- Updated Mar 16, 2020
- Writen by Editorial Staff
The 7 Best Solar Generators of 2020
- Updated Dec 26, 2019
- Writen by Editorial Staff
A solar generator is a handy source of backup power for your home’s low-power devices.
Since you’ll be charging your solar generator primarily using a solar panel, the unit should be lightweight and compact to support portability.
A 100W - 200W solar generator will support many of your mobile devices and a few light-duty appliances for at least 1 hour, especially during emergency situations.
Journey with us through our top 7 solar generator reviews and buying guide to help you pick a model that will meet your backup power needs at a reasonable price.
- 7 Best Solar Generators – Reviews
- 1. Jackery Explorer 240 – Best Overall Solar Generator
- 2. Suaoki Power Station – High-Performance Solar Generator
- 3. Aimtom SPS-155 – Best Budget Solar Generator
- 4. SereneLife SLSPGN10 – Best Lightweight and Portable Solar Generator
- 5. Paxcess TeGenerator-01 – Best Solar Generator for CPAP
- 6. Renogy Phoenix – Generator with Built-in Solar Panel
- 7. Jackery Explorer 160 – Solar Generator with Multiple Recharging Options
- How to Buy the Best Solar Generator
7 Best Solar Generators – Reviews
1. Jackery Explorer 240 (Best Overall Solar Generator)
2. Suaoki Power Station (High-Performance Solar Generator)
3. Aimtom SPS-155 (Best Budget Solar Generator)
4. SereneLife SLSPGN10 (Best Lightweight and Portable Solar Generator)
5. Paxcess TeGenerator-01 (Best Solar Generator for CPAP)
6. Renogy Phoenix (Generator with Built-in Solar Panel)
7. Jackery Explorer 160 (Solar Generator with Multiple Recharging Options)
1. Jackery Explorer 240
(Best Overall Solar Generator)
2. Suaoki Power Station
(High-Performance Solar Generator)
3. Aimtom SPS-155
(Best Budget Solar Generator)
4. SereneLife SLSPGN10
(Best Lightweight and Portable Solar Generator)
5. Paxcess TeGenerator-01
(Best Solar Generator for CPAP)
6. Renogy Phoenix
(Generator with Built-in Solar Panel)
7. Jackery Explorer 160
(Solar Generator with Multiple Recharging Options)
1. Jackery Explorer 240 – Best Overall Solar Generator
- Battery Capacity: 240 Watt-hour (16.8Ah, 14.4V)
- Input: 8mm DC, 12 Volts to 30 Volts (42 Watts Max.)
- AC Output: 110 Volts, 200 Watts (400 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
- Charge Time: About 10 hours
Starting us off is Jackery Explorer 240, the best overall solar generator because of its large capacity battery, high power output, and multiple power outputs.
This top-rated solar generator comes with a large, 67000mAh, 240-watt-hour lithium-ion battery, which is among the highest capacities we have recorded on our list. This battery is capable of supporting multiple low-power devices for more than 10 hours.
The unit also features a battery management system (BMS), which is capable of short circuit protection, temperature control, voltage control, and other advanced safety features to keep you and your generator safe at all times.
As for outputs, you get 1 car DC port of 13.3 volts, 2 USB-A ports of 5 Volts and 2.4Amps each, and an AC output of 110 volts and 200 watts of continuous power to support multiple devices simultaneously.
You can charge this unit using a solar panel, and AC wall outlet, or your car’s 12-volt DC outlet.
Rather disappointing is the fact that you’ll also need to buy the recommended Jackery SolarSaga 60W solar panel separately.
2. Suaoki Power Station – High-Performance Solar Generator
- Battery Capacity: 444 Watt-hour
- Input: DC, 14 Volts to 40 Volts
- AC Output: 110 Volts, 300 Watts (600 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
Suaoki Power Station is the high-performance solar generator on our list. It packs a powerful battery that produces the highest continuous running and peak watts.
This generator comes with a massive 444-watt-hour, 120,000mAh, which is the highest capacity we have recorded from all the models on the lit list.
It is from this battery that the generator is able to produce 300 watts of continuous power and 600 watts of surge power. With such high outputs, the solar generator is able to support multiple home electronics charging simultaneously.
You get 4 USB ports for charging mobile devices, 2 DC ports for lighting, 1 cigarette lighter port, and 1 jump starter port for your car. 2 standard AC outlets are also included for your other appliances.
To manage all the power and performance produced by the generator’s battery management system, which prevents over-current, over-voltage, and overheating, among other vulnerabilities.
