Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels typically last about 20-30 years, including at least one swap of their inverter, which needs replacement every 10-15 years. 

There are a few different factors that can contribute to your solar panel’s wear and tear. Below you’ll find some of the most important things to know about a solar panel’s lifespan and how to answer the question “How long do solar panels last?” fully.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last on Average?

Most solar panels available on today’s market typically last between 20-30 years (1). The inverter mainly drives solar panels (also known as “photovoltaic, or PV, panels”). This is a component of the PV system that converts the sun’s rays into an alternating current, preparing it for use by the U.S. electric grid. 

The inverter consists of several pieces, including:

  • Active switches
  • Passive filters
  • Thermal management mechanisms
  • Weather-resistant packaging

All these elements are degradable. Once the inverter and its parts wear down past a certain point, it requires more repair and replacement than it’s worth. At this point, it’s more environmentally and economically responsible for replacing the panel altogether. 

So when you ask yourself, “How long do solar panels last on average?” Energy.gov puts it like this:

Solar panels on the market today can last for 20-30 years and now it’s time for their power electronics counterparts to evolve to help PV systems last even longer.

However, not all solar panels are of the same quality, so this range may change depending on your panel’s make and model and whether it’s been damaged or not. Knowing the average degradation rate for most solar panels can also help form your expectations for when you might need to look into a replacement for your energy system.

How Fast Do Solar Panels Degrade?

According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study, the average solar panel’s performance weakens by about 0.5% annually (2). Their work revealed that the famous “1% rule” of annual solar panel wear was significantly low and underestimated the technology’s longevity. 

Most people assume that solar panels degrade at 1% per year. This is an overestimation.

While this may have been the case for panels made several years in the past, the engineering has improved over the years and extended most panels’ longevity. Plus, the rate at which they break down depends on the material. 

For example, most commercial and residential solar panels use monocrystalline silicon, similarly to a typical 100-watt solar panel you’ll find for home use. Before 2000, these types would degrade at about 0.5%. As manufacturing techniques improved post-2000, this rate fell to 0.4%.

Engineering.com puts it like this:

A panel manufactured today should produce 92% of its original power after 20 years, quite a bit higher than the 80% estimated by the 1% rule.

That said, other products like solar attic fans can keep up with this timeline, especially when installed by a professional. This also stands true for other solar household necessities like solar pool heating systems (lasting about 20-25 years normally). In fact, here are a few more examples of the dramatically improved lifespans for various solar home goods:

  • Solar-powered waste compacting bin: 3-4 weeks, since it runs on a battery that is charged by the solar panel
  • Solar furnace or water heating system: 20 years (significantly longer than gas or electric system)
  • Solar pump: 2-4 years

Remember that another crucial factor in determining how long do solar panels really last is the environmental conditions in which it operates. 

Those exposed to more extreme conditions, such as exceedingly high UV exposure levels or heavy snowfall, will fall in quality much more quickly than a panel installed in a moderate climate. For instance, panels in the most moderate regions of the U.S. have been known to degrade at only 0.2% per year.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need to be Replaced?

The next step in answering our query, “How long do solar panels last?” starts with looking at their power generation performance.

To ensure optimal performance, you should replace solar panels as soon as their efficiency falls below an acceptable rate. For ballpark numbers to look for, you can think about it like this:

Solar panels should be replaced once they drop below 80% efficiency. Most manufacturers estimate this to be about 25 years.

Still, how do you know when your solar panel needs replacement or has fallen below the target efficiency level? Here are some things to look out for:

  • Voltage and output: Any readings that are 20%+ lower than the promised output is a sign that the panel is wearing down. 
  • Physical condition: If your panel was damaged by blunt trauma or a severe weather event, you might want to consider extensive repairs or getting it replaced. 
  • Mechanical components: As you learned, solar panels contain several different parts to gather and convert the sun’s energy. If pieces like the inverter, wiring, or battery start to wear, the entire system is compromised and won’t work efficiently. 

Remember to look for solar panels that come with at least a 20-25 year warranty. Also, make sure they’re built with durable materials to get the most out of your system with minimal maintenance. For example, Sun Power offers a 25 year warranty on their panels, and they’re flexible to the elements:

Ultimately, the advances in solar technology continue to increase their lifespan’s at a speed no one could have imagined just a few years ago.

FAQs

The clearest sign that your solar panels are going bad is if their output falls significantly far below the manufacturer’s listed standards. Specifically, if it’s more than 20% below what the maker guaranteed, it’s time to get a new panel.

The most common issue with solar panels after 25 years is that the inverter and its functioning pieces begin to break down. This prevents the necessary conversion of solar energy to usable energy for the grid, ultimately costing you power.

A solar inverter should last around 10-15 years and be replaced at least once during your panel’s lifetime. When the solar inverter and its components degrade over time, the replacement or repair becomes more expensive getting a new inverter that performs with more efficiency is the better investment.

  1. Extending solar energy system lifetime with power electronics. Energy.gov. https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/articles/extending-solar-energy-system-lifetime-power-electronics
  2. What is the lifespan of a solar panel? by TomLombardo. Engineering.com. https://www.engineering.com/story/what-is-the-lifespan-of-a-solar-panel

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Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Understanding The 100 Watt Solar Panel

you’re an RV owner, an avid camper, or a conservationist, solar energy is an excellent option to power your electricity needs.

100-watt solar panels are compact, moveable, and easy to find, making them great energy sources for camping, RV traveling, or cutting electricity bill costs. Here, we will explore all aspects of the 100-watt solar panel, so you know exactly what you’ll get if you purchase one.

100 Watt Solar Panel Cost

100-watt solar panels vary in cost because you can either purchase them as a singular product or by a solar panel kit which provides everything you need to install and connect the panels to a battery or your power source.

If you already have brackets, cables, and charge controllers, then you don’t need the kit and can pay significantly less for the panels alone. A 100-watt panel averages around $100, while a 100-watt solar panel kit costs $300 or more.

It’s important to note that many solar panels and kits are not of the same caliber. Remember to keep durability and efficiency in mind.

100 Watt Solar Panel Size

100-watt panels come in different sizes, influencing their harnessing capacity. Different brands design panels in varying sizes, each one proclaiming optimum efficiency. 

The standard dimensions for a 100-watt solar panel that you can expect are around 40 x 20 x 1.5 in.

100 Watt Solar Panel Power Capacity

100-watt solar panels are small and portable, which is incredibly convenient for camping trips and RV owners whose energy needs are significantly lower than an entire household. To help put this into perspective, the U.S. Department of Energy puts it like this:

A solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can reliably produce electricity for your home or office. These small or distributed solar systems are often installed by home or business owners to offset their electricity costs.

Taking that into account, let’s now answer address the big question of “What can a 100-watt solar panel power?” Ultimately, there are many factors involved in a 100-watt solar panel’s power capacity including:

  1. The size of your battery
  2. The energy each device you power requires
  3. The number of devices you want to power simultaneously

Generally speaking, you can think about the power capacity of a single 100 watt solar panel like this:

A 100 watt solar panel is best for powering small electronics rather than household appliances like microwaves, AC units, or refrigerators.

