A rechargeable generator is a new green energy technology that can be used in a variety of situations where portable, on-demand power is needed, especially during emergencies. These are devices that can produce electricity by converting stored energy into electrical energy. Unlike traditional generators that run on fuel, rechargeable generators store their energy in batteries and can be recharged using an external power source, such as a wall outlet or solar panel.
Winter Storms, Natural Disasters, and Blackouts
The winter storm “Elliott” was a major issue in the United States in 2022, causing widespread power outages affecting 6.35 million customers and leaving them stranded in frigid temperatures. We all know that the demand for indoor heating significantly increases during a winter storm. At the same time, some coal and gas generators were either disconnected from the grid or had reduced power output due to the impact of Elliott.
So what happens when there isn’t enough electricity to supply the sudden increase in power demand?
You’ve guessed it. Wide-scale power interruptions spanning over hours on end.
Major events are those that cause massive blackouts such as storms.
Which begs the question: Can you still run electric appliances in your home during emergencies like a winter storm?
What is a Rechargeable Generator?
Rechargeable generators, also known as portable power stations, are devices that store electrical energy in a rechargeable battery and can be used to power small electronic devices or appliances such as smartphones, laptops, lights, and even small refrigerators.
It can power your essential home appliances or the entire house depending on the capacity and the appliances you are using. This makes rechargeable generators a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to traditional generators, especially in situations where fuel may not be readily available. Like conventional generators, they vary in type and size.
Portability is one key feature of rechargeable generators. They are typically smaller and lighter than traditional generators, making them more portable and easier to move around. This can be especially beneficial if you need to take your generator with you when you travel or use it in different locations.
How Does a Rechargeable Generator Work?
Rechargeable generators operate in three states, namely:
- Standby State
- Discharge State
- Recharge State
Rechargeable generators have a standby state that conserves their energy and extends their battery life when they're not in use.
In the standby state, the generator's internal electronics will continue to monitor its battery levels and keep it charged, but it will not actively generate power. This means that the generator can be left plugged in and ready to use at a moment's notice, without using unnecessary energy.
When the generator is needed, it can be turned on and will quickly switch from the standby state to the discharge state, providing power to connected devices. This can be useful for emergencies, where power outages may occur suddenly and without warning.
This state is exactly why you need to have a rechargeable generator. Once the power from the utility is interrupted, the rechargeable generator automatically supplies power to your appliances. This feature is also known as the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which ensures the continuous flow of electricity. It is an advanced feature of modern solar generators.
A Rechargeable Generator on Discharge State
The recharge state for rechargeable generators typically involves plugging the generator into an electrical outlet using an AC adapter or charging it with a solar panel. Most rechargeable generators come with an AC adapter that can be used to charge the unit by plugging it into a wall outlet. Once the power is restored, the rechargeable generator will now simultaneously do two things: recharge itself so that it can again go into standby state, and transfer power supply from the utility to the appliances.
Why You Should Consider a Rechargeable Generator
Those who own traditional gas generators might nod their heads. However, you are also aware of the challenges that come with relying on gas for backup electricity.
Fuel supply, time to restore power, mechanical issues, and living with flammables (safety concerns) are just some of the main issues gas generator owners face which suggests that gas generators may not be reliable in severe conditions.
That’s why it’s important to have alternative sources of power available during severe weather, such as a rechargeable generator or backup battery system.
Are Rechargeable Generators Worth It?
When considering the long-term costs and benefits, rechargeable generators can be a worthwhile investment for some homeowners and applications. Rechargeable generators provide clean, quiet backup power with no fuel costs or emissions. Just plug in to charge - no gas, oil or fumes. Long battery life means reliable power for years with minimal maintenance.
How Long Does a Rechargeable Generator Last?
The quick answer to this is that it depends on the usage. Remember that the more appliances you use, the more quickly the power will be drained from your rechargeable generator. It also depends on the capacity of your rechargeable generator.
The durability of a rechargeable generator is largely determined by the battery type powering it. Budget-friendly lead-acid batteries can be expected to effectively function for approximately one to two years before needing replacement. More expensive lithium-ion battery technologies, however, generally retain sufficient charge capacity to sustain generator use for around five years under normal operating conditions. Overall, the battery chemistry inside a portable power source plays the biggest role in dictating its useful lifespan, though other factors also contribute.
How Long Does It Take to Recharge a Generator?
As a rule of thumb, it usually takes several hours to fully charge. But with the emergence of improvements in technology, faster charging times are now common in some rechargeable generators. Like Growatt solar generator can be fully charged within 1.5 hours at the fastest.
Depending on the generator rating, you can vary the Watts by adding or removing appliances or selecting appliances that have lower or higher power ratings. On the other hand, you can also control the number of hours your appliance is connected to the rechargeable generator to manage energy consumption.
