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Best Expandable Solar Generator Starter Kits

Color photo of silver and black Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable solar generator starter kit with expansion batteries and solar panel on a white background.

The looming threats of long-term power outages, cyber terrorism, hurricanes, and G5 geomagnetic storms underscore the vital importance of emergency preparedness. Anyone who has found themselves in a situation where they desperately needed power but lacked access to it can attest to the value of a reliable power backup system. Solar generator kits are among the top choices for such investments, as they generate power without fuel or exhaust smoke.

Our best expandable solar generator starter kits analysis showed the ability to add batteries and power are the two primary factors in selecting these kits. To operate home appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and space heaters during a long-term power outage, you need a minimum of 5,000 watts per day for emergency preparedness. 

The Bluetti AC500+B300S solar generator kit emerged as the best backup system for emergency preparedness. This solar generator can expand to 18,432Wh (Watt-hours) capacity and is powerful, expandable, and convenient, making it suitable for both light and heavy-duty home use, as well as RV, outdoor, and commercial use. 

Tip!

Power needs and preferences are highly individual and can vary significantly. Therefore, conduct comprehensive research and consider your power needs, budget, and intended use before purchasing. Reading customer reviews and comparing options can provide invaluable insights into a product’s performance and reliability.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Solar Generator Kit

  • Tax Credit: You may be able to apply for the Residential Clean Energy Credit for qualified solar electric property costs with a 30% tax credit. Please read the instructions from the link.
  • Power Output: Select a solar generator kit with the wattage and voltage ratings to power your home appliances.
  • Battery Capacity: This refers to how much power a battery can store, often measured in watt-hours (Wh). Choose a kit with a battery capacity that aligns with your usage requirements, keeping in mind whether you need it for emergency backup power or prolonged off-grid use.
  • Solar Panel Compatibility: It’s essential to find out whether the generator kit can be charged with any solar panel or strictly with the manufacturer’s recommended solar panel. Opt for a solar generator compatible with a broad range of solar panels.
  • Charging Options: Seek a kit offering multiple charging options, including solar charging, AC wall outlet charging, car charging, or wind turbine charging. This variety allows you to recharge the generator under diverse conditions.
  • Inverter Type: The inverter in the kit transforms the DC power stored in the battery into AC power for your devices. Evaluate the type of inverter in the kit, such as a pure sine wave inverter or a modified sine wave inverter. Pure sine wave inverters are preferable for sensitive electronics as they deliver cleaner power.
  • Portability: If you intend to use the solar generator kit for camping, outdoor activities, or emergencies, portability is a key factor. Choose a lightweight and compact kit, ideally with built-in handles or wheels for easy transportation.
  • Expandability: These solar generator kits allow system expansion by adding more solar panels or batteries, a useful feature if you foresee your power needs increasing.
  • Durability and Build Quality: Ensure the solar generator kit is constructed with robust materials that endure outdoor conditions. It should provide adequate protection against dust, moisture, and impact.
  • Safety Features: Seek safety features like overload protection, short-circuit protection, overcharge protection, and low-battery protection. These help to prevent damage to both the generator and any connected devices.

Our Five Best Expandable Solar Generator Starter Kits

Model Name MSRP Watt HoursRated Power (Watts)Expansion Watt-hour CapacityExpansion Battery CostSingle Solar Panel CostTotal Cost for Starter Kit
Bluetti Solar Power Station AC500 & B300S Expansion Battery$4,299 3,072Wh5,000W-8,000W Max18,432WhB300S Expansion Battery 500W $2,299Bluetti PV420W Solar Panel $899.00$7,497
EcoFlow Power Station Delta Pro Solar Generator Inverter$3,299 3,600Wh4,500W21,600Wh3600Wh EcoFlow Smart Extra Battery for Delta Pro $2,399EcoFlow 400W Portable Solar Panel  $749$6,447
Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station$5,0006,071Wh2,000W10,800WhYeti Tank Expansion Battery 1,200Wh $450Goal Zero Ranger 300W Solar Panel $700$6,150
Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Solar Generator Inverter$2,4993,024Wh3,000W10,210WhJackery Expansion Battery Pack 2000 Plus $1,499Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel $488$4,486
Point Zero Titan Solar Generator Inverter$2,3962,000Wh3,000WUnknownTitan LiFePO4 Expansion Battery $1,449Titan Briefcase200W Solar Panels $450$4,295
Table 1.1 Five Best Expandable Solar Generator Starter Kits list available on Amazon.com

Additional Solar Generator Kit Expansion Considerations

Color photo of solar generator accessories, including multiple cable types and electrical power panel on a white background.
Solar generator accessories, including multiple cable types and an electrical power panel.

