Does anyone have a SOLAR GENERATOR?

ZEROPILOT

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I just bought a JACKERY 3000 PRO solar generator and 500 watts worth of solar panels as a "just in case" and a backup to my gasoline powered generator.
I want to hear what other members think of theirs.
 
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KarenSoCal

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I actually have 2. The little one is a 300 watt, and is great for charging phones, earbuds, emergency radios, etc. I carried mine with me when I drove to PA in the spring. I set up the small solar panel that came with it and charged all of my electronics in an afternoon. I never needed electrical hookups at a campground.

My big one is 1800 continuous watts, with 3000 peak watts. I have used it to cycle my HUGE (29 cu ft) LG refrigerator for a day during a power outage, along with charging flashlights, phone, and area lights for night.
I think one of the most useful aspects of them is that there are no fumes of any kind, so they are safe to use indoors.

It came with a 100 watt panel, and I bought a second one to daisy chain for double the charging power.

Another extra I bought is a storage bag that is supposed to protect any electronics, including the generator, from an EMP. I of course don't know if it would actually work 🤔 but I store the generator and some other emergency items in it, just in case. Once fully charged, the generator battery holds 80% of its charge for a year, so charging isn't something I have to do often.
 

Blackdog1714

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I bought the EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA Max 2000 September 2022 specifically for my wife's home office. I have a generator hooked up to my main panel with a transfer switch, but it puts out a dirty sine wave so sensitive electronics often don't work right. The ECOFLOW was bought to run two monitors (32" curve & 24"), a laptop, cable modem, Wi-Fi router and her speakers. It has worked wonderfully and as and added bonus all items are plugged into since it will automatically switch to battery power when no electrical input is detected (power outage). This has been put to the test several times and will last my wife the whole working day with no interruptions which she was so pleased with (not really). From my research it has about 900 full cycles before the battery starts to degrade so she should be done needing it long before it starts to fail. It is heavy since it is basically a battery and charger all in one, but it doesn't mind the dirty sine from generator so I have not had to get a solar panel. It is not that loud when it is charging itself, but it does make some noise. The only issue is when it needs to upgrade it operating system or the APP- you have to make sure that you reset everything or it wont recognize you have anything that needs power. Plan and simple I recommend it even if you plug it in to the wall for just in case you loose power.

 

EppsDynasty

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For the record I am not speaking for all solar experiences JUST mine.
You are speaking of a solar panel or multiple that charges a battery of some type. This battery power is now available through several power outputs.
Lets deal with the solar panels first...Who makes your solar panel? Who makes any solar panel, name 1 solar panel manufacturer? I have asked this question to dozens of people as well as Solar Panel Installers. Not 1...thats right not 1 person has EVER been able to say who made theirs or name any company that does. Taking that into account when do you buy anything without doing some research of some kind. To make sure you get the best or cheapest or the best looking or the coolest or whatever your motive is? .........NEVER. Solar panels are almost all made in China, and made cheaply. Think thats not true, where are solar panel testing statistics based on manufacturer......Now where are the ads for 1 company bragging how good, efficient, durable or even cool their panels are versus the others?......So now that you understand that YOU NEVER have any idea what panel you are actually buying. It could be useless in 5 years or 1 year or 25 years, there is no way of knowing.....WHY? OK now how about getting rid of that solar panel after it stops making enough power to worth a sh*t? You want to recycle it and save it from a landfill....good luck. Panels are made to be tough, after all there are to be in the sun for years. For this reason at least in the US there are few if any panel recyclers. So most likely it will end up in the dump. Solar panels are toxic...did you know that? Lead is what compromises most of the weight of a panel excluding the glass. So now toxic panels in landfills is what you get whether you like it or not. This isn't speculation, I live surrounded by "Off The Griders" I have the last property that has electricity for more than 20 miles. I am constantly helping, hearing about issues, getting rid of Solar Systems. Your Panel Warranty usually isn't replacing your bad one with the same companies panel. They just replace it with the cheapest one at that time they can get or have a contract for. Another problem is Dust...accumulating on the panels and decreasing the output. Solution....wash them...how....how often. These are all questions you have to answer for your situation. I can tell you this ... I have a family member in the Electrical Union and installs solar 5 days a week. Here's some of what they have said. The solar farms wash EVERY panel at least once a week. The newly formed companies are still trying to figure out how to do it efficiently. The soaps eat the wire coating and wires of the panels. They now hide all wires for this reason. Yes wires made to be in the sun their entire life can't hold up to cleaning agents. Now I know this is not exactly relatable to a generator with a small panel or a couple mobile ones.
Now the Batteries ... Car batteries are terrible because they can only discharge some of their power without degrading .bad. So solar batteries that are lead based are always "Golf Cart" batteries. This battery design is meant to discharge its load without degradation. Lead batteries do Terrible in heat, so bad they actually POP like a bag of popcorn. I've seen them catch fire as well. I live in the Desert so it's hot alot. At one point Nissan CEASED all sales of their all electric model the "LEAF" in Arizona, USA. Why ... batteries couldn't handle the heat. The solution for this is Lithium Ion Batteries.....guess what they can't handle freezing. Where I live when it's not hot it's freezing. Lithium Ion batteries CAN NOT be charged in freezing conditions ... without very bad damage to it's ability to hold power. A neighbor of mine spent $17,000+ on a lithium ion "all in one system" and still uses a gas generator outside of the freezing times. When it's freezing gas generator only. Yes you heard me right still a gas generator. Solution for these battery issues is "Climate Controlled" space to prevent temperature swings.
So you asked what we think .... here's my though on it ... If you do not need it for an Emergency go ahead if it fancies your tickle. But for a real Emergency Gas or Propane will not be beat ... at least not by Solar. Maybe someday but not now. I hope this helps someone who is debating a Solar Generator.
 

