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The 6 Best Solar Powered Generators for 2023

The 6 Best Solar Powered Generators for 2023

Go off-grid or backup your power with these generators.

Thad Warren
January 2023
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6 Minutes

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Generators are something you don’t usually think about until you need one. And when you need a generator, you really need a generator. 

With the right generator, you can power your home, RV, or cabin through a blackout or just keep the lights on at the campsite. Generators are certainly not a new invention but up until the last few years, there has really only been one option, a gas or diesel-powered generator. 

While old-school fossil fuel generators can get the job done, they aren’t exactly ideal. They are loud, they put off nasty smells and emissions, and there’s the whole keeping the tank full issue. 

Solar generators are free from many of the drawbacks of gas-powered models. They are completely silent, they have 0 emissions, and there’s no fuel tank. As long as the sun rises you have a source of power. 

Of course, you will need solar panels, and ideally, sunny weather to ensure you have plenty of power on standby. Choosing the right generator means having enough capacity to power your devices and pairing it with solar panels that can keep them running when you need them most. 

Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 1000, Explorer 1000 and 2X SolarSaga 100W with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets

Looking for a solar panel generator that can do just about anything while still being portable and costs less than a new car? The Jackery Explorer 1000 kit with 2 SoarSaga 100W panels is the ticket.

Jackery is well known for making quality panels and generators, and the Explorer 1000 is their mid-tier flagship unit. It’s versatile and has several features that make it great for keeping around the house in case of a blackout, keeping the lights on at the campsite, or even powering small appliances in your RV.

And since Jackery has all sorts of different generators, panels, and other gadgets, you add on extra solar panels and accessories to suit your needs. 

 

 

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 1002Wh (46.4Ah, 21.6V)
  • Battery: Lithium-ion Battery
  • AC Output: 3*110V, 1000W (2000W peak)
  • USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A
  • Quick Charge 3.0 Output: 5~6.5V 3A
  • USB-C Output: 5V 3A, 9V 3A
  • DC Output: DC 12V, 10A
  • DC Input: 8mm DC, 12V~30V (200W Max)
  • Weight: 22.04lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.1*9.2*11.1 in

Best Budget: Jackery Solar Generator 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery

 

Even ‘budget” solar generators are a bit pricey. It’s hard to find something that’s not some rip-off brand for less than $400 unless you want a unit without solar panels. That’s why the Jackery 240 is our recommendation for the best budget solar power generator. 

For less than $400 you get a reliable generator with enough capacity and power to keep your devices running and even power some small devices like a TV or projector. 

 

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 240Wh(16.8Ah/14.4V)
  • Battery: Lithium-ion Battery
  • AC Output: 110V~ 60Hz, 16.4A, 200W (400W Peak)
  • USB-A Output: 2 x 5V-2.4A
  • Quick Charge 3.0 Output: None
  • USB-C Output: None
  • Car Output: 12v-10A
  • DC Input: 12V-3.5A
  • Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 7.9in

Best for Camping: BLUETTI AC50S 500Wh Portable Power Station with Solar Panel

 

Camping trips are about experiencing the outdoors, but it can be nice to have a few modern conveniences. The AC50S can charge multiple devices at once via USB or to 120V AC outlets (wall outlet). 

The AC50S also has some cool features that are extremely handy around the campsite like a built-in LED light, folding carrying handles, and wireless cell phone charging pad. The included solar panels also fold up for convenient storage and have built-in kickstands and hooks to make it easy to keep them in the sun. 

The only downside we found is that since this unit is only 300W it will not power most small appliances like a coffee maker, blender, or toaster. So if you want to power more appliances upgrade to a higher wattage unit or be sure to find low watt appliances. 

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 500Wh 
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Wattage: 300 Watts
  • AC Outputs: 2 x 120V
  • USB Output: 4 x 5V/A
  • USB-C Output: 1 
  • DC Output: 1x DC12V10A Car Port,  2x DC12V3A
  • DC Input: 12V
  • Weight: 11.6*7.5*7.7inch
  • Dimensions: 13.6lbs

Best for RVs: EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max(2000) Solar Generator 2016Wh with 4 X 110W Solar Panel

 

RVs and travel vans can quickly eat up a lot of power so they require a pretty serious energy system to keep them running. That’s why we believe the EcoFlow Delta Max 4 solar panel bundle is the best choice for RVing. 

