Adani Transmission completes acquisition of Alipurduar Transmission from KPTL for Rs 1,300 cr

New Delhi: India’s largest private sector power transmission company, Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL), has acquired 49 per cent stake in Alipurduar Transmission Limited from Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd (KPTL) with an agreement to acquire the balance 51 per cent after obtaining regulatory and other approvals.

The company said in a statement the acquisition is in sync with ATL’s strategy to enhance the value for its stakeholders, through organic as well as inorganic opportunities. The share acquisition is pursuant to definitive agreements signed in July 2020.

“With this acquisition, the cumulative network of ATL will reach more than 15,400 circuit kilometers (ckt), out of which more than 12,200 ckt kms (including this asset) is operational and more than 3,200 ckt kms is under various stages of execution,” the statement said.

Adani Transmission is the transmission and distribution business arm of the Adani Group. ATL is the country’s largest private power transmission company with a network of more than 15,400 circuit kilometers.

India sees consecutive year-on-year decline in coal funding: Report

New Delhi: The third annual Coal vs Renewable Financial Analysis 2019 marks a second consecutive year-on-year decline in coal funding in India following a 90 per cent decrease in 2018.

The report, made public on Tuesday, finds a 126 per cent drop in funding from the commercial banks to coal compared to 2018.

There has also been a significant drop in the state-owned financing of coal projects. Lending to renewable energy projects saw a minor contraction of six per cent year on year although it received 95 per cent of the total lending to energy projects.

The report, prepared by the Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA) and Climate Trends, looked at 50 project finance loans across 43 coal-fired and renewable energy projects in India. Only projects that reached financial close between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, were included in the analysis.

“A significant drop in project finance to coal means that financial institutes are beginning to realise the associated financial and reputational risk in investing in coal,” said CFA Executive Director Joe Athialy.

“Our policy makers need to read the writing on the wall. Pushing healthy commercial banks into financing unviable coal projects in India and abroad will only lead to more stress in the financial sector,” Athialy added.

2019 saw two coal projects (total capacity of 3.06GW) receiving Rs 1,100 crore ($190mn) in project finance. In 2018, five coal-fired projects with a combined capacity of 3.8GW received Rs 6,081 crore ($850mn).

By contrast, Rs 60,767 crore ($9.35bn) was lent to 17GW of coal projects in 2017.

Of the total lending to coal in 2019, Rs 700 crore went towards refinancing of JSW Energy‘s Barmer power plant in Rajasthan. This project was also refinanced in 2018.

Refinancing of projects almost always happens to change term conditions such as interest rates or maturity date. JSW Energy is among the progressive private power generation companies that announced a moratorium on construction of new coal power plants and focussed on expanding their renewable energy portfolio.

The remaining Rs 400 crore ($91mn) went towards financing NTPC’s new coal project in Barh in Bihar. The project’s engineering, procurement and construction responsibilities have been awarded to Doosan Heavy Industries.

NTPC, India’s largest coal power operator, recently announced a moratorium on construction of new greenfield coal power plants.

“In addition to private and publicly owned coal power companies, heavily industrialised states like Gujarat and Maharashtra have also announced a no new coal policy. These policies are being announced due to the coal overcapacity problem as well as plummeting cost of renewables. And it is clearly in the interest of India’s economic stability and developmental needs,” added Delhi-based Climate Trends Director Aarti Khosla.

Forty-one renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 5.15GW received a cumulative of Rs 22,971 crore ($3220mn). Lending to wind energy dropped 30 per cent, while lending to solar increased by 10 per cent compared to 2018.

Solar dominated project finance loans to renewable energy in 2017, 2018, and 2019. However, due to the financial stress in India’s power distribution companies, investment in the renewable energy sector has been impacted. They owe generation companies Rs 1,16,340 crore ($16bn) of which $1.1bn is owed to the renewable energy generators.

“While India is on track to achieve its Paris climate commitments, its ambitious domestic target of 450GW by 2030 might suffer if the financial condition of its discoms doesn’t improve. Phasing out old, inefficient, and expensive coal power plants and replacing them with renewable energy might be a way to reduce the financial stress within the sector,” Khosla added.

China lifts renewable power subsidy for 2021 by nearly 5% y/y

China’s Ministry of Finance said on Friday it had set the country‘s renewable power subsidy for 2021 at 5.95 billion yuan ($905.7 million), up 4.9 per cent from this year, thanks to a big increase in the subsidy for solar projects.

The subsidy will be allocated to wind farms, biomass power generators and distributed solar power operators, as well as solar power projects for poverty alleviation purposes, in 14 regions, according to a statement from the ministry’s Central Budget and Final Accounts Public Platform.

Follow and connect with us on , Facebook, Linkedin

World's top miner plans to hire 21,000 women, rectify imbalance

BHP Billiton Ltd wants women to account for half of its workforce by 2025 as the world’s top miner seeks to change the gender balance in an industry dominated by men.

The company isn’t “as inclusive or diverse as we could be,” CEO Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement on Thursday. BHP has a workforce of about 65,000, including contractors, of which 18% are female. Based on these numbers, its target would mean an additional 21,000 women employed by the middle of the next decade, including both its own staff and contractors.

The $800 billion mining industry has long been a male-dominated business, with women even banned from working underground in some countries until recently. Men hold a majority of executive positions in resources companies, lagging behind other sectors. While the proportion is growing, female directors accounted for only 10.9% of miners’ boards on average in 2014, compared with more than 15 percent in consumer goods and services, according to a study by Women in Mining UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Without new initiatives it would take us 30 years just to get to 30% female representation,” BHP’s Mackenzie said in the statement. “More must, and will, be done. And our 2025 aspirational goal is to achieve gender balance at all levels of the organisation over the next decade.”

Out of BHP’s direct workforce of 27,000, women also account for 18%. The company says it’s seeking the target for direct employees and will encourage contractors to mirror the same balance.

“Opportunities exist to work with our suppliers to align our supply chain processes with our inclusion and diversity aspirations,” BHP said in an email. “We will work together with our supply chain partners to understand where we can create opportunities to support our commitment for inclusion and diversity.”

BHP will feature “counter-stereotypical images” such as women miners and young female leaders in its internal and external visuals, in a bid to attract and retain diverse talent, the company said. It will also seek to mitigate bias in its policies and processes, and develop flexible work options.

“The task itself is massive,” said Kate Hobbes, a senior consultant at First Principles Consulting in Queensland, whose clients include medium-sized mining companies in Australia. “To hit 50%, BHP is going to have to completely change the way they do business.”

Mining companies with gender diversity in their boards outperformed all-male boards in 2014 by 49% on the basis of the ratio of a firm’s enterprise value to its proven mineral reserves, according to the study by Women in Mining UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers. All-male boards also showed 92% more negative ratings on earnings per share.

Separately, Fortescue Metals Group Lt., the world’s No. 4 iron exporter, will begin reporting progress on female participation in its workforce each quarter as it seeks to improve its gender balance, CEO Nev Power told reporters on Thursday. Wo- men currently account for 16% of the Perth-based producer’s staff, the company said in a statement. Bloomberg

India's fuel demand rose 2.1 percent in October

NEW DELHI: India’s fuel demand rose 2.1 percent in October compared with the same month last year.

Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, totalled 17.78 million tonnes, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.

Sales of gasoline, or petrol, were 4.5 percent higher from a year earlier at 2.65 million tonnes.

Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales increased 2.6 percent to 2.42 million tonnes, while naphtha sales surged 17.1 percent to 1.30 million tonnes.

Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, were 58.4 percent up, while fuel oil use edged up 13.2 percent in October.

(Reporting by NEW DELHI newsroom)

Follow and connect with us on , Facebook, Linkedin

Centre approves Rs 1,810 cr investment for Himachal hydro project

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the investment of Rs 1,810.56 crore for the 210 MW Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project located on the river Satluj in Shimla and Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh.

This project, being implemented by the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) on Build-Own-Operate-Maintain (BOOM) basis, will generate 758.20 million units of electricity annually.

The Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project shall be commissioned within a span of 62 months.

The power generated from the project will help in providing Grid stability and will improve the power supply position. Besides adding valuable renewable energy to the grid, the project would also lead to reduction of 6.1 lakh tons of carbon dioxide from the environment annually, thus contributing to improvement in air quality.

The construction activities of the project will result in direct and indirect employment to around 2,000 persons and will contribute to overall socio-economic development of the State, a government statement said.

Further, Himachal Pradesh will benefit with free power worth around Rs 1,140 crore from Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project, during the project life cycle of 40 years. The project affected families will be provided with 100 units of free electricity per month for ten years, the statement said.

Best Solar-Powered Security Camera of 2020

Best solar security camera: top-rated reviews

“Someone is at your front door,” says Alexa.

“Alexa, show front door cam,” you respond. Then, as you look down at your phone you see it. “Sweet, my package is here!”

While this situation would likely bring a smile to pretty much anyone’s face, the flipside isn’t as pretty, unfortunately. For that reason, we’ve rounded up the year’s best solar-powered security cameras all in one place to help you, your family, and your loved ones stay prepared for any situation.

So without further ado, to aid your search, let’s examine a snapshot (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) of our top 13 picks.

Our Top 13 Solar-Powered Security Cameras at a Glance

To help you find the best solar-powered security camera for you, and make your search easier – here’s a quick look at our top 13 most-highly reviewed picks.

  1. Ring Solar HD Security Camera (Best Overall): Our best overall pick to buy, the Ring Solar HD Security Camera impresses with its smart integration, ease of use, easy installation, and many features it offers, such as two-way audio, excellent battery life, and straightforward and easy to see visuals.
  2. ieGeek Solar Outdoor Security Camera (Budget Pick): With its smart night vision feature, two-way audio, real-time notifications, and being usable through an app with iOS or Android, this ieGeek model earns our top wallet-friendly pick.
  3. Ankway Solar Security Camera (Easy Setup): With useful features like rotating and zooming in on videos, real-time alerts, an IP rating built to withstand -30 degrees, and quick and easy setup, this Ankway Solar Camera is more than worth the investment in our books.
  4. ZUMIMALL Solar-Powered Home Security Camera: With automatic file saving, a good IP rating down to -4 degrees, and being able to customize exactly what alerts you want to get, this is a well-rounded camera to look at for the price.
  5. Conico Solar-Powered Security Camera: Supported by iOS and Android, this camera will push real-time alerts to your phone and has customizable settings on what you want to be alerted to.
  6. YESKAMO Solar Security Camera: The Yeskamo has dual antennas for 50% more distance coverage, real-time alerts, and a battery charge of about four months if not getting direct sunlight for it to charge.
  7. REOLINK Store Argus Eco+: With a battery and solar-power panel combination the manufacturer claims you’ll never have to recharge; this camera gives you several features like two-way audio, easy installation, clear, crisp images, and real-time alerts.
  8. REOLINK Store Go+: Two-way audio, real-time alerts, 7-day playback, encrypted cloud storage, and extra storage through a micro SD card make this a great pick.
  9. REOLINK Store Argus Pro: You can use an app with this camera to control it remotely, and it is compatible with IOS and Android.
  10. Zumimall Solar Surveillance Camera: The Zumimall has night vision and micro SD storage capability, real-time alerts, two-way audio, and ability to operate down to -4 degrees to ensure that it doesn’t quickly drain in the winter.
  11. FUVISION Home Security Camer: A reliably built camera, the FUVISION is known for having an IP65 rating of working at -4 degrees, two-way audio, and rotating views while live streaming to check on things in more detail. 
  12. REOLINK Argus Eco: This REOLINK has motion detection, excellent battery life, and picture quality.
  13. EKEN Solar Security Camera: While solar-powered, this camera comes with a charging cable long enough for the mounting stand if you need it, so you don’t have to take it down to charge it depending on where it is.

