Charging Your Portable Generators with Solar Panels
Portable generators are an invaluable tool in emergency situations, if you are living off the grid, or for extended camping trips. And one of the best ways to charge your portable generator is with portable solar panels.
Choosing a Portable Solar Panel
When shopping for solar panels to charge your portable generator, it’s important to consider your budget, as well as the following:
Solar panels come in many different sizes, and some are even able to be folded up. If you’re looking for solar panels to charge a portable generator, size is going to be a huge factor in deciding which ones to purchase. After all, you need to be able to transport them easily.
The amount of wattage or power that the solar panels create is an important consideration because it will determine how fast your generator will charge with the solar panels, how many devices you can charge simultaneously, and how long your generator will last between charges. It should be noted that generators have a max wattage, and it is imperative to check your generator’s manual to find the maximum solar panel input wattage rating before purchasing or connecting any solar panels.
Efficiency of Conversion
The conversion efficiency rating of a solar panel tells you what percentage of the sunlight that hits the panel is converted into usable energy. Solar panels with a conversion efficiency rating of 20 percent or more are considered highly efficient. However, most panels on the market fall somewhere between 11 and 15 percent.
Other features to look for are expandability and a built-in charge controller. If you are new to using solar power or if you think you may want to add panels to your solar set up at a later date, it’s important to choose panels that can be expanded, or connected to other panels. A charge controller or regulator moderates the voltage in your solar panel set up and prevents the generator battery from overcharging. This feature helps you to avoid accidents and will extend the battery life of your generator.