A portable solar power system is increasingly becoming the new way of powering various devices at home, off-grid applications, and in-office settings.
One major reason solar energy has been adopted is because of continued efforts to adopt renewable power sources combined with its potential to offset utility bills.
This article will cover “how do solar generators work“, usage, safety, pricing, and we’ll review the best all-in one portable solar power systems.
Best All in One Portable Solar Power Systems
As we have seen above, the solar power market keeps heating. Today, there are many producers of solar power systems.
Thus, selecting the right or best portable solar system for your need may become difficult.
So, how do you choose the best all-in-one portable solar power system? What are some of the best all-in-one solar systems out there?
In this section, you will get the answers to these questions, leaving you in a better position to select the best portable solar power system.
The power rating is the first thing to consider when choosing a portable solar power system.
The system should and must power your appliances after factoring out about 10% of the inverter losses.
Therefore, compute the total electrical appliances’ power needs and compare it with your proposed solar system. If the total is less than the system’s power rating, then you can choose it.
We will later look at things like the runtime, price, and portability. Below are what we consider the best all-in-one units.
Each of the portable solar power systems above has its distinct features, advantages, and disadvantages.
Therefore, the next section will focus on each of the above individual solar power systems.
But, first, we will showcase what the system can power and the specifications.
Goal Zero Yeti 500x Power Station Solar Kit
For portable power needs, this combination is the perfect combination. To power the mobile power station (Yeti 500X), you may use the Nomad 50 solar kit. Goal Zero Yeti 500X is the best choice to power your outdoor activities, like camping and tailgating.
At its core, the portable power station has a 505-watt Lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack can power your electronic gear, smartphones, laptops, and any other gadget anywhere, be it outdoors it indoors.
Whether headed out for a tailgate or a remote base camp, people bring a smartphone, camera, or a tablet with them.
They might also carry an electric grill, a mini-refrigerator, a lighting system, drones, and other electrical devices. So having a way of powering these devices is critical.
The power system cannot be helpful if it does not provide a way of powering your devices.
Therefore, goal Zero Yeti 500X features many input and output ports. They allow you to charge your electrical gadgets and recharge the power station.
In addition, Yeti 500X features a 12-volt carport, 2 AC inverters, and a 6mm port. These are essentially similar to the wall outlets that you have at your home.
The portable power station features a standard USB-C port having a maximum of 18W, a USB-C PD port that delivers a maximum of 60W, and 2-standard USB-A (12W max). It means that you can charge eight devices simultaneously.
The battery packs deliver much power. The runtime of this portable power station depends on the connected devices.
Depending on your model, you can recharge a smartphone using a Yeti 500X like 40 times and a tablet or a laptop up to 8-10 times.
You can charge a DSLR camera over 60 times. Yeti 500X can charge a CPAP machine for over 10 hours and a small LCD TV for 3hours.
But you need to charge the Yeti 500X. This is where the Nomad 50 Solar kit comes in.
Considering the weight, size, and some other factors, the Nomad 50 solar panel may be the best so far. Nomad 50 is a 4-panel foldable solar charger, adding to its portability.
In addition, it is durable and rugged, making it the perfect choice for a campsite, outdoors, or the backcountry.
The panel weighs about 6.5 pounds and is durable enough to withstand punishing outdoor conditions like wind and dust.
After unfolding all four solar panels and exposing them to the sun, the Nomad 50 Solar panel can produce up to 50 Watts of power.
However, you can only generate such an amount of power under near-perfect conditions.
The Nomad 50 solar panel comes with in-built cables, hence compatible with portable power stations from Goal Zero like the Yeti 500X.
Therefore, there is no need to have extra cables.
The Solar panel has an onboard USB-A port. It allows you to connect small battery packs and plug some devices in for faster charging.
For example, the solar panel can take about 8-10 hours to charge the Yeti 500X portable generator.
Renogy Phoenix 300 Solar Kit
The next portable solar power system is the Renogy Phoenix 300 portable solar generator. It is a highly portable solar power system combining the inverter, battery, and charge controller in one unit.
If you are a camper in need of a small external solar power system as a power source for your gadgets, like laptops and smartphones, then this is your solution.
The system weighs 6.4lbs, making it one of the lightest solar generators in the all-in-one class.
Renogy Phoenix 300 is an all-in-one portable micro-solar generator that stores about 337Wh charge in its battery.
Thus, it can power medium and small digital devices like smartphones, laptops, cameras, and tablets.
Unlike other generators, you can use Renogy Phoenix 300 outdoors or indoors, making them ideal for your tent at night and leaving it to charge under the sun during the day.
To charge it, you can use a solar panel, connect it to a DC input port in your car, or use an AC wall outlet.
It has the following power outlets;
- 2 x AC 110v wall outlets,
- D-Tap battery port
- 2 x USB-A ports
- USB-A port for quick solar charging
- 1 x USB-C port
- 1 x CIG port
It also has overload protection features against short-circuiting and overcurrent.
The portable solar generator also has an LED flashlight for emergencies. Renogy also has a Smart BMS (battery management system) and features a pure sine wave inverter that allows you to charge those delicate devices.
