Whether you are looking for a viable "off the grid" living option or want a backup power supply in case of total power loss, solar generators offer a green solution that can be just as effective as gas and propane generators.
Backup power for the home has become critical because of our increased reliance on connected devices including phones, and laptops.
Solar backup generators are not just for powering home appliances like refrigerators and air conditioner - more and more, they are being purchased to provide reliable backup power for critical medical devices.
For example, CPAPs are a popular way to treat sleep apnea and other dangerous sleep disorders. Without an adequate supply of power, things can get dangerous.
The Problem With Gas Generators
Gas, diesel and propane generators have been relied upon for years for home power backup and emergency standby power for everything from hospitals to houses. They are cheap, easy to maintain and widely available.
That said, gas generators suffer from a number of important solar drawbacks that solar backup generators completely avoid - as follows:
A gas generator doesn't store electrical energy. Instead, it converts fuel into electrical energy when you start it up.
To keep the lights on, then, you must constantly resupply a gas, diesel or propane generator with fossil fuel. Doing so costs money to buy the fuel, unlike solar power which is free.
In contrast, solar generators run on the power of the sun - which is 100% renewable, free and reliable.
Loud noise is another issue with gas & propane generators.
In contrast, solar generators are completely silent.
Exhaust & Emissions
Burning fossil fuels emits CO2 and carbon monoxide. And don't even think about using a fossil-fueled generator in an enclosed space – if the noise doesn’t drive you crazy, the CO2 and carbon monoxide emissions can kill you.
Exhaust and emissions are not a problem with a solar generator - you can run one on your kitchen counter if you want.
Solar backup generators offer a greener, renewable and more reliable solution to all of these problems.
Solar generators are quiet, lack any harmful fumes and exhaust, and are completely renewable. With a handful of well-placed solar panels, you can provide a FREE supply of backup power for your home.
Today, solar home backup power is within reach of everyone.
Over the past few decades, the steady march of technology has extended battery life and made solar panels less expensive and more efficient.
As a result, solar generators have gone from a wildly expensive, fringe DIY project, to a user-friendly and affordable solution that anyone can purchase online.
The cost of a solar generator remains higher than a comparable wattage power gas generator, but considering all of the benefits, a lot of people today are choosing to go solar.
Today, you can select from dozens of solar generators designed for home power and standby backup.
Which one stands above the rest?
Read on to learn about the most popular & proven solar generators sold today.
NOTE: In addition to the retail generators listed on this page, you can find more expensive, permanently installed generator solutions from a licensed solar energy installer in your town.
Best Home Backup & Standby Solar Generators
- 1Best For Home Integration (UPS): Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box
- 2Best 1000W Solar Generator: EcoFlow Delta Mini
- 3Best 2000W Solar Generator: Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro
- 4Best 3000W Solar Generator: EcoFlow Delta Pro
- 5Best 5000W Solar Generator: Bluetti AC500 + B300S
- 6Best for 240V Appliances: Bluetti EP500Pro
- 7Best Expandable: Point Zero Energy Titan
- 8Best For Electronics: Jackery Explorer 500
- 9Best With Solar Panels: EcoFlow Delta Max + 220W
- 10Best For Powering Your Entire Home: Hysolis Apollo 5K
Renogy Lycan 5000
- Best for home integration
- 3500W output
- 4800Wh LiFePO4 battery
- Expandable to 19.2kWh
- 4400W max solar input (1.5hr charge time)
- 2400W AC input (2.5hr charge time)
- 3yr warranty
EcoFlow Delta Mini
- Best 1000W
- 1400W output
- 882Wh Li-ion battery
- Not expandable
- 300W solar input (4-5hr charge time)
- 900W AC input (1hr charge time)
- 2yr warranty
Jackery 2000 Pro
- Best 2000W
- 2200W output
- 2160Wh Li-ion battery
- Not expandable
- 1400W solar input (2.5hr charge time)
- 1800W AC input (2hr charge time)
- 3yr warranty
EcoFlow Delta Pro
- Best 3000W
- 3600W output
- 3600Wh LiFePO4 battery
- Expandable to 25kWh
- 1600W solar input (3-4hr charge time)
- 1800W AC input (2.7hr charge time)
- 5yr warranty
Bluetti AC500 + B300S
- Best 5000W
- 5000W output
- 3072Wh LiFePO4 battery
- Expandable to 18.4kWh
- 3000W solar input (1.5-2hr charge time)
- 4500W AC input (<1hr charge time)
- 4yr warranty
- Best 240V
- 3000W, 120V/6000W,240V output
- 5100Wh LiFePO4 battery
- Not expandable
- 2400W solar input (2.7hr charge time)
- 3000W AC input (3.3hr charge time)
- 5yr warranty
- Most expandable
- 3000W output
- 2000Wh Li-ion battery
- Unlimited expansion
- 2000W solar input
- 406W AC input (with standard charger)
- 1yr warranty
EcoFlow Delta Max
- Best with solar panel
- 2400W output
- 2016Wh Li-ion battery
- Expandable to 6kWh
- 800W solar input (3.5hr charge time)
- 1800W AC input (1.8hr charge time)
- 48lbs (20.9lbs solar panel)
- 2yr warranty
Jackery Explorer 500
- Best for small appliances & electronics
- 500W output
- 518Wh Li-ion battery
- Not expandable
- 100W solar input (9.5hr charge time)
- 100W AC input (7.5hr charge time)
- 2yr warranty
- Best for powering entire home
- 3000W output (expandable to 27kW)
- 5376Wh LiFePO4 battery
- Expandable to 48.4kWh
- 4000W solar input (2-3hr charge time)
- 3000W AC input (2-3hr charge time)
- 2yr warranty (3yrs for batteries)
What You Need to Know About Backup Solar Generators
The solar generators on this page can be bought online and are designed for powering home appliances and lighting and for recharging vital electronics.
That said, there are limitations and other things you need to be aware of when shopping for a home solar generator.
