With lead-acid batteries needing routine maintenance, one could argue that longer durability, higher efficiency, and easier maintenance have made lithium batteries a better battery option for solar generators.
Of course, like every other invention, lithium batteries as a means of energy storage have their own shortcomings, but they are generally very effective in energy storage, as seen in power bank technology.
Lithium batteries also have a higher depth of discharge, which ensures a higher usability rate without any adverse effect.
It normally takes around 7 to 10 years to commercialize any new battery type. The meticulous criteria for approval of a new energy storage technology make it unlikely that any new battery type will be displacing lithium batteries in the foreseeable future.
Even recent investigation into solid-state batteries has shown that they are not likely to replace lithium batteries anytime soon.
When considering a solar generator with a lithium battery, a few things should be considered. A good solar generator’s battery should be generally satisfactory in at least four of these five major areas:
- A good battery capacity that can power basic devices (value for money)
- Safety features, such as sine wave type and battery management system
- Charging time and means of charging
- Continuous and peak power usage
- Battery life cycle and longevity
The following is a quick view of the top four solar generators with lithium batteries.
|Brand||Jackery||Goal Zero||EcoFlow||Point Zero Energy|
|Model(s)||Explorer Series||Yeti Lithium Series||Delta Series||Titan|
|Highlights||- 7 different models|
- Competitively priced
- Easy to use
|- 4 different models|
- Yeti X series (6 different models)
- Easy to use
- Larger models are WiFi-capable
|- 4 models in Delta series|
- Powerful AC inverters
- 3/4 models WiFi-capable
- Fast recharging times
|- Expandable batteries
- Fast recharging
- High-powered AC ports
- Long-lasting batteries
|Weight||3.84-43.2 lbs||16.3-77 lbs||23.6-99+ lbs||67+ lbs|
|Where to Find||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||shopsolarkits|
1. JACKERY EXPLORER SERIES
The Jackery Series is known for its lightweight, portable, and fairly inexpensive solar generators relative to their capabilities.
It’s fair to say that their line of solar generators is among the best in the industry.
JACKERY EXPLORER 160
All solar generators of the Jackery series are portable, compact, and handy, and they are also made with an easy to carry design.
At a weight of 3.84 lbs. (1.74kg), the Jackery Explorer 160 is easily the lightest solar generator in its category. With dimensions of 7.4 in by 4.5 in by 6.7 in, its battery has great functionality for its size.
The Explorer 160’s battery capacity is 167Wh (46,400mAh, 3.6V), with an AC port located on its side (100W continuous output that can peak up to 150W).
It comes with a 2-year warranty and a battery cycle life of 500 cycles before reaching 80% capacity.
The Explorer 160 is equipped with fast charging ports: a USB-C port and two USB-A ports particularly for phones with fast charging technology.
With its battery, it can power a smartphone up to 15 times and a drone twice, so it is good for outdoor usage.
Using an AC adaptor or a 12V car adaptor, the Explorer 160 can charge in a little as 5 hours and around 8 to 10 hours using a 50W solar panel.
JACKERY EXPLORER 240
With a battery capacity of 240Wh the Explorer 240 can power your:
- Smartphone up to 20 times
- Laptop 4 times
- Mini-fridge for up to 3 hours
- Drone up to 4 times
The battery has a life cycle of 500 cycles and comes with a 2-year warranty. With its Battery Management System (BMS), it offers short circuit protection and voltage protection.
Its AC port’s pure sine wave feature ensures that sensitive appliances are not damaged from current fluctuations.
Charging time takes up to 8 hours with an AC adapter and a 12V car adaptor, using a 50W solar panel takes around 10 hours.
The Explorer 240 weighs in at 6.6 lbs (3 kg) which makes it very portable and is easy to carry around.
For its output ports, it has:
- One 110V AC output which can run at 200W continuously (400W max)
- Two standard USB-A 2.4A ports
- One 12V, 10A regulated car port output
There is an additional model, the Explorer 300, that is basically an upgraded version of the Explorer 240. It has upgraded ports as well as a slightly bigger battery.
I own this model and you can read about my testing of it in my review post here: Jackery Explorer 300 Review & Test (Plus Comparisons).