As for recharging, you have 3 main options; DC power from your car’s 12V/24V ports, AC power from a standard wall socket, or from the Suaoki 100W Foldable solar panel, which is sold separately.
The high performance of the Suaoki Power Station does, however, come at a steep price, which is not favorable to potential buyers on a budget.
3. Aimtom SPS-155 – Best Budget Solar Generator
- Battery Capacity: 155 Watt-hour
- Input: DC, 13 to 24 Volts
- AC Output: 100 Volts to 120Volts, 100 Watts (150 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
- Charge Time: 7 to 8 hours
Aimtom SPS-155 is the best budget solar generator on our list. Its affordable nature makes it the most accessible to potential buyers.
Besides its reasonable pricing, this generator is also lightweight and compact at 3.48 pounds, to support portability, especially if you want to take it outdoor for hiking, camping, or other similar adventures.
To support the power demand of your many devices, this generator comes with multiple outlets, including 3 DC 12-volt ports, 3 DC 5-volt ports, and 1 AC power outlet. It will charge your iPhone, iPad, laptop, and other similar devices, simultaneously.
As for recharging, this generator supports multiple options including a solar panel, an AC wall outlet, and a DC car power port.
This generator’s battery management system will protect your unit from short-circuiting, overloading, low voltage, overcharging, and overheating.
As with most of the other portable generators we have reviewed, the required Aimtom ASP-60 60W solar panel for charging the Aimtom SPS-155 is sold separately, hence additional costs.
4. SereneLife SLSPGN10 – Best Lightweight and Portable Solar Generator
- Battery Capacity: 150 Watt-hour
- Input: DC, 13 Volts to 22 Volts
- AC Output: 110 Volts, 120 Watts (180 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
- Charge Time: About 8 hours
SereneLife SLSPGN10 stands out as the best lightweight and portable solar generator on our list.
It weighs only 3.3 pounds and measures 3.27 x 6.54 x 7.21 inches in size, making it one of the most compact and portable solar generators you can find. It the perfect fishing, camping, beach, hiking, and outdoor companion.
The 150-watt-hour battery combines well with multiple power outlets, including two 5-volt USB ports, three 12-volt DC outlets, and two 110-volt AC outlets for multiple simultaneous device support.
During a power outage, you can make use of the generator’s lightweight capacity and LED flashlight to navigate dark rooms or other outdoor environments.
This solar generator is also one of the reasonably-priced ones on our list. So, you can enjoy all its handy features without having to break the bank.
Unfortunately, the required solar recharging panel is not included with this unit.
5. Paxcess TeGenerator-01 – Best Solar Generator for CPAP
- Battery Capacity: 150 Watt-hour
- Input: DC, 15 Volts
- AC Output: 100 Volts, 100 Watts (150 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
- Charge Time: 7 to 9 hours
If you’re out camping and you need a power source for your CPAP machine, Paxcess TeGenerator-01 is your best option.
This 150-watt-hour generator will power your CPAP effortlessly to give you a noiseless and comfortable sleeping experience.
Recharging this generator is possible anywhere you are since it offers diverse charging options. You can use an AC wall outlet, your car’s DC outlet, or a solar panel to recharge the unit. All these options will recharge your generator in 7 to 8 hours, which is impressive.
In case of a power outage, you can charge and support multiple devices with the generator because it comes with a variety of power outlets, including three 12-volt DC ports, two 100-volt AC outlets, and two 5-volt USB ports. You can charge your CPAP and other devices simultaneously.
Because this generator is optimized to support your CPAP when outdoor, it is lightweight and compact, weighing only 3.3 pounds. You can pack it on your RV without any hustle and it won’t occupy a lot of space.
A key downside of the Paxcess TeGenerator-01 solar generator is that the solar panel recommended for changing it is sold separately. Buying it translates to additional costs.
6. Renogy Phoenix – Generator with Built-in Solar Panel
- Battery Capacity: 246.24 Watt-hour (17.1Ah, 14.4V)
- Input: DC, 18 Volts to 25 Volts (100 Watts Max.)
- AC Output: 110 Volts, 150 Watts (170 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: Yes
- Charge Time: About 6 hours
Renogy Phoenix portable generator is unique because it is the only on our list with a built-in solar panel, and also the fastest battery recharge time.
It takes about 6 hours to recharge the generator completely, on full sun. The efficiency in recharging the unit is achieved using the built-in 20-watt solar panels, which you can extend to 100 watts with additional Renogy 100 Watts Monocrystalline panel.
But what’s more interesting is that this unit has a high-capacity 246-watt-hour battery, which would take even longer to recharge on other generators.
With a continuous AC output of 150 watts, this solar generator is great for mobile, off-grid use, or for powering your devices through an emergency.
