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When it comes to preparing for power outages, there’s no better ally than a solar backup generator. Its ability to harness the unlimited power of the sun makes it a reliable and sustainable solution, providing you peace of mind during unexpected power failures.
Solar generators are typically designed for portable and off-grid use, and their power output is limited compared to traditional backup generators. But they can provide excellent supplementary power when you want to cut back on your grid use and lower your energy bills.
They are also an excellent resource for emergency power once the grid goes down. Plus if it’s portable enough you can pack it up in your trunk or RV and take it with you on your travels, especially if you are going off-grid.
Can Solar Be Used For A Whole House Backup Generator?
To act as a whole house backup generator, a generator must have a large enough capacity to power all essential appliances and systems in a home, such as HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, and communication devices. A typical whole house backup generator has a power output of 20,000 to 30,000 watts, which is much higher than solar generators currently on the market.
But if you make smart choices with your power requirements in an emergency situation, like not running your air con continuously with your solar generator, you can survive, and survive well with your supplementary portable power unit.
See below section about expanding your solar generator with extra batteries and smart generators.
What is a Solar Backup Generator?
A solar backup generator is a state-of-the-art system designed to capture, store, and convert solar energy into electricity. The unit contains a charge controller, batteries, and an inverter, it provides a consistent source of power during grid outages. You also need to accompany it with solar panels. You can buy a complete kit with the panels included, or use your own or existing panels and just buy the generator.
How Does a Solar Backup Generator Work?
Solar panels absorb sunlight, generating a flow of electrons, thereby creating direct current (DC) electricity. The charge controller then manages this DC power, directing it to the batteries for storage. Upon demand, the stored DC power is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity by an inverter suitable for common household appliances.
So basically it sucks up the sun via solar panels and transfers this energy to a battery. You can then plug in all your devices via usb ports, traditional wall plugs and some models can connect to your grid.
Why Choose a Solar Backup Generator?
Solar backup generators are champions of renewable energy. They harness solar power, a clean and limitless resource, eliminating the need for fossil fuels. This translates into fewer carbon emissions, promoting a cleaner and healthier environment.
Though the upfront cost of a solar backup generator might seem significant, the long-term benefits can far outweigh it. The primary operating resource, sunlight, is free, which means you can enjoy virtually zero operating costs. Moreover, with potential government incentives and savings on electricity bills, it’s an economically attractive solution.
Smart Energy Management & Independence
Having a solar backup generator can provide you with a good level of energy autonomy. This technology reduces your reliance on the power grid, allowing you to maintain power during grid failures or shortages. This independence can be incredibly reassuring, particularly during extreme weather conditions or emergencies.
When the power goes out you can keep your necessary cooking, medical and food storage appliances and devices running. Not to forget about having warm water. And having an ample supply of coffee from your machine can get you through many an emergency crisis or power outage!
Choosing the Right Solar Backup Generator
Solar Generator Capacity
When choosing a solar backup generator, the first factor to consider is its capacity. Evaluate your energy needs by identifying the key appliances you would need to power during an outage, and ensure the generator’s capacity aligns with these requirements.
The longevity of the generator’s power supply is determined by its battery life. The longer the battery life, the more resilient you will be during periods of limited sunlight or longer power outages.
Installation and Maintenance
While some homeowners may opt for a DIY approach, professional installation is often recommended to ensure safe and efficient operation. Technicians can provide expert guidance on the best location for solar panels and the necessary wiring configurations.
Regular Maintenance and Safety
Solar backup generators require minimal maintenance, you’ll find primarily maintenance with your kit involves cleaning the solar panels to ensure maximum sunlight absorption. However, routine checks on the overall system, including wiring, connections, and battery health, are also crucial for optimal safety and performance.
The Future of Solar Backup Generators
Solar technology is constantly evolving, making solar backup generators more efficient, affordable, and accessible. As individuals and communities seek to embrace sustainability and energy independence, solar backup generators are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of power generation.
Investing in a solar backup generator is not just a wise decision for reliable power backup; it’s also a commitment to sustainable living and environmental stewardship. While it provides a practical solution for power outages, it also champions cleaner energy and long-term cost savings, making it an excellent choice for homeowners.
- How much does a solar backup generator cost?
The cost of a solar backup generator varies, depending on capacity, brand, and whether you opt for portable or standalone. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Can a solar backup generator power my entire home?
If the solar backup generator’s capacity aligns with your home’s energy needs, it should power your home effectively during an outage. It’s essential to consider your energy needs during the purchase process.
- Do solar backup generators require a lot of maintenance?
