In today’s eco-conscious world, solar generators are increasingly gaining attention as a sustainable and efficient power source.
But one question often looms large for potential buyers: How much do solar generators cost?
Prices can vary significantly based on factors like battery capacity, quality of components, and the brand in question.
In this article, we’ll break down the cost structure of solar generators, so you can make an informed decision that fits both your energy needs and budget.
Average Cost of Solar Generators
Low-End Models: These generators usually have lower power output and fewer features. They can cost between $200 to $500.
They’re often suitable for charging small electronic devices like phones and laptops.
Mid-Range Models: These offer a better balance between power and portability and usually cost between $500 to $2,000.
They can handle more energy-intensive appliances like refrigerators for shorter periods.
High-End Models: These are the most powerful and come with advanced features like faster charging times, multiple outlets, and longer-lasting batteries.
These can cost upwards of $2,000 and can even go as high as $5,000 to $10,000 for commercial-grade models.
Additional Costs: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of solar panels if they’re not included, which can range from $100 to $300 each, as well as any extra batteries, cords, or accessories you may need.
Keep in mind that these figures are quite general, and actual prices can shift based on your location, the brand, and the particular requirements of your system.
Why Solar Generators Are Expensive?
Solar generators can come with a higher initial price tag mostly due to their components: From solar panels to batteries, charge controllers, and inverters, high-quality components that promise durability and efficiency are usually costlier.
- Monocrystalline: Higher efficiency and longer lifespan, but cost more, ranging from $250 to $350 per panel.
- Polycrystalline: Less efficient but more affordable, ranging from $200 to $300 per panel.
- Thin-film: Least efficient and least expensive, ranging from $175 to $250 per panel. Modern thin-film panels use a material called cadmium telluride which has helped lower solar panel costs.
- Lead-Acid: Older technology, less efficient but cheaper, costing between $150 to $200 per unit.
- Lithium-ion: Higher efficiency and longer lifespan, ranging from $300 to $1,000 per unit.
- Flow Batteries: Newest technology, long lifespan but high cost, upwards of $1,000 per unit.
Solar setups use inverters to change the solar power into usable electricity.
There are three types: string inverters, centralized inverters, and power optimizers.
The first and the last are tied to each panel, making them pricier than centralized inverters which serve the whole system.
- String Inverters: Most basic and least expensive, ranging from $500 to $2,000.
- Hybrid Inverters: More efficient and offer battery integration but are more expensive, ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.
- Microinverters: Most expensive but also the most efficient, costing between $4,000 to $6,000.
The convenience of portability and compact design can also add to the cost, especially if the unit is designed to be lightweight.
Are Solar Generators Worth It?
Yes, solar generators are a good investment.
You never know when your house might lose power.
One minute you’re watching a movie, and the next you’re stuck in the dark for hours.
If you’re working on something important, a power outage can be really disruptive.
If you live somewhere far from the city or a place where power cuts happen often, having a backup like a solar generator is very useful.
Knowing you’ll have electricity when you need it is priceless.
How Much Money Can Solar Generators Save?
The amount you save with a solar generator depends on the type you get and what you use it for.
But one thing you’ll definitely save money on is fuel because solar generators use solar power instead of gas.
As of late 2023, the price of natural gas was around $13.13 per thousand cubic feet, which works out to about 1.3 cents per cubic foot.
This might not seem like a lot, but it adds up.
A gas generator using 200 cubic feet of gas an hour would cost you $2.60 every hour it runs.
If you had a power outage for a whole day, that would cost you $62.40 just for the fuel. If you had just one day-long outage each year for ten years, you’d spend $624 on gas alone.
A solar generator could save you hundreds over time.
What to Look for When Choosing a Solar Generator?
Here are some main things to look at when choosing a solar generator:
Solar Panel Size
The biggest thing affecting the cost is the size of the solar panels.
They are what make the electricity for the generator, and bigger panels can make more electricity.
But, bigger panels need more materials and work to set up, so they cost more.
The size of the battery in the generator is also key.
It decides how much electricity the generator can hold and give out when needed.
A bigger battery can hold more power but will also cost more.
Brand and Quality
Different brands have different features and the quality of the parts used can really affect the cost.
Brands that are top-quality use stronger materials, work better, and last longer, so they cost more.
Inverters are crucial parts that change the power from the solar panels into power that can run your stuff.
The cost of the generator will change based on the type and quality of the inverter used.
Lastly, consider the extras that come with the generator.
Some generators have extra things like LED lights, USB ports for charging, and other features that make the generator more useful, adding to the cost.