Top 6 Best Solar Generators For Camping & Home Use – 2020 Update

A solar generator is an interesting choice for camping and home use. It may be not so strong but it is extremely quiet, emits no toxic emissions, and can run as long as the sun is available. Solar generators are perfect for electronics and small-medium appliances.

Here are my top picks for the best solar generators for camping & home use:

  • SUAOKI S270 Portable Power Station 100W – For electronic devices
  • Jackery Explorer 240 200W – For mini-cooler and outdoor electronics
  • ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 300W – For mini-cooler and some small appliances
  • Aeiusny Solar Generator Power Station 400W – For small home appliances
  • Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500W – For small-medium home appliances
  • Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W – For medium-big home appliances

First, you need to know about the pros and cons of solar generators/power banks. The market for solar generators is quite small – there are a very limited number of users. It is not because the solar generators have bad quality. They can be very good in quality with no noise, no running cost, little maintenance required, no fumes, and super lightweight.

However, they also have many disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that they have very low power compared with a fuel one. So, solar generators are not suitable to run a big air conditioner, or a big oven, or a big refrigerator, which makes them less preferable.

But if your need is just to power small electronic devices and small appliances for outdoor activities or home use, a solar generator is just fine. It is the perfect choice if you care about the environment and want something as simple as possible.

SUAOKI S270 Portable Power Station 100W – For electronic devices

SUAOKI S270 Portable Power Station 100W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output, UL Certificated
  • Small and lightweight
  • Multi ways to recharge

Cons
  • Low power, only suitable for small electronics

SUAOKI S270 is very small and lightweight that you can hold it in the palm of your hand – just 2.9 lbs. The generator is designed for only small electronics, like phones, laptops, tablets, drones, bulbs.

The output power – 150 peak watts and 100 running watts – is just enough for this need, so you cannot use SUAOKI S270 to power devices like coffee makers, toasters, hair dryers, electric kettles. SUAOKI S270 can be used as an additional power bank/generator for your camping trips – when you go out for hiking, hunting, for some pictures or having meals.

Suaoki 150W is designed for convenience. It has three methods of recharge – solar panel, AC wall outlet (7-8 hours), and car adapter (11 hours). Four types of output port – Quick Charge 3.0 USB, standard USB, AC, and DC – with a total of 10 outlets allow you to power multi devices at the same time.

The Battery management system helps control voltage and temperature, making the output flow clean and stable enough for sensitive devices – UL Certificated. In addition, there is a built-in flashlight for night activities or emergency situations.

Specifications

Capacity150Wh
Peak Watts150W
Running Watts100W
Recharging methodsAC Input/ Solar Panels/ Car charger
Output3*USB ports, 1*QC3.0 USB port, 4*DC ports, 1*2 prong, 1*3 prong output socket (10 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesBattery management system (BMS), Built-in LED flashlights

SUAOKI S270 is the smallest solar generator for small electronic devices.

Jackery Explorer 240 200W – For mini-cooler and outdoor electronics

Jackery Explorer 240 200W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output
  • Small and lightweight
  • Multi ways to recharge

Cons
  • Low power
  • Only 4 outlets

If you find SUAOKI S270 a bit underpowered for your need, Jackery Explorer 240 would be an alternative. It is also very lightweight (6.6 lbs), and have little more power than SUAOKI S270 (400 peak watts and 200 running watts). This power is enough for several bulbs, radios, and laptops at the same time. You can even power a mini-cooler using this mini generator.

Explorer 240 also offers three ways of recharging – from solar panels, from DC outlets (carports or another generator), and from AC outlets. It takes from 7 – 8 hours to be fully charged. However, Explorer 240 has much fewer outlets than SUAOKI S270 – only four outlet ports (AC/DC/USB-A).

Explorer 240 has a built-in pure sine wave inverter that helps stabilize the output flow, protecting your sensitive devices. It is also featured an LCD Display Screen for easier adjustment.

Specifications

Capacity240Wh
Peak Watts400W
Running Watts200W
Recharging methodsAC Input/ Solar Panels/ Car charger
Output1* AC outlet,  2* USB-A ports, 1* DC car port (4 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesBuilt-in pure sine wave inverter, LCD Display Screen

Jackery Explorer 240 is a small solar generator for mini-cooler and outdoor electronics.

ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 300W – For mini-cooler and some small appliances

ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 300W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output
  • Sleek design
  • Multi ways to recharge
  • High peak power

Cons
  • Low power

Up to 300 of running watts, you can power a small blender, a mixer, a small drill. Rockpals RP300W’s starting power is double the running watts. 600 watts is enough for a small coffee maker, a mini toaster, a mini clothes washer. Your camping trips would become more convenient.

