Top 6 Solar Generators for Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Scenarios
Last Updated: September 19th, 2020
Most people know about or are at least aware of what a gas or diesel generator is. It’s super common for folks who live in disaster prone areas to have some sort of generator in order to keep the power on when the grid goes down. However, with the uncertainty in society now a days around the price and availability of fuel, especially in disaster situations; it's clear gas powered generators are not always the best option in a crisis type situation. That's where solar generators come in. Before we dive into the best solar generators for emergency preparedness and disaster situations, let's cover the types of situations you might find yourself in that would cause you to think of getting a solar generator.
Just Want to Know What The #1 Best Selling Emergency Backup Solar Generator is?
The #1 solar generator option for emergency backup power is... The EcoFlow Delta Quad Kit. It comes with everything you need, including four 100 watt solar panels and all of the solar connectors required to keep your lights on and your food cold.
Types of Emergency & Disaster Situations Solar Generators Are Good For.
With so much uncertainty these days when it comes to power outages, viruses and natural disasters, you can never be too prepared. Especially when it comes to having the proper emergency power supply in place should you experience any sort of emergency or disaster situation.
Thousands of Americans live in areas where they can be affected by natural disasters multiple times per year. From wildfires on the west coast, floods on the east coast or tornados in the heartland, it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this, odds are you’ve been personally affected in one way or another by a natural disaster or know someone who has.
Wondering how one should prepare for situations like this? Especially when simply picking up and moving is not an option... Keep reading to find out why we believe a solar powered generator should be a top priority when preparing for emergency situations. Because let's face it, our entire life can’t just be uprooted and moved to a new town, state or country on a whim. The reality then becomes how do we properly prepare for the inevitability of emergency and disaster situations...
How Does a Solar Powered Generator Help Me?
A quick google search for tips on preparing for emergencies and dealing with natural disasters will provide you with plenty of ideas on the immediate steps to take when disaster strikes. From signing up for severe weather alerts to buying food and water provisions, you’ve probably done something like this before if you live in an area where natural disasters can be common place.
However, what you might not be so well versed on are all the the ways in which a solar generator can be of use when the grid goes down and SHTF. Even if you aren’t in the direct path of disastrous weather, or the heart of a lockdown, you can still be without power for days at a time which is where a solar generator can be the answer to your problems.
This article covers what & how a solar generator works as well as the main benefits of a solar generator as well as outlines our top 6 solar generator options for preparing to handle whatever disaster life throws our way.
What is a solar generator?
A solar generator or portable power station is more or less a battery in a box. The reason it's been given the name generator or power station is because it works exactly the same as a fuel generator, however instead of pouring fuel into it, just plug a few solar panels into it and voila, it will recharge/keep your solar generator charged.
PLUS you can just plug your appliances, electronics and more right into the front of it as they come with standard outlets and USB ports. So you can actually be pouring solar power into the generator (through the panels) while you use that power to survive and thrive whenever and wherever.
What's Inside a Solar Generator?
To keep things simple, a solar generator is just a battery in a box along with a charge controller/regulator and a power inverter (with a few other parts and pieces). The charge controller regulates the amount of power coming in from your solar panels so that we don't fry the battery. The battery then holds the energy we're generating from the sun and from there, the power inverter is hooked up between the battery and the outlets, thus allowing us to use the power we're generating and storing in the batteries.
Hope that makes sense, if not feel free to reach out and we'd be happy to explain further.
What's on the outside of a solar generator?
On the outside of a solar generator, depending on which option you go with, there are a range of outlets for everything from standard appliances and USB ports to cigarette lighter ports and plugins for your solar panels. So you can just plug stuff in and away you go. It really is that simple!
How Do You Use A Solar Generator?
The reason solar generators are so popular for emergency preparedness is due to their ease of use and what we call their "plug-and-play" capabilities. All you do is place your solar generator near your living quarters so that you can plug everything in and from there, plug your solar panels in and place them in the sun.
Most solar generators come with 30-50 foot solar panel cables so that you can have the solar panels in the sun, while the actual solar generator is near where you need it/inside the house. The image below gives you a visual of how you can charge your solar generator as well as use it to power your electronics and appliances.
The 5 MAIN Benefits of a Solar Generator in Emergency Situations:
No Need to Procure Fuel (Ever!)
Clean, Renewable power
Unlimited Free Recharging
Solar Generators = No Need to Procure Fuel (Ever!)
In a real life disaster situation the ability to find and procure fuel could be a dangerous proposition. So the ability to run your solar generator without the need for gas is not only a huge benefit, but could mean the difference between having power or not (and life or death).
After hurricane Maria in 2018, Puerto Rico was without power in some places for nearly 11 months! While 11 months is definitely longer than usual for power to be restored, its not uncommon for people in the continental US to wait huge amounts of time before the power is restored. After hurricane Michael hit Florida in late 2018, parts of the state went multiple weeks without power at all. This is where your fuel-free, solar powered generator will shine.
