What makes a solar generator portable?

What makes a solar generator portable? Size, weight? It isn’t an easy question to answer.

Right now my biggest solar generator is the Lion Safari LT. It weights 11 lbs. Almost everyone can carry this weight. However I have looked at other solar generators and the larger the capacity, the heavier they get, and in my opinion stop being portable.

The next weight of the next solar generator I am ordering is 45 lbs. I have no problem with this weight, but many people would. I don’t think that most children or mature people would find this a portable size. Which means that its usefulness in an emergency situation is limited. To me, solar generators are an amazing product of power and features. The first one I got was 5 lbs and I could have more battery power than anything I could have imagined in the past. This 11 lb unit has 3 times the battery power, and the 45 lb unit has 10 times the power of the 5 lb unit. Which is incredible that it weights less per watt and still fairly portable.

One other solar generator system I liked was 61 lbs. I really liked that system but the weight was a red flag to me. I can lift 61 lbs but in an emergency would this be something I would grab and go with? Probably not. If the house was on fire or some emergency situation happened, putting this 61 lb tower computer like size into my car isn’t something that I would do. I would grab the solar panel and 11lb solar generator and put that in the car however. At that 61 lbĀ  size and weight, it would slow me down too much to be portable.

Now I understand that when you need to have a battery there is a tradeoff. The more energy you want to have, the bigger and heavier your battery is going to be. However there is a point where you cross that line and the weight becomes a liability. The 61 lb solar generator had more storage than the 45 lb one, that is true. However the 45 lb one allows you to connect another 50 lb addition, so for 95 lbs you get 3KW of power. If I bought a second 61 lb solar generator I would get the 3KW of power, but the weight would be 122 lbs vs 95 lbs. Now that is a difference in portability in my opinion.

If you plan to keep the solar generator in one location this all is a non-issue. I move frequently in apartments so weight matters to me. I also like to be somewhat mobile, so if I had to I could put it in my SUV and still have working power. At 61 lbs it would take up too much space and weight and I would leave it behind.

Is it likely I will need to evacuate NYC? I hope not. However if I do, I am prepared now to do it.

Book Review: Power from the Sun by Dan Chiras 2nd edition

I really like this book. It has lots of great information. It was written in 2017 so it is slightly out of date, but still very good information. It has answered questions I didn’t realize that I had.

One of the things that I like is that it is written for solar power beginners which is me. You don’t have to understand anything to understand what is written here. He mostly writes in a smooth and focused way which is easy to read. I think I will quickly read this book and learn more than many youtube videos I have watched.

What you learn watching youtube videos is that everyone has an ax to grind. There are people who are knowledgeable, but also sales people in disguise. I don’t trust the contents of any video that says it has paid promotion. I think the incentive is too strong for people to lie and cheat.

If I find something wrong when I finish reading this book I will update this and let you know. However I read many reviews and this had the highest review and I liked how the chapters read. For the average person I think this is a great book to get started if you have any interest in solar power.

What this book isn’t for are for electricians, experts or anyone who has been in the field for any length of time. You probably already know this and more, and I can’t imagine this would interest you. It is written at a high school level, so anyone should be able to understand it.

Is there a downside? It cost $22 for a softback book because I didn’t want to read it on a screen. I think that is a fair price. I hope the author gets the largest chunk of this.