With an ageing power grid and unpredictable climate patterns, power outages are increasingly an unfortunate fact of daily life, interrupting domestic routines and work schedules.
Given the realities of unstable power supply from the grid, many homes and businesses are increasingly turning to solar generators.
There are many advantages to using this type of generator. Unlike petrol generators, solar generators are quiet and fume-free. They can harvest low-cost or free energy from the sun — ready for when you have a power outage.
But how long can you rely on a solar generator? From medical services to communication during a natural disaster, there are many situations in which people need a constant power supply, potentially for weeks.
Here, we look at how long solar generators can last and the different life-saving devices and appliances you can run reliably in a power outage.
How Long Will Solar Generator Last in a Power Outage?
Solar generators use solar panels and lithium-ion batteries to generate and store large amounts of energy. How long a generator lasts depends upon the unit capacity, the electricity usage of the connected devices, and the number of devices connected.
Let’s take an EcoFlow solar generator as an example. A DELTA Max generator has a 2016Wh capacity and supplies up to 3400W. It can provide 15 solid hours of run time for a 110W television, 14 hours for a 120W refrigerator, or a crucial 34 hours for a 40W CPAP machine.
Expandable solar generators with additional battery options also let you increase power provision by more than double. Using the DELTA Max Smart Batteries, you can boost the capacity from 2kWH to 6kWh.
Other benefits include the Ecoflow Battery Management System, which provides optimal performance and efficiency using intelligent algorithms, plus extending battery life with no drop-off in performance as the battery ages.
With EcoFlow solar generators, you can rest assured of long-lasting run times for your home appliances and essential medical devices.
Can Solar Generator Outlast a Power Outage?
A solar generator can outlast a power outage, but it will depend on how many appliances you connect to it and how long the blackout lasts.
Tasking it with powering a whole house and a solar generator will not last as long as if it were supporting just a few essential appliances like your refrigerator, washing machine, or computer.
Let’s look at another example with the DELTA Pro. This portable power station has a base capacity of 3.6kWh, which you can expand to 25kWh when you connect it to additional DELTA units for a whole-home system. It integrates with your home circuits via a Smart Home Panel and energy network.
With the DELTA Pro, you can run your 120W refrigerator for 24 hours, a 50” 110W television for 27 hours, and a 500W washer for 6.5 hours. It’s the essential setup to meet household demands in a power outage.
To create a home energy network, connect two DELTA Pro units with the Double Voltage Hub. This energy ecosystem provides an output of up to 7200W and power for 240V devices.
That’s enough energy to run electric heaters, well pumps, and other heavy energy devices. It’s the most reliable option to keep family life running even during an extended power outage.
It’s crucial to ensure that you keep the solar generator fully topped up to maximize the run time and ensure lasting energy in an extended blackout. Solar panels in direct sunlight are best for capturing the energy that the battery will store for use during a power outage.
Adding extra Smart batteries will increase your survival time during a power outage without compromising on which appliances you run.
What Are the Advantages of a Solar Generator?
There are over 3 million solar installations in Australia. As citizens become attuned to the advantages of solar power, that number is likely to rise exponentially. Besides being a safe and convenient option for when the grid is down, there are plenty of advantages over regular generators:
- Ecofriendly: These generators don’t rely on fossil fuels, so they are better for the planet.
- Reliable backup: You can harvest sunlight from solar panels and always have a generator ready to use in a power outage.
- Cost-effective: There are minimal costs to supply and run a generator with existing solar panels. Charges are on average 30% less than an equivalent petrol-powered inverter generator.
- Dual-energy supply: The battery allows you to operate your solar generator even when the sun isn’t shining.
- Cross-device functionality: Most solar power generators include outlets so that you can plug household appliances directly into the battery.
- Money savings: Save household costs even when the grid isn’t down and plug some appliances directly into the generator.
- Quiet: Unlike petrol generators, solar generators run quietly, with little maintenance.
- Stay connected: People working from home never need to worry about disrupted connectivity.
- Lifesaving: Keep medical devices like CPAP machines, oxygen systems, and more operational when conventional power sources are down.
Is It Worth Getting a Solar Generator?
Warnings about power cuts in Australia are becoming increasingly frequent. The infrastructure is aging rapidly and suffering from underfunding and lack of renewal.
Couple this with environmental changes, supply chain uncertainty and the increasingly unpredictable forces of nature, and you have a perfect storm.
Solar generators provide a quiet, portable solution to power disruption and are environmentally friendly.
A solar generator will recharge in under two hours, so it is always available. It’s an ideal backup for situations where power is intermittent.
Petrol generators are noisy and produce fumes, so while they can keep the lights on in your home, there is a price. There are no such concerns with a solar generator, and the portable options are ideal for use in many outdoor situations.
Solar generators are also beneficial for any location without a reliable power supply, whether a rural farm or a lake cabin where you go on vacation with the family.
With so many applications and benefits, the question is not whether it is worth getting a solar generator but can you afford to do without one?
How long a solar generator will last during a power outage does depend on the unit capacity, what you use it for, and how long the grid is down. However, advanced battery technology, expandable energy ecosystems, and boost options mean your household can outlast a power outage and keep using even the most energy-consuming appliances.
A solar generator is versatile and easy to use with no maintenance. It’s quiet to run and environmentally friendly, providing power in any situation where the grid is down or access to a reliable power source is lacking. At EcoFlow, we have a wide range of sizes for solar generators. Look to the River series for portable options for camping or outdoor activities and the DELTA series for robust power solutions that will keep the family home up and running during an outage. With advanced Xboost fast-charging technology and expandable units, EcoFlow keeps you powered for longer.