Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: October 25, 2021
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Unlike traditional power generators which are noisy and emit killer fumes, indoor generators are better alternatives. They are portable, produce low decibels of noise compared to fuel-powered generators, and can be used indoors.
There are many devices on the market under the name of indoor generators. These are often called power stations, ultra power banks, or solar generators, and the number is growing. In this review of the best indoor generators, you will find an overview of the most popular power stations including detailed descriptions, explanations of all functions, and operating instructions. In a nutshell, you’ll find out the features, strengths and weaknesses, suitable and practical accessories, and many tips and tricks of using these devices.
"This solar backup power generator includes a power station and accessories and powers up to 13 devices simultaneously.3,300 peak and 1,800 rated watts.X-Stream Recharge Technology.Easy-to-read screen."
"This is one of the best solar generators for travelers and is a great solution for people who live the RV or van lifestyle.2,000 peak and 1,000 rated watts.Battery Management System.Quick charge 3.0 port."
"This generator comes with a great transport cart and a remarkable lithium-ion battery, delivering a massive 2,982 watt-hour cycle.3,500 peak and 2,000 rated watts.Mobile app-enabled.High-power charging port."
"With 3,000 surge watts, the generator is quiet, smoke-free, and comes with a bright LED display and robust steel handles.3,000 peak and 2,000 rated watts.Four 0 Ah batteries included.Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible."
"This generator is almost identical to the Explorer 1000, but more compact and lightweight, and is suitable for smaller power needs.1,000 peak and 500 rated watts.Battery Management System.Lightweight at 13.3 pounds."
The EF ECOFLOW DELTA is a solar backup power generator that includes a power station and accessories. It can be charged with a solar panel. It has an outdoor camping battery that will let you charge anything from your phone to your small heater. The super-fast charging generator also features plenty of air vents – six AC outlets, two USB-C, and four USB-A. Hence, it allows you to charge all types of tablets and smartphones.
One feature that makes ECO FLOW special is that it is very durable and even waterproof. So it is designed for use indoors and you can use it on a variety of excursions. It is a large and rugged mobile generator to carry with you on harsh terrain. The generator offers the ideal blend of solar and fuel-powered generator functionality. It is rugged, durable, and is likely to meet your needs, whether you need it as a backup generator, traveling generator, or whatever.
Why are we impressed?
The most remarkable thing about the backup solar power device is how quickly you can charge it. Thanks to the EFDELTA technologies, this battery goes from 0 to 80% in as little as one hour and can be fully charged in 1.6 hours. And of course, you can achieve this using a normal AC cable, without having to buy anything extra to make this happen. If you want more energy, you can connect another ECO FLOW to double the power.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The only minor drawback of the power device that we didn't like is that it is heavier than most solar generators. Also, if you start to overload it, the fans will turn on, making the device considerably louder.
Jackery Explorer 1000 is one of the best solar generators for travelers and is a great solution for people who live the RV/van lifestyle. It includes a 1002Wh, in addition to an electrical surge of 2000W, and 1000 watts of operation. Hence, it is one of the most efficient portable solar generators on the market. This solar generator also includes various output options including USB and USB-C, 3 AC outlets, plus a DC carport. So it can meet the majority of your power needs along the way.
This is the best solar generator for RVs because it is light in weight, weighing 22 lbs. Plus, it includes a carrying handle, which makes it incredibly easy to transfer. Jackery Explorer 1000 is perhaps the best solar generator for recreational vehicles, and it is also ideal in times of emergency. Provided you don’t mind paying a higher cost, you will be happy with this generator.
What stands out?
Some of the things we liked in the Explorer 1000 model are the adapter cable and built-in LCD that reveals charge/discharge information, in addition to battery life. Speaking of which, the Jackery mobile power station only takes 8 hours to charge.
What cons did we manage to find?
While each of these features is great, this version does not include solar panels and is not in the generally affordable price range. Please remember that this generator cannot be used to power devices such as microwave ovens, hairdryers, or induction cookers.
The Goal Zero product is a power station packed with lithium-ion batteries. Some argue that the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X comes at a premium cost, but once you get to know all of its features, you’ll know it’s worth it. For starters, the lithium-ion batteries the station comes with have the maximum quality because they are made by LG. This is essential for your safety, the durability of this generator, in addition to the time you can spend between recharges.
At 1500W (compared to 2000W for its Nexus), the Yeti cannot provide the same constant load. The energy difference is 25%, and that can make a big difference to your usage of this generator. However, with a constant power of 1500W and a peak of 3000W, the Yeti 3000 will work with a normal refrigerator, as well as other principles, such as televisions, lights, and computers.