Solar-Powered Security Camera Reviews

Here are our comprehensive solar-powered security camera reviews to further aid your search, and help you find the perfect one for your home, budget, and setup. Starting with our best overall pick, the Ring Solar HD Security Camera, let’s take a closer look, shall we?

#1 Ring Solar HD Security Camera (Best Overall)

I like that this camera is easy to install and that Ring’s customer service is extremely helpful. This model works great with the solar panels that go with it and keeps this one topped off at a good battery percentage without the need of a huge amount of sunlight.

It has neat top features like Live View, working with Alexa, and customizable privacy features that make it stand out above its competitors. It also can work with all your other Ring devices, making this a reliable all-around security system if you have over one item in their lineup. This would be handy in any situation, depending on where you set it up and our best overall pick.

#2 ieGeek Wireless Solar Security Camera (Budget Pick)

The first thing that’s great about this camera is its incredibly durable design meant to repel nearly anything that nature might throw at it. Then, it’s 100% wireless makes installation a breeze for those used to installing equipment with wires. In addition, according to the manufacturer, there’s no need to take the battery off to recharge it, as it houses a 1500mAh rechargeable battery. 

I like that it has those easy functions but great visuals through different sensors, and it’s smart about turning on night vision. There’s also two-way audio on this that would make it easy to communicate with anyone, such as delivery men. These factors all lead it to be my budget pick for this list.

#3 Ankway Solar Security Camera (Easy Setup)

The easy setup on this one alone makes it worth the money, allowing for a hassle-free set-up. The Ankway operates down to -30 degrees, making it even better in the cold weather for those that may live in colder areas. It has a lot of features like rotate and zoom on videos, real-time alerts (handy if you’re not home or on vacation!), and two-way audio. 

I especially like that it has real-time alerts that would be handy for knowing when packages are delivered or if there is anyone around my property while I’m away from home. An app goes with this to help with those features and sends a message directly to your phone, making it even handier.

#4 Zumimall Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

Zumimall says that this camera will only capture human motion when it’s on guard duty, and when it does, it will send instant alerts to your phone through its app. When it does this, it will save videos automatically, so you have them on file in case you need them. 

It can save these to either the cloud or an SD card, making it handy if you need to pull up footage in case anything happens. The images are stunning, and it operates down to -4 degrees, which is reasonable considering many batteries drain fast with colder weather. (1)

#5 Conico Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

WiFi capable and with instant notifications, this solar-powered security camera will get you 1080p image quality, all while being on a powerful 10400mAh rechargeable battery. This ensures that the Conico will be powered on its own when the power goes out. 

There’s motion detection, which is adjustable, so you’re not getting alerts all the time, and alerts get pushed to your phone in real-time for those you have enabled. The app is easy to use, and it’s great that it’s supported on both the iOS and Android platforms, which ensures that everyone can use this camera without fail.

#6 Yeskamo Solar Security Camera

Wire-free and easy to install, the Yeskamo security system is powered by built-in 18650 rechargeable batteries with 10400mAh capacity capability.  It has a lifetime charge before recharging of up to four months, assuming there are ten triggers a day. Still, with its solar panel and making sure that it gets proper coverage, you barely have to charge it for security coverage, making it efficient for energy needs.

I like that it has dual antennas for extra coverage, as sometimes that distance is hard to cover when you’re looking for an excellent place to put it. Real-time notifications keep you in the know, and with two-way audio, you’re looking at a reliable camera.

#7 REOLINK Argus Eco+ 

The Reolink is efficient in its power use and one that the company says that you rarely must charge. This is great for those who don’t want the hassle to worry about recharging a battery every so often and instead speak to the solar panels’ reliability to keep it charged. 

This is great for keeping you in the know-how with its real-time alerts, two-way audio, and clear, crisp images; plus, it’s easy to install, making this great for any situation. I’d find this useful anywhere I needed it, like where I needed to keep tabs on the front door, a driveway, or other areas that might have people coming up to the house.

#8 REOLINK Store Go+

As most are on this list, this is wireless and hassle-free in set up. That appeals to me because time is valuable, and I don’t want to fuss with cords, drilling, or anything else while installing one. Some outstanding features about this are that it has two-way audio, encrypted cloud storage, and the ability to slot a micro SD card. 

There’s also a seven-day playback feature that automatically comes with it to have videos on hand when you need them. The company claims that you can put this anywhere, including campers, RV’s and trailers, so you can keep tabs on them and ward off burglars.

#9 REOLINK Store Argus Pro

This is an affordable option that most people will like, as it’s easy to install, is wireless, so it’s tangle-free, and has a rechargeable battery. The battery is meant to be so efficient that you’ll never have to charge the battery and can only rely on the solar panels for its energy source. 

You can use an app with this camera to control it remotely. It is compatible with IOS and Android. It also has the capability of supporting SD cards with up to 64GB of data for videos and images, or you can store your data in the cloud. 

#10 Zumimall Solar Surveillance Camera

The night vision on the Zumimall is fantastic, and the camera is easy to set up, which is a bonus. Also, I like that it stays charged in a wide range of weather conditions and hardly ever needs to be charged, which is useful for when you want to put it somewhere that’s difficult to get to. 

This would be handy for placing it in places like the garage where a ladder might be impossible to access. It has micro SD storage capability, real-time alerts, two-way audio, and operates down to -4 degrees to ensure that it doesn’t quickly drain in the winter.

#11 FUVISION Home Security Camera

The FUVSION is a solidly built little camera that’s easy to install, making this great for those that are looking for hassle-free installation. The sturdy construction makes it durable and it gets an IP65 rating, which rates for various conditions. (2)

It can rotate views, which is a prominent feature that could be used for surveying the area after one of its real-time alerts. The sound on it is great with its two-way audio, and it’s an affordable option that will be kind to your wallet.

#12 REOLINK Argus Eco

I like that this camera has an easy-to-use app that you can install up to 4 cameras on, giving you more coverage depending on your needs. This would be useful when you have multiple areas that need to be covered across your home or several outbuildings. 

It’s easy to set up, like most of its predecessors on this list. It has motion detection, great battery life, and picture quality, and is well worth the money. The ability to get a second solar panel with this one makes the battery last even longer without having to be charged; though, with the use of its panels, this isn’t necessary.

#13 EKEN Solar Security Camera

Like all the cameras on this list, this one is easy to install and hassle-free to place in hard to reach places because you’ll rarely have to charge. Just make sure you have it in the right placement spot to get maximum sun exposure. (3) This is great for the outdoors and pans in and out for more detailed views. 

I like that it has a charging cable long enough for the mounting stand if you need it, so you don’t have to take it down to charge it depending on where it is. It has two-way audio and gives outstanding quality on its automatically saved images to any SD card. This is an additional storage space of up to 128GB with no monthly fee.

Buyers Guide (Top 5 Tips to Know BEFORE You Buy)

#1 Consider the Placement of Your Solar Security Camera(s)

The placement of your security camera is vital when you’re talking about where to place your panels for maximum efficiency. You’re going to want to make sure that your panels are getting at least a good solid 6 hours of sunlight a day. 

For placement, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’re going to want to place your panels facing as true-south as possible to get maximum sunlight. This will ensure that the camera is as efficient as possible for battery life. 

#2 Consider the Weather Your Camera(s) Must Endure

Waterproof Ratings

Most cameras will come with an IP rating, which goes from IP00 (the least durable in weather) to IP69 (the most durable in weather). You’ll want to get one with the best ratings possible; however, most usually come with an IP65-IP69 rating to withstand most weather that includes dust, cold, rain, wind, high pressure, and anything else that mother nature can throw at it. (4)

Dust Ratings 

IP ratings will also rate a camera based on its ability to keep dust out of the housing and how much it protects the equipment from harm. This is great for most conditions that the average person’s camera will endure. It’s wise to check on the conditions for your area and check the IP ratings of the camera you’re buying to ensure it’s suitable.

#3 Know What Type of Wireless Communication Technology You Need

WiFi

A lot of these cameras, use WiFi connectivity so they can communicate with you for real-time alerts, stream video, and be able to record and store data. Knowing what type of connectivity you need is vital to ensuring that you have great coverage. 

Most cameras come with a 2.4Ghz connection, however, some may need a booster depending on where your WiFi router is located. Some cameras come with dual antennas if you require extra distance to be covered.

3G/4G

For those areas where WiFi isn’t readily available, there are cameras that are 3G/4G internet capable. These are usually cameras that can be mounted on places like campers, trailers or RV’s so that you have easy viewing despite not having WiFi connectivity. 

Ensure that you’re looking for this with a camera before buying it if that’s what you need, as the majority of them will come with WiFi capability.

#4 Look for Bonus Features That Excite You

Once basic needs are covered, then it’s a good idea to look into the bells and whistles. Looking for features that excite you like two-way audio, streaming video, human-only detection, or other bonus features it’s a wise move to help you get the most out of your investment.

Real-Time Notifications

Real-time notifications are on almost every security camera with the help of an app, to your phone, giving you quite a bit of control over what’s going on. You can customize these in most cases to give you notifications during certain times, or for certain events. Some can even snooze notifications during a certain time frame that you specify.

Two-Way Talk

With this function, you’re able to talk through the camera to whoever is on the other side giving you instant communication. This is great in situations where your family or someone might be outside and needs to talk to you but you’re unable to come to the door.

