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Best Inverter Generator Reviews

Everybody wants to protect their hard-earned money invested in appliances and gadgets. Electricity fluctuation and unstable supply are inevitable with traditional generators. As technology evolves, manufacturers made it possible for generator users to opt for a type of generator that will deliver clean, stable and safe electricity that can power their most sensitive appliances and gadgets.

Inverter generators are the way to go in terms of fuel efficiency, portability, low noise operation and affordability. And in this article, we will share our criteria in choosing the best inverter generator that will meet your power requirement, lifestyle and budget.

​Model Name

​Running Watts

​Surge/Starting Watts

​Noise Level

​Warranty

​5500 watts

​7000 watts

​52 to 58dBA

​3 years

​3700 watts

​4500 watts

​52 to 60dBA

​3 years

​3000 watts

​3500 watts

​57dBA

​Unspecified

​3500 watts

​4000 watts

​64dBA

​3 years

​3100 watts

​3400 watts

​59dBA

​3 years

​2600 watts

​3000 watts

​57 to 65 dBA

​3 years

​1600 watts

​2000 watts

​56 to 65 dBA

​3 years

​1700 watts

​2200 watts

​57 to 65 dBA

​2 years

​1700 watts

​2200 watts

​53 to 60 dBA

​3 years

​1800 watts

​2200 watts

​52 to 60 dBA

​3 years

​Top 10 Inverter Generator Reviews

best-inverter-generator

Inverter generators are usually known to be quiet and portable. But that doesn’t mean it will fall short in terms of supply capacity. Honda 7000W Inverter Generator is probably the best inverter generator for the most demanding situations. It can supply electricity even to the appliances that consume the most like window air conditioner, dishwasher and water heater.

The superior design of this inverter generator makes it suitable for residential and commercial use. It can also be used in construction sites because of its high power capacity that can supply electricity to chain saws, sanders and drills.

It is also RV-ready and is convenient and quiet to use even on camping and outdoor events. This 7000watts portable generator only produces 52 to 58dBA and is equivalent to the noise level of our normal speaking voice.

Since it is an inverter generator, the delivery of clean and stable electricity to your sensitive appliances and gadgets including tablets, smart devices, mobile phones and laptops is guaranteed. This is accompanied by the Eco-Throttle system and smart fuel injection technology which make the engine run for up to 18 hours with 5.1 gallons of gasoline. The same technology makes it low maintenance. These features will surely let you save on fuel and maintenance costs and will also prolong the life of your generator and appliances.

Instantly track RPM, voltage, wattage and running time of your generator with the iMonitor that is built-in on the control panel. It will also display maintenance schedules and shows error codes so users may troubleshoot the generator promptly. This generator also has warning lights for overloading and low fuel alerts.

While some generators in the market only cater to the standard 120V output, the Honda EU7000iS generator lets users enjoy the flexibility of using 120V and 120V/240V for almost all types of appliances which load can be supported. In case the 7000W is not enough for your needs, you don’t have to worry because you can instantly get twice as much power when you link two EU7000iS. Parallel-linking feature is a new technology that combines the power of two portable generators. 

You can conveniently bring this generator anywhere because it is portable and easy to move around. Thanks to its wheel kit and easy-folding handles. Honda offers a 3-year Residential and Commercial warranty for the Honda 7000W Super Light Inverter Generator.

​PROS

  • ​Super quiet at 52 to 58dBA
  • ​Portable and easy to carry around
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Expensive generator

Bottom line:

This is the best inverter generator in terms of its capacity. Most people might find this expensive, but combining three or more portable generators will be just as powerful as the Honda EU7000iS. The options and convenience this inverter generator offers will make you forget the savings you can get from other brands. It is a heavy-duty, high-powered generator that is just as portable as the smaller ones.

inverter-generator-reviews

Some high-powered inverter generators are only reliable while they still have gas.  What if you can find one that has two fuel sources? Westinghouse iGen4500DF is designed with all possible emergencies in mind. It is equipped with a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank to provide up to 18 hours of electricity at 25% load. However, a prolonged emergency power outage can eventually lead to a shortage of gasoline supply. Propane or LPG is the next most accessible fuel source and iGen4500DF can be easily hooked up with a standard propane tank.

It is fuel efficient! Thanks to the inverter technology that regulates electricity fluctuation and surges. A stable flow of electricity means fuel efficiency as well. This generator can power up your window air conditioner, electric stove and an electric fan. It is also RV-ready and will surely meet your outdoor living needs efficiently.

It runs on 3700 rated watts and 4500 starting watts on gas and 3330 rated watts and 4050 peak watts on propane. It is also a must-have for construction sites where majority of the essential equipment have a high surge requirement. Users who have higher wattage requirement can also take advantage of the parallel-linking capability of the Westinghouse inverter generators. That means two iGen 4500DF can give you as much as 9000 starting watts for almost all of your home appliances.

It starts up three ways - using its remote key fob, electric start button or manual recoil.  The control panel of the Westinghouse iGen4500DF is equipped with the following outlets, one (1) 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, one (1) RV-Ready Tt-30 30 Amp Outlet and two (2) USB Outlets. It runs quietly at 52dBA on full load and it is CARB. This Westinghouse inverter generator offers a 3-year warranty with a lifetime technical support from the brand.

​PROS

  • ​RV-ready
  • ​No installation required
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise at 52dBA
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​High price point
  • ​User reports of oil leaks

Bottom line:

There is no such thing as underpowered with the Westinghouse iGen4500DF. It is high-powered on its own and you can even double the wattage when you link two inverter generators. It is fuel efficient on either gasoline or propane so your back-up power source also has its own contingency. The price is also appropriate for its output and durability.

best-portable-inverter-generator

Not all generators are approved for outdoor recreation use due to noise and emissions. If you are someone looking for a home power back-up and a portable generator to bring to your next fishing trip, camping and other outdoor activity, this new player in the generator scene might be the one to answer your needs. The Powerhorse Inverter Generator brings to the table their CARB and EPA compliance which gives them an advantage over the more established brands, despite being new to the market.

Its inverter technology is enhanced by its variable speed engine and Engine Smart Control system that ensures optimum stability and regulated power supply based on what your appliances need. These features also help users save fuel and protect their devices from overcharging.

It operates at 3000 running watts and 3500 surge watts. You will never have to worry about disturbing your neighbors in residential or camping sites because it has a low noise level of 57dbA.  It is dependable for up to 11 hours at 25% load. The premium copper-wound heads let the generator work for long hours without overheating, even at full load.

The control panel is equipped with the following: LCD digital display for low oil, output and overload monitoring, electric start button, parallel-linking outlet and two (2) 120Voutlets.

​PROS

  • ​No installation required
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise at 57dBA
  • ​Affordable
  • ​Parallel-linking capability

​CONS

  • ​Limited references on the web, no website
  • ​Unspecified warranty

Bottom line:

Plenty of power in such a small package is what the Powerhorse 3500W inverter generator has to offer. Despite being new to the market, it already has great features that guarantee fuel efficiency and power stability.

best-2000-watt-generator

Old generators used to rely on steel frames for durability and stability. With the need for portability and quietness, new generators now use molded plastic for their enclosures. But Champion 4000W Inverter Generator is one that supports the open frame. This Advanced Open Frame Design makes it possible for the generator to run 50% quieter and 20% lighter.

Inverter technology goes side by side with fuel efficiency and Eco Mode setting in this generator. The engine controls and prevents electricity surges that can be damaging to appliances and gadgets. The output is set at 3500 running watts and 4000 surge watts. With just a 2.9 gallon tank, your most important appliances can rely on this generator for up to 17 hours depending on the load.

You can use this generator not just at home but also outdoors for recreational purposes. Bring it to you next camping trip since it is portable. It can also be used on your trailer and recreational vehicle. For long weekends and more power requirement, you can simply connect two similar Champion inverter generators to extend the running time for your appliances.

Since it is an inverter generator, you can depend on its power supply stability with only 3% Total Harmonic Distortion. In the control panel are the following outlets: one (1) 120V 30A RV (TT-30R), two (2) 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R) and one (1) 12V DC automotive-style outlet with a dual USB adapter and battery-charging cables. Champion offers a 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support on all Champion generators.

​PROS

  • ​Clean power inverter with less than 3% THD
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​Cold start feature
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​No wheels
  • ​Manual recoil start only

Bottom line:

Champion explained it very well. You need to buy this inverter portable generator for two main reasons, it is quieter and lighter than the other generators of its kind. These two qualities are hard to find since fuel efficiency and power stability are basic must-haves for most inverter generators.

portable-inverter-generator

A Dual fuel generator is the sure-fire solution for those who want an absolute emergency back-up. If you run out of gas, you can have a propane tank delivered right at your doorstep. This feature, plus the fuel efficiency of inverter technology is what powers the Champion 3400-watt dual fuel inverter generator.

It is dependable for home use as well as for trailers, cabins and recreation vehicles. This RV-ready generator has 90% 5-star reviews on Amazon for plenty of reasons. It operates at a low noise level of 59dBA at 23 feet. With 3100 running watts and 3400 starting watts, it can power your appliances for up to 7.5 hours. It automatically shuts off when it reaches the low oil level.

It delivers safe and stable power supply that prevents overloading your handheld devices and electronics. The quick touch panel has a 12V dual USB adapter, 120V 30A RV outlet and two (2) 120V 20A household outlets.

It only weighs 99lbs. and is easy to carry around with its built-in wheel kit. It has a cast-iron sleeve for durability even for outdoor use. You can also get twice as much its power when you link two Champion inverter series generators. This generator comes with a 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support.

​PROS

  • ​Clean power inverter with less than 3% THD
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​3-year warranty
  • ​Portable

​CONS

  • ​Not as quiet as the other generators

Bottom line:

Between the range of power output inverter generators have to offer, Champion 3400W is right in the middle. But it stands out in terms of reliability, specially because of its dual fuel feature. It proves to be more fuel efficient on propane gas as well, which is safer and cheaper.

cheap-inverter-generator

Honda Handi stands up for its name in terms of handiness. It is compact and light compared with other generators of the same output. It has recessed wheels, foldable handle and two fixed handles for ultimate portability. It also weighs lighter at 78lbs. when most inverter generators with a 3000watts output would weigh around 95lbs. and up. Indeed, this is the lightest and most compact generator from this brand.

Being compact did not compromise this generator’s power production. With just a 1.6-gallon gasoline tank, Honda EU3000H1A can supply electricity to your most essential appliances for 3.5 to 7.7 hours, depending on the load. Despite running on full load, its Super Quiet Technology keeps the noise level between 52 to 58dBA that will surely NOT keep you and your neighbors awake.

It can also be used to start-up air conditioning units for recreational vehicles of up to 13,500 BTU. This says a lot about the surge watts output of this generator. Home appliances such as refrigerators, microwave ovens and window air conditioners can also rely on this generator during emergencies.   It has the following outlets and receptacles on its control panel: one (1) 20A 125V Duplex, one (1) 30A 125V Locking Plug and a 12V, 100W (8A). Honda offers a 3-year limited warranty for Honda EU3000H1A Handi.

​PROS

  • ​Eco-throttle feature for fuel efficiency
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​RV-ready
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​No fuel gauge
  • ​Manual recoil start

Bottom line:

Honda EU3000H1A Handi impresses with its compact design and high-power output that can supply electricity to surge watts demanding appliances like air conditioners. It is perfect for home owners who love the outdoors as well.

best-inverter-generator-for-rv

In the portable inverter generators league, there are plenty of options when it comes to the ones with 2000-watt power output. But Energizer eZV2000P sets the bar high in terms of fuel efficiency and low noise operation. This generator produces 50dBA at 25% load and 59dBA at 100%. It is not only perfect for home use, but you can also bring it with you during camping trips as well without causing annoying noise to the nearby campers. The inverter technology does not only guarantee fuel efficiency, but it also contributes to reducing the noise level by adjusting the engine throttle.

At maximum load, this generator runs for 4.2 hours at 1600 watts and you can get as much as 11 hours running time if you use it at 25% load. In areas and occasions of intermittent power supply, variable voltage or electricity surge will not cause fluctuations and surges through the generator’s dual wave technology. This feature controls the voltage and current, and ensures only stable and clean electricity goes into your appliances.

The suitcase style generator only weighs 20 kilograms and can be comfortably carried by anybody – thanks to its easy-grip handle. If you eventually feel like you need extra emergency backup, you no longer need to upgrade to a new generator, simply get another Energizer eZV2000P and start linking the two units through a parallel-linking kit which you can buy separately.

It has a simple control panel with an ON and OFF switch, an EcoMode switch, LED indicators, two (2) 12V 5A DC USB ports and a 120V 13.3A AC/CV outlet. It is backed by a 3-year warranty which can be availed through 800 Energizer service centers across North America.

​PROS

  • ​EcoMode feature for fuel efficiency
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​RV-ready
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise at 50 to 59dBA

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start

Bottom line:

You can never go wrong with a trusted battery brand to produce another source of power. Energizer is a trusted name in the industry and it is making a name as a generator manufacturer as well. It has great features and the highlight is its portability.

champion-inverter-generator

We need at least 8 hours of sleep to function well the next day. Imagine getting enough sleep even without electricity. That’s possible with Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Generator. It can run continuously for up to 8 hours in a single full gallon tank of gasoline. You can also sleep soundly with a whisper-like noise level of 57dBA. This is made possible by the Quiet Power Technology (QPT) in this generator which adjusts the engine speed to reduce noise, emissions and make it fuel efficient.

This ultra-portable generator only weighs 54.6lbs and has a power output of 1700 running watts and 2200 starting watts. This generator lets you use your home lights, electric fans, rice cooker and outlets to recharge your personal electronics. With its built-in DC outlet with a USB adapter, you can easily charge your mobile phones and laptops. The inverter technology also ensures that your devices do not overcharge.

Other outlets include two (2) 120V Household Outlets, one (1) 12V-5A, DC Outlet with USB Adapter and one (1) Parallel Port on its control panel. It is parallel-linking ready with compatible Briggs & Stratton Inverter series generators. Users can enjoy a 2-year limited warranty for this generator.

​PROS

  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​RV-ready
  • ​Lightweight and easy to carry
  • ​Quiet Power Technology produces 57dBA
  • ​2-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start
  • ​High price point

Bottom line:

If you want to bank on reliability and brand expertise, Briggs & Stratton has been making quality generators from biggest to smallest. Their ultra-portable inverter series is perfect for those who want to try one out, and are open to additional units in the future.

best-generator-for-the-money

Practical buyers will surely go for this affordable 2000-watt portable inverter generator from Champion. While most generator brands are busy promoting their parallel-linking technology for their portable generators, Champion went for the extra mile by making their generators parallel-linking ready and stackable at the same time. Users can save space while enjoying 2x power output.

It is designed with Smart Economy Mode, a feature that reduces electrical load resulting to a smoother and quieter operation. This feature also extends the engine life and makes the generator energy efficient. Its low noise operation only produces 53dbA from 23 feet making it suitable for home, work, construction and outdoor living environments. With a 1-gallon gas tank, it runs up to 9.5 hours at 25% load with 1700 running watts and 2000 starting watts. The optional parallel-linking kit also makes this generator RV-ready.

The control panel includes two (2) 120V 20A household outlets and a 12V DC outlet. It also has a stable power supply with less than 3% total harmonic distortion (THD). Champion has a standard 3-year coverage and lifetime technical support for all its generators.

​PROS

  • ​Clean power inverter with less than 3% THD
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​3-year warranty
  • ​Portable and stackable

​CONS

  • ​Limited number of outlets

Bottom line:

This generator is most suitable for beginners who are new to the concept of portable inverter generators. It will not break the bank and it is perfect for those with small storage spaces specifically because of its stackable design.

inverter-generators-for-sale

Westinghouse brand is backed by their 130 years of experience in manufacturing appliances and generators. The Westinghouse iGen2200 is an ultra-portable and super quiet generator. It works at a really low noise level of 52dBA. It is CARB compliant which means it follows the air regulatory guidelines in California and it can be sold there.