In the aftermath of hurricane Michael it was impossible for people to simply drive down the street and pick up gas for their generators. Unless you have a huge store of fuel (which is dangerous & expensive) odds are you’re going to need to figure out a way to keep your generator running. If you have a solar generator kit (something that comes with panels and all necessary wiring) you can be harnessing power all day when the sun is out.
You can keep your essential appliances running and light your house until the grid power is restored. This means your food wont go bad, your lights can stay on, your phones charged up etc.
Solar Generators = Clean Source of Power
The fact that solar generators do not produce toxic fumes and gasses is often overlooked when it comes to disaster situations. We all know that solar energy is clean and renewable but in a situation where you need to flee your home or hide in the basement for prolonged periods of time, your gas generator can’t come with you. You may need to charge your phone, power some lights or run a fridge in your hideout and good luck doing that with your gas generator.
A solar generator allows you to simply pack up your panels and head wherever you need to go. If you wanted to keep your generator beside your bed to charge up your phone, ham radio, laptop or even just run a light, no problem; Yes, a solar generator is completely safe for indoor use! You can literally put your solar generator on the dining room table while it powers all of your devices inside the home via regular extension chords. This is why people who are properly prepared for disasters love solar generators. You can keep them in a confined space worry free.
Solar Generators = Portability
What makes solar generators so portable is that wherever you go, your solar generator can go as well. From your car to your basement, you’re free to take them with you and run them 24/7. In real world scenarios, especially after disasters hit, they are much more versatile than a gas generator. The only thing you can count on after a real disaster situation is the sun shining, meaning that wherever you need to go, you'll have power.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to find fuel or that the grid will return in a reasonable amount of time. Being able to take advantage of a sunny day can be the difference between life or death, literally. Check out this video where Inergy donates generators to families in need after Hurricane Maria. A perfect example of how a solar generator is your best option in disaster scenarios.
Solar Generators = Recharge For Free
Another obvious benefit to a solar generator that extends even beyond a disaster scenario is that it recharges for free. While some of the price points below might seem expensive, especially compared to the price of gas or diesel generators, it’s only the initial cost that is expensive; you have zero upkeep/fuel costs over the lifetime of your unit because sunshine is free.
On top of this, if the city goes into lockdown or disaster strikes, the availability of fuel may not be an option. So while others fight and riot over the remaining fuel sources, you'll be able to rest easy knowing you can survive with your solar generator.
As is the case with anything when it comes to solar, your initial investment is big, but it’s in the interest of long term savings. Something like the Bluetti EB240 solar generator can last for well over 10+ years or 2,000 cycles which means you’ll have this system for a long time and not need to buy one lick of gas to power it.
Solar Generators = Silent
Building off of being a clean, free source of power, they are also DRAMATICALLY more quiet than their gas generator counterparts. The cooling fans will kick on once you start drawing significant amounts of power, but compared to loud, dirty and messy gas generators its a welcome change. This also means that your solar generator can be used inside, while you sleep or hunker down during a disaster situation.
It also means that if you're ever in a situation where you need to remain stealth and hidden from others, you can use the power without drawing attention to yourself.
Thousands of Americans already keep their solar generators in their mobile homes with them when they sleep. The level of noise they produce is similar to a desktop computer or laptop.
Now that we have addressed some of the major benefits of Solar Generators when it comes to disaster situations, we will outline our top 5 solar generator kits for emergency situations. This list is not exhaustive, there are many other great options available, so if you need help selecting a unit that works for your needs, you can reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
The Top 6 Solar Generators for Emergency Preparedness
The EcoFlow Delta 1800 solar generator is one of the most exciting new power stations and it created an enormous amount of buzz in late 2019, funded by a Kickstarter that raised over 2.8 million, the Delta is the latest product from the portable power company EcoFlow, which began producing powerful, portable batteries in 2017.
EcoFlow boasts a proprietary battery management system as well as a new charging platform for AC current, both of which make the Delta 1800 one of the most efficient solar generators on the market today. It's now in stock and shipping to customers as orders are placed.
Without a doubt, the 2 hour charge time of the Ecoflow Delta 1800 is the innovation that makes the generator standout amongst its competitors. However, when compared to the popular Yeti Goal Zero 1400, the Delta 1300 showcases quite a few improvements.
Side by Side Comparison: EcoFlow Delta 1300 vs. Yeti Goal Zero 1400
- Charging TIme: Two Hours vs 25 Hours
- Battery life cycle: 800 Charges vs 500 Charges
- Shelf Life: 12 months vs. 3-5 months
- Max Solar Input: 400 Watts vs 350 Watts
- Output: 1800 W (Surge 3300W) vs 1500W (Surge 3000W)
- Outlets: 6 AC, 6 USB vs 2 AC, 4 USB
- Weight: 30 lbs vs 43 lbs
- Price: $1,399 vs $1,899
The Ecoflow Delta 1300 is ideal for occasional use such as camping, tailgating, and festivals, and is also a perfect emergency back-up solution for homes, disaster situations and medical devices as it will power everything you need to survive in these situations.
The EcoFlow Delta Quad kit comes with EVERYTHING you need to get up and running including the solar panels, connectors, extension cables and more. You can check it out here.