jeff kushner

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I hope this helps someone who is debating a Solar Generator.

I thought about this since you posted it E. I often let things roll around up there just to see how it comes out and I think I'm there. I do not take issue with anything in your post except(there's always 1 of those, right?) that at least where I live, they do not wash the panels on the solar farms. Other than that, I know you to be correct on several points.

Z's post though, was for folks, homeowners, many with families just trying to eke out some power as a last resort in the face of some of the Nations worst weather events. I think if we frame it in that light, it looks very different from what you are talking about. The risk for these kits seems to be the type of panels since some types tend to oxidize rather quickly as owners of Amazon's solar powered fountain pumps know.

I'm curious Z, did you charge it up and run it yet?
 

ZEROPILOT

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For the record I am not speaking for all solar experiences JUST mine.
You are speaking of a solar panel or multiple that charges a battery of some type. This battery power is now available through several power outputs.
Lets deal with the solar panels first...Who makes your solar panel? Who makes any solar panel, name 1 solar panel manufacturer? I have asked this question to dozens of people as well as Solar Panel Installers. Not 1...thats right not 1 person has EVER been able to say who made theirs or name any company that does. Taking that into account when do you buy anything without doing some research of some kind. To make sure you get the best or cheapest or the best looking or the coolest or whatever your motive is? .........NEVER. Solar panels are almost all made in China, and made cheaply. Think thats not true, where are solar panel testing statistics based on manufacturer......Now where are the ads for 1 company bragging how good, efficient, durable or even cool their panels are versus the others?......So now that you understand that YOU NEVER have any idea what panel you are actually buying. It could be useless in 5 years or 1 year or 25 years, there is no way of knowing.....WHY? OK now how about getting rid of that solar panel after it stops making enough power to worth a sh*t? You want to recycle it and save it from a landfill....good luck. Panels are made to be tough, after all there are to be in the sun for years. For this reason at least in the US there are few if any panel recyclers. So most likely it will end up in the dump. Solar panels are toxic...did you know that? Lead is what compromises most of the weight of a panel excluding the glass. So now toxic panels in landfills is what you get whether you like it or not. This isn't speculation, I live surrounded by "Off The Griders" I have the last property that has electricity for more than 20 miles. I am constantly helping, hearing about issues, getting rid of Solar Systems. Your Panel Warranty usually isn't replacing your bad one with the same companies panel. They just replace it with the cheapest one at that time they can get or have a contract for. Another problem is Dust...accumulating on the panels and decreasing the output. Solution....wash them...how....how often. These are all questions you have to answer for your situation. I can tell you this ... I have a family member in the Electrical Union and installs solar 5 days a week. Here's some of what they have said. The solar farms wash EVERY panel at least once a week. The newly formed companies are still trying to figure out how to do it efficiently. The soaps eat the wire coating and wires of the panels. They now hide all wires for this reason. Yes wires made to be in the sun their entire life can't hold up to cleaning agents. Now I know this is not exactly relatable to a generator with a small panel or a couple mobile ones.
Now the Batteries ... Car batteries are terrible because they can only discharge some of their power without degrading .bad. So solar batteries that are lead based are always "Golf Cart" batteries. This battery design is meant to discharge its load without degradation. Lead batteries do Terrible in heat, so bad they actually POP like a bag of popcorn. I've seen them catch fire as well. I live in the Desert so it's hot alot. At one point Nissan CEASED all sales of their all electric model the "LEAF" in Arizona, USA. Why ... batteries couldn't handle the heat. The solution for this is Lithium Ion Batteries.....guess what they can't handle freezing. Where I live when it's not hot it's freezing. Lithium Ion batteries CAN NOT be charged in freezing conditions ... without very bad damage to it's ability to hold power. A neighbor of mine spent $17,000+ on a lithium ion "all in one system" and still uses a gas generator outside of the freezing times. When it's freezing gas generator only. Yes you heard me right still a gas generator. Solution for these battery issues is "Climate Controlled" space to prevent temperature swings.
So you asked what we think .... here's my though on it ... If you do not need it for an Emergency go ahead if it fancies your tickle. But for a real Emergency Gas or Propane will not be beat ... at least not by Solar. Maybe someday but not now. I hope this helps someone who is debating a Solar Generator.
Thank you for that.
It was well written and well thought up
 

ZEROPILOT

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I thought about this since you posted it E. I often let things roll around up there just to see how it comes out and I think I'm there. I do not take issue with anything in your post except(there's always 1 of those, right?) that at least where I live, they do not wash the panels on the solar farms. Other than that, I know you to be correct on several points.

