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Transportable Solar Power

Jessica PirroMay 16, 201910920

Solar power isn’t just for your rooftop, with today’s developing technologies you are able to use products such as a solar generator as a backup use of power in case the grid goes down. These generators also can be used as a power source for your RV while camping.

What is a solar generator?

When using the term solar generator, it can be in reference to whatever solar energy system is being powered by the sun. However, normally people who are using the term solar generator they are talking about the portable solar setup that comes with a specialized battery system attached.

These systems are unique because the use solar panels to soak up the energy that is produced by the sun. The system then stores the energy in a portable storage system to use at a later time.

Most solar powered generators are not the ideal solution to power an entire home or your property, they can be a very good solution as an emergency backup for when your power goes off, or a source of power for a boat or an RV.   

How solar generators work

There are two main parts of to the solar energy product, the solar panels and the storage system. You can store solar energy by putting the solar panels in direct sunlight while they are connected to storage system.

After the panels have been laying in the sun for a while, when you need to use the power that was stored, it can be pulled from the battery system to power whatever is needed to be powered. A lot of solar generators are sold coming with a complete all in one kit, but there are options for buying the panels and batteries separately.

The solar panels

The solar panels used by the solar generators aren’t the same ones that are used for the typical residential or commercial solar panels. These panels are normally are smaller (in both the physical size or the wattage) and a lot easier to transport and move the panels in whichever position the sun is shining.

The batteries

The solar panels cannot act as the solar generator on their own - the power that they are producing needs to be stored somewhere so that they can be used at a later time. Which is where the batteries come in handy.

Like solar batteries are used in residential solar installations, the battery component of a solar generator takes the power from the solar panels so that you can use solar electricity even while the sun isn’t shining.

But, they aren’t identical to the batteries that are used for the home solar installations. The solar generator batteries are typically smaller, easier to move and they also are come with a built in outlets for you to plug chargers and appliances into.  

Home solar batteries are usually made by using lithium-ion technology. The batteries that are used in the solar power generator setups, may be lithium-ion, but they are also made by using lead-acid technologies.

Both of these technologies are often able to combined with another batter unit, this is commonly called chaining. Meaning that you can add more batteries onto the generator system for the more robust storage capacity.

Solar generators v. Fossil Fuel generators  

Solar generator pros

Solar generator cons

Free energy from the sun

Limited power supply

Low maintenance costs

High upfront price

Clean and quite operations

Slow recharge time

Solar generator pros

There are a lot of benefits that come along with being a solar generator owner for both home and sport use.

  1. Free energy from the sun

When you use power from a solar generator, you are getting the sun’s energy for free instead of using the costly fossil fuels. During the entire lifetime of the solar panels that are being used for the solar generators, typically between 25 and 35 years, you can continue to get free energy from the sun.

  1. Low maintenance costs

Opposed to fossil fuel generators, solar generators don’t have any moving parts and they aren’t using liquid fuel and it significantly lowers the probability that you will need to pat for the repairs on your generator.

  1. Clean and quiet operations

Putting aside from the potential monetary benefits, choosing a solar generating system over a fossil fuel system has environmental upsides. Fossil Fuel generators lead to air pollution and added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which leads to global climate change. Gas generators are also often loud while they are running, but since there are no moving parts, solar generators don’t make any noise when you are using them.

Solar generator cons

Like solar panels, solar generating systems aren’t flawless, there are some cons to solar generators.

  1. There is a limit to the power supply

You can only store so much solar energy with a solar generator. If you’re looking to power your entire house with a solar generator it really is not the practical choice. However, if you want to power certain items around the house such as small electronics or certain appliances a solar generator is a great option, just don’t expect a solar generator to power your refrigerator, television or light your house.

  1. Higher upfront cost

While the cost to actually use the generators is lower than the costs that are associated  with fossil fuels generators, the upfront cost of a solar energy operating generator is higher than the option of a fossil fuel generator. It’s safe to say that you can expect the solar generators to cost a few hundred dollars more than a fossil fuel generator.  

  1. Slow recharging

Another con to this source of solar energy is that you can’t get instant power from your solar generator. Recharging the solar generator take some time and it has to be done in the sunlight. If you aren’t going to have the time to recharge the solar generator’s during the day, solar generators aren’t going to the best option.

Somethings that may deter one from getting a solar generator is that with a gas generator all you have to do is find some fresh gas and you will instantly get power, without the wait that you will go through with a solar generator.  

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