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    Solar Shopping: 5 Tips to Finding the Best Solar Generator

    The history of solar power dates back a few hundred years, but the modern consumer level solar generator is a fairly new invention. Whether you're going camping, prepping for Armageddon, or just like to be prepared, a solar generator is an incredibly useful tool to have at your disposal.

    If you're in the market for a solar generator but don't know what to look for, don't feel bad. There are a ton of options on the market and a lot of factors to consider.

    That's why this list of tips for finding the best solar generator is about to be your best friend. Here are 5 things you need to look for in a solar generator.

    Solar Shopping: 5 Tips to Finding the Best Solar Generator

    1.  Battery Capacity:

    Battery capacity is perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking for a solar generator. You need something that is going to meet your needs. Especially in emergency situations, having something that can get the job done is crucial.

    The problem with many solar generators is that their labeling can be misleading. Often times, the advertised battery size doesn't equate to the inverter capacity or the output. A generator may say 1500 watts on the box, but only actually be able to output 750 watts at a time, so it's important to read the fine print.

    Obviously, the battery capacity you need will depend upon your specific needs. If you're looking for a camping accessory to power a couple of lights or some smartphones, there's no need to go all out. On the other hand, running appliances regularly will require something with a much higher capacity.

    There's no one size fits all answer when it comes to battery capacity. Getting something suitable is going to depend upon your own understanding of your needs. As long as you know that and make sure to thoroughly check the specs of your generator, you'll be fine.

    2.  Portability:

    Portability is another consideration that will largely depend upon what your generator's intended use is. It follows that a generator you plan to travel with should be lighter, while one that's going to remain stationary can be larger and heavier.

    That said, lighter is generally the better option no matter what. If your generator is for potential disaster situations, you need to be able to easily pack it up and go. 

    So, how light is light and how heavy is heavy? Again, that depends on you. A bodybuilder might not have any trouble with a 50-pound generator, but most people are going to prefer something around the 20-30-pound range.

    As a rule, being able to carry your generator in one hand is ideal. Not only is it convenient, but it could also be extremely important in a disaster situation where you can only bring a select few things with you. 

    Like most of these points, there's a lot of room for interpretation and preference here. It's less about the weight itself and more about making sure you're getting the right generator for your needs. 

    3.  Charging Speed:

    Not to come off too dramatic, but this is yet another feature that can make a big difference in a worst-case scenario. If you're thrown unexpectedly into a survival scenario, having a generator that's up to snuff is going to matter a lot.

    Charging speed is something you shouldn't skimp out on. Ideally, a battery should be able to charge from 0 to 100 percent in a single day while still running various items.

    On average, you've got about a 5-hour window of time during the day where a solar generator can produce full power. Unfortunately, most generators only produce power at a rate of about 150-200 watts per hour. This means that many generators can't generate a full charge during peak daylight while still running other appliances, electronics, etc.

    The sad truth is that most generators you'll find will fall into this category. You either need to plan for what you have or set aside the money for a top of the line product.

    If you need some guidance finding one that meets your specs, try reading reviews on solar kits. Chances are you'll be able to find something that charges at a higher rate.  

    4.  Lifespan:

    A solar generator isn't something you want to replace frequently. They're not cheap, and for the money you spend, you should get a product that is going to last.

    Typically, the lifespan of a solar generator is measured in cycles. A cycle is the process of running the battery from 100% to 0% charge. Most generators have about 500 cycles in them, but how does that translate to actual time?

    Well, for a fairly high demand job like running a tiny house, RV, or continually occupied campsite, that's the equivalent of between 1.5 and 3 years. While this may not seem like much, keep in mind that we're talking about a generator that is being run every single day.

    This sort of consideration is primarily important for survival and disaster scenarios. If you're planning on only using your generator sporadically or in isolated emergencies, this lifespan will be more than adequate.

    5.  Inverter Capacity:

    Last but not least, the inverter capacity is going to give you the most info about what your generator can handle. As mentioned earlier, the wattage on the package can be misleading, so you should always look for the inverter wattage.

    An inverter determines how much wattage a generator can continually output without shutting down. So a 1500 watt inverter can run 1500 watts of power without any issues.

    As always, personal needs vary, so there's no definite better or worse here. But broadly speaking, a higher inverter capacity is better. 

    Find the Best Solar Generator:

    With these pointers in mind, you'll have no problem finding the best solar generator for you. No matter how you plan to use it, having that extra security blanket is a good feeling.

    If you're interested in technology beyond just solar generators, you're in luck. Keep reading for awesome technology news and facts.

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