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Should You Buy a Solar-Powered Fan or a Solar Generator That Can Power a Fan?

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Trying to achieve the windchill effect by combining air conditioners and fans this summer? Or perhaps you’re looking to keep cool outdoors while camping or enjoying your patio.

Whatever your reasons, global temperatures are set to continue surging in the next five years, making summers unbearably hot. With record-high temperatures, we need to get creative with our cooling strategies by finding cost-effective and energy-efficient alternatives.

If you’re reading this article, you might have contemplated using solar fans or solar generators that can power fans. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about solar-powered fans and solar generators for fans so you can make the best choice.

solar fan - Growatt

What is a Solar-Powered Fan?

Solar-powered fans are simple fans that are powered by solar energy. They are similar in shape and structure to your typical fans but don’t run on electricity.

Instead, these fans have photovoltaic (PV) panels that absorb solar energy, convert it into electricity, and power the fans using the generated energy. Their use of renewable power makes them a cost-effective and sustainable solution for cooling.

How Does a Solar Fan Work?

Solar-powered fans have two parts — the fan and the solar panels. The fans work pretty much the same as regular fans when they’re supplied with energy. This energy comes from solar panels that generate direct current (DC) after being exposed to sunlight. It’s then transferred to the fan’s motor which makes the blades run.

With this setup, the fan only works when the panels are generating energy. This means that they only work during the day when there is sunlight. Some products come with rechargeable batteries that store energy so that the fans can operate even when there’s no sunlight.

Pros and Cons of a Solar-Powered Fan


  • Reduces utility bills
  • Ideal for off-grid usage
  • Generates renewable energy
  • Lowers carbon footprint
  • Lower risk of electricity-related accidents


  • More expensive than traditional fans
  • Only runs/generates energy during daytime hours
  • No nighttime operation (without battery storage solutions)
  • Might not function under cloudy conditions

What is a Solar Generator for a Fan?

camping tent fan - Growatt

A solar generator for a fan is a battery generator that stores energy from solar panels to power fans. They work similarly to your average generators, but instead of just storing electricity, they use solar energy as a "fuel" that converts solar energy into electricity and stores it for use. Unlike solar-powered fans, solar generators can power a variety of devices, including fans, laptops, speakers, LED lights, etc.

Most of them also come with portable solar panels that you can quickly set up anywhere and easily pack up when you’re done. The INFINITY 1300 is one of the best examples of this type of product.

The INFINITY 1300 comes with a high battery capacity and enables charging from solar panels, vehicles, and AC wall sockets. Combined with its 14 versatile outlets, the INFINITY 1300 is one of the most reliable devices in a power-related emergency.

Even though it’s built to provide the best off-grid support, the INFINITY 1300 doesn’t compromise on convenience by allowing you to control it remotely via your phone.

How Does a Solar Generator for a Fan Work?

A solar generator for a fan works with the help of the solar panels, the fan, and the generator. The solar panels first collect solar energy when it’s sunny outside. Then the solar generator converts sunlight into electricity and stores it in its battery pack. The stored energy is then supplied to the fan whenever the user connects them and turns the fan on.

In this setup, the solar generator and solar panels are portable and lightweight.

Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator for a Fan


  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Generates clean, renewable energy
  • Reduces carbon emissions
  • Provides cooling in off-grid areas
  • Operates quietly
  • Cost-effectivein the long run
  • Requires little maintenance
  • No need to purchase fuel


  • Higher upfront cost compared to traditional generators

Solar Powered Fans vs. Solar Generators for a Fan

Solar-powered fans and solar generators for fans are great cooling solutions. They’re ideal for off-grid use, blackouts, and other scenarios where you don’t have access to electricity.

However, they provide different benefits to different users. If you’re trying to figure out which one’s best for your needs, consider your needs carefully. Do you need to power multiple devices during your camping trip such as a camping tent fan and your LED lights? A solar generator for a fan may be best for you.

Solar generators for fans are versatile devices that can charge more than your fans. Plus, they last a decade. So, not only do they help you save on your electricity bills but they also make up for the high upfront costs. The best part is they can store energy for later when there’s no sunlight to power the solar panels.

What if you’re cooling needs are confined to certain areas and times? An outdoor solar fan could be sufficient. They’re a sensible solution for those who don’t plan on going off-grid much and don’t need to worry about power backups.

Solar-powered fans work well for cooling small areas without adding to your utility bills.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison to aid your decision:


Solar Powered Fan

Solar Generator for Fan










Weather Dependent


Partially dependent (comes with storage capacity and alternate charging features)

Battery Storage Capacity



Versatility (Charging other devices)



outdoor solar fan - Growatt

How Many Watts Does a Fan Need?

The watts consumed by a fan can be anywhere between 1.1W and 220W depending on the type of fan and its setting. Ceiling fans and table fans consume the least energy among all fan types. Meanwhile, box fans consume the most watts at their highest settings.

Here’s a comparison of the different fan types and their consumption on the lowest/highest settings.

Types of Fans

Lowest Wattage

Average Wattage

Highest Wattage

Most Common Fans




Ceiling Fans




Table Fans




Box Fans




Tower Fans




How Much Solar Power Does 

To determine how much solar power (kWh) your fan needs, you need to find out how much wattage your fan consumes per hour and how many hours you need to use the fan.

Here’s the formula that will help you determine how much solar power your fan will need:

Solar power required by a fan = Fan’s wattage  Hours of operation

To make things clearer, let’s use an example. Let’s say you need to operate a table fan with a power rating between 17W and 43W for 8 hours. Applying the above formula, you’ll use the following equation: Solar power required by a fan = (17 to 43)  8

Hence, you’ll need between 136kWh to 344kWh of solar power.

When calculating your needs, it’s best to account for some power surges during those 8 hours of operation by having extra solar power on hand.


Are Solar Fans Worth It?

Buying solar fans is a smart decision if you’re looking for cooling solutions that won’t cause spikes in your energy bills. They can be used at home for ventilation purposes and outdoors in off-grid settings and emergencies. Apart from the initial costs, you won’t have other expenses to worry about. You can even save on energy bills during their lifetime.

What Size Solar Generator Do I Need to Run a Fan All Night?

To calculate the size of the solar generator needed to run a fan all night, multiply the fan’s power rating (in watts) by the number of hours of operation. Here’s a formula you can use: Size of solar generator = Fan’s power rating  No. of hours of operation

While a generator with the exact capacity will work, you may want to get one with a higher capacity just in case. This way, you won’t have any disruptions even if there are fluctuations in power.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for energy-efficient solutions to cool your home or sustainable cooling solutions for your off-grid trip, you now know which one to pick. To recap, a solar-powered fan can keep you cool as long as the sun’s out but if you’re looking for additional features like the ability to charge your other appliances and devices, a solar generator for your fan could be better.

In any case, they’re both great for the environment and can help you lower your energy bills. Solar generators may cost more to purchase but over the long haul, they’ll make up for it with their versatility and by allowing you to rely less on the power grid.

Growatt INFINITY 1300
Growatt INFINITY 1300 LiFePO4 Portable Power Station
  • 1382Wh Capacity & 1800W Output
  • LiFePO4 Battery with 3,000+ Life Cycles to 80%
  • Fully charged in 1.8 hours
  • Up to 14 Versatile Outlets
$1,099.00 $1,299.00
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