Best Solar Generators for Off-Grid Living in 2024

best-solar-generator-for-off-grid-living

As someone who’s installed and tested numerous solar generators, my focus is on finding the best solar generator for off-grid living.

The market size for these solar generators is growing fast. By 2032, it’s projected to reach a value of nearly USD 1 billion.

You are here because maybe you are looking for an alternative energy source for your residence other than an expensive solar system. Solar generators are designed to supplement your energy needs and save costs.

In this article, I use my experience to highlight the top models that stand out for their performance and sustainability.

Affiliate Disclaimer:

This article contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the links in this article, we will make a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

DELTA Pro 3-CA

What are the Best Solar Generators for Off Grid Living?

  1. Best for Running Large AppliancesJackery Explorer 3000 Portable Power Station
  2. Best for Off-GridBluetti AC200P Solar Generator
  3. Best for Backup PowerJackery Explorer 2000 Pro
  4. Best for PortabilityEcoFlow Delta 1300 Portable Power Station
  5. Best for house projectsJackery Explorer 1500
  6. Best for camping and small appliancesBLUETTI AC180 Portable Station

1. Jackery Explorer 3000 Portable Power Station – Best for running large appliances and backup power

image of the jackery explorer 3000 Pro

The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro is a powerhouse, perfect for anyone who needs a reliable source of power for off-grid living, camping, RV travel, and emergency home use. It’s equipped to run large appliances with its impressive 3024Wh capacity and 3000W power output, making it a versatile tool for a variety of needs.

What I like about this generator is its ability to charge all my power tools and run my water pump for my plants.

Key Benefits

  • Expansive Capacity: With a 3024Wh capacity and 3000W power output, it supports 99% of household appliances.
  • Rapid Charging: Fully charge in 2.4 hours via wall outlet or 3-4 hours with six 200W solar panels.
  • Exceptional Solar Efficiency: Industry-leading solar conversion efficiency up to 25%, generating 50% more power in low light.
  • Advanced Safety: 12 forms of protection and improved heat dissipation efficiency by 30%.
  • Smart App Control: Real-time monitoring and customization with the Jackery app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • User-Friendly Design: Aluminum alloy pull rod and non-slip silicone strip for ease of handling.
  • Versatile Ports: Equipped with 8 output ports including USB-A, USB-C, and car output.
  • Solid Warranty: Backed by a 5-year warranty and dedicated customer service.

Pricing

The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro is available for $3,999 on Amazon. Remember, the power station and solar panels are shipped separately, and a physical address is needed for delivery.

The price of $3,999.00 on the Jackery website also includes the generator and comes with two 200W SolarSaga Panels, making it an ultimately amazing deal.

When choosing between Amazon and the Jackery website, consider factors such as warranty details, payment plans, and the usual rebates offered by Jackery, which may influence your decision.

Product Pros

  • High capacity and power output are suitable for large appliances.
  • Fast and efficient charging options
  • Durable and ergonomic design for ease of use.
  • Smart connectivity for easy control and monitoring.
  • Leading safety features and advanced heat dissipation.

Product Cons

  • The size and weight might be cumbersome for some users.
  • Requires investment in multiple solar panels for optimal solar charging.
  • May be at a higher price point compared to smaller models.

My Verdict

The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro stands out as a reliable and efficient power solution for a wide range of applications. Its ability to quickly charge and power large appliances, combined with its advanced safety features and smart connectivity, makes it an ideal choice for those in need of a robust portable power station.

Whether for off-grid adventures, RV travels, or as a backup home power source, the Explorer 3000 Pro is equipped to handle your power needs with ease.

2.Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator

image of bluetti AC200P solar generator
Best Choice for Off-Grid Living

In my opinion, the Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator is an ideal choice for anyone living off-grid or needing reliable power for outdoor activities. This generator excels in scenarios like camping, tailgating, RV travel, and home emergencies.

It’s particularly effective for powering devices such as coffee makers, electric grills, air conditioners, CPAP machines, and mini-fridges. The durability and efficiency of its LiFePO4 battery, designed to last nearly a decade with daily use, make it a solid choice for various power needs.