Why is it special?
We liked that it comes with a large battery as well as a built-in solar charger. The Yeti 3000 comes with a great transport cart, so it's always portable. The Yeti 3000 comes with a remarkable battery, delivering a massive 2982 watt-hour scale. This battery provides more than 2 hours at maximum power. So, under normal use, you should get around 6 hours from the internal battery.
What are the flaws?
Although it's a powerful battery generator, the limit will likely come when using two high-power devices at the same time. If you want to use your microwave, you will probably have to unplug the refrigerator. Another minor downside, when it comes to this Yeti 3000 is that the weight is 70 pounds.
With a power equivalent of 3000 watts (peak), the generator is quiet, smoke-free, can be used indoors, is maintenance-free, and is a superb solution if you want an indoor mobile generator. It’s simply an impressive alternative to conventional gas generators. It uses the proven Ego 56V lithium-ion batteries, which can be great. However, you do need restricted amp hours, even if you use the maximum that the Nexus can accommodate.
POWER +Nexus is a more powerful generator than the previous production Nexus Escape. The continuous electricity is increased from 150W to 2000W in current, using a surge capacity of 3000W. This is great news for RV owners and individuals who need a home backup power generator, capable of driving a microwave or refrigerator.
What are its best features?
The design is excellent, the thick handles facilitate transport and offer excellent impact resistance. Without batteries, it weighs 30 pounds. Considering this is a really powerful device, the weight is still moderate. Lithium-ion batteries are not that heavy. Also, an LCD screen gives you precise information in real-time on the state of the battery and the charge. We particularly enjoy the countdown. It will calculate your charge in relation to the state of charge of the battery when the batteries are released, estimating your runtime. You will notice the remaining time on the LCD screen.
What could be improved?
We wish this was designed to be charged and used simultaneously. You cannot use the generator while the batteries are being charged. You will have to unplug the power from the outlet and wait a few hours for each of the batteries to be recharged and ready for use.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is almost identical to the Explorer 1000, but the former is simply smaller. If you are on a budget or a short distance, the Explorer 500 is your best option. The Explorer 500 can manage to run a table fan for 2 hours. The Explorer 500 has the same well-lit instructional display and easy-to-use port, as other versions of Jackery, and its interfaces are stacked neatly on the front of the unit.
Like its larger sibling, the Explorer 500 features a hard plastic body, four rubber feet on the underside, and a sturdy handle on the top. It weighs only around 13 pounds, compared to the heavier and more powerful Explorer models that are twice as heavy. It can be chargeled from a wall outlet or vehicle power outlet using all the chargers provided, or via a solar panel (sold individually). The wall charger would be like the one that is included in all Explorer 1000s, except its et only has two pins.
What makes it stand out?
Like the larger version of Jackery, the Explorer 500 includes a neoprene case to keep all your cables neatly organized. The unit includes an extended warranty (two years) as any of those equal-sized units. This is also a pure sine wave inverter, which means you can safely use it with sensitive or high-tech devices. Plus, as of this writing, it provides some of the best bang for your buck (in Wh / dollar) metrics of almost every version we've seen.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
We would like it to have a third-party grounding pin to ensure a stable connection, but that is certainly not a dealbreaker. Also, it includes fewer ports than the Explorer 1000. Also, the hard plastic flap is missing in the power socket, which can help keep out dust and moisture. Importantly, it doesn't have USB-C vents, while all of the other versions do.
Buying an indoor generator should not be done haphazardly. In this section, we’ve included everything you need to consider buying the best that meets all your needs.
What Kind of Generator Is Safe for Indoor Use?
A portable solar-powered generator
Trusted SourceMobile Solar Generators - One Man's Odyssey to Bring Power Back to New York
is great if you want to power small household electronics. It’s also best if you want a backup power supply ready to use during emergencies.
These devices are massive batteries in protective cases, along with built-in power outlets and other vents. They’re much bigger, heavier, stronger, and more rugged compared to power banks. This gives them more flexibility for outdoor activities like camping with lots of electronics, operating in a remote corner of your house.
The portable power devices are quiet and emissions-free, which means you can safely use them in a home during power outage. And since there is no engine, you don’t need gas or run the oil changes or other small maintenance that a combustion engine needs.
Features to Consider When Choosing an Indoor Generator
Ready to give these power stations a try? Here are the features you should consider before buying any one. We took an inventory of the features and specifications of each model we discovered, and then refined our search based on the following prerequisites.