100 Watt Solar Panel Manufacturers

Various companies produce 100-watt solar panels, the most popular of which is Renogy, whose panels consistently rank as best sellers.

Again, companies manufacture panels and solar panel kits with varying designs that provide different degrees of efficiency, so it’s always advisable to read through customer reviews and manufacturer specs.

Our favorite manufacturers of 100-watt solar panels includes companies like Coleman, Eco-Worth, Newpowa, WindyNation, HQST, and Richsolar.

For my RV owners out there, you can find the Best Solar Kits for RVs Here with our list of curated manufacturers that we trust.

100 Watt Solar Panel Networks

If you want more wattage for your electrical needs, you can always buy multiple panels and link them together in a series. Logically, for every panel you add, you receive an additional 100-watts of power.

With 300-400 watts, you can effectively power larger appliances like Energy Star rated refrigerators. If you’re not sure of the exact power draw of your refrigerator you want to power, check out our full guide on how many solar panels you need power a refrigerator.

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Production

The solar energy production of a 100-watt solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight it harnesses, and consequently, the weather. The sunnier the climate, the more energy you will reap from your panels, considering how solar energy works. One hundred watts is the maximum amount of power you can harness, but it is hardly 100% achievable.

However, you don’t need 100% efficiency to generate a large amount of usable power. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, Space X, and many more innovative companies said it best when discussing the sun:

It just works. It shows up every day and produces ridiculous amounts of power.

That said, while the sun does its thing, there are ways to maximize your system’s efficiency including the accuracy of installation. You must ensure the panels point directly into the sun. Additionally, the sun produces varying amounts of energy throughout the day, with dawn and dusk making only a fraction of non-sun energy. (3)

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Storage

A watt is the measurement of energy output, and an amp is the measurement of electrical current. Watts are the product of multiplying voltage and current. An amp-hour is the electrical charge measurement in a battery, and a watt-hour measures energy consumed in one hour. 

It’s essential to know these measurements because you will want to pair a battery with a 100-watt solar panel to store energy, optimizing energy usage. To help all this sink in and better understand battery storage, check out this clever video by RFTechGuy C.A.D.:

With (x2) 100 watt solar kits, including (x4) 35amp batteries, he managed to take his coffee maker off the grid. Now that’s energy on demand!

FAQs

No, you technically can not use a 100 watt solar panel without sunlight.

However, a battery will let you use power from the sun when it is no longer shining, which you couldn’t do if you relied solely on the panels for your power. When purchasing a battery, it needs to store twice as much energy as your panels can produce on any given day. 

We already know that, under optimal conditions, 100-watt solar panels produce 100 watts of power, but how many amps does a 100-watt solar panel produce?

A 100-watt solar panel can produce a maximum of 5.5 amps per hour (4). With this information, you can calculate the amount of time it will take to charge a battery of any given size.

The amount of time that you can use a a 100 watt solar panel to charge small electronics ranges, but generally speaking, for several hours to 24 hours under optimal battery conditions is fine.

Just remember to have a proper solar charge controller, and you’ll be able to charge smartphones, laptops, routers, lamps, and LEDs with a single 100-watt panel. For more solar tips to help you harness the sun’s natural energy, click or tap this for our homepage.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-solar-power#.WEV3IPkrJkg
  2. Tesla’s Elon Musk Lights Up Social Media With A TED Style Keynote. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2015/05/04/teslas-elon-musk-lights-up-social-media-with-a-ted-style-keynote/
  3. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-performance-and-efficiency
  4. WHAT SIZE SOLAR PANEL DO I NEED TO CHARGE A 12V BATTERY? Retrieved from: https://www.renogy.com/blog/what-size-solar-panel-do-i-need-to-charge-a-12v-battery/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Much Does Solar Pool Heating Cost?

Heating a swimming pool can be costly, especially if you run thousands of gallons of water through a gas or electric heater. After spending around $3000 on a solar heater, the return on investment is substantial. 

But, the question is “How do you get there?”

Here we’ll breakdown all the costs you should expect with solar pool heating including upfront costs, installation costs, monthly costs, and FAQ to get the most out of your investment.

Upfront Costs 

The first step in answering the query, “How much does solar pool heating cost?” starts with knowing the upfront costs to expect.

Knowing how much pool solar heating costs helps you prepare your budget.

Solar heaters cost, on average, between $2000 and $4000.

The price depends on the size of your pool and the type of solar panels you purchase: glazed solar panels or propylene mats. 

You can save even more money if you buy a solar pool cover instead of purchasing solar panels or propylene mats. Solar pool covers range between $100 to $300, depending on their dimensions. Plus, you can install a solar pool cover yourself, like in this helpful video to minimize your upfront costs:

Alternatively, if you do choose to have a solar heating system installed, know that the panels are more durable than the mats. The panels and mats need pipes to run pool water through the heated system. The pool water can lose some heat as it passes through the pipes (1).

Solar panels have tempered glass in an aluminum frame. The panels collect the heat, and water moves between the glazed glass panels inside of copper pipes. Glazed solar panels are more expensive than propylene mats, and they heat water more effectively.

Energy.gov states:

Glazed collector systems are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering, which increases their cost. In colder weather, glazed collector systems—with heat exchangers and transfer fluids—capture solar heat more efficiently than unglazed systems.

On the other hand, solar mats stretch across a roof, and PVC pipes hold the mats down and pass water through the lines. While slightly less effective, this method still works to warm your pool with a minimal impact on your energy bill.

Installation Costs

Pool solar panel installation costs between $3,000 and $4,000 on average and includes the system purchase (1). To find out how much solar heating costs to install in your area, contact a local pool company for a quote.

Your local installation company will visit your home to determine if your pool is positioned appropriately for solar heating. Your pool should face south or west to get the most light from the sun.

If you choose to use a solar blanket to heat your pool, you do not need anyone to install it for you. However, if you have a customized pool shape, you might need someone to measure your pool to cut the blanket to fit. 

Monthly Costs

Once you’ve installed a solar panel or mat, the last step in answering “How much does solar pool heating cost?” is determining your monthly costs. It’s important to note, you will have to pay for electricity to run water through the pipes.

Keep in mind that you are already using electricity to run your pool pump, so the cost to expect is around $10 max per month.

However, if you choose to use a solar pool cover to heat your pool, you shouldn’t incur any added monthly expenses. Energy.gov puts it best:

As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses.

You can also reduce your monthly electric bill by using a solar panel to power your electric pump. The solar panel and electric pump will need a conversion kit, and you might be able to do the work yourself. 

Along with electricity, many pool owners pay higher water bills when they run their pools. Pool water evaporates, so pool owners use their outdoor hoses to refill their pools. Pool owners also need to keep their pools clean, so the cost of running the pool includes chemicals, too.

FAQs

Yes, in our books solar pool heating is worth it.

Solar pool heating can have a higher up-front cost than other heating methods. That said, with low operating costs, since solar energy is free thanks to the sun, you can significantly reduce pool heating costs over time with a solar heater for your inground pool (1).