JACKERY EXPLORER 500
The Explorer 500 is an effective solution for higher energy needs without breaking the bank. The battery capacity is 518Wh, and a continuous output of 500W is obtainable with a peak surge of 1,000W from its AC port.
At this rate, its lithium batteries can easily power a mini fridge for up to 8 hours, a laptop about 7 times, and a smartphone up to 35 times.
The Explorer 500 features an all-important BMS which regulates the lithium batteries. They also use a pure sine wave inverter, making them safe for use with sensitive devices such as CPAP machines.
As with all of the Explorer models, the cycle life of its battery is 500 cycles and it comes with a 2-year warranty.
The Explore 500 is rechargeable via:
- An AC wall outlet (8 hours recharge time)
- A 100W solar panel (around 14 hours recharge time)
- A 12V car adaptor, which takes around 18 hours to fully recharge
JACKERY EXPLORER 1000
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is very suitable for outdoor and recreational activities. It has a continuous rated power of 1,000W (2,000W surge) from its AC ports.
Its battery capacity is 1,002Wh, giving it double the Explorer 500’s battery size. With a powerful AC inverter and large battery, the Jackery 1000 can power higher-demand electrical appliances than previously mentioned models.
Weighing just 22 lbs, this Jackery model is one of the lightest compared to other brands’ competitors. As seen above, it’s designed with an easy-to-carry handle like other solar generators in the Explorer series.
The battery can power your smartphone over 100 times, a camera battery over 180 times, a laptop over 12 times, and a portable or car fridge for up to 60 hours.
Charging methods are much like other Explorer models:
- Using an AC outlet takes about 7 hours
- Using a car charger will recharge in 14 hours
- Using two 100W solar panels will recharge the battery in about 8 hours
At this capacity, the battery can prove very useful for recreational vehicles (RVs) and other outdoor purposes.
Jackery has additional solar generators available that were not discussed here. These models include the Explorer 1500 and Explorer 2000.
If you’d like to see these models and compare specifications and features, I have included them in my Goal Zero vs. Jackery article. I have a large table in this article that lists all of each companies’ models. You can find this table here.
2. YETI LITHIUM SERIES
The Yeti Series is known to have some great features with a blend of innovation and technology. Imagine controlling your solar generator from your bedroom with Goal Zero Yeti App and monitoring battery charging and discharging rates.
Commonly referred to as portable power stations, the Yeti Lithium Series solar generators are portable and mobile, though their weight seems to be a major con.
UPDATE: Goal Zero has an entirely new line of lithium battery power stations. They are referred to as the “Yeti X” series. These have better specifications than the Lithium series.
You can find out more details on these new power stations and how they compare to the Yeti Lithium series in my Goal Zero vs. Jackery comparison article here: Goal Zero vs. Jackery – Battle of the Brands (Cost/Specs/Analysis).
GOAL ZERO YETI 400 LITHIUM
The capacity of the Yeti 400 Lithium is 428Wh (10.8V, 39.6Ah), providing a continuous power output of 300W and a peak surge of 1,200W.
The solar generator can simultaneously power seven devices at once and can power any 12V device; like other Yeti Lithium series solar generators, it comes with a BMS for battery protection and voltage control.
Battery cycle life is at 500 cycles to 80% efficiency, and its shelf life is rated for around four months between recharges.
The battery is designed to power small devices such as phones, tablets, cameras, laptops and smaller CPAPs.
Its lithium battery recharging usually takes five hours via a solar panel or seven hours via an AC wall charger.
Full review: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Review – Best In Class
GOAL ZERO YETI 1000 LITHIUM
Innovation and technology are what you get from the Yeti Lithium Series.
The Yeti 1000 comes with an AC inverter rated at 1,500W continuous with a surge of 3,000W. Its battery capacity is 1,045Wh, with four USB ports, two AC outlets, and multiple 12V outputs.
As said earlier, Yeti Lithium series are slightly heavier than similar products in their category, and the Yeti 1000 comes in at 40 lbs.
The solar generator should recharge a laptop 17 times or run a mini-fridge for up to 15 hours.
