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best 500 watt solar generator

Best 500 Watt Solar Generators 2022: Reviews & Buying Guide

Shopping for the best 500 watt solar generator for backup power?

You've come to the right place.

With advancements in technology, solar generators have become more powerful and are better adapted for portability. You only need sunlight or electrical ports to keep them up and running. This guide shall discuss 1o of the best 500 watt solar generators out there, including reviews and a buying guide.

Let’s get to it!

In this buying guide, we recommend, review and compare the 10 best 500 watt solar generators for backup power.

Then, we provide you with a buying guide describing the key features & gotchas to look for when buying a 500 watt solar generator - plus installation, maintenance, and other tips. 

Finally, we answer common questions asked about 500 watt solar generators for backup power.

Hopefully, this buying guide will help you find the best 500 watt solar generator for your specific needs and situation.

If you have any questions, leave us a comment below.


Best 500 Watt Solar Generators For Backup Power

  1. 1
    Best Overall: Jackery Portable Power Station
  2. 2
    Runner Up: BALDR Portable Power Station
  3. 3
    Best For Camping: AWANFI Portable Power Station
  4. 4
    Best Triple Charging: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station
  5. 5
    Best For Quick Recharge: ROCKPALS Portable Power Station
  6. 6
    Best Emergency Supply: PAXCESS Portable Power Station
  7. 7
    Best For Versatility: Anker Portable Generator
  8. 8
    Best For Travelling: Apowking Portable Power Station
  9. 9
    Best For Foldable Solar Panel: ALLPOWERS Mini Portable Power Station
  10. 10
    Best For Durability: EF ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station

best 500 watt solar generator
  • Jackery Portable Power Station

  • Best Overall

  • 110V

  • 11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    7

  • 24 months

  • 13.3 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • BALDR Portable Power Station

  • Runner Up

  • 120V

  • 11.4 x 7.8 x 7.7 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 12 months

  • 13.67 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • AWANFI Portable Power Station

  • Best For Camping

  • 110V

  • 7.2x7.3x5.9 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 12 months

  • 8.8 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station

  • Best Triple Charging

  • 120V

  • 12.3 x 14.4 x 9.1 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 24 months

  • 12.9 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

  • Quick Recharge

  • 110V

  • 12 x 9 x 6.1 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 24 months

  • 12.5 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • PAXCESS Portable Power Station

  • Emergency Supply

  • 110V

  • 11.8 x 7.9 x 7.6 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 18 months

  • 10.4 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • Anker Portable Generator

  • Versatility

  • 110V

  • 11.81 x 8.03 x 7.28 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    11

  • 18 months

  • 18.3 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • Apowking Portable Power Station

  • Best For Travelling

  • 110V

  • 15.31 x 8.98 x 6.61 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    7

  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

  • 9.22 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • ALLPOWERS Mini Portable Power Station

  • Foldable Solar Panel

  • 110V

  • 10.4 x 5.5 x 7 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 60 months

  • 11.6 lbs

best 500 watt solar generator
  • EF ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station

  • Durability

  • 110V

  • 9.8 x 6.3 x 7.8 inches

  • Number Of Ports
    9

  • 18 months

  • 11.3 lbs


best 500 watt solar generator

The Jackery Portable Power Station is our top choice for the best 500 watt solar generator units due to its compactness, portability, and user-friendly design.

This solar generator can power multiple devices through its 7 output ports and is an excellent backup power option for traveling, hiking, or camping.

Pros

  • User-friendly display screen.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Fast recharge.
  • 3 charging options.
  • Powers multiple devices at once.

Cons

  • No return policy.
  • 12V barrel ports are not compatible with most appliances.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Durability And Capacity

The Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Generator is the top choice on our list of the best 500 watt solar generators. It is a durable generator that has won the hearts of many customers. The robust structure and portable design make it a hit at outdoor parties.

  • Accessories And Ports

One AC outlet, three USB-A ports, one carport, and two DC ports allow you to connect multiple devices. The handle incorporated into the design makes it easy to carry around and place anywhere.

The unit comes with a car cable, adapter, and a manual for easy setup. The best part is that this unit can be recharged via solar panels, carport, or wall outlets.

Limitations & Issues

The most significant limitation is that this solar generator can only provide power to devices that use less than 500 watts. Moreover, it takes 9.5 hours to recharge via a solar panel and 7.5 hours via a wall outlet.