Yes, you can heat your pool for free with solar, but some minuscule costs may remain.

Once your solar panels are installed, energy costs should drop (versus gas or heat pump pool heaters). However, while your solar heater can run independently of your electrical system, the pump may require electricity, and that involves an ongoing cost.

One option to further reduce costs is to ensure your pump receives solar power, too — then, water costs are your only remaining expense. For more ways to reduce your monthly energy costs, for your pool and all over your home, Check Out our Homepage.

A solar pool heater will cost around 0-$10 per month to heat your pool. On the other hand, other pool heaters like heat pumps, propane, gas, and electric resistance heaters average over $100 to heat a pool per month (3).

  1. Solar Swimming Pool Covers. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters
  2. Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energy
  3. How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pool Heater? Retrieved from: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/swimming-pools-hot-tubs-and-saunas/install-a-swimming-pool-heater/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run a Microwave?

The last thing you want to do is set up your off-grid system only to find that your inverter isn’t powerful enough to run your trusty microwave.

All microwaves are different, but the average 1,000-watt microwave will run using a 1,500 to a 2,000-watt inverter. To make sure you end up with the right inverter, let’s take a look at how to determine what size inverter you need to run a microwave.

Determining What Size Inverter You Need to Run a Microwave

At some point, many of us who enjoy off-grid living have asked, “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to figure out what size sine wave inverter you need to run a microwave. Naturally, you’ll start by taking a look at the microwave itself.

Figure Out the Microwave’s Continuous Wattage Rating

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is how many watts the microwave uses while running, which is usually as easy as finding where it’s noted. This can be on:

  • The inside of the microwave door
  • The serial number tag on the back
  • The user manual
  • The manufacturer’s website

If you’re unable to find it after looking in all of these places, you can get a pretty good idea using the USDA recommended method: “Time-to-Boil Test.” It involves placing one cup of ice-cold water in the microwave and waiting for it to boil.

If water boils:

in less than 2 minutes = very high wattage oven (1000 watts or more).
in 2½ minutes = high wattage oven (800 watts or more).
in 3 minutes = average wattage oven (650 – 700 watts or more).
in 3 – 4 minutes = slow oven (300 to 500 watts).

Now you should have a pretty good idea of your microwave’s continuous wattage rating. However, there are other factors to keep in mind when answering the question “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Power Consumption Versus Cooking Power

It’s important to note that a microwave’s cooking wattage is lower than the wattage it consumes, so take that into account when choosing an inverter size.

Most microwaves use energy with about 80% efficiency (2). So if you’re unable to find your microwave’s power consumption noted anywhere, multiply the cooking wattage by .8 and add the total to the cooking wattage.

Say you have a microwave that cooks at 700w.
700w x .80 = 560w
560w + 700w = 1,260w
That means your actual power consumption is around 1,260w.

Interestingly, even though they require more power to run than they use to cook food, microwaves are still one of the more energy-efficient cooking methods, making them ideal for off-grid living. Scientific American states in a recent article:

Cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

That said, your microwave’s power consumption is what you need to worry about when choosing a sine wave inverter size, not the cooking power.

Conversion Formula

If you’re not able to determine your microwave’s wattage but know how many AMPS it uses, there’s an easy conversion formula that will help you figure it out.

Just multiply the AMPS by AC voltage, which is 120. The product is your wattage.

So if your microwave uses 12.5 AMPS, the formula would be:
12.5 AMPS x 120V = 1,500w

Factor In the Microwave’s Peak Wattage

Now that you know everything there is to know about determining your microwave’s continuous power usage, which is the power it consumes while running, it’s time to take a look at its peak wattage or the maximum amount of power it utilizes.

Peak wattage usually occurs during startup and lasts for less than a second, but your inverter needs to be able to handle this surge in power. The process should look something like this, if you need a visual:

Ultimately, when you’re looking for sine wave inverters, you’ll notice on the specs sheet that both continuous and peak capability are listed, so it should be easy to tell if it’s large enough.

Your microwave’s peak energy requirements should be listed on the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website. If not, it’s a good idea to choose an inverter that can handle two to three times its continuous wattage just to be on the safe side.

FAQs

A 1500-watt power inverter should be able to run a 700-watt microwave with no problem. You can use a pure sine wave inverter or modified sine wave inverter, but the modified sine unit may cause your microwave to run less efficiently.

You can use a modified sine wave inverter or a pure sine wave inverter to run a microwave, as long as they have a large enough capacity, aka battery power. Although, modified sine wave inverters tend to shorten appliances’ lives, so that’s important to keep in mind.

For more tips to get the most out of your home’s appliances, check out our Homepage.

Your inverter is big enough to run your microwave if it can handle its startup surge, and continuous wattage draw while it’s cooking. If your modified sine wave inverter or pure sine wave inverter can handle both successfully, you’re all set for your next road trip!

  1. How Do You Determine the Wattage of Your Microwave Oven? Retrieved from: https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/how-do-you-determine-the-wattage-of-your-microwave-oven
  2. Physics of the microwave oven. Retrieved from: http://clas.sa.ucsb.edu/docs/default-source/tutor-resources-files/physics_of_microwave_oven.pdf?sfvrsn=17582bfb_2
  3. Stove versus Microwave: Which Uses Less Energy to Make Tea? Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stove-versus-microwave-energy-use/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Heat Pump vs Solar Pool Heating

Do you ever feel like your pool is just taking up space in your yard during the majority of the year? With a heat pump or solar pool heater, you can take advantage of your personal oasis year-round.

In this article, we’ll compare the two and their associated costs, heating speeds, eco-friendliness, and lifespan to help you better understand these systems. Now let’s dive right in.

Heat Pumps

The general population most frequently purchases heat pumps for their pool heaters because they use electricity, making them quite efficient. While warmer temperatures make your heat pump’s job easier, they can operate in temperatures as low as 45 degrees in most cases. (1)

Since heat pump systems hook up to your electrical system, heat pumps often require regular maintenance to keep performing well throughout the years.  

Solar Pool Heating

Solar pool heating, just as the name states, uses solar energy to heat your pool. It pulls water through a filter where a solar collector uses its power from the sun to heat the water and transfer it back to the pool. Ultimately, solar pool heating systems are eco-friendly and will help reduce your energy bills. 

Comparing the Details: Solar Pool Heating vs Heat Pump

There are many benefits to each but there are also some disadvantages, let’s get into them. 

Upfront Costs

Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for either a heat pump or solar pool heating system. Angie’s List estimates in a recent article:

Labor alone runs $500 to $1,500 in most cases.

Solar pool heaters typically range between three and four thousand dollars for an upfront cost. Still, they will vary depending on your pool size, your solar resource available, and your local rules and regulations. 

On the other hand, the heating pump costs on average about $6,000 but will vary anywhere between three and $10,000 depending on the energy efficiency, pool square footage, and overall system quality.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Operating Costs

Over time, heat pumps and solar pool heating systems can both save you money on your utility bills. An efficient heat pump won’t be a huge draw on your energy bill, but it will require a payment each month, at a higher cost in winter, especially.

