What is a solar generator?
Solar generators convert solar energy into electricity that can be used immediately or stored for later use. The term "solar generator" usually refers to smaller, portable systems.
You can mount and dismount them as needed, or rearrange their position for optimal sun exposure. Think of them as a typical petrol-powered portable generator.
What is the difference between a solar system and a solar generator?
Solar energy systems rely on many of the same principles as solar generators, but there are some key differences. Like generators, solar systems convert solar energy into usable electricity, which is then used or stored in a battery bank.
However, unlike generators, solar systems are dedicated systems that utilise solar energy. This could include panels installed directly on a home, RV or boat, or it could mean portable panels that can be plugged into a proven system.
In summary, solar panels are stationary systems that generate electricity from sunlight, while solar generators are portable power stations with integrated solar panels, batteries, and inverters. The choice between them depends on your specific needs and whether you require a stationary, grid-tied solar power system (solar panels) or a portable, standalone power source (solar generator).
Solar Generator vs Solar Panels
- Function: Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, convert sunlight into electricity. They consist of many solar cells made of semiconductor materials, typically silicon.
- Installation: Solar panels are installed on rooftops or on the ground in areas with ample sunlight exposure. They need to be oriented correctly to capture sunlight effectively.
- Output: The primary output of solar panels is DC (direct current) electricity, which needs to be converted into AC (alternating current) for household or industrial use.
- Storage: Solar panels alone do not store energy. To use solar energy during non-sunny periods or at night, you would need an additional component like batteries to store the generated electricity.
- Function: A solar generator is a portable power station that typically combines solar panels with an integrated battery storage system and an inverter. It's designed to store and provide electricity for various devices and appliances.
- Portability: Solar generators are often portable and can be used for camping, outdoor events, or as emergency backup power. They can also be used in remote areas where a stable power source is not readily available.
- Output: Solar generators provide AC and DC power through built-in outlets. The stored energy in the battery can be used directly or inverted to AC power for standard appliances.
- Charging: In addition to solar charging, some solar generators can be charged using conventional power sources (like a wall outlet) and can serve as a backup power source when solar energy is not sufficient.
What are microinverters and how do they work?
Each solar panel in a solar installation has tiny electrical devices called microinverters. They are responsible for converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by each panel into alternating current (AC), which is the type of electricity often used in residential and commercial buildings.
Microinverters convert the power generated by solar panels into usable electricity. Unlike centralised string inverters, which are usually responsible for the entire solar panel system, microinverters are installed at individual solar panel sites. Most solar panel systems with microinverters include a microinverter on each panel, but it is not uncommon for one microinverter to be connected to a small number of panels.