With its portability, it will surely go places. Generators do not necessarily have to stay at home. This generator is light enough at 47lbs. to be brought on your next trip to power your RV and your camping site. It starts with a manual recoil mechanism and lets you enjoy uninterrupted power for almost 12 hours on a 1.2-gallon gasoline. This will depend on the type of appliances you will use.

As an inverter generator, it has less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion and delivers stable electricity to your appliances. The control panel has the essential LED indicators for overload, output and low oil alerts. The generator has a fuel efficiency mode as well that can be switched in the event you need to save on fuel and lower the noise level. It is also parallel-linking capable and can be connected to any inverter series generator from Westinghouse.

​PROS

  • ​Parallel linking-ready
  • ​No installation required
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise at 52dbA
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start
  • ​High-price point versus generators with the same output

Bottom line:

Bring back the comfort and convenience of having uninterrupted power supply wherever you may be, as long as there is gasoline supply. Comfortably carry your generator like a water jug for picnics because it is light and portable. It may be high priced compared to other brands but the built, durability and brand name will be your advantage.

Why Choose Inverter Generators?

  1. ​It uses the most advanced technology in generators
    Innovation made way to the development of smaller engines that lead to more stable electricity supply in generators. As the appliances modernize, we start seeing that almost all appliances with a motor like refrigerators and air conditioners run with the inverter technology. Generators are evolving to match this technology and supply the right amount of electricity based on what the appliances need – no overloading and fluctuation. This prolongs the life of our appliances.
  2. It is low noise
    As the delivery of electricity is enhanced by inverter technology, it lessens the strain on the engine. This will result in less noise. Manufacturers also shift to lighter yet noise-minimizing enclosures like plastic.
  3. It is ultra-portable
    As technology advances, electronic parts of generators become smaller too. Manufacturers also shift to molded plastic from all-steel frames and enclosures. A lighter generator can take the extra mile for you, literally.
  4. It is fuel efficient
    Just like inverter type appliances which let you save on electricity cost, inverter generators have regulated electricity supply, and adjust to the needs of specific appliance. Fuel efficiency does not only translate into monetary savings, but it also helps you save the environment by using less gasoline or propane.
  5. It is affordable
    Inverter generators, despite being a little pricier than non-inverter small generators are still more practical than getting the heavy duty ones. Not only it is cheaper to purchase, the replacement parts usually cost less as well.

Solar Energy

Residential solar energy has certainly not been a new thing, but it's not until recent years that most people started taking note of its advantages. The reasons have been varied ranging from wanting to reduce the carbon footprint in the environment and going the natural way with less pollution to reducing their electricity bills, which most people choose as the best. In some places, you're able to save as much as $300 per month in electricity bills which is quite a large amount over the long haul. If you're an aspiring solar energy homeowner and would like to know more before committing, below are some pointers to guide you.

How ​Solar Energy Works

For starters, it is worth mentioning that solar energy can be harnessed in two different ways. These could be the extraction of thermal energy which aids in processes such as cooking and water heating or it could be in electricity production. For the thermal energy, solar radiation is the key element whereas for electric energy production, light is of greater interest. Solar panels work by allowing particles of light from the sun called photons to knock off electrons from atoms which in turn generate an electric flow. Deep within solar panels are smaller units commonly called photovoltaic cells usually made of silicon. All these are linked up together such that with more exposure to the sun, more electric current can be generated from the solar panel which is then stored in a battery for later use. In home settings, inverters are used to convert the stored energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) which is what we normally use.

How ​Solar Energy Used Around Us

There are many ways you can use solar energy at home.

  • ​Powering Home Devices: The small devices at home that are presumed to consume almost no electricity do use a lot of it. Those phones, torches, power banks and even batteries can be charged using solar energy. However, solar energy could also power bigger things like your refrigerator. It all depends on how much energy you need at home.
  • ​Outdoor and Street Lighting: There are high chances that your street lights are powered by some form of renewable energy such as solar energy. In less urban areas, for example, it is far convenient to have street lights powered by solar energy directly. At home, people also use solar energy for powering outdoor electrical equipment such as security lights and even the electric fences.
  • ​Heating Water: Everyone cherishes a bath of warm water. When you have a large family, your electricity bill can skyrocket, especially if you are not relying on solar water heating and you have teenagers who cherish a long hot bath. With solar energy that bill becomes manageable, or even nonexistent, and your family continue to enjoy a good bath.
  • ​Solar Cooking: There are some solar cookers in the market which you can use to prepare your meals with. These cookers cook can be pretty sluggish as well, so don't be expecting to have your steak ready in the next few minutes. In fact, depending on the type of meal you're preparing, you might need hours to cook your meals properly. This could be ideal for camping events.
  • ​Supercharge Your Electric Car: If you have an electric car, you can always charge it after you're back home. This is very cost effective since the same energy you're using in your house is the same you're charging your car with.

​PROS

  • Sustainable and Renewable
  • Low Maintenance
  • No Noise Pollution
  • Environment Friendly
  • Affordable
  • Cost Efficient in the Long-Term

​CONS

  • Requires Large Physical Space
  • Energy Storage Is Expensive
  • Cost of Installation is Expensive
  • Not Easily Installable by Everyone

How Many Panels Do You Need for Your House?

The cost of installing always varies from one person to another. This is because of different factors like the size of a house, the types of panels you want to use, how much energy you use in your household among other things. Things like the installation company you choose will also affect the total cost. Let's look at these factors in detail and what they really mean

1. Your Roof's Usable Surface Area

The shape and size of your house will determine how much you pay for set up. For example, a house with a flat roof which can accommodate large panels easily may require less tinier panels which leads to a cheaper cost. Equally, a house with a small usable area; either due to the shape of the roof or other factors, may require smaller panels which will translate to a more expensive cost since it'll require more of them.

2. How Much Energy

A house that uses 300KWh per month and a house that uses 1000KWh per month will be billed according to their energy usage. The amount of energy you use will be calculated for you during installation. On the other hand, you too can get an idea of how much energy you require with a simple calculation. Just take your electrical bills for at least the past 12 months and add all of them to get the total amount of electricity you use in a year. Divide this sum by 12 to know what's the average you spend in a month. You can go even further, by dividing the figure you get from above by 30 to get your daily average.

For example, if your annual energy is 4800KWh, you'll divide this by 12 to know how much you spend in a month. Which is 400KWh per month. To calculate how much energy you use in a day, you'll divide the 400KWh by 30 days and find out that your average usage per day is 13.3 KWh (Kilowatts per hour).

3. Weather in Your Area

If you live in a cloudy region, then there won't be a lot of sunlight hitting your solar panels. This would require you to have more panels to increase the surface area needed to harness the amount of power you need for your use.

4. Types of Panels You Use

Solar panels are made differently, and that means you would have to choose one that best suits your needs. If you're installing per square foot, the basic expected wattage is 2 Watts for every square foot. This means that a house of 1500 square feet will need about 3000 Watts. Depending on the type of panel used, this may equal 12-18 panels and translate to an average of 16 panels for the house. The price per watt is averagely $5.47. So, for a 1500sq foot roof, we would be looking at $16,400. Of course, this is a very subjective figure depending on the type of panels you use and even the company you hire. Some companies charge as much as $4,000 more. So before buying, compare the rates between installers in your area. It's best to remember that the company that can pay most for advertising doesn't necessarily mean it's the best.

Can You Install Your Own Panels?

It's understandable to ask this question considering that the price from accredited installers can seem high. If you have an experienced person who's skilled enough, he/she can help you with the sizing calculations, planning, and even installation. He/she could even design for you how you want to install the panels depending on the size of your roof. However, you are still encouraged to contact an accredited solar installer for wiring and metering of your energy consumption.

Conclusion

It's necessary to make a thorough analysis as before setting up your home solar system. When you're choosing a manufacturer, inquire whether they offer replacement for batteries and bulbs. This can go a long way because if you're committing to a long-term plan, you want to know how you'll relate with them sometime down the road. If they don't offer replacement, check your options should you choose to proceed with them. Also, it's necessary to check your home's location and landscaping.

Homes in smooth terrains which are not covered by shade or affected by weather will generate more power than homes which are covered by shade. Solar energy is ideal in places that experience lots of sunny weather. This means that places which experience the occasional sunlight or extreme weather changes may need alternate options.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is one of the most developed forms of renewable energy, and it ideally revolves around the kinetic energy that is produced because of the effect of air currents. During a sunny day, heat from the sun warms up the air which gets lighter until it rises above cold air. The endless cycle between warm air rising to the top and cool air moving to the bottom is what in turn creates wind.

​How Wind Energy is Produced

Wind power is harnessed using wind turbines. These turbines are typically large motor blades attached to a generator which are placed on a long support stand. Physically, they look like household fans, but the only difference is that while the fans use electricity to propel air, the turbines generate electricity when wind blows through the fans that are connected to the turbines. The wind energy is transformed from kinetic to mechanical energy which is then converted to electricity usable in homes. Also worth noting is that there are two ways of harvesting wind power.

1. Onshore Wind Farms

This means that the turbines are installed on land on a favorable landscape for wind harvesting. The main advantage of onshore harvesting is that it's a lot cheaper since there's no complexity in installing of turbines. The main downside of onshore though, is the noise that comes with it. Turbines can get really noisy, and they have been known to cause discomfort for some people.

2. Offshore Wind Farms

This is where the turbines are located in the lake or sea to generate power to mainland. The main downside to this is the cost of setting up. The turbines are set up spanning a large area in the sea which makes it expensive to install. They'll need to be firm, to withstand the turbulent storms, to ensure that they always work properly and among other things, have a positive impact to the environment.

While the setup is costly, offshore wind turbines have better advantages. One, is the noise will be far away from homes meaning they won't affect people. Two, the death of birds and bats will be minimized. Three, since it's located in the sea, it's easier to harness since most of the landscape is flat unlike on land where there are terrains and hills, and even high-rise buildings which can reduce the amount of wind.

​​How Wind Energy is Stored

Wind, just like other renewable energy sources, supplies more energy than market demand. The main downside is that there are very few established ways to store wind energy for future use. First, is its unpredictability, especially in areas where wind is not always constant. As such, storage of the electric energy produced from wind will be paramount. This uncertainty, coupled with how it's a lot more powerful during the night than day, are some of the reasons to store power for later use. In areas where wind is constant, however, electric power generated from the turbines can be fed into the power grid directly.

In domestic cases, it's quite easy because there are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries to store that extra power. These high-density batteries are increasingly getting advanced as the days go, making them easier to manage. Even at industrial level, companies have tried using large scale batteries to store energy, but the effects have not been so favorable. Cases of battery blow ups due to difference in voltage have been experienced. Also, batteries of this magnitude are expensive and hazardous to some extent not to mention they are not environment friendly (especially if they're disposed).

Despite that, there are some methods that industries are using to save large scale power:

1. Compressed Air Energy Storage

This is where excess power is heated and compressed to air to be stored in underground caverns or large tanks above the ground. The compressed air is burnt along with fuel to change it to mechanical energy which will then be used in generators as electrical energy when the demand for power arrives.

2. Hydrogen Fuel Generation

This works by producing hydrogen with excess power in order to burn it by combining with water through a process called electrolysis. This is a smart approach though the greatest drawback, like all the others, is the initial investment needed.

3. Pumped Hydro

This is where water is pumped upwards in order to use it downhill again. The main downside to this is the initial investment to be used and also the fact that it requires a hill or high ground where there's large amounts of wind and also a hydro power plant nearby or large water bodies. Even without water, hills and wind are almost mutually exclusive. Add the two mills needed (hydro and wind) for installation and you'll realize this is an expensive approach. This method is common in hydroelectric dams. While at the moment large scale storage of wind power is not stable, the future is filled with optimism since some companies are currently trying new ways to make it work.

Uses of Wind Energy

​1. Electricity Generation

The wind turbines have rotor blades which convert kinetic energy to mechanical energy through the rotor shaft and then to the generator. The energy is transferred as the rotor spins and the mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy in the generator. It's then transferred to the electrical company substations which step it up to a higher voltage for distribution to homes and institutions.

2. Pumping Water

Traditionally, windmills were used to pump water used for livestock and farming. Even in recent years, people still use them to pump water in communities and countries. The windmills used for pumping water are easier and more efficient than those used for electricity.

The wind propels the rotor blades which in turn move to produce motion or kinetic energy. This motion then facilitates the movement of a rod inside the well or borehole that pulls water into dedicated cylinders until the water is forced up the pipe and is ready to be fetched. Repetition of this process results in free-flowing water.

3. Transportation

Wind power has equally been crucial in transportation. Long ago when there were no turbine-powered ships, people used wind power to sail and navigate the sea. The trade winds released energy that propelled the ships and their cargo across oceans. In recent years, modern sailors have seen the benefits of using wind power too. They have installed large kites to act as propellers which save a lot of fuel in the long run.

4. Food Preparation

While in the past windmills were used to process grains like millet, in recent years they can be used to process foods in large scale for example wheat flour. Thanks to electricity and ease of installing several windmills, factories can now manufacture food in bulk in ease.

5. Sports

Several sports are propelled by wind for them to work. Sports like kite and wind surfing, sailing and kite boarding need to be in favor of the wind for you to practice. Some like kite surfing and sailing require stronger winds to enjoy the ultimate experience.

As you have noticed, you can use wind power in different ways. You can even use it to charge appliances in your home from small things like phones and laptops to bigger equipment like your lawnmower. If you have a stronger turbine which produces more power, then you can even use it for bigger things. Like solar, it's best to own a battery to store your energy for times when the wind speeds will be low.

Impacts of Wind Power to The Environment

Wind power is a clean renewable energy without effects associated with greenhouse gases such as coal. It is sustainable and friendly to environment and the effects associated don't cause any global warming. That said, the wind turbines have some negative impact on the environment.

​1. Bird and Bats Mortality

The first wind turbines that were installed cause a lot of death to birds and bats that flew around. This is because they didn't consider the rotating blades could have any negative impact to the birds. The modern wind turbines though, have put that into consideration and have predatory sensors installed to prevent the birds from getting close to them. While there are no estimated figures, it's presumed that those deaths are less than those caused by humans either by hunting and shooting.

​2. Change of Landscape 

Some people find lands with wind turbines to be beautiful while others find them another negative impact on the environment. They only see machines that are ruining the natural landscape. Turbines, especially in historical and tourist places, can be an eye sore since they're disrupting the normal view of the place. Since most wind farms are private, the places have even been set as tourist hotspots where you're taken a guided tour around. You can even find it's a camping and hiking venue where you'll enjoy some of your favorite activities. Turbines which are made of the same height and length and are aligned may have a more beautiful landscape than those which are placed spontaneously.

​3. Noise Pollution. ​​​​

It's estimated that a turbine in a 300m range will produce about 45dB which is slightly higher than the noise of a refrigerator. This means that if you're in a place closer to wind turbines, you'll be affected than someone who's 1.5km from a wind farm since at that distance the noise is barely audible. Some people reported to experience negative health effects that were caused by the turbine noise.

Engineers handled that and designed modern wind turbines to ensure that there's almost no noise made by turbines despite being close to your residence. They have sensors that measure the speed of wind so as to increase or decrease accordingly without necessarily producing a lot of noise.

4. Shadow Flicker and Reflection

This is when you're walking down the road then around you there are turbine blades rotating thereby affecting your eyes. The reflection, on the other hand, is when the blades reflect under the sun causes them to shine brightly and momentarily blind you. The changes in light intensity caused by the turbines is a bother to some people especially when the sun is too bright, and the blades are rotating fast. However, engineers easily solved this problem by choosing a better finish for turbine edges.

5. Loss of Habitat for Some Species

Since large amounts of land need to be cleared for those wind farms to be created, the previously existing animals are forced to move to a safer place. The displacement of these animals could make them highly exposed to their predators. On the flip side, the land used by wind farms could be used for other activities as well. Since over 90% is never used, it could be maximized for agriculture, for animal grazing or even just left as an open space.