Solar Generators Cannot Power Your Entire Home (Yet)
Some heavy appliances like cloth dryers, water heaters and pool pumps consume a huge amount of energy that will sap any generator - solar powered, or not.
In general, a solar generator won't power heavy appliances for a very long period of time. For that, you'll need to upgrade to a fully installed home solar power system with at least $10,000 worth of batteries.
That said, mid-range appliances like air conditioners, freezers and electric ovens are far more energy-efficient today than a few decades ago. Most solar backup generators can power these for a single use between charges, but not much more.
The sweet spot for solar backup generators is powering electronic appliances like LED televisions, toasters, and hair dryers. And, of course, keeping your electronics on and recharged.
That said, newer solar generators are increasingly powerful.
Brands like Bluetti, EcoFlow and Renogy are launching bigger and bigger solar generators such as the Renogy Lycan 5000, Bluetti EP500Pro and Bluetti AC500 + B300S.
These solar generators produce more than 3000W of power, and in the case of the AC500 + B300S, 5000W. They also come with massive capacity and are typically expandable to over 10kWh.
They can power heavy appliances like ovens and air conditioners for a few hours.
Soon, we might have a solar generator that can power an entire house.
In fact, I think there's already one in the market. See my review of the Hysolis Apollo 5K below. It can produce up to 27kW of power.
The Apollo 5K is the exception, for now. So you need to have realistic expectations when shopping for backup and standby solar generators.
The most powerful home solar backup generators are capable of keeping your refrigerator on, keeping your computer and electronics running, and powering a handful of lights and other appliances, but they are not yet able to match the full-home power supply of larger backup generators powered by natural gas and propane.
Still, solar generators are very useful backup power supplies in the case of a home blackout, because they offer so many advantages.
To make the right solar generator purchase, you'll want to have an idea of the required voltage and total wattage of the devices & appliances you want to keep alive during a blackout.
Use our handy appliance wattage guide to figure out how many watts you'll need to keep your most important lights, devices and appliances running.
Then, look for solar backup generators that supply that level of wattage. And make sure they have the right type & number of outlets (12V, 110V, 220V, USB, 2A, etc.)
If you are really committed to buying a completely renewable backup generator for your home and want enough backup/standby power to run your air conditioner and refrigerator for days, then you can always purchase multiple generators or get an expandable solar generator.
Best Home Backup & Standby Solar Generators
1. Best For Home Integration (UPS): Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box
The Renogy Lycan is one of the largest and most capable solar generators in the market right now. It’s designed to be wired to a home power grid. You can even set it up as a UPS, ensuring essential appliances stay powered in a blackout.
That, plus its fast charging performance makes the Lycan 5000 one of the best solar generators for home backup.
If you want a solar generator that can keep most of your appliance running during a power outage, the Lycan 5000 Power Box is a great pick.
With an output of 3500W, it can not only power almost any household appliance, it can power several at the same time.
In an emergency, you can keep using your fridge, TV, washing machine, and other appliances.
Renogy pairs the high output of the Lycan 5000 with a huge capacity of 4800Wh. This ensures that even when you power large appliances, the Lycan 5000 doesn't run out of juice too quickly.
You can keep your home powered for hours or days. Here’s roughly how long the Lycan 5000 can power various appliances.
Portable/window AC (1000W)
Coffee Maker (900W)
Washing machine (500W)
If you need a longer runtime, the Lycan 5000 is expandable to a max capacity of 19.2kWh. Just order additional 48V LiFePO4 batteries from Renogy.
If you want the kind of uninterrupted backup provided by a traditional home solar system, you can get it with the Renogy Lycan 5000.
As I mentioned, the Lycan 5000 is designed to be easy to integrate into your home power grid via the 20A or 30A AC outlet.
To turn it into a UPS system, all you need is an automatic transfer switch. Select which circuits (the Lycan 5000 cannot power every circuit in your home) you want to backup and connect them to the transfer switch, or rather have a licensed electrician do it.
When mains power goes out, the Lycan 5000 will automatically take over.
With a max solar input of 4400W, the Renogy Lycan is one of the fastest charging solar generators we have reviewed.
This is important during an extended emergency. It makes it easy to keep your home powered for as long as you need.
If you max out and set up a 4400W array (60-145V), you could charge the Lycan 5000 in as little as 2.5 hours.
The Lycan 5000 also has an AC charging option, which you can use to keep it topped up when there’s power.
AC input is 2400W. You can combine AC and solar input (6800W max) to charge the Lycan 5000 to 80% in just 1 hour.
Built to Last
The Renogy Lycan is unlike any other solar generator in the market. For one, you can see and access all the internal components.
In fact, you can replace these components including the batteries, inverter and charge controller. This makes it easy to maintain or upgrade the solar generator. A failed battery or another component won’t force you to chuck the entire system.
The Renogy Lycan is also a lot more rugged than most other solar generators. It has an IP55 water resistant housing, meaning you can use it outside under a sheltered area.
Issues & Limitations
The Renogy Lycan 5000 weighs 264.6lbs. Forget about traveling with it; it is a purely home backup solar generator.
If you are looking for a solar generator you can use at home and away, I recommend something smaller and lighter like the Jackery 2000 Pro.
The Renogy Lycan 5000 has just two AC outlets. That’s it. No USB or DC outputs.
That’s why I said it’s designed for home integration. If you want a solar generator you can plug appliances and devices directly into, the Lycan 5000 is not it.
2. Best 1000W Solar Generator: EcoFlow Delta Mini
If you are looking for a smaller home backup power station to power small appliances and charge your devices, a 1000W solar generator is adequate.
It’s also versatile, since you can use it at home, take it with you camping, go with it on road trips and so on.
Our favorite 1000W solar generator for home backup is the EcoFlow Delta Mini. It actually has a 1400W output, so you can power a wide range of appliances.
If you want to power appliances like a mini fridge, TV, freezer, CPAP, or a fan, the Delta Mini is a great choice. It’s also a lot more affordable compared to high output solar generators.
With 1400W of output, the Delta Mini can do a lot more than you expect. It can power a full size refrigerator, a microwave, a coffee maker and many other household appliances.
