Whether it is due to a natural disaster, transformer malfunction, or severe storm, blackouts can leave families vulnerable. Vital household appliances such as refrigerators, heating systems, and security alarms require energy making back-up power essential. Many home owners today opt for solar generators to prepare for these times.
Cleaner Power Breakdown
Generators have been around for a while, but there have been many recent technological developments. There is also an increasing demand for clean energy usage. This has many home owners equipping their homes with solar power.
Traditionally generators have been refueled by hand or powered by natural gas lines. Today the popularity of solar powered generators is on the rise. There is a much wider range of units available on the market than ever before.
Solar generators are not designed with overly complex equipment. It is a simple concept powered by an ancient energy source.
- Solar generators are designed with charge regulators, batteries, inverters, and photovoltaic or PV panels.
- These panels convert solar power to electricity for the charge regulator.
- The power is stored in the batteries until they are completely charged.
- The inverter creates alternating current from the batteries’ direct current.
- Most solar generators are designed with several standard 110/220VAC outlets. Some are equipped with USB ports.
In the past, generators powered by the sun were most often used for camping, RVs, and/or road trips. There have been many technological advances and the market now offers heavy duty solar generators.
There are three basic types of solar generators offered on the market. These include portable, back up, and kits. It is important to carefully consider power needs before choosing one.
Solar backup generators are used to power homes in the event of a blackout. These units usually include multiple or deep cycle batteries for power storage. They are generally the most powerful type of solar generator available.
Portable solar generators are what most people envision. They are light, compact, and commonly used for camping or other outdoor activities. These units might also be considered for powering small appliances within the home in emergency situations.
Solar generators kits are an extremely popular option. Though they require fewer parts than other generators, everyone one is important and must be compatible. The kits provide everything required to build the unit at home.
Solar Generator Advantages
Solar generators offer a sustainable form of energy to power vital appliances within homes. They do not need refueling by hand or via natural gas services. This can save money as well as provide peace of mind, if services are interrupted.
Many may be linked with other units to provide more energy. Deep cycle batteries may be purchased for additional power storage. Certain models allow for the inclusion of more panels.
Solar generators are also a clean source of power because they do not emit carbon monoxide. They offer more versatility as this unit may be used anywhere inside or outside the home. Many consumers choose them over gas powered generators for family safety from toxic emissions.
Solar generators are designed with fewer and less complex parts than other units. They do not require maintenance near as often as natural gas and fuel powered units. This can save money and hassle.
Certain gas generators can create quite a bit of noise while running. Solar generators generally operate more quietly than other types of units. This is good news for both families and neighbors.
Many solar generators also include a power pack. This is to recharge the batteries via a standard wall outlet. These units ensure that the batteries are fully charged at all times.
Solar Generator Disadvantages
There are a handful of drawbacks to owning a solar generator. The first commonly discussed issue is price. There may be a higher initial investment; however, this generally evens out as maintenance and refueling fees are quite a bit smaller.
While solar generators may be utilized inside or out, they can be bulky. Those for home use are frequently larger and heavier. It is important to carefully consider where it will be installed.
Solar generators require more time than others to produce energy. They must be recharged during sunny times, if there is no power pack. This is another aspect in which both cost and quality come into play.
DIY Solar Generator
As mentioned above, there are solar kits available for do it yourselfer types. While these kits supply everything required to build a generator, the parts can also be purchased individually. It is vital to ensure all the components are compatible when purchasing them separately.
Photovoltaic cells or panels are required to collect the sun’s power. Energy consumption during an emergency is an important consideration when choosing the parts to build a solar generator. Additional panels may be added later, if homes which need more power.
Household energy consumption should be considered for the charge controller as well. Positive and negative leads connect the batteries and solar panels. This is to regulate the current delivered the batteries and protect the them from overcharging.
There are several elements to consider before deciding which solar storage battery is best. Some of these include capacity, depth of charge, and round-trip efficiency. Solar generator batteries should provide long life and be manufactured from high quality materials.
There are several types of solar generator batteries. Cost and efficiency should play into the purchase process. Lead acid and lithium ion are two popular examples with the former often being the most expensive. Supplementary and/or larger batteries may be added for more energy storage as well.
Solar generators require an inverter to convert direct current to alternating current. This prepares the energy for standard outlet applications. It also controls the wattage sourced from the battery.
An inverter is designed with electrical outlets to power appliances. Some models offer USB ports for devices. It is best to consider exactly what the generator will be used to power to determine which inverter is appropriate.
A generator purchase should be perceived as an important home investment. All elements should be considered prior to making a commitment. While there is a great deal of information available on the internet, consulting an energy professional before investing is strongly advised.