6. Negative Effects for Air Traffic Control 

When the farms are set up near army bases the turbines can have negative impact since they may lose control over an aircraft due to loss of signal near the farm. This means that the wind farms have limits as to where they can be built to avoid overlap with other institutions.

Final Thoughts

While the negative impacts may make it seem like wind is not a great renewable energy, it helps to know that these are not effects of wind energy. These are the effects of the turbines which propel the wind. If technology is right, these effects are manageable and with time will improve. Some of them have already been corrected which makes us hopeful that the current problems facing the turbines will be non-existent in a few years.

Also, wind is an energy that can easily be substituted with other types of energy. For example, you may find that in your area it's sunny in some seasons and other seasons the wind is high. You can install both solar and wind systems to tap both of them when they're in high production.  This is great for the person who wishes to install the two types for maximum power harnessing.

Geothermal Energy

The history of geothermal dates back to 4th July 1904 when Prince Piero Ginori tested the first geothermal power generator in Larderello, Italy. This was a means to find new ways to generate electricity due to an increase in demand. From then on, geothermal power production became widely known, but not quite adopted.

​How Geothermal Energy Works

In geothermal power production, there are pipes dug deep into the ground so that the hot water that is trapped inside the earths crust rises up as steam to rotate turbines just with its sheer pressure. The motion from the turbines is then transferred to generators which convert it from mechanical energy to electrical energy. The electrical energy then is then transmitted to electric grids where it is distributed to end consumers who use it as electricity in homes and businesses.

If you're wondering where this hot water comes from, then you might want to know a few things about geothermal reservoirs. Simply put, they are large pools heated by magma underground from the earth's core. Temperatures in the earth's core rise above 4000°C. The liquids which rise above the surface are formed in the crust where temperatures are higher than 350°C, but because of these high temperatures, they almost always come out in gaseous state first. In fact, what we usually see as geysers and hot springs are merely cooled down forms of the superheated fluids. In essence, geothermal power production deals with harnessing the steam and converting its kinetic energy to mechanical energy and finally to electric energy.

​Geothermal Energy Generation Cost

The cost of a constructing a geothermal power plant is far higher than the cost of constructing an oil rig. Physically, geothermal power plants look more complex than oil rigs because they require a lot more apart from the turbines that will convert the kinetic energy in steam to mechanical energy and then to electrical energy. The reasons for these high costs are obvious as well. The labor required, for instance, is more expensive than the one that is required when setting up an oil rig. In addition, factors such as drilling costs also play a big role too.

However, after construction, the costs incurred are rather minimal. The cost of construction of a geothermal power plant could be as low as $3400 per kilowatt installed and for small-scale power plants, this figure could be lower at $3000. This is in comparison to other renewable energy sources like hydroelectric power which costs far more. While it is generally accepted that construction of geothermal power plants is more expensive than the construction of oil rigs, it's important to note that its costs varies from one project to another depending on the size of the plant and even the local environmental policies.

With regard to construction time, geothermal power plants also take some considerable time to build. According to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), a new geothermal project takes between 3 to 5 years to start producing electricity. Taking a stepwise strategy for development, the construction takes about 6 years. This comprises of 3 years for reconnaissance, surface exploration and test drilling and 3 years for production drilling and power plant.

Potential for Geothermal Power

Geothermal power is recognized globally and has a lesser negative impact to the environment than other renewable sources. Despite that, it's used by less than 2% of the world's population. This is because geothermal is location-specific since it can only be tapped in specific areas.

Despite its unavailability in most regions, the future potential for geothermal energy is bright. Research shows that 10,000 meters below the earth's surface, there's a high amount of heat which when tapped, can produce more than 50,000 times the energy that would be obtained from fossil fuels. This is where the Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) comes in. EGS is a technology that geologists and geothermal experts are using to drill into potential geothermal sites. The system works by pouring fluids into the rocks to induce the geothermal process when the rocks are fractured and the liquid seeps through. The resultant effect is that heat is brought to the surface and in turn produces steam which is then harnessed to produce electricity.

In Europe, for example, only about 2.5GW has been tapped, but with EGS, the power that can be produced increases to about 6,500GW. That said, the EGS hasn't been without problems. Since the beginning of its use, cases of earthquake and earth tremors and even fracturing of the rocks when the water heats up too fast have been experienced. When asked, the geothermal experts said that the quakes can be prevented by drilling at the right positions during the start of a project. Should the EGS project become mainstream there's going to be a lot more power than we actually need.

Geothermal Energy by Country

It would be unfair to talk about the potential for geothermal power without reviewing the countries that can actually make geothermal power the norm. Geysers is perhaps one of the many geothermal power plants that you'll often come across. Located in the western state of California, Geysers was perhaps the first plant to be constructed in the US, the same country which also produces the largest power (3,591MW) as of 2018. Despite this, geothermal power only contributes about 0.3% of the country's total energy. Iceland, on the other hand, is a country with a total geothermal power output of 755MW but contributes up to 30% of this energy to its national grid. This makes it one of the few countries to widely adopt this renewable source of energy.

In South East Asia, Philippines began construction of geothermal power plants in 1977, and over the years, the country now produces up to 1,868MW which is used by 27% of the country. This made it secure the third rank in the list below in terms of geothermal energy production globally. Kenya has a capacity of 676MW making it the first African country to make it on the top 10 list. The country is in 9th position in the world in terms of geothermal energy production and contributes to more than 51% of the country's electricity.

As of 2018, the countries with highest geothermal energy outputs include:

  1. USA 3591MW
  2. Indonesia 1948MW
  3. Philippines 1868MW
  4. Turkey 1200MW
  5. New Zealand 1002MW
  6. Mexico 955MW
  7. Italy 944 MW
  8. Iceland 755MW
  9. Kenya 676MW
  10. Japan 542MW

All other countries have a cumulative value of 960MW making the countries on this list stand out. Currently, the energy is used in 24 countries and another 70 are constructing geothermal power plants or are using it in small scales. As technology improves, more countries are finding new ways of exploiting their geothermal energy potentials. With proper technology and incentives from their governments. The high initial cost required to set up a geothermal power plant is what makes most countries, especially developing ones, reluctant to harnessing this renewable energy.

Types of Geothermal Power Plants

To the common person, geothermal power plants are all the same and are indistinguishable, but there are actually three types of geothermal power plants in existence today. The type of plant used for a particular region will depend on how hot the resource is and how much geothermal energy is available.

1. Dry Steam Power Plants

These are the oldest and have been in use for more than 100 years. A pipe is placed deep in the geothermal well which then facilitates the flow of hot liquids and steam upwards to rotate a turbine which then converts the mechanical energy to electrical energy. This type of geothermal power plant is suitable for wells with high liquid temperatures.

2. Flash Cycle Steam Plants

These are suitable for wells which generally have lower temperatures than those being used in dry steam plants. They are more common because there aren't so many geothermal wells that have naturally occurring high temperature steam. The liquid from the earth's crust usually rises from the well and to the surface similarly to dry steam power plants. As the pressure of the liquid reduces, it is converted to steam which then passes through the turbine to be converted to energy.

3. Binary Cycle Plants

Binary plants use two vessels with different boiling points hence the name binary. The first vessel contains the hot water from the well. The water rises up the well and flows through a heat exchanger to the vessel. The second vessel contains a fluid of lower boiling point such as butane. After it flows through, it vaporizes since it has a higher boiling point and the steam is relayed to the turbines to produce electricity. This process is not so common but has a high probability of use in future because it can be used in locations that are far from geothermal hotspots. In addition, the lower temperatures used in the process may reduce cost of production.

Uses of Geothermal Energy

There are various ways geothermal energy is used in various countries around the world. In ancient times, people near the fields used to fetch the water directly from hot springs for bathing, cooking and other chores around the house and even skinning their game – a practice which continues to date.

People also use geothermal energy for other reasons depending on the needs and their geographical location. In Iceland for example, residents have installed heat pumps and whole districts have direct heating systems to warm their houses during winter.

The government even relies on the geysers to melt the snow in the estates which makes life comfortable for its citizens. Some countries are also using geothermal to heat up greenhouses to facilitate the growth of "fragile crops" or even to ensure they grow during the extremely cold seasons. From roses grown in Kenya to citrus trees and other vegetables in Hungary, many organizations are slowly coming to the realization of the benefits of heated greenhouses for farming.

Fish farms are also using this energy to heat up their farms to protect the tropical species from winter seasons since it affects their lifespan. In Netherlands, the government has built bike roads powered with geothermal energy to avoid the risks caused by ice during cold seasons. While this can be categorized under electricity generation, it is rather unique as it is not such a common use especially in countries like the Philippines and Kenya.

Another use is for electricity generation which is actually the most mainstream use. Most countries which are harnessing geothermal energy are using it to provide electricity for their citizens. For some, it is too low, so they use in small-scale or merely for the industrial sectors. For others, like the top 10 that had been listed earlier, production is high enough to power homes and businesses and even export some of the electricity to neighboring countries.

All in all, it's safe to say geothermal has little to no negative impacts to the environment. When it's being produced, some chemical compounds like oxides of Sulphur may get released into the atmosphere which can in turn be harmful to both human beings and the environment.

However, it has less than 5% carbon footprint in comparison with the emissions from fossil fuels. In addition, there are set measures that limit the harmful effects of these toxic gases as well. For example, steam is usually filtered of the harmful gases before it is let into the turbines, making it somewhat less harmful to the environment. While it may be expensive to initially set up a geothermal energy plant, its contribution to clean energy cannot go unnoticed.

Presently, the main downside to geothermal energy generation in comparison with another renewable source of energy like solar energy is the fact that it's not available in all areas. As such, not everyone can reap the benefits of geothermal energy in their countries. However, it may not take long before developing countries that shied away from geothermal energy production come to terms with the fact that it is a far cleaner and more reliable renewable source of energy.

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydropower is perhaps the most common and widely-used source of renewable power. Because of this, hydroelectric power has been known for more than 2000 years. During that time, ancient Greeks would use water wheels to grind grains to flour – a practice that the Chinese dynasty of 150AD did as well. Though rudimentary, it paved way for the first conception of the movement of turbines thanks to the kinetic energy present in free-flowing water.

Centuries later there was no innovation in hydro power until about the 1750s when French engineer Bernard Forest de'Belidor wrote a book about hydro (L'Architecture Hydraulic), but most people still fancied using mechanical hydropower for milling and pumping. However, in 1832, Michael Faraday took it upon himself to conceptualize the modern-day hydroelectric power. It took more than 50 years for his invention to come to fruition. It took 46 years for William George Armstrong from Northumberland, England to take up Faraday's work and use hydroelectric power to light up his art gallery with the help of a single lamp.

After that successful project, countries begun constructing dams to produce large scale electricity to power the ever-increasing factories. In 1882, the first hydroelectric power station was constructed in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. The station produced 12.5KW. In the next 2-3 years there were about 45 stations in USA and Canada and 7 years later (1889) the stations increased to more than 200 in US alone.

Most countries continued to construct stations because of increasing demand, and in 1905 China constructed a 500KW power plant. The Hoover Hydroelectric Dam in Colorado was built in 1936 producing 1,346MW which at that time had the highest capacity. The production was increased to 2,080 MW later on but was surpassed by the Grand Coulee Hyrdoelectric Dam in 1942 which had a capacity of 6,809MW.

During these years more hydroelectric stations were set up around the world and in 1984 the largest dam in the world, Itaipu, was constructed in Brazil with a power capacity of 14,000MW. In 2008, China built the Three Gorges Dam which has a capacity of 22,500MW making it the largest hydroelectric dam in the world in terms of energy capacity.

With the figures mentioned above, it is easy to see why hydroelectric power is the most widely used renewable energy. China has the largest hydroelectric production with almost half of all world power coming from the Asian country. Some countries such as Paraguay and Brazil heavily rely on hydroelectric power such that 85% of their electricity is powered by the dams. In the US, 17% of its electricity is powered by hydro energy which also covers 70% of their renewable energy.

How ​Hydroelectric Energy Is Generated

Since it relies on the kinetic energy of moving water, hydro power stations are constructed along large water bodies like falls, rivers and lakes. A dam is constructed on one side to raise the level of water then it's blocked by a gate to prevent it from rising over the top. Down below, a small entrance is created through the dam so that the water passes through it in high pressure.

A turbine is installed at this point so that as the water passes through it moves the turbines which are connected to a generator which turns the hydro energy to electrical energy. The electrical energy is then ready to be transmitted to substations and finally to our homes as electricity. Back at the dam, after the water passes through the turbines, it simply goes back to the river and flows as usual.

Reasons for Fast Growth of Hydroelectric Power

1. Demand from Rising Economies

Rising economies are heavily investing in construction projects, and despite the huge sums they keep pouring for the development of their countries, they also require cheap and reliable sources of energy. Hydroelectric power gives them just that. Even though initial costs may be high, it is usually worth the effort because such projects are usually long-term and their return on investments will bring positive results in their countries. This is true because hydropower is cheaper than the oil and gas and the because it is readily available. These are just some of the reasons why most countries go the hydroelectric power way.

2. Support from World Bank and International Funding Institutions

Since most high-profile investors are also vying for green energy production, top banks and institutions have been lending money for the development of hydroelectric power making most projects to pick up pace. More than $2 billion has been spent on such projects to ensure the projects are fully funded. This has ensured most projects, especially those that had stagnated to pick up and be completed thereby producing power and promoting the economies of those countries.

3. Multilateral Goals and Agreements

There have been several international summits and conferences to create awareness about hydroelectric energy. In these meetings, the benefits and disadvantages of hydropower have always been highlighted in contrast to other sources of energy such as nuclear energy. Since the pros surpass the cons, the agreements have concluded that hydropower is worth the shot. Some of the notable reasons highlighted include the fact that it is renewable, cheap, and widely accepted.

This means that it will never get depleted and has very little carbon emissions on top of being sustainable. It's also easier to construct compared to others like geothermal. In addition, since it is used in most countries all over the world, it is also widely accepted unlike other sources of energy such as nuclear energy which will be met with skepticism especially since disasters such as the Chernobyl accident could always happen again.

4. Trade from Developing Countries

When countries agree to trade, there is an increase in business activities which leads to increased demand for electricity especially in the manufacturing sector. The need to supply the growing industries with power has enabled them to turn to hydroelectric power as an environment-friendly source of electricity. Some countries request for international funding and others choose to build from their own pockets. Regardless, such trades are the driving factors for the increasing hydro power stations around the world.

The Future Outlook

For the most part, there's a lot of positive outlook due to untapped potential in most countries. Reports show that 71% of Europe has not yet tapped its hydroelectric power while in North America and South America, these figures stand at 75% and 79% respectively. Asia-Pacific region follows next with 82% and 95% of untapped power in both Africa and Middle East. That amounts to an average of 83% of global hydroelectric power which remains untapped. From this it's safe to say that even 60% of the energy is enough to power the whole world.

Despite this though, some countries have little growth due to having utilized a lot of their energy reserves already. A country such as Switzerland has already tapped 88% and Mexico follows with 80%. Other countries which use hydroelectric in large amounts include Norway, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Paraguay and Brazil. These countries rely on hydropower for up to 85% for their electricity.

Currently, hydroelectric power supplies almost 20% of the world's electricity needs and accounts for 70% of all renewable energy sources. North America and Europe are projected to have a slower rate than other parts of the world in future generation of hydro power. This is mainly because they have utilized more than the rest of the world. The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that by 2050 the world will be able to produce 15,000 Terawatts per hour (TWh) if current production is tripled.

Asia is poised to experience the highest growth in future with countries such as China, Brazil and India being on the leaderboard. Some countries in South East Asia are also experiencing substantial development. These countries include Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia which is the 6th largest global producer of hydroelectric energy. Indonesia has a potential to supply 0.39 million Gigawatts per hour (GWh) annually.