Z's post though, was for folks, homeowners, many with families just trying to eke out some power as a last resort in the face of some of the Nations worst weather events. I think if we frame it in that light, it looks very different from what you are talking about. The risk for these kits seems to be the type of panels since some types tend to oxidize rather quickly as owners of Amazon's solar powered fountain pumps know.

I'm curious Z, did you charge it up and run it yet?
Honestly.
It's still in boxes.
I've had too much other stuff going on to even look at it. But I will this weekend because I need to register it for its warranty. (It cost as much as a used Toyota)
I will initially charge it with house AC current. I'm curious to see if it does what it claims. And that's that it will hold a 100% charge for over 365 days.
THAT would be amazing.
 

Tom

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I actually have 2. The little one is a 300 watt, and is great for charging phones, earbuds, emergency radios, etc. I carried mine with me when I drove to PA in the spring. I set up the small solar panel that came with it and charged all of my electronics in an afternoon. I never needed electrical hookups at a campground.

My big one is 1800 continuous watts, with 3000 peak watts. I have used it to cycle my HUGE (29 cu ft) LG refrigerator for a day during a power outage, along with charging flashlights, phone, and area lights for night.
I think one of the most useful aspects of them is that there are no fumes of any kind, so they are safe to use indoors.

It came with a 100 watt panel, and I bought a second one to daisy chain for double the charging power.

Another extra I bought is a storage bag that is supposed to protect any electronics, including the generator, from an EMP. I of course don't know if it would actually work 🤔 but I store the generator and some other emergency items in it, just in case. Once fully charged, the generator battery holds 80% of its charge for a year, so charging isn't something I have to do often.
You are awesome!
 

ZEROPILOT

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ZP, I just can't get past the name. What sort of Jackery is this anyway???
I'd never heard of them before I started my research. But it's a long standing company and the products are highly rated. Although most people that bought them, especially the 3000, use them to power cabins or other equipment off grid.
This is just for my hurricane/apocalypse kit.
 

Cathie G

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I'm no expert on the various solor energy generators and which one would be best. Butttt if there's a good one Florida would be perfect to have one. Every day just about is sunny with beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Just an hour or so of rain and storms and then back to charging. Florida used to lose electricity easily after those storms and blow up wells when it came back on. I don't know if it's still like that but it probably is. I hope fpandl has upgraded their grid with anti surge stuff but I wonder 🤔.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I'm no expert on the various solor energy generators and which one would be best. Butttt if there's a good one Florida would be perfect to have one. Every day just about is sunny with beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Just an hour or so of rain and storms and then back to charging. Florida used to lose electricity easily after those storms and blow up wells when it came back on. I don't know if it's still like that but it probably is. I hope fpandl has upgraded their grid with anti surge stuff but I wonder 🤔.
After less than a week, gas is no longer available after a storm.
I buy and store 65 gallons of gas every May 1st. But even 65 gallons goes quickly. Then every December 1st. I use the gas in my car and truck if it's still there.
(Right now I'm using it for our vehicles. Thank God there was no big storm)
 

Tom

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After less than a week, gas is no longer available after a storm.
I buy and store 65 gallons of gas every May 1st. But even 65 gallons goes quickly. Then every December 1st. I use the gas in my car and truck if it's still there.
(Right now I'm using it for our vehicles. Thank God there was no big storm)
Smart. I store enough to power my generators for about a week in the event of an emergency.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Smart. I store enough to power my generators for about a week in the event of an emergency.
I ad K100 stabilizer and it's still good to use for a very long time.
The gas situation gets ugly. Fast. You get to see the true nature of your fellow man from just a minor inconvenience like that.
 

Tom

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I ad K100 stabilizer and it's still good to use for a very long time.
The gas situation gets ugly. Fast. You get to see the true nature of your fellow man from just a minor inconvenience like that.
I was in Georgia couple of years ago when they shut down the Continental Pipeline. It did get ugly fast. Real fast.
 

EppsDynasty

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After less than a week, gas is no longer available after a storm.
I buy and store 65 gallons of gas every May 1st. But even 65 gallons goes quickly. Then every December 1st. I use the gas in my car and truck if it's still there.
(Right now I'm using it for our vehicles. Thank God there was no big storm)
PROPANE ... Never goes bad. You do only get a little over 60% of what a gas one produces.
 
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