I love the idea of producing energy without having to buy gas, propane or other fuels. I’m not always traveling in an area in which I can obtain specific fuels. For example, last summer I was camping with friends and we powered up their generator to run their RV for the night. Unfortunately, they forgot to check their propane tank before we left and it ran out. We were 50 miles from the nearest place to buy more, and it was closed. It was also pitch-black dark, and no one wanted to try driving over rough roads at night.
My friends borrowed some hand crank lanterns and we cooked over our campfire. Before we left, I suggested they look into getting solar panels or building a solar power pack.
The difference between a solar power pack and a solar generator is more than just a name. It is a portable device that houses a rechargeable battery, inverter, charge controller, ammeter and power outlets all-in-one. Most generators will have both AC and DC outlets, and most today have one or more USB ports to allow you to charge your cell phone and other devices.
There are a number of brands on the market and prices will vary based on several factors. Prices generally range from $199 to over $2,500.
- · The wattage of the battery and solar panel
- · How many and what type of outlets are needed
- · Whether generators can be linked together or to additional deep cycle batteries for extra power usage.
Many can be linked together to provide more power; additional solar panels are required for this purpose.
The generators can be used anywhere in the world that receives sunshine. Many are portable, such as the Yeti 150 80-watt Generator, which weighs in at 13 pounds, not including the solar panel, to the Goal Zero 1250 bonus kit, which includes solar lights, lanterns and more.
In a disaster, a solar generator can power electrical appliances such as the refrigerator, freezer, television, computers and provide power for air conditioning or heating.
Solar generators can provide power for various devices when vacationing or camping. I’ve begun to give them as housewarming gifts to friends who buy their first home, move into their first apartment or RV. They’re always accepted with smiles and I hear the wide range of uses the generators are put to.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.