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Solar generators are portable off-grid solar power plants with inbuilt batteries and you can charge them with AC power, PV panels and even with a car charging port. These portable powerhouses are rated between 200 watts to 3,000 watts. These solar generators are very convenient and effortless to set up.
However, to run the whole house on a solar generator you need to select the right size with a battery capacity big enough so that you can run your appliances for desirable backup time. So, what size of solar generator do you need to run your house? Here is an explanation.
As per EIA in 2020, the average power consumption of a residential utility customer in the US is 900kWh per month. Accordingly, for a day the average power consumption of a residential customer is 30kWh. Likewise per hour, the same will be roughly 1.25 kWh. Furthermore,1.25 kWh is equal to running a 1.25 kW load for one hour.
Therefore, this implies that the minimum rating of a solar generator needed to run a house should be 2,000 kW with a battery backup of at least 2,000 Wh.
To run a house should be 2,000 kW with a battery backup of at least 2,000 Wh.
Can a solar generator power a house?
A large-size solar generator that has an inverter rating of 2000 watts or above and a battery backup of sizes 2,000Wh to 10,000Wh can power a whole house for 2 to 8 hours. However, the backup time can be increased by reducing the house load.
The backup time of a solar generator is also dependent upon its MPPT range also known as PV input rating. To keep the price low and profit high some solar generators manufacturer reduces the electronics of MPPT and this affects the backup time of solar generator.
Moreover, a solar generator with a higher PV input rating can last longer because it can connect with more numbers of solar panels as compared to a solar generator with a lower PV input rating.
Cost of solar generator for a house?
The cost of a solar generator for a house battery capacity of 2,000 Wh to 5,000 Wh without solar panels varies from $2,100 to $5,400. Moreover with portable solar panels, the same will cost you from $4,200 to $7,200 and with conventional solar panels, the same will cost you between $3,300 to $6,600.
The price of a portable solar panel is 1.8 times higher than a conventional one. Thus, we prefer conventional solar panels where the usage of the solar generator is for home backup and off-grid living.
1 BLUETTI AC300, Editors choice
BLUETTI AC300 is the latest entry from BLUETTI in their solar generators range and is top on our list of best solar generators for a house. It has the second biggest Pure Sine Wave inverter size in its class which is 3,100 Watt with a surge capacity of 6000 Watts. Also, it has two numbers MPPT with each range compatible to connected with 1200 Watt of solar panels. Its modular design makes it easy to carry.
It comes with a detachable battery of a capacity 3,072Wh and the same can be extended up to 12,2888 Wh with 1+3 numbers of detachable batteries. With its full extended battery capacity, it can run your whole house for 9 to 12 hours.
It has dual charging options, and that means you can charge it with two power sources, that is one AC [grid/gas generator] and one DC [PV panel/Car Charger/Lead-acid battery] simultaneously.
With its fusion Box pro, you can connect two units of AC300 in series and utilise them to power your 240V appliances. However, you need to buy this fusion box separately. One of the advantages of AC300 over other solar generators in this range is that it comes with 4 years [48 months] extended warranty. However, another solar generator comes with a 24 to 36 months warranty period.
|Battery||3,072 Wh [LiFePO4/LPF]|
|Battery Expandability||Up to 12,288 Wh|
|Inverter Rating||3,100 W|
|Surge Rating||6,000 W|
|AC Input Rating||â€‹3,000 W AC|
|PV Input Rating||â€‹2,400 W|
|Numbers of Ports:||â€‹14 Numbers|
|Expansion Battery Price||â€‹$2,099|
2 EcoFlow DELTA Pro, Highest Inverter Capacity
EcoFlow Delta Pro has the second-highest expandable backup capacity and highest AC inverter capacity. It comes with an inbuilt battery capacity of 3,600 Wh and the same can be expanded up to 10,800 Wh with two detachable batteries of a capacity of 3,600 Wh each. Its 3,600 W inverter capacity with a surge capacity of 7,200 W makes it ideal for running multiple heavy loads.
With its full expandable battery capacity, it can power your whole house for 7 to 10 hours. And with its dual charging option, you can charge it with AC power [grid/gas generator] Plus DC Power [PV panel/Car Charger/Lead-acid battery] simultaneously. You can fully charge it in less than 2 hours with its AC input capacity of 3,000 W and a PV input capacity of 1,600 W.
|Battery||â€‹3,600 Wh [LiFePO4/LPF]|
|Battery Expandability||Up to 10,800 Wh|
|Inverter Rating||3,600 W|
|Surge Rating||7,200 W|
|AC Input Rating||3,000 W AC|
|PV Input Rating||1,600 W|
|Numbers of Ports||14 Numbers|
|Delta Pro Price||$3,599|
|Expansion Battery Price||N/A|
3 BLUETTI AC200 Max, Best Value Money
Depending upon which solar generator you want, for your house under $2,100 you wonâ€™t find a better solar generator than Bluetti AC200 Max. Its modular design comes with an inverter capacity of 2,200 W and a surge capacity of 4,800 W. It has an in-build battery capacity of 2,048Wh which can be expanded up to 8,192 W.
It comes with 13 numbers of output ports, which include a wireless charging pad, 30A RV port and a cigarette lighter. Under this price range, you won’t find any solar generators.
You can charge it with solar, car charger, other batteries and grid power.
|Battery||2,048 Wh [LiFePO4/LPF]|
|Battery Expandability||Up to 8,192 Wh|
|Inverter Rating||2,200 W|
|Surge Rating||4,800 W|
|AC Input Rating||500 W AC|
|PV Input Rating||â€‹1,200 W|
|Numbers of Ports||13 Numbers|
At first glance, EcoFlow Delta Max looks like its Pro version however, it comes with a battery backup of 2,016 Wh and has an inverter capacity of 2,400W. You can expand its backup capacity up to 6,048 Wh with two detachable Delta Max smart batteries.
