Emergency preparedness is a tough business to get into, and it can be a tricky ordeal trying to figure out which preparedness supplies are the best choice for you. Thankfully, we’ve got the expertise and experience to help guide you through the decision! In this article, we’ll be taking a look at 5 of the best portable solar generators on the market. We’ll review and rank each one in an effort to try and figure out which solar generator provides customers with the absolute best value for their hard-earned dollar!
What Are Portable Solar Generators?
Portable solar generators are pieces of equipment that can generate electricity from the sunlight. They have become increasingly popular for a number of reasons. They can help you in a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood, tornado, or harsh storm. As well, they can aid in power outages and EMP attacks that might knock out the traditional power grid.
What Should You Look for in a Solar Generator?
There are numerous things you’ll want to keep an eye out for when determining the best portable solar generator for your needs. These include:
The capacity of the battery dictates how much power the generator can hold. It is generally measured in “kWh“, or watt-hours. The bigger the battery is, the more energy that the solar generator will be able to hold. However, how much energy you are able to utilize at a time is going to be determined by the inverter size, and how long it takes to fill the battery will be determined by the generator’s charging speed. Because of this, battery capacity is only one single determining factor in the overall power of a solar generator.
People generally want their solar generators to be as portable as possible. The best generators strive to offer a balance between portability and power. The more powerful a generator is, the heavier it typically is. Because of this, the generator on this list that we consider the best also weighs a lot but can be split apart to still be portable.
The inverter size determines how much energy can be drawn from the battery of the solar generator. As established, a large battery capacity requires a large inverter size if you wish to get the most out of your solar generator. The inverter size is measured in watts, determining the wattage of the solar generator.
Number and Style of Plugs
The number of plugs featured on the generator may seem straightforward, but the style of plugs can be incredibly important, as well. These can include traditional wall outlets, as well as other types of plugs, such as USB outlets.
Solar generators may often feature the ability to be expanded in terms of their solar reception and their battery capacity. Increased solar input can improve how fast a generator’s battery may be charged until it’s full, while increased battery capacity can determine how much of a charge the generator can hold before it’s full.
The life cycle that a solar generator has determines how many times a battery can be charged and ran through its entire capacity. In other words, it’s how many full charges a battery can hold before it reaches 80% efficiency.
Charging speed determines how fast the battery of a solar generator can be charged, which is pretty important when it comes to solar generators. Since the sun is only shining at its optimal capacity for around 5 hours on an average day, you’re typically only going to have around 5 hours of optimal charge time to charge your solar generator’s battery. Because of this, you’ll want your generator’s battery to be able to charge fully in well under 5 hours. Typically, you’ll want to find a generator that can reach a full charge in around 2 to 3 hours.
There are numerous other features that a generator may have, including the ability to charge through a carport or a 30amp cable to plug into an RV. These other features may not be important to everyone but will make a crucial difference to some when making the decision about which solar generator is right for them.
The 5 Best Solar Generators
Now that we know a little bit more about what to look for in a solar generator, let’s start comparing some of the many options available. There is a wide range of generators available from a variety of manufacturers, but some stand well above others when it comes to their quality and lifespan. Thankfully, we’ve gone over 5 of the most revered solar generators on the market to determine which one we think is the absolute best.
#1 Point Zero Titan
- Capacity (Wh): 2,000
- Life Cycle: 2,000
- Continuous (W): 3,000
- Fastest Solar Charge: 1 hour
- Weight (lbs.): 66
The Titan is made by Point Zero and supported by Powered Portable Solar, which is an incredibly reputable company when it comes to preparedness and survival supplies. They’ve made plenty of solar generators in the past, but the Titan blows all previous models out of the water. The Titan utilizes all of Point Zero’s knowledge of portable power in one impressive package.
The battery the Titan comes equipped with is a 2,000wh lithium-ion battery that is both incredibly powerful and relatively light when its capacity is taken into consideration. One thing that sets this battery apart from other 2,000wh batteries on the market is that it can truly utilize all 2,000wh. This is because the usable capacity of the Titan’s battery is closer to 97%, as compared to the traditional 90-80% that is found in comparable batteries.
