Saturday, May 13, 2017

Understanding How Portable Solar Generators Work

When it comes to portable solar, there’s a lot of old information and misinformation out there.  The SunRunr portable solar generator is proof that solar can be a reliable part of your daily and emergency power plan.

Our solar + storage systems have been described by Practical Preppers as a well-built, tough, serious, sustainable solution. We want our customers and our community to be ready for what life throws at them.

 Clarity & Transparency with the SunRunr
SunRunr has been nationally recognized for our work to educate the public and promote preparedness. We work closely with our customers to find the best solution for their specific application and to ensure they understand the abilities of their SunRunr system. We strive to assure our dealers also understand the benefits and limitations of portable solar and don't oversell its capabilities. Our transparency and customer relationships are reasons why our customer satisfaction rate is 99%.

When it comes to shopping around for portable solar, it’s important to be able to accurately compare your options. But the technical jargon can get heavy quickly.
Below, we’ll touch on the basics of what you need to know, as well as provide links if you want to dive into the technical deep end.  If at any point you have questions, just pick up the phone to talk to us or call one of our certified dealers.

Solar in the Bank

Think of a portable solar energy system like banking. You can only withdraw electric energy that has been deposited into your account.  Your account has defined minimum and maximum limits, and you can maintain a maximum balance by turning off the unit when not in use and recharging when possible.  Charging while in use is equivalent to getting cash back on your purchases (power consumption), stretching your "dollar". And best of all, your source of income is indefinitely renewable.

When choosing the right solar power option for your needs, there are three key factors to compare that will impact your satisfaction:

1.    Power Storage (your savings account) 
For the purposes of our analogy, the battery within the solar generator is your savings account. The type, capabilities and quality of the battery affect your “withdrawals”.  Larger-battery systems like the SunRunr can handle high surge output and have a higher sustained usage before recharge is required.

2.    Power Generation (deposits) 
Your power generation is impacted by the quality of the solar panels, your capability to add additional solar panels, and the ability to deposit energy from other sources (grid, wind/water turbine, bicycle).

3.    Power Output (withdrawals) 
Some solar generators like the SunRunr allow you to withdraw both DC and AC power out of your “account”.  The AC inverter within the generator determines the withdrawals you can make.  If you’re looking to run many devices simultaneously or run high amp load tools (compressors, well pumps, table saws), your solar generator will need an AC inverter that can handle the load and surge.  And if you’ll be running sensitive electronic devices (such as some pellet stoves, desktops, and high-end audio), you’ll need to upgrade to a full sine inverter.

In the case of the SunRunr system, if you choose to keep the solar panels attached during power usage, you can be depositing while withdrawing (aka “sustainable daily rate”).

Real Power for the Real World 
A SunRunr is built for those who need serious power in serious times, such as in the event of a disaster or a power grid failure.  But we’ve also designed our system to be a plug-and-play, accessible solution for those seeking entry-level solar or needing power for their agribusiness or workshop.  Would you take the SunRunr camping? No. But here’s what you can do:

Take care of your family during a hurricane.

Use a SunRunr during storm cleanup or on a construction site.

Power a well pump or compressor on your farm.

Get an appliance, such as your washing machine, off-grid.

A SunRunr system can power many appliances at once (such as a fridge, lights, and fan), but a SunRunr’s forte is running high inrush/surge equipment like pumps, microwaves, and tools.

How does the SunRunr do all this? 
Quality components, a serious battery, and a high-output inverter.

Power Storage: 2000 Watt Hours useable before recharge required (expandable)
Power Generation: 290 W with the standard 2 solar panels (expandable)
Power Output of AC Inverter: 3,500 W max continuous power / 10,000W surge
Power Output of DC: 30-amp
Sustainable Usage Rate: 1500 W per day (expandable)- available every day if panels have 6 hours of sun per day

You can find more juicy technical specs plus other general FAQ on our website.
And we’re always up for a good conversation about Watt Hours, Amp Hours, and Peukert’s Law.

Expandable to Meet Your Needs 
The SunRunr product lineup includes “Our Flagship” Solar Generator 110/120 VAC, 60 Hz, the “Well Pump” model for U.S. devices needing 240 VAC, 60 Hz, and the “International” model that runs 220/240 VAC, 50 Hz.

All SunRunr generators can be easily expanded. Add two more solar panels to each system through the AUX portal using an external charge controller. Or double your energy storage and generation with our Power Module.

Home “Grown”, Quality Craftsmanship 
SunRunr generators are 100% assembled in America with 75% by value American-made dependable components.  The unit is enclosed in a steel chassis for ruggedness and safety. Yes, it costs more. But these safety features and quality components protect you and your family while providing a transportable system that is plug-and-play easy.

Field Serviceable 
Our SunRunr systems come with a one year limited warranty which covers defects in materials and/or workmanship. Over 99% of the time, we’re able to troubleshoot issues over the phone or by email.  And SunRunr systems are field serviceable.  Any electrician can repair our component-based unit for years of investment return. 

Safe Power, Safe Family 
How will you generate power that is safe and reliable for your family? Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms involving power outages. A SunRunr portable generator eliminates this threat.  It can be run indoors, creates no toxic fumes or noise, and doesn’t require the transportation or storage of fuel - an especially limited resource during and after an emergency.  Used outdoors, a solar generator provides the power you need without sparks and the danger of starting brush fires.  All this and without the need to change the oil, check the battery cells, and refill gas cans!

 In the home, on the farm, in an emergency…put a SunRunr portable solar generator to work for you, so you can focus on what matters most.