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Can A Solar Generator be Used While Charging?

Can A Solar Generator be Used While Charging

As we continue the search for sustainable and green power solutions, portable generators keep growing in popularity and demand.

You might be wondering why one would use a solar generator as it's charging, and how to do it safely. We will also explain what you can expect when you use a solar generator while it’s charging.

Navigating the technical ins and outs of solar energy can be a challenge, which is why you should leave it up to us. We want to tell you if you can use your solar generator while it’s charging.

Lastly, we will give you a low-down on appliances and devices that can run off your solar generator.

Can A Solar Generator be Used While Charging

Can You Use a Solar Generator While it is Charging?

Yes, it’s safe to use most solar generators while they’re charging, but there are a few important things to be aware of.

Before you run your solar generator as it’s charging, you need to check your generator’s user manual. Most generators are safe to use while charging, but there are always going to be exceptions to that rule.

Some generator manuals strictly prohibit using the generator in this way, while others might allow it with a few conditions attached. So look carefully at your manual to make sure you aren’t doing anything that would void the warranty.

Of course, using a solar generator as its charging will cause a greater demand for power from the generator. If you are using solar panels to charge your solar generator, the only issue you might run into is a low power supply on cloudy days with little sun.

If you charge your solar generator with AC or DC power from power outlets, you need to be more careful. Make sure to avoid faulty outlets as this could cause overheating and damage to the generator.

Why Would You Need to Use a Solar Generator While it’s Charging?

Portable solar generators and emergency backup solar systems are convenient, compact, and mobile devices. They are meant to be used on the move.

Convenience is a big reason why you might need to use your generator while it’s charging.

Other portable devices like mobile power banks, and mobile phones themselves, can be used while charging. So, one might expect the same convenience from a portable solar generator.

Emergencies are another reason you might need to use your generator while it’s charging.

There might be sudden power outages, you might have forgotten to charge it, or you might need to make an emergency phone call.

Let’s suppose your cell phone battery is low during an emergency. What are you going to do? You’re probably going to plug your phone into the charging generator, of course.

What to Expect When You Use a Solar Generator While it’s Charging?

can i use solar generator while charging

Demand May Exceed Supply

Solar generators can be used while charging, but there must be sufficient power. You might run into problems when the power demand exceeds what your generator can supply.

To make sure the charge keeps up with the power demand, make sure to power only appliances that the generator can handle.

Use devices that don’t exceed what power the generator has left in its capacitors. Charging phones and running lights may not take as much power.

If you try to run power-hungry appliances like fridges, microwaves, and space heaters for long periods or simultaneously, the generator will not keep up if its energy is severely depleted.

Charging Takes Longer

If you use a generator while it’s charging, it will take longer to charge. As you use the generator you are depleting its energy. This means it will require more solar power to fully charge the device.

Larger solar generators that are charged with solar panels already take a while to charge. If you use the generator while it’s charging, expect an even slower charge.

Of course, this is no problem if you only want to use the generator in an emergency or for a short while. So yes, you can use a generator as it’s charging, but it will take much longer to fully charge.

Excessive Heating

In general, portable solar generators can build up quite a lot of heat when they are being used. More so when they are charging. This puts your generator at risk of overheating

Using a solar generator while it's charging is safe and it might not cause problems, but overheating is a possibility that owners should be aware of.

Overheating can not only be dangerous, but it can also cause long-term damage to your solar generator. This might make the solar generator lifespan shorter.

Appliances and Devices to Power with Solar Generators

What Can a 100-Watt Solar Generator Run?

A 100-watt solar panel is a compact and convenient solar solution, especially for those who are off-grid and on the go. So, what can you power with a single 100-watt solar panel?

These solar panels are perfect for powering small devices like lighting, lamps, ceiling fans, and Wi-Fi routers. You can charge cell phones, laptops, and tablets too.

What Can a 300-Watt Solar Generator Run?

300-watt solar generators up the ante from 100-watt solar setups. In general, solar panels with a 300 watts power rating are quite common. So what can a 300-watt solar generator run?

You can run a long list of appliances with 300 watts. This includes small devices like lights, lamps, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi routers, and chargers for cell phones, laptops, and tablets.

You can also run some more power-hungry appliances like stereos, television and video game setups, and microwaves. 300 watts would also be sufficient for running smaller fridges.

If you want to run larger appliances like these, you best pair your solar setup with a 12V 120Ah battery.

Can a Solar Generator Power a Well Pump?

can a solar generator be used while you are charging it

Can a solar generator power a well pump? Yes, some well pumps are designed to be powered by solar power. But you would need a proper solar setup with sufficient power output.

Well pumps can be paired with inverters to use AC power. They can also use DC power so that they can be used in off-grid systems.

How much solar power you need depends entirely on the well pump and its power usage. But roughly, a 1/3 well pump needs around 3,000 watts.

Pumps can use as little as 750 watts to run, but it requires more than twice that to start up. This means you need ten 300 watt solar panels.

Can a Solar Generator Power a Space Heater?

Space heaters come in handy for use in off-grid spaces. These appliances may seem small, but they can really burn power.

A solar generator can power a space heater, but your power output needs to be sufficient.  

1,500-watt space heaters need three 500 watt panels to run, but it’s best to up the power output a bit over the demand.

For example, two 300-watt solar panels are perfect for powering a 500-watt space heater.


So, can you use your solar generator while it’s charging? Absolutely. This is convenient and helpful in emergencies.

Just remember to check your generator’s user manual to make sure it’s safe. Run appliances with a power demand that will not exceed the energy the generator has left.

You should also keep in mind that using a generator as its charging will slow down the charging process significantly.

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Article by

Max Bair Marshall

Max is a co-founder of Shop Solar, a company that he established in 2018 to revolutionize the solar industry by simplifying the process and making it more simple and cost-effective. Under his strategic leadership, Shop Solar has grown into a comprehensive one-stop-shop, empowering over 40,000 customers to access top-quality solar and storage solutions, comprehensive information, intuitive tools, and professional installation services.

With a passion for innovation and sustainable energy, Max has successfully expanded the business's reach and impact, serving as a driving force in the company's growth and development. Today, as the leader of a dedicated team of 60+ professionals across North America, Max continues to set new standards of excellence in the renewable energy industry, with a mission to transform the way people access and utilize clean energy.

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