Best Portable Solar Generators 2021 – What makes a particular solar generator the best? How do we quantify a solar generator to know how it will work during emergencies, RVing, camping, or during blackouts? There has to be a variable that is comparable across all the best solar generator systems so they can be properly compared against each other.
Best Portable Solar Generators 2021
3 Factors to a Good Solar Generator
There are three main factors when it comes to a solar generator: 1. Battery Capacity. 2. Inverter Size. 3. Solar Input.
1. Battery Capacity
Basically, the battery has to be large enough to run everything necessary at a minimum through one night. Preferably, it needs to be a large enough battery to get through 24 hours or more of no sunlight to account for cloudy, rainy, and snowy days. Usually, this is a minimum of 2,000wh for very basic emergency items.
2. Inverter Size
The inverter needs to be large enough to run all the necessary equipment. Most common for emergencies that equipment is a fridge, freezer, small a/c, fan, phone chargers, laptop chargers, CPAP, HAM radio chargers, LED lights, sump pumps, microwave, toaster, coffee machine, washer machine, saws, tools, and so on. It does not have to be able to run all of those things at the same time, it just has to be able to run them when needed. Usually, this is about 1,500w, preferably 2,000w, all depending on what your needs are.
3. Solar Input.
The solar charge controller has to be large enough to accomplish two tasks. It has to be able to let in enough solar power to fully recharge the battery in a single day, which is 5 hours of sunlight. Secondly, it has to let in enough solar to run the necessary equipment during the day, while still fully recharging the battery.
This generally means the system needs to be rechargeable in at least 3 hours or less in order to still run vital equipment like a fridge and freezer during the day and still get a full charge on the battery. Usually, the charge controller needs to be at least 1/3 of the capability of the battery capacity. For example, a 2,000wh battery should have about a 700w solar input. In 3 hours of sun, it would be fully charged.
Best Portable Solar Generators 2021 – According to Ben Gillmore in poweredportablesolar.com, since this monetary measurement has never been created before, I invented it, I call it “Unit Wattage.” Basically, I take the 3 factors on the size of the battery, inverter, and charge controller, and see how many watts or watt-hours the unit will divide into the price of the unit. Then I take the average of those 3 numbers and it makes the average “Unit Wattage.” You’ll see as you go through each unit.
5 Best Portable Solar Generators
These solar generators compared here are based on specs that have been compiled into this comparison chart. There are some factors that are hard to account for and so positions in the chart can change.
1. Titan Energy
The Titan has been out for quite a while now, long enough to know if there are any real issues with it, and there are not any issues.
The Titan, as a base unit, comes with 1 battery and 1 power module (inverter and charge controller). The battery is lithium-ion and has 2,000wh of capacity. The power module (top half) has a 3,000w pure sine wave inverter. The charge controller is 2,000w!
Of the top 5 best portable solar generators reviewed here, this has the largest inverter and largest solar input. But on top of that, has expandable batteries. This means I can use more Titan batteries to expand the Titan itself vertically, the Titan batteries stack on each other which is awesome, or I can use other batteries externally, such as the Lion Energy UT 1300s. The Titan batteries are rated to 2,000 cycles.
It is recommended to use lithium-based batteries. Lead-acid batteries are a thing of the past.
2. Bluetti AC200P
The Bluetti AC200P is rather new but has had quite the following due to their successful launch on IndieGoGo. Originally, they started with the AC200 which had lithium NMC battery cells in it. Then they switched to the LiFePo4 batteries because they had more power, lasted longer, and were available.
The Bluetti AC200P is not expandable with batteries or more solar panels, so what you see is what you get. It has a good-sized battery at 2,000wh which meets the minimum recommended amount. Because the Bluetti AC200P solar generator uses LiFePo4 batteries, it has an incredible lifecycle rating of 3,500 cycles!
The pure sine wave inverter is also a very good size at 2,000w which means it’s capable of running all the things necessary during an emergency such as a fridge, freezer, coffee machine, microwave, toaster, small AC unit, and so on.