These solar generator kits are expandable and all work on the same principles but they all have small important nuance differences to think about.

Charging

Solar generator inverters can be charged in two ways. The first way is with an electrical AC current like a 110 outlet and the second way is with solar panels directly connected to the inverter.

The question is when charging with solar panels, how many do you need and how powerful? We will use as an example the first solar generator kit on our list. 

To charge the Bluetti Solar Power Station AC500 & B300S Expansion Battery with (1) one Bluetti PV420W solar panel, it would take 9 to 10 hours.

With (6) six Bluetti PV420W solar panels, it would take 21/2 hours, so there is a lot to be considered with these solar generator systems and cost for maximum efficiency. Each solar generator system has different requirements that can be found in our lists in this article.

Maximum Expandable Power

Another thing to consider is the maximum expandable power of the solar generator system. As another example, the Bluetti Solar Power Station AC500 can take up to six B300S expansion batteries for a total capacity of 18,432Wh (Watt-hours).

The other included systems on this list have similar capabilities with different configurations. Most utilize less batteries.

Additional Cables and Parts

All of the solar generator expansion kits will need additional cables and parts as you expand the systems. If you are adding additional batteries, solar panels, or just connecting the system to your home junction box, you will need additional components to do that.

Some manufacturers and suppliers make it very easy and the additional parts are shown as addons to your purchases.

What is a Watt Hour and Why Do You Need to Know?

One watt hour is equal to one watt of power over one hour. Above and below on our tables we show you the Watt Hours (Wh) to show you how many hours you can run something like a refrigerator.

On the tables above and below you can see that you can run a new energy efficient refrigerator on a 3,600 watt hour EF Ecoflow Power Station Delta Pro Solar Generator Inverter for approximately 40 hours before you have to recharge the base battery.

If you expand the same system to 10,800 Wh or watt hours with more batteries, you could run the same refrigerator for approximately 122 hours.

ProductSizeWatts Per Hr.Use (Hrs.)Watts Per Day
Refrigerator-Old21.6 Cu. Ft.180244,320
Refrigerator- New Energy Efficient25 Cu. Ft.88242,112
Chest Freezer15 Cu. Ft.45241,080
Oven-Range5.3 Cu. Ft.1,20011,200
Portable Space Heater1500W1,500812,000
Washing Machine4.7 Cu. Ft.2481248
Microwave1.7 Cu. Ft.950.10158
Electric Water Heater50 Gallon4,500418,000
TV – OLED50-Inch895445
Table 1.2 Average Watt Hours (Wh) for home appliances.

Bluetti AC500+B300S Solar Generator Kit 

Color photo of black Bluetti AC500 & B300S Solar Generator Kit on a white background.
Bluetti AC500 & B300S Solar Generator Kit available on Amazon.com.
  • Base Wattage: 5,000W
  • Expandable to: 18,432Wh
  • Output Voltage: 120V/240V (pure sine wave)
  • Power source: Solar/AC/lead acid battery/car outlet/generator/dual charging
  • Solar type: PV 420 420 watts
  • Solar charge input: 1260 watts (3*420)
  • Solar full charge: 3 hours 
  • Wall full charge: 1 hour
Color photo of a black Bluetti PV420-420 Watt Solar Panel on a white background.
Bluetti PV420-420 Watt Solar Panel available on Amazon.com.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Fast Charging: The Bluetti solar power station charges rapidly through the PV420 solar panels. The generator fully charges in under an hour when connected to an AC wall charger. Whether powering essential medical equipment or running your communication devices, these power stations guarantee a reliable energy source.
  • Silent and Emission-Free: This solar generator operates silently and produces no emissions, making it environmentally friendly for indoor use.
  • Easy Setup and Use: This solar generator features user-friendly and intuitive interfaces, making it straightforward to use. Setting it up is as simple as placing the inverter on top of the battery and plugging it in.
  • Expandable Power Storage: The B300S expansion battery offers the flexibility to increase power storage capacity according to your needs. Adding five more B300S expansion batteries allows you to expand the battery capacity from 3,072Wh to 18,432Wh. This ability to connect multiple expansion batteries ensures an uninterrupted power supply for extended periods.
  • Versatile Applications: The Bluetti solar power stations are flexible and adaptable. They’re suitable for home emergencies and perfect for outdoor adventures, camping trips, and as a reliable backup power source in areas prone to frequent power outages. With 16 versatile ports, including the NEMA 14-50R, TT-30, and L14-30, this generator is ideal for powering heavy-duty appliances. Simply plug in whatever you need to charge, and the AC500 will handle the rest.
  • 3rd Party Solar Panels: You can use third party solar panels to charge the AC500 with the following qualifications:
    • Total voltage:12-150V
    • Total power: 3000W max.
    • With MC4 connectors
  • Rooftop Solar Panels: You can use rooftop solar panels to charge the AC500 with the following qualifications:
    • No micro-inverter
    • Open circuit voltage 12-150V
    • With MC4 connectors
    • Note: When OCV exceeds 150V, you may use BLUETTI D300S* to step down the voltage to achieve solar charging.
Color photo of a black Bluetti B300S-3072Wh Expansion Battery on a white background.
Bluetti B300S-3072Wh Expansion Battery available on Amazon.com.