Therefore, how long will the rechargeable generator lasts depends on what appliance you are using and how long.
Where Can Rechargeable Generator be Used?
Here are some uses of rechargeable generators:
Essential Heating and Cooling
We mentioned earlier that winter storms increase everyone’s demand for heating which may cause massive power blackouts. A rechargeable generator can power medium-sized heaters to keep you warm and cozy. Not to mention, keeping your fridge running during a blackout is a big lifesaver.
Another essential use of a rechargeable generator is continuously powering medical equipment. These include a wide range of loads such as:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- Oxygen concentrators
- Dialysis machines
- Suction pumps
Keeping your home business running despite a power interruption is sometimes a matter of gaining or losing profit. Therefore, it is a must to have a rechargeable generator so that you can operate your business seamlessly.
For homeowners with basements, you likely have sump pumps handy to prevent flooding. Having a rechargeable generator helps you keep out unwanted water before they cause damage during outages.
We mentioned earlier that rechargeable generators are not just for home use.
In fact, you can take it anywhere you want, whether in an RV, during camping, or at a beach party.
And you need not worry about the charging. Some rechargeable generators are equipped with solar charging which is perfect on a bright sunny day.
Recommended Rechargeable Generators (Portable and Solar)
With a 1512Wh Capacity and 2000W Output, Growatt’s INFINITY 1500 can power a wider array of appliances.
INFINITY 1500 is designed to charge from a variety of sources. Connect to a car charger, solar panels, or a wall socket.
It can be charged from 0%~80% in 1 hour via a wall socket, and fully charged in 2.5 hours by connecting it to solar panels.
You can also power many devices simultaneously. It is also equipped with smart app control for a smooth customer experience.
Another Growatt offering is the VITA 550 Portable Power Station.
It has a 538Wh Capacity and 600W Output.
Car, wall, and solar charging are also possible so you bring it outdoors. By using solar panels, it can be charged from 0%~100% in 2.5 hours and charged from 0%~100% in 1.6 hours via a wall socket.
A key feature is its safe and long-lasting LiFePO4 battery that can last up to 10 years
And like INFINITY 1500, it has many outlets and smart control.
|Growatt VITA 550 Portable Power Station
|538Wh Capacity & 600W Output
AC Output: 100V-120V, 60Hz, 600W
Max. 660W (Surge 1200W)
USB-A: 5V /2.4A, 12W Max
USB A-FAST Charge: 5V /2.4A, 9V /2A, 12V /1.5A, 18W Max
USB-C: 5V/9V/12V/20V, 5A, 100W Max
Car Outlet: 13.2V /10A, 132W Max
DC5521 Output: 13.2V /3A, 36W Max
Watt+ Maximum Supported Power: 1050W (Need to Use APP to Start)
Wireless Charging: 15W Max
LED Lighting: 1W
|Solar 200W: 2.5H
Wall Charging: 1.6H
Car Charging(100W): Support 12V/24V Standards
|Growatt INFINITY 1300 Portable Power Station
|1382Wh Capacity & 1800W Output
AC Outlet: 4 x 120V~, 50/60Hz, Pure Sine Wave Max. 1800W, Surge Peak 3600W
Car Outlet: 1 x 13.2V/10A, 132W Max.
DC5521 Output: 2 x 13.2V/3A, 36W Max.
USB-A: 2 x 5V/2.4A, 12W Max.
USB-A Fast Charge: 2 X 5V/2.4A, 9V/2A,12V/1.5A, 18W Max.
USB-C: 2 x 5V/9V/12V/15V/20V, 5A, 100W Max.
Wireless Charging: 1 x 15W Max.
|Solar 800W: 2.5H
Wall Charging: 1.8H
Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards
|Growatt INFINITY 1500 Portable Power Station
|538Wh Capacity & 600W Output
Net Weight: ~36.4lbs (16.5kg)
Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.5 x 9.1 x 11.3 in (418.7 x 230 x 287mm)
AC Output:120V~, 60Hz, 2000W Max (Surge 4000W)
Quick Charge 3.0: 2 x 18W Max (5V/9V/12V, 2.4A)
USB-A: 2 x 12W Max (5V, 2.4 A)
USB-C PD: 2 x 60W Max (5V/9V/15V/20V, 3A)
|Solar 800W: 2.5H
Wall Charging: 2H
Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards
Final Thoughts Regarding Rechargeable Generator
Overall, investing in a rechargeable generator can be a smart choice for people who want a portable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective way to power devices in a variety of situations.
Investing in a rechargeable generator can be more cost-effective in the long run than purchasing gasoline or propane to power a traditional generator. Once the initial investment is made, the cost of recharging the battery is typically much lower than the cost of fuel. They can be used to power a variety of devices—including small appliances, electronics, and even power tools—which makes them valuable tools for emergency and everyday situations.