Solar energy has gained significant popularity as a clean and renewable energy source. The use of solar panels to harness the power of the sun has revolutionized the way we generate electricity. By utilizing solar energy and advanced battery technology, solar generators have become a reliable alternative to gas-powered generators for providing electricity during power outages, emergencies, or even as a primary power source. In this post, we will explore the capabilities of solar generators in powering an entire house.
Understanding Solar Generators
Solar generators, equipped with solar panels and powerful lithium-ion batteries, have the capability to generate and store a significant amount of electrical energy. These portable power stations can replace traditional gas generators in many applications, offering a cleaner and more sustainable solution. With built-in charge controllers and inverters, solar generators convert direct current (DC) electricity from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) power, suitable for powering essential appliances and electronic devices in your house.
Powering the Entire House
Can you power an entire house just like you where still connected to the grid…it depends. Lets look at two examples so you can see what we mean.
EcoFlow DELTA Pro + Double Voltage Hub
This setup has two power banks (expandable to more) giving you the ability to power 240v devices and a hefty 7.2kWh of storage. This is a very versatile setup and can run a standard houses power usage (30 kWh) for almost 6 hours (7.2kWh/30kWh = .24 or 24% of daily household demand. 24hrs*.24= 5.76 hours of runtime). So if all you need is a few hours to get you through a temporary power outage than yes, the EchoFlow can do it. Need more time? You can run just the essentials and greatly expand the amount of time you can run off of the EchoFlow. Alternatively, you can connect more EchoFlow DELTAs and expand the system to increase your run time.
Jackery 3000 Pro
Another example is the Jackery 3000 Pro, with this solar generater you are will be able to power most devices but it does not have the ability to power 240 volt devices like a dryer or larger electric heater. However, you can power the essentials for a few hours, or even days with the Jackery 3000 Pro. For example, it can run appliances like refrigerators, lights, and communication devices during power outages as well as giving you the ability to operate power tools, charge laptops, or even running larger appliances like washing machines. So if you are looking to power just the essentials that operate off of 110 for a few hours than yes, the Jackery 3000 Pro can fit your needs.
Lets give some more examples and details to help you determine how much power you may need so that you can find the right solar generator for you.
What is a kWh? A kWh is a kilowatt hour – it is a measurement of how much power over time something has used. Where kilo means 1000 so 1 kWh = 1000 Wh
Another an example
A 8.5W light bulb. If you run this bulb for a full hour it will use 8.5 Wh. If you ran it for a 1000 hours it would use 8.5kWh (the k in kWH is kilo and is like multiplying by 1000)
If you have a refrigerator that uses 550W but the compressor is only running for 30% of the time than that refridgerator will use 165Wh for every hour that it is on
So lets say all you where trying to power in your house was one lightbulb and one refridgerator than you would use around
8.5Wh + 165Wh = 173.5Wh ever hour.
If you had a 3000W Solar generator like the Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro than you could run your appliances for around 17.29 hours
3000W/173.5Wh = 17.29 hours. While those are ideal numbers actual performance will vary and probably be a few percent lower but you can get a good estimate of how many hours you can run essential applianceas for.
Other Factors to consider:
What voltage is the solar generator capable of outputting and what voltage does your appliance need?
Common voltages in the US are 120v and 240v and most solar generators will only output 120v. So if you are looking to power some lights, a laptop, or a fridge than you have a lot of options. On the other hand if you are looking to run a 220v window AC unit than you might want to look into the EcoFlow DELTA Pro + Double Voltage Hub or some of the gas powered generator options.
How much current will your appliances be pulling and how much can the solar generator supply?
If your device can only supply 25A at 120V than you need to be sure the load you intend to draw will be below that as well. Also if you plan on running power tools or any device that has an electric motor in it you should consider its startup current. Start up current is the current draw on motor that spikes for a moment when they turn on then stabilizes at its normal running current. Luckely devices can have “surge” capabilites to handle these startup currents like the Jakery 3000. According to the Jackery website the Jackery 3000 Pro has “3000W continuous and a surge capacity of 6000W” so if your device has a startup current blow 50A (6000W/120v = 50A) and a running current below 25A (3000W/120v = 25A) than you would be okay to use it with the Jackery 3000 Pro.
How do I know how much power the appliance I want to run will draw?
You have two options here
- Look at the specifications of the device to see what the manafacture says
- Measure it, when I want to know how much power someting actually uses I use a Kill a Watt power meter so that I can see the real world performance.
So can you run an entire house under normal loads? Given the average household uses around 30 kWh per day and a larger system like the EcoFlow DELTA Pro + Double Voltage Hub then yes you can for a few hours. However, even with the smaller systems you can run essential appliances for a few hours to get you throw a temporary power outages.
The Advantages of Solar Generators
Clean and Renewable Energy: Solar generators utilize solar panels to harness clean and renewable energy from the sun. By reducing dependency on fossil fuels, they contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
Portability and Versatility: Solar generators are portable, allowing you to take them anywhere, from camping trips to construction sites. They offer multiple AC outlets, USB ports, and even DC outputs to power a wide range of devices.
Energy Independence: With a solar generator, you can become less reliant on the power grid. During emergencies or natural disasters, when the grid is down, a solar generator ensures a continuous power supply for your essential needs.
Low Maintenance and Silent Operation: Solar generators require minimal maintenance compared to gas-powered generators. They operate silently and produce no harmful emissions, making them an eco-friendly and quiet solution.
Where is the solar?
So far we have talked about the power banks that store the solar energy but have not talked about how to charge these devices. When it comes to charging the devices there are two main ways, from a wall outlet or solar panels.
Wall outlet – this is very simple you just plug in the device and it charges the batteries so that when you loose power or travel you have the energy you need to run your devices.
Solar Panels – You can connect solar panels to the power banks to charge them to enable a truly off the grid capability. Some things to consider when looking at solar panel charging options are the max voltage input and max current input that your solar charger is rate for. Additionally, you will need to ensure that you have the right connectors and adaptors to hook up the solar panel. For example the EchoFlow DELTA Pro uses the XT60i connectors and should come with an adaptor to use the MC4 connectors that many solar panels use.
Choosing the Right Solar Generator
When selecting a solar generator, consider factors such as battery capacity, power output, and specific needs. Look for reputable brands like EchoFlow, Bluetti, or Jackery that offer high-quality lithium-ion batteries with ample storage capacity. Ensure the solar generator has sufficient AC outlets, DC outputs, and USB ports to accommodate your household appliances and electronic devices.
Solar generators have emerged as a great way to power your entire house using clean and renewable energy. With advancements in battery technology, they offer a reliable alternative to gas-powered generators. By harnessing the power of the sun and storing energy in lithium-ion batteries, solar generators provide a sustainable and efficient solution for powering essential appliances, charging devices, and ensuring electricity during emergencies or power outages. Consider your specific needs and explore the wide range of solar generators available on the market to find the best fit for your household.