Advanced Motion Detection

Most of these cameras have PIR motion detection on them, Pyroelectric (“Passive”) InfraRed Sensors. These help with detecting movement and heat signatures that come into range of your camera and send you alerts based on your preferences. 

User-Friendly Mobile App

Having a user-friendly mobile app makes things much easier, and most of these cameras come with one. This helps with getting real-time notifications, any live streaming, up to date information, and any other features that the camera might have. Some cameras can be controlled with their app in functionality when it comes to zooming, tilting, and other physical aspects.

#5 Find the Top Deal for You

On this list, there are some cameras that are more affordable than others. Balancing quality over price is something that you should keep in mind when shopping. 

For things like security, it’s not always best to get the cheapest thing on the market for obvious reasons. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to sell your kidney in order to keep your family safe and have peace of mind, either. With that said, to find the top deal for you it’s recommended to look at all the factors discussed above, plus overall shipping costs, speed, and of course, the final price.

FAQ

Here are some of the most popular frequently asked questions to know before you buy a solar security camera.

How Do Solar-Powered Security Cameras Work?

Solar-powered security cameras work through a solar panel to capture the sun’s rays and convert it into a current, which is then used to charge your battery. When sunlight isn’t available, the camera uses the battery as a backup to power it and then uses the solar panel again once it’s exposed to sunlight once more. 

Though you may not believe it, the panels can even get power from the sun on rainy or cloudy days as light does still filter through the clouds. (5)

What Security Cameras Work Without WiFi?

While there are security cameras out there that work without WiFi, they’re limited in their availability as WiFi-enabled one’s give you more flexibility in terms of features and accessibility. 

However, that said, there are those like the ones you can get with home security systems that don’t need WiFi to set up.  There are also cameras that use 3G/4G as their way of connecting instead of WiFi so that they can be placed in more remote locations or in locations where the internet is spotty or unavailable.

What Are the Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras?

The best solar-powered cameras out there are those with a large battery capacity, panels that are efficient, wireless, and durable, have a good weather rating, and are easy to install. Anything else that the camera might have in features, like two-way audio, 1080p visuals, and PIR motion detection, is just a bonus. 

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar-Powered Security Camera to Buy Today?

After researching, testing, and comparing over a hundred solar security cameras available on the market today, we highly recommend the Ring Solar HD Security Camera as the best solar-powered security camera in terms of budget, quality, and features. 

Not only is it great for encompassing all of your security needs, but it also has tons of bells and whistles that will keep you on technology’s cutting-edge. With this model, you can rest easy at night, feeling safe, secure, and informed.

With its customizable features like privacy settings, setting up multiple cameras, and working with Alexa, this solar security camera model provides homeowners with an easy and efficient solution.

Want more top-rated solar equipment to help bring your home into the future? If so, check out our best solar charge controllers for those with solar panels, or if you’re looking to add some, or our Homepage here at Your Energy Blog for our full list of highly-rated gear.

References

  1. https://www.thoughtco.com/why-batteries-discharge-quickly-cold-weather-607889
  2. https://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php
  3. https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Solar_panel_orientation
  4. https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/dust-resistant-waterproof-making-sense-of-gadget-ratings
  5. https://www.seia.org/initiatives/what-happens-solar-panels-when-its-cloudy-or-raining

The post Best Solar-Powered Security Camera of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

Best Solar Charge Controller of 2020

Best solar charge controllers: top-rated MPPT controller reviews

A solar charge controller is a necessary part of any solar electric system. It is what mediates your battery bank and the solar panels that power it, regulating both the voltage and current flowing to the battery (1).

A solar charge controller ensures your battery remains safe from overload, over-discharge, and overheating. It also draws maximum power from your solar system, resulting in higher efficiency (2).

In this article, we’ve rounded up our top 13 best solar charge controllers you can buy this year to help guarantee your success with your solar setup, and help you avoid getting stuck with a lemon. In addition, there’s a buyer’s guide at the end with valuable tips you can use when shopping for one yourself. Without further ado, let’s get started with our quick comparison of the top picks before we get into the real nitty-gritty – the reviews.

Quick Comparison of our Top 12 Best Solar Charge Controllers (For Those in a Hurry)

Here is a quick look at the 13 best solar charge controllers.

  1. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125110210 250V/100A (Best Overall): With high voltage and amperage limits, advanced MPPT technology, and easy installation, this is by far the best overall option.
  2. Victron SmartSolar MPPT CCTRL-VT-MPPS-85A 150V/85A (Budget Pick): For those who want a budget option that still has high voltage and amp limits, this controller happens to be a great pick.
  3. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125085210 250V/85A: If you’re looking for a medium solar charge controller that you can monitor and control with a smartphone app, this Victron model is a great pick.
  4. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC115070210 150V/70A: If you want to chain your solar charge controllers together, you should get this controller. It comes with great CAN bus ports that allow you to connect more than one easily, reliably, and efficiently.
  5. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125060210: With a five-year guarantee on the controller and two years on the battery, this is our top choice to buy with a great warranty.
  6. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC115060210 150V/60A: This Victron offers pre-programmed charge algorithms so that you can find the best mix of volts and amps, and you get this customization at a reasonable price. 
  7. AMPINVT MPPT-120A 12V 24V 36V 48V 120A: With multiple load control options and an LCD, this controller works for arrays of all sizes.
  8. Outback Flexmax FM80 12V 24V 36V 48V 80A: The Outback brings multiple load control modes, a reasonable price tag, and a reputation for reliability. 
  9. Victron SmartSolar MPPT CCTRL-VT-MPPS-100A 150V/100A: With intelligent MPPT and remote control, this smart system can bring the most power, even in cloudy conditions. 
  10. MidNite Solar Classic 150 150V/96A: This controller works on all sizes of arrays and allows you to control voltage, and it has modes for wind and hydropower. 
  11. Morningstar Corporation Tristar MPPT TS-MPPT-60 150V/60A: This internet-connected controller can work in hot conditions and has impressive efficiency. 
  12. MidNite Solar Classic 200 200V/79A: Best for small arrays, this controller works in extreme conditions and with wind and hydro.

Solar Charge Controller Reviews

Here is a closer look at the best solar controllers. Read our in-depth solar charge controller reviews to find the perfect one for your solar setup.

1. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125110210 250V/100A (Best Overall)

This model is our best overall option. It has a lot going for it, including the MPPT functionality and the 250 volt and 100 amp limits. If you have an especially large solar array and need a charge controller that can handle that much power, then it’s hard to do much better than this.

On the other hand, even if you have a small set up, but plan on growing it soon and need a charge controller you can grow into, this is still an excellent choice.

While this solar charge controller certainly isn’t cheap, it is worth the money if you take advantage of its abilities, and it continues Victron’s tradition of making high-quality products.

2. Victron SmartSolar MPPT CCTRL-VT-MPPS-85A 150V/85A (Budget Pick)

If the SmartSolar charge controller before this one sounded too expensive for you, then this one should make for a better deal. At about two-thirds of the price, it sacrifices neither quality nor functionality, and it is our top budget pick.

The voltage and amp limits are still very high at 150 volts and 85 amps. This product is also an MPPT controller, so it should track the maximum power point under all weather conditions.

It also contains Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to set it up and monitor it with any Bluetooth enabled device. What’s more, it comes with a solid five-year warranty.

3. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125085210 250V/85A

The selling point for this particular Victron model is that it offers many of the features of the SCC125110210, with a slight reduction in the maximum amperage, which makes it our choice for the best for medium arrays. The lower amps naturally lead to a small decrease in price for those who want something cheaper but still feature-rich.

You can opt for the SmartSolar control display, which shows your battery’s status at a glance. Best of all, it has a remote control and monitoring capabilities via your Smartphone.

4. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC115070210 150V/70A

This Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controller has many of the same features as the others in its family. It is our top choice for daisy chaining. At 150 volts and 70 amperes, its limits are lower than usual. However, considering the great price, it’s a good buy and offers good value for money.

The best feature of this solar charge controller by far has to be the addition of CAN bus ports. CAN, in this case, stands for Chain Additional Units.

You can chain it with other SmartSolar chargers via a single RJ45 cable, allowing them to synchronize their charge states and draw energy from your solar system more efficiently.

5. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125060210

The rating on this controller is even lower than the one above. It has 150 volts and 60 amperes. This product is for those with smaller solar arrays who don’t want a powerful solar charger but still need lots of features.

It uses MPPT technology to draw power from the solar panels, and it has an efficiency rate of 99%. It also features CAN bus ports if you would like to create a daisy chain of solar charge controllers. Best of all is that it comes with a five-year warranty.

6. Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC115060210 150V/60A

Yes, yet another 60-ampere limit solar charge. It has many of the same features as the one above, and it comes at roughly the same price point. So what makes it so special?

This product comes with eight pre-programmed charge algorithms so you can toggle between them, going for the best mix of charge voltage and amperage for your battery. However, if that doesn’t satisfy you, you can also program a unique charge algorithm, tweaking it according to your needs.

7. AMPINVT MPPT-120A 12V 24V 36V 48V 120A

My favorite thing about this model is the multiple load control options. It can supply 12, 24, 36 and 48 volt systems adequately, and comes with a maximum 120-ampere limit, making it great, even for large arrays.

It also comes with an LCD that shows you real-time statistics so you can stay on top of your controller operation.

8. Outback Flexmax FM80 12V 24V 36V 48V 80A

This product is another great solar charge controller with multiple load control modes. The only difference here is that this one has a lower total amperage limit of 80A. It is, therefore, cheaper as a result.

The Outback can quickly charge batteries of different voltages, ranging from 12 VDC to 60 VDC, has an LCD, and operates on reliable MPPT technology.

9. Victron SmartSolar MPPT CCTRL-VT-MPPS-100A 150V/100A

This Victron solar charge controller comes with intelligent MPPT tracking, which tracks the maximum power point, even when the sky is partially cloudy, and your solar array isn’t operating at maximum capacity.

It has a remote control and monitoring capabilities that work both with and without an internet connection, so long as you have a Bluetooth device. With an exceptionally high 100A limit, it can work even with large solar arrays. It doesn’t come with an LCD, but you can buy the optional one.

10. MidNite Solar Classic 150 150V/96A

This excellent solar charge controller happens to be the most popular offering from MidNite. It can output 96 amperes and has a 150V maximum. These specs make it suitable for use on all sizes of arrays, even large ones.

It is also versatile with MPPT modes for solar, wind, and hydropower. I also like that it has HyperVOC technology, which extends the open-circuit voltage when necessary.

