What Is The Best Solar Generator To Run A House?

Solar generators are an increasingly popular way to provide backup power for homes during grid outages. They use solar panels to charge batteries, which then power electronics and appliances when needed. The global market for solar generators is growing rapidly, expected to reach around $966 million by 2032 according to market research reports. [1]

As power outages become more frequent, many homeowners are turning to solar generators as a resilient and sustainable electricity source. When sized properly, solar generators can provide enough power to fully run key circuits in a house during daylight hours. This allows residents to continue using lights, refrigerators, and other basic needs even when the grid is down.

An ideal solar generator for whole house backup has enough solar input and battery storage capacity to meet a home’s basic daily loads. Important criteria include the wattage of solar panels, battery capacity, power output, and cycles per charge. Understanding a home’s average energy use and peak demand times is key to properly sizing a system. With smart inverter technology and intelligent power management, today’s solar generators can seamlessly provide home backup during emergencies.

How Solar Generators Work

A solar generator consists of four main components that work together to collect, store, and supply electricity: solar panels, charge controller, inverter, and batteries.

Solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into DC (direct current) electricity. This DC power is sent to a charge controller, which regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels before sending it to charge the batteries. The charge controller protects the batteries from being overcharged or damaged.[1]

The solar energy stored in the battery bank can then be inverted into AC (alternating current) electricity that is used to power home appliances and devices. An inverter converts the DC electricity from the batteries into usable 120V AC electricity, the standard voltage of household power outlets.

When the sun is shining, the solar panels recharge the batteries. And when the sun isn’t available, the stored energy in the batteries can be used to power the essentials. So even on cloudy days or at night, solar generators can provide electricity by drawing from battery reserves.[2]

By integrating solar panels, charge controller, batteries, and inverter into one unit, solar generators offer an efficient and reliable power solution using renewable solar energy.

Key Factors for Whole House Solar Generators

When selecting a solar generator powerful enough to run an entire home, there are three key factors to consider:

Power Output

The average U.S. household consumes around 10,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which equates to roughly 30 kWh per day [1]. To meet this demand, look for a solar generator that provides at least 5,000 watts of continuous power and 10,000+ watts of surge capacity. This will allow you to run most major appliances like refrigerators, furnaces, and ovens without issue.

Energy Storage Capacity

Given average daily electricity needs, the battery bank of your solar generator will need to store at least 20-30 kWh to power a home around the clock. Lithium batteries offer the best combination of capacity, lifespan, and performance. Select batteries that are oversized, as their capacity diminishes over time.

Reliability & Durability

With a whole house solar generator, reliability and durability are paramount. Seek out systems with weatherproof, durable enclosures and high-quality components. Units with integrated battery management systems will better protect battery health and performance over time. Prioritize solar generators backed by strong warranties on parts and labor.

Top Solar Generators for Home Use

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro1 is currently one of the top-rated solar generators for home use. It has a 2,160Wh capacity lithium battery and can be charged by solar in as little as 2.5 hours with two SolarSaga 200W solar panels. The 2000 Pro has multiple ports including AC, USB-C, USB-A and a 12V car port. It’s designed for off-grid emergency power and can run most essential home appliances.

The Bluetti EP5002 provides 5,100Wh of capacity with a 5,000W AC inverter and can power most household needs for days. It has a variety of output ports and can be fully recharged by solar in 3-6 hours depending on sunlight. The EP500 is more affordable than many comparable capacity models.

Ideal for off-grid solar home setups, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has a 6,000Wh lithium battery capacity. It can be recharged from solar in as few as 7 sunlight hours with an additional Boulder 200 Briefcase solar panel. The Yeti 6000X provides multiple AC and USB outputs and has a surge capacity of 12,000W making it capable of handling high-load devices.

The compact Anker 757 PowerHouse1 provides 1,229Wh capacity with two AC outlets and multiple USB ports. Weighing only 27 pounds, it’s one of the most portable solar generators that can power essentials for an entire home during shorter outages. Recharges from solar in 10+ hours depending on sunlight.

For larger homes, the EcoFlow DELTA Max has a 3,600Wh capacity with six AC outlets. It can be fully recharged in just 2-3 hours using EcoFlow’s 400W portable solar panels. The DELTA Max features X-Boost and power sharing to handle surges up to 7,200W, making it capable of powering high-demand appliances.

Case Study: Solar Generator for a 3-Bedroom Home

solar panels and batteries in a home setup
To understand how to properly size a solar generator system for an entire house, let’s walk through an example for a typical 3-bedroom home. For this case study, we’ll assume the home is 2,000 square feet with typical appliances like refrigerator, electric stove, washer/dryer, dishwasher, TVs, computers, and lighting.

First, we need to calculate the home’s electrical load. A good rule of thumb is to estimate 30 kWh per day for a 2,000 sq ft home (1). To allow for some buffer and future electric vehicle charging, we’ll round up to 40 kWh per day.

Next, we determine the solar array size needed. Assuming 5 peak sun hours per day, we’ll need a solar array that can produce around 8,000 watts (40 kWh / 5 hours) (2). For a residential system, a 6 kW array (six 1,000 watt panels) should suffice.

For battery storage, we want at least 2 days of backup capacity or around 80 kWh (40 kWh x 2 days). Lithium batteries like the EcoFlow DELTA Max (3) can provide this in a compact cabinet.

