Whether you need continuous power for your camping trip or a home emergency, a solar generator could be the perfect solution. You can connect it to a solar panel and charge it up using the sun’s energy. Solar generators don’t require gas or propane for fuel. Instead, they rely on a renewable and abundant resource – the sun.
So if the power goes out at your home, you have a generator that’s charged and ready to go. And if the battery capacity is vast like the Rockpals 300W Portable Generator, you can enjoy a few days of uninterrupted power.
For this Rockpals Solar Generator review, let’s jump right in and see what the unit has in store.
Rockpals 300W Portable Generator
The Rockpals 300W Portable Generator or the RP300W is a plug-and-play, silent, high-capacity battery-powered generator for emergencies, traveling and outdoor activities. Like other portable generators, you can store power in the RP300W from a solar panel, a wall outlet or a car charger.
Your smartphone and laptop can get multiple charges out of the unit’s powerful lithium-ion batteries. You can also get numerous hours of usage out of a 32” TV and a few nights of a CPAP machine under 96 watts if you turn off heating and humidification. In addition to these devices, you can also plug in a mini-fridge, some lights or other small appliances.
Lithium-ion batteries offer far higher energy density than lead acid batteries that are sometimes used in solar generators. This means that they have a much larger storage capacity. Lithium-ion batteries are also lighter and more compact than their lead acid counterparts. The storage capacity and lightweight design of lithium-ion batteries is what makes them so useful in the RP300W and other units like it.
Its lightweight design is also what makes the RP300W so portable and easy to transport. Going on a camping trip or other outdoor adventure has never been more comfortable with the 7.3 pound RP300W.
This portable power station generates very little noise, except for the generator’s cooling fan, which makes a slight sound. Like other solar generators, there’s no engine or moving parts in the RP300W, which eliminates the most significant source of noise pollution that all conventional fuel-powered portable generators have. This makes the unit an excellent choice for outdoor activities since there’s no noise to bother people.
Specs and Features
- 3 Pounds
- 75000mAh Battery Capacity
- 300 Rated Watts
- 600 Surge Watts
- AC 120V Outlet
- 5 DC Ports
- 2 USB2.0 Ports
- 2 QC3.0 Ports
What Is a 300-Watt Solar Generator?
A 300-watt solar generator can deliver power to appliances and devices up to 300 watts. This means that you shouldn’t plug in any appliances and devices that will exceed 300 watts. For example, the RP300W has an AC output port that can charge devices that consume less than 330 watts.
Its DC1 output can charge devices that use less than 96 watts and its DC2 output can charge devices less than 48 watts. If you plug in devices that exceed this capacity, the RP300W will go into protection mode. In other words, it’ll shut off to prevent overheating. As you might be aware, an overheating generator can cause a fire, so it can be dangerous to overload it.
However, if you’re careful and know how many watts of power your devices use, you can avoid overloading your generator. To gain a better idea about what kind of devices and appliances a 300-watt generator can handle, you should get a reasonable estimate of how many watts specific devices and appliances use.
For example, the average 32” LED/LCD TV uses about 50 watts, a cell phone charger uses about 10 watts and a laptop computer uses about 20 to 75 watts. So in total, these devices use about 135 watts. If you connect them to the RP300W’s AC output port, you’ll be well under the 300-watt capacity.
Plus, you can use the unit’s DC outputs to connect multiple car-powered devices, such as a car refrigerator, car vacuum, car air fan or CPAP machine. With RP300W’s three DC outputs that power devices up to 96 watts and one DC output that powers devices up to 48 watts, you can connect quite a few devices.
Finding the Right Solar Generator for Your Needs
If you have a good idea about what you want to use your solar generator for, then you’re more likely to find one that best fits your purposes. However, if you don’t have a clue, the first thing you should do is determine what matters most to you.
Are you an avid hiker or camper who needs to keep your mobile devices charged so that you can stay connected while you’re in the wilderness? Do you live in an area with frequent storms and power outages? Perhaps you’re always worrying about what you and your family would do in an emergency where your essential everyday devices and appliances will lose power.
Once you figure out what matters to you most, you’ll be able to decide what items you know you can’t go without in any situation. For example, maybe you want to take a long road trip. Like most people, you can’t be without your cell phone for an extended period of time.
Plus, you need to bring your laptop to get some work done. Also, you want to use a car fridge to keep your snacks fresh during the ride. A portable generator with a 300-watt capacity should be suitable for your purposes.
If you have a much higher power demand, that option likely won’t work for you. Let’s say that you’re concerned about losing food in a power outage. You also want to keep a few lights on because you don’t want to be entirely in the dark. If your fridge uses about 800 watts and your standard light bulbs use about 100 watts, then you might consider purchasing a generator that delivers about 1,200 watts.
If you have no lights, you might want to power up all of your appliances, such as your AC, heater, dishwasher, washer and dryer; all of your electronic devices, like your phone, laptop, desktop and TV; and all lights. In that case, you want a solar generator that can provide at least 4,500 watts of power.
Frequently Asked Questions
To gain a better understanding of how solar generators work, take a look at the following frequently asked questions.
How Are Watts Calculated?
Volts x Amps = Watts. For example, a laptop that uses 100 volts and 0.3 amp would use 30 watts (100 x 0.3 = 30). This means that within one hour, that laptop will have consumed 30 watts.
What Is DC Power?
DC stands for direct current. The electricity produced for items that use direct current power doesn’t have to be converted to alternating current (AC). DC power is also more efficient as it uses less overall energy compared to AC. RV fridges, tire pumps, phone charging adapters and camping lights are some examples of items that use DC power.
What is AC Power?
More common than direct current (DC) power, alternating current (AC) power has to be converted from DC power using an inverter.
How Long Will My Generator Last Before I Have to Replace It?
The lifespan of a solar generator depends on the life cycle rating of the battery that powers it. So every time your battery completely drains and fully recharges, you add one lifecycle. This process is similar to putting miles on a car. So every time you drain your battery and recharge it, you’re adding one mile to your battery.
Some solar generators use lithium-ion batteries, which are the safest and longest-lasting type of batteries on the market. Imagine that a lithium-ion battery is rated at 2500+ lifecycles, which is four to six times more than the average generator on the market. If you’re heavily using your generator, you can expect it to last as long as 7 years.
Even if a generator’s battery does reach its lifecycle rating, it won’t be rendered useless. You can still use it. However, it won’t store as much power as it used to, which means you’ll get fewer operating hours out of your appliances or devices connected to your solar generator.
If you’re a person who loves to travel or likes to prepare for emergencies, a solar generator could be exactly what you’re looking for. Solar generators are such versatile machines that allow you to power and charge many items, from your phone to your plasma TV for hours at a time. The RP300W does just that by letting you, the avid camper or cautious survivalist, stay connected in an emergency or on the go.