11. Morningstar Corporation Tristar MPPT TS-MPPT-60 150V/60A

Morningstar has an excellent reputation for making high-quality products, and this controller does not disappoint. It runs on MPPT technology, is rated to operate efficiently, and works at temperatures as high as 45-degrees C and 113-degrees F.

And speaking of efficiency, it has up to 99% efficiency. It also comes with an ethernet port, allowing you to connect it to your wired network and control it from anywhere.

12. MidNite Solar Classic 200 200V/79A

And finally, we have another solar charge controller from MidNite. This one has a max amperage of 79A, which makes it great for small solar arrays.

However, it still has a high voltage limit at 200V and can charge batteries from 12V to 72V. The terminals are also very resilient, with a temperature limit of up to 75 degrees C. Finally, it can work with solar, hydro, and wind, making it highly versatile.

Buyers’ Guide: Top 5 Tips – How to Buy the Best Model for You

When shopping for a top-rated solar charge controller, it is essential to know which factors are most critical to consider before you buy. We know it can often feel overwhelming when you’re not sure what to give a priority and what to leave out.

In this section, we will look at our top five most important factors to consider before you buy a solar charge controller to further aid your search.

1. Know the voltage of your solar panels and battery

There are two aspects: the PV open-circuit voltage and the input voltage.

The open-circuit voltage, which is also known as the VOC, is the number of volts produced by your solar panel array when it has a load on it. You can find out what this number is by measuring the positive and negative leads with a voltmeter.

The VOC is significant because it’s the maximum number of volts that the solar panels in your array can produce. This number will tell you how many panels you can wire to your solar charge controller.

You want to go for a controller that can either handle the full open-circuit voltage from your solar array or make sure there are not too many solar panels in your solar array for your solar charge controller.

As long as the number of panels in your array remains below the solar charge controller’s limit, your system won’t get damaged.

For smaller arrays, a simple solar charge controller with a VOC of 50 volts should do. If you have an extensive system, you should get a charge controller with a VOC of 150 volts or more.

The next thing to consider is the maximum input voltage, which is especially crucial if you’re considering purchasing a PWM solar charge controller. Such controllers cannot convert the input power to match the output power the way an MPPT solar charge controller does.

Getting a solar charge controller with a high input power limit allows you to charge your batteries more efficiently and, therefore, spend less per unit of power.

2. Know the total wattage of your equipment you’re looking to power

You should also consider the maximum amount of power or wattage that your solar charge controller and solar system can handle at any given time, along with the total wattage of your equipment. You certainly don’t want to get yourself a solar charge controller incapable of handling all the power coming from your system (4).

The general rule of thumb is that for every 100-watt solar panel, you can expect about six amperes of power during periods when there is full sunlight.

If your setup is more extensive, you can expect a higher power output and will need a more powerful solar charge controller. If your solar system is simple, then you should be able to handle it just fine with a solar charge controller with a lower max power rating.

3. Know the two different types of solar charge controllers available.

There are two main types of controllers (3). These are the PWM and MPPT systems. PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation, while MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking.

These two solar charge controllers have strengths and weaknesses and are suited to different situations. You must understand your solar system’s capabilities before deciding which type of solar charge controller to get.

PWM

The PWM solar charge controller is the most common type of solar charge controller on the market. It is simpler than the MPPT controller and much cheaper. It’s also easier to install and use.

On the flip side, PWM solar charge controllers are not nearly as effective as MPPT controllers when used with large solar arrays.

A PWM operates by slowing down the power input amount to the battery as the battery’s power approaches its capacity. By the time the battery is full, the PWM controller lets in just enough power to keep the battery power without supplying too much power.

PWM controllers need the battery and solar panel array to have the same voltage.

Another disadvantage of PWM controllers is that they are more sensitive to weather changes than MPPT controllers. When the weather gets either too hot or too cold, the PWM controller will lose some efficiency.

MPPT

MPPT solar charge controllers are more complex than PWM controllers. As a result, they are more expensive. The functions of using an MPPT controller is pretty much the same as with a PWM. They reduce the amount of power input to the battery to a trickle to not overfill the battery.

MPPTs show their strength when it comes to big solar arrays. They can adjust their input, making sure they pull as much power from your solar system as possible.

MPPTs are also capable of matching their power output to the input requirements of the battery. This feature makes them far more efficient than PWM controllers.

4. Look for bonus features that excite you

There are other features that, while not necessary, might meet your specific needs. Here are a few you might be interested in:

Manual load control

Charge controllers often come with automatic load control, which turns off the output when the battery is too low. This feature will stop your battery from discharging completely, which prolongs its lifespan.

If, on the other hand, you also want to be able to turn the load off when you wish, you can opt for a charge controller with manual load control.

LCD

Perhaps you want to know the current, voltage, charge, and other details, so you know whether your solar charge controller is working correctly.

In that case, a controller with an LCD should come in handy. A good display should visualize all the crucial details of what’s going on in your charge controller.

Battery temperature sensor

Charge controllers can get very hot sometimes. They’re dealing in energy, after all, and are always sending and receiving it. Many manufacturers add a temperature sensor to the charge controller.

A temperature sensor prevents your controller from carrying out any overcharging, which can increase battery temperature.

Multi-stage reduction

The charge controller should be able to handle different amounts of charge coming from the solar array. Multi-stage reduction capabilities refer to the ability of a controller to move the energy through multiple processes. These processes include Bulk, Float, Absorption, and Equalization.

There is a reason for each process. Bulk, for example, allows the energy to reach the ideal voltage. Absorption ensures that the energy from the charge controller gets discharged into the battery. Meanwhile, float ensures that a specific charge is maintained before more power goes to the battery. Equalization assures that the voltage never drops during absorption.

Most charge controllers have at least Bulk, Absorption, and Float. However, you can also opt for a 4-stage model that includes Equalization as well.

Adjustable charging voltage set point

Charge controllers with so-called ‘multi-voltage functions’ have a charging voltage set point that is adjustable. That means that you can choose the voltage at which the solar charge controller operates.

Voltage can vary depending on the type of battery you’re charging. This feature is worth considering if you want to get maximum efficiency out of your solar charge controller.

Remote access

Some solar charge controllers allow for remote access so you can change the settings via a browser or app on your phone. If you think you might spend significant amounts of time away from home, this is a great feature.

5. Find the top deal for you

If you want to get the best value, here are some things to consider.

Warranty

Due to their high price, it makes sense to check for an attractive warranty when shopping for a solar charge controller.

If you look for a product with a decent warranty, you know that you bought a high-quality product and can trust its longevity. Generally, three to five years is a reasonable length of time for a warranty.

Limited-time deals

Some manufacturers offer limited-time deals, where they provide significant discounts on their solar charge controllers for a few days or weeks. These are great times to do your shopping as they allow you to get the same features and functionality that you would have got anyway but at a reduced price.

Final Price

Considering how expensive these controllers can get, it’s always recommended to have a clear budget in mind and pay attention to the final price of the product you’re buying.
The final price will include all the factors mentioned above, and when weighed properly – will help you with getting the most ROI, or return on your investment.

FAQ

Here are some common questions that people ask when purchasing a solar charge controller.

1. Which is better MPPT or PWM?

MPPT is the most efficient of the two, and the best way to draw energy from a solar system to a battery. They are about 15% better at charging than PWM controllers.

They also drain more energy from your system than PWM controllers. They can handle large solar arrays with high energy outputs, making them better at harnessing the power of solar arrays than PWM controllers.

2. How many solar panels can a charge controller handle?

The answer depends on the size of the solar charge controller. The number to look at in this case is the amperage. You want to get a controller with at least a 25% higher amperage than the solar system.

For example, if your solar panels and battery need 20 amps to work, you should have at least 25 amps on your controller. Therefore, the maximum number of solar panels a charge controller can handle is the number that provides 80% or less of the controller’s amperage rating.

3. Are MPPT controllers worth it?

Yes. You might have some doubts about this issue, considering how much more expensive MPPTs are than PWM solar charge controllers. However, given that they will charge your battery more safely, faster, and more efficiently, they are worth the price for most people (5).

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Charge Controller to Buy Today?

And with that, we come to the end of our review. Now that you’ve seen our list of the best solar charge controllers on the market, a helpful buyers’ guide, and the answers to the most popular faqs – picking the perfect model for you should be a lot easier.

However, if you’re still not quite sure which is one is right for you, we highly-recommend our #1-rated model, the Victron SmartSolar MPPT SCC125110210 250V/100A. It has an excellent balance of features, functionality, and price. Also, it should serve your needs reliably for many years to come and allows you to grow your solar system without getting a new controller with each addition. Ultimately, it’s tough to go wrong!

Want more highly-reviewed solar gear to complete your setup like the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 250V/100A? If so, check out our best solar-powered generator of the year, and more here at YourEnergyBlog.com – where we work harder to find you the top solar equipment on the market.

  1. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/balance-system-equipment-required-renewable-energy-systems
  2. https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/solar-charge-controller-basics.html/
  3. https://news.energysage.com/what-are-solar-charge-controllers-do-you-need-one/
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20071217075631/http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/electricity/index.cfm/mytopic%3D10640
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/charge-controller

The post Best Solar Charge Controller of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

Best Solar Generator of 2020

Best solar-powered generator: top-rated reviews

We rely on electricity so much that many people don’t realize that an extended power outage could result in hundreds of dollars of wasted groceries and even refrigerated medication going bad. (1) Electronics such as laptops can also be vulnerable to power surges as the electricity comes back on, especially when it’s sporadic. (2)

It’s better to prepare yourself, and the best solar generators have brought backup power into more contemporary times compared to old gas-powered options. We’ve researched some of the top choices to give you reliable solar generator reviews.

Quick Comparison of our Top 11 Best Solar Generators (For Those in a Rush)

If you don’t have time to read the whole review, here’s a quick comparison of how our top choices compare to one another:

  1. Jackery 1000-watt (Best Overall): For those who want the best solar generator for all-around use, that’s not too cheap, yet still a reasonable price; this is our top overall solar generator.
  2. Jackery 500-Watt (Budget Pick): With a more affordable price, a portable build, and an exceptional track record, we’ve labeled this best for those on a budget.
  3. Pecron Q3000S (Most Powerful): For powering equipment that uses a lot of energy, running a full-sized fridge, and quiet operation, this model packs a punch.
  4. MAXOAK BLUETTI 2400 (Best 1000W “High-Load Continuous”): If you want an option for home power-outages to keep a fridge going, using a mini heater, and long battery life, this is the choice for running appliances for several hours.
  5. ExpertPower Alpha2400 (Best Solar Generator Kit): Those who want everything included—the generator, cables, and solar panels—as well as easy setup, and user-friendly design, this is a kit worth checking out.
  6. FF FlashFish 300: A compact model that is also reliable and incredibly affordable, this is our pick for the best small but mighty solar generator.
  7. BALDR 330: If you want to know if you can get a hold of someone with the brand, but also want quality construction and reliable use, one of the best customer service options for a solar generator is going with a BALDR.
  8. EF ECOFLOW 1800: Hands-down, the best solar generator for use with tools like a circular saw or a hammer drill–it also has a clear display and sleek design.
  9. MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500: If you want something not too expensive, not too cheap with outstanding customer service and a convenient carrying handle is the BLUETTI 1500.
  10. Aeiusny 500: For the best budget-friendly, small, camping solar generator with a light, look at the Aeiusny.
  11. Westinghouse 100: If the brand name is crucial, the best reputation on this list for a small solar generator is the Westinghouse. This unit also has a variety of outlets and ports, and is ultra-portable. 

