What is the Best Solar Generator? Goal Zero or DIY?

Reviewed by [reviewed_by]

Solar generator – You don’t need to be living in an area where electricity is unreliable to be able to appreciate the benefits of having a solar backup generator .

A solar generator for home kit can come in handy during camping trips.

You can also use it to power your home and reduce your electricity usage.

A solar backup generator is a very practical investment.

Solar Generator advantages

There are many reasons why so many people are turning to a solar generator instead of the conventional generator.

Perhaps the most compelling motivation to invest in a solar power generator is that it is an earth-friendly choice.

It harnesses the energy coming from the sun and doesn’t depend on fossil fuels or electricity the way a conventional generator does.

Aside from being a source of clean energy, a solar generator is preferred by many families because it is silent, unlike conventional generators that are notorious for the noise they make when in operation.

The silent operation of a solar generator makes it ideal for retreats and use in apartments and condo units.

Yet another reason why you would want to have a solar generator instead of the conventional fuel-powered type like a Yamaha generator or Generac generator is that it is easy to maintain.

The lack of moving parts also makes it very reliable.

With a solar generator, you’ll have enough power to keep your TV, refrigerator, freezer, and lights operational.

You can also keep your laptops, home alarm systems, and phones running with a solar backup generator.

FEMA declares that September is National Preparedness Month

A common misconception is that a solar generator is useless when it is cloudy or raining outside.

The generator stores power during days when the sun is out, meaning you will be able to use it in inclement weather to survive blackouts.

DIY Solar Generator for Home

Another misconception is that you will have to buy a solar generator in order to harness all those energy coming from the sun.

The truth is you don’t really have to spend a lot of money and invest in a solar backup generator.

You can build your own solar generator without spending a lot.

Plus, you don’t really need to be an electrical engineer to build one.

Costs for building solar generator for home

You’ll still have to spend a few hundred dollars on materials to make your DIY solar generator.

A solar generator DIY project won’t have enough power to energize your entire house.

Small lights and water appliances may be sustained by a DIY solar generator though.

Foldable Solar Panel
GoalZero Foldable Solar Panel

Solar panels for Your Solar Generators for home

Start by looking for solar panels online or at retail stores.

You can get one for as low as $100.

Home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as online stores have these items.

For small solar generators, buy a solar panel with a rating of more than 16 volts.

Solar Generator Battery

You will want a battery with a rating of 12 volts or higher.

It will be $60 or more, depending on the brand you get.

You can inquire with green energy retailers selling specialized batteries about batteries.

Storage box for solar generator battery

This will house or cover the battery.

It’s a useful accessory if you have young children or pets.

It can also protect your solar inverter generator during rain.

A battery storage device should cost you around $10.

Solar Generator DC input device:

This will enable you to plug in any DC device like a television, stereo, CD player, and fans.

Look for a triple inlet DC input which should cost around $10.

Solar Inverter Generators:

You will also need an inverter that can convert DC energy into AC current. I

t could cost you around $50.

Once you have bought all the necessary materials, it’s time to connect everything and build your own DIY solar generators.

Steps to build your own DIY solar generator

Attach the DC meter and the DC input module to the top of the battery box with the help of a drill.

Get an insulated wire and attach the DC meter to the couple of wing nut terminals on the battery.

Connect the negative pole first before the positive pole.

To avoid electric shock, you should attach the meter one wire at a time.

Connect the DC input to the battery using the insulated wire.

Like what you did earlier, connect one pole at a time.

Connect the solar panel to the wing nut terminals of the battery.

The solar panel should have enough wire length so that you can place it outside to catch some sunlight.

DIY Solar Generator Hacks

While doing this project, make sure you wear insulated gloves.

Use only insulated wiring, too, for the job.

The lid of the battery box must be firmly closed so that unwanted moisture will not get onto the battery.

This is critical for the longevity and safety of the generator.

You can use a rope to secure the box.

Then put it out in the sun and leave it for several hours to charge.

A solar panel will typically take eight hours to fully charge a dead batter.

That should be enough to provide six hours of charge for every panel.

Once charged, you can connect your appliances to the generator and start enjoying free energy.

Best Backup Power Solar Generator for home
Best Backup Power Solar Generator for home

Solar Generator for home Kit

If you’re not confident of your DIY skills, you can always buy solar generators kit.

This is a portable solar generator that can be relied upon for charging electronic devices such as cellphones and cameras, to more critical appliances like freezers and refrigerator.