In contrast, a solar heating system goes even further to reduce your bills and gives you back the money you spent on the system in the first place. 

On average, with the amount people save, a solar heating system will pay for itself in anywhere from 1.5 years to 7 years (3).

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Heating Speed

What pool owners really want to know is, how soon can they jump in the warm water? The exact timeline of a heat pump vs solar pool heating will depend on the size of your pool, plus the power your heating source offers. However, heat pump systems are often faster at warming up the water because you can “crank up” the heat.

It’s not uncommon to wait one to three days for a solar heater to warm up your pool. A heat pump could take as long as a week, depending on the local climate and other factors.

Winner: Heat Pump

Eco-Friendliness

Heat pump systems rely on electricity, while solar heaters rely on solar energy. While both options are far more eco-friendly than the alternative gas heating pump, which burns fuel to heat your pool, the solar pool heating system is more eco-friendly than the electric heating pump.

The solar pool heating system converts the sun’s natural heat into energy whereas heat pumps demand energy straight from your grid. This makes solar pool heating much friendlier to the environment and more sustainable over heat pump systems in the long run. 

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Lifespan

When considering solar pool heating vs heat pumps, you want a system that will last a while. A heat pump, on average, lasts around 15 years with adequate, regular maintenance. Manufacturers typically give solar pool heating, extremely durable systems, a warranty between 10 and 12 years.

However, to get the most out of solar pool heating, you can make sure to avoid these seven common mistakes:

With the right amount of care, solar pool heating can operate efficiently up to 20 years.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating 

Overall Cost

While both heat pumps and solar pool heaters have a considerable upfront cost, they also often require an installation cost and some maintenance throughout your ownership. Ultimately, both systems’ prices increase when adding these costs together.

The difference is that heat pumps will have a larger impact on your monthly energy bill.

The heat pump’s usage, while energy-efficient, is still hooked up to your electrical system and will require power to run. Depending on how frequently you use the system will change the billing price.

On the other hand, while solar pool heating has some extra costs after the initial pricing, they don’t affect your utility charges much. Around $10/month is the max to expect from most in-ground pool solar heaters. Due to their energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, in most cases, you will end up getting back the money you spent on the system in the long-run.

Energy.gov puts it like this:

You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They’re cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters and they have very low annual operating costs.

So, in terms of overall cost, solar pool heating has done it once again.

Winner: Solar Heating System

Final Verdict

For homeowners who live in an area with ample sunlight, in the battle between “heat pump vs solar pool heating,” solar pool heating wins. Solar pool heaters have a better overall cost efficiency, eco-impact, and lifespan when compared to their competitor.

It’s worth noting that heat pumps can help you to enjoy warmer water, sooner, as long as it’s above 45-50 degrees outside when you want to swim. (1) However, with solar pool heaters, you’re more likely to end up getting back the money you invested in it, given a favorable climate; making solar a solid choice for many home pool owners.

FAQs

Deciding whether pool heaters like heat pumps and solar pool heaters are worth it, depends on your needs.

If you want to use your pool year-round and if your pool doesn’t typically get much heat from the sun organically, then you might want to consider getting a heater. If you find yourself not using your pool enough, adding one of these systems is a great way to help you get the most out of owning a pool.

No, you should not run a pool heater overnight unless you have to. To save money on your energy bill, and be the most efficient, you want to use your heating systems as little as possible ideally.

The nighttime is usually the perfect opportunity to give your system a rest.

Yes, solar pool heating does work in the winter. The problem is that solar pool heaters won’t generate quite as much hot water as during colder months for obvious reasons.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, are more well-suited to warm your pool during the winter months because they’re tied to your electrical grid and don’t rely on the sun.

  1. Heat Pump Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-swimming-pool-heaters
  2. How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater. Retrieved from: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-install-swimming-pool-heater.htm
  3. Solar Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters

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Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

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Disadvantages of Solar Energy

While manufacturers, governments, and green energy activists espouse many solar energy benefits as a clean, renewable source of power, it begs the question, “What are some disadvantages of solar energy?”

This article explores seven key issues if you’re wondering what the disadvantages of solar energy for at-home or large-scale operations are.

1. Initial Cost

The initial cost of solar panel installation is very expensive, averaging around $29,000 for systems producing up to 8Kw of power, which is enough to power a four-bedroom home. (1)

Installment costs cover the equipment such as panels, inverters, charge controllers, wiring, permits, labor, repairs, and maintenance. It is an investment that pays off over time, but it takes an extended amount of time for the savings made on solar energy to compensate for the initial costs.

2.  Pollution and Environmental Impact

One of the lesser-known disadvantages of passive solar energy is the environmental impact that materials, space, and production have. Solar energy fields take up a lot of land, invading agricultural lands and habitats for native flora and fauna (2).

Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss.

While solar energy is certainly less harmful to the environment than non-renewable energy sources, it does present some obstacles to its green-energy proclamations. For example, solar panels use some toxic materials in their production. 

While the U.S. implements safety protocols to dispose of hazardous waste or recycle materials that people can still use, many other countries do not practice safe waste disposal and end up contaminating soil, air, and water sources.

3. Space Limitations

While homes, cabins, and RVs provide more than enough space to fit enough solar panels to power all their electrical needs, larger establishments contend with space limitations.

Office buildings, large apartment complexes, and high-rises would need far more solar panels than their roofs will allow.

However, many regions have solar fields in which panels span acres, harnessing power for larger populations. 

4.  Inefficient Energy Conversion

Solar panels have an average efficiency of 15-19%, with the most efficient solar panels reaching 22-23% efficiency. Therefore, the most efficient solar panels on the market can transform 23% of the energy they harness from the sun into usable electricity (3). 

The darkest panels — with the most reflection — are most efficient (4).

Anti-reflection coatings and textured surfaces help decrease reflection. A high-efficiency cell will appear dark blue or black.

While an average efficiency of 15-19% may seem like a small percentage, the solar energy industry steadily increases energy efficiency each year. With the right setup, customers using solar panels to power their homes receive more than enough energy to cover their daily needs.

5.  Energy Storage Cost

If solar energy isn’t used while the sun is shining and you don’t have a proper battery system and solar charge controllers, the energy will go to waste.

This makes cost-effectively storing energy one of the greatest disadvantages of using solar energy. Homes and other single-family units can purchase a battery that stores enough solar energy to power night-time activities.

However, storing a full day’s worth of energy isn’t possible without spending a large amount of money on multiple large batteries and charge controllers.

Solar energy storage for enormous companies is still too costly, although innovators like Tesla are starting to manufacture massive solar energy storage batteries.

6. Sunlight Unpredictability

When answering, “What are disadvantages of solar energy?” you must mention the sun’s unpredictability.

Sunlight production varies from dawn to dusk, day to day, season, and geographical location. The disadvantage to solar energy for inhabitants of northern latitudes with long, dark winter seasons is far greater than for inhabitants of sunnier latitudes closer to the equator.

