It’s about time we take a close and honest look at the pros and cons of purchasing an all in one solar powered generator versus building one on your own. For starters its pretty safe to assume that one’s main motivation for taking the DIY route as opposed to purchasing one, is to save some money. And that is an excellent reason. Furthermore, due to the range of solar generators on the market, the prospect of purchasing a plug and play set may be cost prohibitive. So, what might it cost to purchase the required components and “Do It Yourself”? Let’s use the Solaaron Outback-Mate500 as an example, which is a 500 watt, 10 amp, solar generator with a 35 amp hour battery and a 50 watt solar panel What might it cost to put together something with similar specifications at home? Between the battery, solar panel, controller, wiring and other components; assuming one purchased quality materials, we may be looking at upwards of $450. Beyond that, a nice solid case to house the DIY set may take the final price to above $500. Now comparing this estimate to the $850 price tag of the Solaaron Outback-Mate500 solar generator, looks like there is a possibility of saving $300-$350. Not bad on a budget.

Moving over and looking at the option of purchasing a completely plug and play, professionally manufactured solar generator set. What might be the advantages? A set such may not only have AC outlets for powering larger appliances, but also USB outlets for cell phone, tablet and other device charging. Additionally, it has 12 volt DC outlets for energy efficient DC fans and DC lights. These important add-ons can become very useful in an off-grid or emergency situation and do not come with standard DIY components. Also, a solar powered generator set is professionally designed for ease of portability, often times with handles and/or wheels. A DIY job is a combination of electrical components and wires, which is not readily hand-held, encased or protected from the outside elements. Lastly is the issue of safety. Solar generator companies are held to strict electrical requirements and must meet standards in order to reach the consumer. This not only ensures quality and guarantees that the product will perform when it is turned on, but even more importantly protects the user, their family and pets from danger. After all, a solar powered generator is an electrical device that carries a large current and could cause serious injury if not properly designed.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages ofmaking a DIY solar generator versus purchasing one from a solar generator company. Whichever route you choose, stay safe and happy off-grid solar powering!

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