Day-by-day people are becoming increasingly conscious of the kind of energy they use. The limitless exhaustion of fossil fuels has taken a toll on the environment. It’s time to limit the use of such non-renewable resources by choosing sustainable and cleaner energy options. Using the sun as an energy source is the best possible option available for us. It has ample enough energy to meet the energy requirements of the whole world. Moreover, unlike, fossil fuels, it’s not gonna run out soon. You can start changing your energy use patterns by slowly shifting to devices like solar generators. People do initially feel skeptical about putting their money into things like solar generators cause they don’t know much about it and even if they do, they are bugged by questions like- how long do solar generators last, are they worth my money, etc. This article here will help you learn everything about solar generators and will also end all your doubts about this device.
What is a Solar Generator?
A solar generator is a very handy device that works together with solar panels and provides essential energy backup to your home when needed. It’s very useful during camping, off-grid living, and even during power outages. These generators come in a wide range of brands, sizes, functions, and styles.
How does a Solar Generator Work?
The solar generator is a device that only requires the power of the sun to provide off-grid energy. It can do so consistently and for extended periods. It integrates a solar panel, a battery system, a charge controller, and an inverter to form a compact system that converts solar energy into usable electrical energy. Also, see Solar Power to Triple During Next Five Years
How Much Does a Solar Power Generator cost?
Usually, a solar power generator can cost around 300 to 1200 bucks or sometimes even higher. The cost of any portable solar power generator is based on a lot of factors, but mostly, on its battery quality and power. Mainly, two types of batteries are used in solar generators- lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
What are the Different Types of Solar Batteries?
A battery is the most crucial component of any solar power generator. It plays an important role in determining how long does a solar generator last. Currently, there are four types of solar batteries that are used in solar power generators.
1. Lead-Acid Batteries: These batteries are more transitional as well as more affordable. They have shorter warranties and life spans. Additionally, they also have shorter-discharge cycles and lower depths of discharge. They have a long charging time and require regular maintenance.
2. Lithium-Ion Batteries: These batteries are the most popular solar generator batteries. They are more energy-efficient, light, and portable. They have longer warranties and life spans. They have a deeper cycle, which means they have longer charge-discharge cycles. Additionally, they also don’t require any maintenance.
3. Nickel-cadmium Batteries: These are as widely known as the other batteries, but they are greatly used in the aircraft industry. They are durable and can even operate at extreme temperatures. They are also basically maintenance-free, but they do have their set of downfalls. As its name suggests, it uses cadmium and cadmium is extremely toxic. Some countries have even banned cadmium. Moreover, they are also vulnerable to memory effects.
4. Flow batteries: Flow battery technology is fairly new. The flow batteries use saltwater-based electrolyte solutions to store solar energy. They are more expensive and larger. They are more suitable for large-scale storage. Additionally, these batteries are environmentally friendly and easier to recycle. After learning about all these batteries, let’s learn how long do Solar generators last.
How Long Do Solar Generators Last? How Long Does a Solar Generator Last?
A solar generator generally lasts for anywhere between 25 to 35 years. The brand and quality of the solar generator are the main factors that determine how long will a solar generator last. It is a great investment that lasts for a long time. Many solar generators also come with warranties, if anything goes wrong, they can be easily fixed.
A solar generator has four main parts and to perfectly get an average estimate of its lifespan, you should also know the lifespan of these 4 components-
1. Solar Panels
In the solar generator, the solar panels are responsible for converting sunlight into electrical energy. Over time, these solar panels suffer from degradation and lose the ability to generate enough energy for the generator. The average lifespan of these panels is around 20-25 years. The lifespan of your solar panels is an important factor that determines how long do solar generators last.
A battery’s lifespan is determined by the number of charge cycles it goes through. Different solar batteries have different lifespans. Usually, solar generators use lithium-ion batteries. They have efficiency and a long lifespan. The lifespan of an average lithium battery is around 1500-3000 charge cycles, which is close to 7 years, and that too if the generator is used each day. With this, you have learned a usual case of what is the life expectancy of a solar battery.
3. Charge Controller
It’s a part of the generator that regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panel to the battery. It is important as it protects the battery from overcharging and increases its lifespan of the battery. The average lifespan of a charge controller is nearly 15-20 years.
In a solar generator, an inverter converts the DC from the batteries into the AC used by your appliances. These investors are very delicate and can get damaged by power surges. This is a reason why their lifespans may vary, but any good quality inverter has a lifespan of about 10-15 years. All the components you have studied till now have a large say in how long do solar generators last.
What to Look for in a Solar Power Generator?
After learning how long do Solar generators last, let’s see what to look for in a solar power generator. All solar power generators are not the same and you should choose a solar generator that suits your taste and energy demand. While looking for a good solar power generator, you should consider the following things-
1. Solar Panels: In some generators, solar panels are already present, whereas in others you will have to buy the generators separately. Monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar cells, and thin film are the three most common types of panels. Among these three, the monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and common. On the other hand, thin planes are the most affordable and light. These panels also have an important say in how long does a solar generator last.
