Solar Generator Vs. Propane Generator: Which Is Best for Your Home?

Solar Generator Vs. Propane Generator: Which Is Best for Your Home?

Two of the main backup power resources for homes are usually solar and propane generators. Each has its unique set of benefits and drawbacks based on the type of requirement, personal choice, and financial plan. But what is the right choice for your home? In this post, we will dig into how a solar generator and propane generator work, their positives and negatives, and what exactly separates them. We shall also see the best options you have in terms of generators for your home.

How Does a Solar Generator Work?

In other words, this source is a device that creates and saves electrical energy derived from the sun for varied uses. This instrument supplies electric power to applications and home equipment, electronic devices, amongst others, at those times when electrical energy cannot be accessed or the primary grid is in no way reliable at all. Basically, solar generators are ideal for outdoor activities, like camping, an RV, or even sailing.

The four main elements present in a solar generator are:

  • Solar panels. These are the ones that receive sunlight and convert it into DC (direct current) power.
  • Charge controller. It ensures a managed flow of electricity from the solar panels to the battery, thus protecting the cell against overcharging and discharging.
  • Battery. This is where energy generated is normally stored for future purposes. It could be one battery or a number of batteries connected.
  • Inverter. It converts DC power from your battery banks to AC power that most of your appliances and equipment require.

solar generator

Pros and Cons of Solar Generator

There is no exception to some benefits and disadvantages that solar generators bring with them. Here are a few of them:

  • No fueling costs: While propane generators require one to always buy and keep refill tanks in their compound, with solar generators, there is an assurance of continued power in the home without fueling and topping off the generator.
  • Endless supply of energy: Solar is renewable energy, and the sun rises every day, so expect no end on the availability of this energy throughout your life.
  • Eco-friendly power: Solar generators manufacture electric power purely from a renewable source. They do not emit any contaminating gases or substances that would harm the environment or the lives of beings around us.
  • Silent and low maintenance: When functioning, the solar units work smoothly and are silent in operation, without noise or vibrations. As compared to the propane generators, the solar generator has a few moving parts in place, giving it minimal services and repairs.

On the other hand, there are also some of the drawbacks to solar generators:

  • Initial high costs: When compared with propane generators, solar generators are very costly to buy at first. The purchase of solar panels, batteries, charge controllers, and inverters is relatively expensive to ensure full-swing effectiveness, especially during peak seasons.
  • Slow recharge: Since a solar generator requires the sun to charge its batteries, this means that recharging is only done in the daytime and under clear weather conditions. It could even take a whole day or some days for a battery powered by a solar generator to get to its highest capacity.
  • Unreliable power supply: The solar generator has a limited amount of power output, proportional to the size and capacity of its batteries and inverters. It will not offer power to the entire house or large-pulling appliances for relatively long periods.

How Does a Propane Generator Work?

Propane Generator

A propane generator is an apparatus that utilizes propane gas as a basic element for the generation of electric energy. The used propane gas is stored in tanks or cylinders that can be attached to the generator. A carburetor evenly combines propane gas with air and directs this mixture into the engine once the generator is turned on. Later, the engine compacts the received mixture and sets it on fire, ensuring as a result the establishment of mechanical energy.

In turn, the mechanical energy rotates a generator head with a rotor and a stator—elements that turn mechanical energy into electrical energy. The rotation of the rotor inside the stator sends an electromagnetic field that causes an induction of electric current. From this point, the electric current is directed into an inverter that converts it from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). AC power can actually be used with many other home appliances and devices. It's a real lifesaver when everything goes out of gear, like emergencies, blackouts, and so forth. 

Pros and Cons of Propane Generator

At the same time, propane generators have their cons and pros. So you should at least know them before you make a purchase. Here are some of the benefits of using propane generators:

  • Reliable power: Unlike the solar generator whose batteries require sunlight for recharging, propane generators offer unswerving and consistent power in any prevailing weather. They offer power at night or during cloudy days without any interruption.
  • Higher power output: Propane generators are able to generate more power than the solar model, as per the size and capacity of their engines and inverters, meaning they would generate more. They can be installed with many large and more energy-consuming appliances or devices, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, or heaters, among others.
  • Portability: They are portable and convenient to use because they have propane fuel, which can be bottled easily and be bought, carried, or refilled and transported with ease and convenience.