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

7

Warranty:

24 months

Watt-Hour:

518Wh

Item Weight:

13.3lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


best 500 watt solar generator

BALDR portable power station is the runner-up on our list of the 10 best 500 watt solar generators you can opt for. This unit is an excellent backup power option for road trips.

The handle and lightweight structure make it highly portable. This unit has you covered with 12 months of warranty, an LCD, and 9 output ports.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Excellent battery capacity.
  • Value for money.
  • Has a light bar.
  • Triple recharge options.

Cons

  • Display does not turn off until the power is switched off.
  • Fan runs quite often.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Output Ports

9 output ports, as opposed to the Jackery Explorer's 7, allow this unit to charge even more devices simultaneously. 12V and pure sine wave output ensures the current is pure and does not damage your gadgets or appliances.

  • LCD And Power Mode

An LCD’s low voltage warning and other important readings are easier to view. The quiet operation makes it super user-friendly. The BALDR mode or power mode prevents excess power loss and cuts off power after 3 hours.

Limitations & Issues

The biggest drawback of this unit is that the display does not turn off as long as the unit is powered on or recharging. This wastes a small amount of energy continuously. 

Specifications

Voltage:  

120V

Item Dimensions:

11.4 x 7.8 x 7.7 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

12 months

Watt-Hour:

461Wh

Item Weight:

13.67lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


3. Best For Camping: AWANFI Portable Power Station

best 500 watt solar generator

The AWANFI portable 500 watt generator is an excellent pick for camping as it can power laptops, mobiles, and lights perfectly. Unlike the Jackery Explorer and BALDR units, this one does not have a separate handle.

The AWANFI unit covers this by providing a lightweight design that can be lifted with just one hand. It's the most lightweight and portable generator on our list!

Pros

  • Powers up electronic devices perfectly.
  • Portable design.
  • Offers cigarette lighter and USB ports.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • High recharge speed.

Cons

  • Some customers have reported a shaky start.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Recharging And Capacity

The compact design does not cause a compromise on battery capacity. The AWANFI portable station can easily power up a laptop, TV, phone, tablet, fan, mini-fridge, drone, lights, MP3 player, cameras, and much more simultaneously through its 9 output ports.

The unit can be recharged 20 percent faster with solar panels but can also be recharged using a wall outlet, carport, or generator.

  • Battery Management System And Portability

The LCD shows the power status while the BMS system protects the unit from heat-ups and overcharging. The built-in handle sides and nylon bag make it a hit for camping trips, while a 1-year warranty gives you peace of mind. 

Limitations & Issues

The most significant drawback is the limitation of use with appliances that require more than 600 watts of power while camping. The appliances include a kettle, grill, dryer, oven, coffee maker, and induction cooker

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

7.2x7.3x5.9 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

12 months

Watt-Hour:

518.4Wh

Item Weight:

8.8lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


best 500 watt solar generator

The Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station had to make it to our list of the 10 best 500 watt solar generators due to its triple recharging options and 9 output ports.

The portable design and lightweight build make it an excellent purchase for outdoor events. The built-in charge controller boosts efficiency by 30 percent.

Pros

  • High-quality construction.
  • Good pickup power option.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • 9 output ports.

Cons

  • A few users reported defective USB ports.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Eco-Friendly

This unit is super eco-friendly, and not just because it comes in environmentally-friendly packaging. The manufacturing process uses 100 percent renewable energy during the construction of this unit, so this appliance is perfectly safe for the environment.

  • Output Ports And Portability 

Four-port options and three recharge methods make the Goal Zero Yeti 500X user-friendly. You can recharge it through solar panels, a carport, or an AC wall outlet.

The handle and lunchbox design make it very easy to carry around. You can place it nearly anywhere. This unit can be recharged super fast through a 120-watt port in just 4.5 hours.

Limitations & Issues 

Some users have complained about this unit having a couple of defective USB ports. So, do keep that in mind.

Specifications

Voltage:  

120V

Item Dimensions:

12.3 x 14.4 x 9.1 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

24 months

Watt-Hour:

505Wh

Item Weight:

12.9lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


best 500 watt solar generator

Similar to the Goal Zero Yeti 500X, this unit also has a super fast recharging time. The ROCKPALS Portable unit can be recharged from 0 to 80 percent in just 3 hours using the 72-watt DC port and 45W USB-C port.