What I like about this generator is its long battery life. This runs my CPAP machine all night without any issues.

Key Benefits

  • Longevity of Battery: From my experience, the LiFePO4 battery is a game-changer, offering nearly a decade of reliable service.
  • High Capacity and Compatibility: With a 2000Wh capacity and 2000W inverter, it can power a wide range of home appliances, which I find highly beneficial during emergencies.
  • Efficient and Fast Charging: It’s impressive how it can be charged with up to 700W solar and 500W AC input, recharging fully in just 2.5 hours.
  • User-Friendly LCD Display: The clear display of battery life helps in managing power usage effectively.
  • Versatile Outlet Options: The range of outlets including 6 AC ports and USB options provides great flexibility, which I value highly.
  • Robust Battery Management: The BMS system is a crucial feature that, in my opinion, greatly enhances the battery’s safety and longevity.
  • Portability: Although it’s compact enough to fit in a car trunk, its weight is something to consider for portability.

Pricing

Priced at $1,199 on Amazon with no solar panel option, the Bluetti AC200P represents a significant investment. However, considering its versatility and robust features, I believe it offers good value for those in need of a reliable power solution.

Bluetti website – $1948, this includes the generator and a 1 x 350W solar panel.

Product Pros

  • The battery’s lifespan is a major plus.
  • Suitable for a wide range of power needs.
  • Quick charging is a standout feature.
  • Multiple outlets cater to various devices.
  • Compact and relatively portable.

Product Cons

  • Not suitable for powering an entire home, which might be a limitation for some.
  • At 60.6 lbs, it’s somewhat heavy, impacting its ease of transport.
  • More suited for stationary use, which might not meet everyone’s needs.

My Verdict

In summary, the Bluetti AC200P is a great choice for those looking for a dependable solar generator. It’s especially ideal for off-grid living, camping, and emergency home use. The generator’s combination of efficiency, diverse functionalities, and durability make it a worthwhile investment for a variety of power needs.

3. Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro – Best for use in a tool shop or backup power

image of Jackery Explorer 2000 Solar Generator

The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro, in my opinion, is an excellent choice for anyone in need of reliable backup power or for use in a tool shop. It’s also ideal for outdoor off-grid activities, camping, RV travel, and home emergencies.

This solar generator stands out as one of the most powerful on the market, offering a massive 2,160Wh capacity and 4,400W peak power, with an impressive AC output of up to 2,200W. It’s perfect for powering a range of appliances, from pellet smokers to mini coolers and air conditioners.

I particularly appreciate the Jackery Explorer 2000 for its ability to power heavy-duty tools effortlessly, making it a game-changer in my workshop and extended camping trips.

Key Benefits

  • Quiet Charging: Operates at less than 55DB, ensuring a peaceful charging environment.
  • Fast Solar Charging: Achieves full charge in just 2.5 hours with six SolarSaga 200W solar panels.
  • Eco-Friendly: Emits no toxic gases, offering 100% green energy.
  • Versatile Charging Options: Includes 8 output ports for flexibility in charging tools and electronics.
  • Rapid AC Charging: Fully charges in just 2 hours.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Weighing just 43 pounds, it’s easy to transport.
  • User-Friendly Design: Simple press-and-play operation and whisper-quiet functionality.
  • Broad Appliance Compatibility: Powers 99% of in-home appliances, ideal for home backup and off-grid activities.

Pricing

Priced at $1,899, the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro represents a significant but worthwhile investment for its high power output and rapid charging capabilities.

Jackery’s website has the generator and 2 x 200W SolarSaga Panels for $3299.

Product Pros

  • High capacity and power output suitable for a wide range of uses.
  • Quick and quiet solar and AC charging options.
  • Portable and easy to use, making it a convenient choice.
  • Eco-friendly with no emission of harmful gases.