Rockpals RP300W has a small and good-looking design. A cubic black box with a large LCD. It has 1 AC outlet, 5 DC Ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and 2 QC3.0 ports. Three recharging methods, solar panels/car charger/AC outlets, get the generator fully charged after about 6-7 hours.

You can use Rockpals RP300W to charge your sensitive electronics like smartphones, laptops, TVs with confidence with a built-in pure sine wave inverter.

You can put this generator in your RV, and easily bring it along when going out for hunting or hiking, or when in emergencies.

Specifications

Capacity280Wh
Peak Watts600W
Running Watts300W
Recharging methodsAC Input/ Solar Panels/ Car charger
Output1* AC port, 5* DC port, 2* USB 2.1A, 2*QC 3.0 USB (10 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesBuilt-in pure sine wave inverter, LCD Display Screen

Rockpals RP300W is a small solar generator with high starting watts, suitable for some kitchen small appliances.

Aeiusny Solar Generator Power Station 400W – For small home appliances

Aeiusny Solar Generator Power Station 400W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output
  • Very handy and lightweight
  • Multi ways to recharge
  • Can power demanding appliances

Cons
  • Nothing to complain

Aeiusny 400W is a great solar generator for outdoor events and emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, high winds, floods. It is small, lightweight and very handy – 7.49 lbs and capable of providing up to 400 watts of AC 110V pure sine wave. And like other solar generators in this list, Aeiusny 400W has three methods for recharging – DC/AC/solar.

On a full charge, Aeiusny 400W can power a CPAP with heater/ humidifier turned off for at least 3 nights.

It has a small screen with LED lighting and an SOS alarm light to show battery and recharging status. 3 AC outlets, 2 DC ports, and 4 USB ports let you power multi devices at the same time.

Despite having many good features, Aeiusny 400W has an affordable price.

Specifications

Capacity296Wh
Peak Watts500W
Running Watts400W
Recharging methodsAC outlet/ Solar Panels/ Car charger
Output3* AC outlet, 2* DC port, 4* USB port (9 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesBuilt-in pure sine wave inverter, LCD Display Screen

Aeiusny 400W is the best solar generator for small power tools and home appliances.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500W – For small-medium home appliances

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output
  • Multi ways to recharge
  • Good power

Cons
  • A bit heavy

500 running watts and 1000 starting watts are good numbers for a solar generator. With this power flow, you can run almost all car devices like coolers, air pumps, vacuums, space-heaters, some kitchen appliances like small blenders, pellet smokers, small coffee makers, and almost all electronics like phones, TVs, laptops, speakers.

Explorer 500W has a built-in pure sine-wave inverter that ensures the output flow clean and stable enough to protect your sensitive devices. It also has internal breakers that will stop charging if the devices’ watts exceeds the generator watts.

Explorer 500W can be recharged in 3 different ways. It takes a little long time to recharge the generator using car chargers or solar panels – 10 to 11 hours. Recharging by a wall outlet takes much less time, just about 7 hours.

However, Explorer 500W is quite heavy. It weighs more than 13 lbs – not suitable to carry along when hiking.

Specifications

Capacity518Wh
Peak Watts1000W
Running Watts500W
Recharging methodsAC Input/ Solar Panels/ Car charger
Output1* Standard carport, 3* USB Port, 1* AC outlet, 2* DC Port (7 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesBuilt-in pure sine wave inverter, LCD Display Screen

Explorer 500W is a great solar generator for small to medium home appliances.

Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W – For medium-big home appliances

Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W
Pros
  • Clean and stable output
  • Powerful
  • Safety features

Cons
  • Only two ways of recharging

Sungzu 1000W is the most powerful solar generator on this list. It has 1000 running watts and 2000 peak watts, which is powerful enough for a room air conditioner, a microwave, or some machines at construction sites. Of course, the output flow of Sungzu 1000W is clean and stable enough for sensitive electronics like smartphones, laptops, or TVs.

Being capable of that much power may cause incidences like fires or electric shocks, so Sungzu 1000W is featured with perfect safety systems: over-charge protection, over-heat protection, over-voltage protection, over-discharge protection, short circuit protection. The generator has met CE RoHS FCC requirements for safety.

To recharge Sungzu 1000W, it needs a lot of input power that a car charger cannot provide sufficiently. So, the generator only offers two methods of recharging – AC outlets (6 hours from empty to full) and solar panels (8hrs by 200W and 14hrs by 100W solar panel).

Specifications

Capacity1010Wh
Peak Watts2000W
Running Watts1000W
Recharging methodsDC Input/ Solar Panels
Output2* AC outlet, 2* DC port, 4* USB port (8 outlet ports)
Highlight FeaturesCE RoHS FCC safety systems, Clean and stable output, LED indicators.

