The world is getting warmer faster than ever in recorded history. The average rate of increase in the combined ocean and land temperature has been 0.32°F per decade since 1981, which is twice as fast compared to the per-decade increase since 1880. The rise in climate change is becoming a severe concern, as it will lead to additional 250,000 deaths every year between 2030-2050.
Out of many reasons that lead to greenhouse gas emissions, the undeveloped ways of power generation, which rely heavily on fossil fuels, are among the primary culprits. However, solar powered generators are emerging as an ideal solution in the current environmental crisis, helping combat climate change and fulfill power needs with carbon neutrality. In this article, we will explore in detail the solar powered generator, its working principle, and its benefits compared to the gas generator.
What is Solar Powered Generator
A solar powered generator is a portable power station that uses solar panels to harness the sun’s solar energy to generate electricity. It includes several key components, such as solar panels, battery, inverter, multiple AC/DC outlets, and safety features.
The battery is the storage system of the generator that stores the electricity generated by solar panels and then powers the electronics connected through the outlets of the solar generator. The inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity stored in the battery into alternating current (AC) for powering electronic appliances.
Multiple AC/DC outlets are provided to make it easy to connect appliances to relevant outlets, such as smartphones to USB-A/USB-C ports, coffee machines to AC outlets, etc. Besides that, solar powered generators are also equipped with safety features such as short-circuit protection, temperature sensors, overload protection, etc.
Other than solar panels, all the other solar generator components are integrated into a compact, portable enclosure for easy transportation and handling. In short, a solar powered generator provides an eco-friendly solution for generating electricity from renewable solar energy, making it ideal for powering devices in outdoor activities, off-grid locations, and emergencies.
Working Principle of Solar Powered Generator
Now that we know what a portable solar powered generator is, let’s discuss its main working principle to highlight how it can contribute to carbon neutrality.
A solar powered generator is a combination of a portable power station and solar panels. The solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells. When exposed to sunlight, the solar panels absorb photons (particles of light energy). The absorption excites the electrons within the photovoltaic cells, making the electrons move. The movement of electrons results in the flow of DC electricity.
The DC electricity is sent to the charge controller, which ensures the battery is charged efficiently and prevents it from overcharging. Once the battery is charged, the user can connect DC appliances to the power station’s DC outlets, such as USB-A, USB-C, or DC ports. For AC appliances, the built-in inverter converts the DC energy into AC and powers the AC appliances.
This way, a portable solar power generator can generate eco-friendly electricity and instantly power appliances through its multiple AC/DC ports. The whole process is extremely quiet, with no involvement of fossil fuel or other greenhouse gas emissions.
Diesel Generator vs. Solar Power Generator – Emission
The diesel generator and the solar powered generator both generate electricity, but they have significant differences when it comes to emissions.
Diesel generators generate electricity by the combustion of fossil fuels, which leads to the release of many harmful emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter.
On the other hand, solar powered generators generate electricity without releasing any emissions. The Photovoltaic cells absorb sunlight to generate electricity without requiring combustion or release of greenhouse gases. This way, solar generators provide a greener, cleaner, and environmental-friendly alternative to generating electricity compared to diesel generators.
Besides emissions, some of the other diesel generators vs solar power generator differences are as follows:
- Noise Pollution: The combustion process and the mechanical components of diesel generators produce considerable noise, ranging from 60 to 100 dB or even higher. In contrast, solar generators operate silently due to the absence of moving parts.
- Generation Capability: Diesel generators can generate electricity as long as they have a supply of fossil fuel. On the other hand, solar powered generators are capable of generating free electricity from sunlight anywhere, anytime. The energy is saved in batteries, which helps power appliances at night even when no new electricity is generated.
- Low Maintenance Costs: Since diesel generators involve many moving parts, they require regular maintenance, such as oil changes, filter replacements, etc. Such maintenance is both costly and time-consuming. In contrast, solar powered generators require lower maintenance costs, as solar panels have a long lifespan, and the power station also requires minimal maintenance due to the absence of moving parts.
- Weight: Diesel generators are heavy and bulky due to the internal combustion engine and other components. On the other hand, solar generators are compact and lightweight, making them more portable.
In short, solar powered generators are emerging as an ideal alternative to diesel generators, not just from the emission perspective. Their sustainable power generation capability, low noise, and better portability make them the best off-grid electricity generation toolkit users need.
Benefits of using Solar Powered Generators
Solar powered generators are becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a reliable solution to power appliances when the grid supply is unavailable. The global solar generator market is expected to touch around $914.7 million by 2030 compared to $478.1 in 2021.
Talking specifically about the UK, the solar power market will grow at a CAGR of 5% from 2022-2027. Looking at the ever-increasing popularity of solar generators, we have found the below eight benefits of using solar generators that justify their popularity:
- Little to No Emissions
The leading benefit of using the solar powered generator is its little to no emissions. It generates electricity without emitting any direct emissions. It converts solar energy to electrical energy without moving parts or using fossil fuels. This way, it eradicates the release of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
- Improved Air Quality
The surrounding air quality is not compromised while using the solar powered generator indoors or outdoors. With no harmful emissions, solar generators cast no negative impact on air quality. So, if diesel generators are replaced with solar generators, it can help to reduce the carbon footprint significantly.
- Energy Sustainability
Solar powered generators harness renewable energy from the sun, making it a more sustainable power generation solution. Unlike diesel generators that depend on the continuous supply of fossil fuels, which are finite resources with environmental consequences, solar power is abundant and readily available. Therefore, it offers more energy sustainability and an efficient energy system for a greener future.
Solar powered generators are lightweight, compact, and very portable. Manufacturers intend to integrate all the generator’s components in a compact, easy-to-handle enclosure. This makes them easy to transport and best for outdoor activities, camping trips, emergencies, or remote worksites. For instance, a 1500W portable solar power generator weighs just around 35-40 lbs, which is significantly lighter than a diesel generator of the same capacity, typically weighing between 100-200 lbs.
Although portable solar powered generators can be a bit costly initially, they offer long-term cost savings. They utilize solar power, which is completely free. Besides that, they require low maintenance due to fewer components and integrated safety features.
- Noise Reduction
Another key benefit of using solar powered generators is their quiet operations. The absence of moving parts makes them super quiet and keeps the surroundings peaceful. This makes them highly suitable for situations where noise disturbance is a concern, such as campsites, outdoor events, residential areas, etc.
- Multiple Input/Output Ports
Most solar generators come with multiple input ports. This means they are not just chargeable from solar energy but can also charge through other channels, such as the AC wall outlet or car charger. This makes charging solar generators from other sources easy when solar energy is unavailable.
Similarly, solar generators also come with multiple output ports. Most of them feature AC, DC, USB-A, and USB-C ports. For appliances that need a DC supply, the solar generator provides the supply directly from the battery, while it uses the inverter to convert DC to AC for AC appliances. This way, users can charge/power different appliances at the same time through different ports.
- Low Maintenance
Solar powered generators require low maintenance due to their simple and efficient design while eradicating the need for complex moving parts. The confined set of electronic components makes these generators easy to maintain. Besides that, the built-in safety features such as battery management system (BMS) and temperature sensors help to avoid damage due to overload, overcharging, short-circuit, etc.
Users mostly just have to ensure proper battery maintenance (such as monitoring battery levels and charging time) and also do routine cleaning of solar panels. By following the basic maintenance practices, users can have a long-lasting and reliable experience with solar generators.
- Backup Source
Solar powered generators serve as an ideal backup source during power outages or emergencies. These generators, equipped with integrated batteries, can store electricity for extended periods, ensuring a reliable power supply when the grid is down.
Unlike traditional backup generators that require the management and storage of fossil fuels, solar powered generators eliminate the need for fuel, offering a hassle-free and sustainable backup solution. With their backup power capability, solar generators ensure that essential appliances and devices remain operational, providing peace of mind and convenience in unexpected situations.
Best Portable Solar Powered Generators in the UK
By now, we have cleared our concepts around how solar powered generators can lead to eco-friendly and zero-carbon electricity generation. The next question is which generator solar product we should pick.
Talking specifically about the United Kingdom, there are plenty of choices when it comes to solar generators. However, what distinguishes the best product from others is its efficiency, reliability, and advanced features. One such brand that we found to offer the best solar generators in the UK is Jackery. Below is a quick glimpse of one of its top-notch portable solar power generators:
Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro
Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro is a powerful solar generator with an output power of 2200W and 2160 Wh battery capacity to power almost all appliances, from smartphones, laptops, and TVs to air conditions, hot plates, agricultural equipment, etc.
Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro includes an Explorer 2000 Pro power station and SolarSaga 200W solar panel. The best part about this solar generator is the super-fast charging of its gigantic battery in just 2.5 hours with six SolarSaga 200W solar panels. Besides that, it is also chargeable through an AC outlet and car charging port.
Some of the key features of Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro include:
- 2200W output power with 4400W peak surge power
- First-rate lithium battery with 2160 Wh capacity
- Three charging options, i.e., solar panels, AC wall outlet, and car charging port
- Multiple output ports, i.e., USB-A, USB-C, AC, and DC
- Dual battery protection with two chips and four temperature core detectors
- Foldable handle design for easy transportation
- Quiet and peaceful operation under 53 dB
- 3-year warranty, including an additional 2-year warranty extension
Overall, the gigantic battery, multiple outlets, and enhanced security of Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro make it a perfect portable power station for outdoor adventure activities, remote working, and emergency backup power situations.
Considering the global concerns of growing climate change and the urgent need to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, solar powered generators emerge as a viable solution. By harnessing the sun’s energy, these generators promote a greener future with reduced carbon emissions.
However, it is equally vital that we use a reliable and efficient portable solar power generator that ensures eco-friendly operations. This is what users have experienced with the top-notch product line of Jackery solar generators. With the stylish design and powerful features of its solar generators, involving multiple input/output ports, efficient green operations, and safety features, Jackery is recognized by 150+ media as the global top-selling brand for portable power solutions. So, do explore the product line of Jackery and pick the solar generator that best aligns with your needs.