Top 3 Solar Generators for Off-Grid Living
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Living off-grid is far more complicated than moving to the woods and raising chickens. To still enjoy modern-day conveniences and stay connected to society, you need to have some sort of power source that is not connected to a local electrical grid.
For most people that are attracted to an off-grid lifestyle, solar is becoming the most appealing option. While a traditional residential solar power system with roof-mounted solar panels, a charge controller, power inverter, and a battery bank can work, you may also have need for a portable and self-contained power station. This is where solar generators come into play.
These compact and portable pieces of equipment can act as an all-in-one solar power station, which is why they are quickly becoming one of the go-to options for those that spend time living off-grid. Whether your primary residence does not have access to the grid, or you simply own an off-grid cabin or vacation home, choosing to invest in a high-quality solar generator can be one of the best purchases you ever make.
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With the rising popularity of solar generators, there are now more options available to consumers than ever before. While competition within the industry has led to an increased rate of innovation and more options are almost always a good thing for consumers, it can make it difficult to choose the best solar generator for your specific needs.
This is why we are highlighting and reviewing three of the best solar generators for off-grid living. Each of these solar generators can supply enough power to be considered a practical option for anyone that finds themselves spending a significant amount of time off-grid.
If you are committed to living off-grid, we are here to help!
Why is a Solar Generator is Beneficial for Off-Grid Living?
Before we offer our top three picks for the best solar generators for off-grid living, we are going to explain why a solar generator can be so useful in the first place.
What is a Solar Generator?
As mentioned previously, a solar generator is a self-contained piece of solar equipment that can act as a complete solar power system when it is paired with one or more solar panels.
Essentially, these compact pieces of equipment offer many of the same benefits that you would get with a gasoline-powered generator, but they do not need to burn fuel or emit noxious fumes. Since they do not have any moving parts, they also generate very little noise, which is another reason why they can be used indoors, as well as outdoors.
A solar generator will feature a rechargeable, deep-cycle battery that can store power that is generated by solar panels. They also feature a built-in inverter, which means you can use that stored solar electricity to supply power to your portable electronic devices, as well as electrical appliances. Depending on the specific model, they also tend to have a wide range of built-in output ports, which means you can plug your electronics directly into the solar generator.
Why Are Solar Generators Helpful for Off-Grid Living?
Given that solar generators allow you to supply power to various appliances and electrical devices, they are extremely useful for anyone that does not have access to a traditional electrical grid. The fact that solar generators are also designed for portability is really important, as it means you can take power with you wherever it is required.
Even if you were running a traditional solar power system to satisfy most of your power requirements, adding a solar generator would give you more flexibility. You could bring power with you wherever you needed it around your property. For example, if you needed lights and the ability to run power tools in your workshop, you could use your solar generator as a source of power.
Solar generators are so portable that many RV enthusiasts and campers will take a solar generator with them on their off-grid adventures. Not only are they portable, a solar generator can act as your emergency power source in the event that your primary power source fails.
Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Solar Generators for Off-Grid Living
The EcoFlow Delta PRO is our top pick for off-grid living. This incredible solar generator is incredibly advanced and offers features that align perfectly with living off-grid. Given that EcoFlow designed the Delta PRO as a whole home solar generator, it only makes sense that it can act as an off-grid power source for full-sized homes and cabins.
Where the Delta PRO really shines is its storage capacity. A built-in 3,600Wh LiFePO4 battery means that the Delta PRO can store enough power to reliably keep your electronics and appliances running, but what really puts it in a league of its own is the fact that the battery is expandable to an industry-leading 25kWh!
Simply by connecting the Delta PRO to multiple 3,600Wh smart expansion batteries, you can store almost double the power you could with a pricey Tesla Powerwall 2! While expandability is certainly exciting, especially if you are hoping to satisfying the bulk of your off-grid power requirements with your solar generator, you do not need to expand the Delta PRO for many off-grid applications. With 3,600Wh of storage capacity and an integrated power inverter that can deliver 3,600W of AC power, a single Delta PRO is still incredibly useful.
The Delta PRO also features unprecedented charging capabilities. Not only can you charge its internal battery in six unique ways, you can even multi-charge the battery, which means you can plug the Delta PRO into more than one power source to charge the battery even faster. When multi-charging, it is possible to charge the enormous 3,600Wh lithium-ion battery in as little as 1.8 hours!
The state-of-the-art battery contained within the Delta PRO also has a life cycle rating of 6,500 complete charges. This means you can fully charge and discharge the battery 6,500 times before you will notice any significant loss of storage capacity. When you are living off-grid and rely on stored power on a daily basis, it is incredibly important to choose a solar generator that has a high life cycle rating.
Part of the reason why the Delta PRO can charge so quickly is its efficient MPPT charge controller. This ensures more of the power your solar panels generate gets stored within the internal battery. When you live off-grid, efficiency is key, as you only have so many hours in the day to generate the power you need.
The Delta PRO’s inverter offers 3,600W of output power, but it can be boosted to 4,500W thanks to EcoFlow’s unique X-Boost technology. What is really exciting about the Delta PRO is the fact that you have the option to pair two of them together to achieve 7,200W / 240V of output power, which is enough to power everything from convection ovens to well pumps!
This level of output power is truly unique for a solar generator, which is why the Delta PRO is the perfect option for anyone that is living off-grid. It is also compatible with EcoFlow’s smart app, so you can monitor your solar generator from a smartphone or tablet. With 12 built-in output ports and a wide range of input ports, it really is no wonder that we chose the EcoFlow Delta PRO as our top pick for the best solar generator for off-grid living!