The early morning and late afternoon hours provide less solar energy than the midday sun. This could be an issue, for example, if you’re a farmer using a solar electric fence charger to herd your flock with an insufficient sized battery.

Also, winter months have shorter days and less sun than spring and summer months, so you will harness less solar energy during the winter.

If you live in a shady area or a region with significant cloud cover, you may not get enough sunlight for solar panels to be worth the installation.

7. No Energy Production at Night

Since you must use solar energy as the sun produces it and your panels convert it, you will be completely bereft of energy at night when the sun no longer shines. This poses a problem for night-time activity if you rely solely on solar energy.

A fantastic video by Science at Sheffield, of the University of Sheffield in England helps to clarify this:

Ultimately, you will either need to use energy stored in a purchased battery or switch from solar energy to a grid at night. For RVS, cabins, and other off-grid establishments, you may not have an electrical grid to support night-time activity.

FAQs

One way you can optimize solar energy efficiency is by using monocrystalline panels, since they’re more efficient due to their uniform composition. (5) You should also ensure that your panels’ placement assumes the proper angle and direction to receive the most sunlight possible.

The initial cost of solar energy is usually worth the expense for smaller households, cabins, and RVs as you can buy a solar panel kit and install it yourself. Even for large businesses, solar energy is an investment that will pay itself off financially and ecologically over time.

For more information on solar energy and how you can recoup initial costs involved with switching over, Click or Tap This for our Homepage to see the latest in the industry.

No, solar doesn’t technically work at night. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels need sunlight to create energy, which there is none of during the nighttime.

However, solar energy offers two nighttime solutions so you’re not left in the dark. Net metering and proper solar battery storage can both help to provide you with the power you need when you need it. (6)

  1. Cost of solar. Retrieved from: https://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar
  2. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-solar-power#.WEV3IPkrJkg
  3. How does solar power work?. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-solar-power-work/
  4. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-performance-and-efficiency
  5. Solar Panel Efficiency – Pick the Most Efficient Solar Panels. Retrieved from: https://www.solar.com/learn/solar-panel-efficiency/
  6. Do Solar Panels Work at Night? Retrieved from: https://www.sunrun.com/go-solar-center/solar-articles/do-solar-panels-work-at-night

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Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How To Cool An Attic

If a ridiculous amount of heat prevents you from enjoying your attic, there are solutions available. Whether you’re struggling with a scorching summer or you live in an area where it’s hot all year round, it’s safe to say it’s time to find a solution. Keeping an attic cool can be incredibly easy if you use the right tools, but where do you start?

Continue reading below to discover 11 easy hot attic solutions.

1. Consider Adding a Solar Attic Fan

If you Google “best way to keep attic cool,” Solar attic fans are likely to be a top recommendation. With a solar attic fan, you can take your worst enemy in this situation (the sun) and have it work for you. Solar attic fans harness the sun’s energy to remove hot air from the room, allowing cooler air to flow in from the outside.

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

2. Improve the Insulation

One essential step in learning how to keep the attic cooler is figuring out how to keep cool air in. You can start with insulation. Attics have insulation because they typically work as a giant shield against weather extremes for your home’s interior. Having the proper insulation will keep your attic cooler and reduce your energy costs. 

When choosing attic insulation, you want to consider the following:

The material
The density
The thickness

3. Radiant Barriers

The use of radiant barriers are a common way to help keep attics cool and prevent radiant heat from forming. The barriers contain reflective material that inhibits the electromagnetic transfer of heat. In short, radiant barriers reflect sunlight out of your attic so that the sun’s powerful rays don’t turn it into an oven. Most companies use aluminum foil for their radiant barriers, but you can also find other more durable materials as well.

4. Upgrade the Ventilation

Adding ventilation to a hot attic is one of the most effective ways to keep it cool since it allows heat to escape on hot days. If you don’t have a ventilation system, hot air and radiant heat can fester within your attic and lead to wood rot, mold, and other critical damages over time. There are numerous ways you can add ventilation to your attic, and some are relatively inexpensive.

5. Try the “Texas Cool” Technique

The “Texas Cool” technique is an energy-efficient method that not only keeps your attic cool but other rooms in the house as well. At night, when the weather drops, open up the window and place a fan to blow the cold air inside. When the sun comes up, close the window and use a shade to block any sunlight from getting in.

6. Sun Blockers

A significant amount of sunlight gets into the attic through the windows. You can use curtains or blinds to block the windows, keeping your attic cooler, and more energy-efficient during the daytime. Curtains and blinds are relatively cheap and easy to install.

7. Close Off Any Leaks

Air leaks are a leading cause of losing nice cool air and wasted energy. Take a flashlight and try to spot any air leaks in your attic that might let cold air escape. Once you find a hole, you can get expanding foam to fill them. This is how to remove hot air from the attic and other rooms long-term. 

Here’s where you’re likely to find air leaks:

Attic hatch
Windows/doors
Wiring holes
Plumbing vents

8. Use a Zoned Thermostat

Using a zoned thermostat can allow you to control your attic’s duct system individually, according to set temperatures. Using an individual system is far more convenient for keeping your attic space cool, mainly if you use it as a living space. In some cases, you can even get a zoned thermostat like Google’s Nest Thermostat for free to help keep your attic cooler.

9. Use a Portable AC Unit

If creating new ductwork in your attic isn’t a viable option, you can always go with a portable air conditioning unit. One excellent aspect of mobile AC units is that they come in several shapes and sizes. Therefore, you can find one suitable for your space.

10. Examine the Roof

The roof is the first line of defense against the sun. If you feel that your roof is letting in too much heat, you can consider investing in reflective shingles to deter some of the sun’s rays away from your attic. 

11. Oscillating Fans

Oscillating fans do a great job of keeping your attic space cool since you can buy as many as you want. We recommend finding one that rotates so that you can provide each area of the attic with cool air all day long. 

Oscillating fans provide better cooling because they rotate, thereby allowing better air flow around the room. The air in the room is moved around, as compared to stationary fans that only move the air straight ahead.

FAQs

Since attics sit just below the roof, they are the first room to get hit with the sun’s heat. Your attic space could also be too hot because you don’t have proper ventilation and hot air rises from the floors below.

Yes, mainly in three areas. Cooling a hot attic can help you feel more comfortable during the summer months during use, help protect your home’s structure from future damages, and increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.

For more tips on lowering your home’s overall energy usage: Read more here.

There’s no set amount of time you need to run an attic fan to stay cool, but in general, you want to run it as little as possible to be the most energy-efficient. Some hot attics may require a fan for several hours, where others only need 15 minutes.

  1. Thomas A. Edison Quotes. Retrieved from: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/69333-we-are-like-tenant-farmers-chopping-down-the-fence-around
  2. Add an Oscillating Fan to a Room: 8 Advantages. Retrieved from: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/add-an-oscillating-fan-to-a-room-8-advantages

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Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

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Best Pure Sine Wave Inverter of 2020

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Sine wave inverters allow you to power electrical devices when you’re off the grid. For higher-end and more sensitive electrical appliances, the smooth output from a pure sine wave inverter is the superior choice. (1) Searching for the best pure sine wave inverter that’s right for you can be time-consuming, so we created this buying guide to help you find the ideal solution with ease.

