If you are camping, living off-grid, or in an RV, you know how important it is to stay warm in the great outdoors – that is where space heaters come in.
But can you power a space heater with a solar generator? Absolutely, and we want to tell you all about them and their nifty uses.
We want to explain what size generators you need, and the safety precautions to follow when using one to power a space heater.
We also answer some common questions. Can you use a space heater and other devices simultaneously? What do you need to run a space heater with solar power?
Finally, you will find out what else solar generators can be used for, and their various advantages.
Can you run a Space Heater off a Solar Generator?
Solar generators are sustainable power solutions that use the power of the sun to produce clean and emission-free energy.
Their versatility and convenience are only a few of the reasons causing them to grow in popularity.
Space heaters are great devices to heat a single area of small or medium size. They are compact and versatile, which makes them convenient for camping and off-grid living.
Can you power your space heater with a solar generator? Absolutely.
To run a space heater with a generator, you need solar panels to collect energy that is then stored in a battery. From there, inverters are used to convert the stored power into electrical current that you can use to power your appliances.
What Size Generator Do You Need to Run a Space Heater?
Space heaters consume a lot of energy, so your solar setup must have the required power output to handle one.
A safe estimate is that you need a generator of around 2,000 watts. Most space heaters have a power rating of 1,500 watts, but your generator’s supply needs to exceed this demand.
The “extra” 500 watts act as a buffer that protects your system from fluctuations in power that can blow a fuse and render your expensive solar generator useless.
These fluctuations are commonly caused by inappropriate extensions chords or changing the temperature settings of the heater’s thermostat.
Can a 1,000 Watt Generator Run a Space Heater?
While most space heaters have a power rating of 1,500 watts, some have a lower power setting of only 750 watts.
A 1000 watt solar generator would not be able to run a 1500 watt space heater unless it has a powerful inverter that can increase the maximum output of the unit. However, a 1,000-watt generator can easily run a 750-watt space heater.
While using a 750-watt heater may save energy, it will only make rooms warmer by a few degrees and it can only heat smaller spaces.
It is best to avoid 1000 watt generators for powering space heaters unless you have no other choice. 2,000-watt solar generators are a fool-proof and effective way to run almost any space heater.
Can You Run a Space Heater and Other Appliances Simultaneously?
A 2,000-watt solar generator will run a 1,500-watt space heater without any issues, but it can’t handle much more than that.
You will need a generator with a greater capacity and output if you want to run other devices simultaneously. Another solution is to turn your space heater to a lower power setting so it only draws 750 watts.
If you are off-grid and need to power an entire RV, complete with a fridge, lighting, and other appliances, 2,000 watts simply aren’t enough.
If you are looking to run your entire off-grid set up with a solar generator you should be looking at generators with a power rating of 5,000 watts – sometimes more.
Make sure to check your generator’s user manual. Most generators can be used safely while they are charging, but there are always exceptions.
If you use your generator while it’s charging, make sure that it has sufficient power to run the appliances. With a charging generator, the power demand can exceed the power supply. Run appliances that your generator can handle.
Your solar generator will take longer to charge if you use it while it’s charging because its energy depletes as you are using it. It requires even more power to fully charge its depleting battery.
Also, you run the risk of overheating your system. Portable solar generators cause a lot of heat build-up, especially when they are used during charging. Be wary of overheating – this can cause damage to your generator and can become a fire hazard.
Safety Precautions for Running a Space Heater with a Solar Generator
Never Leave Your Space Heater Alone
While this doesn’t have to be taken too literally, you really shouldn’t let a space heater warm up in your absence. Both the generator and the space heater are potentially dangerous and can cause fires if they aren’t monitored.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry – keep your space heater in close sight.
Start the Generator Before Plugging the Space Heater In
Get your generator up and running before you plug your space heater in.
Start the space heater off at the lowest possible setting, which will draw less power from your unit. Give it some time and work your way up until you eventually reach 1,500 watts.
Use a Generator with a Power Rating of 2000 Watts or More
While 1,000-watt solar generators can run 750-watt space heaters, you are better off with a 2,000-watt generator.
This reduces your risk of blowing fuses and damaging your generator.
What Do You Need to Run a Space Heater With a Solar Generator?
To run a space heater with a solar generator you need an integrated system comprising of a solar panel installation, charge controller, inverter, and battery system.