China produces highest amount of hydropower but utilizes 41% of its reserves. It has a capacity to produce 1.3 million GWh annually and India which is the second largest at 21% has reserves capable to produce 0.5 million GWh annually. Russia, on the other hand, has the highest power potential in the world and only utilizes 10% of its 1.5 million GWh annual potential. Sadly, Africa is projected to experience a slow growth in hydro power generation and the larger source of its electricity will still come from oil and natural gas in coming years.

Challenges Facing Hydroelectric Power Generation

It is apparent that hydro energy is important in many societies around the world, and it carries a lot of benefits with it. A good example is the Three Gorges Dam in Yangtze river, Hubei province in China. The power plant stretches over a 2.4Km piece of land and produces 84.7 TWh annually, but it was initially created to control floods that destroyed property worth $24 billion.

The production of electricity was thus a bonus point in addition to favorably changing the climate of the region. However, the Chinese dam wasn’t without problems. Millions of people had to relocate and lots of properties destroyed. Other challenges that hydroelectric stations face (and affect future growth) include:

1. Potential Shortage in Technical Skills

So many power plants are being developed all over the world. Places like SE Asia which are constructing many at a go are experiencing shortage of skilled people to work with while the demand for more stations is increasing.

2. Long Decision-Making Is Needed to Receive Permission

There are a lot of regulatory bodies and authorities that determine how the power plants will be constructed. Getting that permission to build takes a lot of time since it's not until a firm gets access that it can move along and build a power plant.

3. Expensive to Install and High Risk

There are uncertainties in building a hydroelectric station and for these large-scale projects the cost is too daunting since most of the costs are upfront. After it's built the cost of operation and maintenance is decreased. The high risks associated are due to the fact the return investments are not clearly outlined until after construction which makes investors wary.

4. Lack of Investment

This is another challenge that firms wishing to build power plants have to face and one that affects the future of hydro. Some regions, especially in Africa, have low receptivity to investors which hinders the growth of this renewable source. Other ways this happens is when funds run low mid-level and no investors are willing to pitch in.

5. Difficulty to Manage Social and Environmental Effects

A case like the millions of people who were displaced in China when Three Gorges Dam was being constructed is among the many challenges that faces regions around dams. People will be forced to relocate, and the nearby forests will have to be cut down to create space for construction.  Also, the fact that animals get displaced from their habitat is something environmentalists have questioned. Equally, there is also the risk of floods which can come about when a dam gives in.

6. Potential Impact of Climate Change

Different regions face climatic issues in different ways. For example, despite having the highest power production, the Three Gorges Dam is sometimes outperformed by the Itaipu dam between Brazil and Paraguay. This is because there are some seasons where the lower water levels result in a low power output whereas Itaipu boasts a constant water supply. Drought and unclean water are other issues faced by residents near hydroelectric power plants and they threaten the future growth of hydro energy.

The issues outlined above can be solved by proper planning and with improved innovations. With the highly positive outlook in most regions in the world, then it's no doubt that these issues will have to be solved before moving forward. But despite the challenges, hydroelectric energy is projected to grow by 3-4% yearly till year 2050. This is a sign that the benefits of the energy far surpass the challenges facing geothermal energy, and that is why hydropower continues to dominate as the most preferred renewable source of energy.

Top 10 Best Home Wind Turbines in 2019

Living a sustainable life is not a fad these days. It came up for a reason. Each day, many and many more people are adding up to the list of advocates of sustainable living. It is due to the sad fact that our resources are getting depleted exponentially - one of the non-renewable resources that we have are natural gases and fossil fuels, which are incredibly crucial to powering the electric systems we currently have.

Hence, an alternative must be sought after. Thanks to technology, there is a solution when it comes to generating power from other resources. One of which is the use of wind turbines. Contrary to popular belief, wind turbines are not just for large scale use. It can now be used to power your whole home's electrical system. With that, here are the ten best wind power generators you can opt to choose from.

Best Wind Turbine Generators for Residential Use

home-wind-turbine-kit

The thing with buying wind turbines is these cost a lot. That is the reason why the initial investment cost should be the threshold an owner should have. It also means that the cost of maintaining it should be as low as possible. If you are looking for just that, then you might want to consider the Missouri General Freedom II Wind Turbine.

The materials that are used for the overall design of this wind turbine are graded and durable. Take for example: its 11-blade turbine is made with Raptor generation carbon fiber, and it can withstand wind speeds up to 125 mph.

If you think that's not enough to impress you, then we should add the fact that it can quickly generate 2000 Watts for your home. Is it powerful right? Just a mere fraction of it can run your home's daily function, like operating the blender (500 watts) and working with the dishwasher (1500 watts). That is a great deal of energy, to begin with.

It is also designed to give twice the copper than any Deco style PMA. In other words, the more copper components, the more power it will generate. Also, this specific type of turbines has a cut-in wind speed of 6 mph that will assure no cogging of the blades that can be a cause of accidents.

What's In The Box?

  • ​11-blade turbine
  • ​Freedom PMG Rotor
  • ​Turbine Tail
  • ​Mounting Bracket
  • ​Hub-spacer
  • ​Bolts, Nuts and Hex Key
  • ​Operation Manual

​PROS

  • ​Contains twice the amount of copper materials which can generate twice the power
  • ​Made of durable materials
  • ​Can work with an extensive range of speed (from 6 mph to 125 mph)

​CONS

  • ​The mounting pole is not included in the initial purchase
  • ​There's no warranty coverage specified
  • ​Maybe harder to install because of its weight

Bottom line:

The main con we see with this one is its weight – it is quite heavy. But then again, it is only one of the birth-pains that you can get over with quickly. Once the installation is complete, it is all set. The weight of the Freedom II wind turbine can be attributed to the grade and quality of materials that were used to build this product. The heavier the turbine is, the more resistant it is to breakage. This is indeed a new-improved model of its predecessor, Freedom.

wind-turbine-for-home

If you live in a place where wind speeds are not always high, then this one is probably for you. In this case, you might not be able to use the wind turbine all year round to generate electricity. An alternative that this generator kit can offer is to combine it with solar energy.

It all makes sense. Solar energy is available almost all-year round. In the event that solar-power is not sufficient, then your system has a wind turbine to back it up. This is what sets apart the ECO LLC Wind-Solar Generator from all other wind generators out there.

The kit is a combination of a 140 Watts poly-solar panel and a power voltage of 18 volts and 400 watts. It also comes with a battery voltage of DC 12V/24V and a 1000W 12V to 110V off-grid inverter. The components of the ECO LLC will make sure that you have enough energy stored all-year round.

Aside from the technical components, this hybrid solar and wind generator is made of durable materials. Its triple-blade turbine is made with carbon fiber composite. It start generating power with winds as low as 5.5 mph, up to the recommended wind speed of 10.5 mph. It also includes three pieces of solar panels which can, alternatively, store energy.

What's in the Box?

  • ​400W 12V/24V Wind Turbine Generator
  • ​20A 12V/24V Hybrid Charge Controller
  • ​140W 12V Poly Solar Panel
  • ​24 cm Cable with MC4 Connectors
  • ​1000W 12V-110V Pure Sine Wave Off

​PROS

  • ​It contains two alternative sources of energy - solar and wind
  • ​Specially designed for residential, industrial, and commercial use
  • ​Can work even on low wind speeds such as 5.5 mph.
  • ​1-year product warranty

​CONS

  • ​The mounting pole isn't included in the initial purchase

Bottom Line:

Some places just aren't as abundant in wind speed like others. That's why this particular solar and wind hybrid turbine is recommended for homes or spaces that are located in these kinds of areas. The selling point of the ECO LLC is that it has two sources of energy, and that it is effortless to install.

You are not looking for a generator that can create massive amounts of energy, neither are you settling for anything less. You are looking for the ones that are just right for your home's minimal electricity needs. If you are that kind of person, then we're sure that the Automaxx Windmill wind turbine generator kit is the one for you. Why?

For one, it offers 600 Watts of power which is considered to be mid-level when it comes to power turbines. This is also the reason why it is suitable for any off-grid use. By purchasing this equipment, you can say farewell to your local electric cooperative that provides power to your home. You can now use this easy-to-install wind turbine with no hassle.

It can effortlessly power your home's most basic light fixture which has an average wattage of 20 watts per light. It's also enough to power your electric shaver (15 watts), laptop (100 watts), modem (7 watts), and smartphone charger (6 watts), among others.

It is durable enough to withstand fast winds, but it can also operate with winds that are only just as slow as 4.5 mph. The optimum wind speed for it to function, however, is at 6.7 mph. Nevertheless, it is quite impressive for a mid-range power turbine to be able to work at such a low speed. It also has an automatic braking system that can prevent the overcharging of batteries, while generating the maximum power output.

What’s in the Box?

  • ​Centerpiece (generator)
  • ​Tailpiece
  • ​Digital MPPT Charge Controller
  • ​Triple Blades
  • ​Nose cone
  • ​Manual brake switch
  • ​Hex bolts
  • ​Hex key
  • ​Nuts
  • ​Washers
  • ​Unilateral open wrench
  • ​Operational installation manual

​PROS

  • ​Can work even at the lowest wind speeds (4.5 mph)
  • ​The blades are made of fiberglass
  • ​The digital MPPT is included in the original package
  • ​Lightweight and easy to install
  • ​1-year product warranty coverage

​CONS

  • ​The wind speed maximum limit is unspecified

Bottom line:

If you're still not sure if you should take the wind power route but would want to try it out, then you might consider buying this one as your first turbine. It is midlevel - not too intimidating for first-time users, and definitely not substandard.

home-wind-turbine

The Hukoer Wind Turbine is an entry-to-mid-level alternative power source. For one, it's not too intimidating for beginners, and it is also recommended for those who do not consume too much energy in their homes. Electricity bills can surge way too high, depending on the season and price. So if you think that you have a reasonably constant minimal electricity usage and would want to save up money by paying fewer bills, then we recommend getting the Hukoer Wind Turbine for your home.

It starts up even at low wind speeds, and its small size helps with the easy installation; It has fewer technicalities a new user will have to go through. Because of its small size, it also features low vibration that will produce minimal noise when in use. Overall, this wind turbine may be small, but it efficiently delivers energy to your home.

Who says that home installations like these would have to be tacky? The designers of this wind turbine do not agree with that thought. This is why this product is so beautifully crafted, even its design and color were well thought of. Its wind wheel blade features a new technology that is done through precision injection molding, and the shape design is optimized to be efficiently and effectively aerodynamic. Its durability and functionality make it easy to install, and with less maintenance.

What's in the box?

  • ​Wind Turbine Generators (with controller)
  • ​Stainless steel U-type nuts
  • ​Blade Hub
  • ​Stainless Steel Plate
  • ​Flange Bolts
  • ​Blade Bolts

​PROS

  • ​Can start up with winds as low as 2 meters per second
  • ​Has five pieces of wind leaves
  • ​Can power the average American home
  • ​Easy to install
  • ​Requires little maintenance

​CONS

  • List ElemaThe maximum wind speed is a bit lowent
  • ​Might not be able to withstand faster winds

Bottom line:

There are certain places where wind speeds are not as abundant as compared to other sites. If you are looking for something that's relatively cheaper than other wind turbines and easier to install and operate, then you should get the Hukoer Wind Turbine. It works even up to the slowest wind speeds but is enough to power your home's LED lights (10 watts), electric blanket (200 watts), plasma TV (200 watts), and video game console (150 watts).

wind-turbines-for-homes

The ECO-WORTHY wind turbine generator is another example of the entry-to-mid-level generators that first-time users can consider from the current market. It quickly generates 400 watts of wind energy through its 3-piece fan blade. It can generate power at a relatively average wind speed which is at 5.5 mph. So if you are living off an area that has moderate wind speeds, then you should try getting this wind turbine generator.

It is also durable enough to withstand different weather conditions. Its fan blades are made with carbon fiber composites – these are materials that are known to work even at the most extreme weather conditions. To help convert wind energy to electrical energy, the Eco-Worthy wind turbine has permanent magnet generators inside of it. This makes energy transformation more efficient by supplying the maximum wind energy output as much as possible.

Also, this is a hybrid set-up – this means it also has a 6-pane 160-Watt Poly solar panel. In this case, the panel can be a source of alternative energy meaning generator system would not rely solely on wind power. It also comes with a 1,500-Watt sine wave inverter. The inverter connects the overall generator system to your home appliances. It offers protection from temperature changes, overloading, and AC output short-circuiting.

Aside from that, the whole set-up is built to be able to stand on its own or in other words –be off-grid. It comes with a waterproof IP-65 junction box to prevent foreign materials such as dust and water from destroying the system.

The combined wattage of the solar panel and wind turbine generator of Eco-Worthy is enough to power your home's standard ceiling fan (120 watts), LCD TV (150 watts), curling iron (150 watts), and humidifier (200 watts).

What’s in the Box?

  • ​160W Poly Solar Panel
  • ​400W Wind Turbine Generator
  • ​1500 Watts Off Grid Pure Sine Wave Inverter(110V/220V)
  • ​Y MC4 Solar Panel Connector
  • ​20A turbine hybrid controller (which can connect to the solar panel & wind generator, and it automatically works with 12V/24V)
  • ​24cm cable with MC4 connectors (which for connect the solar panel and controller)

​PROS

  • ​The controller for the whole assembly is integrated into the system
  • ​It makes low noise and low vibrations
  • ​It is a hybrid – it offers a combination of the solar and wind turbine generators
  • ​Comes with a 1-year product warranty
  • ​Stable enough to work on an off-grid basis

​CONS

  • ​No mounting pole is included
  • ​Might not be able to handle winds that are stronger than 78 mph.

Bottom line:

If you are looking for an advanced type of wind turbine generator that is combined with a solar panel, then this one is for you! Not only is it easy to install and too technical when it comes to operation, but it is also useful and durable enough to work off-grid.

wind-turbine-generator

SHZOND's wind turbine generator kit is well-suited for homes that are more inclined on the leisurely side of activities. It can be used for the charging of batteries for boats, gazebos, chalets, or mobile homes. Some of the other wind turbine installations are permanent and are quite heavy to be considered for small and/or mobile homes. It makes a lot of sense to use a wind turbine generator, especially if you have a mobile home or you move around a lot.

It has a user-friendly design wind turbine with just three blades that's enough to generate  400 Watts for your appliances. With this kind of power supply, it is more than enough to supply energy to at least 5 LED bulbs in your home (10 watts), a standard desktop computer (200 watts), a cable box (35 watts) and a blue ray player (15 watts) all at the same time.

Can you imagine how much energy this seemingly cute and portable wind turbine is able to produce? Believe it or not, but it really can power all of those simultaneously. Aside from that, it does not need fast wind speeds to start up. It can work with wind speeds that are as low as 2.5 meters per second.

Due to its compact size yet powerful operation, it is really easy to install and requires less maintenance. It is able to utilize high wind power while generating low noise and minimal vibration. The three-piece blades are durable enough to withstand even the strongest winds. This is because it is made from reinforced glass fiber which makes the material optimized with the structure and the overall aerodynamic shape.It is made of reinforced glass fiber and its aerodynamic shape and design ensures it is optimized to perform.

What's in the Box?

  • ​Wind Turbine
  • ​Controller
  • ​Nose Cone
  • ​Set Screws and Nuts
  • ​Blade
  • ​Instruction Manual

​PROS

  • ​Can be used for mobile homes
  • ​Easy to install
  • ​Requires low to none maintenance
  • ​Makes minimal vibrations and noise
  • ​Start-up wind rate is at 2.5 mph

​CONS

  • ​Does not contain the mounting poles in the original purchase package

Bottom line:

Now, this is something that people with mobile homes or those who usually move out a lot would want to get. The SHZOND Wind Generator kit only proves that alternative sources of energy like wind turbines do not have to be a permanent installation in your home. It can be brought on-the-go, too.

home-windmill

The ALEKO wind generator turbine is one of the company's latest models. With that, customers are ensured that it is equipped with the latest technologies that are adeptly designed to survive in the current environmental situations. The WG410 Wind Generator Turbine comes with a 6-piece glass-fiber reinforced blades. These blades are built to withstand maximum wind speeds, and is efficiently able to convert the wind energy to electricity. It also requires a little amount of wind energy to start up with about five mph. A wind speed of 12.5 mph can produce electrical power of 240 watts.