Product Cons

  • The 6-panel SolarSaga system is quite heavy, over 150 lbs, making it less practical to move around.
  • Some customers have found the installation of solar panels challenging.
  • Not as waterproof as some might expect, which can be a limitation.
  • High Price Point

My Verdict

In my view, the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is an excellent investment for those who need reliable, portable power. Whether you’re heading outdoors for an adventure or seeking a dependable power backup for your home or workshop, this solar generator is up to the task.

Despite some of its drawbacks, like the weight of the solar panel system and installation challenges, its impressive power output and rapid charging capabilities make it an attractive option. It’s the perfect present for yourself or someone in need of a powerful, eco-friendly power solution.

4.EcoFlow Delta Max Portable Power Station – Best Portable Powerhouse

image of EcoFlow Delta 1300

From my perspective, the EcoFlow Delta Max Portable Power Station is a top-tier choice for those who need a portable powerhouse. Whether you’re living off-grid, needing home backup, or indulging in outdoor activities, this power station is impressively capable. It’s designed to power a range of devices, from refrigerators and microwaves to coffee makers and CPAP machines, making it an indispensable tool.

Its compact size paired with its “PowerIQ” technology offers quick charging times, which is a huge plus for anyone needing reliable power on the go.

Key Benefits

  • High Capacity: The 1260Wh battery capacity allows for powering multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Quick Charging: Charges from 0-80% in just 1.5 hours, which is incredibly fast and efficient.
  • Versatile Use: Can energize up to 13 devices at once, proving its versatility.
  • Eco-Friendly: Offers 100% green energy, free of toxic fumes or chemicals.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Weighing only 31 lbs, it’s easy to carry and ideal for various travel scenarios.
  • Expandable Power: The ability to daisy chain multiple units together for increased power is a unique feature.
  • Low round-trip efficiency (YouTube solar equipment reviewer Will Prowse said this portable power station’s round-trip efficiency is only 58%, rendering it to deliver less than half of the total stored energy. Comparatively, other portable power systems in this category have an average efficiency rate of 79%.)

Pricing

You can find the EcoFlow Delta Max for $1,099 on Amazon.

EcoFlow Website – $1,199. This pricing flexibility allows you to choose the best option for your budget.

Product Pros

  • The fast charging capability is a significant advantage for those needing quick power replenishment.
  • Its ability to power multiple devices at once is extremely useful in various scenarios.
  • The portability factor, given its lightweight design, is great for outdoor activities.

Product Cons

  • The lower round-trip efficiency of 58% is something to consider, especially when needing efficient power delivery.
  • Some reports suggest it may not be as quiet as advertised, which could be a concern for noise-sensitive environments.
  • The shorter battery life might limit its usefulness for extended off-grid trips.

My Verdict

In my experience, the EcoFlow Delta 1300 has been a reliable companion for charging my DJI Drone batteries, offering the portability and power I need. While it may not be the best fit for longer trips due to its battery life and efficiency, it’s still an excellent choice for shorter excursions and as a backup power source.

The quick charging time and multiple output ports make it a versatile and convenient option for various power needs, especially when you need a quick and reliable energy source on the go.

5. Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro Portable 200W Solar Generator – Best all around the house generator

image-of-jackery-1500pro-solar-generator

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is an all-around stellar choice for those who need a versatile generator for various settings like off-grid living, camping, home use, and RV travel. It’s designed to power a wide range of devices, including CPAP machines, laptops, mini-fridges, and coffee makers.

The emphasis on safety with its advanced BMS technology and precise temperature control sets it apart, while its multi-duct system ensures 30% improved heat dissipation. It’s a generator that combines safety, reliability, and user-friendliness.

Key Benefits

  • Safety and Durability: Features an outer shell that meets high UL standards and is made from 94V-0 fireproof material, ensuring the device’s longevity.
  • Compact and Portable: Weighing just 43 lbs, it’s easy to transport, which I find very convenient.
  • Efficient and Easy to Use: With Dual PD100W, three 1800W AC charging ports, and two USB-C ports, it offers high-conversion efficiency.
  • Shock-Resistant: The shock-resistant design adds an extra layer of durability.
  • Quiet Operation: Operates at no more than 47 decibels, providing a peaceful charging experience.
  • Integrated LCD Display: Accurately displays charging input and output.
  • Multiple Charging Ports: Ability to charge up to 8 devices simultaneously.
  • Extended Warranty: Comes with a 3-year warranty with an additional 2-year extension when purchased from the official website.