This is one of the best 500 watt solar generators if you are looking for one that can be recharged in just a few hours.

Pros

  • Superb battery capacity.
  • Superfast recharging.
  • Sleek and portable.
  • Triple-layer body finish.

Cons

  • Does not support ovens and coffeemakers.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Capacity And Output

The ROCKPALS solar generator does not only stand out due to dual and fast recharging, but the unit also provides an excellent battery capacity. The 505Wh battery can efficiently power up phones, drones, cameras, fans, lights, a mini-refrigerator, projectors, laptops, and even tablets.

9 output ports allow you to charge nine different gadgets simultaneously. Six recharging methods are what genuinely make this solar generator stand out.

  • Recharging And Portability  

You can recharge the ROCKPALS generator via solar panels, wall outlets, cigarette ports, etc. The best part is that you can use a combination of these to recharge the generator in under 3 hours.

The lightweight, portable handle design makes it suitable for camping, hiking, fishing, and vacations.

Limitations & Issues

Even though the recharge time is impressive, this unit won’t be of any help if you plan on running a mini coffeemaker.

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

12 x 9 x 6.1 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

24 months

Watt-Hour:

505Wh

Item Weight:

12.5lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


6. Emergency Supply: PAXCESS Portable Power Station

best 500 watt solar generator

The PAXCESS Portable Power Station is more efficient than the Goal Yeti Zero 500X due to its fantastic battery capacity and ability to successfully power appliances such as a mini air conditioner and fridge.

A maximum output of 750 watts makes this unit the most powerful performer on our list of the best 500 watt solar generators.

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • Good battery capacity.
  • Powers a mini-fridge and AC perfectly.
  • Efficient CPAP backup.

Cons

  • Power cords aren’t long.
  • Recharging time could be better.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Backup Supply

The Paxcess ROCKMAN 500 watt Portable Generator is powerful enough to provide electricity to an array of appliances simultaneously. It can be used with tech gadgets, a mini fridge, and even mini ACs. It is a great tool to carry on trips for camping and use as an RV backup supply.

9 output ports, including 2 pure sine wave AC outlets, 1 carport, 2 USB ports, 2 DC ports, and 1 USB-C outlet, can charge various appliances simultaneously.

  • Versatile Recharging And BMS

This portable generator can also provide constant power to CPAP machines and can be recharged through six methods. You can use a 60W, 100W, or 120W solar panel, AC wall outlet, USB-C port, or carports to recharge your generator fully.

Battery Management System or BMS prevents safety hazards while an 18-month warranty brings you peace of mind.

Limitations & Issues 

The only drawbacks of this unit are the power cord being a bit too short for some users and it taking time to fully recharge.

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

11.8 x 7.9 x 7.6 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

18 months

Watt-Hour:

519Wh

Item Weight:

10.4lbs

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


7. Versatility: Anker Portable Generator

best 500 watt solar generator

The Anker Portable Generator, similar to the ROCKPALS solar unit, has a fast recharge time. This unit can fully recharge in just 5 hours.

Therefore, it's an excellent pick for traveling and use as an emergency backup supply.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction.
  • Fast recharge.
  • Effective emergency supply.
  • Can power an electric blanket for more than 8 hours.
  • Portable.

Cons

  • User manual is not detailed enough.
  • Slight buzzing noise.
  • Automatic discharge.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Power Supply

The huge cell capacity of 778Wh and 11 ports that can charge multiple devices simultaneously truly make the Anker generator stand out.

You can charge a MacBook Air to 50% battery in just under 40 minutes. You can also power mobiles, fans, mini TVs, mini-fridge, projector, camera, lights, and other devices perfectly. 

  • Fast Recharging And Warranty

A fast recharge time of 5 hours and a maximum output of 770 watts allows this unit to compete with the PAXCESS solar unit. The 18-month warranty gives ample time to check for issues and flaws in the product. 

Limitations & Issues 

A significant limitation is that the Anker Portable generator discharges automatically when not in use. Also, there might be a slight buzzing noise.