It has an AC input capacity of 1,800 Watt and a PV input capacity of 8,00 Watt which is higher than its close competitor AC200 Max. However, its Lithium-Ion NCM battery makes its fall below AC200Max.
|â€‹Battery||â€‹2,016 Wh Li-ion NMC|
|Battery Expandability:||â€‹Up to 6,048 Wh|
|Inverter Rating||2,400 W|
|Surge Rating||5,000 W|
|â€‹AC Input Rating:||1,800 W AC|
|PV Input Rating||â€‹800 W|
|â€‹Numbers of Ports||â€‹12 Numbers|
If you looking for a solar generator with a large size MPPT [PV input rating] & the highest numbers on flush-mounted outports then you wonâ€™t find anything better than EP500. It has the highest number of output ports in this list, that is 18 numbers which includes 2 Wireless charging pads, 100 W USB-C port, 30A RV port, 4 numbers of 120V AC as well as 3 numbers of 240V AC ports.
It is the most complete solar generator in this list, with an AC input capacity of 6,00 Watt and PV input capacity of 2,400 W. It comes with an in-built backup capacity of 5,100 Wh, which can run your whole house for 3 to 5 hours without solar. And if you have solar panels it can give backup up to 7 to 15 hours.
|Battery||â€‹5,100 Wh LPF|
|Inverter Rating||2,000 W|
|â€‹AC Input Rating||â€‹600 W AC|
|â€‹PV Input Rating||2,400W|
|Numbers of Ports||â€‹18 Numbers|
|EP500 Pro Price||â€‹$4,699|
Goal Zero Yeti6000x has plenty of power and an inverter size large enough to power your whole house. It comes with a cart, and that makes it easy to move around. It has a converter [AC input] size of 600W which is not the best in class and an MPPT [PV input] size large enough to connect with 1200watts of solar panels.
Its 6,071 Wh Li-ion NMC battery is large enough that power your house for 4 to 6 hours.
|Battery||â€‹6,071 Wh Li-ion NMC|
|Inverter Rating||2,000 W|
|Surge Rating||3,000 W|
|AC Input Rating||â€‹600 W AC|
|â€‹PV Input Rating||â€‹1200 W|
|â€‹Numbers of Ports||â€‹11 Numbers|
|Goal Zero 6000X Price||$5,399.95|
Yeti3000x is another cart-mounted solar generator from Goal Zero, with a battery capacity of 3,000Wh and an inverter size of 2,000 W. It can power your whole house for 1.5 to 3 hours.
|â€‹Battery||â€‹3,032 Wh Li-ion NMC|
|Inverter Rating||2,000 W|
|Surge Rating||3,500 W|
|â€‹AC Input Rating||â€‹600 W AC|
|â€‹PV Input Rating||â€‹1,200 W|
|â€‹Numbers of Ports||11 Numbers|
|â€‹Goal Zero 3000X Price||â€‹ $3,399.95|
How do we choose the best solar generator for a house?
To choose the best solar generator for a house, we considered different factors like battery capacity, expandability of battery capacity, MPPT rating, Inverter rating and Converter rating. Some of the factors are explained below.
Battery Type: Lithium batteries are used in solar generators to make them light in weight. Furthermore, there are two types of lithium batteries used in solar generators, that is LPF and NMC. NCM is one of the newest members of the lithium battery family. However, studies show that its performance is lower than LPF batteries.
LPF batteries have a 3.5 times higher charge cycle than NCM batteries. Here, one charge cycle is equal to the charging of the battery followed by 80% depth of discharge. Furthermore, an LPF battery has a charge cycle of 3500, however, NCM batteries has a charge cycle of 800.
Hence, we prefer LPF batteries over NCM batteries.
Battery Expandability: The power of a house changes as the family members increases as well as new appliances are added to the daily routine. Hence, the backup capacity of a fixed capacity solar generator won’t be that useful.
However, the backup capacity of a solar generator with expandable battery capacity can be adjusted as per the house load requirement.
Inverter Rating: The inverter capacity of a solar generator limits the number of appliances it can run simultaneously. As per the EIA report, the average load demand of houses in the USA is about 2kW.
Hence, for powring entier house any solar generator with an inverter capacity lower than 2kW, won’t fit for its purpose.
AC Input [converter] Rating: To reduce the price of the solar generators and keep the profit high. Some solar generator manufacturers reduce the electronic of AC Converter, Hence, their solar generators take more time to get charged. A fast-charged solar generator has more advantages than a slow-charged solar generator.
Solar generators with higher AC converter ratings get charged faster and will get ready for power outages faster.
Numbers of ports: To run the whole house on the solar generator, you will require sufficient numbers of output ports with varieties too so that all the required numbers of appliances can be run on it. Most solar generators with a capacity of 2000W and above have 12 to 18 numbers output ports.
We recommend at least 10 numbers output ports so that maximum numbers of houses can be run simultaneously. Hence any solar generator with output ports less than 10 is out of the list.
PV Input [MPPT] Rating: A higher PV input rating means a longer backup time. FYI, 1 kW of solar panel can charge 2,000 – 4,000 kWh battery in a day. Hence, we prefer solar generators with higher PV input ratings over lower PV input ratings.
The PV input capacity of a high-range solar generator varies from 12,00 Watt to 24,00 Watt.