Batteries, also called capacitors, are storage units for solar power. After your solar panels collect energy from the sun it needs to be stored somewhere for you to be able to use it later.
Without batteries, you can be left without power on cloudy and overcast days or during the night.
There are myriad battery types that you can use. Lithium-ion batteries are recommended for solar-powered generators because they have a higher capacity and allow for more charge cycles, but you can look into some cheaper options.
Inverters are devices that convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
The power that flows through the main power grid is AC. Home appliances that you will need to run in your off-grid setup work with AC – they cannot be run with DC.
The power stored in the batteries of your solar setup flows in DC. Therefore, you need an inverter to convert the stream into usable AC electricity for your appliances.
Charge controllers are crucial to the proper functioning of your solar setup. These devices regulate voltage and power flow in solar installations.
They control the flow of power, run electrical loads, and charge your batteries. They also improve the durability of your batteries and increase the solar generator lifespan.
What Can Space Heaters Be Used For?
Space heaters are great for camping, RVs, and off-grid properties, because you do not want to be cold in the great outdoors. They are also nifty for backup home power systems.
If you are camping or lounging outdoors, you can use space heaters to keep away the windchill and enjoy more time outside. You can have the comfort of heat on your porch or deck, even when it’s cold outside.
They are just as good for heating smaller spaces or a single room. If there is a power outage or a room in your home that doesn’t get enough heat from your central heating system, a space heater has you covered.
They are also energy-efficient if you use central heating, but only want to make one room warmer. Wasting energy to heat an entire home is unnecessary – use a space heater for one room.
What Can Solar Generators be Used for?
Generators commonly have outputs and inputs for AC, DC, and USB devices.
This means that you can power an array of electronic devices, appliances, and tools. Portable solar generators are versatile and growing in popularity for this reason.
They are good sources of backup power at home for when the power grid fails.
You can charge smartphones, laptops, tablets, and so much more. You can also run appliances like microwaves, cordless tools, TV sets, and gaming setups provided you have a generator with enough capacity and power output.
A sufficiently large solar generator can power larger appliances like fridges and space heaters too.
Choose a solar generator that matches your power needs. If you want to run appliances continuously, large appliances like fridges, or power an entire RV – opt for a solar generator with a large power output.
Can a Solar Generator Power a Well Pump?
Well pumps are electromechanical devices that pump water from a well. If you’re living off the electrical grid, you may find yourself far from a municipal water supply as well.
Well pumps can use both AC and DC power. If you use DC power you do not need an inverter.
The size of your solar generator would depend on the power consumption of the well pump. The power supply of your generator should always exceed the well pump’s power needs, otherwise, the unit will burn out and you’ll end up both thirsty and in the dark.
A 1/3 well pump needs about 3,000 watts. It only needs about 750 watts to run, but it needs a lot more power to start up.
Solar panels with a power rating of 300 watts are quite common. Your best bet would be to have ten 300 watt solar panels to power a 1/3 well pump.
Smaller devices that can be run with 300 watts include lamps, lights, LEDs, ceiling fans, and Wi-Fi routers. You can charge devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Larger and more power-hungry appliances that can be run with 300 watts include small TV sets, stereos, video game setups, small fridges, and microwaves.
Advantages of Using a Solar Generator
Solar generators are a sustainable and eco-friendly way of producing electricity.
Solar generators use the sun’s energy instead of burning fossil fuels that harm the environment and cause greenhouse gas emissions. This contributes to global warming and climate change.
The best part is – solar panels can last for over 20 years to give you a lifetime of solar energy.
Generators that use fossil fuels have a lot of moving parts, and fuel that needs to be replaced. This requires maintenance, repairs, and money.
Solar generators do not require the same level of constant maintenance, which will save you money and trouble in the long run.
Solar generators do not run on fossil fuels or have as many moving parts. Unlike solar generators, gas generators are quite loud when they are being run. Solar generators do not make as much noise.
Space heaters are great for heating small or medium-sized rooms. This comes in handy in homes, off-grid properties, campsites, boats, and RVs.
Luckily, you can power your space heater sustainably and affordably, independent of the main power grid, with a solar generator.
Most space heaters have a power rating of 1,500 watts. For this, you would need a power supply as large as 2,000 watts because the generator’s supply needs to comfortably exceed the draw of the space heater.
Space heaters also have a lower power setting of 750 watts. For these, you could use a 1,000-watt solar generator.
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