The Bluetti EB240 QUAD Kit is also one of the best selling emergency back up solar generator kits on the market. The EB240 solar generator has a 2,400 Watt Hour lithium battery and a 1,000 watt pure sine wave inverter making it one of the biggest and best solar generators money can buy.
The Bluetti EB240 solar generator has LG Li-ion battery cells (meaning high quality) and dual charging capabilities (either AC from any wall outlet or from Solar Panels) so you can charge it from your solar panels or even from any AC power source like a gas generator if you were really in a pinch!
The Bluetti EB240 QUAD Kit includes the solar generator and 4 x 100 watt high quality monocrystalline solar panels as well as a 30 foot 10 gauge MC4 solar panel extension cable & the branch connectors needed to connect and run your solar panels back to the Eb240 generator.
This kit is perfect for running everything from the lights and tv to electric blankets and fridge/freezers. You can check out the Bluetti EB240 Quad Kit here.
Titan Solar Generator
Point Zero set out to make the ultimate generator and we think they have achieved this. The Titan solar generator is an absolute beast with a 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter that peaks at 6000 watts.
This means the Titan solar generator can run hair dryers, induction cook tops, space heaters, you name it this unit can power it. You can check out our more in depth article on the pros and cons of the Titan here, but to give you some context, you can add more batteries and more panels to this system as you see fit. Even with only one battery it is large enough to run most home appliances, including a fridge, washing machine, microwave, cook top stove, fans lights, tv, and other electronics. This unit is an absolute beast and the only reason it isn't number one is because its heavy and somewhat hard to move around.
The Lion Safari ME GOLD Kit is one of the most anticipated solar generator kits of 2020. This solar generator boasts 2,970wH lithium battery and a 2,000W pure sine inverter. Meaning the Safari ME can run pretty much anything you throw at it.
The 4,000 watt surge on the inverter also means it can handle high wattage appliances such as an A/C unit, coffee maker, and many large power tools. The Lion Safari ME Gold Kit will truly have you prepared for anything. From blackouts and grid down situations to hurricanes, wild fires and more.
The base generator unit has a 922 watt hour lithium battery and the lithium expansion battery (included) adds 2,048wH of battery storage giving you a total of 2,970 watt hours of lithium battery storage (more than the Titan!)
The Lion Safari ME also has 585 watts of solar input, meaning you can recharge the base battery in 3-4 hours with the 4 x 100w solar suitcases included with your order and charge the base unit + expansion battery in 7-9 hours from 0%. Click here to see the Lion Safari ME GOLD Kit.
The Ultimate Emergency Back Up Solar Power kit combines both the massive Bluetti EB240 solar generator AND the best selling unit of 2020 in the EcoFlow Delta 1800.. This emergency backup solar generator kit gives you a total of 3,700 watt hours (3.7kwh) of lithium battery bank storage.
The EB240 has a 1,000 watt pure sine wave inverter and the EcoFlow Delta has an 1800 watt pure sine inverter with a 3,300 watt surge. With both of these units on hand, there won't be much you can't run in ANY emergency situation.
The Bluetti EB240 is great for fridge, freezer, lights, TV, fans and more, while the EcoFlow Delta is perfect for coffee makers, pumps, ovens and other larger appliance. They each work as their own independent power stations/systems, however you'll have enough solar panels, cables and connectors to get you through even the worst situations! 100% Plug & Play, you don't need ANYTHING else. Click here to see the Ultimate Emergency Back Up Kit.
Bluetti EB150 Solar Generator
The Bluetti EB150 from MaxOak is a fantastic all around choice when it comes to solar generators. It boasts a 1500wH battery made with high quality LG cells. This is one of the biggest battery banks for a portable generator that is still portable.
To give you some context, this can recharge your smartphone over 120 times on a single charge or run a fridge for nearly 24 hours. It only weighs 37 lbs as well! It has a 1000 watt inverter, so running any / all of your important electronics wont be an issue and its a pure sine wave inverter as well so your sensitive electronics are safe. It has a regulated 12V output so you can run your DC appliances like fridges there as well. The Bluetti even comes with MC4 adapters so if you already have solar panels, you can hook them up to the Bluetti right away!
Are there any solar generators I should AVOID?
One solar generator that may pop up in your search for the perfect backup solar generator is the Patriot Power Generator. It's been on the market for years and was once the best option available. However, in recent years it has been blown past by the competition in terms of size, power, weight AND price.
We highly recommend considering the EcoFlow Delta as an alternative to the Patriot Power Generator since it's way more powerful and comes in almost a thousand dollars cheaper.
Check out the chart below comparing the EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator and the Patriot Power Generator:
In closing, if you're at all concerned with being prepared in emergency situations, we would highly recommend looking into getting yourself a solar powered generator kit. This article went over the pros, cons and benefits of solar generators as well our top 5 recommendations for solar generators you can consider depending on your needs.
If you have any other questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out or give us a call today at 877-242-2792. You can check out our collection of solar generators here.