These days, harnessing the sun’s power to power your lifestyle is a no-brainer. With new and improved technology hitting the market daily, solar energy is more affordable and accessible than ever. Whether you want backup power for your home sweet home or an off-grid adventure energy solution, solar generators give you freedom and control over your electricity.
Since solar generators are designed specifically for emergency use and exploring the great outdoors, it’s logical to assume that these devices can tolerate severe weather. But is that true?
Before you haul your solar generator into extreme conditions, you should understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of these devices.
Can You Leave a Solar Generator Out in the Rain?
No matter how durable a solar generator is, it’s never a good idea to leave them out in the rain.
Solar generators usually consist of a portable power station, which is the device’s energy storage unit (similar to a battery), and at least one photovoltaic panel. The energy storage component itself should stay out of water.
However, suppose you find yourself in a situation where it’s hard to avoid water entirely. In that case, there are ways to protect your generator, and some solar generators perform better than others in inclement weather.
DELTA Max Solar Generator
Take the DELTA Max Solar Generator, for example. The powerhouse portable power station offers hours of power to keep your lights on, even if a local powerline is down due to heavy rain. With an IP Rating of IP20, the DELTA Max boasts good protection from solid debris.
Maybe storm clouds roll in quickly, and you need to carry your PPS through the rain to safety, or there is severe humidity in your area thanks to the stormy conditions. These situations are where the EcoFlow DELTA Max Bag comes in handy.
This carrying case features lightweight, waterproof, and wear-resistant material, providing your PPS with essential protection from the elements. Plus, you can still access all the outlets and controls while the DELTA Max is in its carrier, so you never have to disconnect from power just because of a bit of rain.
Can You Leave a Solar Generator out in the Winter?
Depending on where you live, you may rely on your solar generator to keep you and your loved ones warm through the bitterly cold winter. But is it wise to leave your PPS in the cold all winter?
As noted, most generators should stay away from water because they have a rating of IP20, which means they have protection from solid debris but no water protection. Even with incredible design and long-lasting durability, a generator must stay away from the snow.
The temperatures are another critical factor. Car batteries, for example, may die in freezing weather or slow down. The reason is that lead acid doesn’t like extreme temperatures. A solar generator with a lead battery may not operate as well in freezing temperatures if you leave it outside in the winter.
But not all generators are vulnerable to the cold. Solar generators with lithium-ion batteries last longer in extreme cold, making them a better alternative for winter power.
River 2 Pro Portable Solar Generator
The River 2 Pro Solar Generator uses a LFP battery, which means higher performance at colder temperatures. You can charge it within the wide temperature range of 32 to 113°F +/- 5°F (0 to 45°C).
Even better? The device requires a discharge temperature of 14 to 113°F +/- 5°F (-10 to 45°C +/- 3°C). That means you never need to worry about losing your energy source, even in frigidly cold temperatures! You’ll be ready to power your devices when the temperature drops.
Can You Leave a Solar Generator Out in Storm Season?
As we’ve discussed, it is never wise to leave a PPS out in rainy conditions, so leaving the power station component of your generator out during storm season carries some risk. That said, solar panels themselves are a different story.
EcoFlow 160W Solar Panels
The EcoFlow 160W Solar Panel is an excellent example of durability and performance, even in stormy weather.
This solar panel is IP68 rated, making it highly resistant to water and debris. A seamless design, the whole panel is one-piece, leaving no room for rain or dust to infiltrate the surface. It even has an ETFE film for extra protection against UV light, making this an investment that will last for years.
On top of that, the solar panel has an incredibly high conversion efficiency of 21-22% that doesn’t falter in cold or cloudy conditions. No matter the weather, these solar panels are sure to perform their best, allowing you to charge your PPS come rain or shine.
How to Prepare Your Solar Generator for All Weather
Under the best conditions, we can typically predict weather two weeks in advance. It means that, more often than not, you’ll have time to prepare before inclement weather hits. If you have a solar generator, here’s everything you should do to prepare it for whatever the forecast predicts.
Check Temperature Needs and IP Rating
Check your solar generator’s IP rating and the temperature range needed to function correctly. With this information, you can plan to protect your generator best. Plus, these metrics can inform when you can charge up your PPS safely and effectively.
Find a Safe Storage Space
Is rain rolling in toward you? Make sure to store your solar generator in a covered and dry place. Highly durable and waterproof solar panels like those available from EcoFlow can remain outdoors even in rainy conditions.
Consider Protective Equipment
If moving your solar generator system indoors may be challenging, keep protective supplies on hand to shield it from inclement weather. EcoFlow makes protective bags for all of our portable power stations. Keep it on hand to prepare for the unexpected.
Always Charge an Extra Battery
Want to stay ahead of the game? Consider buying an extra battery like the EcoFlow River Extra Battery. You can fully charge up ahead of time to outlast whatever mother nature hurls your way.
Your lifestyle doesn’t need to change just because the weather does. Learn how your solar generator will perform in snow, rain, or shine. With a bit of forethought, nothing will slow you down.