Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Advantages and disadvantages of solar generator for house

iCrowd Newswire
24 May 2022, 21:18 GMT+10

Solar power generators are becoming extremely popular nowadays as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel-powered generators. They are compact and require very little maintenance compared to their fuel-powered counterparts. If you are a homeowner planning on installing a solar generator for house, you must be wondering if they are really worth the investment. In the following post, we take a look at the pros and cons of solar generators to determine if they produce enough energy for your requirements.

How do solar generators work?

Technically, a solar generator is any system that is fuelled by solar power. But in general language, "solar generators" refer to portable power stations that use solar panels to provide electricity instead of fossil fuels. Usually, solar generators are used as a backup source of electricity in case of power outages, but they are also used widely in camping, RV, boats, etc.

A solar generator comprises four main parts, i.e.,

  • Solar panels
  • Battery
  • Charge controllers
  • Inverter

Essentially, the solar panels convert electricity into direct current, which is passed through a charge controller and stored in lithium-ion batteries. The charge controller regulates the current and voltage from the solar panels thereby preventing the battery from overcharging and extending its service lifespan.

When the user needs to use the power, the inverter converts the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), which most household appliances use. Portable solar generators can come equipped with AC outlets, USB ports, and other ports that allow you to plug multiple devices simultaneously.

Now that you have the basic information about how solar generators work, let's take a deeper dive into the advantages and disadvantages of installing one for your home.

Advantages of solar generators

  • Clean renewable energy

Solar generators rely on entirely clean and renewable solar power. Therefore, you do not have to worry about the rising costs of fossil fuels to power the generator as you have a renewable source of energy readily available. Moreover, you can rest easy about its environmental impact as solar generators typically do not release any harmful pollutants when storing and converting energy.

  • Readily available

As long as you do not live in a cloudy area, solar energy is readily available and essentially unlimited. Even on the cloudiest days, solar generators will produce some energy that can last a couple of hours. Once you purchase the equipment, the "fuel" cost is more or less steady for its lifetime, which is a huge benefit over volatile fossil fuels.

  • Quiet and low maintenance

Unlike gas generators, a solar generator for house is quiet as does not have any moving parts. The only noise you will hear is from the inverter, which is also minimal. Another significant advantage of no moving parts is that there is a reduced chance of parts breaking down, which keeps the maintenance cost and effort of solar generators relatively lower compared to their gas-powered counterparts.

  • No fumes

Conventional fossil-fuel-powered gas generators release carbon monoxide, which is a serious health hazard. As a result, they can only be used outdoors and at a safe distance from the public. On the other hand, solar generators do not release any fumes and are much safer to use indoors, meaning they can be used without the users having to worry about health concerns.

  • Lower running costs

Overall, a solar generator has significantly lower running costs compared to a gas-powered generator. Apart from the already mentioned fuel costs, you do not need to change consumables like engine oils, etc. No moving parts also mean lower maintenance costs. While the initial upfront cost is big, the effective running cost of a solar generator is effectively extremely low compared to a fuel-powered generator.

Disadvantages of solar generators

  • Higher initial cost

Compared to fuel generators, the initial upfront cost of running a solar generator is substantially higher. Apart from the costly equipment, users will also need to pay for the installation by a professional to avoid future complications. However, since the operating costs are lower, you will be spending a lot less over the lifetime of the generator.

  • Limited power supply

Unlike gas generators, which can be refuelled at any time, a solar generator is limited by the size of the battery. A portable generator will not be able to power your entire house off the grid for longer hours, but it can easily keep the appliances running with ease. Consult with the experts to know more about the size of the panels and the battery capacity required to power your house.

  • Slow recharging

While there is unlimited solar energy available for use, the charging speed with current equipment is slower compared to gas generators. The charging is worse on cloudy days, where it can take over 8-10 hours of continuous charging to recharge it completely. With gas generators, you can have full capacity power right when you need it if you have the fossil fuels handy.

  • Lower efficiency

If you want the solar generator to match the power output of a diesel-powered generator, you will need a heavy generator. The weight of the generator and battery is directly related to how much power it holds, so a lightweight generator will only keep a few appliances up and running. However, this is fast evolving as a modern solar generator for house is much more efficient than older models.

  • Seasonal fluctuation

Colder months typically produce less energy compared to summer months. Depending on the geographical location and the overall weather, the size of the solar panels can vary substantially for the same amount of energy generated.

Conclusion

Solar generators are best used for running smaller appliances and charging handheld devices. They are a great source of clean energy, can power key appliances during power outages, and are usually portable. That said, if you want to run your entire house off the grid, opt for rooftop solar generators for houses instead of the portable ones, as their higher capacity allows you to have backup power for most of your home. For more information, get in touch with the experts and they can help you out with further insights.

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