With portable solar generators starting to take off and gain attention, some might say that they are too pricey to purchase.
Solar generators range in prices significantly depending on the battery size. The Yeti 150 by Goal Zero is priced at $199 and is one of the smaller portable solar generators on the market, while an Inergy Kodiak, a high-end solar generator, costs about $1,500.
First things first, we need to break down what a solar generator can do in order to estimate its value.
Are solar generators worth the investment?
As mentioned before with the pricing and power outputs, the smaller generators are obviously less expensive than the larger ones.
The reason is that batteries don’t come cheap, especially newer lithium batteries. And the more power you get, the heftier the battery you will need.
Take a Tesla car for example. Obviously, this is a luxury car, but it is also powered by a bunch of lithium batteries.
The batteries cost a significant amount of money and are not like a simple set of AA batteries that you can buy for cheap. These batteries are sophisticated and require more bang for more buck.
With that being said, how much power are you looking for in a solar generator for your own personal use or with family or friends?
Equally as important is what might you be using it for? Here are a few examples/scenarios where you might need one of these:
You will need some form of power to get your ultimate tailgate on. This includes accessories like TVs, mini fridges, and speakers.
These items can all be powered by a solar powered generator and can make a tailgate into what it needs to be, a freaking blast!
With this, you will probably need a medium to large generator to power all of this equipment.
For your next excursion, it is important to have a battery that you can use for your electronics, lights, smartphones, and other devices whilst in the great outdoors.
It only makes sense to have a portable solar generator because if you don’t have one, then you may run out of juice!
A camping trip that lasts a weekend or so can be supported by a small to a medium-sized solar generator all depending on how many people are present with you and how many electronics you are running.
Having battery power in this scenario just makes sense because you can maintain the power that you need with ease.
A large generator would work best for this situation because a fridge takes up a lot of energy and if the power is out for an extended period of time, you could need a lot more power than you thought.
Why Get A Solar Generator When You Can Just Get A Gas One?
A gas-powered generator is a powerful tool to have on deck, but there are a lot of differences that make a solar generator preferable.
For starters, a solar generator makes almost no noise like a gas one does, and there are no fumes, so you can have your generator inside the house if the power goes out to keep track of it.
Also, you can recharge it from the sun, which is so crucial because if you run out of gas to power the generator, you’re donezo!
So Why Does It Cost So Much For A Portable Solar Generator?
Batteries are expensive! The main ingredient in a solar powered generator is the battery, and they cost a lot to buy and produce.
But the good thing is that lithium batteries will go down in price as the years go on.
High quality. Nicely constructed solar generators, like Goal Zero ones, Suaoki, and Inergy, are built to last.
They have nice materials such as rubber, durable plastic, and metal to make the generator capable of withstanding the roughest conditions.
Also, the more durable, the longer the lifespan of the generator. This was the intention of most portble solar generator companies – to make sure that their products last a long time.
High demand. They are absolutely necessary for many different situations other than the ones mentioned previously.
They have the ability to power your electronics in nearly any condition AND you can go completely off the grid with them! This is something that has not been possible before with other generators.
Why Don’t I Just Build A DIY Generator For Less $$?
This comes up a lot and there are a lot of YouTube videos on it too. But the main question is, how reliable and durable will the generator be if you hand-built it?
Can you trust it when you need it most?
Sure, it will cost a lot less and it would be a cool project for most people, but are you willing to spend the time to build one that has the potential to fail due to an error?
Or would you rather save time, buy a trusted solar generator that has been engineered specifically for reliability, AND have a warranty come along with it?
LED screens that show your power output and how much battery you have left, computer chips inside the generator to signal when the battery is overheating, and other features are improving the way we use portable power.