Peak and Rated Power Output
The peak and rated power output is often indicated in watt-hour. Watt-hour (Wh) is a number of watts for each hour that a device can generate. A power generator with a power of 300 Wh is the equivalent of powering a 300 watts device for one hour. For various reasons, less than 100% of the expected battery capacity is available for use. In other words, it’s like using a 60W device like a MacBook Pro, projector, or table fan for 5 hours. We made it a necessity for our most important selections, and we chose it heavily for our funding and light suitors.
Good generators have a power capacity of around 200 watts per hour to more than 3,000 watts per hour. The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a peak rated capacity of 3,500 watts and is, therefore, the most powerful in this review. The higher the better. However, the more powerful it is, the more the battery is and the weight.
Battery Type and Capacity
There are different types of batteries that can be used for indoor generators, but the two most common are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries:
Lead-acid battery: Deep cycle lead-acid batteries, such as those used in cars, are the most common and cheapest. They have a shorter lifespan but are a cost-effective choice for home use. Some batteries use a special gel that improves their lifespan, storage, and resistance, but their power is similar.
Deep cycle batteries that can withstand repeated heavy discharges last longer and, under most conditions, are worth paying a little more.
Lithium-ion battery: The best battery type for power stations is lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries have the best quality. They are made by renowned brands such as LG
Trusted Source• Lithium ion batteries - main manufacturers 2020 | Statista
. The quality of the battery is essential for your safety and the durability of the generator, in addition to the time you can spend between recharges. Also, lithium-ion batteries are not heavy and are safe for use indoors.
Outlets and Versatility
The outlets of the generator determine the versatility. A minimum of one AC outlet is an absolute necessity, as almost all gadgets, except desk lamps, oil diffusers, and baby monitors, run on AC electricity. While several versions use an AC outlet, we chose models that have two, allowing you to supply two AC-powered devices at the same time. Both the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X and the Jackery Explorer 1000 have AC and DC outlets.
There must be at least 2 fast-charging USB-A interfaces. It should support 2 amps (10W) or more charge options. There must also be a minimum of a USB-C port, a 6-millimeter DC port, or a car electrical outlet.
The device has to be rechargeable via an AC wall outlet as USB-only charging is far too slow to charge such large batteries. You can charge some portable power devices through automotive electrical outlets or solar panels, which will be a great bonus, especially if you are regularly off the grid for a few days.
Size and Weight
It is helpful to check the weight of the solar generator. Portability is essential to keep you from cluttering up your travel space. Weight is a determining factor in many ways, especially when it comes to moving around with the device. Generators in the form of a suitcase, or having at least one solid handle, will be very appreciated to meet a need for mobility.
However, it should be noted that most solar generators of very high capacity will have a significant weight because of the heavy and efficient components they have. The perfect compromise will therefore have to be made between lightness and sufficient power.
Choose a device with no less than one year warranty: this is not a device for daily use. A one-year warranty ensures that you can use the item before its warranty expires. However, some models such as the EGO Power+ PST3041 3000W Nexus can come with 5 years of warranty. No battery lasts indefinitely, and capacity will often drop after the first year, however, our selections should continue to perform well after the warranty runs out.
You can easily charge your indoor generators in three ways. First, you can charge it from the DC power port of your car. You can also charge it from a compatible solar panel or a standard wall AC outlet.
Most indoor generators are not designed for powering large appliances. But most can power your small devices such as laptops, smart devices, and similar devices. Meanwhile, powerful models such as the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X can power devices such as a refrigerator, television, light, or computer.
How long a generator of this type can operate depends on the device or appliance plugged in and the battery left. At full charge, you can power a table fan for 2 to 6 hours. But most generators can run between 1 to 10 hours, depending on several parameters.
Our Editor’s Choice is the EF ECO FLOW DELTA. Rated 9.9 out of 10, this is a solar backup power generator that includes a power station and accessories and can be charged with a solar panel. It has an outdoor camping battery that will let you charge anything from your phone to your small heater. For many reasons, it’s our choice of the best indoor generator.
Our Best Value pick is the Jackery Explorer 1000. Rated 9.8, it is one of the best solar generators for travelers and is a great solution for people who live the RV or van lifestyle.
Finally, our Premium Pick is the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X. Rated 9.5, it’s the most powerful in the review. The Yeti 3000 also comes with a great transport cart, so it’s always portable. It has a remarkable lithium-ion battery, delivering a massive 2,982 watt-hour cycle.
Mobile Solar Generators - One Man's Odyssey to Bring Power Back to New York