Nowadays, a lot of people are into generators. Other than the increasing costs of energy fees, generators are a reliable source of electricity. They can be a backup source during sudden power outages, or a source of electricity in remote or other outdoor activities such as camping and road trips.
Various types of generators can be applied to any specific need. It may be used for residential or industrial use, so it’s important to carefully research what specific generator you need, or you may seek help from an expert before you purchase a generator.
This article will answer the question, “Is there a 220V/240V Solar Generator?” If you are also interested, then you must keep on reading up to the last point.
Solar Generators: 110V and 220V
Solar generators are devices that serve as a reliable source of electricity and are powered through solar panels. Solar generators need solar panels which are responsible for harnessing the energy coming from the sun; a built-in charge controller which controls the electricity to charge the battery; and the battery which is responsible for the storage of solar energy.
Like any other electronic device, solar generators differ in capacity. While most solar generators are small and provide single-phase voltage, they can still power simple home appliances. Solar generators also come in different ports like USB-A or USB-C that are compatible with various devices.
110V generators are commonly used in households in the United States, this is suitable for appliances that require 110V output to operate such as lamps, phone chargers, humidifiers, and some small fridges. These appliances can be powered by a portable generator that is simple to use and could also allow you to enjoy outdoor activities while being off the grid.
On the other hand, 220V solar generators have a higher voltage. This is just the same as the other ports, however, it can power larger appliances that require 220V. This is a perfect backup during outages because you can connect centralized air conditioners, washing machines, cooking range, and well pumps.
Electrical Systems in Residential Settings: 120V and 240V
If someone wants to relocate or plans to move to a new house, one thing that they consider is how electrical systems work. Typically, for the appliances to operate in a household, it requires 120V-125V, but some appliances use 240V.
You might be curious and wondering if the appliances running on 120V would be cheaper than using appliances that need 240V. To answer that, using either of the two does not have a significant impact when it comes to the cost of your electricity bill. Each household has an electric meter installed outdoors which serves as a basis of your monthly bill. It measures the total kilowatt per hour and the amount of voltage that you use does not directly affect the reading. You need to understand that Watts has both Voltage and Current so even if the voltage is low, the current might be higher.
The only significant difference between 120V and 240V other than appearance, is their application, the one that has a higher voltage can give more power, which is why it is best for large appliances. In contrast, 120V is for simpler appliances. They are both commonly used in households.
240V Outlets: What are the Appliances That Require It?
You may not be very observant of your surroundings, but it is obvious that electrical wall sockets do not look the same. They are different from each other and depending on the voltage, each applies to specific electronic devices only. There are various types of outlets and some that are common are:
- 15A, 120 Volt Outlets– this is a two-pronged outlet, considerably the oldest type of wall socket that has been used since the 1950s. They can be found easily in the market and are easy to install as well. This is best used in light applications such as phone chargers, lamps, and ironing machines.
- 20A, 125 Volt Outlets – same with the previous type, this too is a two-pronged type of outlet. There are minimal differences between both, but this type is best for larger appliances that need large amounts of power such as home entertainment systems, washing machines, and air-conditioners.
Both are what’s common in households in the United States, however, these are not the only outlets that are used. 240V outlets are also used in some residential and industrial spaces. Now let us deep dive into these 240V outlets.
Unlike the standard outlets, 240V is three-pronged, but upgrades come in four holes, the purpose of this additional prong is to provide safety to the user and avoid electrical shock. Some sources also claim that this outlet improves the efficiency of the appliances. Since it can provide more electricity compared to other outlets, it caters to larger appliances such as:
- Centralized Air Conditioners
- Cooking Ranges
- Clothes Dryer Machine
- Electronic Vehicles (cars, bicycles)
- Welding Machines
Is There a 220V/240V Solar Generator?
Solar generators can produce 220V or even 240V output, especially in commercial and industrial applications that require a higher amount of voltage. However, this is not possible with a standard solar generator. To achieve this amount of voltage, certain accessories and conditions require you to have a 240V output. Usually, it cannot be achieved by a single generator and may require two plus additional accessories that would connect both units to produce 240V. Other cases would require more battery capacity on a single generator to get a 240V output.
Given the complexity of wiring configurations and the need for specialized equipment, hiring an electrician would be necessary to set up such a system especially if it is being integrated into your home. As a result, implementing a solar system capable of producing such high voltages could be costly.
120V Generator Converting to 240V: How Does It work?
Is it really necessary to convert the voltage of the generator that you have? Shouldn’t you just purchase a new compatible one? Getting a new one might not be the first solution to address compatibility concerns because if you would ask, converting the voltage output is also possible if done properly.
To do this, you would need a transformer. The primary use of this is for the generator to meet the specific requirement of a device, for safe and efficient operation. Transformers have two types, these are:
- Step-up transformer: this type increases the input voltage to a higher output voltage from 120V to 240V.
- Step-down transformer: this one decreases the input voltage to a lower output voltage from 240V to 120V.
Now, in this process, safety should come first. Wearing protective equipment is a must, it should also be ensured that the working area is dry to avoid electric-related accidents. If it is a fuel generator, be very careful not to spill the fuel in it. All devices connected to the generator must be unplugged, and it should be switched off.
Locate the output power terminal of the generator then attach it to a step-up transformer using the cable that comes with it. After that, look for the labeled secondary side of the transformer. If unsure, you may refer to the user manual. You may test a 240V output by using a multimeter and set to the corresponding voltage range. After confirmation, you may connect the 240V appliance to your step-up transformer. Make sure that you only connect a load that does not exceed what the generator can provide. The transformer remains attached to the generator the entire time you need the voltage of the generator to be converted.
On the other hand, other generators have a switch or push button to select between 120V and 240V. Some also have a 4-prong outlet which is readily available for any device to be plugged in.
Why Should You Hire an Electrician?
It may seem easy as we read instructions and user manuals, but any work that has something to do with electricity can be dangerous. One simple error could lead to severe damage to the device and even to the user.
It is important to hire an expert in this field because they will assure you that the job is done properly. They are licensed, experienced, and definitely well-equipped. You may be required to pay them, but this is way better than risking a DIY project to save costs.
Solar generators are considerably beneficial not just to the user but also to the environment. Since it comes from renewable energy, it does not produce emissions that can be harmful to the environment. They are very helpful during power interruptions and outdoor activities.
They come in a variety of types and sizes catering to a diverse application. It is important to ensure that you are using the proper solar generators for your application to avoid damages, and for that – you must hire an electrician who would do all the installation, and even the conversion of voltages – if the need would arise.