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best-solar-generators-uk

The UK's bestSolar Generators2022 Review

What To Look For in a Solar Generators

Anyone who spends a lot of time in the Great Outdoors knows that getting caught without power can rapidly escalate from a minor inconvenience to an absolute emergency. Whether you’re camping in the Lake District or spending the weekend in a caravan in Cornwall, having a reliable power source available can go a long way towards keeping you safe. 

Solar generators are charged using solar power, and come with a range of outputs so you can keep your devices and appliances charged up. They are available in a variety of sizes, offering reliable power whether you’re in need of a charged smartphone, a chilled drink straight from the mini fridge or a fully functioning kettle. 

I’ve chosen the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 as my top choice. I was thoroughly impressed with it throughout my product testing, and I highly recommend it for those needing a portable power supply outdoors and beyond. For a more detailed review of this, plus other great alternatives, see below. 

What Are The UK's Best Solar Generators?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-solar-generators Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500
  • Best solar generator overall
  • Powers up to 500 Watts
  • Durable solar panels
best-solar-generators POWEROAK Portable Solar Power Station
  • Best build quality
  • Powers up to 11 devices
  • 4 charging methods
best-solar-generators ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Generator
  • Best 606Wh solar generator
  • Compact and portable design
  • Charges 4 ways
best-solar-generators BEAUDENS Portable Solar Power Station
  • Best lightweight and portable generator
  • Runs quietly
  • SOS mode for emergencies
best-solar-generators Powkey Portable Solar Generator
  • Best budget solar generator
  • Charges 3 ways
  • Robust and heavy duty construction

Read Our Solar Generator Reviews

B08RNT5BDT
0850006304820
Best solar generator overall, Powers up to 500 Watts, Durable solar panels,

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

best-solar-generators Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500
Design
Performance
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best solar generator overall
  • Powers up to 500 Watts
  • Durable solar panels
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 Review

Built by California-based solar power experts Jackery, the Explorer 500 is just one of a series of their brilliant portable power stations. Whether you’re going on a camping trip or working “off grid”, this is the best solution for keeping your gadgets charged when you’re not close to mains electricity.

Jackery-Portable-Power-Station-Explorer-500-Review-design

One of the limitations of most “off grid” power banks is that they’re limited to 12 Volt. This isn’t the case with the Explorer 500. You get a proper three-pin AC power outlet to plug in any device up to 500 Watts of power. Alongside this are three USB ports, a 12 Volt outlet like you’d find in a car, and a pair of DC outlets too.

All wrapped up in a handy carry case, there’s everything you need to power up your batteries on the go. It’s the ideal solution for keeping your tools charged up on site when there’s no mains connected. You can even run small power tools like jigsaws or multi tools at the very bottom of your garden!

Jackery-Portable-Power-Station-Explorer-500-Review-unboxing

But what about charging up the Explorer 500 itself? You could simply plug it into the mains at home or juice it up in the back of your car on your next adventure. But the real fun comes from the SolarSaga 100 portable solar panel array. You get a pair of rugged solar panels that can power up your Explorer 500 using nothing but the sun’s rays.

Jackery-Portable-Power-Station-Explorer-500-Review

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my Explorer 500 portable power station. It means I can get outdoors with all my tools and gadgets without running for the nearest plug socket. Having a reliable and sustainable source of power in a package you can carry around is a bit of a revelation for me, and feels like the future!

Jackery-Portable-Power-Station-Explorer-500-Review-performance

To read my full in-depth review of the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, see here.

Pros

  • A lot of thought has gone into the packaging. The Jackery Explorer 500 comes well protected
  • It's got the feel and appearance of a premium solar generator
  • The ports are labelled clearly making it very easy to use
  • Seriously powerful LED torch is built into the side of the unit, which is really handy!
  • Impressively quiet compared to other models

Cons

  • It really needs better weatherproofing
  • The placement of the 3-pin plug socket is annoying and should be higher up
B08KW35YTZ
Best build quality, Powers up to 11 devices, 4 charging methods,

POWEROAK Portable Solar Power Station

best-solar-generators POWEROAK Portable Solar Power Station
Design
Performance
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best build quality
  • Powers up to 11 devices
  • 4 charging methods
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

POWEROAK Portable Solar Power Station Review

The POWEROAK Portable Solar Power Station is the best portable power station on the market. This solar generator is extremely versatile, with a reasonable capacity of 500Wh. It’s able to power a range of small appliances, including mini fridges, dryers and TVs.

This power station is specifically designed for portability. It’s very compact, measuring 29 x 19 x 19cm, and it weighs just over 6kgs. It’s robust, designed for the great outdoors and each output is clearly labelled and easy to find. The smart LCD display shows the battery life remaining.

