Solar Generators! Who Knew This Would Be My Favorite Purchase of 2022?!
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
I love finding new products that benefit my community in more ways than one! If you happen to have a show dog like myself, you've probably been lugging around a gas generator for years along with its oh-so-fragrant gas can. 😳 Or perhaps you have lived through Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Ian or other catastrophic storms where the weeks that followed were harrowing without power, among other things. While many of us use gas-powered generators in these situations, who wants to travel with gas or keep enough gas on hand in case needed? Not me!
So after returning from some shows high on gasoline fumes 🤯, I decided to research whether solar generators even existed... they did!! I went through some lengthy weeks of research and landed on a phenomenal (and I mean seriously pheee-nom-enn-aal!!) solar generator / power bank made by EcoFlow (I bought the EcoFlow Delta Mini, to be exact). It perfectly powers blow dryers and fans for my super-spoiled doggie 🥰, runs my coffee machine, and I can safely take it on the road with me without getting high on gasoline fumes!! 🥴
EcoFlow generators/power banks come in a variety of sizes, so if you're looking to make the switch from gas, you are sure to find a size that meets your needs! Best of all, if you're an Amazon Prime Member you can benefit from the huge discounts going on right now with Prime Day via the links I've provided below!
Smaller Capacity Solar Generator/Power Bank
EcoFlow Delta Mini - this is the version that I purchased
Medium Capacity Solar Generator/Power Bank
EcoFlow Delta Portable Power Station
Large Capacity Solar Generator/Power Bank
Extra Large Capacity Solar Generator/Battery for Homes
EcoFlow Delta Pro - available in multiple capacity sizes from 3600Wh to 12500Wh
A Few Things I Learned Along the Way
Full disclosure here - the guidance below is based on my own research into portable solar generators and power banks that I could safely take on the road with me (without getting high!) to power blow dryers and fans for my super-spoiled doggie 🥰. I am not an expert on EcoFlow generators and can only speak to my own experience and my own research. That said, I'm always happy to share what I've learned to help you find what is right for you!!
Without further ado, below are some tips I learned that I hope will help you determine what might fit your needs!
1. Start by Knowing Your Usage Needs.
Make a list of all the items you need to power concurrently, the wattage requirements of each (typically found on a tag or label), and how long each item would need to run or be powered in a given day. Total up your wattage needs.
As an example, my biggest needs were to run an 1800W hairdryer for at least 15 minutes (to fluff and dry my pup's locks), run an 85W fan to keep said spoiled doggie cool for at least a few hours, and perhaps charge my 100W laptop and 15W phone. My total wattage equated to 2000W (1800+85+100+15 = 2000, which is relatively small scale compared to what others may need); note that I would rarely use all of those devices at the same time.
2. Calculate Your Generator Needs.
Get out your No. 2 pencils everyone! <<Kidding!>>
I've tried to keep this easy! The generator size most suitable for you boils down to the generator's storage capacity, the total Watts you expect to use (using the total wattage you determined above) and how long you need to use the total wattage you've calculated. The basic calculation is:
(a) the generator's Storage Capacity mesured in Watt Hours (Wh), divided by
(b) the Total Watts you need (as you calculated above).
The result is equivalent to the number of hours your combined devices will run on a given generator at a full charge.
For example: the storage capacity of the EcoFlow Delta Mini I purchased is 882Wh. My total wattage needs are 2000W for at least 15 minutes, so 882Wh divided by 2000W = 0.44, or about 25 minutes. If I isolate these items, I can use the hairdryer for about 30 minutes, an 85W fan for about 6.5 hours, and charge my laptop and phone for about 4.5 hours. Note that I rarely use all of these at once, so this is perfect for me.
3. Consider the Weight, Size & Realistic Portability.
Most EcoFlow solar generators range from about 25 pounds (EcoFlow Delta Mini) to 65 pounds (EcoFlow Delta Max 2000), although the EcoFlow Delta Pro can go up to 100 pounds (albeit it has wheels and will power your whole house!). The EcoFlow Deltas range from roughly 2 to 3 shoeboxes in size, so they don't take up too much room! I find mine easy to tote around.
I don't know about you, but I want (and expect) any purchase of this nature to feel sturdy, and it better last!! I lug my generator around on road trips all.the.time. Its hard to determine durability from a spec sheet, and hard for me to attest to given I've only been using the EcoFlow Delta Mini for a few months. However, mine feels super well made and I've had zero issues so far! Its worth noting that I travel with, and bang this baby around, at least once a week!
Other Key Considerations
1. Storage Capacity.
A solar generator & power bank's storage capacity will be measured by watt-hours ("Wh"). One watt-hour is the equivalent of one watt being used over the course of an hour. Depending upon your needs, you'll want to ensure your solar generator has capacities for several hundred watt-hours (at a minimum!) and in some cases several thousand watt-hours.