How can the best solar generator make off grid living better? Well, it starts with harnessing free electricity strictly from the power of the sun! We have analyzed some of the top models and are comparing them to determine the best solar generator for off grid living.
What Is Off Grid Living?
Off grid living is the method of living without receiving water or electricity from any kind of electrical grid or city water service. This could also extend out to not using electricity at all! Though most people who live off grid harness the power of the sun and propane to aid them.
Off grid living also focuses on aspects of self-reliance where food is produced and processed close by or on the property and even goods like soap, furniture, and other goods are homemade, too!
This is why off grid living is so well served by solar generators. We are going to try and find the best solar generator for off grid living.
Why Buy the Best Solar Generator for Off Grid Living?
The reality of off grid living is that you are going to use power. You are going to use some kind of energy to power electronics in your life. Even if that is just a simple headlamp for when you wake up in the middle of the night or seek to read in the winter when the sun has long gone down.
With a solar generator, you can invest in rechargeable batteries and power those headlamps for years to come instead of spending the money on a stream of batteries that you have to leave your property to purchase and are increasingly expensive.
Modern solar generators are also capable of powering up modern devices and even laptops so you can have access to this tech even while living off grid. If your lifestyle also takes you on camping trips then you will be able to take some serious power with you and power your generator over and over as the sun rises each day.
Of course, to make the best-informed decision you need to know which is the best solar generator for off grid living. That is where our list comes into play.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
The best solar generator for off grid living is going to work the same way any other type of solar power system works. It is a smaller system with all the parts contained in one unit.
Solar power begins with the solar cell that creates an electrical charge from direct sunlight. The solar cells are set atop a solar panel. This DC or direct current power is run to an inverter which makes it available to you or to batteries for later use.
The solar generator is a container that holds the large battery to contain the power, the inverter to change the current from DC to AC and then an array of inputs for you on the front of the generator to power plugs, USB, and 12volt car plugs.
If you want to learn more about solar power check out our article on How Solar Power Works.
The Best Solar Generator for Off Grid Living
1. Jackery Explorer Pro 2000
Jackery is one of the best solar generators and portable off grid power companies on the market. They started producing their portable power station first and have since moved on to adding solar panels to generate power.
The Jackery Explorer Pro 2000 is one of the most powerful tools you can have when facing a power outage or living off grid. This thing can run an air conditioner for 2 hours! It can run a refrigerator, hand drill, and even a microwave!
This solar generator is also an incredible camping companion. If you pull up to the campsite with the Jackery Explorer Pro 2000 all of your camping power needs will be met. You can even bring a small refrigerator for keep food and drink cold.
Jackery has a number of products worth exploring. Any one of them could be the best solar generator for off grid living.
- Capacity: 2160Wh (43.2V 50Ah)
- Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
- Recharge Time: 7.5 Hours with 2 Solar Panels
- Weight: 43lbs
2. Goal Zero Yeti 3000X
Goal Zero brought one of the first solar generators to the market. They have really pushed the pace in terms of emergency and off grid solar technology in general. The Yeti 3000x is no exception. This is one of their most powerful units.
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X will power every type of major appliance in your home. This solar generator has a massive battery capacity. It can even be plugged right into your home if you selectively power certain things through your breaker box.
The Goal Zero unit is 27lbs heavier than the Jackery but it is also on wheels and has a handle to make it easier to move from place to place. Remember, for a solar generator to serve you it will have to sit in or near the sun to recharge. Or you will have to have long connecting cables for your solar panels.
Goal Zero’s long track record with solar energy makes it a natural consideration for the best solar generator for off grid living.
- Capacity: 3032Wh
- Battery Type: Li-Ion NMC
- Recharge Time 9-18 hours with 2/400 watt solar panels
- Weight: 69lbs
3. Bluetti EP500
This generator is a powerhouse and the offers the greatest capacity on our entire selection of the best solar generator for off grid living. This solar generator is mobile and built to bring the power. It is one of the few on the market that has a 110V for plugging up things like an electric stove
The Bluetti EP500 is a mobile solar power station that is on wheels. This means you can move it around the house where it is needed. This power station is compatible with an AC input so you can make sure that your initial charge is waiting for you when the power goes out. Or you can power it up off of an alternate AC source for your off grid home.
The sharp and sleek design of the Bluetti means it will fit into your small off grid home but will also accent a modern interior design. This sleek design does not sell the efficacy of this solar generator short. In fact, this thing even features a wireless charging base on top of the unit. You will also have 4 USB-A, 4 AC wall style plugs, 12v port, a cigarette lighter port, and even AC, PV, and a communications input.