The Yeti 1000 uses a PWM charge controller and recharges in 6 hours while using an AC wall outlet takes around 18 hours to recharge the battery and 30 hours via a 12V car charger.
A 2-year warranty, BMS, and pure sine wave technology ensures the durability and safety of this lithium battery.
GOAL ZERO YETI 1400 LITHIUM
This generator features a lithium battery capacity of 1,425Wh, which can power almost any appliance, from a laptop to a large fridge to even power tools.
Much like the Yeti 1000, the Yeti 1400’s AC inverter is rated at 1,500W continuous with a 3,000W surge maximum.
Using an AC wall charger takes 25 hours to get the battery fully charged; with solar panels that takes around 23 hours (can be recharged faster depending on your solar setup).
The Yeti 1400 weighs 45.6 lbs, comes with a 12-month warranty, and has a battery life cycle of 500 charges.
Safety of sensitive devices is also ensured using this system as it operates on pure sine waves rather than modified sine waves.
You can read my in-depth review of the Yeti 1400 Lithium here: Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium – WiFi-Capable Backup Power.
GOAL ZERO YETI 3000 LITHIUM
The Yeti 3000 is a 3,075Wh solar generator that produces a mammoth amount of energy; this system is the first from Goal Zero to feature a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) which results in up to 40% faster rate of charging. It also comes with a BMS that ensures protection during use.
The Yeti 3000 comes with a mobility cart, which is needed since it weighs over 70 lbs.
Its battery cycle life is rated at 500 charges, and like the previous series, it powers at 1,500W and peaks at 3,000W.
You can use WiFi connectivity to control the Yeti 3000 and monitor the battery charging and discharging rates with the Goal Zero Yeti App.
My full analysis of this power station can be found in my post here: Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Solar Powered Generator | The Ultimate Package.
3. ECOFLOW DELTA SERIES
With EcoFlow first releasing the Delta 1300, its success brought the company to create additional power stations under the Delta line.
Although I’ll only be discussing the Delta 1300 in detail, you can find the other Delta power stations on EcoFlow’s website via the links below:
ECOFLOW DELTA 1300
Here are a few features that make the Delta 1300 a good solar generator choice:
- It is a 1,800W solar generator with a peak surge of 3,300W and a 1,300Wh battery.
- At 31 lbs, the Delta 1300 is not too heavy for this category
- At this rate, you can:
- Use a coffee maker to make over 50 cups of coffee
- Power a full-size fridge for about 14 hours
- Recharge a large laptop around 30 times
- Power a circular saw for about an hour and a half
With a 2-year warranty, a battery life cycle of 800 charges, and a shelf life of one year after a full recharge, the longevity and durability of the battery is just as guaranteed.
Not just longevity but safety is guaranteed as well, as it comes with a battery management system (BMS) which ensures the safety of sensitive devices.
Amazingly, in just one hour via its wall charger, the Delta 1300 can recharge from 0% to 80%. Full recharge via 400W of solar panels takes about 3.5 hours, and a recharge via a 12V/24V car charging port takes 10-12 hours.
It has 6 AC outlets, 2 USB-C ports, and 4 USB-A outlets. The lithium battery in the Delta 1300 can conveniently power up to 13 devices simultaneously.
4. POINT ZERO ENERGY TITAN
The Point Zero Energy Titan is a large solar generator that gives you the privilege of battery expansion without any technical hassle.
In fact, the lithium batteries have been designed to be so efficient that it comes with two MPPTs to protect the battery and ensure shorter charging hours.
This solar generator runs on a whopping 2,000Wh capacity battery. The inverter capacity is at 3,000W and peaks at up to a 6,000W power surge.
The lithium-ion battery pack is removable and can be increased anytime you wish to; unlimited expansion is possible with a Titan Li-ion battery. The battery has a shelf life (before recharge) of up to five years.
The Titan’s battery is detachable, and the combined weight of the system is 67 lbs (a battery weight of 35 lbs and a power module weight of 32 lbs).
19 varieties of outlets are available on the Titan (six smart USB-A ports, six 15A outlets, four 12V ports, two USB-C ports, one 30A RV outlet).
Its BMS, pure sine waves, and 2,000 battery cycle life all ensure the safety and durability of the Titan respectively.