Relating the data to the appliances a typical home may have, it can effortlessly power your plasma TV (200 watts) and satellite dish (25 watts). With constant gusts of wind, you can enjoy watching and relaxing in your home TV system.

But it doesn't stop there. The maximum power this wind generator can bring about is 400 watts. That's more than enough to power a stand mixer (300 watts) and printer (100 watts), all at the same time. Imagine the number of things you can get done with the energy supplied by the Aleko WG410 wind turbine.

It is also built to last. The main body is made with die-cast aluminum and is fully sealed. It is also salt-corrosion resistant. The whole system uses an IP-65 system to transform wind energy to electricity. It is also conveniently equipped with a wind charge controller and magnets that can bring about high and optimized power supply. It can be used as a stand-alone wind turbine generator; and it can also be connected with a solar panel set-up for a hybrid energy power generation set-up.

What’s in the Box?

  • ​6-blade turbine
  • ​Integrated Wind Charge Controller
  • ​Nose Cone
  • ​Bolts and Screws
  • ​Operation Manual

​PROS

  • ​It comes with an integrated controller
  • ​Allows the user to choose if it's going to work stand-alone or with a hybrid set-up with a solar panel
  • ​Can start up even at speeds as low as five mph
  • ​Requires little maintenance
  • ​Easy to install

​CONS

  • ​The mounting pole is not included
  • ​Might not be able to survive winds stronger than 78 mph

Bottom line:

Any home user would want options. Should anyone change their minds along the way, they could just pick specific parts/equipment to add-on instead of throwing out the original product. This is true with the Aleko WG410. Users have the option to use it either on its own or combine it with a solar power set-up. This is also specifically designed for mobile homes.

windmills-for-homes

Another hybrid made it to this list. We all want something to choose from. That is why the A-Wonderful Generator Kit should be one of your top hybrid choices. Although it functions best with the hybrid set-up, it is also seen as a stand-alone wind turbine generator.  It can definitely transform wind to electrical energy in no time.

The wind turbine has a triple-blade system that is made of durable materials capable of withstanding even the strongest winds. The solar panel design contains a 100W foldable solar panel. The complete set up is explicitly designed for 12-volt batteries, but it can also be connected with other panels to charge a 24/48-volt battery.

When it comes to the materials used for this product, the body is made with carbon steel that is coated with an epoxy zinc-rich primer and polyurethane anti-corrosion treatment. It has a patented and permanent magnet rotor installation that ensures high efficiency of converted energy, and regulates the torque resistance of the turbine.

The wind turbine can work even with wind speeds that are as low as 4.4 mph. It can withstand winds up to 111 mph which is pretty impressive especially for a three-blade set-up. It has a five-year warranty on materials and artistry.

What’s in the Box?

  • ​400W 3-Blade Wind Turbine
  • ​Integrated Permanent Magnet Generator
  • ​100W Foldable Solar Panel
  • ​Nose Cone
  • ​Screws and Nuts
  • ​Instruction Manual

​PROS

  • ​Hybrid solar panel and wind turbine generator set-up
  • ​Can withstand wind speeds up to 111 mph
  • ​Able to start at wind speeds as low as 4.4 mph
  • ​Low maintenance
  • ​Comes with a five-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​No mounting pole included

Bottom line:

When it comes to versatility, this should be one of your top wind turbine choices. It designed to adapt to your home's electrical needs, and it is also quite durable. We love the fact that it comes with a five-year warranty, which sweetens the deal even more!

residential-wind-turbine

Happybuy's Wind Turbine Generator kit is made to be compact and extremely lightweight.  The quality and strength of the materials used in the construction of this turbine are built to last. It is made from aluminium and stainless-steel fittings to make it durable and stand the test of time.

The blade is made of premium and high-strength plastic mixed with 30% carbon fiber and anti-UV material. It also has a special coating to prevent oxidation and corrosion, specifically when it is exposed to extreme weather conditions.

The great thing about this wind turbine is that it has tech that regulates the current and voltage that flow through it. This prevents the turbines from negatively reacting to high torque by incorporating a built-in magnetic design. It is also built with a braking system that helps minimize strain and damage to the gears.

Overall, it can generate 400 watts of energy at a wind speed of 26 mph. Its cut-in speed is 5.5 mph.

What’s in the Box?

  • ​3-blade Wind Turbine
  • ​Controller 12V/24v (For wind only)
  • ​Nose cone
  • ​Instruction manual
  • ​Screws and nuts

​PROS

  • ​Compact and lightweight
  • ​Has a built-in microprocessor which regulates current and voltage
  • ​Controls torque and has a braking system that prevents damage and strain to gears
  • ​Minimum cut-in speed is 5.5 mph

​CONS

  • ​Mounting pole isn't included in the original purchase

Bottom line:

Never underestimate a small and compact device like the Happybuy Wind Turbine. Indeed, it stands up to its name. People who will buy this product will inevitably be "happy with their buy." It can generate power that is more than enough to power about 40 LED bulbs in your home (10 watts each).

home-wind-turbine-kits

Another compact and lightweight wind turbine made it on the list. What sets this apart is that it can generate power at even the low speeds, like 5.6 mph. The maximum wattage can be attained at 28 mph.

This is an ideal buy especially if you live in an area where strong winds are scarce. It can withstand winds up to 100 mph. The best thing about the Npower Wind Turbine is that it is weather-resistant.

It is equipped with an MPPT smart controller which automatically cuts off charging on your 12V batter once it’s full. This is to avoid any overcharging and short-circuiting. Aside from that, it can also be used with 12V and 24V systems.

What’s in the Box?

  • ​3-blade Wind Turbine
  • ​MPPT Controller
  • ​Instruction manual
  • ​Screws and nuts

​PROS

  • ​Compact and lightweight
  • ​Made from durable materials
  • ​Integrated with an MPPT controller
  • ​1-year warranty coverage
  • ​Can withstand winds up to 100 mph

​CONS

  • ​No mounting pole included

Bottom line:

NPower is one of the latest small wind turbine generator companies anyone should look out for. It is definitely worth every penny, if you are into small wind turbine generators because of its price-point and precision.

Best Solar Generator Reviews

Highlighting sustainability is a good marketing strategy especially when purchasing electronics, gadgets and home equipment nowadays. But more than that, sustainable and renewable sources of energy must be the way to go especially with the surging prices of gasoline and the harm it can cause the environment. One of the best alternative energy sources is solar. We have access to the sun’s rays for almost half a day, all we need to do is to make the most out of it by harnessing its power.

The Solar generator system is the best way to store solar energy while having portability and quietness in mind. The solar panels capture energy from the rays of the sun. The energy absorbed will then be converted by an inverter to be used to power your home. We came up with a list of the best solar generators with various capacities to help you get started with the selection process.

Top 500-watts and above solar generators

The Goal Zero Yeti's Portable Power Station can store energy up to 1500 watts and can handle a power surge of up to 3000 watts which will protect any appliance or gadget connected to it. This portable power station has a Lithium battery which can easily be replaced by users if needed. The batteries are made from state-of-the-art materials and are designed with increased stability in mind, ensuring its safety and build quality.

A Texas Instrument management system closely monitors production and ensures the batteries are safeguarded from overcharging, short-circuiting, and overcurrent. The portable power station has one USB port that is used to provide up to 12-watts of power. With its peak capacity, it can charge up to about 500 cycles of laptops and mobile phones. This generator does not come with its solar panel though. However, it will surely exceed your expectations with its performance

Traditional generators are usually bulky, take up a lot of space, and a tad too noisy when in use. The Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station aims to redefine how generators are seen and thought of. It is meant to be compact and be conveniently used anywhere.

What sets this apart from other solar generators is that it can store up to 1400-watts. It is actually a pretty large amount of energy in relation to its size. It can also be used to power up to 10 devices all at the same time. That alone makes it a perfect companion when you plan to go traveling or camping. The moment that every single person in your group needs to have their devices charged, you can all plug your device into this! It really makes everything convenient. You can also plug in any electrical device that you have, from tablets to laptops and cameras - it can even power your TV and power tools. That's just how powerful this portable power station is.

Given that the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station packs quite a punch, you would be surprised to know that it just needs about 4.5 hours of solar charging to be fully charged. You will not have any issues with it making a lot of noise and fuming gas since it runs on solar energy.  This saves you from the loud rumbling and venting of gas the conventional generator makes. If you are the kind of person who absolutely hates maintaining complicated equipment, then you will definitely not have any problem with the Goal Zero Yeti. It's 100% maintenance-free!

​PROS

  • ​Small and portable; easy to carry around
  • ​Can charge up to 10 devices at the same time
  • ​Long shelf-life
  • ​No additional maintenance costs
  • ​Powers most of the appliances

​CONS

  • ​No solar panels included
  • ​No warranties indicated
  • ​Some power tools can overload the outlet. The generator would need to be reset to troubleshoot the issue.

Bottom Line:

Why bother bringing large generators when you can have one that is compact but is just as powerful? The Goal Zero Yeti is recommended for folks who are on-the-go. It's perfect for camping and outdoor use because of its durability, high energy capacity, and small size. You'll be amazed at how much power this compact generator can give you!

The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium portable power station can hold up to 1500 watts of stored energy. The kit includes one boulder 100 solar panel briefcase and one solar optimization module. It also has a 12-volt USB outlet, USB-C, USB-PD, with multi-surge capable AC inverters. It is powerful enough to run up to ten devices at the same time.

The solar power generator contains lightweight lithium batteries which can withstand the test of time. These batteries also have high-quality cells which will ensure 100% safety when it comes to charging the solar generator and powering other devices, as well.

If you are the type of person who does not like to buy separate pieces of equipment from different manufacturers, then you really have to consider getting the Goal Zero Yeti solar power generator. Traditional generators give off loud noises but not this one. It does not produce any sound nor fumes. It's also relatively easy to operate. All you have to do is to push a button, and you're good to go. What sets this apart is that it can be connected to the WiFi system. You just have to connect your Yeti generator to the WiFi router, download the Yeti application, and you can turn on your generator straight from the app. You don't need to go through different solar generators just to keep it going.

What's great is that you can also get real-time updates on how much power you've already consumed and anything else you would need to know. You do not even need to guess when you would need to recharge because the application itself has a feature that will tell you how many hours the generator has left, to power your connected devices.

What's also great with it is that it comes with a briefcase solar panel that is explicitly designed to work with the Goal Zero Yeti. It is also optimized with an external maximum power point tracker which aims to maximize the power input of the solar panel which can lead up to 40% faster in charging times. The briefcase solar panel is designed to endure all kinds of extreme weather. Since it's enclosed in a briefcase, it's relatively easy to carry around which basically means you move it from one place to another.

​PROS

  • ​The kit includes a durable and weather-proof boulder 100 solar panel briefcase
  • ​Can store up to 1500 watts
  • ​WiFi connectivity with the Goal Zero Yeti mobile application which will help you check and monitor the status of your solar power generator
  • ​Has a long shelf life
  • ​It is an excellent all-around generator

​CONS

  • ​Doesn’t have a warranty indicated

Bottom Line:

Who says that you'd have to guess when you're going to need to charge your solar generator? Those were the old times, and it does not have to happen anymore! The Goal Zero Yeti solar power is truly ahead of its game. With its WiFi connectivity feature, you can easily access data about your generator from your mobile phone or tablet. You can even power it on and off through the application itself! No more having to go through the troubles of trying to find the switch on your generator.

The Ecoflow river portable power station generator is a silent and lightweight device which you can bring almost anywhere you go. With that being said, you should not underestimate the capability of this mini powerhouse. You may choose from any Ecoflow solar panels which will work correctly with this portable power station since this doesn't come with its own solar panels.

It only weighs 11 lbs, but it can deliver up to 500W of power. It has 11 power generator outlets which can all be used at the same time. The River has different types of power outlets. Among these outlets are two of the following; USB Quick charge 2.0, USB, USB-C Type, AC outlets, and DC outlets. It also has a 12V car port. It has a Lithium-ion battery and it can hold up a charge for one full year. It will not let your devices overcharge and receive too much current than what it's supposed to. The RIVER solar generator can power a light bulb for over 100 hours, 10 hours for a mini-fridge, 30 smartphone charges, and 5-9 laptop charges.

It is exceptionally lightweight for something that is used to store energy. 500W of AC/DC output is just enough to power all of your electrical needs especially when you're out of town, or just want that peace of mind of having emergency back-up power.

What's great about this is that even though it only weighs 11 lbs, it can power up to 11 devices all at once! It is even equipped with an advanced thermal management system which regulates the temperature of your solar generator making it safe and efficient in charging all of your devices. It even comes with an LED flashlight that is perfect for camping, home, and emergency use.

​PROS

  • ​Can handle up to 11 devices all at the same time
  • ​The battery holds up a charge for up to a year
  • ​Lightweight, durable, and easy to carry around

​CONS

  • ​Can only be used for low wattage appliances
  • ​Not recommended to power large appliances

Bottom Line:

The Ecoflow RIVER solar power generator can deliver up to 500 watts which is just perfect for your outdoor needs. It's more than enough to charge your laptop, phone, camera, and any other device that you may have with you, as well as a small fan and LED lamps. Because of its weight, it would be easy to carry this around with you to anywhere you go, any place you want to visit!

The CPAP Battery Backup Powerpro 500 can power up to 500W peak at its maximum. It's a pure sine wave AC inverter outlet that can operate up to 9 hours after it has been fully charged. It's also equipped with a lithium battery pack which will not produce any fumes nor loud noise. It even does not need fuel to have it powered.

It has an ETL-safety certified battery management system which protects your device from short-circuiting. It can also control the voltage it releases to the connected devices and controls temperature efficiently. When you avail of this product, it comes with a 24-month warranty, and you will be eligible for their 24/7 customer tech support service. It has multiple outlet ports which are the following: 1 AC inverter outlet, one 12V car cigarette lighter socket, two 12V DC ports, and two 2.1A USB ports.

The CPAP Battery Backup Powerpro is not just for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and is more than just a portable power station. It is high capacity and can power up to 9 hours of any of your connected devices.

The Battery Backup Powerpro even has a built-in LED flashlight which can also be used for power outages and emergencies. There is also an LCD screen to let you know how many hours are left on the solar power generator to power your devices. For optimal usage, it can either be plugged in on a 110 AC plug and a 12V DC converter.

​PROS

  • ​Lightweight and durable
  • ​Easy to carry around
  • ​Has an LED flashlight for power outages
  • ​Has an LCD display

​CONS

  • ​Some can only charge the battery from a 12V DC converter
  • ​Needs to replace batteries frequently

Bottom Line:

If you are tired of all the guessing games and you want to know exactly when you should charge your solar generator, then you should probably get one that has an LCD screen that indicates how many hours are left on it, to power your device. This is the perfect one for you. It is recommended to use this when you just need 500-watts of energy or less.

Top Below 500-watts solar generators

There are solar generators that can store only up to 500-watts or less, too! These are the more compact and lightweight power generators which are just perfect as emergency backups or for camping trips.

The SUAOKI portable power station is the perfect camping buddy. Although it does not include any solar panel, you won't need it with its compact size and capacity. You can consider this as your on-the-go power source. It has a peak wattage of 150Wh that proves to be a sufficient source of energy for charging your devices when you are out camping or on a road trip. It has two input modes and has 2 AC outlets with 150 watts peak power, 4 DC outlets with 180 watts peak power, 1 QC 3.0 USB port with 18 watts peak power and 3 USB ports with 10.5 watts of peak power.

All of these can be used simultaneously to power your devices such as laptops, tablets, phones, small home appliances, and cameras. When you purchase this, you will be eligible for 18 months of product warranty, tech support, and customer service.