Quick Comparison of our Top 13 Picks (For Those in a Hurry)

When you’re shopping for a pure sine wave power inverter, efficiency, reliability, and convenience are likely at the top of your mind. There are many options to choose from, so we’ve compiled our 13 top picks, with those essential factors in mind, and reviewed them all in one place for your convenience. Now, let’s jump right in with our quick comparison for those who are in a hurry:

  1. EDECOA 3500W (Best Overall): For its impressive power quality, ability to simultaneously run multiple devices and appliances for extended periods, and its clear and easy-to-read digital display to keep you well-informed – this model earns our best overall pick.
  2. GIANDEL 2000W (Budget Pick): With its high-quality build, built-in charge controller, and inexpensive price tag – this model earns our top budget pick.
  3. GIANDEL 3000W (Best 3000-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter): Because of its built-in solar controller, heavy-duty power, and battery charging status indicator – this model is our top pick for the best 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter.
  4. Sug 2000W (Best 2000-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter): With its extended two-year warranty, lifetime customer service, and quality performance at a low price – this model wins top pick for the best 2000-watt pure sine wave inverter.
  5. GIANDEL 1200W (Best 1200-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter): This model earns top pick for the best 1200-watt pure sine wave power inverter because of its great value, lightweight and quality build, and clean waveform output.
  6. GIANDEL 600W: Perfect for emergencies and smaller loads, this model is ideal for charging cell phones and laptops and watching TV.
  7. WZRELB RBP200012 3000W: This inverter has a compact design and only weighs nine pounds, so it’s easy to move as needed, and it’s a powerful unit that produces 3000 watts of continuous power and up to 6000 watts of peak surge power.
  8. BESTEK 1000W: A very lightweight but powerful inverter with a stable build quality, this model weighs only 4.2 pounds and is perfect for keeping in the car and taking with you wherever you may need it.
  9. BESTEK 300W: This model is the smallest unit on our list of top picks, produces 300 watts of continuous power, weighs only 1.55 pounds, and features two AC outlets and two smart USB charging ports, with a built-in 40 amps fuse.
  10. GoWISE 1000W: This model is a well-constructed inverter that delivers excellent power, and it comes equipped with two AC output sockets and one USB port for running three devices at a time.
  11. Hoenjuno 1200W: A good quality inverter for a great price, this model is capable of driving highly reactive and high capacity loads and it produces clean power with low interference and noise with high conversion efficiency.
  12. Go Power! 300W: This model is very quiet, features two GFCI outlets, and is an excellent option for charging cell phones, tablets, medical equipment, and other sensitive electronics.
  13. GISIAN 600W: A lightweight and high-efficiency inverter that weighs only 3.3 pounds, this model produces 600 watts of continuous power and features two AC outlets and two 2.1A USB ports to charge four devices at one time.

Pure Sine Wave Inverter Reviews

In our top 13 pure sine wave inverter reviews, we’ll provide all the details and features you need to know to make a decision, all in one place. Let’s get started.

1. EDECOA 3500W (Best Overall)

Our top pick for the best overall pure sine wave inverter is the EDECOA 3500W because of its impressive power, ability to simultaneously run multiple appliances and devices for extended periods, and detailed LCD digital display that keeps you well-informed on issues and performance.

EDECOA’s inverter is versatile and can be reliably used in many different scenarios, such as camping, boating, recreational, and emergencies. You can use this inverter as part of an entirely off-the-grid solar power system to run all your appliances and devices. It’s ideal for computers and printers, entertainment electronics like TVs and gaming consoles, household appliances like vacuums and coffee makers, and electrical tools such as drills and compressors.

This inverter is easy to install and offers lots of useful features. The unit has four AC outlets, an intelligent power management system, automatic voltage regulation, and a hardwired terminal. The fully-functional LCD shows battery voltage, charge, pattern, and output voltage, and the display flashes when the inverter is in protection mode. The built-in fan controls are very quiet, and the unit stays cool to the touch.

The inverter comes with a remote control that works very well and has a two-meter long standard network cable. The unit reliably shuts down if the draw exceeds ratings, which is very important to avoid damaging your equipment and appliances. (2)

2. GIANDEL 2000W (Budget Pick)

Our top budget pick is the GIANDEL 2000W because of its quality build, built-in charge controller, and inexpensive price tag. The GIANDEL 2000W is ideal for outdoor adventures, camping, RVs, and emergency kits.

It’s simple and easy to mount and install, and it does a great job of keeping batteries charged from solar panels with the built-in charge controller. The unit includes dual AC power outlets and a single USB port for running three devices at once. The GIANDEL 2000W uses soft start technology and has an intuitive and isolated output and input design.

The outer shell is made from aluminum alloy, a very durable and sturdy material, (3) and there’s an excellent easy-to-read voltage display. Your devices are protected with a total safety protection system that guards against overloading, overheating, short circuits, over-voltage, and under-voltage.
The built-in cooling fan is reasonably quiet, and the remote switch is useful with a long cable that’s 4 ½ feet in length. This unit comes with an 18-month warranty and fantastic customer support.

3. GIANDEL 3000W (Best 3000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter)

Our top pick for the best 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter is the GIANDEL 3000W because of its heavy-duty power, built-in solar controller, and battery charging status indicator. This unit connects to a 24V battery and includes two 120V AC power dual outlets and one 2.4A USB port for charging three devices at once. The GIANDEL 3000W works excellent for daily use and provides spotless power.

The aluminum alloy shell is very durable and protects against bumps and vibrations when traveling, and there are protective coverings over the DC connections that add a nice touch. This inverter turns itself off when battery power is low and features full safety protection systems that prevent overload, over-voltage, low voltage, overheating, short circuit, and polarity reverse.

Other features include isolated input/output design, an auto-restart function, and soft start technology. The LED display is very clear and shows battery input voltage and output power. The built-in intelligent cooling fan is super quiet, and the handy remote control features an extra-long 15-foot cable.

GIANDEL provides excellent tech support, and their team is very responsive and quick. This pure sine wave power inverter is a perfect choice for road trips, camping, emergency kits, and home use, and it comes with an 18-month warranty.

4. Sug 2000W (Best 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter)

Our top pick for the best 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter is the Sug 2000W because of its extended two-year warranty, lifetime customer service, and quality performance at a low price. The Sug 2000W transfers DC 12V to AC 110/120V and supplies 2000 watts of continuous power and up to 4000 watts of peak power.

The LED display is easy-to-read and shows the battery voltage and the remaining battery level. The Sug 2000W’s safety features include thermal shutdown, reverse polarity protection, over-voltage protection, low voltage shutdown, short circuit protection, and a low/high voltage alarm.

The unit is straightforward to install and performs flawlessly with a pure, clean outflow of current. This inverter comes with a two-year warranty and lifetime customer service, and the customer service team is very quick and responsive when you need them.