If you need more power, the Delta Mini has a feature called X-Boost that increases output to 1800W (by slightly reducing voltage).
That said, you probably don't want to plug in high-consumption appliances. The Delta Mini has a capacity of 882Wh. That’s not much when you want to power a 500W washing machine. The battery will last only 1.5 hours.
That’s why I recommend the Delta Mini for small and medium size appliances. You can also power larger appliances like a coffee maker or microwave that only run for a few minutes.
Here are the approximate Delta Mini runtimes you can expect with various devices and appliances.
Mini fridge (60W)
Multiple lights (50W)
As you can see, the Delta Mini actually lasts a decent amount of time when you use it to power small appliances and charge gadgets.
The EcoFlow Delta Mini comes with all the outlets you need to run different kinds of electronics.
For appliances, there are five AC outlets with a combined output of 1400W (1800W with X-Boost). Surge/peak output is 2100W.
For 12V electronics like CPAP, a router or a car fridge, there’s a 12V car port and two 12V DC5521 outlets.
You can power your laptop or fast charge your phone from the USB-C 100W port. There’s also a Quick Charge 18W USB-A port and two regular 12W USB-A ports.
Fast AC Charging
EcoFlow solar generators all have impressive AC charging speeds. The company calls it X-Stream charging.
The included wall charger puts in up to 900W of power, which charges the Delta Mini to 80% in just 1 hour.
Max solar input is 300W (11-75V), which takes 4-5 hours to recharge the Delta Mini on a sunny day. It’s not super fast, but at least you can fully recharge the solar generator in less than a day during an emergency.
When you travel with the Delta Mini, you can also charge it from your car’s 12V/24V outlet, though this takes a lot longer. But it’s perfect for topping up the solar generator when you are on the move.
Issues & Limitations
Despite the relatively high output, the Delta Mini is mostly ideal for powering small and medium size appliances as well as recharging devices.
That’s because of its limited capacity. Large appliances will drain it too fast.
Another limitation of the battery is that it is lithium-ion. It doesn't last as long as a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery.
3. Best 2000W Solar Generator: Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro
It’s hard to choose the best 2000W home backup solar generator because there are so many of them in this range.
But I think the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro offers the best combination of value, power, capacity, versatility and charging performance.
Jackery has been upgrading their popular solar generators. The Explorer 2000 Pro has more capacity, better output options, and faster charging than the older Explorer 2000.
The Jackery 2000 Pro has an output of 2200W (4400W surge). There’s a lot you can do with that.
You can power your kitchen refrigerator, watch TV, power your microwave, and use your coffee maker. You can also recharge your devices, keep lights on and run other smaller electronics like a fan or CPAP machine.
With a capacity of 2160Wh, the Li-ion battery in the Explorer 2000 Pro is able to keep up with the consumption of most appliances.
Here’s how long the Jackery 2000 Pro will power various appliances and electronics.
Washing machine (500W)
3 Smartphones (36Wh)
16 recharges each
I have reviewed many 2000W solar generators with double the number of outlets the Jackery 2000 Pro offers. But eight are enough for most people. In addition, Jackery does a great job of including a wide variety of outlets to cover all kinds of appliances and gadgets.
There are three AC outlets, a 12V/10A car port, two USB-C 100W ports, and two Quick Charge USB-A 18W ports. The only option missing are DC5521 ports, which are handy for powering small 12V devices like internet routers and security cameras.
Good Charging Performance
One of the biggest improvements in the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is charging speed.
Max solar input has increased from 800W in the Explorer 2000 to 1400W in the Explorer 2000 Pro. This allows the Pro to recharge with solar in just 2.5 hours.
AC input has also gone up from 1164W to 1800W, which charges the 2000 Pro in just 2 hours.
The only charging-related issue we are disappointed with is that the Explorer 2000 Pro doesn't seem to offer dual AC + solar charging. That would speed things up even more.
Issues & Limitations
If you are sure the 2160Wh capacity of the 2000 Pro is adequate for you, then stick with the Jackery Explorer. But if you think you might need more capacity in the future, go with an expandable solar generator.
The best expandable 2000W solar generator is the Bluetti AC200MAX. It has a 2048Wh capacity that you can expand to 8192Wh.
If you don't plan to use the Explorer 2000 Pro often, the Li-ion battery inside will last for years. But if you plan to use it daily, I recommend getting a LiFePO4 solar generator instead such as the aforementioned Bluetti AC200MAX.
LiFePO4 batteries have more lifecycles and thus last a long time even when charged and discharged often.
4. Best 3000W Solar Generator: EcoFlow Delta Pro
If you want to run multiple appliances or power part of your home grid during a blackout, a 3000W solar generator like the EcoFlow Delta Pro is up to the task.
You do lose out on versatility (3000W solar generators are big and heavy, thus ideal for home use only), but at least you can keep important appliances powered through a long power outage.
The EcoFlow Delta Pro is one of the most powerful solar generators in the market. With an output of 3600W, it can power just about any appliance in your home including large ones like the oven, space heater and AC.
It can also power multiple appliances at the same time. If you need more than 3600W of power, turn on X-Boost to increase output to 4500W.
Note, however, that X-Boost decreases voltage output slightly, so some appliances such as coffee makers may work slower.
The EcoFlow Delta Pro also has a 240V output option that’s great for powering things like well pumps and 240V central air conditioners.
To get 240V power, you’ll need a second Delta Pro and an EcoFlow double voltage hub. Connect the two solar generators using the hub to get up to 7200W, 240V AC power.
The EcoFlow Delta Pro comes with a 3600Wh LiFePO4 battery. That’s already a lot of capacity to run appliances and keep devices charged.
But if you need more, the Delta Pro is expandable. You can add up to 6 expansion batteries to increase capacity to 25kWh.
If you want, you can build enough capacity to power your home for days during an emergency.
The advantage of an expandable system like the Delta Pro is that all the batteries act like one huge battery. You don't have to switch the batteries as they deplete. Instead, the main Delta Pro unit draws power from all the batteries at the same time.
