A power outage can be a minor inconvenience for some and a deadly interruption of service for others.
To mitigate the frightening effects of a power outage, homeowners can install a whole-house solar generator. These devices allow your home to stay powered even during a days-long blackout. The batteries in these generators have enough capacity to run a household—including all large appliances, electronic devices, and even heating and cooling systems. You can also connect multiple generators and batteries to expand the capacity.
A whole-house solar generator kit is a great way to attain energy independence so that you aren’t at the mercy of power outages and aging grid infrastructure. There are several options to satisfy the electricity needs of different households.
How Do Whole House Solar Generators Work?
Whole-house solar generators allow homeowners to switch between on-grid and off-grid power at their convenience. They are the latest devices homeowners use to build their Smart Home Ecosystems.
A solar generator gathers power from PV solar panels or an AC outlet and stores it in an internal battery. The self-contained unit operates while harvesting the sunlight or keeps the energy in reserve for use during a power outage.
At some point, you’ll want to use your stored power. You can plug the solar generator into a power inlet box or transfer switch. Then, the transfer switch near your electrical panel lets you change from on-grid to solar-generated power. The home’s electricity is now drawing from the solar generator’s battery bank and can switch back when the blackout ends.
Why Should You Get a Whole House Solar Generator?
The effects of climate change are growing stronger every year. Annual wildfires are burning down forests, snowstorms black out entire cities, and hurricanes have devastated the coasts. Aging electrical infrastructure can’t always handle the weather — or increased demand — so blackouts are becoming more and more common.
Whole house solar generators provide a solution for mitigating the impacts of an unreliable grid, but they have other benefits too.
Here are the top reasons to consider getting a whole home solar generator.
Solar Generators Run Clean and Silently
Gas and diesel generators are known for their deafening operation noise. A whole house solar generator is virtually silent, as there are no moving parts.
(Source: Hearing Health Foundation)
Portable gas generators typically produce between 80-100 decibels (dB) of noise when operating — at least 10 dB above the recommended safety threshold, as shown in the chart above.
By contrast, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro produces less than 50dB of noise when charging or operating — more than 20 dB below the safety threshold and comparable to average room noise.
Gas generators also emit dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide. Using one indoors can kill you in minutes. Solar generators do not create deadly fumes, making them significantly better for the environment and usable indoors and out.
Solar Generators Can Go Off-Grid
When you add PV solar panels to a whole home solar generator, you can power your home without worrying about gas prices or utility companies. Harvesting the clean, renewable energy of the sun allows your solar generator to be recharged during a blackout and provides sufficient power to keep your home running.
Solar Generators Provide Peace of Mind
A whole-house solar generator allows your family to weather a power outage while maintaining your day-to-day life. You can use lights and appliances, and your refrigerated food won’t spoil.
The Best Whole-House Solar Generator Kits
The EcoFlow DELTA Pro, combined with a power inlet box or transfer switch, is the perfect whole-house solar generator starter kit. This setup provides around one full day of essential power. The 3.6 kWh battery bank can power lights, device charging, and other essentials for a family when the power goes out.
You can charge the kit by plugging it into a regular outlet. Or, you can go green by adding solar panels to the setup.
The starter kit also serves another purpose—the DELTA Pro can go on the road to provide power while camping! You can bring modern luxuries into the wilderness and keep them powered. When combined with photovoltaic solar panels, the DELTA Pro can be a complete off-grid power solution.
DELTA Pro + DELTA Pro Smart Extra Battery
You can expand the capabilities of the Starter Kit by adding a DELTA Pro Smart Extra Battery. It increases the total battery storage capacity to 7.2 kWh. This setup is ideal for large families or areas where blackouts often last more than one day.
The advanced kit consists of the following:
- 2 x DELTA Pro Solar Generators
- 1 x Double Voltage Hub
- 1 x Power Inlet Box
The advanced kit expands the output capacity to 7.2 kWh. This setup can supply essential power to a family home for around 48 hours, depending on usage. It’s useful for areas where blackouts are common and more prolonged.
