Solar Generator vs Gasoline Generator – What’s Best?

Last Updated: August 8, 2022
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solar generator vs gasoline generator

Which is better for power failures and camping trips; a solar vs a gas-powered generator? What is the best generator for that job?

The use of solar energy has begun to gain popularity. If you’re not quite ready to power your home entirely with solar energy, why not use it to supplement your backup power? There are generators that run on gas, diesel or propane that you know about.

Solar generators may be more cost effective because they are more eco-friendly, but the initial cost is high. What is the difference between gas generators and solar generators? Let’s take a closer look at how the two sources of backup energy operate.

How Does a Solar Generator Work?

The components of a solar electricity generator include photovoltaic panels, a charge regulator, batteries, and an inverter. The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity and then send it to the charge regulator. When the batteries are fully charged, the charge regulator sends power to the batteries and shuts them down.

Your home’s electronics require alternating current, but the photovoltaic panels generate direct current. The alternating current (AC) is converted from the direct current (DC) by the inverter.

What are the Benefits of a Solar Generator?

  • Solar electric generators operate silently. There are no moving parts, so you don’t deal with the noise that comes from gas or diesel generators.
  • Solar generators don’t consume fossil fuels. This means less damage to the environment as energy travels to your home, healthier air, and fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Generators powered by solar power require less maintenance. Since they don’t move, their parts don’t wear out as fast.
  • You can let the solar generator run day and night once it is up to full speed. During the day, the electricity charges the batteries and provides power to your equipment. During the night, your equipment/appliances are powered by the batteries. When the days are long enough, it just keeps on going.

How Does a Gas or Fuel Generator Work?

The chemical energy of gasoline or any other fuel is converted into mechanical energy, which is subsequently converted into electrical energy by a gas generator. 

It does this with the help of an engine and an alternator. The gas in the engine combusts, rotating the crankshaft like in a vehicle. However, instead of rotating the wheels of an automobile, it turns the alternator’s rotor.

The rotor is made up of copper wire. Copper wire rotor spins past magnets that are motionless. The magnets produce a tiny electrical charge in copper wire as it passes over them. If you do it quickly enough, you’ll create a large quantity of electricity. It’s a complicated system with many moving pieces.

What are the Benefits of a Gas Generator?

  • Getting started with gas generators is easy. With just a few pulls of the cord or a few touches of a button, you’re powered up. It will continue to run and produce a lot of power for as long as you keep putting gas into it.
  • Gas generators are very compact and produce a great deal of electricity compared to solar energy.
  • The space required by gas generators is less. Most home-use generators can be loaded in the back of a truck by one or two people, and there is still plenty of room for other items.
  • As gas generators are mass-produced and easy to build, they are less expensive than solar generators.

Which Type Generator Is Best for You?

What you’ll be doing with the generator will determine which type generator is ideal for you.

Generators come in many different sizes to meet different needs, but there may be a reason you can’t use one in a certain way.

On a camping vacation or when hiking, a solar generator will be the most convenient option for individuals who want electricity for smaller appliances. This sort of generator will be silent, lightweight, and portable, and it may be utilized in a car or tent without emitting any dangerous gases.

A gas generator may be better for bigger household appliances or numerous power tool usage or RVs. When used under heavy loads, gasoline generators have a lengthy run life and are an excellent option to keep appliances running until power is restored.

Check the wattage capabilities of the generator you’re considering and compare them to the wattage demands of the appliances you’ll be using to see whether it’ll work for you.


Camping allows you to detach from the outside world and enjoy the calm and quiet of nature. However, in the case of an emergency or merely to check the weather, you should always have your phone charged.

A solar generator will be the best generator for the majority of camping settings. Solar generators are silent, can be charged anywhere there is sunlight, and emit no toxic pollutants, making them ideal for tents and campers.

Most solar generators can power modest mobile phone chargers, but if you start adding laptops, and other gadgets, you’ll need to select a solar generator that can meet the wattage demands of all of your devices.

There are many various sizes of solar generators to select from, but you should consider the size of the generator and whether or not you will be able to carry it with you when you go camping.

Whole House Backup

A blackout during a storm is not something anyone wants to experience. Dealing with air conditioning, heating, hot water, and food spoilage are just a few of the concerns most people have when their electricity goes off for a lengthy period of time.

With a large enough fuel generator, you can avoid most of these issues and ensure that you and your family are as comfortable as possible during your next power outage.

The most common generator for residential backup power is a gasoline generator, which may be hardwired or connected up as required.

They’re perfect for operating bigger appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners because of their high power and long runtime.

Finding one with numerous outlets allows you to keep these gadgets running while also charging your phone or tablet so you can stay up to date on the latest news and weather conditions.

Things to Keep in Mind when Using Generators

In order to maintain safety when operating generators, whether solar or gas or other fuels, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Wattage Limits

You’ll want to be aware of your generator’s power restrictions. Overloading your generator or using it at full capacity all of the time will shorten its life significantly. In a power outage, the last thing you want to do is overload your generator, rendering it worthless.


The most crucial factor to consider while using generators is safety. Gasoline or other fuel generators may be quite harmful (CO poisoning) if utilized or vented incorrectly.

Certain solar generators are not appropriate for usage in harsh environments.

Take the time to become well acquainted with your user handbook/manual to ensure that you are using your generator in the proper manner.


To get the most out of your generator and extend its life as much as possible, familiarize yourself with the maintenance plan given in your user handbook. Gas generators require routine maintenance if they are to run as long as a solar generator.


After discussing the many things on gas generator vs a solar generator, you should be able to select the appropriate generator type for your application.

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I am a mechanical engineer with years of experience working on Internal combustion engine and fixing electrical and mechanical systems, generators, transfer switches, and equipment related to storm water and sewage pumping stations.