On the negative side, however, propane generators do come with some disadvantages too:

  • Low lifespan:  Propane generators generally have lower lifespans as compared to solar generators. This is mainly because they wear out fast and thus are disposed of for replacement in a quicker manner. They also have more moving parts that may be subject to breakage.
  • Lower fuel efficiency: One of the major trade-offs of using propane generators compared to the solar ones is that they have lesser fuel efficiency. This is true, as for electricity generation, they require more units of the precious stone, which in turn could increase your operational costs. Propane gas is also one of the non-renewable pollutants that give off greenhouse gases.
  • Cumbersome fuel storage: The propane gas for these generators always requires large, bulky, and heavyweight tanks or cylinders so as to store the gas, which can occupy a large piece of space and at other times, be moved around just to get a refill. They also present a risk of fire and explosion if not handled properly.

Key Difference with Solar Generator and Propane Generator

Below are some critical differences between both solar and propane powered generators:

  • The solar generators are sun-powered, while the propane generators are dependent on gas.
  • Solar generators are sustainable, environmentally, and minimal in maintenance cost, whereas the propane generators are found to be non-sustainable and expensive by way of fuel, which produces gases equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A solar generator is a much less powerful, smaller in size, not dependable, and weather-dependent energy source, while a propane generator could be more powerful, dependable under all weather conditions, and can perform at any time.
  • Solar generators are easier to use and get around, while propane generators may be very bulky; they are generally installed on big plots.

Which Generator Is Best for Your Home?

BLUETTI AC200MAX + 2B230 + 3PV200 Solar Generator Kit


This includes an inverter with an AC output of 2,200W pure sine wave power that can deal with up to 4,800W surge. Its battery has a 2,048Wh LiFePO₄ battery that can be expanded to 6,144Wh using two B230 modules or up to 8192Wh using up to three B300 series modules. The seven methods of recharging that the kit provides include: AC, solar, car, generator, lead-acid battery, dual AC, and AC+Solar.

The kit also features a highly user-friendly smart control and monitoring system, accessible remotely with the help of the BLUETTI app. This kit would therefore come in handy for one's needs for a strong, powerful, and flexible solar generator to turn on a lot of things at a go in one's house, such as a fridge, TV, laptops, fans, lights, and so forth. 

BLUETTI AC300 + B300 + 3*PV200 Solar Generator Kit


It contains an inverter with a power of 3000W for AC pure sine waves, a 3072Wh LiFePO4 battery, and comes with three pieces of 200W high-efficient monocrystalline solar panels with peak power up to 12,288Wh using four B300 modules. The charging offered in this kit is by 7 methods: AC, Solar, Car, Generator, Lead Acid Battery, Dual AC, and AC+Solar. Also, the kit gives the options for 240V Split phase bonding which can produce a heavy-duty appliance with 120V/240V output and the other one of 24/7 UPS home backup that features Auto Changeover from the grid to battery power upon grid failure. 

Both kits have the BLUETTI PV200 solar panel with foldable and portable panels coated with hardwearing ETFE to repel dust and corrosion. They are therefore fit for use with most of the solar generators using MC4 connectors and can be configured very easily to connect in parallel or series together.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between a solar generator and a propane generator for your home all depends on your needs, wants, and budget. As the general considerations herein show, these two options carry each beneficial attribute as well as a list of disadvantages. Much cleaner, noiseless, and almost maintenance-free, a solar generator comes at higher costs, charges slowly, and has a limited power supply. In contrast, a propane generator is cheaper, provides faster refueling, and produces more power, with its only downsides being pollution, noise, and more maintenance. It is important that these pros and cons should be checked in such a way that one will make suitable choices applicable to their homes.

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