- Expandable battery and output capacity
- Fastest charging rate of any solar generator
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled
- Battery capacity: 3,600Wh (Expandable to 25kWh)
- Output capacity: 3,600W (Expandable to 7,200W)
- Output ports: 12
Where to Buy
The Bluetti AC200 MAX is another solar generator that is perfectly suited to off-grid applications. Its compact size, affordable price, and versatile output capabilities ensure that is a very practical option for off-grid living.
The AC200 MAX is Bluetti’s first expandable solar generator. This means users have the option to increase the total storage capacity by pairing the AC200 with Bluetti’s external battery modules. Depending on how many external batteries you use, you can increase the AC200’s standard battery capacity of 2,048Wh, to an impressive 8,192Wh!
While the AC200 offers a reduced storage capacity when compared to the Delta PRO, this is still a significant amount of power for a portable solar generator. When you take the budget-friendly price into consideration, you can store a very respectable amount of power for such an affordable solar generator. For those not looking to use a solar generator as their primary off-grid power source, this could be exactly what you are looking for.
Charging the AC200’s internal battery is fast and really straightforward. Not only does it have a solar charging input rate of 900W, you have six options for how you choose to keep the internal battery charged.
If you are running a full-sized solar power system for the bulk of your power needs, you can top up your AC200 by connecting it to your system’s inverter for a quick charge. If you would prefer to directly charge it with solar power, an efficient charge controller will ensure that very little of that precious solar energy is wasted.
The AC200’s built-in 2,200W pure sine wave power inverter is really impressive for such an affordable unit. The fact that it can safely surge up to 4,800W means that it can handle some fairly demanding devices and appliances.
Where the AC200 really shines is its unparalleled output port versatility. This compact solar generator is compatible with just about any type of electronic you can throw at it. The unit features 16 unique output ports, including 2 convenient 15W wireless charging pads. If you are planning to use your solar generator as a portable power hub, all of this outlet versatility means that the AC200 MAX is a really practical option. When you are living off-grid, this can be incredibly handy.
We also really like the built-in touch screen display, which makes it easy to monitor everything from the remaining power within the internal battery, to how quickly it is charging. While you may not have Wi-Fi in your off-grid home, you have the option to monitor and control the AC200 from a smartphone using Bluetooth. This is a really helpful feature for those living off-grid.
- Expandable battery
- 16 output ports, including 2 wireless charging pads
- 7 ways to recharge the internal battery
- Battery capacity: 2,048Wh (Expandable up to 8,192Wh)
- Output capacity: 2,220W
- Weight: 62lbs
Where to Buy
For those that are looking for a heavy-duty solar generator for off-grid living, the Hysolis MPS 4500 is a great option. While it is a bit too large to be a practical option for those that are looking for a portable solar generator, it can act as an emissions-free alternative to gasoline-powered generator!
The Hysolis MPS 4500 features a massive 4,500Wh lithium-ion battery, which means it can store more than enough power to be a reliable alternative to a traditional generator. 4,500Wh, or 4.5kWh, is about as big as it gets for solar generators, so this is a great option for those that want to use their solar generator as a backup power source for their off-grid home, cabin, or RV.
While the Hysolis MPS 4500 supports AC charging through any standard wall outlet, as well as 12V DC car charging, it is its ability to efficiently store solar power that is its main selling point. This is because it contains an advanced MPPT solar charge controller, which safely and efficiently regulates the flow of electricity from your solar panels to the internal battery.
For added convenience, it even supports pass-through charging, which means you can pull power from the MPS 4500 to run your electronics at the same time that the internal battery is being charged with solar panels. This means you can be running your solar generator indoors at the same time that your outdoor solar panels are replenishing the unit’s internal battery!
The Hysolis MPS 4500’s massive battery is paired with a built-in 3,000W pure sine wave power inverter. This means it is compatible with a wide range of electronic devices and appliances. In fact, it is so powerful that you could use it to keep a full-sized refrigerator running.
While its size, weight, and rugged design makes the MPS 4500 look like a gas-powered generator, it is completely safe to use indoors and does not create any real noise. It is perfectly suited for anyone that lives off-grid, but is tired of wasting money by running gas-powered generator for their emergency backup power.
Like the other solar generators on our list, it also features a variety of output ports, so you can plug your power cables and charging cords directly into the MPS 4500. Overall, it is a fantastic solar generator that offers many of the features needed from an off-grid power source.
- Massive 4,500Wh lithium battery
- 1,500W solar input rating
- 3 different ways to charge the internal battery
- Battery capacity: 4,500Wh
- Output capacity: 3,000W
- Total weight: 110lbs
Where to Buy
Solar Generator Alternatives for Off-Grid Living
If you do not value portability and are just looking for a way to satisfy some of your electricity needs with solar power, you may want to consider a more fixed solution. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to a solar generator that allow you to store and use electricity sourced from sunlight.
One of the best ways to outfit your off-grid home or cabin with a reliable solar power system is to invest in a Complete HBK Off-Grid Solar Kit.
These simple kits contain everything you need to build your own solar power system, including a massive deep-cycle battery bank, a powerful inverter, an efficient charge controller, multiple solar panels, and all of the cables and connectors required to wire everything together.
In most cases, your money will go further with a HBK Off-Grid Solar Kit because the components do not have to be contained within a single unit. This means they are easier to manufacture, as they are not restricted by size.
For example, take this OGK-10 Complete Off-Grid Solar Kit, which features 6x 200W solar panels, a 6,000W 120/240V inverter, and 15.8kWh of storage capacity!
You simply could not fit components this large or this powerful into a solar generator. If you were living off-grid full time, it might be a better option for you to run an off-grid solar power system, as well as a solar generator; however, expandable solar generators, like the EcoFlow Delta PRO can operate as both.
Basically, the choice is yours. Consider your own budget, preferences, power needs, and how reliant you will be on solar power to determine which option is the best for you!