About 3 years ago, I built an amazing little aquaponics garden that helps provide a regular supply of fresh greens, fish, and purified water. My biggest worry is if the power goes out for any extended period of time, this aquatic fountain of goodness would quickly turn into a source of dead plants, dead fish, and mucky water.
Luckily, we get loads of sunshine here in Hawaii and battery technology is just getting better and better…
Here’s my research on the very best solar powered generators you can find for a lil extra peace of mind, especially if you live on an overpopulated Island like me. All three kits below provide 100% gas-free power generation, storage, and multiple outlets to keep not your AP system running — but also all your electronics and appliances during any situation!
3 Best Home-Sized Solar Generator Kits
Why this is my favorite kit currently on the market: lightweight at only 40 pounds, very large battery – plenty to handle things you need to do in a survival situation, and superior lithium ion battery technology allowing long life and fast charge ups – only takes 2 hours to power up from the wall and 6 hours from solar included 100 watt foldable panel. It’s like James Bond, Captain Planet and Cat Woman collaborated on this one!
The Lion Energy (formerly Humless Fuel-Less) is one of the best portable power sources available. Providing a clean, safe and mobile power outlet anywhere you want or need power. It can provide direct 12v DC power from the lithium based 600 watt hour (50AH) internal battery. What sets the Lion Energy L-1500 Generator apart and really makes it better than other battery packs or portable power sources is the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery that resides inside the L-1500. Not only is it much lighter than lead acid batteries but the lithium battery will provide more power per pound than sealed lead acid batteries which are the type primarily used in other comparable battery powerpack systems. Technical jargon aside, it simply means more power output and total power capacity in a smaller lighter weight box. The Lion Energy L-1500’s battery can be charged 3-6 times more in terms of cycle life. The Lion Energy’s lithium battery can also sit in storage for a year or more without needing to be recharged. The L-1500 can be charged multiple ways from a regular AC wall outlet or from 12v – 50v alternative DC power sources such as a solar generator panel, a pedal or hand crank dynamo. The L-1500 stores the captured power in a state of the art Lithium Battery pack to be taken with you and used whenever or where ever you might need it. Built in are 4x 2.1A USB ports to allow you to easily charge or power whatever USB type portable electronic devices or appliances you have. Whether you need to power a laptop, computer, medical device like a CPAP or BiPAP, run a fan or lights during an emergency or power outage, or simply watch a movie in the great outdoors, the Lion Energy L-1500 will give you the power you need when you need it. With the whole package weighing in at 38 lbs, it’s transportable enough to take wherever you want to go. The L-1500 provides power on demand that is quiet and safe enough to use inside your home, car, RV, trailer or tent. The LionEnergy L-1500 Power Combo Pack includes:
- L-1500 watt generator. Lithium Ion battery
- 100 watt foldable solar panel – 6 to 8 hours to fully charge the battery
- Lion Energy generator hand crank
- 30A Anderson 21-ft Solar Panel Extension Cord
- Outlets – 4 USB ports, AC GFI outlet and switch, cigarette lighter, and more
- Inputs – DC 12-50V, hand crank,
- Weighs 38 pounds
It has a running capacity of 1500 watts and can surge to 2000 watts. It is rated for 3000 life cycles. That means that the battery will still function at 80% capacity after 3000 cycles. With the single 100W panel included, it takes 6-8 hours to fully charge the battery in good sunlight.
The price, while not cheap, is certainly not the most expensive on this list. The Lion Energy 1500 generator — it is definitely affordable, especially if you consider what it will do for you. When you factor in no cost or hassle of buying fuel, it’s truly quite cost effective!
2. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit ($2,779)
Summary: Bigger battery, but REALLY heavy and uses lead acid battery technology which is inferior to lithium batteries. It’s size and ability to continuously charge up any sized aquaponics system indefinitely (at least until the battery dies) keeps this kit near the top of this list. Comes with 3 LED lamps and a solar/hand crank flashlight so factor into high price.
It’s powerful enough to charge not only your aquaponics system but also all your electronics, your refrigerator and everything in between! The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit offers the power to get the job done. SILENT, safe, and easy to use indoors or out with clean self-sustaining power generation. Only problem for a little girl like me — it weighs over 100 pounds! Better keep my strong man around if I’m going to invest in this kit LOL but really.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Power Pack Kit comes with an extensive array of items including:
- 4X BOULDER 250 Watt Solar Panels: – Charges the battery in just 20-22 hours with full sun.
- YETI 1250 Watt Portable Battery Pack – Store the power and then use it to recharge your gear.
- FYI 1250 Watt = run something 100 Watts for 12.5 hours (not counting inefficiencies)
- Without a recharge, it will power a laptop continuously for 2-3 days, freezer for a week, or a TV for 35 hours, even a refrigerator for 12 hours without an incoming charge or indefinitely with a full/constant charge!
- Drawback – the acid lead battery is rated for only 300 cycles
- 2X Fabric Carrying Case – Handy, protective case for transporting your solar panels
- Built in Roll Cart – Enables you to easily move your power pack around
- AC Wall Charge Cable – recharge your power pack from wall outlet. Recharge from wall outlet in 16 hours.
- 3X Light-a-life LED portable Lamps – Powerful lighting for indoors or outside
- 1 Tripod – for mounting the solar panels and easy movement to best alignment with the sun
- 10 Clips – for attaching the solar panels together.
- Multiple Outlet – 1 12V DC power, 2 6mm 12V ports, cigarette lighter, 3 standard AC outlets, 3 USB ports.
- Backlit LED-lit LED panel has a good readout with both input and output watts
- Drawback – weights 103 lbs
BONUS – Free shipping when purchased on Amazon + Solar and Hand Crank LED Flashlight!
3) TRAVELWATTS Solar Generator Kit with 500w Lithium Ion 42Ah generator & 65w folding solar panel w/ built in controller ($899)
Summary: smaller battery, but it’s lithium ion and has a pure sine wave inverter so can charge up anything including your aquaponics garden.
The Travelwatts 500 Watt Solar Generator Set includes 65 watt folding SunPower High Efficient solar panels, Solar Charge controller and 42Ah Lithium Ion battery / inverter / generator with pure sine wave. Pure sine wave inverter means you can charge anything. laptops, phones, even jump start a car! Great for in and outdoor activities, emergency rescue, survival, disaster relief, home, park, recreation — camping, mountain climbing, fishing, hunting, backpacking, RV, car, truck, marine, boat, beach activities and more!
- 65 Watt SunPower High Efficiency foldable Solar Panel folds down to 14x10x3, opens to 28x60x30. Conversion efficiency rate of 23% using SunPower solar cells. Panel charges battery fully in less than 10 hours on a sunny day.
- 500 Watt pure sine wave generator (1000w max)
- 12 V x 42Ah Lithium ion battery with built in solar charge controller / pure sine wave inverter
- Cable connectors for 12v car and computer charging connectors
- Outlets: USB, 12-20V output
Connect the solar panels directly to the 42Ah lithium battery (using the included cable) and charge fully in less than 10 hours on a sunny day. The generator w/ inverter can be used to power anything even a refrigerator (under 500w). Connect the included 10a 12/24v Solar charge controller and making your personal home solar power station.
Solar Charge Controller allows you to hook up the 65 watt solar panels to a USB device while at the same time using an inverter to power your electronics.
They include all cables so you can connect the Solar panels to virtually anything.
Warranty: One year product guarantee from TRAVELWATTS.