Solar Generator Reviews

We’ve spent several hours researching solar generators, exploring features, and testing some of the models out ourselves. Here are our in-depth results to aid your search.

1. Jackery 1000 Watts (Best Overall)

The Jackery 1000 Watt solar generator is robust and sufficient for most individuals as an emergency device, and we’re labeling it the best overall solar generator. We tested it and could get 1000 watts from this generator for a solid hour without interruption. We like that you have four ways to recharge the Jackery (solar, car outlet, wall outlet with 163W max, or another generator).

This portable model is our personal favorite for the best solar generator, thanks to several features. First, you get plenty of outlets—USB-C, USB-A, car outlet, and three AC outlets. The Jackery 1000 can also power devices like mini-fridges, coffee makers, electric grills, blenders, and even support larger home appliances like a fridge.

Keep in mind; this model will not power items that are more intensive power-suckers, like a microwave or a hairdryer (although only the most robust models will).

You get pure sine wave energy with a long-lasting battery, and this generator is also lightweight, making it simple with which to travel. Better yet, this generator is incredibly quiet.

Compared to some generators we’ve researched, which can go for a few thousand dollars, this one is reasonably-priced. The fair price combined with the quality, longevity, low sound output, and the ability to use this generator while charging it makes it our top pick for the best overall solar generator. You’ll feel satisfied with the investment on this generator when the power goes out.

2. Jackery 500 Watts (Budget Pick)

The combined low cost mixed with the quality of Jackery models made this model our top budget pick solar generator. After hours of research, we’re a fan of Jackery solar generators, as you’ll see from our top overall pick. For a more affordable option—and we’re talking a remarkably budget-friendly model as far as generators go—the Jackery 500 is outstanding.

This ultra-lightweight solar generator can power items like small blenders (not full-sized models), RV lighting, portable movie projectors, and mini coolers. We recommend this model for those who only want a quiet solar generator for camping items, as it doesn’t have enough power to support things like drills, coffee makers, large blenders, or hairdryers.

While the wattage is lower, we love this generator for devices like laptops when you’re on the road. The Jackery 500 has a pure sine wave inverter, which means you can safely use it with laptops, phones, and tablets without damaging them. The inverter also makes this generator quieter and guards your electronics against overheating or voltage overload.

You get four ways of charging this model: solar, wall outlets with 80W max, a car outlet, and another generator. We’ve also noticed that Jackery generators hold their charge for a long time (several months and even a year).

3. Pecron Q3000S 2000 Watts (Most Powerful)

With 2000 watts to run high-energy devices, this is our favorite for the most powerful solar generator. If you want a robust generator that also has the eco-friendly and quiet benefits of solar, the Pecron Q3000S is one to consider. This 2000 watt power station can offer peak output of an impressive 4000 watts and has a lithium battery backup for those weeks when the clouds won’t dissipate.

This generator has pure sine wave output that can power a mini-fridge, a pressure cooker, electric grills, drones, laptops, and even an induction cooker (up to 1300w). Are you concerned about charging your laptop or tablet with this powerful solar generator? You’ll have no worries with its overcharge, over-voltage, and overheat protection.

This generator is slightly larger than the lower-output models, but it comes with wheels and a handle to roll it around with ease, much like a small rolling suitcase. You won’t get the lowest price tag with this eco-friendly generator, but for those who need a robust, quiet, solar-powered option for frequent RV trips or as an emergency backup for a house, it could be an ideal fit.

4. MAXOAK BLUETTI 2400 Watts (Best 1000W “High-Load Continuous”)

Not everyone wants a tiny device just to charge a smartphone, so for home power-outages, this is our pick for the best 1000W “high-load continuous” solar generator. For those who want a solar generator that will serve as an emergency backup for their home, the MAXOAK 2400 is an excellent option. You can power a standard refrigerator to this thing and run it for a couple of days! When you experience a blackout (3) for more than a day, you’ll be thankful for this eco-friendly generator.

With ample power and more prolonged use, overheating could be a concern. However, this generator has a cooling fan that automatically starts when attached to appliances with over 100 watts.

This solar generator is best for more extended use on emergency items, such as a refrigerator. For electric drills, emergency lighting, appliances like a full-sized fridge, laptops, a TV, and even a CPAP machine, this model is excellent.

You also get a convenient carrying handle and an LCD screen to monitor the amount of power left on the generator. One notable perk with this product is the customer service. As we sifted through hundreds of reviews, time and time again, feedback on the customer service was outstanding.

5. ExpertPower Alpha2400 (Best Solar Generator Kit)

Many solar generators are technically “solar compatible” but don’t include panels, so we found the Alpha2400 for the best solar generator kit. The Alpha2400 is a full solar generator kit with a detachable solar panel, an adjustable stand to catch the best sunlight, a cable to hook up the panel to the generator, and the device itself. This power source is heavy and durable. While something super heavy might not sound ideal at first, it does work as a slight theft deterrent, so that’s a feature to keep in mind.

You can power a decent array of electronics with this model, such as a mini-fridge, game consoles, fans, a CPAP machine, TV, laptops, and even a washing machine. Two standard, 1000-watt AC outlets pair with four USB ports to plug-in appliances and devices such as tablets or smartphones.

Like the other top picks on this list, the ExpertPower Alpha2400 also has over-voltage, low-voltage, and temperature protection for your more delicate electronics. This kit is convenient for smart buyers who want the whole solar setup in one package.

6. FF FLASHFISH 300 Watts

I like the FF FlashFish solar generator for the pure value you get from this little power source. This model is super budget-friendly, and you get a surprisingly long draw time from a single charge.

While you aren’t going to get days of power for a full-sized fridge out of this device, you can use it with a mini-fridge for up to seven hours. You also can power laptops, a TV, a CPAP machine, and an outdoor projector.

I like that this lightweight generator has three USB ports for charging a few electronics at once, as well as two three-pronged AC outlets. Built-in safety guards protect sensitive devices from over-voltage, and a cooling fan prevents overheating.

The solar panels come separately, and the manufacturer recommends an 18v/50w solar panel (that does not exceed 100 watts). So, you’ll have to get the right panels and connecting cables to use this generator. Still, it’s an affordable option for emergencies and road trips.

You won’t find an abundance of small, super-portable, budget-friendly solar generators that offer such a reliable charge. For those who want an affordable generator that is lightweight and can help with emergency lighting or small devices, this is one to consider.

7. BALDR 330 Watts

This portable solar generator is lightweight (only 7.1 pounds) and simple to use. You only need an MC4 cable connected to a solar panel to get it up and running, and it does not require an MPPT or PWM charge controller. For lightweight, easy-to-use solar generators, this one is an excellent option.

This generator has a lower wattage than some of the heftier models, but the upside is that the charge time is relatively short. You can fully juice this one up in about six or seven hours instead of 12 or even 18.

Note: the solar panels are sold separately, and the manufacturer recommends TogoPOWER panels.
Don’t expect to power blenders, coffee makers, hairdryers, electric kettles, or other devices over 330 watts with this generator. However, you can run a mini cooler, 32” TV, emergency lighting, tablets, phones, and laptops with the BALDR 330.

Even with the small size and lower wattage, you can still power a CPAP machine for a few nights with this generator. Another bonus—customer service is fantastic when dealing with BALDR. If a reliable brand with a fast-response service is crucial to you, BALDR might be an ideal fit.

8. EF ECOFLOW 1800 Watts

So far, we’ve covered a handful of solar generators that can power many smaller devices, and a few that can support a mini-fridge, or even a full-sized refrigerator. However, if you want an eco-friendly generator with enough power to handle everything from a microwave and a standard refrigerator to a circular saw and air compressor, look at this model. You can even run a welding machine (up to 1800 watts) from this generator.

You’d have to pay a bit more than some models for this solar generator, but the battery life and power do not disappoint. Whether you want a power source for your RV or a reliable emergency backup to power your fridge and lights at home during a blackout, this is a worthwhile investment.

This generator has plenty of safety features, including sensors that will prevent quick-charging right after you quickly drain it. However, most of the time, you can get a rapid charge of roughly four hours through the solar panels.

Pure sine wave energy makes this generator safe for juicing up your laptop, and it’s compatible with any solar panel (up to 400 watts).

9. MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500 Watts

If you like the MAXOAK brand and considered the BLUETTI 2400, but don’t want to spend that much on a solar generator, the 1500 version of the BLUETTI is worth considering.

You don’t get quite the “oomph” as the 2400 model with this one, but it’s still robust enough to power a mini-fridge, a car vacuum, a 32” TV, an electric drill, and even a full-sized refrigerator for up to an hour and a half.

Customer service is excellent. For most users, this handy solar generator works well and holds a charge for a long time. This model can blend the reliable power you might need in a blackout with a savvy sense of purchasing something that won’t break the bank.

Like the other generators in our top picks, the pure sine wave energy makes it safe to charge electronics like laptops. Over-voltage, overcurrent, and temperature control are some of the added safeguards. We particularly like that the LCD screen shows the remaining power and error codes for potential malfunctions. Like some of our other favorite generators, you can juice this one up with solar panels or a wall socket for those rainy days.

10. Aeiusny 500 Watts

The Aeiusny solar generator comes fully charged, which is a nice little perk for this portable, affordable power source. This model is also super quick to power up—you’ll probably be able to juice it up faster than you can figure out how to pronounce the company name.

Don’t let that stop you from considering this handy generator, though. Customer service is easy to reach with their email, and this device is well-built. You can refill the battery with solar power, but you can also recharge with a wall outlet, cigarette lighter socket, or another generator.

This generator is not suitable for keeping a full-sized fridge going during a blackout, but it’s fantastic for camping trips. You can run a computer, car cooler, camping lights, and even a CPAP machine (with the heater and humidifier off) with this portable generator.

