The Solar Power Expert Blog

Using a Generator with your Solar setup

by Chris - April 10th, 2013.
Filed under: Guest Posts.

You may be thinking about living off grid, or maybe you already do. Chances are solar power is at the top of your list as it is becoming more popular and less expensive than ever, and why shouldn’t it be? Using the sun to power your home is much better than drawing electricity from the power companies and the return on investment is really good over time. Of course it comes with some challenges as well. For example, what happens if you go through a period of time where you just aren’t making much power due to short days and/or heavy cloud cover. You need to rely on your battery backup power storage system.

Keeping your battery power storage system charged

There’s a couple of ways you can charge your batteries but I want to talk about generators. Using a generator to keep your batteries charged up is pretty simple and will ensure you always have power when you need it. There are a couple of different ways you can proceed with a generator. You could get a portable generator, a standby generator, or a dedicated off-grid backup generator. The latter being the best choice.

Portable Generators

One way to charge up your batteries is to use a portable generator. This method works ok but in my opinion isn’t the best way. Essentially what you have to do is haul out your portable generator and hitch it up to your system each time you need to charge up your battery system. That means keeping FRESH fuel on hand, getting the generator started, and of course putting it all away when you are done. It is however much cheaper than using a standby generator.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are a much better choice for charging your battery backup system, however they are more expensive. In fact, Generac has recently come out with their eco-gen generator that is made specifically for off grid power use. There are a number of reasons why this is a really cool unit, but the main reason is that it can detect the power level of your batteries and kick on to recharge them. You don’t even have to be home! Generac is the first to offer a standby generator like this, but look for more options in the future as living off grid becomes more and more popular. If you’re interested in getting a generator or would like to learn more about them be sure to visit

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