For an idea of how much runtime you can get from the EcoFlow Delta Pro, here’s how long it can power various appliances. This is just an estimate.
Washing machine (500W)
3 Smartphones (36Wh)
28 recharges each
Versatile Output Options + Home Integration
The Delta Pro gives you lots of options when it comes to powering appliances and other electronics.
For regular household appliances, there are four 20A 120V AC outlets, plus a fifth more powerful 30A outlet for heavier duty stuff.
You can charge six devices at the same time using the USB-A and USB-C 100W ports. You can also run 12V electronics from the car outlet or the two DC5521 outlets.
If you’d rather power appliances right where they are and charge your phone from a wall outlet, it’s possible to connect the Delta Pro to your home circuit.
You just need one of those 30 amp generator boxes to connect the Delta Pro (via the 30A outlet) to a power inlet box or transfer switch.
So Many Ways To Recharge
Not only does the Delta Pro have good charging speeds, it also offers plenty of recharging options. No matter what emergency you are in, you’ll likely find a way to keep the Delta Pro charged.
There’s the usual option - charging from a wall outlet. Max AC input is 1800W, which charges the Delta Pro in 2.7 hours.
You can also charge the Delta Pro with up to 1600W solar power.
If you have access to a gas generator, you can also get AC power from it to charge the Delta Pro. EcoFlow even sells their own smart gas generator, that you can set up to automatically charge the Delta Pro.
If you are in an emergency and none of the above options are available, you can take the Delta Pro to any level 2 EV charging station. It’ll charge at 3400W in just 1.7 hours.
Finally, you can top up the Delta Pro from your vehicle’s 12V outlet when you are on the move.
Issues & Limitations
If you are shopping for a versatile solar generator you can use for home backup as well as camping, road trips and other adventures, the Delta Pro is not it.
It’s bulky and weighs 99lbs. It’ll mostly be useful at home for backup power or off-grid to power a cabin, RV or boat — basically any situation where you set it up somewhere and leave it there.
If you want a capable solar generator you can easily move around, I recommend the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro instead.
5. Best 5000W Solar Generator: Bluetti AC500 + B300S
3000W not enough for home backup? You can get up to 5000W from the Bluetti AC500 + B300S solar generator system.
It also has expandable capacity, optional 240V power output and UPS functionality.
With 5000W of power, you can power large appliances like central AC, a garage heater, a cooking range or an electric grill.
That’s also enough output to power a good chunk of your home grid.
The Bluetti AC500 + B300S is currently Bluetti’s most powerful solar generator (though there’s an even bigger one coming soon). It’s designed to provide reliable off-grid power and for homes that need lots of power for backup.
It has a 5000W inverter, and you can double this to 10000W, 240V power by setting up a split phase system using two AC500 + B300S kits.
With this much output, you need lots of capacity. The B300S LiFePO4 battery that comes with the kit has a 3072Wh capacity.
That’s good but not impressive considering the 5000W output. If you maxed out the inverter, the battery would only last 30 minutes.
Fortunately, the AC500 + B300S solar generator is expandable. You can add more B300S batteries to reach a max capacity of 18.4kWh.
Here’s an estimate of how long the 3072Wh B300S battery will power different kinds of stuff.
Mini fridge (60W)
Full refrigerator (300W)
Lots of Output Options
The AC500 power unit has 16 outlets.
There are three regular 120V 20A AC outlets. If you need more power or to connect the AC500 to your home grid, there are also two 30A 120V outlets and one 50A 120V outlet.
You have an option of running your home with 30 amp or 50 amp power supply during a blackout.
The AC500 has six USB ports including two 5V USB-A, two 18W QC USB-A and two 100W USB-C.
And for your 12V electronics, there’s a 12V/30A RV port and a 24V/10A car port.
By the way, the B300S battery module also has a few outlets of its own: one 100W USB-C port, an 18W USB-A port and a 12V/10A car outlet.
This means you can just carry the B300S with you when traveling and use it to charge your devices and power 12V appliances. You can even charge it separately from the main unit with 500W solar or AC power.
Excellent Charging Performance
The AC500 + B300S solar generator has one of the highest AC inputs I have seen in a power station. Plug it into a wall outlet and it charges at 4500W. If you have a second B300S battery, it increases output to 5000W.
A single B300S can charge to 80% in less than an hour.
Solar charging is equally impressive. Max input is 3000W, enough to charge the B300S battery in 1.5-2 hours, assuming it’s a sunny day.
There’s also an option to combine multiple charging methods for a max input of 8000W.
So don't worry even when you expand your AC500 + B300S system. It’ll still be able to charge fairly fast.
Issues & Limitations
The AC500 + B300S kit on its own is not crazy expensive. We’ve seen solar generators with less output in the same price range.
However, it has limited capacity for its power output. If you want to take full advantage of the 5000W output, you’ll likely need to expand with additional B300S batteries. And that’s where things get expensive.
Adding a single B300S battery brings the total cost of the system to over $7K.
6. Best for 240V Appliances: Bluetti EP500Pro
If you have any 240V appliances you need to keep running during a blackout, you need a solar generator that can produce 240V AC power instead of the usual 120V.
We recommend the Bluetti EP500Pro. You’ll need two units plus the Bluetti split phase fusion box to get 240V power.
Solar generators sold in the US produce 120V AC power, which is what American appliances run on.
But some appliances need 220-240V power to run better and more efficiently. These include things like well pumps, high-power space heaters, some air conditioners and some dryers.
You can power these appliances using any solar generator that offers split phase output. This is where you combine two solar generators to double their voltage and output.
To set up the EP500Pro to produce 240V power, you’ll need a second EP500Pro and the Bluetti fusion box.
The fusion box links the two units. You can then access power from the 220V-240V/30A outlet on the fusion box.
Double the Output and Capacity
In addition to doubling voltage from 120V to 240V, the Bluetti EP500Pro split phase setup also doubles output from 3000W to 6000W.