2. Battery Capacity: You should always check the power rating and battery capacity of a solar generator before buying it. The generators with low power ratings and high battery capacity deliver less electricity, but for a longer period.
3. Battery Type: The most commonly used solar generator batteries are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries are great for powering things like automobiles. Whereas lithium batteries are lightweight and mostly used to power tools. These batteries are more expensive than lead-acid ones, but they are long-lasting.
4. Weight: If you are planning to use your generator on the go then you should primarily focus on the weight of the generator. Look for portable generators that are lighter in weight and easy to handle.
5. Charge Controller: These regulate current flow from the solar panel to the battery. The three-point tracking (MPPT) is an efficient charge controller.
6. Inverter: They convert the DC from the batteries into AC to be used by your appliances. They are inbuilt into the solar generators. One of the most efficient inverters is the pure sine wave inverter. It’s expensive though.
What are Pros and Cons of Solar Generators?
Like any device, a solar generator is also full of its share of Pros and cons. This table here will beliefs explain to you the pros and cons of a solar generator-
What is the Life Expectancy of a Solar Battery?
After learning how long does a solar generator last, it’s time to learn what is the life expectancy of a solar battery. The life expectancy of a home solar battery unit lasts anywhere between 5 to 15 years. The average life expectancy of a solar power system is close to 20 to 30 years and in this period you will surely need to replace solar batteries after their time runs out. Solar batteries are very important when analyzing how long will a solar generator last.
How many solar panels does it take to run a house?
After learning what is the life expectancy of a solar battery, let’s learn about the number of solar panels needed to run a house. The number of solar panels you will need to run a house depends on a variety of factors. The key factor here is the total power consumption of the house. The high cost of installation is a factor that limits the overall use of solar power. It is also a reason why mostly only small appliances are powered by solar generators. Any average American household consumes close to 11,000 kWh of energy per year. To fulfill such an energy requirement, about 28 to 38 panels will be required. Also, see Solar, Storage, and Smart Grid Transform Electric Utilities
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Solar Generator?
Follow these tips to extend the lifespan of your solar generator-
1. Keep the Battery charge between 20-28%
Having a 100% charged battery will do you more harm than good. It’s because when your battery is full it goes into a state of overcharging. By charging for battery full, you are putting strain on it and shortening its lifespan. Ensure that your battery lasts long, charge it between 20-80%. The battery life also determines how long do solar generators last.
2. Clean the Solar Panels Regularly
To ensure that solar panels generate the most amount of energy, it’s important to clean them regularly. Dirt and dust build-up on the panels over time and restrict sunlight from reaching the solar cells. It also damages the internal components of the solar generator. This will reduce the amount of energy being generated as well as shorten the lifespan of the solar panel. Always clean the panels with some soapy water and a soft cloth.
3. Check the Battery Every few Months
To ensure that the battery is charging and discharging correctly, recalibrate your battery every few months. If it is not calibrated, the battery will not be able to hold a charge and will die prematurely. Follow the instructions given in the manual of your device to calibrate the battery.
What are the 5 best solar-powered generators?
After learning so much about solar-powered generators, you must be curious about the best solar generators in the market you buy. Well, this list here will help you with the same-
1. Jackery explorer 500 solar portable generator
It is a 500W portable and lightweight power station with a 518Wh power capacity. It is a power sine inverter and lithium battery. It has 7 output ports. Moreover, it can be charged with a Jackery SolarSaga panel or from an AC wall outlet.
2. Baldr portable power station
This 330W power station is the lightest portable power station with 297Wh power capacity. It is also a pure sine inverter with 9 output ports. It has a lithium battery. Moreover, it can be charged will any 100 W solar panel, plugged into the 12V socket of the car, or wall power socket.
3. Bluetti ac200p 2000wh/2000w portable power station
This 2000w portable power station has a 2000Wh power capacity. It comes with a pure sine wave inverter and lead acid battery. It is very heavy and has 7 output ports. It can be charged using solar panels (not included), a lead acid battery, a wall outlet, a car plug, or a generator.
4. Tacklife p50 500wh portable power station
It is a 500W portable power station with a 500Wh power capacity. It has a pure sine wave inverter and lithium-ion battery. It is relatively light with a weight of 13.6 pounds. It also has a pre-installed maximum power point tracker (MPPT). It has 5 output ports and be charged using 150W solar panels, a car plug, or a wall outlet.
5. Maxoak bluetit portable power station
This 1000w portable power station comes with 1500Wh power capacity. It has a pure sine wave inverter and lithium-ion battery. It is quite heavy with a weight of 37.9 pounds. It also has a pre-installed maximum power point tracker (MPPT). It can be charged using solar panels, a car plug, or a wall outlet.
So, How Long Will A Solar Generator Last? How Long Do Solar Generators Last?
The average lifespan of a solar generator is close to 25 to 35 years. The brand and quality are the main factors that determine how long will a solar generator last. There are different components of a solar generator like a solar panel, battery, charge controller, and inverter. These elements also are directly related to how long do solar generators last. Even the battery type of the solar generator affects its efficiency.