Disadvantages

While the Bluetti solar power station AC500 & B300S battery expansion, along with the PV420 solar panel, offers impressive features, there are potential drawbacks to consider:

  • High Cost: Compared to other portable power solutions, the Bluetti solar power station AC500 + B300S and the PV 420 solar panels are relatively pricey. This higher cost can be attributed to their advanced features and high capacity.
  • Noise Level: The Bluetti solar generators have internal battery cooling fans that can produce noticeable noise during operation sometimes. However, these solar generators are still much quieter than traditional gas-powered generators.

EF Ecoflow Portable 3,600Wh Solar Generator Kit

Color photo of a black and silver EF-Ecoflow Portable 3600Wh Solar Generator on a white background.
EF-Ecoflow Portable 3600Wh Solar Generator available from Amazon.com.

This solar generator kit made it to our top 5 best picks due to its power, fast charging technology, and adaptability.

  • Base Wattage: 3,600 Watts
  • Expandable to: 10,800Wh 
  • Output Voltage: 120V (pure sine wave)
  • Power source: Solar/EV station/ AC wall outlets/ outdoor generator/ car outlet
  • Solar type: EF ECOFLOW 400W portable solar panel
  • Solar charge input: 1600W
  • Solar full charge: 2.8 Hours
  • Wall full charge: 1.8 hours
Color photo of a black EF-Ecoflow 400W Portable Foldable Solar Panel on a white background.
EF-Ecoflow 400W Portable and Foldable Solar Panel available on Amazon.com.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Fast Charging Technology: The EF EcoFlow 3,600Wh boasts the X-Stream Fast Charging feature, which optimizes charging to reduce charge times. It takes less than 3 hours to fully charge via solar and only 1.8 hours over a 240V socket. 
  • High Battery Capacity: This solar generator kit is highly powerful. Its battery offers one of the highest capacities, expandable to 10,800Wh, while its inverter consistently supplies a running wattage of 3,600W.
  • Expandable Battery: The primary batteries in this solar generator kit have a 3,600Wh holding capacity, which can be expanded to 10,800Wh by adding additional Delta Pro extra batteries. 
  • Many Output Options: The generator is designed for medium-duty commercial and light-duty domestic use. It features 15 output methods, including 5 AC outlets, 2 DC outlets, 1 car output, 1 Anderson output, and 6 USB outlets. It can power virtually any device you may have.
  • Convenience: The Ecoflow app allows you to connect the generator to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and control it remotely, providing convenience and easy accessibility.
  • Portability: With a compact design, lighter weight, roller wheels, and a handle, this generator is easy to move and highly portable.
  • If you want the maximum watt hours you can achieve, checkout the Advanced Kit with two DELTA Pros and four Smart Extra Batteries. When these are chained together, they offer 21,600 Wh (watt hours) of electricity storage and 7200W/240V of power output. 
Color photo of a black and silver EF-Ecoflow 3600Wh Smart Extra Battery for Delta-Pro on a white background.
EF-Ecoflow 3600Wh Smart Extra Battery for Delta-Pro available on Amazon.com.

Disadvantages

  • Limited Battery Compatibility: The EF Ecoflow 3600Wh DELTA Pro solar generator is only compatible with EF Ecoflow solar batteries restricting expansion and charging options.
  • Noise Level: Some users have noted that this generator produces noticeable noise. This noise can be attributed to its powerful inverter and internal battery cooling fans. However, noise levels below 30 dBA should not be a significant concern for those seeking relatively quiet power solutions. 

Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station

Color photo of a silver and black Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station on a White background.
Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station available on Amazon.com

This solar generator kit reached our top 5 due to its high capacity, strong power output, and versatile output port options.

  • Base Wattage: 2,000 watts
  • Expandable to:10,800Wh
  • Output Voltage: 120V (pure sine wave)
  • Power source: Solar/AC /Car
  • Solar type: Ranger 300-300W
  • Solar charge Input: 600 watts (300W*2)
  • Solar full charge: 12-24 hours
  • Wall full charge: 12 hours
Color photo of the Goal Zero Ranger 300 Briefcase Solar Panel on a white background.
Goal Zero Ranger 300 Briefcase Solar Panel available on Amazon.com.

Key Features and Benefits 

  • Strong Power Output: With 2,000 peak running watts and a 6,017Wh battery, this customizable solar generator can power almost any home or office appliance. It can effectively run refrigerators, medical equipment, internet modems, coffeemakers, and power tools and even charge your electric bikes. 
  • Expandability: The generator has an initial capacity of 6,017Wh, which can be expanded to 10,800Wh, making it an ideal emergency power backup system. The Yeti integration kit enables seamless generator integration with your home’s essential circuits for an eco-friendlier power backup experience. 
  • Seamless Simultaneous Recharge and Discharge: This feature allows you to charge the generator while it is still in use. Simply set up your solar panels and enjoy uninterrupted power.
  • Multiple Output Options: The generator has seven different port options, including two 120V AC ports, a regulated 12V outlet, a 60W USB-C outlet, and three USB-A outlets with varying wattages.
Color photo of a silver and black Goal Zero Yeti Tank Expansion 1,200 Wh Battery on a white background.
Goal Zero Yeti Tank Expansion 1,200 Wh Battery available on Amazon.com.

Disadvantages

  • Relatively Slow Charging: Although the generator can be charged via a wall socket, car, or solar, it charges more slowly than its competitors. With a peak charge input of 600 watts for solar and AC, this generator requires about 12 hours to fully charge from a wall socket and up to 24 hours for solar charging. 
  • Limited Solar Panel Compatibility: This solar generator is only compatible with the Goal Zero Yeti series of solar panels, rendering many aftermarket solar panels incompatible. This limitation affects charging options and expandability. 
  • Noise Level: The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X generator produces more noise compared to similarly powered products in the market, making it less comfortable for indoor use. However, this noise level can be attributed to its larger cooling system.

Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Solar Generator Inverter

Color photo of a black and orange Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Solar Generator Inverter on a white background.
Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Solar Generator Inverter available at Amazon.com.

The Jackery Explorer Pro 3000 earned a spot in the top five due to its high output power, exceptional portability, and highly efficient solar charging system. 

  • Base Wattage: 3,000 Watts
  • Expandable to: 10,210
  • Output Voltage: 120V (pure sine wave)
  • Power source: Solar/AC
  • Solar type: SolarSaga 200-200W
  • Solar charge Input: 1200 watts (200W*6)
  • Solar full charge: 3.5 hours
  • Wall full charge: 2.4 hours
Color photo of a Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel on a white background.
Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel available on Amazon.com

Key Features and Benefits

  • Fast Charging: With optimum solar conditions, the recommended 6–200-watt SolarSaga solar panels can fully charge this generator in only 3.5 hours. Meanwhile, the fast wall AC charger completes the task in just 2.4 hours.
  • Solar Panel Compatibility: The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro can be recharged with other brands of solar panels and can accept DC 11-60V.
  • High Power Output: This solar generator has an output of 3000 watts and a capacity of 3024Wh. This power level can support an average American home for up to 24 hours when using power-saving settings. Although it can run almost any home device, the Jackery Pro 3000 is not designed as a whole-home backup system. Instead, it is intended to support smaller loads, making single-appliance operation ideal.
  • Many Power Output Options: The generator offers multiple power outlets, including 4x AC (20A), 1x AC (25A), 2x USB-C (100W), and 2x USB-A (18W). Please note, however, that the generator does not come with a DC output.
  • Compact Design: The generator features a stylish and compact design, enhancing its portability. Double wheels and a pull rod further contribute to its easy transportation.
Color photo of a black and orange Jackery Expansion Battery Pack 2000 Plus on a white background.
Jackery Expansion Battery Pack 2000 Plus available on Amazon.com.