Perfect for camping holidays, caravanning and more, this power output has a 500Wh capacity. It can charge 11 devices simultaneously as long as they’re under 500W. It comes with 2 x 230V AC outlets, 4 x USB-A, 1 x 45W USB-C, 1 x 12V/10A car port and 2 x 12V/3A port. It can be used to power mini fridges, smartphones and much more.

This power station also benefits from 4 charging methods. It comes with an AC adapter included with a charge time of 6 hours, but you can also purchase a separate solar panel and use this to charge the station. There’s both a 12V and 24V car outlet included too.

The only real downside to this power station is the noise. This generator does produce some noise which may make it unsuitable for bedrooms or offices.

There’s no denying that some solar generators can cost a lot of money, and this POWEROAK model is no different. However, when you consider the large capacity and huge range of outputs, this solar generator seems good value. For day after day spent off-grid, this generator is a must-have.

Pros

  • Impressive build quality designed to withstand regular use
  • Large number of outputs - enough to simultaneously charge up to 11 devices including laptops, smartphones and other small devices
  • Handy carry case included for taking unit on the go
  • Clear indicator screen displaying battery life and power load
  • Charge using solar, wall outlet, car charger or generator

Cons

  • Connecting to certain types of solar panels can be difficult
  • Slightly noisy due to the fan - unsuitable in office environments
B08FDN1PH6
0761989895062
Best 606Wh solar generator, Compact and portable design, Charges 4 ways,

ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Generator

best-solar-generators ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Generator
Design
Performance
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best 606Wh solar generator
  • Compact and portable design
  • Charges 4 ways
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Generator Review

The ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Generator offers reliable emergency power, with a large 606Wh capacity. It features a sturdy carry handle and a compact build which makes it easy for taking on the go. At just 5.3kgs, it’s easy to carry from car to campsite.

This generator offers 4 in 1 charging. Use an adapter, the PD fast charge function, a solar panel or a car’s 12V adapter. It can be changed from 0 to 100% in just 3 hours using the wall outlet and USB-C, or charged in 6 hours using a solar panel. The car outlet takes around 12 hours.

Perfect for road trips and camping holidays, this generator can be used to power all your electronic devices under 500W. It features a standard 12V/10A car port, 2 x DC ports, 3 x 5V/3A and USB-C ports. It can be used to power small devices such as coolers, air pumps, car vacuums, laptops and smartphones. You’ll never be without your electronic essentials!

Caravanners will be pleased to know that this generator also runs very quietly. There’s no noisy fans to keep you up at night, nor any nasty emissions.

While more expensive than some others I’ve recommended, the higher capacity makes this model a top contender and great value for money.

Pros

  • Higher output than others on the market at 600W, can charge multiple devices at once
  • Lightweight at 5.3kgs and easy to carry using the sturdy handle
  • Very long battery life and charging smaller devices such as LED lights or smartphones will hardly impact the battery
  • Solar charging even works on overcast days - although of course not as well as when the sun shines

Cons

  • No wireless charging capability which is a handy feature
  • Relatively loud when the fan is switched on so may disturb you if used in a caravan overnight
B07MC7TV2G
0781871873329
Best lightweight and portable generator, Runs quietly, SOS mode for emergencies,

BEAUDENS Portable Solar Power Station

best-solar-generators BEAUDENS Portable Solar Power Station
Design
Performance
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best lightweight and portable generator
  • Runs quietly
  • SOS mode for emergencies
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

BEAUDENS Portable Solar Power Station Review

The BEAUDENS Portable Solar Power Station is a must-have for campers. This power station really is portable! It measures a mere 17.2 x 15 x 8cm, and it weighs a meagre 2.2kgs. Whether you’re camping, spending a day at the beach or even hiking, this little generator can be brought along with you – offering reliable power in any emergency.

This generator offers good performance, albeit with a smaller capacity than others I’ve recommended, at 166Wh. It charges your smartphone 11 times, tablet 7 times, laptop up to 3 times, It comes with a reliable 166Wh battery, as well as AC, DC and USB outputs.

In case of an emergency, this generator comes with a range of handy features. There’s an LED flashlight as well as an SOS mode. The solid metal shaft ensures it’s able to withstand heavy duty and outdoor use.

This unit can be charged using your car, a solar panel or mains power. The only real downside is that there is no display indicating the battery life, but this is expected on such a compact unit.

Finally, this generator is very quiet to run, even when working at maximum capacity. This makes it suitable for tents, caravans and other sleeping areas.

The smaller size and capacity of this unit is reflected in the much lower price tag than others I’ve recommended. However, the robust build ensures it should still last a very long time. If you’re looking for a great value for money and affordable generator for emergency power out and about, this model should be at the top of your list!