Pricing

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is priced at $1,699 both on Amazon and on the Jackery website. Note that this price does not include solar panels.

Product Pros

  • Lightweight and portable, making it ideal for various outdoor activities.
  • Multiple ports and high efficiency in charging.
  • Exceptional safety features, which I always prioritize.
  • Durability is a key advantage, with its fire-resistant and shock-proof design.

Product Cons

  • It may not be capable of powering an entire off-grid dwelling.
  • The additional cost of solar panels for optimal use.
  • Limited by its power output for some larger appliances.

My Verdict

From my experience, the Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is an excellent choice for those needing a reliable power source while on the move. It’s particularly impressive for campers, overlanders, and RV travelers due to its portability and robust build. What’s really awesome to note is its ultra-long standby time, lasting 472 days at 80% charge, which is incredibly useful for prolonged use.

This generator is rated highly by customers globally, and with its extended warranty, it’s a sound investment for a wide range of power needs.

6. BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC180 – Best for Camping

image-of-bluetti-AC180-solar-generator-best-for-camping-uses

The BLUETTI AC180 Portable Power Station is a top-tier choice for those seeking reliable, versatile, and robust power solutions. Ideal for camping, off-grid adventures, or as an emergency backup, this solar generator boasts a powerful 1152Wh LiFePO4 battery. With its sleek black design and compact dimensions (13.39″L x 9.72″W x 12.48″H), it’s not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

Key Benefits

  • Rapid Charging Capability: Fully charges in just 1 hour with 1440W AC input.
  • High Power Output: Offers 1800W (2700W peak) through 4 AC outlets.
  • Multiple Outlets: Equipped with 11 outlets, catering to a wide range of devices.
  • Solar Fast Charge: Integrated MPPT charge controller for up to 500W solar input, allowing full charge in 2.8-3.3 hours.
  • Versatile Use: Ideal for camping, outdoor activities, and as a home backup.
  • Reliable UPS Feature: Transforms into a home battery backup, supplying emergency power in just 20 ms.
  • Extensive Warranty and Support: Comes with a 5-year warranty and dedicated customer service.
  • Quiet Operation: Designed to run without loud noise, enhancing user comfort.

Pricing

Priced at $999.00 on Amazon, the BLUETTI AC180 strikes a balance between high-end features and cost-effectiveness. It’s an investment in reliable and renewable power, suitable for a range of applications from recreational to emergency preparedness.

Note: Solar panels are not included in the original price unless you choose a solar panel option.

On Bluetti’s website, you can purchase the generator alone for $669, or opt for a bundle that includes the generator and one 200W solar panel for $1,098.

Product Pros

  • Quick and efficient charging time.
  • High wattage output suitable for various devices.
  • Solar charging capability for eco-friendly energy.
  • Comprehensive warranty and customer support.

Product Cons

  • A higher price point may not be suitable for all budgets.
  • Weighing 37.4 pounds, it might be relatively heavy for some users.
  • Requires additional investment in solar panels for solar charging.
  • Cannot Power Large Appliances Simultaneously

My Verdict

The BLUETTI AC180 is more than just a power station, it’s a reliable companion for your adventures and a trustworthy backup for your home. With its rapid charging, diverse outlet options, and solar charging capabilities, it stands out in the market.

Whether you’re a camping enthusiast, live off-grid, or just want to be prepared for power outages, the BLUETTI AC180 is an excellent choice.

What is a Solar Generator?

A solar generator is a portable device that integrates solar panels, a rechargeable battery, and an inverter to turn sunlight into electricity. It’s a clean and quiet alternative to traditional power sources, ideal for emergency backup or outdoor activities. While effective for saving energy, solar generators aren’t typically sufficient for continuous, high-demand use. They can also be charged using household electricity, not just solar.

How Can a Solar Generator Benefit You?