So you can power large 240V appliances such as a dryer, a 240V window AC or a 240V garage heater.
The 240V setup also doubles your capacity.
A single EP500Pro already has a massive capacity of 5100Wh. With two of them, you get 10.2kWh capacity.
Here’s an estimate of how long you can run appliances with the split phase system.
Electric oven (2800W)
Space heater (2000W)
Well pump (700W)
Induction cooktop (2200W)
Multiple Output Options
The Bluetti fusion box comes with a single 240V outlet as well as six 120V AC outlets (two 30A and four 20A).
Each Bluetti EP500Pro also comes with four 120V 20A AC outlets plus a 30A outlet for large appliances. But you cannot use these outlets when the two units are connected. You can only use the outlets on the fusion box.
All other outlets are usable whether the solar generators are separate or in split phase mode. They include two 100W USB-C ports, four USB-A ports and a pair of 15W wireless charging pads. Each unit also comes with a 12V/10A car port, a 12V/30A RV port, and two DC5521 DC outlets.
Good Charging Performance
The Bluetti EP500Pro has a max solar input of 2400W. On a sunny day, you could charge the EP500Pro with solar panels in just 2.7 hours.
AC input is also impressive at 3000W, letting you charge the EP500Pro from a wall outlet in 3.3 hours.
There’s also a dual AC + solar charging option that takes 1.8 hours to recharge the EP500Pro.
Note: You’ll need the 30A split phase charging cable to charge the two EP500Pro units at the same time. When using the regular charging cable, you have to disconnect them first.
Issues & Limitations
The EP500Pro is already a pricey solar generator on its own. If you plan to set up a 240V system with two of them and a fusion box, expect to spend over $10K.
If you are on a budget, it might be cheaper to set up a solar power system instead using solar panels, batteries, a 240V split phase inverter, and a charge controller.
Only One 240V Outlet
The Bluetti EP500Pro fusion box lets you run just one 240V appliance at a time since it only has a single 240V outlet.
If you want to run multiple 240V appliances simultaneously, you’ll have to connect the outlet to a breaker box and then power the appliances from there.
10.2kWh is probably enough capacity for most homeowners. But if you ever need more than that, there’s no way to expand the Bluetti EP500Pro.
This is unlike most high-capacity solar generators such as the Bluetti AC500 + B300S and EcoFlow Delta Pro that are expandable.
7. Best Expandable: Point Zero Energy Titan
Many of the solar generators we have reviewed in this guide have expandable capacity. But none are as expandable as the Titan solar generator from Point Zero Energy.
As far as we can tell, there is no limit on how many batteries you can add to the Titan solar generator. So you can build up as much capacity as you need to keep your home powered in an emergency.
Titan is a rugged, modular and customizable solar generator. It comes with a removable 2000Wh Li-ion battery.
If you need more capacity, you can simply stack more batteries under the main power unit; no need for wiring or any cables.
Power output is 3000W, which is plenty enough to keep essential appliances running during a blackout.
Here’s roughly how long the Titan can power various appliances and electronics with just one 2000Wh battery.
42” TV (100W)
The Titan solar generator does not match the number and variety of outlets on most other large solar generators. But it has all the outlets you need to plug in different kinds of appliances.
It comes with seven 120V AC outlets (including one 30A outlet you can use to integrate Titan into your home grid), four 12V outlets and optional USB ports.
The USB ports are available separately as a paid add-on.
Three Ways To Charge
The Titan solar generator comes with a 14A AC charger that charges the battery at 406W max. You can upgrade to a 25A charger that puts in 725W.
You can also use two 25A chargers to achieve an input of 1450W, but you’ll need at least one extra battery to double the charging input.
Solar charging is better. The Titan solar generator has two MPPT charge controllers that accept up to 1000W solar input each (35-145V).
But to get the max 2000W input, you’ll need to have at least two batteries.
You can also charge the Titan solar generator from your vehicle’s 12V/24V port, though that puts in only 85W.
Issues & Limitations
Compared to other solar generators in the same capacity and output range, Titan is expensive. Alternatives like the EcoFlow Delta Pro, EcoFlow Delta Max, and Renogy Lycan 5000 offer better value for money.
What makes it even pricier is that several components including a faster AC charger and USB adapters are available for an extra cost.
Considering how much you can expand the Titan’s capacity, its charging performance is average at best.
The standard charger puts in a mere 406W. We have reviewed tons of smaller solar generators that have higher solar input.
And even when you get two 25A chargers (which, by the way, requires buying an extra battery), the 1450W max input is still too low. Once you start stacking more batteries, the whole system could take days to recharge.
The 2000W max solar input is also low for a system with unlimited capacity expansion. In contrast, the Renogy Lycan 5000 has a max solar input of 4400W and the Hysolis Apollo 5K can accept up to 4000W solar power.
8. Best For Electronics: Jackery Explorer 500
If you just need to keep your devices charged and power some small appliances during a blackout, we recommend the Jackery Explorer 500.
The Jackery Explorer 500 will not power your fridge or coffee maker during a blackout. It’s far too small for that.
But it’s perfect for mini appliances like a fan, CPAP or personal cooler as well as devices and gadgets.
It has a 518Wh lithium battery, enough to charge your smartphone, laptop and other devices many times over.
What Can The Jackery Explorer 500 Charge/Power?
The Jackery Explorer 500 is suited to devices and small appliances.
With four USB ports, you can plug in multiple devices at once such as a smartphone, camera, tablet, Bluetooth speaker and so on.
As for appliances, it’s limited to low power ones like mini coolers, portable refrigerators, a fan, or a mini projector.
How long the Jackery Explorer 500 lasts depends on the capacity or power draw of whatever you’ve plugged in.
For instance, you can charge a smartphone 50 times, recharge a laptop almost 5 times, and run a small TV for almost 8 hours.
When there’s power, you can charge the Jackery Explorer 500 from a wall outlet using the included charger. It takes about 7.5 hours to recharge.