The Titan is a fantastic and incredibly powerful solar generator, but it’s also heavy. At 65lb when one battery is attached, the Titan certainly lives up to its name. It is the heaviest generator on this list, but this fact is abated when you realize that it can come apart in two pieces. Yes, the Titan is, in fact, two separate pieces, with each piece only weighing 33lb.
The Titan certainly exceeds expectations when it comes to the size of its inverter. Whereas traditional portable solar generators will feature inverter capacities of around 1,500W, the Titan features an inverter with a capacity of 3,000W. While 1,500W is fine for basic needs, it prevents the use of heavy equipment. Thankfully, the 3,000W inverter found in the battery of the Titan doesn’t have this problem. If you’re looking to get maximum power out of your solar generator, the Titan is an excellent choice.
Amount and Style of Plugs
All the power in the world means nothing without the means to use it, which makes the number of plugs another incredibly important feature to look out for in a solar generator. Thankfully, the Titan doesn’t skimp when it comes to plugs. It features 6 wall outlets, 4 DC plugs, and various USB options, including USB-C. It also includes a 30amp style RV plug that puts out more power than any other unit that has an RV plug. The Titan can push a full 25amps through the RV plug continuously.
The Titan can be expanded in terms of both battery capacity and solar reception with added batteries and solar panels respectively. It’s battery capacity can be expanded upon with additional lithium-ion batteries, and there is no limit to the amount you can add on with this method. As the battery power is expanded, additional solar panels can be added to ensure that the generator isn’t taking too long to charge
The Titan’s lithium-ion battery has a life of 2,000 full cycles, which is incredibly impressive.
The charging speed of the Titan is determined by the amount of panels that have been attached. The Titan can have anywhere from 500w to 4,000w attached. With 500w it will recharge in about 4 hours, and with 4,000w it will charge in 1 hour. The charge controllers max out at 2,000w max solar input. However, an additional 500W from the smaller Titan 500 Kit can be added via additional panels, decreasing that time to only 2 hours. Whether your Titan is charging with additional solar panels or not, it will be able to charge well within the 5-hour time traditionally allotted for optimal sunlight.
The Titan can also be charged via a carport, but a full charge with this method will generally take around 17 hours due to the decreased power of the average carport. Car charging can be used in tandem with solar charging to maximize the efficiency of a charge, which is a pretty unique feature amongst solar generators.
The Titan is the only solar generator on this list that comes with a 30amp RV plug. This means that you can run your RV off of your Titan without any extra hook-ups.
The Titan is arguably the preeminent solar generator on the market. This is an incredible portable solar generator that is certainly the best choice on the market when it comes to solar generators available today. The only caveats to the Titan are its hefty weight and size.
#2 Maxoak Bluetti AC200P
- Capacity (Wh): 2,000
- Life Cycle: 2,500
- Continuous (W): 2,000
- Fastest Solar Charge: 2.4 hours
- Weight (lbs.): 57
The Bluetti AC200P is another solar generator, this time from Maxoak. While Maxoak may not carry the same prestige as Point Zero, they put together an admirable product with the Bluetti AC200P. For those who can’t spring for the Titan, or who simply have more modest needs, the Bluetti should serve you greatly.
The Bluetti’s battery has a 2,000Wh capacity, the same as the Titan. As mentioned before, however, the Titan has a slightly higher usable capacity.
The Bluetti weighs a little bit less than the Titan overall, but it can’t be separated into two parts for increased portability. That means that although the Bluetti may weigh only 63lbs, it still weighs a good deal more than each individual 33lb part of the Titan. So the Titan, despite its increased size and power, is still a better portable option than the Bluetti AC200P.
A pure sine wave inverter is used on the Bluetti, and it can crank out 2,000W of continuous power and 2,500W for a period of up to 2 minutes. While this isn’t quite as impressive as the Titan’s 3,000W, it’s still admirable in its own right.
Amount and Style of Plugs
Six wall outlet plugs are featured on the Bluetti, as well as 4 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port. It also features a standard DC port, as well as two 5521-barrel ports that are rated at 3a. An additional feature included on the Bluetti is a couple of 15w wireless charging pads that will allow you to charge your phone without even having to plug it in, so long as your phone feature wireless compatibility.
In terms of expansion, the solar input of the Bluetti AC200P cannot be expanded, and the battery capacity can’t. The nonexistent expansion capabilities of the battery make solar expansion less useful than on the Titan, but it can still allow you to get maximum charging power from whatever sunlight you can manage to get in the day.