Besides solar, you can charge the unit using an AC power outlet or your car’s DC power. The generator also has a multi-mode 3-watt LED light that comes in handy when navigating in the dark or during emergencies.
The efficiency of having an on-board solar panel will, however, come at a premium, as this is the priciest solar generator on our list.
7. Jackery Explorer 160 – Solar Generator with Multiple Recharging Options
- Battery Capacity: 167 Watt-hour (11.6Ah, 14.4V)
- Input: 8mm DC, 12 Volts to 30 Volts (42W Max.)
- AC Output: 110 Volts, 100 Watts (150 Watts Peak)
- Solar Panel: No
- Charge Time: 8 to 10 hours
Jackery Explorer 160 is a solar generator that demonstrates high flexibility in its recharging options, making it one of the most versatile power backups.
You can recharge the generator using a solar panel. You can also opt to recharge it using your car’s 12-volt DC outlet, and the third option is a standard AC wall outlet.
Ease of use is another area this generator excels in. It comes with an LCD panel that reports power usage, charge, and discharge status for simplified system monitoring.
Another feature you’ll love about this solar generator is that it is compact and portable, weighing only 3.84 pounds, which makes it easy to pack and go, for outdoor and recreational use.
Also, it comes with multiple power outputs, both AC and DC, to charge different gadgets simultaneously. Even better is the fact that each port has a power “On/Off” switch.
The only downside of this solar generator is that the recommended panel, Jackery SolarSaga 60W, is sold separately, hence additional costs.
How to Buy the Best Solar Generator
1. Battery Capacity
The battery capacity of your solar generator will determine the amount of load it can support and how long it runs.
We reviewed some generators with high-capacity batteries exceeding 200 watt-hour such as the Jackery Explorer 240, the Suaoki Power Station, and the Renogy Phoenix. Such have a high-power output often in the range of 200 watts - 500 watts and are capable of supporting multiple low-consumption appliances simultaneously.
Batteries with capacities in the range of 100 watt-hour to 200 watt-hour are considered light-duty and will power mobile devices for an hour or so during power outages or emergencies.
2. Input/AC Output
From our reviews, it emerges that most solar generators have multiple power inputs for charging and recharging.
All the models we reviewed support solar as their primary charging inputs. When using solar panels, the recommended input voltage is in the range of 12 volts - 24 volts. Check your generator’s specifications to determine the maximum input power.
You can also charge your generator using AC power from a standard wall outlet, or DC power from an outlet in your car.
While the most common AC output is 100 volts and a given running and peak wattage, some solar generators support 220-volt outputs too.
3. Solar Panel (included or not)
Since the generator in question is a solar-powered one, the natural expectation is that it comes equipped with the required solar panel.
However, this is not always the case. In fact, only the Renogy Phoenix has a solar panel included.
When shopping for your solar generator, getting one with a solar panel includes included is a major win because you won’t have to buy the accessory separately.
Although most models will come without a solar panel, ensure you check the compatible panel models so that you can get the perfect match for your generator and its recharging needs.
4. Charging Time
Charging time is another important consideration to make when choosing your solar generator.
You want a generator that recharges within the shortest time possible.
From our reviews, we discovered that the generators with fast charging times achieve that in about 6 hours.
However, some models, especially those with big high-capacity batteries take considerably longer to charge.
5. Compatible Appliances
When choosing a solar generator, one of the most important considerations you’ll make is the devices that are compatible with it.
Our reviews showed that most solar generators will have a continuous power output of 100 watts to 200 watts.
Such power is enough to support most mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
However, even if your solar generator is a high-performance model that produces as much as 300 watts of running power, it still won’t support power-intensive appliances such as hair driers, microwave ovens, and iron boxes among others.
Most solar generators require several accessories for them to function fully as intended.
Such include car adapters for charging from DC outputs in your automobile, power adapters for charging from the solar panel, AC wall charger, and jump starter clamps, among others.
The more accessories your solar generator has, the more robust and easier to use it becomes.
You want a solar generator that is as lightweight as possible to support portability.
Since the primary mode of recharging is by using one or more solar panels, you need a generator that is easy to carry from one point to another.
Luckily, most solar generators weigh less than 5 pounds, so they are relatively easy to transport.
Remember to confirm your generator’s battery capacity, charging time, compatible appliances, and weight. These features should be well-balanced to get the best out of your generator.
From our reviews, the best overall solar generator is the Jackery Explorer 240 because of its superior power, high-capacity battery, and multiple charging options.
You can always refer to our top 7 solar generator review and buying guide to help you choose the model that best meets your backup power demands.