In a blackout or when you are outdoors, connect a solar panel (a 100W max) or charge it from your moving vehicle.
Issues & Limitations
The Jackery Explorer 500 is limited in what it can power.
You cannot plug in high-wattage household appliances like a coffee maker and most blenders. It also cannot power a space heater or even a window or portable AC unit.
The other issue is the lack of a USB-C port, something that virtually all portable solar generators have. The Explorer 500 doesn't even offer a quick charge port.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is a great choice if you need a lightweight and compact solar generator that can keep your devices charged and power some small appliances.
9. Best With Solar Panels: EcoFlow Delta Max + 220W Solar Panel
If you want a complete home backup solar generator kit that’s ready to use, I recommend this EcoFlow Delta Max solar generator + 220W solar panel combo.
It’s enough to keep your most essential appliances powered and devices charged during an extended blackout.
The EcoFlow Delta Max is a 2016Wh, 2400W solar generator. It’s not a huge power station, but neither is it small.
Like the Jackery 2000 Pro, it can power most of the appliances in your home including the TV, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and other electronics.
Depending on what you plug in, the Delta Max will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Here are the approximate runtimes assuming you plug in only one appliance.
Washing machine (500W)
3 Smartphones (36Wh)
15 recharges each
You can increase these runtimes by expanding the Delta Max capacity. You can add up to two expansion batteries for a max capacity of 6048Wh.
Plenty of Outlets
AC power is available via six 120V AC outlets with a combined output of 2400W. Turn on X-Boost and the Delta Max can support a max draw of 3400W.
The Delta Max also includes a car outlet and two DC5521 ports. And for your devices, there’s a pair of 100W USB-C ports and four USB-A ports.
220W Solar Panel
When it comes to recharging the Delta Max, you are sorted whether there is an outage or not.
If you have access to mains power, the included AC cable charges the Delta Max at 1800W, which charges the battery in about 1.8 hours.
In an emergency, use the included 220W solar panel to keep the Delta Max charged. It can take up to 13 hours (or about two days of sunshine) to fully charge the Delta Max.
But you can add more solar panels until you can put in the max 800W. That reduces charging time to 3.5 hours.
Another option that’s handy for emergencies is the EcoFlow smart generator. This is a gas generator that you can set up to automatically charge the Delta Max. It charges it as fast as an AC outlet.
You can combine the smart generator (or a wall outlet) with 800W solar charging to get up to 3400W input for faster charging.
Issues & Limitations
The 220W Solar Panel May Not Be Enough
The 220W solar panel is a good start, especially if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a solar generator kit.
But you should consider adding more solar panels in the future to get up to 800W. The 220W panel on its own takes too long to fully recharge the Delta Max. It can be inconvenient if there’s an extended blackout that lasts for days.
10. Best For Powering Your Entire Home: Hysolis Apollo 5K
As far as I know, the Hysolis Apollo 5K is the first solar generator capable of powering your entire home. It does this by allowing easy expansion of its capacity and output.
If you want your entire home - all appliances included - to keep running in a blackout, the Apollo 5K is the best choice.
For years, we have said that solar generators cannot power an entire home. That’s still mostly true, but probably not for long.
The Hysolis Apollo 5K has already broken the barrier and I bet others will follow. It’s the first solar generator that you can set up to power your entire home.
A single Apollo 5K is a fairly normal solar generator. It has an output of 3000W and a capacity of 5376Wh. It can power most household appliances but not an entire house.
For that, you need to expand both capacity and output. Thankfully, the Hysolis Apollo 5K is the most expandable solar generator in the market.
Let’s start with capacity. You can add up to 8 more expansion batteries to reach a max capacity of 48.4kWh. That’s a lot of capacity - enough to back up the average American home for a day or a few days.
Keep in mind the Apollo 5K uses lithium iron phosphate batteries. So you have almost all the capacity available for use (80-85%; in contrast you can only use 50% of capacity in lead acid batteries).
Also, these batteries last an incredibly long time — usually 20 years or more.
As for capacity, Hysolis says you can connect up to 9 Apollo 5K units to increase output to 27kW. That’s probably way more than your home uses at the same time.
In fact, you don't have to expand to the full 27kW. Three units (9kW) are enough to run a small home. Seven Apollo 5K units (21kW) can run a big home, including heavy stuff like AC and water heater.
Of course, you can also just stick to one or two units to power select appliances in your home. Here’s an estimate of how long a single Apollo 5K solar generator will power various appliances and electronics.
Portable AC (1500W)
Full size refrigerator (150W)
Large TV (120W)
By the way, the Apollo 5K also has a 240V split phase option where you link two units to get 240V power. This is great for running some air conditioners, well pumps, ovens and large power tools. You’ll need the AC split phase box to link two units.
Outlets and Home Integration
The Apollo 5K has 6 AC outlets rated at 120V/15A. There’s a seventh 120V/25A AC outlet that you can use to integrate the Apollo 5K to your home via a manual or automatic transfer switch.
You can power 12V electronics via the 12V/15A car port, two 12V/2A DC5521 ports or the 12V/30A Anderson port (also great for powering RVs).
And for your devices, there’s two USB-A 2.0 ports, one USB-A 3.0 port, one USB-C port and a wireless charging pad.
Impressive Charging Performance
To match the huge and expandable capacity, Hysolis equips the Apollo 5K with super fast charging.
Max solar input is 4000W. Max AC input from a wall outlet is 3000W. Both options can charge a single Apollo 5K battery in under 3 hours.
You can also use both at the same time to put in up to 6000W.
Issues & Limitations
The only issue with the Hysolis Apollo 5K is the price tag. The solar generator is already fairly pricey. If you want to expand it, you’ll need a big budget.
Buying Guide for Solar Powered Backup Generators for Home
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar backup generators provide a portable solar power supply. Instead of having a permanent solar installation in your home, complete with roof panels and a large battery bank, a solar generator packages everything in one relatively small unit.
Solar backup generators have five main components:
Solar Generator Calculator: What Size Solar Generator Do I Need?