This solar generator works best if you refresh its charge at least every six months. For the person on a tight budget who wants a backup generator for their smartphone, laptop, small lights, and would also like an emergency flashlight built into the unit, the Aeiusny is one to check out.

11. Westinghouse 100 Watts

Westinghouse is an exceptionally reputable name in generators, whether they be solar-powered or traditional gas-powered. So, when we found this portable, budget-friendly, solar-optional iGen 160s model from Westinghouse, we had to take a look.

I like that you get a two-prong and three-prong outlet, a USB-1, USB-2, and USB-C ports, as well as three 12-volt DC ports on this small generator. This ultra-quiet generator can power laptops, tablets, headlamps, cameras, and other small devices. All of the standard electronic safety features are built-in, including over-voltage, over-current, low-voltage, and short circuit protection.

A handle and a flashlight are also designed into this 3.75-pound generator. Solar panels are sold separately, but you can plug in any solar panel to the DC13V-25V/2A max port that fits 5.5 x 2.1mm.
If you don’t get a solar panel immediately, or have a long stretch of rainy weather, you can charge up this model with a house outlet or car cigarette lighter. Those who want a small generator with a reputable name and top-notch quality will be happy with this long-lasting, tiny powerhouse.

Buyers’ Guide (Top 3 Tips – How to Buy the Best Solar Generator for You)

Investing in something potentially-pricey like a generator can be daunting. We did the homework first to make it simpler for you.

1. Know how much wattage you’ll need (in 3 easy steps)

Wattage is crucial and one of the most vital components when selecting a generator.

STEP 1: Find out the “wattage draw” of your equipment (estimate: minimum, maximum, & continuous draws)

If you don’t know where to start, you can try out an energy calculator (4) to get an estimate. For appliances like refrigerators, you can multiply volts x amps. Most refrigerators will have a sticker with these numbers either within the door, at the back, on a kickplate, or listed on the rear interior wall.
Typical fridge use consumes somewhere between 100 and 250 watts or roughly 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a single day. (5)

If the power goes out, a fridge can be an essential item to keep running. However, many people think big appliances like these suck up the most energy, partially because they need to stay powered to keep your food cold.

You might be surprised to find that running a hairdryer takes about 1500 watts—15 times the power it takes to keep your fridge going! (6)

A standard-sized microwave can suck up between 850 and a whopping 1800 watts during use.

STEP 2: Estimate the “runtime(s)” you’ll need for your equipment

If you purchase a small generator that cannot power hefty power-users, like a microwave, the runtime won’t matter because you won’t be able to utilize these items with your power source.

If you get a more robust generator, you should be able to keep a full-sized refrigerator going, and even items like a blender (which can use up to 1000 watts) or a coffee maker (anywhere between 600 and 1500 watts) when in use.

You’ll need to keep track of a general runtime for any item you plan to plug into your solar generator. A hairdryer might only use five minutes of energy at 1500 watts. A full-sized fridge using around 200 watts is less but needs to remain on continuously.

List all items you will need to plug into your generator, roughly how many minutes they will continuously run, and what they drain in wattage.

STEP 3: Find a solar generator that can both power all your equipment and satisfy your desired runtime(s)

If you know that you won’t use a generator for much besides powering your smartphone and a small fan while camping, a small, budget-friendly model will likely work well for you.

However, if you plan to invest in a solar generator that can help out while traveling in addition to being an energy backup for your house in the case you lose power for a couple of days, consider something heftier. Generators can be tough to justify when everything is fine with your energy, the weather, and you have no plans for travel.

If your entire city loses power, and hotels aren’t even a backup option, what sort of generator will you need to keep your food fresh and at least a small heater or a few lights running?

2. Look for bonus features that excite you

Once you’ve settled on the general requirements you need in a solar generator, check the “extras.” Each model has specific little features that set it apart from others for varying reasons. Some things to consider that might or might not work best for you:

  • USB ports to charge smartphones, work laptops, or tablets for kids
  • A built-in flashlight
  • Lightweight to carry with you
  • Heavier to prevent theft if you leave it outdoors
  • Three-prong outlets to plug in anything from a mini-fridge to an electric grill
  • Various charge options, such as recharging via your car, a solar panel, or your wall outlet
  • Included solar panels (some are not)
  • The ability to support a variety of power tools
  • Extra-long battery life when not in use
  • Weather resistance
  • Pure sine wave energy (just like our best pure sine wave inverter of the year)
  • Notably-exceptional customer service
  • Rolling wheels or a carrying handle
  • LCD display to monitor the remaining charge

3. Find the best deal for you

Just because generators can be expensive doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Don’t forget to check these factors when picking your solar generator.

Shipping

If you’re buying through Amazon (worth doing if you want an ample amount of reviews to check through), you can get free shipping on many solar generators. Prime members don’t have to worry about shipping.

However, if you’re not a Prime member (even if you shop elsewhere), consider shipping before you checkout. Bulky items like generators can cost a heart-stopping amount to ship if you buy from a random outlet or don’t get Prime’s benefits from Amazon. Next to “shipping,” click on “details” to read the short but fine print.

Limited Time Deals

Sellers will often lower an item’s cost, like a solar generator, during off-seasons or around certain holidays. You can keep an item “saved for later” in your cart and check back on the price. Our favorite way to get notified of lowered prices lately is Honey. (7) You might have heard of Honey recently, as it’s become huge for snatching deals.

It’s free, and you install it into your internet browser. We are not always the best at keeping track of the exact amounts of items we plan to buy in the next few months, and we’ve used this add-on to automatically notify us when something we’re looking at falls to a lower price.

Warranty

Most generators will come with the option for a warranty, usually a one-year or three-year option. The decision on a warranty for your unit will ultimately be up to you, but a few things to keep in mind:

Most warranties will not cover damage such as you accidentally cutting the cable that connects your unit to the solar panel, the only breakdown of manufactured items or batteries that are “lemons.”
If you only plan to use the generator as an emergency backup, you may need a warranty in the first year or initial few years, but less likely than ten years from now.

Consider the cost of a more extended warranty versus the price of the generator you choose. If you spend over $1,000 on a solar generator, getting a more extended guarantee is likely a smart idea.

Final Price

Remember that your final price will include the product cost, tax, shipping (if applicable), and any warranty you decide to purchase. Some of these costs might bump up the price of your solar generator a bit.

Don’t let this scare you out of buying a piece of equipment that can help keep you warm, keep you fed, and charge up potentially vital devices like a phone when you need one. A unit can be like insurance—when you don’t use it, you might grumble, but when the day comes you need it, you won’t regret investing in it at all.

FAQ

Here we answered some of the most frequently asked questions to know before buying one of the best solar-powered generators of the year – to further aid your search and help ensure you find the perfect one for you.

What size solar generator do I need?

It’s not so much the generator’s physical size, but instead, the power it can support that matters. Check back to the three steps on calculating your wattage needs and run time of the equipment you plan to use your solar generator with and focus your sights on models that can handle your power needs.

If you don’t have any units at all, you might want to consider one that can power your fridge in case of a home blackout, and will also work for trips in an RV. Make sure you use proper safety when utilizing any generator. (8)

Are solar generators worth it?

In our opinion, solar generators are an exceptional innovation and worth it when you need them. Not dealing with the noise, fumes, and handling of gasoline is a perk, no doubt, and getting the variety of charging methods is also a bonus.

If a real emergency arose, these units could supply you with power and keep that power going without any electricity to charge the battery, and without needing to travel to a gas station to refill your gas can.

All you need is the power of the sun and a proper setup, and then you’re ready for a wide range of situations.

Consider this: A solar generator could be potentially lifesaving. If you need to keep a small heater running during a frigid winter power-outage, you don’t have to worry about poisonous fumes from a solar generator as you do with a gas-powered model. You don’t have to keep a solar generator outside for that reason. (9)

You can charge most solar generators with a wall outlet, so even if solar panels aren’t ideal in the winter, you can still use these and have them on standby for such situations.

As we mentioned, a generator is much like insurance—you might not want to spend the money at the moment, but when you desperately need it, you’ll feel so thankful you invested in protecting yourself. Setting out a solar panel to recharge your generator in a potential city-wide loss of power is a benefit worth every penny if you ask me.

What is the best solar generator to buy?

In our books, the best solar generator to buy this year is the Jackery 1000-watt, our best overall choice. At the end of the day, the best unit for you will depend mainly on what equipment you’re looking to power, what main features you’re looking for, and your budget — but overall this model provides most with what they’re looking for.

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar-Powered Generator to Buy Today?

Now that you’ve seen all our top solar generators of the year here at Your Energy Blog, most important buyers’ tips, and answers to the most popular faqs – you’re well on your way to choosing the best one for you.

However, if you’re still not quite sure which one to go with, we highly-recommend our #1-rated Jackery 1000-watt. For most people, this model would work well in many situations, it’s able to power a massive range of equipment, and it’s in a sweet spot when it comes to price. It’s not too cheap and tiny, but it’s not the most expensive option by a long shot. Ultimately, it’s pretty tough to beat!

  1. https://www.ready.gov/power-outages
  2. https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/power-outage_information-sheet.pdf
  3. https://nbc25news.com/weather/stormready-survival-guide/how-to-pick-the-right-generators-to-keep-power-on-during-outages
  4. http://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_refrigerator.htm
  5. https://reductionrevolution.com.au/blogs/news-reviews/fridge-power-consumption#:~:text=Domestic%20fridge%20power%20consumption%20is,%24150%20per%20year%20per%20fridge.
  6. http://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_hairdryer.htm
  7. https://www.joinhoney.com/explore
  8. https://www.energy.gov/ceser/activities/energy-security/emergency-preparedness/using-portableemergency-generators-safely
  9. https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

The post Best Solar Generator of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

Best Solar Lantern of 2020

One of the oldest, free, renewable, and nature-friendly energy sources, solar power is growing in popularity because of its energy efficiency, low maintenance, and cost savings. (1) Are you looking for the best solar lantern for your yard, emergency kit, or next camping trip?

We can help. Not only will we list our top picks of 2020, but we’ll try to answer any questions you might have about buying a solar lantern and what to look for before you buy–ensuring you get the top fit for you and your next camping trip or outdoor gathering.