The SUAOKI portable power station solar power generator is the perfect on-the-go power source. With its 150Wh peak capacity, it's just enough as an emergency backup to power your devices and small appliances. Not only is it incredibly compact, but it is also lightweight.

Its size is just enough to fit in your car, and it won't even take too much trunk space. You can take this portable power generator with you as it only weighs 2.9 lbs and also has a discreet lift which you can use to carry it around. It is indeed the perfect camping buddy because it does not make any noise nor does it emit any fumes or gas. This even has an MPPT solar charge controller inside the generator to further maximize your generator's efficiency. You'll also be happy to know that this has triple input modes.

You can choose the best one that fits your needs perfectly. It can be recharged by connecting it to a SUAOKI solar panel. Or you can opt to have it plugged into a wall outlet for 8 hours. It can even charge by plugging it into your car's socket. It is the perfect emergency tool to carry around on every trip you make.

​PROS

  • ​Lightweight and durable
  • ​Can be recharged through solar panels, wall outlets, and car charging outlets
  • ​Serves as a great on-the-go power source
  • ​Has an MPPT controller which optimizes the performance of the solar generator

​CONS

  • ​Some users have had some troubles in charging it from the wall outlets
  • ​Can only be used for small devices and appliances

Bottom Line:

If you are looking for a back-up energy source, then this one will be perfect for you. It is exceptionally durable and lightweight, making it the ideal on-the-go power source. It is small, but one shouldn't undermine its capability. What's great is that it even has three charging options – through the use of solar panels, via the wall socket, or the car’s auxiliary socket.

The GRUCORE portable power station generator can handle up to 280 watts of power. Although it doesn't come with a solar panel in the packaging, it can amaze you in more ways that you can ever imagine. It is the perfect emergency back-up power source you can find. It can charge smartphones for 25 cycles, a laptop for 4 to 5 cycles, 32-inch TVs for four hours, and other small appliances like mini-refrigerator and lights. It has three 12V DC ports with 60 watts peak capacity and 2 USB 3.1A ports

Since it is a pure sine wave inverter, it operates smoothly and quietly. It is designed to provide voltage that has very low harmonic distortion and clean power. It is the perfect emergency back-up power generator you can bring to every camping trip and outdoor activity you have been planning to go to. With its maximum peak power of 280 watts, this is just enough juice to power your laptops, iPad, phones, fans, and every small device you bring for your camping trip. It is also a suitable back-up for emergency power shortages. I

t is also really easy to charge through any 50W or 100W solar panels and can be fully charged through an outlet for eight hours or by a 12-volt carport. The whole kit includes the Grucore portable generator, portable adapter, and cigarette light adapter. You're also ensured with a 1-year warranty for this product.

​PROS

  • ​Can easily be charged either by solar power, wall outlets, or car ports
  • ​Has a lot of output ports
  • ​It contains the highest capacity of the Lithium battery
  • ​Clean, smooth, and quiet operation
  • ​Small and easy to move around

​CONS

  • Some users have had a hard time charging it through a home outlet and car charger
  • ​Problems with disconnecting when charging

Bottom Line:

This is one of the solar generators that you can bring with you almost anywhere. It is medium in size and can handle up to 280Wh of power which will be just enough to power your small devices.

The Rockpals Portable solar generator can be used to handle 300 watts of power. Aside from that, it also has 5 DC ports with 96 watts as its peak, 2 USB 2.1A ports, and one Quick Charge 3.0 USB. It includes a high-capacity lithium power back that weights 7.3 lb which is powerful enough to charge a phone for 25 cycles, a laptop for 4-5 cycles, and a 32-inch television for 4 hours. It does not include any solar panels in the initial purchase. The Rockpals portable solar generator is covered by an 18-month warranty.

This portable solar generator can be charged in three ways. Charging can be done through a 50-watt or 100-watt solar panel or from a wall socket. Since it's a pure sine wave inverter, the energy it produces is smooth and clean. You will not hear any rumbling noise aside from the cooling fan that turns on every time the generator is used. It will also not produce any fumes or gas since it is solar-powered. Three hundred watts is more than enough to power any of small device and appliance you may have.

​PROS

  • ​Lightweight and portable
  • ​Easy to move around
  • ​Can be charged either by solar panels or via the wall socket
  • ​Operates smoothly and quietly

​CONS

  • ​Some users have encountered some issues with charging this power station

Bottom Line:

This is perfect if you are just looking for a back-up emergency power generator. Although 300 watts is not fully enough to power large appliances, its amount is more than enough to power many other devices that you usually bring when you are on a camping trip or just enjoying the great outdoors.

Mobile phones, drones and action cameras - these could be your outdoor adventure must-haves. But once these gadgets run out of power, where will you turn to? Jackery Portable Power Station and Solar Generator is a small yet reliable power back up for your camping trips. It is also a perfect electricity source for those who rely on a CPAP machine and a nebulizer. Unlike most generators, it can be used in an enclosed room because it does not use gas but uses a lithium battery pack similar to cellphones and laptops. It does not emit fumes and is not noisy.

It is one of the most reviewed portable solar generators in the market today, 95% of the reviews are rated with 5-stars. It has a 100 running watts output and 150 peak watts. It can generate 46,400mAh – that’s about 12 times full-charge cycle for a smartphone, 2 recharges of a laptop and over 24 hours for a 5-watt camping light. It can be recharged using a compatible solar panel for 8 to 10 hours, while 5 hours through a wall socket. It can also be recharged via car charger port.

It is really light at 3.84 lbs. and can be easily carried around or you may also opt to put it in your backpack. It’s small but it managed to squeeze in an LCD screen that serves as input, output and battery status indicator. This feature will help you monitor and manage the usage of the generator power wisely. It also has a flashlight and SOS mode for emergencies. It has the following built-in outlets one (1) AC inverter outlet output port 110V 60Hz Continuous 100W Peak 150W, one (1) USB-C output port: 5V 3A, two (2) USB-A output ports: 5V 2.4A and one (1) DC Output port (6MM port) 12V/7A.

​PROS

  • ​Lightweight and portable
  • ​Easy to move around or can be packed in your camping bag
  • ​Can be charged either by solar panels, via wall socket or car charger
  • ​Operates smoothly and quietly

​CONS

  • ​Not all CPAPs are compatible

Bottom Line:

Jackery Explorer 160’s claim to fame is that it can be your next best camping buddy. If you love taking your photography and aerial photography gear with you and you need a stable and reliable power source this solar generator can recharge your gadgets for several cycles. CPAP users need to be cautious as well as some CPAP machines need 200watts of peak power rating to be able to start. It is best to check your CPAP’s power requirement before purchasing this portable generator.

Accessories to Match Your Solar Generators

Most of the solar generators we have featured do not come with a solar panel that will generate electricity from the sun’s rays. So we are featuring two portable solar panels/chargers to match your chosen solar generator.

1. Jackery Explorer 50W Solar Panel for Explorer 240Wh as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger USB C Output for Summer Vacation Camping

The Jackery Explorer 50W solar panel is foldable and portable solar panel is specifically made to match and build a portable solar generator system with Jackery Explorer 160 and Explorer 240 variants. You can place it on your roof or outside your tent during camping when you need to recharge. It comes with several outputs to directly charge your solar generator, mobile devices and gadgets.

If you are purchasing a solar generator other than the Jackery Explorer, Rockpals Foldable Solar Panel will match other brands such as Suaoki, Webetop, Goal Zero and Paxcess, among others. It comes with connectors of different sizes, like 5.5x2.1mm, 8mm, 5.5x2.5mm and 3.1x1.35mm. If your solar generator of choice will work with these connectors, then this portable solar panel is what you need to recharge your generator. It has three (3) USB 3.0 USB ports that deliver stable electricity and will prevent overcharging of your gadgets.

One of the most important camping accessories is a camping light or lantern. You don’t need something extravagant, you just need something that provides illumination and something that will work with whatever outlet your portable solar generator has. With that in mind, you will need a lantern that works with a USB outlet like the Tytan Kobra USB LED Camping Light. It is a 5-watt bulb that gives as much light as a 40-watt one. Your 100-watt solar generator can provide power to the Tytan Kobra 5W for up to 24 hours.

Conclusion:

No matter how small or large your backup power need is, there will way be a suitable solar generator for you. Since solar generators usually have their maximum capacity capped at 2000 watts, you are assured that all of these generators are portable and lightweight. Building a solar generator system is easy if you do a little research on the compatibility of the accessories.

Most solar generators do not come with a solar panel yet and you will definitely need to be thorough in choosing one. Otherwise, go for a complete system which might cost you more. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed a safe and stable delivery or electricity to your appliances and gadgets. You will also help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and shying away from the use of gasoline.

Facts You Dont Know About Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has been around for thousands of years. Your smartphone that's currently plugged-in to the power outlet is likely to be drawing power from a renewable source of energy. However, this has become so mainstream that we no longer take a time to just think about the true potential of renewable energy. We've been rather sluggish in embracing renewable energy as our main source of energy rather than as backup, but that has changed. In recent years, a lot of awareness has been made on how important renewable energy is. If you're thinking Tesla and Powerwall, then you know what we're getting at. The sad fact is that we only get to hear about what big corporations are doing regarding renewable energy, but the truth is that there is a world of infinite possibilities if we were to switch to renewable energy. Well, today, let's change that narrative a bit and look at 10 things that are not so common about renewable energy.

1. Solar-Powered Airplanes

In 2016, two Swiss scientists/pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg successfully landed a Solar Impulse 2 aircraft in Abu Dhabi after flying around the world for slightly over 500 days. The aircraft flew over 42,000 Km while being powered by about 17,000 solar cells located on its wings. The batteries, which make up about 25% of the aircraft's weight, charged up during the day to produce the much-needed energy for flight.

The plane flew at a speed of around 100 Km/h and could even go faster than that when the sun was much brighter. The pilots used to fly to attitudes of about 29,000 ft during the day and dropped down to about 5,000 ft during the night to preserve energy. The two pilots used to alternate the flights regularly to allow the other to rest. Borschberg flew the aircraft non-stop from Japan to Hawaii making it the longest journey in history without a layover.

Even though the aircraft experienced some technical problems and challenges due to weather, it still managed to make two world records. After the successful landing in Abu Dhabi, UN Secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said, "This is a historic day for Captain Piccard and the Solar Impulse team, but it is also a historic day for humanity. You may be ending your around the world flight today, but the journey to a more sustaining world is just beginning.

The Solar Impulse team is helping us to pilot to that future."  In the end, it successfully finished its route making it the first aircraft to fly using solar energy.

2. The World's Largest Wind Turbine Can Power Over 8,000 Homes with Electricity for a Year 

MHI Vestas is a Danish company that specializes in offshore turbines. It was able to produce 9.5 MW of energy that can power 8,300 homes in the UK where it is located. This will help to reduce maintenance and operation costs as it will be able to achieve the same power output with lesser turbines. Its wind farm has about 90 turbines located close to the Irish Sea and is able to power about 600,000 homes with the same intensity as coal powered electricity.

Europe is currently the world's largest consumer of wind energy as EU companies are constantly developing bigger and more powerful wind turbines. GE Renewable Energy has already set plans for the world's largest offshore wind turbine which is 260 meters tall, with a 107 meters long blade and a capacity of 12 MW.

The GE chairman and CEO John Flannery said, "We want to lead in the technologies that are driving in the global energy transition. Offshore wind is one of those technologies and we will bring the full resources of GE to make the program a success for our customers." He also said one turbine could produce about 67 GWh per year and this is enough to power over 16,000 households.

3. There Exists a Solar-Paneled Road in France

In December 2016, the French government unveiled a 1 Km road covered by solar panels to provide electricity for street lights and a population of about 5,000 citizens living in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche. The trial road called Wattway cost about $5.2 million to construct. Wattway was expected to produce 767 KWh per day and was estimated to produce 280 MW of energy annually, but it managed to produce about 410 KWh per day which is still phenomenal.

There are also other countries that have been experimenting with solar roads including the Netherlands and China. Constructing solar roads in a country like UK would be extremely expensive due its unfavorable weather conditions most of the time.

When asked about the solar roads, Marc Jedzilcka, the Vice President for Network for Energy Transition, said, "It's no doubt a technical advance, but in order to produce renewables there are other priorities that need consideration apart from a gadget that is very expensive." 

While the solar project in France didn't reach its goals, it has exceeded expectations in other countries. Netherlands is a good example. A solar paneled-bike path in the country generated 70KWh per sqm after one year. This is enough to power 3 houses.  The solar sidewalk in Budapest is equally a marvel as it helps to charge electric cars and when it's not doing that, it helps to power the nearby offices.

It is worth noting that the Wattway solar panels are covered with a resin coated with silicon so they can withstand the heavy traffic from vehicles and occasional bad weather.

4. World's Resource Base for Geothermal Energy Is Larger Than the Resource Base for Coal, Oil, Gas and Uranium Combined

Below the earth's crust is a layer of magma where heat is always produced from decay of naturally radioactive materials such as potassium and uranium. The heat within about 10 Km of the earth's surface has more than 50,000 times more energy than all the natural gas resources in the world.

The world's largest producer of geothermal power is the USA, but some of the countries with largest national distribution of geothermal include Kenya at (51.0%), Iceland (30%), Philippines (27.0%), El Salvador (25%) and New Zealand at (14.5%). With such figures, one would only wonder why geothermal energy is not mainstream.

5. Sweden Burns Their Garbage to Energy They Use to Warm Up Homes and Provide Heat

The country is usually relatively clean with most of its garbage either recycled or burnt instead of getting dumped. This in turn, creates diligent citizens who are mindful about proper garbage disposal.

The garbage is thereafter burnt in the waste-to-energy plants and later used to provide heat for the 1.2 million residents in apartments and another 600,000 households. This saves the people costs on running their own boilers or furnaces. Apart from electricity and heat, Sweden has a system of recycling organic foods and waste to produce biogas which fuels more than 200 buses in the cities as well as garbage trucks and even private vehicles. They have digital sensors that can highlight green bags which carry organic waste and send them to the nearest biogas plant.

Sweden isn't the only country that handles their own waste. Other developed countries like Japan and China also burn their trash and while the method doesn't promote clean energy, it's able to prevent toxins and harmful gases that pollute the air when thrown to a dump site. Garbage dump sites are hazardous as they carry diseases to the poor people who go to scavenge for food. Evidently, this initiative brings more good than bad.

6. China Is the World's Leading Country in Electricity Production Through Renewable Energy

In a report released by the Global Commission on the GeoPolitics of Energy Transformation, the group chairman Olafur Grimsson says, "No country has put itself in a better position to become the world's renewable superpower than China." 

The report says that China is now the world's largest producer, exporter and installer of electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. Mr. Grimsson, who is the former President of Iceland, says "The renewables revolution enhances the global leadership of China, reduces the influence of fossil fuels and brings energy independence to countries around the world. This transformation brings enormous power shifts."

China plans to spend $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020. Although it is the world's greatest producer of renewable power especially in hydro, wind and solar, its needs are still so high that it can only supply for about 30% of all demand from renewable. That's why China is still a large consumer of coal and natural gas. Thus, the rest of demand can be supplied by the coal power plants.

7. Researchers in Australia Generate Hydrogen Energy from Paint

Hydrogen is usually considered as a clean energy that reduces the amount of pollution and toxins from greenhouse gases. At the same time, its produce is expensive and requires large amounts of energy hence not widely used. However, some Australians recently found a way by using sunlight and water vapor.

The process is done by painting some chemicals onto roofs and certain surfaces. The chemical compounds absorb moisture from the air and the solar energy thereafter splitting the water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen which can thereafter be used as fuel.

The paint is not commercially available for another 5 years but the fact that its applicable to bricks, roofs, fences and any surfaces that trap air makes it efficient once it's in public. It could also be used in places that are far away from water and still produce fuel.

8. One Hour of Sunlight Can Supply Enough Electricity for A Year

All the electricity humans use in a year is about 410 quintillion joules while the sun produces about 430 quintillion joules per hour. With the proper abilities to harness that kind of energy, the earth would never have a shortage of power for everyday consumption.