And because it is portable, you can take it anywhere you go, especially when you go camping.

It is also used in light-duty construction and emergencies.

There are a lot of solar generator kits available in the market today, but you won’t regret investing on the solar generator kits from Goal Zero.

The company is a reputable firm based in Bluffdale, Utah.

It was founded in 2007 by Robert Workman, who was inspired after a trip to Congo and witnessing the need to help people get out of poverty.

A year after its founding, the company had designed a portable solar power pack called GoBe, or now known as Goal Zero Yeti 150.

It consisted of a battery, LED light, and solar panel. It brought light and economic empowerment to villagers in Congo.

Checkout our Honda Inverter Generator vs Generac Inverter Generator, and why I’m using one to supplement and charge my Yeti.

Yeti 150 Solar Generator vs Yeti 1250 Solar Generator

Today, the company not only produces solar generator kits but also solar panels, lights, and accessories.

Two of its products—the 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator and the 1250 Solar Generator Kit— are excellent choices if you are in need of a solar backup generator.

Goal Zero Generator Yeti 150 Solar Generators For Home

This is a power pack that you will find handy whenever you go outdoors, and you need to power your smartphone, laptop, DLSR, and lights.

It is designed for camping and tailgating although you can also use it as a standby generator, particularly during outages.

It’s a box that weighs around 30 pounds.

It comes with a convenient pop-up handle and stackable shape that makes it easy to place at the trunk of your car.

You’ll have to buy a compatible solar panel so that you can charge this power pack.

If you buy Goal Zero’s 30M solar panel, you will have to put it under the sun for 24 hours to completely charge the 400 watt power supply.

But you don’t have to wait for that long to recharge this power pack.

You can also plug it into a wall outlet or connect it to the 12V adapter in your car if you don’t have the solar panel, or you have no plans of doing so.

There are three ways to power your device with the Yeti 150 solar inverter generator.

One is through USB ports, best for medium-sized USB powered devices like smartphones.

You can also power your device through an AC inverter, plugging it just as you would in a wall socket.

Or through a 12V port, for devices that run on a 12V power source.

It’s also the ideal power pack if you live in an apartment or condominium and there is a power outage, as it won’t bother you or your neighbors.

It should help you get through a blackout for less than 24 hours.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit

Aside from the 400 watt variation, the Goal Zero Yetiis also available in 150 and 1250 versions.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit

If you need more power, then consider getting the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit.

Unlike the Yeti, this kit has four solar panels so you can maximize the sunlight you are getting on a consistent basis.

Also included in the package with the solar generator are two solar panel carrying cases, a solar tripod, 10 Boulder clips, and three Lighthouse 250s.

It’s a nice solution for your own-the-move power requirements.

Make no mistake about it, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 may just be the best solar backup generator today.

It delivers enough power for your critical devices like laptops and smartphones during power outages.

It even has enough juice to power freezers and health care equipment for an extended period.

Like most solar generators, the Yeti 1250 is quiet so it will be appropriate to use in an apartment or condominium.

It also doesn’t discharge any fumes, unlike the traditional gasoline generator.

What makes the Yeti 1250, like the 22004, very ideal for use in the outdoors is that you can recharge it through a vehicle’s 12V outlet.

You will have to wait for 44 hours to recharge the 1250, aside from purchasing a 8.0mm to 12V charger.

But still it comes in handy just in case there’s not enough sunshine in your area.

You can still recharge it without worrying about not getting enough power for your camping trips.

If you are at home and you want to have standby power in case of a power outage, you can recharge the Yeti 1250 from a regular wall outlet.

That would take around 18 hours.

Solal Generator Yeti 1250 review

You will be sure to love the solar panels that come with the Yeti 1250.

The tripod included in the package makes it easier to mount the solar panels, and move them to get the best alignment with the sun.

The rugged cases are also a great addition as they can protect the solar panels and ensure the longevity of said items.

You’d just have to be patient, though, in recharging the generator through the solar panels.

It would take around 40 hours to complete the recharging through 2 Boulder 30 panels.

There would be enough power to run a refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Run times will be dependent on several factors like the make, year, fullness, and usage of the fridge.

You will be able to rely on the generator kit’s build quality.

A quick look it has a high customer rating of 4.9 stars out of a possible 5 stars.

Many of the reviewers were amazed at how reliable the backup solar generator is.

The only complaint is the weight.

