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How Do I Pick the Right Solar Generator? 

2022-11-15 10:09:58 964

How do I pick the right solar generator? 

 

A solar generator, by its name, is a power generation system that generates power from sunlight. Unlike conventional power generators which run propane, gasoline, or diesel, solar generator runs on sunlight that is free, clean, and sustainable. 

 

The solar generator consists of two parts, a solar panel, and a power station. A simple definition would be: 

 

1. Solar panel: collects energy from the sun and converts it into electricity. 

2. Power station: power block to store electrical power. 

 

A solar generator is a convenient power source. Get access to power while on the go, or as a home backup energy solution. It is a must-have for campers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those of you who hold the emergency preparedness mindset.

 

When comes to buying one, you may wonder the question of How do I pick the right solar generator? This is a vital question, as you certainly do want to have the most suitable set, without paying extra. (The bigger they are, the more expensive they are!)

 

This article aims to help you choose the right solar generator. Follow our simple and easy evaluation steps, and make the best decision. 

 

Step One: Pick your power station. 

 

Before we start, please have the question in mind. What power station would I need to form my solar generator? To break the question down, what kind of devices and appliances would you like to supply with your power station? A CPAP machine at home when there is a power outage? A drone that requires multiple batteries? Or a hair dryer for your glamping trip? 

 

Okay, let's get started! It is beneficial to understand the different sizes of power stations. They are usually sized by watts (W) and watt hours (Wh). Watt is the measure of power that’s used to calculate the rate of energy transfer. Simply speaking, highest wattage it can handle. Watt Hour is a unit of energy equivalent to one watt of power expended for one hour. Consider it as the capacity of your power station. For example, a 300Wh power station can supply a 300 watts appliance for 1 hour. Make sure you pay attention to the following measures when deciding on buying a power station. 

 

1. AC continuous power output. Refers to the amount of power that a power station can provide consistently through its AC outlet. 

 

2. Peak AC power output. Refers to the maximum amount of power that a power station can provide in a short burst. 

 

Most household appliances, such as a refrigerator, needs a quick burst of power to get started. That’s peak power. On the other hand, the amount of power needed to continuously run the AC unit is generally lower. That’s continuous power. Both measurements need to be matched for an appliance to run properly with your power station. 

 

Even though both figures are important, AC continuous power output would have more impact when you are making the decision. It tells you how much power you will get from a single charge of your power station under normal conditions. 

 

How to decide on the capacity of my power station? 

 

The answer would depends on what devices you want to power for how long with your power station,meaning picking the devices you want to run with you power station, and have a rough estimation of how long you want the power station to provide power for them. 

 

Here are some common devices examples:

 

Kitchen appliances 

Hair dryer 

Air conditioner 

Projector 

Video game system 

Camping light 

Bug zapper 

Cellphone/Walkie Talkie 

Tablet/Laptop 

 

The larger capacity of the power station, the higher-wattage appliances it can handle. For example, the Hiker U300 has a continuous AC output of 300 watts, while the Hiker U1000 has a continuous AC output of 1000 watts, meaning you can plug a appliance up to 1000W with the Hiker U1000. Some research on your side may require to determine the power of your device. (Look at the User’s Manual or website should help.) 

 

 

Figure out how much energy your device selection use. 

 

1) Find out the rated power of your device. If you do not have access to the User’s Manual, try finding it on the device itself. You can also calculate using the formula below if you can see the voltage (shown with unit V) and amperage (shown with unit A) on the device.




 

 公式一.png


2) Find out the energy consumption (watt hour) by estimate the working hours and multiply the rated power.   

 公式二.png

 

For example, if you have a 50W light bulb, and you would like to power it for 2 hours, the energy consumption would be:

 

50W x 1 light bulb x 2 hours = 100Wh

 

3) If you have multiple devices, repeat the above steps and add up all the watt-hours together for your total estimate energy consumption.

 

An example would be running two 50 watts light bulb for 2 hours; and one 80 watts fan for 1 hour.

 

50W x 2 light bulb x 2 hours = 200Wh

80W x 1 fan x 2 hour = 160Wh

Total Energy Consumption : 200Wh + 80Wh = 360Wh

 

 

Now you are ready to determine the power station size. There is 2 factors to consider, the energy consumption and the AC output.The total estimate energy consumption is roughly 360Wh. Please note, the inverter in power station, which converts Direct Current to Alternating Current, consumes energy when it functions. There is around 15% loss during it process. You will need a power station:

 

360Wh/(1-0.85)= 424Wh

 

If you are running them together, the total AC output requirement is 50W+50W+80W= 180W. Make sure your power station has a continuous AC output greater than that.

 

To sum up, in this case, as long as the AC output is greater than 180w, and the capacity is over 424Wh, the power station could accommodate your need.  

 

Step Two: Match a solar panel for you power station.

 

To form a generator, you will need a solar panel. Power station alone is a great power backup, but with a solar panel, there is endless free energy source from the Sun. No matter where you go, sunshine there is, power there is!

 

When matching a solar panel, there are 2 things to look at:

The connector size

Make sure the cable connector size of the solar panel matches the input on power station.

The output voltage

The output voltage from the solar panel has to be lower than power station’s input voltage.

 

Please see below for our recommendation combinations and the corresponding charging times.

 

Generator

Hiker U300( 296Wh)

Hiker U500(515Wh)

Hiker U1000 (1166.4Wh)

Hiker U1500 (1856Wh)

SolarX S40

8-10 hours

/

/

/

SolarX S80

4-8 hours

7-13 hours

/

/

SolarX S120

3-6 hours

5-10 hours

9-18 hours

/

SolarX S200

/

/

/

10-20 hours

 

 

In conclusion, the key to picking the right generator is to identify your power needs. Grab a power station to accommodate your power usage needs, then match a solar panel to charge your power station. Enjoy clean energy, enjoy free energy. 


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