Here’s a straightforward look at how a solar generator can be a practical addition to your lifestyle:

  • Cost Savings: Solar generators help reduce energy costs and foster energy independence.
  • Emergency Readiness: They provide a reliable power source during grid failures, making them essential for emergency readiness.
  • Versatility: These units are adaptable, powering homes during outages and supporting smooth operation in RVs or during outdoor adventures.
  • Eco-Friendly: Solar generators operate quietly and produce no emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment.
  • Lifestyle Choice: Choosing a solar generator is part of a broader commitment to sustainable living, similar to recycling or organic gardening.

Buyers Guide – How We Conducted Our Research

  1. Pricing Check: First things first, we looked at the cost. It’s all about getting that sweet spot where the price feels right for what you’re getting. We compared prices across different models to see which ones offered real bang for your buck.
  2. Feature Fishing: Next up, we scoured through the features. What makes each product shine? We were like detectives, looking for those standout features that make each solar generator special.
  3. Spotting the Gaps: No product is perfect, right? So we hunted down the negatives too. What’s missing? What could be better? This step helped us get a full picture of each product.
  4. Support and Safety Net: Lastly, we checked out their support system and refund policies. It’s like having a safety net. We wanted to know if there’s help when you need it or a backup plan if things don’t go as expected.

Wrapping up

Each of the solar generators explored offers distinct advantages suited for off-grid living, ranging from robust wattage outputs to user-friendly integrated LCD displays. Selecting the right one is pivotal to ensuring a seamless off-grid experience.

When choosing a solar generator for off-grid living, the key thing to consider is the wattage output. Think about the appliances you’ll use it for – that’s what really matters.

FAQs

FAQ section - an image of an off grid cabin - solar-generator-questions

Can you live off-grid with a solar generator?

Absolutely, you can live off the grid using a solar generator. It’s all about getting enough sunshine for power. But remember, it takes some planning. You’ll need to figure out how much power you use, pick the right solar generator, and keep an eye on your energy consumption to make sure your generator can handle it all.

How much solar power do I need to live off the grid?

For an average off-grid home, you’re looking at needing around 7 kW (that’s 7000 Watts) of power to be totally self-sufficient in terms of energy.

What size generator do I need for an off-grid house?

A 2000-watt solar generator is usually a good fit for most houses. This type of generator typically includes solar panels, an inverter, a battery, and some other essential components.

What size solar generator do I need to run a refrigerator?

Well, it depends on your fridge size. For a small fridge, you need about 400W running watts and 1200W starting watts.

A standard one takes 700W (running) and 2900W (starting). For a large side-by-side fridge, it’s 1000W running and 4000W starting.

And for the biggest fridges, you’re looking at 1500W running and up to 6000W starting watts.

What features should I prioritize when buying a solar generator for off-grid living?

When selecting a solar generator for off-grid living, prioritize the battery capacity, wattage output, number and types of output ports, charging speed, and solar panel efficiency.

Also, consider the generator’s weight, especially if portability is essential. Reading product reviews and user experiences can also provide valuable insights.

How do I know if a solar generator is compatible with my appliances?

Check the wattage requirements of your appliances and compare them to the continuous and surge wattage output of the solar generator. Ensure that the generator can handle the combined wattage of all devices you intend to run simultaneously.

Is investing in a higher-priced solar generator worth it for off-grid living?

A higher price often reflects a solar generator’s quality, capacity, and advanced features. If you plan to rely heavily on it for multiple appliances or long durations, investing in a premium model might be worthwhile for durability, efficiency, and peace of mind.

Can I expand the capacity of a solar generator after purchasing it?

Some solar generators allow for expansion by connecting to external batteries or adding more solar panels. Check the product’s specifications or consult with the manufacturer to determine if this is an option for the model you’re considering.

What kind of maintenance does a solar generator require after purchase?

Solar generators typically require minimal maintenance. Regularly clean the solar panels to ensure efficient charging. Check connections and cables for wear and tear. Store the generator in a cool, dry place, and ensure the battery is charged every 3-6 months, even if not in use, to prolong its lifespan.

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