After I survived the Texas Freeze / Snowpocalypse / Texas Power Outages, I knew I needed to get a freaking generator! I have been researching these for a while, but never bought one. I started doing more in-depth research and here is I have found are the best generators for people that want some kind of backup power during outages or emergencies. These are the best generators for emergencies that I have found so far.
Best Solar Generators for Emergencies
I honestly prefer solar over gas generators because they just seem cleaner and easier to operate. However solar generators are not as powerful as gas generators and they do have some other drawbacks. Here is a list of pros and cons for Solar Generators:
Solar Generator Pros:
- Uses the sun – (free energy)
- You can charge them ahead of time
- No need to buy gas, you won’t run out of fuel
- Cleaner and healthier
- You can use them in your house, you don’t have to worry about Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- No loud noise
Solar Generator Cons:
- Costs more for the power produced
- Solar panels are bulky – may need more storage space
- If it is cloudy or raining, they do not produce as much energy
What to know when shopping for Solar Generators:
The watt hours tells you how long the generator will last. A 2000wh generator will last longer than a 1000wh generator. The generator is basically a battery and the wh is the battery capacity.
(WattHours (wh) of the generator * .85) / (total wattage being used) = hours
Here is another example. If you want to run a 900w electric grill on a 1000w/1002wh generator, it will run for about 1 hour before it dies and needs to be recharged.
BEST SOLAR POWERED GENERATORS FOR EMERGENCIES
This generator is also a good option for families during power outages. It costs a little bit more because it has a longer battery life. This one has 2000Wh while the bundles below have 1002Wh. The power out put for this generator is about the same at 1000 watts. Charging time with solar panels is about 12-16 hours. The solar panels are rain proof, but it is not recommended to keep them in rain for long periods of time.
This generator is a good smaller sized generator, at 600 watts. It can power an electric frying pan, a coffee maker, a drill, and various electronics, such as phones, computers, etc. It is light-weight and portable so you can move it around easily. It also charges up super fast – a feature I have not seen in other solar generators. You can charge it in 1.6 hours when charging connected to the wall.
This is a 1002wh, 1000w generator. It can be recharged in about 8 hours using the 2 solar panels. You can also recharge it with a wall outlet within 5 hours. How long it runs depends on what you are using if for. For example if you are running a 60w TV, it will last 14 hours. If you are using a 900w electric grill, it will work for 45 minutes. Again with these solar panels, they are not meant to be left outdoors in wet/ snowy conditions… so if you need to leave your panels outside in slushy weather for long periods of time… you might look elsewhere.
I have been eyeballing this solar generator for a while. I love that it comes in a suitcase and you just open it up to get the solar panels out. It also comes with a super bright flashlight that is on the side of the suitcase. Even though the power rating is lower, you can still run a lot of electronics that can help you through an emergency. You can run a smart phone, a laptop, a portable refrigerator, a cpap machine, a router, a light bulb, a tv, and a portable projector. I just love the idea of it being in a suitcase and if you don’t have the budget for a $1000+ generator, this bad boy will keep you going with the communications and small appliances you need to survive an emergency.
This generator is great for a small family. If you have kids you might need some extra power in addition to this generator to keep them occupied or entertained. I am thinking about getting this generator, plus a couple of small hand held solar powered generators to keep my kids electronics charged. This generator can potentially power a fridge. Check out the table below to see the wattage needed to run various electrical equipment. According to the manufacturer, the solar panels are water resistant but should not be left our in rain, snow, or high humidity. So for those in snowy or rainy areas, you might want to pick a different solar panel.
If you are looking for a generator that you can use with weatherproof solar panels, you can always get one like this Yeti generator that does not come as a bundle. This one has a list of different rated solar panels that you can get separately based on how durable you need them to be. This generator is also twice as powerful at 2000w. So if you need to power a fridge or a heater, this will definitely do the trick.