Solar generators may be more expensive, but they're also more eco-friendly. Learn more about the pros and cons of using a solar generator.

It's becoming a trend: solar power popularity has been on the rise in the country over the past few years. This is due to a variety of reasons, but the affordability and increased environmental awareness of many Americans have to be two of the biggest factors. 

In most cases, solar panel adoption has to do with solar panels and homes. And yet, this isn't the only form of solar power worth talking about. Today, it is also easy to buy a solar generator for use at your home, business, or elsewhere. In fact, some are purchasing these generators instead of traditional gas or oil-based versions. Is a solar generator right for you? Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know. 

How Does Solar Power Work? 
If you're unfamiliar with how solar power works, the idea of a solar generator might confuse you. After all, you are likely far more familiar with the sight of a large and heavy-looking solar system, like the kind you've seen on a rooftop or on television. How would something like this work with something as portable as a generator? 

Well, it really isn't all that tricky. Let's look at a standard solar panel first. It's made up of a few common materials: metal casing, glass protection, and a bevy of silicon cells and wiring underneath. These silicon cells have a positive and negative side, just like a battery does. They can create an electronic field with electrons. Silicon is actually one of the elements on the periodic table, and it has the unique ability to conduct electricity: the key trait that makes it essential for solar panel use. 

These cells can take energy from the sun and use it to push electrons into motion. This motion creates what is known as DC energy. An inverter in a solar panel can then transfer this DC energy into AC energy, which is the kind of energy used in our homes. A solar panel is often made up of several modules, each with its own system of wiring and silicon cells inside. The combined power of these modules can create a great deal of energy. 

How Does a Solar Generator Works? 
Though it might be hard to believe, a solar generator works in essentially the same way. The modules in question are much smaller than those that you might be used to seeing on larger models, but the science remains the same. The other key difference when it comes to a solar generator is where the energy goes and how it is stored. In a home system, a solar panel is hooked up to the electrical grid. Power is sent to the home and excess power is sent back to your utility company in exchange for points.

With a solar generator, power is sent to a battery stored within the confines of the generator. Solar energy is used to charge this battery up, and then that charge can be used to power a variety of different things later on. While you wouldn't be advised to use a solar generator to power an entire home or office, they can be used as an additional source of power in a variety of settings. 

Advantages of a Solar Generator
There are a lot of benefits that can be achieved by using a solar generator instead of a traditional one. The most obvious one is that you're using a source of energy that is totally free: the sun! The sun is free to use and can be much more affordable to use than costly fossil fuels. You can also harness the power of the sun with your solar power for years and years without having to pony up more money. This is because solar generators are very low-maintenance and can last up to 25 years. 

There's no liquids or moving parts, which greatly reduces the chances you'll need to repair something later on during the generator's life. In addition to the above, a solar generator runs on a battery, which means it'll be much quieter than a traditional gas-powered machine. You don't have to worry about that loud and irritating putting sound that most generators make when active. All that and you're helping the environment while you're at it! 

Disadvantages of a Solar Generator
While there are many huge benefits to solar power, there are a few drawbacks you might have to get used to as well. For one, you need to be responsible enough to think about charging time. Unlike with a traditional generator, if you run out of juice or forget to 'fill up,' you won't be able to correct this mistake until the sun is back out. That means if you run out of juice during the night, you'll be without power for some time. 

A solar generator can also cost you much more upfront. This balances out a bit with the lower operating costs, but you need to think if you can handle the initial cost right away. The power supply at the end of the day also has something of a shorter lifespan than the traditional generator.
Only you know your personal situation. The above details should be able to help you decide if a solar generator is right for your situation at work or at home. There are many advantages to cleaner solar energy, but there are a few drawbacks to get used to as well. Need more advice as a homeowner? Check out our home and lifestyle page for more.