Solar backup generators are designed for low maintenance. They mainly require regular cleaning of solar panels and occasional system checks. However, battery replacements might be necessary after several years of use.
- How long do the batteries of a solar backup generator last?
The lifespan of batteries depends on their type and usage. Generally, good quality batteries should last between 5 and 15 years.
- Are solar backup generators portable?
Some models are designed to be portable, offering flexibility for outdoor activities or emergencies. Others are more robust and stationary, meant for powering homes or buildings.
Makes Of Solar Generators That Are Able To Act As Home Backup Power Supplies
Goal Zero Yeti 3000X – This high-power solar generator packs a heavy punch. It has a 3032 watt-hour battery capacity which is capable of running power hungry appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and medical devices during a power outage. It has multiple charging options, including solar panels, wall outlets, and car ports
Bluetti AC200P – With a 2000 watt-hour battery capacity, this high-power solar generator can power a variety of appliances and systems in a home, such as HVAC, refrigeration, and all your electronic devices. It can be charged back up with solar panels, wall outlets, and car ports. It has a very impressive 13 output connections.
EcoFlow Delta Pro – This high-power solar generator has a 3600 watt-hour battery capacity and can power most essential appliances and systems in a home, such as air con unit, refrigeration, and laptops, TVs, tablets, phones etc. It has multiple charging options and can be charged from solar panels, wall outlets, or car ports. It is also expandable (more on that below).
MAXOAK Bluetti EB240 – With a 2400 watt-hour battery capacity, this high-power solar generator can power a variety of appliances and systems in a home, such as a small air conditioning unit, refrigeration, and smartphones/laptops/tablets. Solar panels, AC power and car ports can be used to recharge it.
Goal Zero Yeti 6000X – This high-power solar generator has a 6000 watt-hour battery capacity and can run power-hungry devices and appliances for days on end. It has all the usual multiple charging options, via solar panels, AC and of course you can charge it with your automobile.
Check out my post here on the aforementioned Goal Zero solar generators.
Expandable Solar Generators Can Up The Power
One of the drawbacks with using solar is capturing enough power from the sun to power your entire house. Solar generators are limited by battery size and energy storage and they require a lot of solar panels if you want to charge large capacity units. Unless you chain them together. Many solar generators have an expandable ecosystem.
Expandable solar generators provide the flexibility to increase power capacity as per your needs. They come with the option of adding more solar panels or batteries to the existing setup, thereby increasing their power generating and storage capacity.
When your power requirements increase, instead of buying a new, larger generator, you can simply add more solar panels or batteries to your existing system. This is not only cost-effective but also allows for a more customized solar solution tailored to your specific needs.
EcoFlow Delta Pro Expandable Options
The average American house uses 29kWh according to shrinkthatfootprint. So, if you do want total power independence you can run 2 x Ecoflow Delta Pro power stations alongside extra batteries and smart generators to utilize 25kWh of energy. Then you can almost completely opt out of the grid. You also need their smart panel to plug into your home curcuits for this to work.
You won’t have much change out of $10k and it’ll probably cost more if you want the optimum amount of solar panels.
Maybe worth considering if you want to completely escape the grid, over the long term it may be worth it. Even you wanted to use it alongside the grid you may be able to lower your energy costs to between 50-70%.
Dabbsson DBS2300 Can Be Expanded T0 8,000+WH
The Dabbsson Portable Power Station DBS2300 is a solar generator that has a 2330 watt-hour battery capacity and can power essential devices during a power outage or when off-grid. But, the DBS2300 can be expanded by connecting it to two DBS3000B batteries, which can increase its capacity up to 8,330Wh.
It’s also designed to be portable and can be easily transported for use during outdoor activities like camping or RV trips. It has multiple charging options, including solar panels, wall outlets, and car ports and it also comes with 5 AC outlets, making it suitable for powering a variety of appliances and devices in a home.
Benefits of Expandable Solar Generators
- Scalability – The primary advantage is scalability. You can start with a basic setup and expand as your power needs increase.
- Cost-effective – Over time, expanding an existing solar generator can be more cost-effective than buying a larger one upfront.
- Customizability – Expandable solar generators offer a higher degree of customizing. You can design a system that perfectly fits your current and future energy needs.
- Environmentally Friendly – Like all solar generators, expandable solar generators harness renewable energy, contributing to a greener planet.
Final Thoughts About Expandable Solar Backup Generators…
In conclusion, expandable solar generators are a versatile and future-proof solution for your power needs, providing you the flexibility to grow with your changing energy requirements. Both in terms of saving you money paying the grid, and also as the ideal solution for emergency power needs.
But remember they are not only are they great in blackouts, but they can also to help you with SMART energy management.