This solar generator can power just about anything around the RV including most TVs and small appliances. The included solar panels are waterproof and extremely durable so they are perfectly fine to leave outside for extended periods. 

If one Delta Max isn’t enough to keep you powered up, you can daisy chain multiple units together. This means hours and hours of power in a small renewable energy package.

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 2016Wh
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • AC Output: 6 outlets, 2400W total (Surge 5000W)
  • USB-A Output: 2 ports, 5V, 2.4A, 12W max per port
  • USB-A Fast Charge: 2 ports, 5V, 2.4A / 9V, 2A / 12V, 1.5A, 18W Max per port
  • USB-C Output: 2 ports, 5/9/12/15/20V, 5A, 100W Max per port
  • DC Output: 2 ports, 12.6V, 3A, 38W Max per port
  • Car Power Output: 12.6V, 10A, 126W Max
  • AC Charging Input: 1800W max, 15A
  • Solar Charging Input: 800W max, 11*110V, 10A
  • Weight: 48lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.6*9.5*12 in

Best Portable: ROCKPALS 300W Portable Power Station with Solar Panel 100W

 

If you want a small compact power station to keep your devices powered up, then the Rockpals 300W has you covered. 

It’s light at less than 8lbs, small at less than a foot long, and has a built-in carrying handle. It charges in just a few hours and can keep running for several hours. So if you’re looking for something to throw in with your hiking or camping gear the Rockpals 300 is a great option. 

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 300Wh
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • AC Output: AC Outputs (110V 300W)
  • USB-A Output: 3 x 2.4A max 5V DC per port, 6A max overall
  • USB-C Output: 1x USB-C PD output (20V/1.5A, 30W max)
  • DC Output: (12V/10A): 120W
  • Weight: 7.7lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.3 x 8.5 inches

Best Home Power Back-Up: EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max (2000) Solar Generator 2016Wh with 4 X 160W Solar Panels

 

If your home is without power for hours or even days, you will be thanking your lucky stars when you flip the switch on your home backup generator. This EcoFlow Delta Max bundle can power just about anything in your home for several hours at a time, and with the 4 included 160W solar panels, if you keep your usage to a minimum it can stay charged day and night. 

If you want extra energy storage you can tie multiple EcoFlow units together for additional storage. 

This solar generator may look familiar. The base generator is the same unit as our best RV option. That’s because the EcoFlow Delta Max is a great generator that can also be upgraded. This bundle includes higher-watt solar panels (160W vs 110W) for faster charging.  

The Nerdy Stuff:

  • Capacity: 2016Wh
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • AC Output: 6 outlets, 2400W total (Surge 5000W)
  • USB-A Output: 2 ports, 5V, 2.4A, 12W max per port
  • USB-A Fast Charge: 2 ports, 5V, 2.4A / 9V, 2A / 12V, 1.5A, 18W Max per port
  • USB-C Output: 2 ports, 5/9/12/15/20V, 5A, 100W Max per port
  • DC Output: 2 ports, 12.6V, 3A, 38W Max per port
  • Car Power Output: 12.6V, 10A, 126W Max
  • AC Charging Input: 1800W max, 15A
  • Solar Charging Input: 800W max, 11*110V, 10A
  • Weight: 48lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.6*9.5*12 in

How to decide which solar generator is right for you

Before you waste a bunch of money on something that doesn’t meet your expectations think about a few key details before pulling the trigger. 

How much energy do you need?

Think about what you are trying to power, and how much energy it uses. If you’re buying a generator to power your home through a blackout consider how large your home is. 

Are you going to try to keep your refrigerator running or just keep some lights on? Maybe you want to power an ac unit or a heater. Some appliances use a tremendous amount of electricity. This calculator can help you determine how much energy many of your common household appliances use. 

How much space do you have? 

Generators vary in size, and with solar generators, you also have to take into account the amount of space you have for solar panels. Most solar panels are 65 inches by 39 inches, so they can eat up a lot of space quickly. 

What features do you need?

Solar generators will have different configurations of outlets and ports. Before you buy consider what you are wanting to power and what sort of outlet it requires. Having a bunch of USB ports is great, but only if you plan on charging a bunch of small devices. 

You’ll also want to look closely at the output voltage for each port. Not all outlets sustain enough power to keep your devices working as they should.