For all of its power and possibility, the Bluetti comes with a hefty price tag. There is just no getting around that. You are going to pay for all this power and innovative design. We are talking over $5000 with the solar panels for this generator.
If you are saving money while living off grid then the Bluetti EP500 is the best solar generator for off grid living.
- Capacity: 5100Wh
- Battery Type: LiFePO4
- Recharge Time: N/A
- Weight: 167lbs
4. Renogy Lycan 5000
The Renogy Lycan is a heavy, and heavy duty, option for powering your off grid lifestyle. This unit weighs in at almost 300lbs! It runs a consistent flow of 3500 watts and can deal with surges of 7000 watts. That is a lot of power. When you get into the 3000 watts you are talking about small portable gas generator territory.
This solar generator also gives you the ability to plug directly into your home. This means you can just power the home with the Lycan. You may want to kill the HVAC system on your breaker as that will just wear your battery down so fast. Everything else you can depend on with this powerful unit.
This is a top contender for best solar generator for off grid living.
The Renogy Lycan also boats advanced pure sine wave technology that is designed to protect your AC appliances. You are putting out serious power so there are protections that need to be in place both to protect you from serious injury and your appliances from overload. This solar generator has those protections in place.
All this power comes at a price and this is also one of our most expensive options on the list. We are talking about another unit that is going to go well over $5,000 when you start building your solar array to power this massive power source.
- Capacity: 4800Wh
- Battery Type: Lithium Iron Phosphate
- Recharge Time: 1.3 hours when charging with the sun and AC input
- Weight: 264lbs
5. EcoFlow Delta 1300
For our final solar generator on the list, I thought we should dip back down into a more affordable price range. The EcoFlow Delta does not have the massive power output of the previous two units but this is a generator with 1260Wh capacity that can become a serious ally in your off grid living lifestyle.
The EcoFlow Delta has 6 AC outlets built into this smaller unit. It is also nearly 10x lighter than the Lycan. It has a simple handle design built right into the hull of this generator that gives you the ability to just pick it up and move it from place to place.
The off grid lifestyle is going to require tremendous daily usage of a solar generator which means you will likely be moving it around to charge and power things in various parts of your home. For this reason, I think mobility and ease of handling is so important.
The EcoFlow also has a very easy-to-use and read digital interface. This is the budget-friendly best solar generator for off grid living.
- Capacity: 1260Wh
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
- Recharge Time: 4-8 Hours Using 1 400w Solar Panel
- Weight: 30lbs
The Best Solar Generator for Off Grid Living FAQs
How fast will a solar generator charge?
Since we are talking about the best generator for off grid living I will focus on that kind of lifestyle. The reason is that plugging your solar generator into the wall is the quickest way to recharge it. However, off grid living is not going to present that option.
You will be tasked with using solar panels. The larger the unit the longer time it will take to charge. In the article above we have given you a breakdown of recharge times using 2 400w solar panels.
Can a solar generator run an entire home?
Even the best solar generator for off grid living will not be able to power your entire home for a long time. However, many of the generators on the list give you the option of plugging the charged power source directly into your home.
Here you can manipulate your circuit breaker to power the vitals. In most cases, you are going to charge your generator during the day and use as little power as possible while reserving that charge for the night hours.
How long will my charge last?
The duration of charge on your solar generator is going to depend on how much capacity it has and how much you are trying to power. If you want to power a few lights and a small fan then every solar generator on this list will run for hours.
If you plug the best solar generator for off-grid living into your home and attempt to power everything your charge might only last an hour.
Wrapping Up the Best Solar Generator for Off Grid Living
When you set out to find the best solar generator for off grid living one of the biggest concerns is price. It can cost a lot of money to get started with solar power. Solar generators are no different. Our list has options that hover right around $1000 and some that superseded $5000!
Using a solar generator for off grid living is much different than using one for disasters and emergencies. The occasional blackout would easily be handled by any generator on this list. They wouldn’t power your whole home but you wouldn’t be in the dark without power either.
The best solar generator for off grid living is up against a different set of requirements. This unit becomes a daily use appliance and that means durability becomes a much bigger concern. Now, it is up to you to decide which of these is the best choice your you and your off grid lifestyle.
If you’d like to learn more about solar panels, check out How Do Solar Panels Work?