5. GIANDEL 1200W (Best 1200W Pure Sine Wave Inverter)

Our top pick for the best 1200W pure sine wave inverter is the GIANDEL 1200W because of its great value, lightweight and quality build, and clean waveform output. The GIANDEL 1200W provides 1200 watts of continuous power and up to 2400W of peak surge power.

The unit includes two AC power outlets and one 2.1A USB port to charge three devices simultaneously. The inverter is very simple to set up and use. It has all the standard protection systems you would expect from GIANDEL, like over/low voltage, overload, overheat, short circuit, and polarity reverse protection. This unit also uses the soft start technology, which reduces the torque put on an electric motor, (4) and auto-restart function.

The LED indicator for battery input voltage, power output, and error codes is invaluable for tracking your power consumption, and the aluminum alloy housing protects your unit from bumps and vibrations. This inverter uses pure copper wires for reduced energy consumption and heat generation. The intelligent cooling fan also keeps the unit cool and is very quiet.

The GIANDEL 1200W produces a very consistent operating hertz and a clean, stable AC voltage. The wired remote control works very well and uses a 15-foot cable. As usual, GIANDEL’s customer service is excellent, and this inverter comes with an 18-month warranty.

6. GIANDEL 600W

The GIANDEL 600W is ideal for charging phones and laptops and watching TV. This inverter produces 600W of continuous power and up to 1200W of peak surge power. It’s perfect for emergencies and smaller loads. This unit features two AC power outlets and one 2.1A USB port, and remote control with a 15-foot cable.

It’s effortless to connect and install and has a durable aluminum alloy housing to protect the internal parts. The GIANDEL 600W includes all the necessary safety protection systems for over-voltage, low voltage, overload, overheating, and short circuit protection. It also features an isolated input and output design and low interference technology.

The integrated cooling fan is very quiet and keeps the unit cool to the touch. The customer service team is fantastic and responds very quickly if you have an issue or need to ask a question. The GIANDEL 600W comes with an 18-month warranty.

7. WZRELB RBP300012 3000W

The WZRELB RBP300012 300W inverter has a compact design and only weighs nine pounds, making it easy to move as needed. It’s a powerful unit that produces 3000 watts of continuous power and up to 6000 watts of peak surge power. This unit performs very well and has all the necessary safety protection systems to protect your devices and your inverter. Safety features include over/low voltage, short circuit, overload, overheating, and polarity reverse protection. It also includes ground protection from electricity leakage, which is crucial to prevent shocks. (5)

The quiet built-in cooling fan prolongs your battery life and only cycles on once the temp reaches over 68 degrees Celsius/154 degrees Fahrenheit. This inverter features an LED display and dual AC outlets to run two appliances or devices simultaneously. The voltage meters are very accurate, and the voltage doesn’t fluctuate much when idle or in use. This unit uses high-quality pure copper inductance, is easy to install, and is a very nice inverter at a reasonable price.

8. BESTEK 1000W

The BESTEK 1000W is a very lightweight but powerful inverter with a high-quality build. The unit weighs only 4.2 pounds and is perfect for keeping in the car and taking with you wherever you may need it. This 1000 watt inverter has two AC 110V outlets and dual USB charging ports. The unit is encased in an aluminum alloy housing and is made with ABS+PC fire-resistant material.

There’s a rubber handle on the top to easily carry the unit and child-resistant safety shutters in the AC outlets. The built-in smart LCD is a great feature that tells you the current load and the battery voltage and lets you monitor the current pull in real-time. This inverter uses built-in replaceable fuses and comes with four spare 50 amp fuses as replacements.

The BESTEK 1000W has an advanced multi-protection system and a silent intuitive cooling fan to avoid overheating. The cooling fan runs at all times when the unit is on, but it is virtually silent. This unit is a well-built inverter with a sleek and lightweight design.

9. BESTEK 300W

The BESTEK 300W inverter is the smallest unit on our list of top picks. It produces 300 watts of continuous power and weighs only 1.55 pounds. Included on the unit are two AC outlets and two smart USB charging ports with a built-in 40 amps fuse. This inverter detects devices automatically, charges quickly, and is ultra-compact.

This inverter is encased in sturdy aluminum alloy housing and features a durable 12V cigarette lighter plug that is spring-loaded to fit snugly into the receptacle. There’s an on/off switch on the inverter, so you don’t have to unplug it from the socket.

The BESTEK 300W also features a smart cooling fan and isolation voltage protection. The small cooling fan comes on periodically to keep the unit cool and is reasonably quiet. There’s no way to mount this inverter, but it’s very compact and will fit virtually anywhere.

This unit comes with an 18-month warranty and customer service and is ideal for powering small devices like cell phones, laptops, camera batteries, TVs, and gaming consoles. The USB charge ports work even when the inverter is in the off position.

10. GoWISE 1000W

The GoWISE 1000W is a well-constructed inverter that delivers excellent power. The unit comes equipped with two AC output sockets and one USB port for running three devices at a time. This inverter protects against over-voltage by shutting down at 16V and protects against under-voltage by shutting down at 10V. There’s also a protection system in place for thermal and overload protection. The overload protection works quite well, and the unit has excellent power regulation.

The GoWISE 1000W uses soft start low interference technology and has a low voltage protection alarm, LED light to indicate problems, and cooling fan. The case easily stays cool, and the fan is quiet and only turns on with higher loads.

A remote power switch features a 15-foot wire that allows you to mount the inverter in a convenient place out of the way. The included pack of eight gauge cables are capable of powering up to 100 watts.

The unit is very efficient and doesn’t drain the batteries when there’s no load. This inverter comes with very clear instructions, good quality leads, and free lifetime support from GoWISE Power.

11. Hoenjuno 1200W

The Hoenjuno 1200W is a good quality inverter for a great price that’s capable of driving highly reactive and high capacity loads. This inverter produces clean power with low interference and noise with high conversion efficiency.

The unit features aluminum alloy housing, high-speed cooling fans, four AC 110V outlets, and one smart USB port. You can safely run up to five appliances or devices on this unit at a time, as long as the load is under 1200 watts. The LCD shows the input and output levels and failure status codes for easy troubleshooting.

There’s a full protection system in place to guard against under-voltage, over-voltage, short circuit, overheating, overload, and input polarity reverse. The readout panel is very easy to see and read. Included is an optional remote control interface with a cable length of 15 feet.

A wrench is provided to use when connecting the unit to your 10V battery. The terminals are very heavy-duty and are placed extra wide for safety. The inverter is very easy to set up and can be hooked up with quick disconnects to move it from place to place easily, and it comes with very strong L-angle mounts for installation.

12. Go Power! 300W

The Go Power! 300W inverter is very quiet and produces high-quality power. The unit features two GFCI outlets and includes the cables needed to connect it to a battery. For a 300 watt inverter, it’s a bit on the heavy side at 7.7 pounds. This inverter produces 300 watts of continuous power and up to 450 watts peak power surge and creates no electrical interference when using electronics.