The greatest challenge scientists are facing right now is to create the best energy storage to capture all that heat to be used for the less sunny days. Also, another issue is that the solar panels used in homes can only convert up to 14% of the light energy into electrical energy.

While there have been some new ones which can now trap 20% of solar, they won't be in the mainstream market for another couple of years. This means that while one day it's possible to capture all the energy from the sun, it's going to take quite some time, a lot of funds and inspirations for it to be a reality.

9. Modern Roofs Could Incorporate Solar Panels

In last quarter of 2016, Elon Musk announced his solar panel roofing in which consumers would not need to bother with the typical solar panels. He stated that the roofs are sleek and beautiful making it hard to even know that they are solar-powered homes. Elon went ahead and claimed that he and another Tesla executive had already installed the roofs in their homes.

The roofs, which are made of quartz glass are projected to be hard enough to withstand any damage. Tesla is so confident about this to an extent that the Tesla Solar Roofing issues their clients with an infinite warranty once they purchase the tiles from them. While the project has been slow to kickstart, some of the first people in their waiting list have already experienced the beauty and efficiency of clean renewable energy.

While the prices are not cheap – a little less than $44,000 for a 2,000 square foot. House – the roofs look better than those with traditionally installed solar panels.  Elon said that the project may take longer to fully be available for mass market because they want to ensure the roofs can be durable enough to last for at least 30 years.

After installation of the roof, you can additionally purchase a solar battery to store the charge during cold/cloudy seasons or when you have too much excess power. However, to reduce such situations, before installation Tesla asks for your recent electricity bills to know exactly how many tiles your home needs.

One thing is for sure though. Getting a 100% solar panel covered roof would be overkill. This is because it would not only be expensive, but also wasteful since you wouldn't have any use for that excess power at home. In addition, since the Tesla tiles are super hard and durable, it's very hard to cut the tiles into uniform sizes. The tiles, which can be found on the edges of the roof, can be smaller than those found in the middle. Eventually, whether you have 30% or 50% solar tiles, no one can tell a difference because they are all made of one material.

10. Cochin International Airport in Kerala, India is The First Fully Solar-Powered Airport in The World

If you thought that flying planes was the end of it, think again. V.J. Kurian pioneered the Cochin Airport project in 2013 due to the high electricity bills they were being slapped with occasionally. Kurian, who is the managing director said, "We started with the 100 KW pilot project. We found we could produce about 400 KW of power. Then we thought, why don't we scale it up? Why don't we make the whole airport completely solar powered?"

Cochin, the busiest airport in Kerala, and the seventh busiest airport in India, can generate 29.5 MW of solar power, and it has plans of scaling this up to 40 MW later. The airport also handles over 10 million passengers every year and was even awarded the Champions of Earth Award for Entrepreneurial Vision by The United Nations in 2018. Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of United Nations Environment Program talking with Kurian commented that, "Previous Champion Laureates range from World Leaders to inspiring scientists - all visionaries who drive the world closer to its aspiration of environmental sustainability and a life of dignity for all."

Beneath the solar panels the Cochin Airport has planted crops to grow which, in 2018 alone, produced about 60 tons of vegetables and sold. This is an incredible feat for a project that begun only as a small-scale experiment.

All in all, a lot has been achieved through renewable energy. Great feats are being accomplished every day and it is now more of a reality that renewable energy is the future. It's time we all actively maximized these resources for the improvement of our own personal lives and that of our planet, Earth.

As you may have noticed, there are so many reasons why all countries and organizations are advocating for us to use renewable energy. First, it's because it is renewable. This means that earth is constantly able to produce and replenish herself without much struggle. Second, it is clean energy meaning that it does not produce greenhouse gases. With this, the ozone layer will be saved, and mankind will have a new appreciation for a cleaner, pollution-free Earth as this will reduce global warming.

Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews

Gone are the days when people would feel hopeless and powerless during power interruptions. With the help of generators, even the off-the-grid homes can enjoy their energy demanding appliances. Likewise, those who enjoy outdoor living can bring their portable generators with them. This will let users enjoy the comfort of cooking meals from the fridge and sleep with air conditioning in their recreational vehicle.

Innovation never stops even for these generators. Just when we thought this piece of equipment got it all, having dual fuel functionality doubles the convenience as well. From single type fuel generator that runs with diesel, gas or propane, brands are now coming up with a combination to provide better coverage for contingencies. We have listed down the best dual fuel generators that would suit your needs based on output, fuel capacity, features and price.

Model Name

Running Watts

​​Fuel Type

Fuel Capacity

Warranty

Gas: 9500w

Propane:

 9025w

​Gas and Propane

​8.3-gallon tank

​3 years

Gas: 9000w

Propane:

 9025w

​Gas and Propane

​6.6-gallon tank

​2 years

Gas: 8300w

​Propane: 7500w

​Gas

​6.6-gallon tank

​2 years

Gas: 7500w

Propane:

6750w

​Gas/Propane

​6.6-gallon tank with gauge, Propane not included

​3 years

Gas: 7500

​Propane: 3420w

​Gas/Propane

​6-gallon tank, Propane not included

​3 years

Gas: 3800w

​Propane: 6750

​Gas/Propane

​3.4-gallon tank, Propane not included

​3 years

Gas: 3700w

​Gas/Propane

​3.4-gallon tank

​3 years

Gas: 1600w

​Propane: 1520w

​Gas/Propane

​1.19-gallon tank

​3 years

Large Dual Fuel Portable Generators

If among your main criteria in purchasing a generator is dual fuel, powerful and less noisy than the other brands, look no more. The DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator meets all of these qualifications. It runs on both gas and propane. This 457cc engine runs for 10 hours on gas at 50% maximum output. What’s more impressive is it runs for up to 20 hours on propane – the longest running time in the market today.

It is commonly called the “Beast” in the generator market because it supplies 9,500 running watts and 12,000 surge watts of electricity. It can support appliances with the most electricity requirement in your home. You will never have to worry about food spoilage or being uncomfortable in the hot weather because it can provide power to your freezer and air conditioning units.

It is all-metal making it suitable from the time you start constructing your home and you can still use it for many years after. It is durable and portable and its built-in wheels can stand rough terrain. It is RV ready and you can plug in either 120V or 240V appliances. It is equipped with two (2) 120V 20A GFCI Outlets, one (1) 120V 30A Twist Lock, one 120/240V 30A Twist Lock and one (1) 120/240V 50A Heavy Duty Outlet. You will never have to worry about your generator overcharging your appliances and overheating when it runs out of gas or propane because DuroMax has a surge-arrest and low-fuel shut-off system. This portable generator also has a quiet muffler to reduce engine noise and has been EPA approved for safe use in U.S. National Parks.

​PROS

  • ​Powerful generator
  • ​Ease of mobility
  • ​Large fuel tank
  • ​Quiet muffler for quiet operation
  • ​Electric and manual recoil start

​CONS

  • ​Not CARB-compliant

Bottom line:

Power outages will be one less of your worries if you have this generator. It gives enough power for your much-needed appliances and it offers fuel efficiency during emergency situations. It also has a quiet muffler so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors, even during camping activities. The brand can improve and meet the CARB standards.

If you live in a medium to large house where all appliances require a lot of electricity, the dual fuel portable generator from Ford will suit your needs. It can provide you with up to 10 hours of uninterrupted operation at half load when running on gasoline. It has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank capacity. With gasoline, it supplies 9,000 rated watts and 11,050 peak watts. While running it using propane it gives 8,100 rated watts and 10,050 peak waters.

Starting the Ford 11,050watts Dual Fuel Generator is as easy as pressing the electronic start button. Use of the manual recoil is still possible. This powerful portable generator uses a 457cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, OHV engine. It is air-cooled and is easy to maintain. In case you use it with gas and you forget to top-up, all you have to do is hook it up with your LPG tank and you can continue to enjoy using your appliances. With its “Switch and Go” feature, you can seamlessly switch the fuel source from Propane to Gasoline and vice versa with a turn of a knob, without the need to stop the engine.

Ford is a known brand that is “Built Tough”. This portable generator is made also for mobility and is suitable not just for home applications but for commercial, industrial and job sites too. It is equipped with a wheel kit, a handle and a heavy duty steel frame. The outlets that come with it are four (4) 120V 20A GFCI Outlets, one (1) 120V AC 30A Twist-lock Outlet and one (1) 120/240V AC 50A RV Outlet. All of which have rubber covers to protect it from dust and debris.

This generator is CARB compliant and EPA and CSA certified. You will also get all the accessories that you will need for installation, such as a Quick Start Gide, User Manual, Philips Screw Driver, Combination Wrench, Spark Plug T Wrench, 10W30 Engine Oil, Funnel and Propane Hose. Ford offers a 2-year limited warranty for this product.

​PROS

  • ​Ease of mobility
  • ​Large fuel tank
  • ​Complete accessories for installation
  • ​Electric and manual recoil start

​CONS

  • ​Operates louder than other generators

Bottom line:

The Ford FG11050PBE is a perfect combination of power and versatility. This dual fuel generator is built to provide emergency power backup to your home and anywhere else. Aside from that, it is meant to provide electricity for a longer period of time with its bigger gas tank and easy switching capability to propane. It is also CARB compliant to boot!  The only thing it needs to address is the noise it generates.

When we came across WEN DF110T, the first thing we realized is that it is fuel efficient. Comparing it with dual fuel generators with the similar output of 8,300 running watts and 11,000 surge watts on gasoline and 7,500 running watts and 9,500 surge watts on propane, the WEN DF110T will not be left behind. It can hold 6.6 gallons of gasoline and run for 8.5 hours on half-load run time. It is equipped with a 457cc 4 –stroke, OHV engine and has an electric start knob.

The control panel is equipped with four (4) 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), a 120V/240V 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R) and a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug. No transformers necessary in case you plan to use appliances with a 120/240V voltage requirement because it is suitable for both. It also comes with a 47-inch propane hose and a bottle of engine oil. This generator comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

 

It is suitable for home electricity backup applications, and can even be used for construction sites, campings and sports events. It is equipped with a no-flat tire and a foldable handle for easy transport and mobility.

​PROS

  • ​Ease of mobility
  • ​Large fuel tank
  • ​Complete accessories for installation
  • ​Electric start key

​CONS

  • ​Operates louder than other generators
  • ​Switching from gas to propane is not allowed for 5500watts load and up

Bottom line:

The WEN DF110T is one of the most purchased dual fuel generators in the market today. The reviews about it are impressive. It is equipped with a powerful engine that it also fuel efficient on both gasoline and propane. One area for improvement is the noise level. Although it is noticeable that generators with this much power have higher noise levels.

Westinghouse is a powerhouse brand when it comes to household appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners. Incidentally, these are the most important appliances that will need supplemental electricity which will come from portable generators when power outages happen.

The WGen7500DF is the perfect emergency backup because it runs on both gas and propane. You no longer have to worry about running out of fuel in the middle of the night or during natural calamities because you can easily connect this generator to your LPG tank. When you buy this product, it comes in ready with a hose and propane gauge.

If you have gasoline, it has a 6.6-gallon tank that can keep the generator running for 16 hours at full tank, which is a great deal for portable generators where other generators can only offer 6 to 10 hours. Instantly switch between the two fuel sources while the generator runs without harming your appliances. You can turn your generator on by using the Push Start Electric Button or the Remote Start Key Fob. The remote activates the unit even at a distance of 109 yards.

The control panel contains all the necessary outlets and important system indicators such as the fuel selector switch, one-touch push-button start, engine shut off, 5V DC USB ports, Data Center, battery charging port, two (2) 120V AC 20A 4-20R GFCI outlets, 120/240V AC 30A L14-30R out and 20A circuit breakers. The generator also automatically shuts off in the event that the oil level drops to low.

​PROS

  • ​Longer running hours at 16 hours
  • ​Push to start switch and remote key start
  • ​CARB compliant
  • ​Portable
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Reports of oil leaks
  • ​Operates louder than other generators

Bottom line:

With a 16 hour running time, your area might probably have enough time to restore normal electricity supply in terms of emergencies. But it gives buying confidence if a generator can actually run that long in a single tank of gasoline.

You can never go wrong with a generator that can offer more emergency backup power like the Champion 7500W Portable Generator. It can power up your appliances for up to 8 hours with 6 gallons of gasoline, and 5.5 hours with LPG. You can also seamlessly switch between these two power sources without switching-off the generator.

 

This generator is equipped with a 4-stroke 439cc single-cylinder engine. When running on gasoline, it produces 7500 running watts and 9375 starting watts. On the other hand, it can generate 6750 running watts and 8400 starting watts on propane.

 

It has a VoltGuard built-in surge protector and a monitoring system for maintenance reminders called Intelliguage. The control panel has the following switches and outlets: two (2) 120V GFCI 5-20R. It also has 20A and 30A circuit breakers, an ON and OFF switch, a 120V L5-30R outlet, 120/240V L14-30R outlet. The brand offers a 3-year warranty and free lifetime technical support for this model.

​PROS

  • ​Built-in surge protection
  • ​Push to start switch and manual recoil start
  • ​Portable
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Shorter running time than other generators
  • ​Operates louder than other generators

Bottom line:

This is yet another powerful generator from Champion. It’s good that despite the availability of an electronic start option, this is still backed up by manual recoil start. The feature to switch between either fuel options even while the engine is running is an impressive showcase of the VoltGuard surge protector on the engine. Two areas for improvement for this generator would be the stability of the frame to minimize too much noise as well.

Small Dual Fuel Generators

It may be smaller in terms of its size, but it can compete with larger generators in terms of power. A 244cc Champion engine runs this generator with 3800 running watts and 4750 surge watts. It has a total run time of 9 hours on a full 3.4-gallon tank of gas and up to 10.5 hours on a full tank of 20lb. LPG.

It can be used as an emergency backup at home or the main power supply for your recreational vehicle. Bringing it outdoors and exposing it to a rough environment like a construction site will never be an issue because of its full metal frame, foldable handle and never-flat tires.

The control panel features the following outlets: one (1)120V 30A RV, one (1) 120V 30A locking and two (2) 120V 20A and all outlets are surge protected by Champion’s very own VoltGuard. This generator has a 3-year warranty and a lifetime technical support from the manufacturer.

​PROS

  • ​RV-ready
  • ​Powerful small generator
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​Push to start switch and manual recoil start
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Operates louder than other generators

Bottom line:

Champion 3800W is a small dual fuel generator that has the power to please both homebodies and outdoor lovers. It can provide a decent amount of energy to your most needed appliances for up to 9 hours on gas. You can bring it with you on your trips using your RV too.

If the most essential appliances to provide emergency power for during outages are your refrigerator, an electric stove and at least one air conditioner, then the iGen4500DF portable dual fuel generator is what you’re looking for. It has inverter technology that gives you the maximum fuel efficiency and runs for up to 18 hours at 25% load and using a 3.4-gallon gas engine.

You can bank on more power from this generator as it supplies 3700 rated watts and 4500 starting watts on gas and 3330 rated watts and 4050 peak watts on propane. Protect your appliances with this generator’s below 3% Total Harmonic Disruption that ensures a smooth and clean flow of electricity. There are three ways to start this generator – key fob, electric and manual recoil if your battery gets drained.

The control panel has Low Oil and Overload alerts and features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready Tt-30 30 Amp Outlet and Two USB Outlets. It is perfect for either home use or on your RV or trailer. It also generates low noise at 52dBA, so you will never have to worry about causing a distraction or annoying your neighbors. It is also CARB compliant. This portable generator is backed by a 3-year warranty with a lifetime technical support from Westinghouse.

​PROS

  • ​RV-ready
  • ​No installation required
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Reports of oil leaks

Bottom line:

Finding a small, RV-ready generator that gives a decent amount of power for 3 big appliances is rare, but not impossible since we chanced upon this gem from Westinghouse. It is equipped with all the basic outlets necessary both for home and outdoor use and works at a low noise level. The energy efficiency is also impressive. Once common observation of users is the oil leak problems which we hope the brand can remedy in the soonest possible time.