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

11.81 x 8.03 x 7.28 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

11

Warranty:

18 months

Watt-Hour:

778Wh

Item Weight:

18.3 Pounds

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


8. Best For Travelling: Apowking Portable Power Station

best 500 watt solar generator

The Apowking Portable Generator is a must-have if you are looking for a portable solar generator that can power smaller gadgets or appliances.

Its high battery capacity and ability to support various machines like the CPAP, car refrigerators, and drones make it a worthy investment.

Pros

  • Suitable for outdoor events.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Suitable for CPAP machines.
  • Perfect for recharging mobiles and laptops.
  • Portable design.

Cons

  • Insufficient display information.
  • Vague user manual.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Triple Recharging And Output

Apowking's 500 watt solar generator offers 7 output ports. These include 2 AC outlets, 4 USB ports, and one DC outlet. A built-in fan ensures the unit does not get too warm, but it's also essential to turn the generator off when not in use.

Triple recharging via solar panels, wall outlets, or carports is another excellent feature. The fast charge button allows you to maximize the recharge process.

  • Portability  

The portable design and lightweight build make this unit perfect for traveling and outdoor events. It can also be used as an emergency backup supply and has SOS light modes.

Limitations & Issues 

With this unit you get insufficient display information. Also, the user manual could have been better. 

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

15.31 x 8.98 x 6.61 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

7

Warranty:

30-day money-back guarantee

Watt-Hour:

296Wh

Item Weight:

9.22 pounds

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


9. Foldable Solar Panels: ALLPOWERS Mini Portable Power Station

best 500 watt solar generator

The ALLPOWERS Mini Portable Power Station should be your go-to pick if you want a solar generator and solar panel combo. This is the only unit on our list that comes with a foldable solar panel that can be stored away when not in use.

Pros

  • Highly portable unit.
  • Provides power for a long time.
  • Good customer service.
  • Comes with a foldable solar panel.
  • Can power a TV and mini AC.

Cons

  • Some users have reported missing cables.
  • Poor instruction manual.
  • Noisy fan.
  • Bluetooth app compatibility isn't great.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Foldable Solar Panel

The ALLPOWERS Mini is an efficient unit with a foldable solar panel. The adjustable brackets and folding features increase portability and aid the absorption of sunlight. The unit comes with all accessories, an instruction manual, and 18 months of warranty.

  • Remote Control 

The unit can be recharged to 80% in 5 hours using regular ports and to 8 hours using the solar panels. This unit also offers a Bluetooth connection and wireless charging features. You can use the app on your phone to control your unit remotely.

Limitations & Issues 

The drawbacks include this unit having a somewhat noisy fan, poor instructions in the user manual, and not having the most reliable Bluetooth connectivity. 

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

10.4 x 5.5 x 7 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

60 months

Watt-Hour:

606Wh

Item Weight:

5.3kg

Battery:

Lithium-ion Battery


best 500 watt solar generator

Pros

  • Durable design.
  • Noiseless operation.
  • Efficient backup power supply.
  • 9 output ports.
  • Fast recharging time.

Cons

  • Not the best user manual.
  • Can be a bit noisy.

Our Review

Best Features

  • Fast Recharging

The 370Wh battery provides sufficient power after its recharged. The unit can be recharged to 90% power in 3 hours through regular ports. You can also connect a solar panel to fuel up this generator. 

The River 370 can also be recharged via carports and has 9 output ports that allow you to connect nine different gadgets simultaneously. 

  • LCD

The LCD screen displays battery labels, wattage, and leftover charge time. The unit comes with all accessories, including a wall charger, car charger, USB-C cable, product manual, and an 18-month warranty.

Limitations

Some users have shared that this unit can be a bit noisy. Also, a few mentioned how they found one or two ports to not function properly.

Specifications

Voltage:  

110V

Item Dimensions:

9.8 x 6.3 x 7.8 inches

Wattage:

500W

Number Of Ports:

9

Warranty:

18 months

Watt-Hour:

370Wh

Item Weight:

11.3lbs

Battery:

Lithium-polymer Battery 


500 Watt Solar Generator Buying Guide

best 500 watt solar generator

This buying guide will help you understand what makes the best 500 watt solar generator so you can make an informed buying decision. Let's take a look!

What Is A 500 Watt Solar Generator?

