
  • Solar batteries can be slow to charge
  • They only charge when the sun is out
  • You’ll be limited to the size of the battery capacity

Should I get a solar system or a portable power station?

As with any decision over a generator, it depends on your needs. If you’re going to use it for power at home or an office, you may want to consider a solar system with fixed solar panels, which come with an inverter or grid inverter.

These systems allow you to use the sun’s energy to power your home and feed power back to the grid, which you can receive payment for. However, they don’t often come with storage batteries, and these are expensive, so you are relying on the sunshine to generate the power.

Solar generators, or portable power stations, have an inverter and battery storage in one compact portable unit. Once they have power stored, you’ll be able to use this at any time, rain or shine!

If you’re looking to power electricals on the move and are not worried about feeding power back to the grid, portable solar generators (power stations) may be a better solution. You’ll also be able to use them indoors or outdoors.

Conclusion

Solar generators are a fantastic clean energy solution for generating power. Not only are they good for the environment, but they also are quiet, don’t smell, and don’t release harmful emissions like regular fuel generators.

Of course, relying on the sun in the UK can be an issue, but with batteries for storing the energy, you’re less likely to run into any problems.

Paul Phelps Solar Power Owner
Paul Phelps
Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protect your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.
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