There is a new technology added to the generators in the market today and it’s called the “parallel linking capability.” It connects two generators, so you get twice the power output at 50% less than the usual fuel consumption of a similarly rated generator. DuroMax XP2000EH generates a maximum of 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts. Imagine having twice as much as that? You can run an air conditioner or a refrigerator, an electric stove and have some outlets to charge your phones.

This generator only weighs 47lbs. and it’s easy to take with you even on your trips. Although small, it runs for 6.5 hours at 50% load. Aside from that, this generator has a couple of smart tech in it. It has an Eco-Mode that helps lower the idle speed of the generator. This feature also reduces its noise and minimizes fuel consumption. It also has a lot Total Harmonic Distortion that aims to deliver stable and clean power especially for the most sensitive appliances and gadgets like laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

The control panel of the DuroMax XP2000EH has a low fuel, overload and maximum output indicator; a Gas and LPG switch, engine switch, Eco-mode switch, parallel operation outlets and two (2) 120V AC 13.3A outlets. DuroMax offers a 3-year limited warranty with a lifetime technical support for all their generators.

​PROS

  • ​Parallel linking ready
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Eco-mode
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Operates louder than similarly rated generators

Bottom line:

DuroMax XP2000EH Dual Fuel Generator is a portable generator with the charm of a powerful one. Its parallel linking capability sounds like a promise that you can always add another generator in case one is not enough. Likewise, if you have two units, you can take one with you and you will never have to leave your home without an emergency back up left behind. We’re hoping that the brand can find a workaround on the loudness of this generator.

Conclusion:

The modern world’s dependency on electricity is undeniable. It is evident how much research and innovation these generator companies are putting into their products. Buying a gas or propane powered generator need not be confusing to buyers anymore with the availability of dual fuel generators. And we hope we were able to make the selecting process easier for you with this dual fuel generator buying guide.

Best Whole House Generator Reviews

On August 30 2017, Hurricane Irma struck the U.S. significantly affecting the State of Florida. The massive destruction caused by this major hurricane left 64% of Florida with no electricity from September 10, 2017. Some even experienced power outages until September 19, 2017, making it one of the biggest blackouts in the history of the U.S.

Imagine being in that situation. Natural disasters are uncontrollable, but you can always be prepared when they hit. That is what standby generators are for - it ensures that your whole house has a backup electricity source when prolonged power outages occur. These generators have enough stored power to supply electricity to every vital appliance in your home. Choosing one might be tricky for beginners, so we have consolidated this list and reviews to make it easier for you to decide.

Brand​

Fuel Type

Output (Watts)

Noise Level

Warranty Coverage

​Liquid Propane/Natural Gas

​22,000 watts/19,500 watts

​67dBA

​5 years

​Liquid Propane/Natural Gas

​20,000 watts/18,000 watts

​70dBA

​5 years

​Liquid Propane/Natural Gas

​20,000 watts/18,000 watts

​69dBA

​5 years

​Liquid Propane/Natural Gas

​8,000 watts/6,000 watts

​70dBA

​5 years

​Liquid Propane

​5,500 watts

​60dBA

​3 years

5 Best Whol​e House Standby Generators

Generac 7043 is dubbed as the largest air-cooled generator available in the market today. Air-cooled generators are those that use air pressure to keep the engine of the generator cool. This generator is made with all-aluminum enclosures that are treated with Generac’s proprietary RhinoCoat powder-coating. This makes the aluminum perfect for any weather conditions and will remain rust-free.

This standby generator offers an automatic whole house back-up power for most homes. It is fueled by both natural gas and liquid propane. It also allows you to set and manage which appliances to connect to the generator during emergency power outages. This is made possible by its Mobile Link Remote Monitoring. You can connect to your generator and check its status through your mobile phone, tablet or PC. However, this system is sold separately. It has a control panel with a smart interface and user-friendly controls that use a multilingual LCD display. It helps you monitor your generator’s battery status and track your maintenance schedules to keep the generator in its best working condition.

You can rest assured that switching between the regular power source to your generator will not cause harm to your appliances with the Generac’s 5% total harmonic distortion (THD). This ensures a clean and smooth delivery of electricity to your most sensitive appliances. Likewise, it comes with a 200 Amp transfer switch. Peaceful nights will never be disturbed by the low-noise operation of this standby generator at 67dBA – that’s similar to the sound of a dishwasher. Plus, the generator is normally placed outside the house, so the noise is diffused. A 5-year limited warranty is offered for this generator.

​PROS

  • ​High-power generator
  • ​Low-noise operation
  • ​Air-cooled, low maintenance
  • ​5-year Limited Warranty

​CONS

  • ​Mobile linking capability is sold separately
  • ​It needs a certified and reliable electrician to do the installation
  • ​Consumer reports on battery problems

Bottom line:

This generator claims to be the most powerful air-cooled generator on the market today. This means it is easy to maintain despite the significant amount of power it can deliver. However, with its high price, too much is expected of it as well. There are many things that buyers usually overlook like the non-inclusion of the MobileLink technology in the standard package. This is sold separately, and the remote monitoring of your generator isn’t something you can expect right out of the box.

The Briggs & Stratton 4046 Standby Generator competes with the Generac 7043 head-on, in terms of power supply capacity. Both have 20,000 running watts and are fully automatic. The Briggs & Stratton 4046 also comes with a 200 Amp transfer switch and it can be installed either indoors or outdoors, which is suitable for an air-cooled generator like this. It is equipped with a 999cc commercial-grade engine that will surely meet the electrical power your home needs. It runs on natural gas and liquid propane fuel.

It is enclosed in a weather-resistant and rust-proof aluminum with an advanced powder coating that protects it from corroding and chipping. It is also fully insulated. The front and rear panels can be removed if you need to access its components for maintenance and repairs. You can place your generator as close as 18” to your home if you have space constraints, but really need a backup power supply. Briggs and Stratton's generators proudly comply with the National Fire Protection Agency 37 standard. It also has a low-noise operation level of 70dBA, or similar to the sound intensity a running shower makes.

This generator can seamlessly provide backup energy and prioritize the most needed appliances, based on your preference. This is made possible by the patented Symphony II Power Management Technology. It is equipped with a user-friendly control panel that lets you program the generator’s automatic switching capability, since you may also set it to manual. It also has a USB port should you need more information about your generator’s condition. Briggs & Stratton offers a five-year limited warranty on selected parts and labor.

​PROS

  • ​High-power generator
  • ​Low-noise operation
  • ​18” inch placement allowance
  • ​Air-cooled, low maintenance
  • ​5-year Limited Warranty on Parts and Labor

​CONS

  • ​Reports on Customer Support concerns

Bottom line:

The Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Generator is a reliable and durable generator. It does not over promise, but it delivers. It took into consideration potential space constraints and made sure it operates with the least noise possible, despite its power. There are no issues on the unit itself, but there have been reports that their Customer Support is hard to get in touch with.

Not all generators would disclose how long it would take, to start-up once the power goes out. Kohler does. In just 10 seconds, you can enjoy electricity at your home and your much-needed appliances, as if nothing happened. Kohler 20RESCL Standby Generator delivers a seamless transition and advanced voltage and frequency regulation, to prevent surges and fluctuations that may damage your electronics. It is also equipped with PowerBoost Technology for excellent startup power.

It is bundled with a 200 Amp transfer switch that allows the most electricity-demanding appliances like air conditioners, sump pump, heater, oven and refrigerator, to power up at the same time.  It is flexible and runs on both natural gas and propane at 18kW and 20kW running watts, respectively.

This generator can withstand natural calamities like hurricanes. It is also made to operate even in near-sea locations because of its corrosion-proof and impact resistant enclosure. This enclosure also helps maintain a quiet operation of the generator and it will not be a cause of distraction for your household and your neighbors. Kohler offers a 5-year or 2000 hours limited warranty for this standby generator.

​PROS

  • ​High-power generator
  • ​Low-noise operation
  • ​Runs on both natural gas and propane
  • ​Air-cooled, low maintenance
  • ​5-year or 2000 hours Limited Warranty

​CONS

  • ​Reports on Customer Support concerns

Bottom line:

Kohler 20RESCL Standby Generator delivers and lives up to its commitment to provide power to a whole house without a long delay and without the annoying noise. Most users say it is the easiest standby generator to install. The only downside we see at the moment are the issues with the Technical Customer Support, who are supposed to help with troubleshooting needs. The brand should really pay attention to this, considering that this is a piece of high-value equipment.

If Briggs & Stratton can manufacture the most powerful whole house generator that can produce as much as 25kW, they also built the smallest one in the industry. Despite it being relatively small for a standby home generator, it delivers 8,000 watts of power for your necessities and comfort. It has an engine displacement of 500cc and runs on both propane and natural gas.

This model is bundled with a 50 amp transfer switch to manage the electricity demands of your appliances. This transfer switch can also power up 10 standby circuits. It is fully automatic and provides backup power in seconds. The generator system works with a low-noise level of 65 to 70 dBA. Both the generator and the transfer switch are weather-resistant and are in a full-aluminum enclosure.

You may also mount this generator as close as 18 inches to your property. You don’t have to worry about fire compliance because Briggs & Stratton got you covered on this aspect. The manufacturer offers 5-year limited warranty coverage for parts, labor and travel.

​PROS

  • ​Compact standby generator
  • ​Provides back-up for the most critical appliances
  • ​Low-noise operation
  • ​Air-cooled, low maintenance
  • ​5-year Limited Warranty on Parts and Labor

​CONS

  • ​Might be too limited for an entire house’s need
  • ​You might need a battery heater if you live in an extremely cold location

Bottom line:

The Briggs & Stratton 40445 is the perfect small generator for small to medium houses. Its compact size is suitable for those who have space limitations in their backyard. Likewise, its low-noise and low-vibration features allow the closest placement possible at 18 inches or 1 ½ foot. It is not too pricey, considering it already comes with an automatic transfer switch.

Cummins Onan 5.5HGJAB is known as one of the quietest standby generators in the market today for its output. It has a low-noise reading of 69dBA at 10ft. and meets the National Park Service sound level requirements. It is enclosed in a sound-attenuated housing to guarantee low-noise and low-vibration levels.

It is small but powerful and can power one or two air conditioners while running smaller appliances at the same time with its 5500 running watts output. It does not come with a transfer switch, but it is already equipped with a digital voltage regulator to ensure a stable energy distribution to your appliances. It also automatically starts upon detection of a power outage and automatically disconnects when power resumes.

This generator will go places with you if you have a recreational vehicle or an RV because it is made ready for RV applications. It also comes with a universal mounting tray to support this. The Cummins Onan 5.5HGJAB is propane-powered and uses air-cooling which makes it low maintenance. It can also self-troubleshoot and is user-friendly especially for first-time standby generator users.

​PROS

  • ​Compact standby generator
  • ​Provides back-up for the most important appliances
  • ​Low-noise operation
  • ​Digital voltage regulation
  • ​3-year Limited Warranty on Parts and Labor

​CONS

  • ​High price point
  • ​Might be too limited for an entire house’s need

Bottom line:

Cummins is a trusted brand in the generator industry. This compact generator has an impressively low-noise rating and is flexible for home and RV applications. Those who have small homes and mobile homes will greatly benefit from this generator. It has a digital voltage regulator built-in in its system and will automatically start and disconnect the generator as necessary. All of these features make this an excellent choice. However, its high price point might make you think twice.

How Does a Home Generator System Work?

  1. ​The generator starts working a few seconds after the power goes out. The transfer switch which is connected to your house’s electrical panel detects the loss of electricity and then sends a signal to the generator.
  2. The generator will then send back-up power to your appliances.
  3. The transfer switch actively manages the demands of your appliances based on the constant running watts and the surge watts they require to avoid overload.
  4. As soon as the transfer switch senses that the electricity from utility source is restored, it will switch off the generator, allowing the primary power source to directly supply electricity to the appliances.
  5. The transfer switch will continuously monitor and repeat the process as necessary.

Why Do You Need a Standby Generator?

You live in a hurricane and storm-prone area.

According to AccuWeather, the top 5 hurricane-prone cities in the US are:

Miami, Florida, Key West, Florida, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Tampa, Florida, New Orlean, Louisiana.

With the threat of global warming, storms are becoming stronger and more frequent, leaving greater damage and longer power outages. And if you live in or near these cities, you will most likely need a reliable standby generator soon.

Someone in your household is electricity dependent.

Probably 80% of us cannot live without electricity for more than half a day. A handful of people actually depend on electricity more than the average. For example, people who need oxygen support at home or those who use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for proper breathing need electricity all the time. A household with a breastfeeding infant with stored breastmilk on the fridge will also need power 24/7. These are the instances that will surely make you consider getting a whole house generator.

Portable Generators versus Standby Generators

Feature: Power Output

Winner: Standby Generators

For home applications, standby generators win over the portable ones which can only deliver 50% output of the most powerful whole house generator made for residential applications which are between 20,000kW to 25,000kW.

Feature: Automatic Backup

Winner: Standby Generators

Portable generators’ startup options are manual recoil, electronic start switch and remote control startup as the most advanced. Most standby generators come with an automatic standby switch that detects a power outage and automatically switches the source in a few seconds.

Feature: Portability and Mobility

Winner: Portable Generators

For obvious reasons, portable generators win this comparison since they are made for this purpose. Most portable generators are also recreational van and camping reading which makes it a plus of outdoor lovers.

How to Choose the Right Whole House Generator for Your Need?

1.    Power Requirement

The smallest generator we featured on this review supports up to ten standby circuits with a total output of 5,500kW. If you need more power back-up and need to supply to over two (2) air conditioners, water heating system and more, the safest output is between 16kW to 20kW. Most brands offer free home inspection, load calculation and recommend the most suitable standby generator for your home at the end of their visit. 

2.    Type of Fuel

There are three most common fuel types used for whole house generators. These are Gasoline, Propane and Diesel. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each one:

  • Diesel
    Diesel is the most widely available fuel to source among the three. Even in times of natural calamities, the chance to find diesel sources is high because it is widely used by various trucks and vehicles for emergency and military operations. It is also known as the least flammable fuel source and can also operate in the coldest locations as long as it is mixed with a fuel additive.

    Among the disadvantages of Diesel is the short shelf life of 18 to 24 months without additives. Some States also regulate and even prohibit the operation of diesel engines. Diesel engines are also known to produce louder noise.
  • Gasoline
    Most standby generators are gasoline powered or dual-powered. Despite the wide-availability of gasoline, many users are wary about it because it is highly flammable and it cannot be stored in large quantities. Likewise, it is also higher-priced. It also has the shortest shelf life at 12 months.
  • Propane
    Propane is also known as LPG, although LPG is not necessarily propane. This type of gas is also readily available and top-ups can be home-serviced. Most propane-powered engines are more quiet than diesel and gasoline.

    Propane is another highly flammable fuel - it can be hazardous if the fuel lines get leaks. It also has a higher installation cost due to the complexity.

3.    Installation Requirements

Unlike portable generations which are “plug and play,” whole house generators will need a certified electrician and plumber for the installation. Always check the price if the installation is included or if you can get support from the manufacturer in providing an accredited electrician and plumber who are adept with their brand and generator systems.

4.    Location, Noise Level and Zoning

Noise level and emissions are the primary considerations for the zoning guidelines. Aside from checking local ordinances when it comes to selecting a generator based on its fuel type, it is also necessary to check zoning restrictions. Generator installation guidelines are somewhat similar to air conditioners’. Each State will definitely have different sets of guidelines.

5.    Warranty Coverage

Power outages are rare in the US, unless you live in a hurricane-prone area. Most brands offer a warranty coverage of five (5) years or 2000 hours whichever comes first. To make the most out of your generator, make sure to “exercise” it at least once a month for the first six (6) months and once every quarter after that. Most standby generators allow automatic programming or switching from the control panel. This will help you assess any problems even before the end of the warranty coverage.