By now, you probably know many of the big-picture benefits of solar generators. They run on a renewable resource, which is the energy from the sun. Like wind and water power, it is green and clean energy, environmentally friendly, and helps to slow down climate change.
While that is great, sometimes a solution doesn’t work for all of the population. Solar power may work for some during a power outage, but for others, solar panels and the rest of the system just don’t make sense.
To understand which one may be best for you, this article is here to summarize it and help you pick your ideal power source.
When To Use a Solar Generator?
If you want to support products and technology that get rid of harmful fossil fuels, solar generators may be the better option.
However, since they run on solar energy, you also need to make sure that you have plenty of sun or that your generator has a large enough capacity that you don’t need to charge it for a while.
Additionally, if you are going somewhere that is difficult to get more fuel, you may do better with a solar generator, like if you are backpacking or camping deep in the wilderness, as it is more likely that you can charge a solar generator than fuel a gas generator.
If you are going camping in an RV or van in the wilderness with other campers around as well, you may want to look at getting a solar generator. They are much quieter, so you could run one all night without any complaints.
If you are going to be in an enclosed space and worried about where to put your generator so someone doesn’t steal it, a solar generator is also a good idea here, because it can be put inside without any danger.
When To Use a Gas Generator?
If you live in an area that is constantly cloudy, dark, or rainy, a solar generator may not be worth the investment for you. Gas generators are reliable and not dependent on the weather.
If you are already using fuel for things like your vehicles, lawn mower, and more, having to keep fuel on hand may not be a big deal either, so a gas generator could benefit you here.
Finally, gas generators work if you need a lot of power for a long time. They can provide you with enough power to run your whole home or emergency equipment without a problem and without dying on you.
How a Solar Generator Works?
A solar generator works by taking energy and storing it in a battery or batteries. They have almost every component for a solar system you may need, including an inverter that converts AC to DC power, an MPPT charge controller, batteries, and more.
Most of these devices can charge via AC or DC power. But if you want to be truly sustainable, you can buy solar panels to come with it so you can get solar energy.
The capacity of a solar generator depends on the size you buy and how much you want to spend on a product.
Benefits of a Solar Generator
- Solar generators need far less maintenance. They can run for a long time without any care except the occasional dusting, and you don’t have to regularly take them in for dusting.
- Better for emergencies. Since gas can expire after somewhere between a month and a year, you may find yourself without any fuel to run your generator. Solar generators can be stored for years without much if any loss in electricity, making them an ideal backup power.
- Solar generators are better for the environment as they release no emissions and use sustainable energy from the sun as their “fuel” source.
- Solar generators are lightweight and more suited to carry with you without being heavy or cumbersome.
- Once you buy the generator, you don’t have to continue to pay for fuel or repairs, so you just have the initial cost.
- Solar generators are quiet, so when you are in an area where people don’t want to listen to loud noise, like when you are camping or in homes with annoying neighbors, you don’t have to worry about upsetting anyone or hurting your ears.
- Solar generators are safer for the most part. You don’t have to worry about dangerous emissions from gasoline that can harm people in small environments, or a hot engine that could burn a child or pet. While there is a small fire risk like with any appliance or anything that runs on batteries, it’s far less combustible than a gas generator.
How a Gas Generator Works?
A gas generator works much like a car engine. It has an internal combustion engine that mixes the fuel you put into it and the surrounding air and puts it into a combustion chamber.
Then one or more spark plugs light the fuel and you have power so long as there is enough oxygen and fuel to keep it running and the engine doesn’t overheat.
Benefits of a Gas Generator
- Gas generators take a lot less space for the same amount of power, so they are more compact while producing the same or more energy than a solar generator.
- Easy to use, especially if you’ve seen one before. They just need to have fuel then hit start and it is ready to go. You just have to add a little more fuel occasionally.
- Gas generators often cost less and there are well-known and trustworthy companies that have been around for decades.
- Generators that run on gas are more reliable. They work the same no matter the weather or environmental factors, or what time of day it is.
Which Type Do You Need?
One answer doesn’t work for everyone. Depending on what you are looking for in a generator, one or both of these generators may be ideal for you.
A solar generator tends to suit people that use little power when camping. It’s also better for people that live in sunny areas that can rely on having enough sun to charge their generator when needed for the most part.
If you want to “glamp”, or camp in style, then a gas generator will give you the power you need without costing an exorbitant amount or taking up a lot of space. They aren’t as portable, so they are best for people camping in things like RVs or people who just want to have backup power in an emergency.
What Size Generator Will Supply Sufficient Power?
Again, this question doesn’t have one easy answer, as not everyone is the same. The best way to tell how much power you need is to look at what you want to power.
Most devices will either tell you their wattage or you can easily find it online. Calculate how much power you will be using at once, and throughout the day, to get an idea of what size of generator you want.
For solar generators especially, it is important to calculate how much power at once you need, as there is an inverter installed that converts DC power from the panels to usable AC power. However, that inverter can only produce so much power at once and can limit the number of devices you can plug in.
If you are unsure about the exact amount, and you have the money, it is best to go with a size bigger than you think you need so you never find yourself short.
Which energy source would provide the cheapest electricity for a factory solar panels?
Gas generators are the cheapest electricity for factory solar panels. Solar panels are expensive and require a large amount of space to install. They also have to be connected to a battery bank and an inverter, which can cost more than the panels. Gas generators are relatively cheap and easy to install and can provide power when the sun isn’t shining, or you need extra power during peak times. Gas generators can be placed anywhere on your property, so you don’t have to worry about finding space for them or having an expensive roof installed just for the panels.