Disadvantages

While the Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro solar generator offers numerous benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Cost: The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro and its compatible solar panels may be relatively expensive compared to other portable power solutions. Its high capacity and advanced features contribute to its price point, which may not fit everyone’s budget.
  • Incompatibility with Certain Devices: The Explorer 3000 Pro’s pure sine wave output may not be compatible with some sensitive electronics or devices, particularly those with specific voltage or frequency requirements. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the compatibility of your devices before connecting them to the generator.

Point Zero Titan Solar Generator Inverter

Color photo of a black and yellow Point Zero Titan Solar Generator Inverter on a white background.
Point Zero Titan Solar Generator Inverter.

This generator secured a spot on our best-pick list because of its versatility, adaptability, and portability.

  • Base Wattage: 3,000W
  • Expandable to: Unknown
  • Output Voltage: 120V (pure sine wave)
  • Power source: Solar/AC/Car outlet
  • Solar type: Point Zero-100W briefcase solar panels
  • Solar charge input: 800 watts (8*100)
  • Solar full charge: 3-5 hours on 4–200-watt briefcase panels
  • Wall full charge: 3-5 hours

Key Features and Benefits

Color photo of Titan 200W Briefcase Solar Panels on a white background.
Titan 200W Solar Briefcase Solar Panels.
  • Portability: This generator kit is remarkably portable and weighs in at only 35 lbs (16 kg). It is one of the lightest kits in its class. 
  • Powerful: This generator boasts a running wattage of 3,000W and a capacity of 2,000Wh. It can power most home appliances effectively and support RV and outdoor camping needs. 
  • Solar Compatibility: This solar generator is compatible with almost any solar panel. The only requirement is that the solar charging configuration must have a total voltage between 35V-145V. Four 200-watt Point Zero briefcase solar panels, with a total voltage of 144V, are suitable for this system. It’s assumed that each 100-watt solar panel will operate optimally and attain 18V. 
  • Efficiency: It’s unlikely that the solar panels will reach 100% efficiency, so there’s no risk that the four briefcase solar kits will damage the charge controller. You’re not restricted to solely using the manufacturer’s recommended panels, which enhances the system’s expandability and charging capabilities. 
  • Unlimited Expansion: The storage of the Point Zero Power Station Titan Solar Generator can be expanded indefinitely by adding more NMC expansion batteries. This makes it highly adaptable for commercial use and extended emergency situations. 
  • Multiple Outlets: This solar generator has six 120V AC outlets, four 12V DC outlets, and one NEMA TT-30 outlet.
Color photo of a Titan NMC Expansion Battery on a white background.
Titan NMC Expansion Battery.

Disadvantages

  • Outdated: This model is somewhat old-fashioned and lacks more contemporary features such as remote connectivity or a charge boost. 
  • No 240V Outlet: The system only includes a 120V power outlet, so it can’t be used as a backup for an entire home electrical system. It is not designed to serve as a comprehensive home power backup system. However, a sub-panel could be installed to power all 120V appliances during emergencies.

How Much Will It Cost You to Get a Solar Generator?

The cost of solar generators can vary significantly, influenced by factors such as power output, brand, size, and more. Larger, more robust solar generators, which often include several expansion batteries and solar panels, will typically cost more than solar generators with a single battery. 

Here is a breakdown of the cost for each of the five solar generators discussed above.

Key Takeaways

Solar generators serve as cleaner options for home backup power because of their solar charging capabilities. One of the critical considerations when choosing these systems is power – you will want a generator that charges quickly via solar energy. 

Additionally, capacity is another crucial factor, as the duration of a power outage can be unpredictable. The solar generator kits mentioned above are an excellent place to begin your search. They are relatively affordable and adaptable due to their expandability features. 

References:

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We are a website that writes helpful articles about the latest technology for emergency preparedness and power grid energy. We try new devices and analyze their quality, durability, effects, for emergency preparedness.

This site is owned and operated by Fremontii, LLC. Fremontii, LLC. is a participant in Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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POST CATEGORIES

We are a website that writes helpful articles about the latest technology for emergency preparedness and power grid energy. We try new devices and analyze their quality, durability, effects, for emergency preparedness.

This site is owned and operated by Fremontii, LLC. Fremontii, LLC. is a participant in Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.