The Double Voltage Hub raises the system’s voltage to 240V. It’s the robust, high-performance output you need to power major appliances like washers and dryers during an outage.
You can expand the advanced kit to provide even more power with the addition of EcoFlow DELTA Pro Smart Batteries. Each unit provides an additional 3.6 kWh of power — two DELTA Pro generators combined with four extra batteries can potentially power a home for up to 1 week with 21.6 kWh.
EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel)
The EcoFlow Smart Generator (Duel Fuel) is a last line of defence when you cannot generate enough solar power to meet your electricity needs. Unlike most gas generators, the Smart Generator can utilize LPG (propane). Propane is easier to store, cleaner and greener, and emits fewer fumes.
A standard LPG tank can produce around 20 kWh of energy, enough to power some homes for almost a week. With enough propane tanks in storage, you could power a home indefinitely.
How to Choose the Best Whole House Solar Generator
Everyday vs. Emergency Use
The frequency of use can help determine which kit works best for you. Will your whole house solar generator be used regularly or only in times of emergency?
The Starter or Advanced Kits work well if you only need the system for an occasional, short power outage. Larger homes with more occupants will benefit from the expanded battery capacity and output capabilities of the Advanced Kit.
A Smart Control Kit will perform well for those needing backup power for everyday and emergency use. The robust system can power a whole house for emergencies. The Smart Control Kit will also save you money by regulating your peak-hours energy usage and allowing you to tap into free solar electricity.
What will your kit be powering? If you want to do laundry and run other large appliances, you will need a higher battery capacity. A smaller system will fit the bill if you just want to keep the lights on.
Some batteries even come with expandable capacities so they can grow with you. For example, the DELTA Pro Ultra starts at a capacity of 6kWh but can scale up to 90kWh. You can add up to 42 400W Rigid Solar Panels to achieve 16.8kW of solar charging potential!
Pros and Cons of Whole House Solar Generators
- No Fumes: Gas generators release toxic fumes and pollute the environment. Solar generators do not emit any smoke, fumes, or other pollutants.
- Quiet: Gas generators are notoriously noisy. Most neighbourhoods and campgrounds set strict time limits for their use. You can utilize a solar generator 24/7 without bothering your neighbours.
- Low Maintenance: Solar generators rarely require maintenance. There is no engine, which is the common point of failure in gas generators.
- Eco-Friendly: Whole house solar generators can recharge with PV solar panels, an eco-friendly alternative to gas and propane.
- Off-Grid Capable: With a whole home solar generator and a few PV panels, you can power your home with sunlight—no more relying on expensive fuel!
- Limited Power: Unless you have solar panels, you can’t recharge your solar generator until the power comes back on. Gas generators can run as long as you have a supply of fuel.
- Slow Recharge: When you’ve depleted a solar generator’s batteries, recharging from solar sources can take a while. How long depends on the hours of peak sunlight your panels receive and other environmental factors.
- Upfront Cost: Whole-house solar generators have a higher initial cost than gas generators. Provincial and federal tax incentives may defray a substantial chunk of your upfront investment. Also, the ongoing operation is much cheaper, as no fossil fuels are required. Solar generators require much less frequent maintenance and replacement than their gas counterparts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, a solar generator can power a whole house. Like a traditional gas generator, a solar generator can connect to a power inlet box to distribute electricity throughout the house. Just flip the power transfer switch near your electrical panel to draw power from the generator instead of the grid.
The cost of a whole-house solar power generator will vary depending on your electricity requirements. The cost of your system depends mainly on the number of solar panels and the battery storage and output capacity you need.
There’s never been a better time to install a whole-house solar generator. Prices have dropped significantly, and technology has improved— just in time for the increasing frequency of power outages due to natural disasters and an aging electrical grid.
Investing in a whole-house solar generator can give you and your family peace of mind. And with EcoFlow, you can prepare for the worst and rest easy—and keep the lights on—when a power outage inevitably hits.