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What is a Solar Power Generator

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What is a Solar Power Generator

What is a Solar Power Generator

2021-09-12

What is a Solar Power Generator

When people talk about solar generators, they typically refer to a portable power system that uses solar panels to produce electricity stored in a battery for later use.

Solar-powered generators are often used in RV’s, boats, and backup sources of power for grid outages.

How Do Solar Powered Generators Work?

There are a few basic steps and components used in a common solar-powered generator.

Solar panels attached to the generator collect and convert sunlight to Direct Current (DC Energy).

The DC is passed through a charge controller, which controls the voltage of the energy going to the battery to be stored for later use.

Once the energy in the battery is needed, it passes through an inverter that converts it to Alternating Current Energy (AC).

Most portable solar generators have AC Outlets, USB Ports, and 12 Volt Carports. This allows you to charge multiple devices or small appliances.

How Much Power Will My Generator Provide

This, of course, depends on the size of your generator and how long the sun is shining – meaning how long the battery is allowed to charge.

Battery storage is also important. Convert your amp hours to watt-hours and make sure you have the storage to meet your needs. Add 3 days for those cloudy days.

Example

To get watt-hours from amp hours, multiply amps times volts. The watt-hour rating for a 12-volt 100 amp/hr. battery is 1200 watt-hours.

Take a look a the following appliances.

Light Bulb = 60Wh

Refridgerator = 900Wh

Cell Phone = 40Wh

If you anticipate you will use 1,000 watt-hours each day, multiply this times 3 and you will need batteries to store at least 3,000 watt-hours.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Like any power source, solar-powered generators have their advantages and disadvantages. Before you say NO, it is too expensive, consider this.

They may be heavy, and they may be expensive, but they are probably going to last you 20-25 years, and when all other fuel is gone, you can sit this bad boy out in the sun and turn on the lights!

Advantages

Quiet – Nice when camping in the backcountry or wilderness.

Clean Energy – no smelly or expensive fuels and pollutants.

Less maintenance – there are not a lot of moving parts.

Life expectancy – 20 to 25 years!

Disadvantages

Price is currently high, but as they become more popular and technology advances, prices will come down.

Slow to Charge – they can take all day and are much slower than gas generators.

Power Supply – they depend on the sun being out. Battery size is important.

Additional Tips to Consider When Purchasing

In addition to the overview above, this article “What to Look for in Solar Generators” provides a comprehensive review of what to look for when purchasing your portable solar generator.

If you are thinking about purchasing a portable solar generator, there are a few additional things you should keep in mind.

Inverters – Make sure your inverter is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter. This is the type of AC electricity your appliances and electronics use.

Most solar-powered generators include a charger, inverter, and battery. They do not often include solar panels unless you purchase a kit.

Batteries – make sure you have the right size and type of battery.

Recharging times should be reasonable, especially in the winter or with volatile weather.

MPPT Charge Controllers are more efficient. Keep in mind they are not 100% efficient.

The charge controller determines how many solar panels you can add. Make sure the voltage input is not too narrow.


What is a Solar Power Generator

2021-09-12

What is a Solar Power Generator

When people talk about solar generators, they typically refer to a portable power system that uses solar panels to produce electricity stored in a battery for later use.

Solar-powered generators are often used in RV’s, boats, and backup sources of power for grid outages.

How Do Solar Powered Generators Work?

There are a few basic steps and components used in a common solar-powered generator.

Solar panels attached to the generator collect and convert sunlight to Direct Current (DC Energy).

The DC is passed through a charge controller, which controls the voltage of the energy going to the battery to be stored for later use.

Once the energy in the battery is needed, it passes through an inverter that converts it to Alternating Current Energy (AC).

Most portable solar generators have AC Outlets, USB Ports, and 12 Volt Carports. This allows you to charge multiple devices or small appliances.

How Much Power Will My Generator Provide

This, of course, depends on the size of your generator and how long the sun is shining – meaning how long the battery is allowed to charge.

Battery storage is also important. Convert your amp hours to watt-hours and make sure you have the storage to meet your needs. Add 3 days for those cloudy days.

Example

To get watt-hours from amp hours, multiply amps times volts. The watt-hour rating for a 12-volt 100 amp/hr. battery is 1200 watt-hours.

Take a look a the following appliances.

Light Bulb = 60Wh

Refridgerator = 900Wh

Cell Phone = 40Wh

If you anticipate you will use 1,000 watt-hours each day, multiply this times 3 and you will need batteries to store at least 3,000 watt-hours.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Like any power source, solar-powered generators have their advantages and disadvantages. Before you say NO, it is too expensive, consider this.

They may be heavy, and they may be expensive, but they are probably going to last you 20-25 years, and when all other fuel is gone, you can sit this bad boy out in the sun and turn on the lights!

Advantages

Quiet – Nice when camping in the backcountry or wilderness.

Clean Energy – no smelly or expensive fuels and pollutants.

Less maintenance – there are not a lot of moving parts.

Life expectancy – 20 to 25 years!

Disadvantages

Price is currently high, but as they become more popular and technology advances, prices will come down.

Slow to Charge – they can take all day and are much slower than gas generators.

Power Supply – they depend on the sun being out. Battery size is important.

Additional Tips to Consider When Purchasing

In addition to the overview above, this article “What to Look for in Solar Generators” provides a comprehensive review of what to look for when purchasing your portable solar generator.

If you are thinking about purchasing a portable solar generator, there are a few additional things you should keep in mind.

Inverters – Make sure your inverter is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter. This is the type of AC electricity your appliances and electronics use.

Most solar-powered generators include a charger, inverter, and battery. They do not often include solar panels unless you purchase a kit.

Batteries – make sure you have the right size and type of battery.

Recharging times should be reasonable, especially in the winter or with volatile weather.

MPPT Charge Controllers are more efficient. Keep in mind they are not 100% efficient.

The charge controller determines how many solar panels you can add. Make sure the voltage input is not too narrow.


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