SUNRNR of Virginia, Inc.
Renewable Energy ... Anytime, Anywhere

Why SUNRNR? Comparisons

comparisonsCompare $6k in electricity
You might have come across MySolarBackup PowerHub/Source, Sol-Solutions, GoalZero, VSP, and possibly others during your research. Based on their company or related websites as of May 2012, a few are less expensive than SUNRNR, but also note that they offer one-third to one-half the power output (ask them if they can run your microwave) and most offer less than half the storage capability (which limits solar input capability).  Most are also enclosed in plastic or aluminum while a SUNRNR chassis is steel and protects the user from the battery.  Please keep reading below to learn how to compare products - we believe you will find a SUNRNR to be the best quality and the best price per kilowatt in solar generators.
 
There are a growing number of solar devices out there.  We are one of several products that use the term "solar power generator" although a SUNRNR may be recharged by many sources.  We are constantly being asked how our units are different or even better than others.  We also put much effort into energy education with articles like Choosing a Portable Renewable Energy Generator being a good starting point.  In comparing any products, the application and use of that product must be kept in mind.  We have had to turn away some customers when we knew a SUNRNR wasn't the correct choice for their application for whatever reason.  The following is an attempt to offer a fair and non-negative comparison to some other products.  Our Specifications page is a handy reference when doing your own comparisons.  You may also wish to visit the "links" page of SolarStik™, where they admirably list links to other solar generator styles, sizes, systems, etc. and great educational page discussing the benefits over gas generators - very impressive!

Click here for "What do the specs mean to me?" and "How do they compare?" document


Buyer beware
If it is difficult to document specifications or numbers seem too good to be true, beware.  Two most notable bottom lines are inverter Watt capability (what equipment you can run) and battery Watt-hours stored (how long you can run it).  (More regarding these important specifications on the Energy Req Worksheet page.)

Portability
Several products have great portability - lightweight, handcart, etc.  However, with today's rechargeable battery/energy storage technology, power available is directly proportional to weight, which means if it's super easy to move, it probably won't run much for long.  Also, consider whether you want the generator detached from the panels since some are combined.  There are also portable, but trailer-hauled versions - again ... application.

Inverter
Very important.  A SUNRNR system is designed so that the inverter can ask the battery to start a 7000 W load (10000W surge rating), handle it, and run it at 3500 W continuous (5000W rating) after starting.  This is power tool, microwave, welder, compressor, air conditioner, washing machine territory and the ability to run several devices simultaneously. If you can't start it, you can't run it.

Battery/Energy Storage
The AGM battery we use is 245 amp-hours, realistically 2000 Wh stored (245 amp-hr x 12 VDC = 2940 Wh ideally).  Other generators range from 50-400 amp-hours (600-4800 Wh ideally).  SUNRNR offers the best value in cost per Wh stored (see below).  And beware of a company using the non-standard 15VDC upper limit of a 12VDC battery to artificially inflate their storage specs.

Cost per Wh
It can be tricky to do an apples-to-apples comparison because of all the variables involved.  One metric that could be used is cost per Wh stored (calculated and ideal, not realistic, storage). See our blog comparison article for more.

Options/Design
In your comparisons, be sure to consider the following depending on your application:
  • Recharge options - wind turbine, water turbine, grid
  • System expandability (link to double, triple, ... energy storage and generation)
  • Amount of solar input and whether panels may be separated from energy storage
  • Modified or pure sine wave inverter (SUNRNR pure sine upgrade is $1000 and not necessary for most devices)
  • Inverters rated for 1500W or less continuous output might have trouble running common household loads.
  • Ruggedness
  • Number of power outlets
  • Made in America 
  • 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor (many others are 30-90 days)
  • Investment-grade tool, not novelty with planned obsolescence.  See Return on Investment
  • 240VAC well pump/international or Lithium-Ion battery option 

And even if you are not ready to buy, please keep checking back with us.  We are constantly in R&D planning new products.  And we are considering new representatives daily.  See Distributors if you would like to be one.

SUNRNR vs top-of-line gas generator of same power output

 Weight, lb  260  185 dry
 Noise, db  0  71
 Endurance at 1/4 power, hr  3  20
 Gas required for above, gal  0  6
 Carbon footprint for above, kg CO2  0  54
 Cost per generator ~$4350 ~$1500
 Cost for 900 gal gasoline or 2000 hrs operation $0 ~$2700
 Maintenance required     Minimal:  use
and recharge
Oil change,
filters

PO Box 102 • Port Republic VA 24471 • 540-271-3403 • info@sunrnr.com • Made in USA