Weighing more than 100 pounds, you’d certainly need help to move the generator.

The Yeti 1250 is a great value, and you may well save money after several years.

You won’t need to buy fuel to power it, and it is virtually maintenance free.

You can use it at home or outdoors.

Best solar generators For Home

Indeed, a solar generators is a very good investment.

Storms can knock down power lines, cutting off electricity at home.

Camping trips may also require that you have a dependable source of energy.

It really pays to have a reliable energy source.

What is the best solar generator?

Make no mistake about it, Goal Zero’s 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator and Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit are two power sources you want to have during power outages.

If you are considering others, like Generac generators, be sure it’s a better fit for you than solar.

Review of Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero – Power of Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero

Solar panels used to be thought of as very large panels that were put on roofs of homes and buildings to produce solar energy for heating or power.

Today, solar panels come in many shapes and sizes.

The latest and greatest in solar panels are portable solar recharging kits.

A company called Goal Zero manufactures and sells several different types of panels.

These can be used while camping, a family picnic at a park, or a backyard party.

Of course, there are many other ways to use Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero, but for those on the go or those taking a lot of outdoor trips, they come in handy.

These panels can charge anything from a cell phone to a camping lamp to a mini-fridge.

Some of the larger appliances, such as a television or mini-fridge, will need the solar panels kits in combination with a solar powered generator to operate the device.

Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero

Goal Solar Kit

This solar kit comes with a battery pack and a foldable Nomad 7 solar panel.

With this device, you will be able to charge AA or AAA batteries by plugging the battery pack into the solar panels and leaving the rest up to the sun.

The Guide 10 Plus battery pack can also be charged by any device that has a USB port, like a smartphone.

This kit not only recharges batteries, but can also recharge any smaller USB powered device; this includes devices such as an iPod or MP3 player, a cell phone or smartphone, a tablet, an e-reader, a GPS, a camera, or a handheld gaming device.

It takes about two hours to charge the battery pack using the solar panels, and about one hour to charge a smartphone.

The Nomad 7 solar panel folds and is easy to carry; the dimensions of the folded panel are 9 in x 1.5 in x 6.5 in. The battery pack is even smaller at 2.5 in x 4 in x .75 in.

Escape 150 Solar Kit with Light

This kit comes with a solar panel, a light, and the Escape 150 Power Pack. The power pack can be charged three different ways:

Plugging it into a wall outlet, which takes about five hours; using a 12V charge from a car, which takes about six hours; or the ultimate choice is plugging it into the Boulder 15 Solar Panel (included with the kit), which takes about 10 hours.

Other solar panels can be used; however the charge time will vary.

By charging the device with the Boulder 15 panel, you are using natural sunlight and this can leave you feeling good that you are contributing to being eco-friendly.

The Escape 150 is a great thing to take along on a camping trip, for outside parties, or to use if the power goes out in your home.

There is an AC outlet to plug in any electrical device, as well as a USB port on the device for charging a smartphone, tablet, or any other smaller device.

The device can also run the light that comes with the kit for approximately 50 hours.

Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit

This kit comes with a Goal Zero Switch 8 recharger and a Nomad 7 solar panel.

The Switch 8 can be charged from a USB device, such as a smartphone, or by using the Nomad 7 solar panel and the almighty power of the sun.

The solar panel will charge the device in about four to eight hours and a USB port will charge it in about four hours.

The nice thing about the size of this panel is it is portable and folds up making it easy to carry and use.

When charged, the Switch 8 can charge or power any smaller USB device, such as an MP3 player, cell phone, smartphone, tablet, an e-reader, and other smaller or handheld devices.

The Switch 8 is only 1 in x 1 in x 5 in so can be easily carried in a pocket or purse.

Solar energy is so accessible and with these kits, it makes it even easier to charge a device such as the Switch 8, Escape 150, or Guide 10 Plus, during the day for use at night.

You can do your part in conserving energy by using these contraptions, not to mention how handy they are for the family camping trip or outdoor party.

Traveling Green with Goal Zero Products

There is no better way to travel green than with a trip to the great outdoors.

Camping is a great way to get the family together, enjoy hiking and nature, and take in the environment. All of these activities can be done in an environmentally friendly way.

Products from Goal Zero assist families with all the modern camping amenities, but with leaving behind as small of a footprint as possible on the environment.

Not to mention, teaching your family at a young age to nurture and care for their planet can be carried on for years to come.

