Things to Consider
There are different reasons to consider using solar energy and even more things to consider when deciding on the type of generator to make it all possible. For example, if you are looking for a permanent solution to power an entire home and free yourself from the burden of high electric costs then a complete home solar system installed in your home will be necessary. A portable solar generator cannot power your refrigerator, microwave and other appliances for very long or simultaneously. However, this may be a nice choice if you would like to simply have the option in emergency power outages or for use on a camping trip. The length of time to charge a portable solar powered generator is also more than people realize until doing the research. On average a portable device can take around 10 hours to complete a charge. There are some vital bits of information to know that can be found online as well.
Understanding solar technology and the sun’s energy output is important and can boost your confidence as the owner of one of these unique machines. A critical piece to know is the average hours of sun and true daylight you will have. An excellent resource for learning is found here. Here are a few basics – Your solar panel gathers photons given by the sun and is converted to electricity. That panel is connected to a charge controller which displays your output and charge level. The charge controller uses a small amount of energy and is run by the battery that is connected in line to the inverter which directly connects to the appliance you are trying to power by simply plugging it in.
Because this type of generator is not on any industrial sized solar power grid, it is wise to calculate the system wattage in order to time your charges in between uses. You will need to gather the total watts you are trying to power. Mostly all appliances and electrical gadgets have the watts posted on them somewhere. Then count how many hours you intend to run everything you have plugged in and also know your charge controller’s efficiency. You can plug this information into a free solar power calculator online to get your results.
Having a ball park figure for pricing is helpful to make the decision to have your energy generating system on or off the grid. You can find fully packaged kits anywhere from $300 to $2000 or higher for off grid solar usage. If considering on grid kits you will be looking at upwards of $13,000 to $15,000. These can also have tax benefits (See the Energy Policy Act of 2005). Either way you choose, you are investing and committing to a more Earth friendly way of life. The solar community is growing globally. Many people dream of a world where everyone sees value in preserving the natural resources we have come to take for granted.