Portable solar generators have come a long way since I first started writing about them more than four years ago. They’ve advanced so much, no longer are they just an emergency backup power supply for small appliances; the models I am going to share with you in this post could power a small house, if you so desire!
Point Zero Energy Titan
Coming in at the top spot is the Titan by Point Zero Energy. This generator is an absolute beast. Weighing in at only 36 lb, it comes with 2,000 watt hours of storage (74ah); it can put out a continuous 2,500 watts (100A); and surges up to 7,700 watts (300A)! Those are some pretty impressive specs, yet we’ve only scratched the surface.
The Titan has a 120V AC pure sine wave inverter, as well as dual MPPT charge controllers. One of my favorite features is that you can charge up to 2000W via solar if you use both charging ports and two or more batteries. Oh yeah… I guess I should also mention you can add extra batteries! While you can technically add as many as your heart desires, it’s recommended to use no more than six for optimal performance. Nonetheless, that’s still 12,000 watt hours of storage.
You also have multiple battery options. It can work with lithium ion, LiFePo4, and lead acid.
The construction is heavy duty. You could almost say it’s overbuilt, which is something I like. It’s also one of the most attractive portable solar generators I’ve seen, if that’s something you care about.
A unique feature the Titan has that is definitely worth mentioning is the amount of volts it can handle. It can take in up to 145 volts. That’s a lot. Most solar generators can’t handle any more than 22V, and if you try to send in any more than that, you’ll break the machine. The benefit of such high voltage is that you can run your amps low so you don’t fry your wires. That’s a problem I’ve personally experienced a handful of times.
It should come as no surprise, however, that the Titan boasts a hefty price tag. At the time of writing this, the unit costs $3,395. That includes the generator plus one battery.
Inergy Flex 1500 Power Station
I’ve had my eye on the Flex system by Inergy for a long time – pretty much ever since they announced it. I often find myself torn between it and the Titan. They’re fairly comparable but the price difference is pretty significant. You can get started with one generator and a 1,000wh battery for just $1,450, at the time of writing this.
There are some notable differences out of the box, though. Firstly, the battery only has half the storage capacity. Secondly, the MPPT charge controller is an add on. So, if you add an extra batter and the MPPT Supercharger, you’re now up to $2,900.
As you probably guessed by now, just like the Titan, the Flex 1500 allows for the expansion of extra batteries. Inergy says you can use up to 96 in total, which is just ridiculous honestly. Think about it, that’s 96kwh of power. That’s enough storage to power a warehouse! It’s not practical, though. How would you even charge that many batteries off of one charge controller?
Regardless, the point is you can build up a huge battery bank with this system. Plenty enough for the average off-grid homestead.
As the name suggests, the pure sine wave AC inverter can put out a continuous 1,500W with a 3000W surge. Not nearly as much as the Titan, but adequate for more appliances and devices. They also have a DC model, if that’s your thing.
As for charging, you can combine multiple charge sources simultaneously for maximum input. With the MPPT Supercharger, the fastest charge time is 1.5 hours, which is pretty fast. If you’re just charging from PV panels, you send in up to 1,200W. Not too shabby.
Goal Zero Yeti Series
For 3rd place, I’m combining multiple Goal Zero Yeti models – I hope you don’t mind. That’s because the capacity of these generators fluctuates wildly depending on your needs. You can start as big as 6,071wh or as small as 187wh. The price also has a wide range, with the smallest starting at $299, and the largest starting at $5,999.
Similar to the Titan and Flex, you can expand the capacity of most models with Goal Zero’s proprietary expansion kits – up to 4.7kwh per kit on the 1000 model and all larger models.
I have to admit, I’ve been a big fan of Goal Zero’s products for a long time. I just bought a new Yeti 1000 to replace my old 1400 model. Critics often complain about their high prices, but you have to understand these products are very well engineered, overbuilt, and underrated; by which I mean, you often get more than what’s advertised.
I’m ranking them 3rd on this list because unlike the other two, I see their portable solar generators as more of an all-in-one solution than something you’re going to mod or expand gradually, or significantly, over time. It’s also worth noting that many of their models only work with Goal Zero’s proprietary parts and accessories, which can be frustrating. For example, all of the current generators smaller than the Yeti 1000 only work with Goal Zero’s solar input cable – i.e., you can’t use an Anderson Powerpole.
One final reason I have to rank them lower than the other two is because none of their models come with as many outlets and ports.
All three of these generators are fantastic, and they are just my recommendations. I strongly encourage to spend some time on each of the manufacturer’s websites before making a decision.