What the Tech: Solar-powered generators

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:59 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - You may go weeks without worrying about what happens if the power goes out.

But when it does, you’re probably wishing you had thought ahead. Severe weather, storms, and even birds flying into electrical lines can interrupt power for hours or even days.

Here’s a new technology available to get things running again. Many of you may have gas-powered generators to keep the lights on.

But those are noisy and smelly, and you can’t use them inside. New technology makes it possible for people like you and me to get power from the sun.

Electric generators are hot right now. Great for camping, tailgating, or in an emergency. The Anker Portable Power Station is a heavyweight electric generator that can stay charged with a solar panel.

The generator has six AC outlets, four standard USB, and two USB C outlets for powering smartphones and computers.

It gets its power from a standard electrical outlet, charging the battery to 80% in about an hour. It’ll also hold a charge if you put it in a storage closet until you need it.

Anker says it’ll keep a fan running for 28 hours, charge a laptop 16 times, and keep a refrigerator going for nearly three hours on one charge.

What’s cool is hooking up the generator to a solar panel. Anker’s solar panel has handles you can carry when folded but open it outside for four panels nearly five feet wide.

Set it in the sun to power the generator or charge a phone, tablet, or a camping light even without the generator.

The generator weighs close to 50 pounds but has handles to make carrying it from one place to the other easy.

Unlike many gas generators, these won’t power the entire house, but it will keep a refrigerator, computer, and Wi-Fi router up and running.

And it’s a good uninterrupted power source for important things like CPAP machines.

There are many different brands of portable battery generators. Most costs around $2,000, and solar panels are around $300. Gas-powered generators can cost anywhere between $900 to $3,000.

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