Solar power generators are an ideal solution for anyone who needs a portable energy source. Solar power stations are transportable and lightweight, making them ideal for people with active outdoor lifestyles.
Solar technology isn't new, but you may not be familiar with modern compact, portable solar generators. These portable solar generator models are similar in their construction to large systems but are lightweight and portable enough to take on the road. They can also provide you with peace of mind in emergencies, especially if a more expensive backup power supply isn't an option.
If you're looking to buy your first solar power generator for an emergency, your RV, or your next camping trip, you've come to the right place. So how do you know which is the right power station for your needs? And how many watts do you need in a solar power generator?
We'll compare two of our most popular power stations to help you find the most suitable solution for your next adventure.
How does a solar power station work?
A solar power station is a compact, portable high-energy-density battery pack. Solar power stations may also be called portable solar generators. Power stations work like solar batteries, inverters, and charge controllers rolled into one portable and easy-to-use product. Solar power stations are designed for convenience to be charged with either solar panels or electricity.
Unlike gas generators, portable solar generators like the Renogy Phoenix 200w and 300w models can be safely used indoors or outdoors. This feature gives them an advantage over gas-emitting generators and makes them safe to use in a tent while camping at night. You can then leave them to charge in the sun during the day.
Are portable solar generators good?
Solar generators are an eco-friendly and affordable power source. A portable solar generator is an ideal mobile solution for charging devices or running small appliances. Because of their portability, they make excellent backup power sources for boating or RV camping trips, plus they're a clean course of energy that doesn't require keeping fuel on hand.
While a solar power station doesn't rival a permanent solar panel set up, they are perfect for anyone with smaller solar energy needs. A small power station can easily be transported, making them great for off-road adventures in vans, marine vehicles, or camping. Larger power stations can also be an emergency energy source for your home in a power outage.
One of the biggest benefits of a solar power station is that it's compact. A solar power station is an all-in-one solution. So, you won't need to carry around extra solar inverters, batteries, or wiring, and there's no need to keep a stockpile of fuel.
What can a 200-watt power station run?
A 200-watt portable solar generator is a convenient mobile backup or emergency power source. A power station of this size is suitable for emergency usage and charging of small consumer electronics. A 200-watt power station is an excellent choice if you only want to charge your smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras, USB camping fans, etc.
These are some of the smallest, lightest, and most portable solar power stations available on the market. They're not suitable for running or charging big electronics or appliances like refrigerators but great for recharging your essentials while hiking or camping.
What can a 300-watt power station run?
A 300-watt portable solar generator is suitable for emergency energy usage and charging of small and medium-sized consumer appliances and electronics. With a 300-watt power station, you can charge small electronics like smartphones and larger items like a TV or a small refrigerator. This power station could power a DSLR camera battery around 30 times, recharge a laptop three to four times, and recharge smartphones up to around 18 times.
A 300-watt power station, while more powerful than a 200-watt version, is still not suitable for powering an entire house. These portable generators are not the best option for someone who wants to live off-grid full-time or needs a backup energy source to power their entire home. If you have steady or more demanding energy needs, we recommend using a solar panel kit and a permanent solar panel installation.
Phoenix 200W Power Station Features
The Renogy Phoenix 200W Power Station is a compact and lightweight, portable solar generator. It's excellent for an off-grid adventure where you only need to charge small accessories and don't want to carry a heavy power station.
- Battery Capacity: 10.8V, 17500mAh/189W
- Universal Compatibility: The Phoenix 200W Solar power generator comes equipped with multiple output ports. These allow it to power most mainstream gadgets and small appliances easily.
- Easy Recharging: You can conveniently charge a Phoenix 200 generator through a wall outlet, car charging socket, and of course, with a solar panel.
- Lightweight: Weighing just 4.6 lb. (2.1 kg), this is one of the lightest solar generators on the market. Its low weight makes this model ideal for camping and hiking trips. If weight is a primary concern, a 200w Phoenix will usually be the best solar generator option.
- Comprehensive Protection: The Phoenix 200 has a battery management system (BMS) that enables voltage control, short circuit protection, temperature control, overcurrent protection, and other more advanced safety operations.
- Powerful Flashlight: This generator doubles as a flashlight, so you'll be prepared for blackouts or emergencies. Use the built-in multi-mode LED flashlights that come on both sides of the Phoenix 200 carrying handle.
Phoenix 300W Power Station Features
The Renogy Phoenix 337Wh power station is a powerful portable solar generator that's great for an off-grid adventure. This model is a slightly heavier version of the Phoenix, but it can power larger appliances.
