How Do Solar Generators Work? (The Basics Converting Sunlight Into Electricity + Pros & Cons of Solar Generators)

How Do Solar Generators Work? (The Basics)

Solar generators are a great way to generate your own electricity, and they work by converting sunlight into electricity.

This is done through the use of solar panels, which are made up of cells that convert the sun’s energy into electrical current. This current is then stored in the generator’s built-in battery for later use or it can be directly used to power various devices or appliances in your home (pass-through charging).

One of the best things about solar generators is that they are relatively easy to set up and use. In most cases, all you have to do is mount the solar panels on your roof or in a sunny spot near you, connect them to your solar generator, and then plug in your appliances and devices to the generator to begin using them!

Is a Solar Generator Just a Battery?

A solar generator is not just a battery. The inside of the generator consists of 3 main parts:

  • Solar Battery: Solar batteries are a type of battery specifically designed for storing energy from solar panels. They are often called “deep-cycle batteries” because they can be discharged (used) more deeply than other batteries without damaging them. This makes them perfect for solar power systems, which often require a lot of energy to be stored over time.
  • Solar Charge Controller: This is a device that helps manage the charging of batteries from a solar panel. It does this by regulating the amount of current that flows into the battery from the solar panel. This helps to protect the battery from being overcharged, which can damage it.
  • Inverter: The inverter is a device that takes the power from the solar panels and turns it into electricity that can be used in your home. (More specifically, it converts the DC power from the solar panels into AC power, which is what most household appliances and electronic devices use.)

On the outside of the solar generator, you’ll often find at least one USB port you can use to charge cell phones, laptops, and other small electronic devices.

And many of the more powerful solar generators now come with one or more AC outlets so you can plug in normal power cords and run your devices. And you might also find a standard DC 13.6V port to power 12-volt appliances.

My favorite solar generators, like the ones by Ecoflow, Jackery, and Bluetti (Amazon) also have LCD display screens so you can see how much energy you have left, the temperature, the charge/discharge rate, and so much more!

Solar generators are definitely more than just batteries!

How Much Power Does a Solar Generator Produce?

How much power a solar generator can generate depends on the size of the unit, but most can produce enough power to run lights, appliances, and small electronics.

Solar generators range from small setups that can be carried in a backpack (like my Ecoflow River Mini – Amazon) to larger units that can provide electricity for an entire home (like my Ecoflow Delta Pro – Amazon).

The smallest generators typically have a wattage of around 100, while the largest units can generate up to 10,000 watts.

Solar generators are a great option for people who want to go camping, live off-grid, or who need home backup power in case of an emergency.

Can a Solar Generator Power a House?


My wife and I have been living off-grid for awhile now and we solely live on our Ecoflow solar generators (Amazon) and Renogy solar panels (Amazon). We have the River Mini, the River, the River Max, The River Pro with an extra battery, and an Ecoflo Delta Pro to run our entire off-grid home (my wife and I also work full-time from our home office).

However, we are very aware of how much energy we use and we downsized our fridge to a 58-quart Alpicool CF55 Portable Refrigerator/Freezer (Amazon) and got a gas-powered generator (Amazon) to run our washing machine and dryer.

However, if you use a lot of electricity and you want to live completely off-grid, then you really should think of investing in a bigger solar power system installed by professionals.

Want to build your own solar system from scratch?

If you’re considering building your own solar power system, a great book I just read is “Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!” by Will Prowse (Amazon).

This book is a great resource for someone looking to build a small solar power system for their RV or off-grid cottage. It is easy to read and follow, and provides all the information you need to get started.

I found the step-by-step instructions easy to follow, and the book is packed with useful information. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to go solar!

Can a Solar Generator Run a Refrigerator?

The answer is yes, but there are some things you need to keep in mind.

The first thing you need to know is that not all refrigerators are created equal. Some refrigerators require more power than others. You also need to consider how big your refrigerator is. A small refrigerator will require less power than a large refrigerator.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that solar generators are not always 100 percent reliable. There may be times when the sun isn’t shining and the generator won’t be able to generate enough power to run the refrigerator. In these cases, you may need to rely on your local electrical grid.

To learn more about this topic, check out my post: Can a Solar Generator Run a Refrigerator?

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator?

Some of the pros of solar generators include:

  1. Solar generators are quiet compared to gas generators.
  2. Solar generators are non-polluting, making them a great choice for people who want to reduce their environmental impact.
  3. Solar generators can be used to power lights, appliances, and even entire homes in times of emergency.
  4. Solar generators are a great way to save money on energy costs, as they can reduce or even eliminate your need for traditional grid power.
  5. Solar generators can be used off-grid or grid-tied, making them a versatile option for many people.

Some of the cons of solar generators include:

Solar generators are a great way to reduce your reliance on the grid, and they have a lot of benefits. However, there are also some drawbacks to solar generators. Here are some of the cons of solar generators:

  1. Solar generators can be expensive to buy, depending on how much electricity you need.
  2. They require sunlight to work. This means that they may not be useful in areas with limited sunlight or during times of the year when there is less sun available.
  3. Their fans can be a little noisy, which may not be ideal for having it next to your bed at night.
  4. They might need regular maintenance to keep them running properly. However, this isn’t an issue with many smaller, portable solar generators like the Ecoflow (Amazon) or Jackery (Amazon) portable power stations.

Video: Pros & Cons of a Solar Generator vs Gas Generator

Here’s a look at one of the most popular solar generators, the Ecoflow Delta Pro (Amazon), vs a traditional gas generator.

Want to know the pros and cons of solar generators? Check out this video by Wranglerstar.

Conclusion: How Does a Solar-Powered Generator Work?

In a nutshell, a solar generator is a device that uses energy from the sun to create electricity. It has solar panels that capture the sunlight and turn it into electricity. The electricity can then be used to power things like lights, TVs, or appliances, or charge things like your laptop and phone.

If you are interested in reducing your energy costs, going green, having backup power during blackouts, or having portable electricity off-grid, then solar-powered generators are the perfect solution for you.

A solar generator works by converting sunlight into electrical energy. The sun’s energy is converted into direct current (DC) electricity by solar panels. The DC electricity is then stored in batteries until it is needed. When the electricity is needed, it is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity and used to power appliances or devices.

Mr. Yame,