Power generators are an important piece of equipment for many homeowners, especially with the big storms around the US. The trouble is that there are sometimes problems with electric and gas powered models.
Homes looking to increase their green credentials should realize that there are many solar power systems out there that can meet their needs for different situations.
The five models reviewed in this guide are each a portable solar generator with different wattage and capabilities for different applications and scenarios.
They all have the benefits of serving as a clean energy source and a multifaceted approach to charging, and can be used in home emergencies or while camping.
Why Do Solar Generators Make Sense Today?
There are many advantages in going solar for power needs. The most important for many consumers is the eco-friendly aspect. A switch to solar means far less reliance on fossil fuels – such as the propane or gasoline generators – and on grid-based energy.
With the right panels, battery storage, and outlets, solar generator systems can provide great performance in a portable, user-friendly nature. They are also far quieter and more appealing to be around. The sound factor or lack thereof make it a great choice for campers. Then there are the financial benefits.
Then there are the financial benefits. Many homeowners are switching to solar as a means of power generation because they can be cheaper to run and will save on electricity bills.
The appeal and performance of a solar panel system ultimately depend on the model bought and its specification. Some products are big, tough and highly powerful for reliable use in blackouts and other situations. Then there are those that are tiny and simplistic with minimal power for first-timers and campers.
Naturally, there are also many models in-between where companies try and fill a niche. There is a good chance that one of these models will fulfill your needs if you are looking to make that switch to solar.
The 5 best solar backup power systems for 2017
1) Goal Zero Yeti 150
Everyone talks about Goal Zero when it comes to portable solar power systems because of their range and reputation. Therefore, this is the best place to start with a recommendation. There are two considerations here with this brand. The first is the 150 Yeti.
Essentially, this is a small capacity 150w unit small projects and camping trips. It is not the most impressive model around, but it has an immediate appeal to travelers.
This is large because it is lightweight and portable with an AC port, 2 USB ports, and two 12v ports. It is a simple little device for the electronics on the campsite. There will always be limitations with this model, but there are also plenty of benefits for first-time users.
2) Goal Zero Yeti 400
The second of these products is the much more powerful Yeti 400. This model is here because it is great to compare this tougher option with the lighter, albeit weaker 150 model.
The limitations of the 150 model disappear with this option. It provides a 300w capacity so is twice as powerful. It, therefore, should be ideal for the bigger appliances in an RV rather than a tent.
Many have been able to use it for lights, TVs, and CPAP machines. This means it is a more substantial machine for the traveler that likes longer journeys and greater creature comforts.
The downside is that it weighs 29 pounds compared to 13, so it is not as easy to carry around.
3) Renogy KIT FireFly
Another company that is pretty popular in the world of solar power is Renogy. They have a host of panels, generators and other products that come together to create powerful solar power systems for multiple uses.
This KIT FireFly all in one generator kit is a sturdy piece of kit that does cover every angle. The main elements here are the 150w power inverter and the two 10w panels for strong, reliable power. There is also one AC outlet, two 12 cigarette sockets and two USB outlets for charging different items.
Other features appreciated by users include the LCD, LED emergency flashlight, carrying handle and sturdy, waterproof case. This range and performance have led to an incredibly high satisfaction rating.
4) RAVPower 15W Solar Charger
This is an excellent example of a unit that is robust, powerful and built to handle anything. This is one side of the best solar power systems for 2017. The other side is much more simplistic and portable.
Not all green-minded individuals need something quite so substantial. Many backpackers and campers have embraced solar power systems for their electronics. The RAVPower 15W Solar Charger is a great example. There is little to this system with the basic panel and 2 USB outlets.
However, it is still smart and reliable and has the added benefit of a weather-resistant casing. The only problem is that interruptions in charging and sunlight can disrupt charging process and confuse devices.
5) JETSUN Solar Charger
The final model to discuss here is a bit of a wildcard addition, because it just happens to be the top new release on Amazon at the time of writing. This JETSUN Solar Charger uses a 16,750 mAh power bank, small panel and two dual USB outlets for reliable power on the go.
The appeal with this new model comes in the fact that it seems to provide the best of both worlds in solar power systems. There are the user-friendly elements of the portable camping models.
This includes the weather-resistant materials, compact shape, and metal hook to hang it on a backpack. Then there is the added feature that makes it sturdy and versatile, such as the LED torch and shock resistance.
Solar power systems are more than a simple panel, battery pack and outlets these days. There are many different products out there for various requirements. Some are big and powerful for emergencies and others and small and user-friendly for camping.
The choice for the best product all depends on the need of the users. Still, all these models do have elements in common. They are here to meet a significant need with a smart design and reliable performance.