3. Lion Energy Safari ME
The Safari ME solar generator, like the Titan, has been out for a little over a year now. It is a long-lasting and powerful unit.
It has a powerful LiFePo4 battery that is rated at 2,500 lifecycles. This is definitely going to be around for a while. But, the biggest issue with this solar generator is that only has a 922wh base battery built into it. That is quite small and will only run a fridge for about 12 hours and not much else.
It’s hard to recommend this unit without also getting the Safari XL battery expansion or also know as the Safari ME + Expansion. The extra Safari XL battery is 2,048wh which is plenty big just like the Titan batteries. Only 1 Safari XL battery can be added to the Safari ME solar generator, but it brings the total battery capacity up to about 3,000wh.
Safari ME 3000
4. Inergy Flex 1500
The Inergy Flex 1500 solar generator is a very unique and cool unit. It is essentially a mini-Titan. It has half the inverter size, half the battery capacity, and one quarter the solar input and is about half the price.
The Flex solar generator battery is 1,069wh as well as each expandable battery. They are lithium NMC and are rated to 2,000 cycles just like the Titan batteries. However, the Flex solar generator batteries are only capable of running 1,500w continuously for 80% of their total capacity.
The Inergy Flex has a pure sine wave inverter that is rated to 1,500w continuous output and 3,000w surge. One of the biggest issues I’ve had with Inergy systems like the Apex and Kodiak has been the battery to inverter capacity. Essentially, the battery is not capable of running 1,500w for very long.
5. MAXOAK Bluetti EB240
In many ways, the MAXOAK Bluetti EB240 is also better than the Inergy Flex. The Bluetti EB240 doesn’t have the expandability that the Inergy Flex has and for that reason, it doesn’t beat the Inergy Flex.
But the Bluetti EB240 has a large battery at 2,400wh which is the largest so far, out of these top 8 systems, for a base-sized battery. It is also different from the other units because it does not use Lithium NMC batteries which is the most common type of Lithium-Ion battery.
The Bluetti EB240 uses Lithium Polymer batteries. Most commonly lithium polymer batteries are what is used inside of cell phones. Instead of being the 18650 small cylinder cells, they are flat. One of the advantages is that it takes up less space inside the unit and therefore it doesn’t have to be as big.
One of the biggest differences with this battery is it is rated at 2,500 lifecycles. I am not sure how they got that number but according to their user manual, website, specs sheet, and so on, they claim that it has 2,500 cycles before it hits 80% efficiency which is great! 2,000 cycles are really the gold standard, so anything above that is phenomenal.
Best Alternative Portable Generator
EcoFlow Delta 1300
The EcoFlow Delta 1300 had a lot of hype when it was first introduced. With a large inverter and lightweight size, it was boasting to be one of the best units available. As we can see, since it is in 6th place, it didn’t really accomplish that.
It has a rather small battery at 1,260wh total capacity. It uses lithium NMC cells like many units on the market. They are the 18650 cylindrical cells.
One of the amazing things it is capable of doing is it can run the 1,260wh battery at 1,800w output for the entire capacity of the battery. Most batteries will not push out more power than their total capacity. That means that a 1,260wh battery generally will not push out more than 1,260w of continuous power from the inverter. But the EcoFlow Delta 1300 can.
Final Verdict Best Portable Solar Generators 2021
Best Portable Solar Generators 2021 – There is no doubt that the Titan solar generator is the best one available. It beats every system in every way. It has the best battery expandability, best solar input, best inverter, best portability for its size, and it is also the cheapest per unit wattage price. It seriously wins in every aspect.
If you look back to the video comparing all of these units or the picture, you will see that it is simply the best system to go with, bar none. The Bluetti AC200P is in second place, but truly, only good for basic emergency power needs. The same goes for the ElecHive 2200 and the Lion Safari ME.
The Titan sells out very quickly. The best thing to do is get one ordered as soon as possible so that you have the absolute best system around. Think about it, Titan has been out for quite some time now, and the other top solar generator companies such as Goal Zero, MAXOAK, Lion Energy, Inergy, etc. still have not made a better unit even though they have released new units since the Titan launched.