Traveling Green with Goal Zero Products

Camping Products Available from Goal Zero

Rather than using a flashlight that must operate on batteries, Goal Zero offers several solar operated flashlights.

These flashlights come in all sizes; from a small keychain to a large spot light.

The smaller versions are charged by setting it in an area of direct sunlight during the day for use at night.

The larger spot light can be charged with an AC/DC adapter, which can be plugged in to solar panels rather than using electricity.

Solar panels are available in various sizes.

These panels can be used in place of electricity.

Most have the capability of charging USB powered devices as well as AC/DC powered devices.

The smaller solar panels are good for charging cellphones, MP3 players, tablets, gaming devices, or a GPS.

The higher powered panels can be used for charging USB, 12V, and AC powered devices such as laptops, a lantern, or other smaller electrical devices needed while camping.

For those campers that like to hit the trails during the day, there’s nothing more than a little music to add to the enjoyment of the trails and the scenery.

Goal Zero’s “Rockout” portable speaker set can be just the thing to help this happen.

The speakers are adaptable to an MP3 player, smartphone, or a tablet.

Fully charged, the speakers can last for 20 or more hours.

The device is easily rechargeable by plugging into a solar operated panel.

For those longer camping trips or those that need more high powered devices, Goal Zero has a variety of solar generators.

These devices can come in handing for crews out filming in the wilderness with a lot of equipment or those that need to stay connected to work through a computer.

One of the larger solar generators can operate an LCD TV for up to 12 hours or a mini fridge for over 20 hours.

The device can be recharged by both plugging into a wall or, the better way, by natural sunlight.

USB, AC, and 12V devices can be plugged in to the generator.

When planning your next camping trip, think about how much less you have to pack if you were using these solar powered devices.

Even better, think about how much you are contributing to protecting your planet and making the environment a better place.

No more using kerosene or propane powered devices, or having to haul gas around for a gas-powered generator–now you can pack a solar panel and a solar-powered generator and have unlimited use of the good old sun.

Goal Zero’s Zero Emissions Rechargeable Electric Mini Generator

Whether you are a camping enthusiast, like to hunt, like to take a fishing expedition, or just want to watch movies in the backyard, chances are you might need some power.

Many hunters or fisherman (or woman) head off to camp for a weekend or a week in a tent or a remote cabin and often times, there is not a power source available.

The next best option is a noisy, gas burning generator or a kerosene burning lamp for light. Well those days can be put behind you; Goal Zero has a 1250 watt solar generator that won’t leave you with smelly fumes and loud noises so you can’t hear the bears sneaking up on you.

The Goal Zero Emissions Rechargeable Electric Mini Generator is lightweight and with the handle on top, is also easy to carry.

The product has two regular electrical outlets, two USB ports, and three 12V ports for charging.

Although it can’t be used to power large appliances, you will be surprised at what it can power–small appliances like a radio, small television, a lamp, a DVD player, or a laptop and it can keep the item powered for several hours.

If you just need the generator to charge smaller things like a cellphone, tablet, or a GPS, the power source can last for multiple days.

Goal Zero’s Yeti Solar Generators

Not only does the Yeti solar generators give off zero emissions, but it can be recharged using solar power too.

The solar panel needed to do this is not included, but can be purchased separately.

Before purchasing any accessories, you will want to reference the instruction manual or check with the manufacturer regarding compatibility.

If you don’t want to power by solar panel, the generator can be recharged by plugging into an AC wall charger.

The charging adapter is included when you purchase the generator.

Solar Generators Goal Zero Yeti Generators spec of the product include:

The weight of the generator is about 29 lbs, the dimensions are 10.25 inches long by 8 inches high, by 8 inches wide.

The weight and dimensions make it an easy piece of equipment to transport.

I can think of several uses that a camper could use the generator for, such as powering a lamp at the campsite, staying in touch with family by being able to keep your cell phone charged, plugging in a GPS to charge at night so you are good to go for the next day’s adventures, or plugging in a radio so you can listen to some tunes while you sit around the campfire.

Using the generator decreases the need for batteries in a flashlight or kerosene in a lamp.

There are both smaller and larger models available depending on your needs.

If you only need to power a lamp at your campsite, you might want to consider the micro version of the generator.

If you have a hard time justifying the cost of the product, just think about what you spend on batteries, gasoline, or kerosene; and more importantly, think about how you are saving your environment–doesn’t that make it all worth it?

Related Articles: