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Is Buying a Solar-Powered Generator Worth It?


A family loading bags into a car in their driveway in preparation for a road trip.

Image source: Getty Images

If you lose power frequently or enjoy camping, then you should think about going solar.


Key points

  • Solar-powered generators cost about $2,000 on average.
  • There are numerous benefits of a solar-powered generator, but they are twice the price of a fuel-powered generator.
  • While they run on renewable energy, they recharge slowly and are limited in the amount of power they can store.

Do you enjoy going camping? Or live in an area with frequent power outages? Then getting a generator to provide electricity might be a good idea for you. A solar generator goes one step further. Instead of being powered by fossil fuels, it uses solar panels to harness the sun’s energy. But is a solar-powered generator worth the cost?

How much do solar-powered generators cost?

Solar-powered generators range in cost from $300 to $5,000, with the average cost at $2,000. The cost will depend on the capacity and size. Smaller generators can power small devices such as your laptop or cellphone. Larger generators can power a small home for short periods of time.

Most solar-powered generators are used for camping, boats, and as a back-up power source. They work by collecting solar energy and then storing it in a solar battery. That stored energy is then converted to be used by appliances and electronics.

What are the benefits of a solar-powered generator?

Solar-powered generators are a clean source of power. They are quiet and require less maintenance than a fuel-powered generator since they have fewer moving pieces. Unlike a fuel-powered generator, you don’t need to continue purchasing fuel (such as gas) to run it. After the initial purchase, there are few additional expenses. Solar-powered generators can also be portable and are easy to set up, so they are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities that might require power.

What are the disadvantages of a solar-powered generator?

While solar-powered generators are clean and good for the environment, they have their limitations. They charge slowly and cannot store a large amount of power due to their low wattage capacity. They can also only generate power when there is sunlight. Solar-powered generators also have higher upfront costs than gas-powered ones, so you will need to find space in your budget to save for one. Gas generators have an average cost of $1,000, about half the cost of solar generators.

Is a solar-powered generator worth it?

The purpose of any generator is not to power your home for a long period of time. It is meant to serve as a backup until your power is back on. When looking at a solar generator for your home, you will need to take into account the size of your home, your electricity needs, and the available sunlight in your area.

While you may not need a solar generator, they can be useful as a backup power source, especially if you live in an area prone to power outages. It doesn’t require any fuel, so you don’t have to worry about high gas prices or shortages. Even without fuel you can power your home at any time.

Solar-powered generators are not to be confused with a solar panel system that you often see on the rooftops of houses. Solar generators are smaller and do not offer the same capacity as a full solar panel system. Since they take more time to charge and have limited capacity to store energy, they are best used for camping and temporary power outages. If you have a need for a generator, it might be worth it to look into a solar-powered one.

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