Sungzu 1000W is a super powerful solar generator, suitable for almost all electronics and medium home appliances.

How to choose a good solar generator for camping & home use?

Best Solar Generators For Camping & Home Use

First, you need to know about these specifications:

  • Capacity (Watts Hour – Wh) vs. Power flow (Watts – W): A watt is a unit of the power flow. A watt-hour is the amount of power generated.

Think about a river. Every second, 1 tons of water flow through the outfall to the ocean – this is power flow, watts. After a day, about 90 thousand tons of water has flowed through the outfall – this is power generated, watts hour.

If a solar generator has 100 running watts and 200 watts hour of capacity, and you use it to power a device that requires 100 running watts, then you’ll have 200/100 = 2 hours of power.

  • Peak Watts vs. Running Watts: Every device requires a starting wattage (peak wattage) to begin operating, and a running wattage to keep operating. The starting wattage is usually higher than the running wattage.

Every solar generator has these two wattages too. And you’ll want a generator that has a higher peak wattage and higher running wattage than the total peak wattage and running wattage all your devices combined, in order to keep them operating properly.

  • DC vs. AC: DC is direct current, which is often a less-powerful flow of electric. It provides a constant voltage. AC is alternating current, which is often a more-powerful flow of electric.

The voltage level reverses periodically. It is used for houses, buildings, and big power tools. These two types of electric flow cannot be interchangeable. So you need to know the types of current that your devices use first, then plug it to the right port.

  • Pure vs. modified sine wave: Basically, pure sine wave electric is smoother than modified sine wave electric. Using modified sine wave electric for sensitive electronics may make them operate improperly or even harmed. A solar generator should have a built-in pure sine wave inverter for safer and cleaner output flow.

So, you should pay attention to the above specs. Besides, you may want to consider types and number of output ports, recharging methods, and other features like safety features, built-in flashlights, or indicators.

Best solar generator brands

good solar generator brands

Suaoki

Suaoki was founded in 2015, a very young company. They specialized in making power stations and generators. Their ability to fast-track and fast-adapting to customer demands makes them one of the most fast-growing brands in the energy market. They have many solar generator models that have good quality at a good price.

Jackery

The founder of Jackery is a former Apple battery engineer. He established Jackery in 2012, headquartered in Silicon Valley. Working with Honda and adopting Apple’s design philosophy, Jackery has been making innovative and environment-friendly solar generators with attractive designs.

Sungzu

Sungzu was founded in 2007, in Shenzhen, China. They specialized in designing and making solar back-up power products, such as solar generators, folding solar panels, solar lights, and so on. If you want to find a powerful and safety solar generator with an affordable price, you should have a look at Sungzu’s solar generator models.

FAQs

best solar generator for camping

What size solar generator do I need?

A typical solar generator is not so powerful, it is usually used for charging and powering electronic devices, some small appliances for camping and home use. Here is consumption information of some useful tools for camping and home use, which might help you to decide the size of the generator:

  • CFL Bulb: <30 watts
  • Halogen Bulb: 40 watts
  • LED Bulb: <25 watts
  • Compact Fluorescent: <30 watts
  • Blender: 300 – 500 watts
  • Coffee Machine: 600 – 1000 watts
  • Mini-fridge: 300 watts
  • Kettle: 800 – 1200 watts
  • Toaster: 600 – 850 watts
  • Oven: 1000 watts
  • RV’s air conditioner: 600+ watts
  • Room air conditioner: 1000+ watts

Are watts and watt hours the same?

No, they are not the same. Please see “How to choose a good solar generator for camping & home use?” Section for more details.

Does higher watts mean more power?

Yes, it does. Watt is a unit to measure the power of the electric flow at a moment.

How long will a solar generator last?

You can do a simple calculation: Capacity (Watt-hour)/Power flow (Watt) = Hours. You can find the capacity information in the specs table, and the power flow is the total amount of running watts of the devices that you are powering.

How much is a portable solar panel?

  • A less-than-100-watt panel typically costs less than $100.
  • A 100-watt panel typically costs about $100 – $200.
  • A 200-watt panel typically costs about $300-$600.
  • A 300+ watt panel can cost about $500-$1000.

Are solar generators loud?

One of the best advantages of solar generators is that they operate quietly with almost no sound.

Can a solar generator power a refrigerator?

Yes, they can. A 300-watt solar generator can power a mini-refrigerator. A 1000-watt solar generator can power a home-size refrigerator.

Conclusion

Solar generators are suitable for powering small devices, especially electric devices. A solar generator can be very useful for camping or home power outages. Hope this review could help you find a suitable solar generator.

Related reviews

Best 10000-Watt Generators For Heavy Use

Best Large Inverter Generators

Most Fuel-Efficient Generators For Home & Camping Use

Leave a Comment

shares