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

  1. Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack (Best Overall): An attractive lantern with excellent run time, functionality, and romantic design that can hang or be set on a hard surface—best for people who want a balance between function and aesthetic.
  2. Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights (Budget Pick): A dancing flame lantern with the most affordable price for the quality, unique design, and excellent solar run time. This is the best lantern for people who need a lot of lanterns at a decent price.
  3. LuminAID’s 2-in-1 Solar Lanterns (Best Camping): A lightweight, collapsible lantern designed to be multi-functional, efficient, and reliable which is best for long camping trips or unforeseen disasters. T
  4. TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lanterns (Best Multi-Finish): A flicker-flame, old-world style lantern that is very affordable and comes in three finishes of antique silver, bronze, or white. This lantern is best for someone who needs their lantern to blend well with their landscape.
  5. TomCare Retro-Style Flicker Flame Solar Lanterns (Most Stylish Design): An affordable, flicker flame metal lantern with a distinctive traditional lantern design that’s high quality and sophisticated. This lantern is best for impressing guests at a party.
  6. Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns: A clean, modern design with flicker flame LED lights, this lantern is easy to hang and has excellent run time.
  7. YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern: Another dancing flame solar lantern that imitates a realistic flame and is an affordable, no fuss, easy-to-hang lantern.
  8. LampLust Solar Candle Lantern: A unique, durable, sophisticated design that is eighteen inches tall, making it the tallest lamp on our list.
  9. EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns: Flicker flame LED lantern that is affordable, versatile, and durable to create a mesmerizing outdoor atmosphere.
  10. LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth: A high tech, multi-functional, collapsible lantern can connect and be controlled from an app on your phone.
  11. TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern: Designed to look like a tree stump, this lantern is the most unique design on our list, and it’s definitely a conversation piece.
  12. Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light: High quality, durable and unique, this lantern will spark conversation while creating the atmosphere of a Morrocan festival.
  13. Greenlight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern: A lightweight, multi-functional, portable light that’s great for camping or doing projects around the house.

Solar Lantern Reviews

Now that you’ve seen our top thirteen solar lanterns for outdoors at a glance, let’s examine them closer, shall we? Check out our comprehensive solar lantern reviews to further aid your search, and find the perfect one for you. Without further ado, here’s our top overall choice of the year, the Superdanny 8-Pack.

1. SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack (Best Overall)

The Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack is the best solar lantern and our best overall pick for excellent run time, functionality, and romantic design. If you want a gorgeous lantern that can hang or sit on the ground or table, then you’ll love the Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern.

Using warm light LED bulbs, this solar lantern’s run time is tough to beat. It fully charges after four to five hours of direct sunlight. And will run for six to nine hours depending on the season, giving you dusk to dawn capability if needed. It also has a switch to turn on an automatic sensor.

This lantern is designed to be multi-functional for any weather condition. Made for all-weather outdoor use, the lantern is made from high-quality, waterproof plastic and metal. It also comes with a nineteen-foot rope for stringing the lanterns to illuminate an outdoor gathering.

Its modern design lends itself to creating ambient light on a table, hanging above a patio for late-night activities, or lighting a pathway to your home. And the swirl of fairy lights creates a romantic, whimsical environment, giving it an air of sophistication for your next outdoor party.

2. Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights 4-Pack (Budget Pick)

The Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights wins our budget pick because it has the most affordable price for the quality, unique design, and solar run time. The solar lantern uses a flickering LED light that mimics the look of a real flame.

The antique flame effect elevates the atmosphere for parties, gatherings, barbecues, and camping trips. The lanterns use warm yellow light to set the mood. The lanterns can hang, be clipped, or placed on a level surface to provide adequate lighting.

Made from high quality, durable plastic, the Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights are waterproof and can be used during any weather condition. It also comes with a one year warranty and excellent customer service. For what you get, you can’t beat the price.

The lanterns can charge using solar or USB power. When fully charged, the solar lanterns can run for up to twelve hours and have automatic sensors that will turn on the lights when it gets dark. The USB charger is a nice touch to help out in a pinch when sunlight is scarce.

3. LuminAID 2-1 Solar Lantern (Best Camping)

Our pick for the best solar camping lantern, the LuminAID’s 2-in-1 Solar Lanterns, are practically designed to be multi-functional, efficient, and reliable for long camping trips or unforeseen disasters. This is a great solar lantern to pack with your tent or keep in your emergency kit.

Designed for disaster relief, the lantern is collapsible, waterproof, and lightweight. This lantern also has an added feature of floating on water, making it ideal for river trips or camping by the lake. And the collapsible, lightweight design makes it easy to stash in your pack for a long hiking trip.

The lantern has the 2-in-1 function of being a light and a phone charger. It can recharge your phone or tablet with a 2.1 Amp output port. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, having a phone charger is a bonus.

And these lanterns can be charged by solar or USB power. The solar panels need ten hours of direct sunlight to charge fully. If you don’t have time, you can also charge it quickly using the USB cord. When fully charged, it provides up to 24 hours of light. Set to its low mode setting, it can run for up to 50 hours.

4. TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lantern 2-Pack (Best Multi-Finish)

The TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lanterns are our pick for best multi-finish because of their old-world style, affordability, and high quality that comes in three finishes. These attractive solar lanterns come in antique silver, bronze, or white.

Made from durable, rust-resistant metal, these solar lanterns are surprisingly affordable. Other solar lanterns at this price point are generally made of plastic. And coupled with the flickering flame LED lights that create a real flame simulation, these lanterns easily create old-world ambiance.

Made to endure all weather conditions, these waterproof solar lanterns have a white light that can fully charge in direct sunlight after eight hours. The lanterns will run for up to ten hours and give off a fair amount of light.

The manufacturer does point out that the lanterns won’t work if the two lights are installed too close together. That being said, it does come with a one-year warranty and quality customer service to address any issue you may have.

5. TomCare Retro-Style Flickering Flame Metal Solar Lantern 2-Pack (Most Stylish Design)

Very similar to the TomCare Flicker Flame Solar Lanterns, these retro-style solar lanterns are our pick for most stylish design because of their distinctive traditional lantern design, affordability, and high quality that comes in two finishes. These stylish solar lanterns come in bronze or white.

These solar lanterns are very affordable and are made from durable, rust-resistant metal. The flickering flame LED lights create a real flame simulation, which really adds to the vintage-inspired look. These lanterns will create an old-world ambiance for your next gathering.

Made to endure all weather conditions, these waterproof solar lanterns have warm light that can fully charge in direct sunlight after eight hours. The lanterns will run for up to ten hours and are fairly bright. However, they’re better for setting the mood rather than lighting up the basketball court.

The manufacturer does point out that the lanterns won’t work if the two lights are installed too close together. That being said, it does come with a one-year warranty and quality customer service to address any issue you may have.

6. JIAN YA NA Solar Lantern 10-Pack

A clean, modern design, the Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns, will impress your guests at your next gathering. Easy to hang using the large ring or clip can attach to many surfaces. These lanterns also have a flickering flame LED light that mimics a real flame without the fire hazard.

Made from all-weather, rust-resistant plastic and metal, these lanterns are entirely waterproof. It’s warm white light is very bright, making these lanterns a solid pick for lighting a patio or outdoor entertainment area.

When in direct sunlight, the solar lantern only needs four to six hours to charge depending on the season. Using an automatic sensor, the lanterns will turn on when it gets dark and shine brightly for up to nine hours.

Incredibly easy to install, the Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns only requires two steps for operation. Turn the sensor to automatic and peel away the protective film from the solar panel before hanging it in sunlight to charge.

7. YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern 4-Pack

Another dancing flame solar lantern that imitates a realistic flame, the YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern, is an affordable, no fuss, easy-to-hang lantern. These warm light lanterns create a welcoming atmosphere for relaxing around the campground or patio lounging.

The YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern is built to last and made from durable, waterproof ABS plastic for all-weather outdoor use. It comes with a metal hanging ring and clips for easy set-up. Lightweight and easy to use, this is a great camping accessory.

These solar lanterns provide excellent light and long run time. You can charge them using solar or USB power for times when the sun isn’t optimal. The lantern charges within four to five hours and will run for up to twelve hours for dusk-to-dawn illumination.

The YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern provides quality lighting and looks like a real flame. They’re very durable for everyday outdoor use, and they come with a one-year warranty to ensure you’re satisfied with the quality. Truly, a fantastic all-purpose lantern.

8. LampLust Solar Candle Lantern

The LampLust Solar Candle Lantern has a unique, sophisticated design. Standing at eighteen inches tall, this is the tallest lantern on our list. Perfect for setting along a pathway or as a centerpiece on a table, the solar lantern creates an intimate atmosphere for your next gathering.

Made from durable, rust-resistant metal and glass, this attractive lantern also comes in a fourteen-inch model to create a complementary pairing for extra table light. The LampLust Solar Candle Lantern is high quality and beautiful, garnering the envy of neighbors.

The solar lantern is built to run. As long as the lantern gets adequate sunlight, it can illuminate any yard or patio for six to eight hours. And the candle’s flicking warm light creates an inviting ambiance and decent brightness.

A unique hexagon shape with a black finish gives it a touch of elegance while still providing practical, energy-saving illumination. Known for quality products, LampLust offers a 90-day warranty to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

9. EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lantern 4-Pack

The EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns cast a yellow firelight using flicker flame LEDs to create a mesmerizing atmosphere. While these lanterns can sit on a table, hanging them around your patio, porch, yard, or pathway would be a good choice.

Relatively inexpensive, the EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns have an upgraded, thick ABS plastic shell. So they are great for all weather conditions in any season. In a black finish, the lantern has a more masculine style, reminiscent of a barbeque grill.

The EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns have an upgraded solar panel making them more efficient. They only need six to eight hours to charge in full sunlight for a run time of ten hours. This unique designed solar lantern also comes in purple or blue flame to create a party atmosphere.

The clip makes them easy to hang, giving your yard torch light ambiance. And because they are solar, they are easy to maintain and very energy efficient. The solar lantern comes with a one-year warranty.

10. LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth

Going high tech, the LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth can connect and be controlled from an app on your phone. This is an ideal lantern for on the go, whether you’re headed camping or to the beach, just collapse and put it in your bag.

The app has many features, allowing you to change colors, adjust brightness, check the battery, and set light timers to a specific time. You can customize the lantern’s light to any color. Built for functionality over decorative design, the LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern is collapsable, lightweight, and easy to carry.

The LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern can run all night. It does take longer than other solar lamps to charge completely at around twelve to sixteen hours. But it also comes with a USB port for charging in a pinch. And you can adjust the brightness for longer run time.

It has an origami design and can fold up flat for easy storage and portability. It’s also waterproof so it can hang by the pool. And it’s dustproof, so it’s the perfect lantern for overnight hiking.

11. TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern 2-Pack

The TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern is the most unique design on our list. Designed to look like a tree stump, it’s definitely a conversation piece. And when the flickering flame LEDs illuminate, it almost has a volcanic feel.

Meant to blend into the landscape of your yard or garden, the solar lantern stumps are quite large and provide a warm, firelike ambient lighting. They come in two sizes of seven-inch or eight-inch height.

It is made from quality, durable resin for all weather conditions. The lantern stumps are waterproof, heat resistant, frost resistant. It also comes with a one-year warranty and quality customer service.

12. Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light

Make a statement with the Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light. High quality, durable, and unique, the lantern will spark conversation. These round solar lanterns are very stylish and will create the atmosphere of a Morrocan festival.

The lantern produces cool blue illumination that casts a fun pattern on the ground. Fully charged, the Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light can last up to six hours. Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, this lamp will beautify any patio or garden.

It is made from durable metal made for all-season use. And despite the thick metal pattern, the light still gives off quite a bit of light. Be careful if you set this lantern on a table instead of hanging because the base can rust in high humidity environments.

13. GreenLight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern

The Greenlight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern is a very functional pick. Not intended for decorative purposes, this solar lantern is all business. A lightweight, multi-functional, portable light that’s great for camping or doing projects around the house.

Meant for everyday use, the portable lantern offers adequate light when your project calls for it. Whether you’re working on your car, have an emergency, or just want to read in the dark, this lamp has got your back. It has three light modes so you can customize brightness based on your needs.

A handheld solar lantern that also comes with a stand when you need both hands. It has 120 lumens and can provide up to forty-five hours of light. It also has a USB port for faster charging or charging your phone or tablet using solar power.

Ranked by MIT as the best solar light, this is an essential light to throw in your tool or emergency kit. It’s also very compact and lightweight, making it ideal for taking on hiking trips. It’s also very affordable for the high quality and excellent run time.

Buyers’ Guide (Top 5 Tips – How to Buy the Best Solar-Powered Lantern for You)

Want some useful buying tips for finding the right model for you? We’ve got you covered. Here we’ll list our top five tips, so you can feel confident buying a solar-powered lantern.

1. Keep in Mind Your Solar Lantern’s Main Purpose

While solar lanterns are revolutionizing light for third-world countries (2), they’re also convenient to have around the house and in the yard. Because of their energy efficiency and cost savings, solar lanterns have many uses.

Decoration

As solar technology advances, the design and cost of these lanterns are transitioning from functional to decorative. Many companies have capitalized on solar panel technology to create stylish, elegant lanterns that people want to buy as decorative accents.

Solar lanterns are an attractive way to provide sustainable, cost-effective lighting while still creating an elegant ambiance for your next gathering. No longer just for the environmentally conscious, these lanterns are an affordable and stylish alternative for outdoor lighting.

If you’re buying a model for decorative reasons, this will come down to personal preference. There is no wrong answer at the end of the day. If the design appeals to you, it appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to be unique, and stand out.

Practical Lighting

According to the Climate Technology Centre & Network, solar lanterns are a cheap alternative for providing four to five hours of high-quality light. Most solar lanterns use LED lights like most outdoor solar equipment you’ll see today including solar gutter lights, because their ability to produce high-intensity lighting, and their bulbs can last for up to twenty-seven years. (3) This makes them an ideal solution for practical lighting.

Because solar lanterns can produce high-intensity light, you can use them for many practical situations such as lighting a home, yard, parks, streets, and even schools. A Stanford University study found that solar lamps can even improve education in off-grid regions. (4)

Camping

When you go off-grid or for long backpacking trips, these lanterns are essential. As a renewable source of light when electricity isn’t available, solar lanterns are a smart choice. Not only are they safer than kerosene lamps, but they are also brighter and more environmentally friendly than kerosene lamps. (5)

Solar lanterns are practical, lightweight, and compact, making them ideal for stuffing into a backpack. And many solar lanterns designed for camping have multiple functions like allowing you to charge small electronics like your phone. Which is handy, that is, if you can get a phone signal.

Emergencies

Probably one of the best uses of a solar lantern is for emergencies. Often the first thing to fail in an emergency or natural disaster is the electricity. Having a solar lantern is an essential part of an emergency kit, according to New York Magazine. (6)

Solar Lanterns designed for emergencies are often multi-functional, durable, and compact, making them easy to store in a kit or your car. When buying a solar lantern for emergency purposes, you should look for functionality over aesthetics.

2. Look for Waterproof and/or Snowproof Ratings

If the intended use for your lanterns is outdoors, you’ll want to find ones that are waterproof and/or snowproof. This is critical for the durability and longevity of your units.

Most manufacturers love to tout their lanterns’ durability, so finding the information about whether the light is weather resistant should be relatively easy to find. But, to help make your life easier almost all of our picks on our list are all-weather, waterproof outdoor models.

3. Consider What Material is Best for Your Environment

Depending on where you’ll use your unit, it will affect which material is best for your outdoor use. Most lanterns that are all-weather are either metal or ABS plastic. Both of these materials are very durable and can last a long time outdoors.

Metal

The best metals for outdoor solar lanterns are iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Most solar-powered lanterns are made from rust-resistant aluminum because of its affordability and lightweight composite. The Aluminum Association states that aluminum is:

  • Lightweight
  • Non-corrosive
  • Non Sparking
  • Noncombustible
  • Nontoxic
  • Strong

And aluminum can be recycled, making it a sustainable choice. (7)

ABS Plastic

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic is the most common plastic used to make products. The total global production of ABS plastic was 11.2 million metric tons in 2018. (8) ABS is incredibly strong and non-corrosive. ABS plastic doesn’t degrade under heat or cold, and it’s waterproof, making it an all-weather material.

Because it’s also relatively inexpensive, it makes solar technology more affordable. ABS plastic is very easy to clean and is dust resistant. When camping, you’ll probably want an ABS plastic model.

4. Look for Bonus Features that Excite You

Several solar lanterns come with lots of bonus features. Here’s our list of the top ones to look for.

Extra Lumens

Lumens measure how much light you get from a LED bulb. The more Lumens the light has, the brighter the light. A typical model will have five to forty Lumens. (9) Solar-powered lanterns that have more than 40 Lumen are much brighter.

Although, if the light has more Lumens, you may want to look for brightness control settings. Some have app-based brightness control settings, while others may have a switch to dim or brighten.

Dancing Flames

Dancing flames is a popular feature because the LED flickers to mimic realistic flame. This gives a torch-lit illumination that is both romantic and mesmerizing—all the benefits of candlelight without the fire hazard.

2-in-1 Phone Chargers

Another popular feature, the 2-in-1 phone charger feature, is nice to have for emergencies and camping. Because many of the solar-powered lanterns have a USB port for electrical charging in a pinch, this port also doubles as a way to solar charge your phone or tablet.

More LEDs

Many lanterns differentiate themselves by offering more LEDs than others. This is typical in dancing flame lanterns to achieve the firelight effect. The more LEDs the lantern has, typically, the better light it produces.

One-of-a-kind Designs

One of the biggest differentiators between lanterns is the design or style. While many models have classic or modern designs, you’ll notice a few will have one-of-a-kind designs that stand out from the pack.

If you’re looking for a decorative model, you may want to buy a one-of-a-kind design as a conversation piece among friends. Some designs also follow more cultural styles for a more sophisticated ambiance. Whether you buy a tree stump model or a Morrocan model, this comes down to personal taste.

5. Find the Top Deal for You

To find the top deal on solar-powered lanterns, we have a few tips that may help.

Shipping

When shopping for a solar-powered lantern, check for free or minimal shipping costs to get the top deal for your money. Instead of going into the store, searching for a unit, and buying it then hoping you like it – you can find a model you love online, with free shipping, and get it delivered straight to your home. Isn’t the future great?

Limited Time Deals

Sometimes the big retailers or manufacturers offer limited-time deals that you can find on their websites. Usually in the spring and at the end of summer is the best time to find these deals.

Final Price

The last factor you should consider is, of course, the final price. This is the price when all these factors are rolled into one. When you find these deals, snap them up quickly.

FAQ

Do you still have a few questions about solar-powered lanterns? Here are the most common questions:

Which are the brightest solar lights?

A standard model will have 5 to 40 Lumens. Five Lumen is a very dim candlelight brightness. But some models have upwards of 120 to 150 Lumen. These are very bright lanterns.

If you decide to get a model with 120 or more Lumen, make sure it comes with a brightness control setting. Not everyone enjoys being blinded by the light, you’ll want the option to turn it down. And remember, the higher the Lumen, the faster it will drain the battery, so your run time will be shorter.

What are the best rated outdoor solar lights?

In our opinion, the best rated outdoor solar lights are the LITOM 12 LEDs Solar Landscape Spotlights. These waterproof solar spotlights easily stake into soft surfaces like grass or dirt. They are designed to highlight gardens, driveways, porches, walkways, pools, and patios.

While these aren’t your typical lanterns, per se, they are high-quality solar lighting. Keep in mind, you will not be able to stake the spotlights into hard surfaces like cement or wood.

What is the best solar lantern?

The best solar lantern will vary from person to person and by need, but in short, we recommend the SUPERDANNY 8-Pack for those looking for the top overall option. Then, for those on a tight budget, we recommend the Ollivage Dancing Flame 4-Pack. However, if you stick to any of our top picks, you’re likely in really good shape.

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Lantern of 2020 to Buy?

Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you found a solar lantern that will best fit your needs. Or least, maybe now, you know exactly what to look for before you buy one.

But, if you’re still on the fence and not sure which model is right for you, we highly-recommend our top overall choice the SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack. It has excellent run time, functionality, and a romantic design. If you want a set of gorgeous lanterns that can hang or be set on the ground for a fantastic price, then this is the one to buy.

Want more top-rated solar equipment to help illuminate your home like the SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack? If so, I recommend checking out our best outdoor solar post lights of the year, or our homepage, to see our full list of highly-reviewed solar gear.

  1. https://solargardenlightshq.com/amazing-solar-energy-facts/
  2. https://acumen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Report-The-Economic-Impact-of-Solar-Lighting.pdf
  3. https://www.ctc-n.org/technologies/solar-lamps
  4. https://siepr.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/WP1029_0_61.pdf
  5. https://www.cnn.com/2012/01/10/tech/innovation/solar-powered-led-lamps/index.html
  6. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/how-to-build-a-blackout-kit.html
  7. https://www.aluminum.org/aluminum-advantage/student-educational-resources
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/856670/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene-global-production-capacity/
  9. https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-many-lumens-needed-for-outdoor-lighting/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90170e343cd