Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator

Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator. What You Need to Know

5 Min Read

While most people think of solar electricity technology as something you stick on your roof, the truth is solar generators are better performing and more efficient today than ever before – some rivaling more traditional backup power sources, too.

Of course, as with any backup energy source it’s important to understand the pros and cons of a solar generator before you spend your hard-earned money on this hardware.

You’ll need to be sure that this is the right back up generator for your needs.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Breaking Down the Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator

It’s important that you really think about how you hope to use your solar generator moving forward before you run through this breakdown of the pros and cons of a solar generator.

Some of these advantages (and certainly some of the disadvantages) may or may not come into play based off of how you’re looking to use your hardware in the future.

For example, if you’re looking for a reliable backup energy source you can use in case of natural disasters or horrific weather your needs are going to be quite a bit different than if you hope to use a solar generator to provide a little bit of “juice” while hanging out at a local campsite.

Pros of a Solar Generator

The biggest advantage that solar generators offer is the fact that they do not require an accessory fuel source to produce power.

All the fuel that a solar generator needs is going to come directly from the sun. You don’t have to move around heavy (and potentially dangerous) gas cans or bottles of propane with a solar generator. All you have to do is set it up in direct sunlight and you are off to the races!

On top of that, solar generators are incredibly quiet.

You don’t have the noise that a traditional fuel source generator has. Noises that can push 100 dB or more without much difficulty.

Instead, a solar generator operates silently (or almost silently). It doesn’t hurt that they are almost maintenance free, too.

Finally, a solar generator delivers clean, renewable energy better than anything else on the market today. This ties back into the lack of a dedicated fuel source aside from sunlight. It’s always nice to get emergency or off the grid power without having to burn any fossil fuels or contribute to carbon issues.

Cons of a Solar Generator

There are certainly some drawbacks to using a solar generator, though.

For one thing, solar generator costs are almost always two or three times as much as what you’d spend on a traditional fuel source generator.

If your average gas generator costs about $1000 a similar output solar generator is going to cost you somewhere close to $2000 – and maybe even more. Solar generators have lower operating costs in the long haul to offset that initial expense, but it still a pretty big hit to your bank account right away.

Secondly, solar batteries take a long time to recharge – and they are only going to recharge when the sun is out and shining.

A solar panel that offers a power output of close to 100 W might take nine hours (or more) to charge even just midsized solar generator batteries. That can be a huge bottleneck, especially if you are depending on this power source in an emergency situation.

Power output is limited compared to traditional fuel source generators, too.

You can get a lot more electricity out of a gasoline, diesel, or natural gas fueled generator than you can one that runs purely off of sunlight.

Finally (and most obviously), solar generators only work when there is direct sunlight and plenty of it.

In a natural disaster, in shaded areas, at night, and in a lot of fog your solar generator simply isn’t going to work.

That means that your generator is going to be down for the count as soon as the sun goes down itself. That could present a whole lot of problems.

Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator – Final Verdict

So there you have it, our breakdown of the biggest pros and cons of a solar generator that you’ll want to be aware of before you invest in this backup electricity technology.

The good news, though, is that solar powered technology is only getting better and better every day.

Major leaps forward are being made in the world of renewal energy and solar specifically. It may not be that long until many of the obvious and significant drawbacks of solar generators are erased completely.

Until then, though, they sure you understand the realities of using this type of generator as a fuel source – particularly if you hope to use it in emergency situations.



Brian has spent over 30 years as a general contractor, and in that time seen and faced many challenges. He brings all his knowledge of portable generators, battery powered tools, and outdoor equipment to every post he writes through real life experience. Learn more about us.

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