The Bluetti has a life of 2,500 cycles, which is fantastic.
The Bluetti features a standard 700W in solar input. It can be over-paneled up to 1,400w but won’t let more than 700w at a time. This allows the battery to be charged in a little under three hours in most situations. As with the Titan, the Bluetti can charge from multiple places at once. You can charge the Bluetti from the wall and through the solar panels simultaneously, decreasing the amount of time it takes for the machine to reach a full charge. However, be sure to keep in mind that the battery takes 20 hours to reach a full charge when it’s being charged through a carport.
The Bluetti is a solar generator with a lot of pros, but it doesn’t quite live up to the Titan. If you can’t afford the Titan, the Bluetti is a great runner-up that provides an incredible amount of power in relation to its price and size.
#3 Jackery Explorer 2000
- Capacity (Wh): 2,060
- Life Cycle: 500
- Continuous (W): 2,200
- Fastest Solar Charge: 3.9 hours
- Weight (lb): 43
The Explorer 2000 comes from Jackery, and it is the most impressive solar generator that the company has made thus far. Still, it is no match for the Titan or even the Bluetti. Despite this, it has a slight advantage in being lightweight and more inexpensive.
The Explorer 2000 has a battery with a capacity of 2,060Wh. Once again, remember that the Titan’s battery has a slightly increased usable capacity when compared to the completion, meaning the Explorer 2000’s battery still doesn’t quite match it in terms of pure usable capacity.
Jackery’s Explorer 2000 weighs 43lb, making it less heavy than the Bluetti, but still heavier than each separate piece of the Titan.
In terms of inverter size, the Explorer 2000 offers 2,200W of output continuously. It utilizes a pure sine wave inverter, the same as the Bluetti. Still, it’s no match for the incredible power of the Titan. While you will get plenty of use with general appliances, you’ll have a harder time powering heavier equipment.
Where the battery of the Explorer 2000 really fails in comparison to the batteries of the previous two entries is in terms of its life cycles. The battery of the Explorer 2000 has a life of only 500 cycles, meaning it ranks incredibly poorly when compared to the life cycles of the prior two. The battery only lasts ¼ as long as the Titan batteries.
Amount and Style of Plugs
In terms of plugs, the Explorer 2000 features four wall outlets, enough to run a modest amount of appliances. It also features a number of other plugs, including a 60W USB-C port, a 12W USB-A port, and an 18w USB-A port. In addition, there is a traditional DC port.
The Explorer 2000 is advertised with a slightly deceptive solar reception rate, saying it can take in 800W of solar power. However, it’s taking in closer to 500W in practice. Because of this, the unit takes around 4 hours to charge until the battery is full.
Although the Explorer 2000 isn’t quite as impressive as the previous two entries on this list, it may serve some buyers nicely. If your energy requirements are going to be modest such as in a Van, it may be a nice buy. However, those looking for the absolute best choice should still go with the Titan, or the Bluetti if they can’t afford it.
#4 Lion Safari ME
- Capacity (Wh): 922
- Life Cycle: 2,500
- Continuous (W): 2,000
- Fastest Solar Charge: 1.6 hours
- Weight (lb): 45
The Safari ME comes from Lion Energy, which is a fairly new company when it comes to preparedness supplies. If the Safari ME is the best they have to offer, then the company still has a ways to go before they’re ranking alongside Titan. However, the Safari ME still has some tricks up its sleeves.
In terms of battery capacity, the Safari ME fails to excite with its 922Wh lithium iron battery. This is notably smaller than the capacities of the batteries feature in the three previous entries on this list. As such, the Safari ME is only going to good for incredibly modest energy needs.
Despite its decreased battery capacity, the Safari ME also fails to impress when it comes to portability. At least, in any significant terms when compared to its predecessors on this list. It weighs 45lb, meaning it’s not even the lightest entry without taking into account the 33-pound halves of the Titan.
The Safari ME has a 2000W pure sine wave inverter, as well as a surge capacity that can reach 4000W. 2000W of continuous power is nothing to laugh at but remember that the battery’s smaller capacity means this kind of output can only be generated for a very small amount of time. In fact, a full charge without the battery expansion can only generate about 30 minutes worth of 2,000W power. Even with the battery expansion, it would only last for around 90 minutes. The Safari ME is worth looking at if you get the extra battery pack.
