Portable Solar Energy 

SOLAR STATIONs VS SOLAR GENERATORs

Why Use Solar Energy?

Utilizing solar energy is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint. This renewable, sustainable energy helps improve and maintain a healthier global environment. It’s also a convenient, cost effective way to stay connected when you are out of reach of the grid.
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How Portable Energy Systems Work?

Portable solar energy systems generate electricity the same way larger home systems operate. The only difference is that these systems are produced on a scaled down size that allows for easy transport. Solar panels utilize a network of interconnected photovoltaic cells (solar cells) to generate electricity. PV’s, as they are often called, are made from semiconductor materials that absorb sunlight and produce direct current (DC) electricity. This process is called the photovoltaic effect. An inverter then converts DC electricity produced by the solar panels into usable alternating current (AC). Power is then stored in a battery for usage when sunlight is not available.

Advantages of Portable Solar Energy Systems

  • Mobility: Portable solar energy is compact, lightweight and easily transported. These systems go wherever you go!
  • Sustainable Power : Portable solar provides a renewable, greener source of energy. Reducing your carbon footprint benefits everyone
  • Easy Set Up: Solar panels unfold quickly and most components are connected with USB for plug and play start up.
  • Reliable Power Source: Solar energy is not limited by location or climate conditions. A relatively few hours of sun can provide 24/7 power.
  • Cost effective: Portable solar provides an affordable alternative with limitless potential.

Portable Solar Energy Applications

tent-by-lake-with-solar-generator.

Camping and Other Outdoor Activities  

Portable solar energy systems generate electricity the same way larger home systems operate. The only difference is that these systems are produced on a scaled down size that allows for easy transport. Solar panels utilize a network of interconnected photovoltaic cells (solar cells) to generate electricity. PV’s, as they are often called, are made from semiconductor materials that absorb sunlight and produce direct current (DC) electricity. This process is called the photovoltaic effect. An inverter then converts DC electricity produced by the solar panels into usable alternating current (AC). Power is then stored in a battery for usage when sunlight is not available.

Emergency Preparedness

When a severe weather storm strikes, power can be lost for days. Staying safe, warm and connected is of utmost importance. Portable solar systems keep cell phones, radios and lights on when the power goes down.
downed-power-lines

Portable Solar Station vs Solar Generator

There are a few notable differences between solar energy stations and solar generators. That said, choosing between the two may still be a tough decision. It all comes down to which specific make or model suits your individual power needs. At the end of the day, solar generators and solar stations have more similarities than differences. Still, knowing a little about what sets one apart from the other will be beneficial in making your decision.

What is a Portable Solar Energy Station?

Portable Solar Energy Stations (or PPS) typically include multiple components like solar panels, battery storage and power inverters. They are designed to provide complete, integrated solar energy solutions.This includes generating, storing, and usage of solar energy. Portable solar stations are used to power electronic devices like lights, fans, small appliances, mobile devices, etc. More advanced solar stations may offer optional features like USB ports, AC outlets, and even wireless charging capabilities. Portable solar energy stations will usually provide higher power output capacity than solar generators. Solar stations have found a large role in off grid environments. Examples include: camping, work sites, outdoor events or at home during a power outage.

What is a Portable Solar Energy Generator?

Portable solar generators are actually not generators at all. A more accurate description would be that they are large, rechargeable battery packs.These units utilize a power station that stores energy and a solar panel that collects and converts the sun's rays into DC electricity. An inverter enclosed inside the generator converts DC to usable AC electricity.The solar generator can be used to provide power for disaster preparedness or unforeseen situations. But, they have also become popular for camping and other off grid activities. Compared to solar stations, solar generators typically have limited power output capacity and fewer built in features. Yet, providing you purchase a generator that meets your specific power needs they are a great option to consider.

Choosing the Right Solar Station or Solar Generator

You have probably already noticed that solar power stations and generators are available at a wide range of price points. Finding out after the fact that you have paid for more than what you need or worse yet, not enough is a major concern. So, how does one determine which product is best for their individual needs? We’ve made a checklist of things to consider when making your decision.