The Renogy Phoenix portable solar generator box contains a 5.5mm DC adapter, AC/DC adapter, and a USB-A to USB-C cable. It also houses the Renogy Phoenix portable solar power generator.
The runtime of the Renogy Phoenix portable solar generator depends on the appliances connected to it. For instance, when running LED lights, the battery life can last for several days.
On the other hand, powering a laptop can drain the power system in about 6 hours.
Charging the Renogy Phoenix 300 varies depending on the source of power. However, a solar panel can recharge it in 10-15 hours.
A wall AC power outlet can charge it in about 8 hours. So, what can this portable solar generator power? Renogy phoenix 300 can power:
- Drone – 12 times
- Laptop – 3-4 times
- DSLR camera – 30 times
- Smartphone – 18 times
However, this can vary based on the specific appliance or device you are using.
Renogy Firefly All-in-One Solar Kit
The Renogy Firefly portable generator is one of a kind. The All-in-one generator kit combines the battery, solar panel, and inverter into one. Therefore, this is among the most portable solar power kits.
Are you a camper in search of the most portable power station? You can use Renogy all-in-one solar power system in emergencies, camping, hiking, and any other outdoor activity.
The kit has 2, 10 watts solar panels that produce a combined power of 20 watts. Its battery can offer you 175Wh of electricity, making it possible to power smartphones, computers, tablets, flashlights, and other electrical gear that you may have on your tailgate. It uses a lithium-polymer battery that is included in the kit.
Renogy Firefly measures 15.2 x 11.8 x 3.8 inches and weighs about 12lbs. to make its use as easy as possible. It also features an LCD and several outputs that you can connect to various devices.
The all-in-one generator is also versatile. It features multiple outputs to charge AC or USB port appliances below 150W.
As we have already seen, its dimensions and weight make it as portable as there can ever be. In addition, the generator has a handle that you can use to carry it around for various off-grid applications.
The generator has an LED flashlight that has two operating modes, the SOS and lighting mode.
You can use the SOS mode for emergencies. Its internal 10A solar charging controller allows you to add an extra 12V solar panel. It also has a 5.5mm adaptor cable containing a safety standards DC output to MC4 connector.
Therefore, you can expand your system easily and quickly.
The portable solar kit is rigid and rugged. They designed Renogy Firefly for emergency use. Therefore, it can withstand foul weather and wind.
If you need a reliable power backup, then Renogy Firefly should be your choice. Besides using solar panels to charge it, you can also plug it into an AC wall outlet or in your car with a dc input.
To reduce the time taken to charge, you can also add extra solar panels. In addition, it features a pure sine wave technology, allowing the charging of your sensitive electronic devices like smartphones and tablets.
How Do Solar Generators Work?
A solar panel is a device that harnesses sunlight and converts it into electrical energy. A solar generator collects solar energy through the solar panel and stores that energy into an in-built solar battery.
The inverter later converts the stored energy into AC power (alternating current). It then releases the AC power for use for home gadgets and other electronic and electrical appliances.
These three devices combined make a fully functional portable solar generator.
One vital part of a solar generator is the charge controller. This component protects the battery and promotes its durability.
Based on the battery used, the charge controller has various features of discharging and charging.
They ensure that a solar generator works because they balance the power dynamics between the battery and the solar panels.
Pros and Cons of Using a Portable Solar Power System
- Clean and free energy from the sun
When you use a solar generator, you get clean and free solar energy. You do not have to use fossil fuels that pollute the environment through smoke or other pollutants.
Since solar energy is renewable, you can use it freely for a long time, so long as the generator is working. There are no costs associated with buying the fuel for the portable generator.
- Quiet and low maintenance
Solar generators are quiet appliances. Unlike Gas generators, there are no moving parts.
Thus, the amount of noise produces by the moving parts is eliminated. In addition, the absence of moving parts means that there are low chances of some parts breaking.
Ultimately, this reduces the cost of maintenance for a solar generator compared with gasoline or LPG generators.
- Long Warranties
A solar generator kit’s warranty can be as long as 25-25 years. The manufacturers are confident that these products will last long.
Since many vendors deliver the solar generator kit on the same day, you can use it immediately.
If you want to install the generator yourself, there is not much to do. However, it is better to leave the installations to the professionals.
Some solar systems cannot stay exposed to hot temperatures for long. Therefore, ensure that the generator stays at cooler temperatures while ensuring that the solar panels harness sunlight.
However, most solar generators have a battery management system to control the temperatures of the generator.
- It is not a reliable supply of energy.
The energy from the sun is both unreliable and inconsistent. Many factors affect the availability of sunlight, like the location, rain, or cloudy days.
Therefore, solar generators are only an efficient power source in subtropical and tropical climates since they have reliable sunlight.
The initial cost of buying and setting a solar generator is prohibitive and can hinder many people. However, their running and maintenance costs are low compared to gas-powered generators.
The most vital factor to consider when selecting an all-in-one solar power system is the power output. It should produce enough power to run your electrical gadgets.
Therefore, calculate the total amount of energy that your appliances will consume and use the total to select the right solar power system to cater to your needs.
