Solar Generator vs. Fuel Generator
- D. WILSON U.S.M.C.
A Portable Fuel-Driven Generator Versus a Solar Stik™ System
(Less than 5kW Total Power)
A Brief Comparison… “Instant Power” Versus “Stored Power”
So, can a solar generator really compete with a traditional gasoline generator?
The fact is, a solar generator can completely replace a light-duty fuel-driven generator in many applications….
The main difference between them is that they both operate at different levels of overall Efficiency:
- a solar generator generates power all day, storing it in batteries, and then supplies that stored power to the connected appliances as needed (or “on-demand”)
- a fuel-driven generator must be operating in order to supply any power to connected appliances, even if the power required is minimal or intermittent
A Fuel-Driven Generator
In many applications, generators are effective as temporary power production, but are often not suitable for long-term power requirements. Also, it is very common for gasoline generators to provide power to appliances that consume only a fraction of the generator’s rated power output, thus, consuming unnecessary fuel when operating because they only run at a single speed.
The actual cost to operate a gasoline generator is largely dependent on the generator’s “run-time”. Generator manufacturers only guarantee fuel-driven generators for a short period of life (1-2 years), due to the varying amount of run-time they may be subjected to.
Other operating challenges include:
- fuel transport and storage (logistics)
- required interval maintenance
- replacement of parts that wear out during operation
These factors are compounded if the generator is used in a remote location, after a disaster, or for long-term power applications.
Summarily, the overall costs of operating a portable gasoline generator reach far beyond the initial purchase price.
The Solar Generator and The Micro-Grid
A solar generator like the Solar Stik™ can generate enough power in a day to support the constant power draw of several appliances operating over a 24-hour period. It can also be used in conjunction with existing power sources such as Grid Utility, Portable Power Generators, Fuel Cells and more in a “Micro-Grid” configuration.
A Solar Stik™ System operates with any 12 or 24 volt battery bank, or can operate as a stand-alone power source when the Solar Stik™ Power Pak is employed.
Additionally, the Solar Stik™ is completely silent and emits no harmful fumes, which enhances its appeal as a power generator.
Compared to a gasoline generator, the Solar Stik™ has $0.00 operating cost, requires virtually no maintenance, and has a much longer manufacturer ‘s warranty for power output… up to 25 years depending on the system. Solar Stik™ Systems are also extremely light, portable, and rugged.
A Solar Stik™ System can be described as “the proper blend of Power Technologies and Application”.
Setup of the Solar Stik™ System is “plug & play” and can usually be done by one person in about five minutes. It can be erected for short or long term operation without concern for weather or environmental impact, which makes it ideal for use every single day. It can be set up and left to operate for a day or weeks.
If additional power is required, the Solar Stik™ panel output can be increased up to 360 watts, or the Solar Stik™ Breeze can be employed to provide supplemental wind power generation.
Additional Solar Stik™ Systems can also be added to meet the demand, or a PRO-Verter™ can be added to the system to allow a traditional fuel-driven power generator to be used as a supplemental source.
Shifting a Fuel-Driven Power Generator from a ‘Primary’ source to a ‘Secondary’ source - Reducing Generator “Run Time”
As fuel-driven generator operation costs continue to rise, many are seeking to simply reduce generator run-time, saving on both fuel and maintenance. The Solar Stik™ System can be used with existing fuel-driven power generators to lessen the burden of fuel-driven generator operation.
The PRO-Verter™ will store power when it is available from fuel-powered generators, or even 120VAC from the power grid. Storing power produced by a generator or from other sources will decrease generator operating costs and increase the overall efficiency of a generator-powered electrical circuit.
Who Uses Solar Stik™ Systems?
A Solar Stik™ System can be used in any application that requires portable power up to 3.0 kW.
Solar Stik™ System are employed worldwide by users ranging from Recreational to Military - including Homeland Security, State & County level EOC’s and Security Agencies, and international relief organizations.
They have become the “standard” for portable DC power systems in the field.
To see an Operating Cost Analysis of a Gas Generator vs. Solar Stik™ click here.
To see how a Solar Generator bridges the gap between renewable power and fuel-driven power generation, click here.
To see our competition, please visit the Links page.