A professional installer can set up the rooftop solar array and integrate the battery bank to run the home’s electrical panel. The system can operate off-grid or connect to the utility grid as a backup. Minimal maintenance is required beyond occasional solar panel cleaning.

For a real world 3-bedroom home, this 6 kW solar array and 80 kWh battery bank would provide reliable, clean energy to run lights, appliances, AC, etc. And the homeowner could add an electric vehicle in the future without issue.


(1) https://blog.ecoflow.com/us/what-solar-generator-size-to-run-whole-house/

(2) https://www.jackery.com/blogs/buying-advice/what-size-generator-to-run-a-house

(3) https://www.bluettipower.com/blogs/news/how-big-of-a-solar-generator-do-i-need

Pros and Cons of Home Solar Generators

Home solar generators offer a number of benefits but also come with some drawbacks to consider. On the positive side, solar generators provide energy independence and stability. Once installed, they generate electricity from the sun, reducing reliance on the grid. This can lead to long-term cost savings on utility bills. Solar power is also clean and renewable, producing no emissions that would contribute to climate change.

However, the main downside is the high upfront cost of purchasing and installing a complete solar generator system. Though prices are dropping, it can still cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the home and desired capacity. Maintenance is also required, including cleaning panels and replacing inverters every 10-15 years. Lastly, solar generators rely on sufficient sunlight, so cloudy weather can impact production 1. Systems are typically connected to the grid as a backup power source.

Overall, home solar generators offer freedom from electric bills and fossil fuels but require an initial investment. With energy prices rising, solar generators are becoming increasingly attractive for many homeowners seeking sustainability and energy independence.

Federal Tax Credits and Incentives

There are several financial incentives available from the federal government to lower the cost of installing a home solar system. The most significant is the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

The ITC allows homeowners to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes through 2034. After 2034, the ITC will drop to 22% for projects that start construction through 2035. It will then permanently drop to 10% for commercial projects and 0% for residential projects starting construction in 2036 and beyond (source: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/homeowners-guide-federal-tax-credit-solar-photovoltaics).

Many states and utilities also offer additional rebates and incentives to go along with the federal ITC. For example, California has the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) which provides rebates for installing energy storage along with solar panels. Solar customers in California may also be eligible for additional local utility rebates (source: https://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar/state-rebates).

When combined, these incentives can cover 30-40% or more of the total cost of a home solar installation. Homeowners should research available federal, state, and local incentives when evaluating solar for their property.

Off-Grid vs Grid-Tied Systems

When deciding on a solar generator system for your home, one of the biggest considerations is whether to go with an off-grid or grid-tied setup. Here’s an overview of the key differences between the two approaches:

  • Off-grid systems are not connected to the traditional power grid in any way. They rely 100% on solar energy stored in batteries to power the home. Any excess solar energy can be used to charge the batteries for later use. Off-grid homes must have battery storage capacity to power the home when sunlight is low. Pros of off-grid solar include complete energy independence and reliability during outages. Downsides are higher upfront costs for batteries and complex maintenance. Off-grid systems make the most sense for remote locations without access to utility lines.
  • Grid-tied systems are connected to the traditional power grid. They use net metering so that any excess solar energy not used immediately is fed back to the grid. This results in energy bill credits. Grid-tied systems don’t require battery storage since they can pull from the grid at night. Pros are lower upfront costs without batteries and simplicity. Cons are continued reliance on the grid and no power during outages. Grid-tied works well if net metering is available in your area.
  • Hybrid systems combine aspects of off-grid and grid-tied. They are connected to the grid but also have battery backup for key circuits or appliances. This provides greater energy independence. Initial costs are lower than fully off-grid since fewer batteries are needed. Ongoing costs may be higher than grid-tied-only since some battery maintenance is required.

When weighing off-grid vs grid-tied solar, consider factors like your budget, desire for energy independence, and how prone your area is to power outages. Talk to installers about what setup makes the most sense for your particular home and needs. 1

DIY vs Professional Installation

Installing a solar generator system on your own can be complex, but has cost-saving benefits compared to hiring a professional. According to SunPath Electric, “High-Quality Materials – Professional installation may be more expensive than a DIY solar kit, but it can provide you with higher quality components that come with longer warranties.” (https://sunpathelectric.com/blogs/sun-path/pros-and-cons-professional-solar-installation-vs-diy)

However, DIY solar has advantages like lower upfront costs and greater customization. As SaveOnEnergy notes, “On average, solar panel systems cost between $15,000 and $25,000 and installation costs account for up to 60% of the total.” (https://www.saveonenergy.com/solar-energy/diy-solar-vs-professional-solar/)

While professional installation provides expertise, warranties, and quality assurance, DIY kits allow more flexibility and hands-on learning. The complexity of the system and roof type should be evaluated when deciding between DIY vs hired installation.


When selecting a whole home solar generator, the most important factors to consider are the system’s power output, battery capacity, expandability, warranty, and cost. The power output must be sufficient to match your home’s energy needs, while the battery capacity determines backup runtime during grid outages. Look for systems that can be expanded by adding more panels and batteries as your needs grow. A strong warranty provides peace of mind. And of course, pricing is key for staying within budget.

Overall, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro system stands out as the best solar generator for the average 3-4 bedroom home. With expandable power up to 25kW and battery capacity up to 42kWh, it can meet a typical home’s needs with room to spare. The comprehensive 10-year warranty is also reassuring. While the EcoFlow system carries a higher upfront price tag, the long-term savings and energy independence make it a worthwhile investment for most homeowners.

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