When you first look at the cost of solar generators, you might find yourself balking as you try to decide why such a thing might be recommended to you despite the high cost.
There are quite a few reasons for this. While solar generators have a large upfront cost, they are worth it in the long run since they don’t need much else to keep them going once the installation is complete.
But you still might be wondering why they cost so much in the first place and if maybe it is better to get a gas generator instead.
Solar Panel Costs
By themselves, solar panels usually cost about $1 to $1.50 per watt. So a 6,000-watt system will often cost anywhere between $6,000 and $9,000.
However, you also need to consider other expenses, like installation and wiring. While you can get tax credits and rebates from the government, they don’t usually come as cash directly and only go toward your taxes.
Usually, for a solar panel system being installed, you can expect closer to $2 to $4 per watt.
If you get a lithium battery, which is highly recommended for commercial, industrial, and residential uses due to its ability to scale, minimal maintenance, more efficient energy, and more renewable and clean energy, it can be pretty expensive.
One lithium battery can easily cost $8,000 or more. It depends on the size of the battery, and how many you need, but you can expect to pay about the same price for your battery as you did for your solar panels.
The costs may be a bit lower for portable power stations, as carrying around solar energy in solar generators is heavy and bulky, and so you often scale back on your equipment and capacity.
But for home batteries that make you less dependent on utility companies, you can expect a fairly sizeable amount that is close to the total amount of the rest of your solar power system.
You may think that solar generator companies are taking advantage of you, but most companies aren’t making a large amount of money. Since the government is pushing a lot of people to switch to solar power and energy, which is better for climate change and the environment, the components aren’t much higher than the production cost.
Additionally, as new science and appliances are becoming common use, the prices will decrease. This is because solar panels are getting easier to make and produce than they were initially.
How They Compare to Fossil Fuel Generators per Watt of Power Produced
The reason we aren’t eliminating gas generators yet is that they still shine in certain types of situations. For one, they often take up a lot less space and can create more power within that limited space.
Portable sunlight-powered power stations are now becoming common devices, but they are limited by their charging speed and their storage capabilities.
However, if you have the space, and will be in the same location for a long time, you will see that solar power stations are a good investment. With buyback times being about half the lifespan of a solar power station, you can start making money in eight to ten years.
With gas generators, you are constantly paying for your electricity as you purchase more fossil fuel to get it running.
Pros and Cons of Solar Generators Based on This Comparison
When you are thinking about the differences between a gas generator and a solar generator, it is best to weigh some of the pros and cons of these things. Both have areas where they shine.
- A solar generator is a silent device. The only sound is an occasional fan to keep the batteries and inverter cooler
- The quiet is better when camping too, whether in a tent or RV, as you can run your generator all night without any complaints from your fellow campers in a crowded place
- Solar generators need far less maintenance throughout their lifetime as a backup power source
- You can save money or get discounts thanks to tax credits
- Solar generators are cleaner and they can be placed inside a house without any harm
- You don’t have to do anything with your systems once they are set up. All models will start working with little to no input, so you don’t have to check gas and fuel
- After purchasing, you have to pay very little to keep the products running, so after your system pays for itself, you start to produce savings
- Solar generators need a lot of space to get enough power, if they are small, they don’t produce nearly as much energy
- Solar generators are difficult to set up, and usually require professional installation or a lot of research
- Gas generators have a much cheaper upfront cost
- Solar generators don’t do well with extreme temperatures, and might not run properly if it is too cold or too hot
- Solar generators rely on the sun, so if it is cloudy for a few days, or you use a lot of power once it gets dark, you may be using your backup rather quickly