It’s important to properly size your solar generator. There’s no harm buying one that’s too big for your power needs, but a too-small solar generator won’t last beyond a couple hours after a blackout.
The best way to determine how many watt-hours you need in a backup solar generator is to determine how many things you need to power and for how long.
For example a 50” LED TV uses 100 watts an hour. Watching TV for two hours a day consumes 200Wh. If you have a 10W bulb that stay on for four hours a day, total lighting consumption is 40Wh daily.
Add the two and you have a 240Wh consumption. A 1,000Wh solar generator will last about 4 hours (1,000/240) before the battery runs out.
Of course, your home electric consumption is more complicated than this. You likely have several bulbs, multiple appliance and lots of devices to charge.
You don’t need to be super accurate. Focus on the appliances that use most power. Add up their consumption and get a solar generator with enough watt-hours to last several hours or days.
For certain appliances like fridges, it’s hard to calculate daily consumption since they keep turning on and off. In that case, check online for approximate daily power consumption for that type and size of appliance.
Some manufacturers also state daily or annual power consumption in the user manual or product label.
It’s a good idea to get a solar generator with more power than you need just in case you experience a longer than expected blackout.
If you are on a budget, you can get a lower capacity emergency backup solar generator, but make sure you also buy solar panels to keep the battery charged when there’s no power.
With the right solar kit, you can outlast a prolonged blackout.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Solar Powered Generator
1. Solar panel output
The first thing to consider is your PV (photovoltaic) output. That’s the amount of power your solar panels generate.
You need to make sure that the voltage and amps are within the limit of what the battery can handle.
You also need to check that your solar panels can charge the batteries quickly enough.
If it takes days to fill up your battery, your solar generator won’t be of much help, especially if you rely on it often.
If you want a powerful solar powered generator, get high-wattage solar panels as well.
But if you want a smaller standby generator to charge small devices like smartphones, a basic 100-watt solar panel will do.
2. Battery Capacity and Type
Generally, for most applications, you want a solar generator with a battery capacity of at least 1,000 watt-hours.
This lets you power small gadgets as well as some appliances.
You can go lower to around 600-800Wh if you are only charging your smartphone or laptop.
But if you want something that can power a fridge or mini AC, look for a 2,000+ watt-hour generator.
A higher battery capacity not only lets you power more gadgets and appliances, but it also provides backup power for longer at night and in bad weather.
Note: The Wh rating of a battery is not its actual usable capacity. With most lead-acid batteries, you should discharge no more than two-thirds of the battery. So a 1,000Wh battery has a usable capacity of around 666Wh. Keep this in mind when selecting the right capacity for your needs.
It’s a good idea to get a bigger battery than you need.
As you consider what battery capacity suits your needs, also think about the type of battery.
Most solar generators use sealed lead acid batteries. They are inexpensive; they last relatively long and are reliable.
Solar backup generators with lithium batteries are more expensive. But they provide more power, higher charging efficiency, and a longer lifespan.
3. Inverter Rating
Capacity doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the battery’s capability.
In addition to how much charge it can store, you also need to know how much power you can draw from it.
This determines what kind of gadgets and appliances you can power.
The inverter rating tells you how much power the battery can produce at any given moment. It’s given in watts.
The inverter is the part that converts DC power from the battery to the AC power you use to power appliances.
For small appliances and gadgets, a 1,000W-1,500W inverter is good enough.
For bigger appliances, look for a solar generator with an inverter rating closer to 2000W or higher.
Remember also to check the peak or surge rating. This is the maximum amount of power the battery can supply for a limited time, typically a few seconds.
Some appliances such as refrigerators and pumps require more power during startup.
In most solar generators, the surge rating is double the standard/continuous power rating. But check the specs to be sure.
4. Type of Inverter
Don’t just check the inverter rating; also check what kind of inverter it is.
There are three types: pure sine wave, modified sine wave, and square wave inverters.
I won’t bore you with the technical explanation behind each type. Here’s all you need to know.
Pure sine wave inverters are the best but also the most expensive. They are more efficient, and most appliances work best and at full power when connected to a pure sine wave inverter.
Some timers, lights, and digital clocks will not work properly unless connected to a pure sine wave inverter.
Square sine wave inverters are the cheapest and the least efficient. They can only run basic appliances with universal motors. You are unlikely to find a solar generator with a square sine wave inverter.
Modified sine wave inverters fall somewhere between the above two types of inverters, though they are much closer to the square ones.
While modified sine wave inverters will power most appliances and gadgets, they are less efficient and can cause some devices to malfunction.
On the upside, a modified sine wave inverter is cheaper than a pure one.
But if you want a powerful and efficient solar generator, look for one with a pure sine wave inverter. The extra cost is worth it.
5. Output Options
This is something many people forget to check when buying a solar generator only to discover they cannot plug in their fridge or charge their phone.
A good solar generator should have three output options: an AC outlet, a 12V DC outlet, and USB ports.
The number of each type of output varies. Some generators can have as many as 4 USB ports, maybe a couple of AC outlets and one 12V socket.
Most standby solar generators require a degree of portability. This makes it easy to use them at the point of need, whether it’s in a specific room, outdoors or out in the wild.
Portability is also important in solar tracking, where you move the solar generator and panels to maximize sun exposure.
The lightest standby solar generators weigh about 30-40lbs. These are relatively easy to move around, albeit with some help.
Powerful generators can weigh close to 100lbs. Many come in heavy-duty casings with wheels for easier portability.
If your chosen solar generator doesn’t have wheels or is hard to move, consider buying a cart.
7. Extra Features
Here are some additional features to look for.
Multiple recharge options: A solar generator you can recharge from a home wall outlet or out of your car’s cigarette lighter socket can be useful at night or in bad weather. Additional recharge options are also handy when you need to quickly recharge the battery (solar panels can take several hours or days to fill up the battery).
Stackable: Check whether you can connect multiple batteries for extra capacity. Some solar generators even come with ports you can use to daisy-chain several batteries.