Power Requirements

In general, portable solar energy stations provide higher power output capacity. Of course, depending on your actual power usage, either could suit your needs. A key indicator is battery capacity. The higher the capacity, the more energy can be stored. This allows you to power your devices for longer periods of time without sunlight.

The first important step in determining your power requirements is to assess the total power consumption of the devices you plan to use. You can do so by calculating the wattage of each device or appliance you plan to use. determine the total power needed. Compare this with the power output capabilities of both the solar energy station and generator options. This will prevent the mistake of over or under spending.

Battery Capacity

This is usually measured in watt-hours (Wh) or amp-hours (Ah). A watt hour is a unit of energy equal to one watt of energy used over a one hour time period. A higher battery capacity means the solar energy station or solar generator can store more energy. This in turn allows you to power your devices for longer periods of time without sunlight.

Charging Time

When considering charging times, always take your solar panel’s positioning and available sunlight into account. Manufacturers will typically use ideal settings when referencing these times. The size and capacity of the battery will also impact how long it takes to charge. With these factors in mind, charging times will range anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Over all, portable solar stations tend to charge faster than solar generators. Read the manufacturer's specs but always remember these times can vary based on available sunlight.

Mobility & Portability

Take into consideration how often you will move or transport your system. Portable solar energy stations are designed for ease of transportation in mind. Lightweight and compact, they are less cumbersome than solar generators. Many even feature handles and wheels for ease of movement. While still larger and heavier than PSP’s, many newer models now feature foldable solar panels for easier transport. And like solar stations, convenient handles can now be found on most solar generators.

Versatility and Expandability

Determine if your power needs may change requiring expansion of your solar energy system in the future. Portable solar energy stations typically offer more expansion options than solar generators, This allows connecting additional solar panels or batteries. Portable solar energy generators have limited expandability options.

Budget

Quality solar stations tend to be pricier due to their built in features and higher battery storage capacity. While portable solar generators may appear to be the better bargain initially, the cost of additional battery packs and expansion components can add up quickly.

Recommended Models

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Jackery-Solar-Generator-3000-Pro-2
Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro
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The Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro has power to spare! Built to withstand whatever Mother Nature has to offer, the 3000 Pro is Easy to set up, fast charging and portable.  
The Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro is a tremendous value. This large capacity solar generator has power to spare! Built to withstand whatever Mother Nature has to offer, the 3000 Pro is Easy to set up, fast charging and portable.  
  • Large Capacity: 3024Wh powers up to 99% of outdoor appliances
  • Ultra Fast Charging: Fully solar charged in 3-4 hours and wall charged in 2.4 hours
  • Portable Design: Pull rod and double wheels
  • Cold Friendly: Functional in temperatures up to -20°C /-4°F
  • Silent: Unique quiet canyon cooling system
  • Guaranteed Satisfaction: 5-Year long warranty

renogy-portable-power-station-1000-with-solar-panels
Renogy Portable
Power Station 1000
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The Renogy Portable Power Station 1000 offers quality at a value price point. While base model  provides a substantial amount of power, the 1000 is expandable to accommodate greater energy needs. Fast charging and portable this model is a great buy!   
  • Powerful AC Output: 1500W Delivers 2100W of power to run up to 12 devices
  •  Fast Charging: 0 - 80% in only one hour
  • Expandable: Connect two Renogy 1000 Portable Power Stations with a single phase/split phase parallel kit (sold separately)
  • Extended Life : Powered by LiFePO4 batteries
  • Instantly Available Emergency Power: Unique quiet canyon cooling system
  • Portable: Light weight for easy transport

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the decision between a portable solar station or a solar generator depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider how much power you require, future needs to expand or diversify, mobility and budget. Either way, solar energy is a great way to utilize renewable, sustainable energy. There are many great available options to explore. Stay tuned... We'll explore some of the best available options...
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