Solar generators are used as a backup power supply both indoors and outdoors. 500 watt solar generators are portable, compact, and can usually be charged via electrical ports, carports, and solar panels. Most units do not come with solar panels, and these will have to be purchased separately. 

A 500-watt solar generator can easily power:

  • 30-watt Television for 8 hours.
  • 30-watt mini fridge for 8 hours.
  • Electric blanket for 7 plus hours.

The unit cannot power heavy-duty appliances such as dryers, ovens, coffeemakers,  heaters, etc. The total power needed must be below 500 and 600 watts for a 500-watt portable generator to function. A 500-watt generator usually has an efficiency between 15 percent and 21 percent.

Features to Consider

best 500 watt solar generator

Portability

A solar generator's portability is essential if you intend to use your unit outdoors, take it on trips or use it while traveling. The unit should have a portable design, robust build, and lightweight structure and must be under 20 to 30 lbs.

Battery Capacity And Type

The capacity of your battery will determine how long it can run and how many appliances it can power. If you only need to recharge laptops and mobile phones, 300Wh should be enough. Otherwise, you should opt for a higher watt-hour rating.

Also, pick generators with Lithium-ion or Lithium-polymer batteries as these are long-lasting.

Inverter

The Inverter rating decides the amount of power a generator can offer. Opt for a higher wattage rating for your generator than the one listed on the appliance you wish to power.

Indoor Use And Quiet Operation 

Noiseless operation, eco-friendly function, and BMS allow you to use solar generators indoors and outdoors. They do not pose safety risks and will not cause any harm, unlike gas or fuel generators.

Solar Panels

Solar panels can put an extra burden on your pocket. Look for a generator that comes with solar panels if you are worried about affordability or outdoor use.

MPPT Charge Controller And Ports

The number of output ports and their types should be a concern if you wish to power various appliances using your solar generator.

Also, opt for one that has a built-in MPPT charge controller to prevent power loss and help the battery cope in low sunlight. However, this feature may raise the price of your purchase.

Easy Setup

You wil notl have to purchase fuel, and will not have to go through lengthy procedures to set up your generator. Most come with user manuals and are very easy to use.

You need to connect your panels, ports, and battery to start using. The handles and lightweight design make these generators easy to carry around.

500 Watt Solar Generator Installation

best 500 watt solar generator

A portable generator that is not being run using solar panels can simply be recharged and connected to preferred appliances for electricity. You can easily connect these units via multiple ports, and they usually come with all necessary cables and adapters.

If you have a built-in MPPT controller, then that is great. If not, you should buy this separately to protect your generator's battery.

If you wish to use solar panels, you must ensure that you unfold the panel and use brackets to catch maximum sunlight. Portable generators do not require complex installation steps. Just ensure you connect all wiring correctly and read the instruction manual for your unit.

Maintenance & Operating Costs

Solar power generators will incur zero operation and maintenance costs if run using solar panels.

You will have to pay for the amount of electricity your unit pulls in to recharge via car and wall outlets. If you take good care of your unit, it should last for several years.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a 500-watt generator run?

A 500 watt generator can run for approximately 17 hours using a 12V battery.

What can a 500 watt solar system run?

A 500 watt generator can run a small TV, mini-fridge, lights, laptops, phones, fans, drones, cameras, and even tablets.

Do solar generators work on cloudy days?

Yes, your solar generator will work on a cloudy day if your battery is charged.

What size solar controller do I need for 500W solar panel?

You will need a 30-ampere charge controller for a 500W solar panel.

Are solar generators worth buying?

Yes, solar generators are worth buying. They offer clean energy, are low maintenance, and can provide adequate backup power.


Final Verdict: What Is The Best 500 Watt Solar Generator For Backup Power?

We have finally reached the end of this guide. Our top pick for the best 500 watt solar generator is the Jackery Portable Power Station. And, rightly so. This unit has a great battery capacity, 7 output ports, fast recharging, a portable design, and a durable build.

This unit will help provide efficient backup power and will be your aid in emergencies. It can recharge your phone up to 24 times on a single charge!

However, if you want a unit with the fastest recharging time, then ROCKPALS Portable Power Station is your answer. The unit can be recharged in under 3 hours using a suitable port combination. Lastly, if you wish to purchase a solar panel and generator combo, the ALLPOWERS Mini Portable Power Station should be your go-to pick.

Good luck!

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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