Most solar power systems produce between 100-500 watts. Check if you can add some extra solar panels to increase the power output and charge faster.
The higher the power output, the more the appliances that you can connect to the solar generator. For instance, Yeti 500X can power more devices than Renogy Phoenix 300 all-in-one solar power system.
Type of battery
The other thing to consider when purchasing or renting a portable solar generator is the type of battery.
There are many technologies used in making batteries used in solar generators. These include Lead-acid, lithium-ion, Nickel-based, and flow batteries.
However, Lithium-Ion batteries are the best for their durability, versatility, and ability to store charge for a long time.
So, ensure that you buy a solar panel that uses a lithium-ion battery. The battery pack should be removable to enable you to change them when their efficiency reduces to a certain level. All the generators above use lithium-ion batteries.
How long can an all-in-one portable solar power system run your appliances? This is a critical consideration whenever you plan to purchase a solar power system.
However, to know precisely how long they can power your electrical gadgets, look at the total power rating on all those appliances.
If you connect many devices to the solar generator at once, they are likely to draw much power, reducing the runtime of your solar generator.
For instance, a Renogy Phoenix 300 can charge a DSLR camera – 30 times before a need for recharging.
What do you intend to use the all-in-one portable solar power system for? Making this consideration helps you decide if the rated power on the solar generator is enough or you need more. Various uses have different power requirements.
For instance, the power requirements for a tailgate may vary with those of emergency use. What appliances will you be using?
What is their power rating? Answering such questions will help you arrive at the right solar generator for your needs.
You will see that some uses can only be powered by a Yeti 500X and not any other portable solar generator above.
Your safety and the appliances connected should be of utmost consideration when buying a solar power system.
Some solutions come with protection measures in place to prevent overcharging and undercharging.
The portable solar generator should also feature a battery management system to regulate the power between the battery and the solar panels. Inquire from the vendor about the safety protections of a particular solar system.
The system must also have a measure to prevent short-circuiting and a pure sine wave if you will use it to charge delicate appliances.
Last, how much does the portable solar system cost? Solar power systems cost differently depending on the technology that they use, the wattage, and the brand.
However, the price has got nothing to do with quality.
Therefore, ask for the complete specifications before asking for the price range. You may buy a cheap portable all-in-one solar system that delivers similar results or is better compared to another expensive brand.
- ·Ensure that the size of your solar panel is enough to power your household and outdoor appliances. Remember, all solar panels are not the same and do not produce the same amount of power.
- Place your solar panels in a way that they collect a sizable portion of the sun’s rays. This way, you will have enough power produced to run your appliances.
- ·Use efficient lamps to reduce the amount of power consumption and increase the runtime of the solar generator.
- To increase the efficiency of your solar panels, wipe them routinely. The dust collecting on their surface can reduce the rate they convert solar energy into electrical energy.
Also Read: Best Solar Generators 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What size solar generator do I need?
Many people grapple with this question. However, its answer depends on various factors.
Which appliances will you be powering? What is the total amount of power?
The size of a solar generator is always in terms of power. Therefore, you need to calculate the full power of your appliances and buy a solar generator that produces more power than the appliances.
What is the smallest solar generator?
The size of a solar generator can be in terms of physical size or power.
However, the Phoenix solar kit is the smallest among all the four solar generators above. Nevertheless, it is portable enough and produces enough power to run several appliances.
Therefore, its physical size should not worry you much. However, in terms of power, it is still the smallest solar generator.
What is the most powerful solar generator?
Among the solar generator above, Yeti 500X from Goal Zero is the most powerful one. It can produce a power output of 497W.
The Nomad 50 Solar panels are used to charge it, and you can combine several to increase the rate of charging. Yeti 500x can power heavy loads over a long period, making it among the best. That is why Goal Zero is an industry leader in solar generators.
How long does it take to charge a Phoenix?
There are many ways of charging a Phoenix. You can charge it using external solar panels, an AC wall power outlet, or the DC car power outlet.
Using a solar panel, the time to charge varies depending on the intensity of sunlight. On a perfect day, it can take about 8- 10 hours to charge the Phoenix completely.
Are portable solar generators any good?
Yes, portable solar generators are suitable. They are the most important invention in the realm of solar power.
While they are lightweight, they are also eco-friendly and energy-saving. Therefore, they are an applicable invention.
So, Which is Best All In One Portable Solar Power Systems?
All of these portable solar power systems can power the basic electronic devices… but which is the best?
There is no one-size fits all answer as they each have their pros and cons, but below are the best in each area.
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X provides the most power with 500 Watts and can keep your devices charged for longer than the others.
The Renogy Phoenix is the most affordable option.
At only 11 lbs in a sleek, laptop-like design, the Renogy Phoenix is also the most portable option.
Best All In One Portable Solar Power System
An all-in-one portable solar power system is a helpful invention in the solar power industry. Buying and installing individual components of a solar power system is expensive. However, you can get going within no time with a portable solar power system.
Our top recommendation is the Goal Zero 500 Solar Kit because of its high power output and high quality build. This generator can keep more devices charged and for longer. The Renogy Phoenix is the most affordable and lightweight option.
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Last update on 2023-02-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API