Frustrated by frequent power outages disrupting daily life, many Americans are turning to self-sufficient energy solutions. Among these, solar generators have emerged as a popular choice, leading to a significant shift in their market dynamics. But how much will it cost you to get a solar generator?
It will cost you $600 to $48,000 for a solar generator expansion kit with solar panels in the U.S. Prices range from $600-$1,000 for basic 300-watt models, $2,500-$5,000 for mid-range 1800-3000 watt solar generators kits, and $6,000-$48,000 for high-powered 5,000-watt, 18,432Wh-Watt hour and above units.
In the rest of this article, we delve deeper into the specifics of solar generators, exploring various models, their capabilities, and additional costs associated with installation and maintenance to help you make an informed decision.
Amazon Solar Generator Quantity Discount Example:
Each Bluetti AC500 solar generator kit supports up to 6 expansion batteries for a total capacity of 18,432Wh, enough to get through most full home severe power outages.
Total combined current cart cost savings on Amazon.com delivered in the lower 48 = $17,759.37*
*This price does not include the 30% solar generator kit tax credit. You can receive a 30% tax rebate on the purchase of these systems with the residential clean energy credit available through this link.
A Breakdown of Solar Generator Prices
Solar generators are not a one-size-fits-all product. Each generator is designed with unique features, and customers must choose one that fully meets their power needs in terms of quality, model, and make. For example:
- Small-size solar generators: A solar generator is small if it generates enough power to run small appliances only. Ideal for small-scale lighting, these generators can also charge laptops and phones. Such a generator typically costs about $600 and offers less than 1,000 watts of power.
- Medium-sized solar generators: A solar generator falls into the medium-size category if it generates between 1,800 and 3,000 watts. Capable of powering lights, phones, laptops, refrigerators, and microwaves, these generators are priced between $2,500-$5,000.
- Large-sized solar generators: This category includes the most powerful generators capable of powering a large-sized home. With a capacity of over 5,000 watts, these generators cost between $$6,000-$48,000.
Why Are People Opting for Solar Generators?
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A solar generator is currently the best option for Americans seeking an alternative power source. With a solar generator, not only will you find a suitable power backup, but you will also enjoy several other benefits, including:
- Free and Renewable Energy Source: Solar generators stand out for their ability to provide energy at no ongoing cost. Unlike gas-powered generators, which cause continuous fuel expenses, solar generators use sunlight to generate electricity, offering a more economical and hassle-free energy solution.
- Portability and Convenience: The design of solar generators emphasizes ease of use and portability. They can be set up quickly and easily, contrasting sharply with the heavier, more cumbersome gas generators that are less user-friendly in terms of transportation and operation.
- Minimal Maintenance Required: A key advantage of solar generators is their low maintenance requirement. In contrast to gas generators, which have multiple components requiring regular upkeep, solar generators need only occasional cleaning of their panels, saving users from frequent maintenance costs and labor.
- Durability and Longevity: Solar generators typically last between 25 and 35 years, far outstripping the average lifespan of gas generators. This significant difference in lifespan makes solar generators a more cost-effective and long-term investment.
- Quiet and Clean Operation: One of the appealing features of solar generators is their noise-free and emission-free operation. This is especially beneficial for those seeking a peaceful, off-grid experience, as it contrasts with the noisy and polluting nature of gas generators.
- Environmentally Friendly: Solar generators are a sustainable choice, operating without emitting harmful pollutants. This eco-friendly approach contributes positively to the environment and helps in the fight against climate change.
- Safety and Health Benefits: Unlike gas generators, solar generators do not emit carbon monoxide, a dangerous and toxic gas. This absence of toxic emissions makes solar generators a safer and healthier option for power generation.
What Defines a Good Solar Generator?
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A good solar generator is defined by several critical features, including its power output, storage capacity, maintenance requirements, and additional functionalities.
- Power Output and Storage Capacity: The effectiveness of a solar generator is largely determined by its power output, measured in watts (W), and storage capacity, measured in watt-hours (Wh). The wattage shows how much power the generator can output at a time, while watt-hours reflect the total energy storage of the generator. The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer series, with models like the Jackery Explorer 240 on Amazon and Jackery Explorer 500 on Amazon, demonstrates the importance of matching power output to user needs.
- Low Maintenance and Durability: Solar generators are preferable because of their low maintenance requirements. Unlike fossil fuel generators, they do not have moving parts or use liquid fuel, reducing the likelihood of needing repairs. This feature makes them not only more convenient but also more economically workable in the long run.
- Recharge Time: The recharge time of a solar generator is an important consideration, especially in conditions where continuous power supply is critical. The time taken to recharge the generator’s battery depends on factors like the charging speed of the generator and the power input from the solar panels. This aspect is crucial for planning, especially in off-grid scenarios or during extended usage.
- Inverter and Battery Type: The type of inverter and battery used in a solar generator also contributes to its performance. Inverters convert DC power from solar panels to AC power, with pure sine inverters being more suitable for sensitive electronics. Battery types, such as lithium-ion or lead-acid, affect the generator’s longevity, weight, and cost.
- Additional Features: Modern solar generators come with various additional features, enhancing their usability and convenience. These include multiple charging inputs (solar, home, or vehicle charging), expandable storage capacity, and a range of output types to accommodate different devices. Some models also feature display panels for easy monitoring of battery-charge levels and output usage, and expandable storage capacity to increase runtime.
Solar generators are a worthy investment, offering long-term benefits despite the initial high cost. In the U.S., installing a permanent solar generator’s power system costs between $9,200 and $68,000 depending on the complexity of your power storage needs and the size of your home.
Opting for a portable solar generator can reduce costs, sometimes even to zero if self-installed. However, professional installation is advised when integrating it into your home’s electrical circuit. The key advantage? After the initial outlay, there are no further costs, as solar energy is free, and the lack of a combustion engine means negligible maintenance expenses.
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- BLUETTI: What Are the Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator?
- CNET: Solar Panel Maintenance Guide: You Need to Clean Your Panels
- EcoFlow Blog: How Long Do Solar Generators Last? [Real Life Examples]
- Forbes: How to Clean Solar Panels: DIY and Professional Options
- Lifewire: Pure Sine Wave Inverters: Necessary or Overkill?
- Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro
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- BLUETTI AC500 & B300S: Totally Level Up
- Lowes: How to Choose a Portable Solar Generator