LCD display: An LCD display lets you monitor how much power the solar panels are producing and how much charge you have left in the battery.
Fast charging USB ports: The USB ports found in most solar generators are the standard types. Some generators come with fast-charging USB ports that juice up your devices in less time. This is especially handy if you want to charge multiple devices.
Wireless connectivity: A solar generator with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity allows you to monitor power consumption and PV input easily on your Smartphone. But with Bluetooth, you need to be in range. If the generator uses WiFi, you can monitor the system from anywhere.
Things to Avoid when Choosing a Solar Powered Generator
Here’s what to avoid when shopping for a solar generator.
1. Square-Sine Wave Inverters
We’ve already discussed the three types of inverters.
Avoid square sine wave inverters; it unlikely you’ll find them anyway.
2. Very Low Capacity Solar Backup Generators
Even if you are charging gadgets like your smartphone, tablet, and camera, it’s still a good idea to get a decently sized solar generator.
Don’t go below 600Wh.
If you plan to power an appliance like a CPAP machine, a coffee maker or a fan, don’t go below 1,000Wh.
You want a generator that can last at least a full day and night even on cloudy days.
3. Very Low-wattage Solar Panels
The solar panels that come with some generators feel like tokens rather than a genuine effort to provide customers with a complete system.
A 50W solar panel will take days to charge a 100Ah battery.
Check that the solar generator comes with solar panels that can charge the battery in at most 6-8 hours.
One 100W panel or two 50W panels are good enough for most standby solar generators.
4. Low Quality or Suspiciously Cheap Solar Generators
‘You get what you pay for’ holds up well when it comes to buying a solar generator.
Despite the potential savings, you are better off avoiding cheap off-brand solar generators, especially if they boast a high wattage and capacity.
Buy from a trusted brand with a reputation for high-quality products.
Setup of a Solar Powered Generator
Installing an Off-Grid Solar Generator System
If you are going off-grid whether it’s camping, boating or living in a cabin somewhere in the woods, it’s essential that you harvest enough solar energy to meet your needs.
The first thing is to make sure you have the right number and capacity of solar panels. Your solar array should fill up your battery with a day’s worth of sunshine (at least 6 hours).
Monocrystalline solar panels are the best though they can be a bit pricey. If you are on a budget Polycrystalline will do.
Set up the solar panels where they will receive maximum exposure.
If it’s an off-grid house, roof mounting is the best. For RVs and camping, use a solar panel ground mount that you can move around to keep up with the sun’s position.
If possible, the solar panels should face south at an angle of about 30 degrees.
Most standby solar backup generators come with the charge controller built in or included separate from the main unit. So you don’t need to worry about buying a charge controller.
If your generator doesn’t have a charge controller, look for one that is rated for your solar array’s total output voltage and current.
It should also be compatible with your battery’s voltage.
The battery will also be integrated into the solar generator. It can be lead acid or lithium.
As I mentioned, a high ampere-hour or watt-hour battery lets you power more stuff for longer.
As with other components, there is no setup for the inverter. It’s integrated into the system.
You need to remember to turn it on when using the AC socket. This converts the DC power from the battery into usable AC power.
Installing an On-Grid Solar Generator System
For on-grid homes, you need to install the solar panels on the roof or ground, connect them to an inverter than connect the invert to your mains.
The inverter converts DC power from the solar panels to AC power that is compatible with your home electrical system.
Your home will use free solar energy during the day and seamlessly switch to grid power at night or when it’s cloudy.
If you don’t want a whole house backup system, you don’t have to do all this.
You can connect your solar panels to the solar generator. Then when utility power goes out, you can plug in your essential appliances and devices into the solar generator.
Pros and Cons Of A Solar Generator For Home Backup
Solar generators offer a clean backup power solution compared to gas generators. Solar generators can be charged using renewable solar energy.
Another big advantage is the ease of setting up a solar generator. Unlike a wired home backup system, solar generators don’t require any wiring. You simply plug in devices and appliances since all the components are built into a single compact unit.
You don't need to spend more money on an electrician to install solar panels and wire your home.
The compact all-in-one design also makes solar generators portable. You can take it where you want to use it, and even go with it camping or in your RV. This makes it much more versatile compared to a wired solar backup system.
The Downsides of Solar Generators For Home Backup
The biggest downside of using a solar generator for home backup is that you are limited in storage capacity.
Unlike a wired solar system, you cannot create a large battery bank that stores enough power to last days. Most solar generators have smaller lithium batteries that are good for a few hours to a couple of days.
It’s hard to find a solar generator you can use for whole-house backup. You have to choose which electronics you want to run in an emergency.
You are also limited in terms of output. Many solar generators have sub 600W inverters that only power smaller appliances.
You can get a high-output solar generator (1000-2000W), but they are pricey.
The other big downside is that power is located in just one place. It’ll be tricky trying to plug in the TV and the kitchen fridge at the same time.
You have to keep plugged in appliances close to the power station.
Solar Generators For Home Backup: FAQs
Can a solar generator power my entire home?
Probably not, unless you get a large solar generator and you have a tiny home. Solar generators are meant to power and charge just a few electronics, not the entire house.
If you want to backup your entire house, go with a wired system complete with solar panels on the roof and a high-capacity battery bank.
Can I use a solar generator at night or when it’s cloudy?
Yes, you can. Solar generators have a built-in battery, usually a lithium battery.
When it is sunny and you’ve connected solar panels, energy is stored in the battery and you can use it at any time.
You can also charge the solar generator from a wall outlet or a moving vehicle.
Can I use a solar generator without solar panels?
You certainly can. Most solar generators can be charged via a wall outlet or a vehicle’s 12V port. So when it’s not sunny, you have other options.
How long can a solar generator power appliances?
It depends on its storage capacity and how much power the appliances are using. Because you’ll likely be plugging in different kinds of electronics including gadgets and devices, it can be hard to estimate the battery run time.
But generally, solar generators can power a few electronics for several hours.
If you want a solar generator to power appliances for longer when there’s no power, get a solar panel to recharge it daily.