A solar powered generator is a great alternative to gas powered generators for a variety of reasons. In a survival setting, the generator is quiet so it does not attract attention and by harnessing sun power, you do not have to scavenge for fuel such as gasoline or kerosene. You do have to live in a climate that allows for sufficient sunlight.
Retailers such as goforgreen.com offer the various components for the systems, DIY kits for building the complete system and fully assembled generators. An occasional retailer will claim that the assembly is so simple a child can do it, but you are dealing with a form of electrical energy, safety and knowledge is required. An important aspect of assembling the units yourself is that you will understand how the units work and will be able to maintain them in an apocalyptic setting.
You can make your own solar powered generator but it is wise to consult with someone who is familiar with electricity. You can build a small generator rated for 12 volts with:
Other optional equipment for a small solar powered generator that will run a few small appliances such as lights, radios and fans, are pop up circuit breakers, bypass diodes and voltage regulators. Building your own small generator is not only cheaper, it will give you the skills to build bigger and more complex systems.
If you are building your own, the DIY kit provides all the components you need and the various components are compatible with each other. Most of the kits are complete units that include the solar panels, mounting poles, wires and regulators and batteries.
The SunPlug Off-Grid Plug n' Play Solar Kit offered by gogreen.com is a system that can be set up and taken down fairly easily, which is good for the person or family on the move. The system is not lightweight and you would need some means of transport.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Solar Backup Power weighs a little over 100 pounds and is good for running appliances such as health care equipment such as oxygen and CPAP machines.
The KISAE Home Solar Kit 1800 comes with or without the solar panels and provides up to 1800 Watts of power. The unit itself weighs about 75 pounds and you can add batteries and solar inputs to expand the system.
The solar generator Ecotricity ECO1800S is available from gogreensolar.com and provides power for small appliances such as lamps, alarm systems and radios. The foldable solar panel is on wheels, which you roll out into the sun providing you back up power as an emergency power source. It is a quiet eco-friendly choice to gas generators and eliminates the need to find gasoline.
The reviews of the Ecotricity ECO1800S indicate that the solar powered generator and solar panel are heavy and require strength to move and manipulate them. The advantage of this type of system besides being able to take it with you is that you can rotate the solar panel to follow the sun, increasing the hours of sun exposure.
An off grid solar powered generator is a worthwhile investment for power outages and short term emergencies as well as a long-term survival tool. Assembling and using the generator now will prepare you for the eventuality of needing it in a life and death situation