Generators are great for emergency backup and portable power. Keep reading to learn more about the types of generators available.

What is a Generator?

A generator is a machine that converts one form of energy into another. Generators are commonly used for backup power, but can also be used for long-term power, particularly in remote locations. Other popular uses for generators include camping, tailgating, DIY projects, neighborhood parties, and van life.

At Goal Zero, our go-to generators are solar generators because they produce clean, quiet, renewable energy. 

Types of Generators

There are a few different types of generators to choose from.

Fuel Powered Options

  • Whole Home Standby Generators: These generators are larger permanently installed generators that can power an entire home. They usually switch on automatically if the electric grid goes down. Many standby generators use diesel, but some use natural gas or propane.
  • Standard Portable Generators: These generators are some of the most commonly used. They're heavy, but portable and often come with wheels for easier mobility. They can output a lot of power and typically run on gasoline. Some models use other fuel types as well.
  • Inverter Generators: These generators are lighter and quieter than standard portable generators, but can be less powerful.

Clean Energy Options

  • Solar Powered Generators: These generators use energy from the sun instead of fuel to provide power. Goal Zero’s solar generators combine a portable power station with a solar panel. The solar panel is used to collect energy from the sun. The power station stores the energy and converts it into usable electricity.

Pros and Cons of Solar Powered Generators

We think solar powered generators are the best option for most situations. Here are the pros and cons of choosing solar:

Pros Cons
  • No fuel required
  • No cost to use
  • Safe to use indoors
  • Low maintenance
  • Quieter than most types of generators
  • Easier portability
  • Available with high-power output
  • Clean and renewable energy
  • Small enough for easy storage
  • Ability to store power for later use
  • Dependent on sun to generate energy
  • Lower power output than some fuel-powered generators
  • Can cost more

Popular Uses for Solar Powered Generators

A woman on top of a van catches a ball near a Goal Zero Solar Powered Generator

We love solar generators because they make it easier to go more places and do more things. These are some of our favorite ways to use solar generators:

  • Camping Trips: Solar generators can charge your devices, run lights, power portable fridges, and more to make your next camping trip more luxurious.
  • Backyard Power: Use a solar generator to power everything you need for a backyard barbecue—including the grill. Or use it to run power tools or yard equipment so you don’t have to worry about tripping over long extension cords as you work.
  • Van Life: Install a solar generator in your camper van to keep the essentials powered while you’re on the road—even in the most remote destinations.
  • Home backup: Our larger solar generators are powerful enough to run high-power appliances and backup essential home circuits—this makes them great for emergency backup power. Plus, they’re still portable so you can take them along on fun trips when you leave home.

If you’re thinking about investing in a solar generator, we have a wide selection of options. Shop our solar generators to find the one that’s best for you and your adventures.

Shop Goal Zero Solar Generators

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