The Go Power! 300W inverter has over-voltage, under-voltage, and overload protections and handles overloads great. The cooling fan only turns on when using heavy loads and is relatively quiet. The standby current when there’s no load is very small, so there’s no extra drain on your battery. There’s a hookup on the inverter for a master power switch if you decide that you’d like one.

This inverter is an excellent option for charging cell phones, tablets, medical equipment, and other sensitive electronics, and new units come with an extended two-year warranty.

13. GISIAN 600W

The GISIAN 600W is a lightweight and high-efficiency inverter that weighs only 3.3 pounds and produces 600 watts of continuous power. This inverter features two AC outlets and two 2.1A USB ports to charge four devices at one time. The LCD screen shows the battery capacity, input DC voltage, output AC voltage, output frequency, output power, and protection codes.

The protection system includes overload, over-voltage, low voltage, overheating, short circuit, and reverse polarity protections. There’s unlimited reverse protection with the high power MOSFET to avoid damaging the fuses. Failure codes are displayed clearly to make troubleshooting easier.

The data screen is very useful and easy-to-read, and it shows how much power is being drawn, how much battery life is left, and the input DC and output AC very clearly. The cooling fan is extremely quiet, and the whole unit is protected in a solid metal case. The GISIAN 600W inverter comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure you’re happy with the product.

Buyers’ Guide (How to Buy the Best Pure Sine Inverter for You)

1. Know the different types of pure sine wave inverters available

Low Frequency

Low-frequency pure sine wave inverters use a large copper transformer. They tend to be bigger, are more expensive, and weigh more. Low-frequency units tend to be better for equipment that requires a high starting power. Compressors and air conditioners often need a low-frequency unit as well as any equipment that you’ll use regularly and for long periods.

High Frequency

High-frequency pure sine wave inverters use smaller transformers and other electrical components. They tend to be much lighter and cost less. For occasional users and smaller electronic equipment and devices, a high-frequency unit works well.

Portable

If you’d like a smaller unit that’s easy to carry around and fits into smaller spaces, a portable pure sine wave power inverter fits the bill. Portable units will weigh very little and sometimes come with a convenient handle built-in. They’ll often come with a durable cigarette lighter for plugging into your vehicle on the go.

Commercial Grade

Commercial grade pure sine wave inverters will supply higher watts of continuous power for industrial applications. Commercial grade units deliver enough power to run higher-end equipment that requires substantial amounts of electricity.

These units will be much heavier than the more portable types and are better suited for a more permanent position.

2. Know how much wattage you need

0 – 1000W

Devices and appliances in the 0 to 1000 watt range will generally include cell phones, ceiling fans, DVD players, gaming consoles, incandescent light bulbs, mini Christmas lights, computers and monitors, laptops, satellite receivers, stereos, tablets, and TVs.

Other equipment that typically fits within this range includes ¼” and ½” drills, chargers for battery-powered tools, credit card machines, engine block heaters, and halogen flood lamps. (6)

1000 – 2000W

Devices and appliances in the 1000 to 2000 watt range typically include coffee makers, hairdryers, irons, microwave ovens, laser printers and fax machines, toasters, and vacuum cleaners. This range also includes equipment like 8” circular saws, bucket heaters, fiber optic splicers, 4 ½” grinders, hammer drills, heat guns, reciprocating saws, shop vacs, space heaters, and table saws. (6)

3000W+

Devices and appliances that have an operating wattage of 3000 watts or more include convection toaster ovens, air compressors, electric chainsaws, and high-pressure washers. (6)

Many pure sine ac power inverters for RVs fit in this category, as their equipment often requires higher power draws.

3. Find the Top Deal for You

Warranty

Warranties for pure sine wave inverters will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Pay attention to the warranty, return policy, and other policies, and make a comparison. The warranty on most pure sine wave inverters will be somewhere between one to five years. Choosing one with a decent warranty will ease your mind if anything does go wrong with your unit in the future.

Shipping

Pure sine wave inverters are available for a wide range of prices. As you compare prices, features, and power, also pay attention to shipping costs and policies. If you have a camping trip coming up or you’re preparing for another time-sensitive situation, make sure your new pure sine wave power inverter is going to arrive on time and that it won’t cost too much to have it delivered.

Limited-Time Deals

You can often find limited-time deals on pure sine wave inverters, so keep an eye out for promo codes or other offers while shopping. And if you find one that meets your requirements and comes recommended, you might want to jump on it before the deal runs out!

Final Price

The cost will vary from unit to unit and will increase with the number of added features and higher power, similar to the most solar products, like solar-powered gate openers. Be sure to compare prices of similar models and take into account any deals, offers, and the shipping cost when determining the final price. Also, everyone loves a great deal, but don’t settle for a unit that you may have to upgrade later just because the price looks good.

A high-quality pure sine wave power inverter should last for quite some time and isn’t meant to be purchased repeatedly. It can be frustrating to buy a unit with a lower price tag and then have to spend more money later once you discover you need more power to run all your devices and equipment. Higher price tags can seem daunting, but remember, you’re paying for quality, efficiency, and power.

FAQ

Do you really need a pure sine wave inverter?

It all depends on the types of devices or appliances you’ll be running. If your appliance uses a motor or is a delicate piece of medical equipment, you probably need a pure sine wave power inverter, but if your device uses a rectifier or can be powered by a DC adapter, it may not be necessary. (7)

What is the main advantage of a pure sine wave inverter?

The main advantage of a pure sine wave inverter over other types of inverters is that all appliances and devices are designed to use the sine wave. (8) Using a pure sine wave power inverter means your devices and appliances will run more effectively and will be better protected.

What is the best pure sine wave inverter?

The best pure sine wave inverter is ultimately the one that fits your needs the most. The optimal fit for you will be the one that has the necessary power and features for your intended use. You’ll also want to look for an energy-efficient unit that’s quiet and has safety features to protect your appliances and devices.

Our Final Verdict: How to Buy the Best Pure Sine Inverter Today

Now that you’ve seen our compiled reviews of our top available options to choose from, all that’s left to do is select the model that’s right for you. If you’re still not entirely sure which one to choose, go with our #1-rated pick, the EDECOA 3500W.

We love it because it’s powerful enough to run multiple appliances simultaneously, has a nice digital display that keeps you well-informed on performance and issues, and is multipurpose with lots of attractive and useful features.

Want more top-rated solar products for your home like the EDECOA 3500W? Check out our best solar pool heater, best solar-powered attic fan, and more – here at YourEnergyBlog.com, your #1 resource for all things solar.

References

  1. https://sciencing.com/difference-inverter-sine-wave-inverter-6868740.html
  2. https://www.automation.com/en-us/articles/2014-2/the-top-five-things-that-cause-inverter-failure
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/aluminum-alloys
  4. https://www.elprocus.com/soft-starter-principle-working/
  5. https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2003/11/Preventing-Shock-with-Proper-Grounding-Techniques.aspx
  6. https://gpelectric.com/all-about-inverters/
  7. https://www.lifewire.com/pure-sine-wave-inverters-534758
  8. https://circuitdigest.com/tutorial/different-types-of-inverters

The post Best Pure Sine Wave Inverter of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

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