Amount and Style of Plugs
Sadly, the Safari ME only comes with two 120v wall outlets. However, it also includes 2 USB-A and USB-C ports, as well as a traditional DC port.
The Safari ME does have an optional battery expansion that can be purchased separately. However, it weighs as much as the generator itself, and adds over 3 hours to the time it takes for the generator to charge. Given that the 600W solar input can’t be increased, this makes battery expansion for the Safari ME a bit of a tough sell.
As previously stated, the Safari ME has a lithium iron battery, as compared to the previous generators’ lithium-ion batteries. Despite the decreased capacity of the battery, it has a slightly longer lifespan than some of the competition. The battery of the Safari ME has a life of 2,500 cycles, while its battery expansion is good for 3,500 cycles. So, although the Safari ME only offers modest power, its long lifespan makes it a good choice for those with minimal energy needs.
The Safari ME has a maximum solar input power of 600W, meaning you aren’t going to be able to utilize a lot of the given sunlight in a day. However, the smaller capacity of the battery means that you’re still going to be able to charge your generator until the battery is full in less than two hours. The Safari ME can also be charged through a wall charger. Sadly, the Safari ME can’t be charged through the wall or the car.
Despite its interesting lithium iron battery, the Safari ME fails to impress in any significant terms in comparison to the previous three entries on the list. In fact, it can be considered a significant drop in value when compared to even the Jackery Explorer 2000.
#5 Inergy Flex 1500
- Capacity (Wh): 1,069
- Life Cycle: 2,000
- Continuous (W): 1,500
- Fastest Solar Charge: 1 hours
- Weight (lb): 30
The Flex 1500 from Inergy is another model that doesn’t quite hold a candle to the Bluetti or the Titan.
The Flex 1500’s battery features a minuscule capacity of 1,069kWh. However, unlike on the Safari ME, this is just a traditional lithium-ion battery. The only benefit is that the Flex 1500’s battery can be removed and add more batteries if desired.
One benefit that the Flex 1500 has over a lot of the competition is its portability. The generator itself only weighs 30lb. Given that the battery can be detached, this means that the unit can be separated into two pieces, weighing only about 15lb each. Even the full Flex 1500 weighs less than each individual half of the Titan, meaning this is by far the most portable and lightweight option on this list. But that comes at a great cost.
The Flex 1500 gets its name from its 1,500W inverter, which is fairly middle-of-the-road when compared to the generator’s competition on this list. While it isn’t quite as small as the 1,000W inverter on the Bluetti EB240, it is a far cry from the 3,000W inverter of the altogether superior Titan.
The detachable battery makes it possible for more batteries to be added, expanding the generator’s overall capacity.
Amount and Style of Plugs
Although the Flex 1500 certainly isn’t the most impressive specimen, it has a fairly hefty amount of plugs to offer its users. It has 6 wall outlets, 2 DC ports, and 2 USB-A and USB-C ports.
The Flex 1500’s battery is claimed to have about 2,000 cycles but also has been rumored to only have 500.
The Flex 1500 can handle 400W of solar input, allowing its meager battery to be charged in just a little over 2 hours with just the base battery. One unique feature to the Flexx 1500 is you can add more charge controllers in order to charge even faster when more batteries are added.
While the Flex 1500 is certainly the most portable when it comes to solar generators on this list, it is nowhere near as impressive as the Titan or the Bluetti. In pretty much every way, it is the least powerful entry on this list and should only be purchased by those with the most minimal energy needs and budgets.
In pretty much every way, the Titan is the ultimate portable solar generator if what you’re looking for is pure power generation with an impressive battery capacity and a large inverter size. The Titan is also the best bang for the buck. With all its features it has the lowest cost for what you get.
Ranking the Rest
If the Titan is out of your price range, the Bluetti provides a package that is slightly more affordable, and only a bit less impressive. The other three all feature their own unique advantages, from the lithium-iron battery of the Safari ME to the incredibly manageable weight of the Flex 1500. No matter what your needs are, there’s going to be a portable solar generator out there that has exactly what you’re looking for! If you’re looking for the best of the best, go with the Titan.