- Battery Capacity: 23400mAh/337Wh
- Universal Compatibility: The 2* pure sine wave 110V AC outlets on the Phoenix 300W deliver stable 200W power for charging. Eight different charging ports allow you to charge small electronics such as laptops, tablets, phones, drones, and more. It can also charge medium-sized appliances such as mini-fridges, lights, speakers, and TVs.
- Medium Weight: Although bigger than the 200-watt version, at just 6.4lbs, this product is still lightweight. And, it's one of the lightest solar generators in its class.
- Fast Charging: This power generator has a 60% faster time because of the 60W quick charge Type-C port and 18W USB-A port. The Phoenix 300 can meet the power supply needs for all your devices lower than 300W and can revive items such as a MacBook Air in less than two hours.
- Easy Recharging: Like the smaller model, The Phoenix 300 can be recharged easily via three methods. Charge with a carport via its DC 12-25V input port, or charge with wall outlets using the fast-charging 60W PD Port. And of course, you can connect directly to a solar panel and recharge using sunlight. Conveniently, you can also combine these input charging methods to get fully charged in as little as three hours.
- Durable & Secure: The Phoenix 300W uses a UL-listed lithium-ion battery at its core. It can reach more than 1000 life cycles and uses its pure sine wave functionality to output clean, stable, and silent AC power.
- Advanced BMS: the Renogy advanced battery management system (BMS) enables short-circuit protection, temperature control, voltage control, and more advanced safety operations.
- Powerful Flashlight: as with the 200w version the Phoenix 300 also has a built-in lighting switch. You can unlock four lighting modes in the flashlight: bright, dim, flashing, or SOS for emergencies.
How long do portable generator batteries last?
The battery energy will last different lengths of time depending on how you choose to use the Phoenix power stations. For example, the battery pack could last for days if you're only powering something with low energy needs, like a phone or LED lights. However, if you're powering larger appliances like laptops or a refrigerator that's on all day, it could drain the battery in about six hours.
How do you recharge a portable solar power generator?
The Phoenix power stations can be recharged in multiple ways, including solar panels. Recharging your power station using monocrystalline solar panels is a slower but more eco-friendly option that's ideal if you're on the road or off-grid.
The larger Phoenix generators will take around eight hours to recharge from an AC power outlet and about 10-20 hours to charge using solar power.
Which power station is best for me?
Your use case will determine your ideal solar power station. Smaller, cheaper power stations are suitable for camping, road trips, Overlanding, or hiking. Larger power stations will be required if you want to power an RV or have a backup power source for all your household appliances.
Can a solar generator power a house?
A solar generator can power an entire house, but the two Phoenix generator models compared in this article are not suitable for this use case. However, other solar generators can power a full home in an emergency. In an emergency or power cut, a portable generator can sustain your critical household energy needs.
Many people in areas prone to power cuts will be familiar with emergency generators. A gas-powered generator is an option, but these are loud, use fossil fuels, and are not an environmentally-conscious option. In the event of a disaster such as a flood when you can't get gas, these generators are an unreliable option.
On the other hand, solar generators use energy from the sun to make electricity. While they are dependent on sunlight, they are more reliable than a traditional generator in emergencies. In most parts of the country, you will get at least some sunlight to charge a solar generator throughout the day.
Solar generators are clean, quiet, easy to use, and aren't dependent on expensive fossil fuels. If you're considering investing in one as a backup power supply for your entire house, you will need a more advanced setup. A product such as the Lycan powerbox would be suitable for household appliances. You can add up to three 100W Solar Suitcases to charge powerboxes faster, recharging in as little as four and a half hours. However, you will still want to manage and limit your energy usage to conserve power in an emergency.
If you want to truly power your entire home with no compromises, you are better off installing a permanent solar power solution. Permanent solutions could include either roof-mounted or ground-mounted solar panels. Alternatively, solar panel kits are great for cabins or tiny home solar solutions.
A solar panel installation, combined with a solar battery bank, would be the most effective solution to maintain full power in your household under any circumstances, including poor weather.
Explore Portable Generators
Renogy offers some of the most compact rechargeable AC power supplies and portable generators on the market. Renogy power stations deliver maximum power with minimum space thanks to their high energy density battery cells and innovative design. The multiple output ports on these power stations allow you to charge and power a wide range of devices and appliances quickly and safely.
Renogy's range of portable generators is noiseless, lightweight, and free of harmful emissions, making them the perfect eco-friendly energy solution when you're on the go. Explore our full range of solar power products now.