How The Solar Generator Name Is Misleading
Power stations, also known as solar generators, usually consist of a 12V lithium battery, a solar charge controller, and an inverter that changes the 12V DC power into 120V AC power and powers regular AC outlets.
A question that often comes up when it comes to these solar generators is, do they include solar panels? Do they have solar panels on top that will recharge the battery, since it’s called a generator? It’s also something I have seen in the reviews of a lot of products, a lot of people feel like they’ve been lied to since the product didn’t come with a solar panel.
The answer is no. Most portable solar generators or power stations do not include solar panels. Unless the product information tells you that a solar panel is included, you should except the purchase to only include the power station.
You can still charge the power station with the included AC wall charger and some companies include a car charger as well so you can plug it into a cigarette lighter port in a vehicle.
The reason companies call them solar generators is because they can be recharged with solar panels. These solar panels are usually sold separately though.
Most solar generators have a built-in solar charge controller, often accessible via a DC input port. The charge controller protects the battery from overcharging. That doesn’t mean you can plug any solar panel into any charge controller though, because they have their own limitations to what they can handle.
Which solar panel is compatible with what power station is a little bit harder to answer in a sentence, which is why my goal is to cover every power station brand out there.
How You Can Find Solar Panels For Your Power Station
I am working hard to help you find the best solar panels to pair with your solar generator, and below are links to the brands I have covered so far. If you don’t see the brand you have, please let me know by leaving a comment and I will get to writing that post to help you find the best solar panel for your battery.
- Goal Zero
- Kyng Power
Are There Any Solar Generators That Include A Solar Panel?
Sure, there are kits out there that will include everything you need to recharge the battery with the sun.
Here are a couple of options, the links below will take you to the product page on Amazon.com.
ACOPOWER 150Wh + 50W Solar Panel – This is a solar generator with 150 watt-hour battery capacity, two AC outlets, 2 USB ports, and 3 DC outputs. It comes with a 50W foldable solar panel, and the MC4 to DC adapter you need to connect the two.
Renogy Phoenix 246.24Wh – The Renogy Phoenix is an all-in-one solar generator with 246.24 watt-hours of battery capacity and a built-in 20W solar panel. You can also expand the kit with a 100W solar panel sold separately. The solar generator has an AC outlet, USB ports, and a DC output.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 + Boulder 50 – I have a Goal Zero Yeti power station, and I recommend this Yeti 400 lithium. It has two AC outlets, three USB ports, a cigarette lighter port, and a great screen that shows you information like input/output watts, and a state of charge in percentage. This kit comes with a 50W solid panel that is compatible out of the box with the Yeti 400 lithium.
Nature's Generator – This is a large solar generator that includes a 100W solar panel with wheels and a kickstand. The solar generator has a 60Ah SLA battery, and a 1800W inverter. Three AC outlets, two USB ports, and one DC outlet. You can also connect wind turbines.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.