Pros

  • Very lightweight and compact - weighs just 2.2kgs and measures 17.2 x 15 x 8cm
  • Comes with an LED flashlight and SOS to help keep you safer in the great outdoors
  • Well made and durable - suitable for outdoor use
  • Comes with spare connectors and a mains plug for charging
  • Solar panels easy to connect

Cons

  • Emits a loud and unpleasant alarm when it runs out of power
  • There is no way of seeing how much battery life is left
  • Can only be used for small devices and appliances with a maximum of 200W
B08Q3J7VXM
0616985224548
Best budget solar generator, Charges 3 ways, Robust and heavy duty construction,

Powkey Portable Solar Generator

best-solar-generators Powkey Portable Solar Generator
Design
Performance
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best budget solar generator
  • Charges 3 ways
  • Robust and heavy duty construction
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

Powkey Portable Solar Generator Review

The Powkey Portable Solar Generator may not be the most stylish portable generator on the market, but it really delivers when it comes to performance.

Let’s take a look at the design first. This model weighs just 3.3kgs and measures 30.5 x 11.9 x 19.6cm. It comes with a handle so you can easily carry it from place to place.

This generator has a 407Wh capacity, and supports devices with power up to 500W. It has 3 different outputs; a 230V 500W AC output, a 120-160W DC output, and 4 USB ports. There’s 3 different ways to charge this generator, using AC, 12V car chargers or a solar panel. The fast charge mode allows you to charge the power station even quicker. There’s also an LCD screen displaying the battery life remaining – so you’ll never be stuck with no power!

This generator is free from both emissions and noise, so it can be used inside with no concerns. It can be used in sleeping areas or offices without disturbing you.

Thanks to its robust design and high capacity, this generator marks great value for money. It’s slightly more affordable than others on the market, so is a great option for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts on a budget.

Pros

  • 3 charging options - mains power, car charger or a solar panel
  • Built in LED flashlight with 3 different modes keeps you safe in the great outdoors
  • Lightweight and portable especially given the high power - weighs just 3.3kgs
  • Easy to read screen displays battery life and the selected power source
  • AC port supports devices with a maximum of 500W

Cons

  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing design - a little bulky and intrusive
  • Takes a long time to charge although there is a fast charge option

How to Choose The Best Solar Generator

A solar generator is an easy way to provide instant power, whether you’re camping in the great outdoors or charging your laptop during a power cut! These machines are perfect for emergency power but there’s a range of factors to bear in mind when it comes to finding the best solar powered generator system for your needs.

Not sure what to look for when it comes to the best solar powered generator system? Check out this buyer’s guide.

Capacity

The capacity is measured in watt hours, and determines how long your generator can power various devices on one charge. A higher battery capacity will directly impact the cost of the generator, as large lithium batteries cost a lot more.

If you’re after a solar generator to keep your laptop or smartphone going during a power cut, a smaller battery capacity will suffice. For powering mini fridges in caravans or tents, a higher battery capacity is needed.

Output

Solar generators come with a number of plugs and ports so you can power a range of devices at once. Most come with a variety of USB ports for charging smaller devices such as smartphones, laptops and speakers.

Most solar generators also come with a standard 110V AC wall plug, as well as the standard car cigarette lighter. Before purchasing, you’ll need to check your solar generator is suitable for the devices you are looking to power.

Recharging

While solar generators are recharged by the sun, most can also be charged using an AC wall outlet and a carport. It’s highly unlikely that a solar panel will come included, but most will recharge in a few hours using solar power.

Newer solar generators will charge very quickly when plugged into a wall outlet. You should be able to fill the battery to capacity in as little as 2 hours. While it’s not possible to charge this way if you’re heading off grid, plugging your generator in overnight before you leave will give it a boost.

Finally, you can recharge your generator using a vehicle. This will steadily charge your generator and, in some cases, may be faster than plugging it into a wall outlet.

Design

If you’re taking your solar generator on the go, a portable design is essential. Solar generators are often taken to remote locations, so a compact and lightweight design will add to the convenience. Many come with a foldable handle for easier transportation.

Most solar generators come with an LCD screen so you can easily monitor the remaining power and battery life.

Solar Generator FAQs

How does a solar generator work?

Solar generators work in a similar way to standard gas generators, but they use energy from the sun as opposed to fuel.

Using a solar panel, solar generators take in power from the sun, then store the power in their integrated batteries. The power is converted to usable AC power, allowing you to charge your devices. Solar generators are eco-friendly, quiet to run and, after the initial purchase, very affordable.

How much does a solar generator cost?

While solar generators are very affordable to run, they can be expensive to purchase initially. You should be able to find small solar generators for as little as £200, while large state of art generators with huge capacities may cost over £5000. Those designed for camping trips and caravan holidays will be at the cheaper end.

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