Generark HomePower One solar-powered generator review
This product lets the sun power your home during an outage—and we love it
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Power outages happen everywhere. While usually the consequences are as minor as not being able to check Twitter for a few minutes, long-lasting power outages can have costly and potentially deadly results. On site, portable power generation is a great way to keep your home and family safe when the electricity cuts out, whether for a few hours, days, or weeks.
Traditional on-site power generators are loud, heavy machines that run on gasoline and require regular maintenance. They also emit deadly carbon monoxide gas, and so have to be kept outside.
However, advances in battery technology over the past few years have made battery storage a viable alternative. The Generark HomePower One (available at Amazon) is a battery backup power station designed to give you reliable, relatively long-lasting power to get you through an emergency.
And, when you pair the battery system with Generark’s SolarPower One panels, you get a power bundle that can keep your home running until the lights come back on.
What is the Generark HomePower One and SolarPower One system
I was able to use the Generark HomePower One and SolarPower One system for several weeks at my house. Fortunately, we never had an emergency situation, but I did put it to the test.
I used it to power my refrigerator for a day, ran my Instant Pot and rice cooker (it can’t power a stove), and even brought it down into my workshop to see how it did with power tools.
Overall, I was impressed. While it won’t power your entire house, it will keep your food cold, give you enough power to cook basic meals, and let you use most medical devices that you need.
When it’s time to charge, the solar panels do a surprisingly good job, provided that it’s not an overcast day. If it is an overcast day, in a pinch you can charge it through your vehicle’s auxiliary power outlet.
And yes, you can keep using the power while the unit is charging.
In addition to emergency home use, I can also see a use for this product as a job site power source. It was easily able to power my router, sander, drill, and circular saw, though it wasn’t quite up to the task of powering my table saw and miter saw.
About the Generark HomePower One
- 1,002 watt-hour (Wh) capacity
- Up to seven days of power, depending on usage
- Multiple power outputs: 2 USB-C outputs with PD 18W, 1 USB-A with 5V/2.4A, 1 USB-A with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, and 1 car outlet with 12V/10A.
- Stores power up to one year
- 5-year warranty
- Easy-to-read display
- Simple setup and use
About the Generark SolarPower One
- 100W power output per panel
- 50% higher energy conversion than traditional solar cells
- Also supports USB-C and USB-A charging
- Fast setup
- 5-year warranty
What we like
Clean and quiet operation for indoor use
Traditional gasoline-powered generators are noisy and stinky, and, for both safety and sanity, need to stay outside. The HomePower One, however, is just a large battery. It’s perfectly safe to use in the same room as you are. Need the toaster? Bring it into the kitchen. Need a light in the basement? Bring it down with you.
It’s lightweight and mobile. You don’t have to run extension cords through open windows in winter or worry about tripping over them in the living room. Store it inside and use it inside, without any concern.
Multiple power outputs
Generark recognizes that our power needs vary throughout the day, and the HomePower One has outputs to fit just about every use case. The 3 AC outlets power normal appliances and lights, while the collection of USB and micro USB outputs allow charging of devices so we can stay in touch, up to date, and informed in an emergency.
And, with so many different outputs, the HomePower One can power multiple devices at a time, provided that they don’t exceed the capacity.
Super easy setup
I was skeptical when the instructions said that the solar powered system could be set up in 30 seconds or less. But it really can.
Simply bring the panels out to the sun, unfold them, plug them into the HomePower One, and they start generating power immediately. If I were to buy these for myself, I would build some sort of stand to keep them up out of the snow, mud, and dirt. For testing purposes, they worked just fine on the hood of my car.
What we don’t like
Honestly, not much. The drawbacks of the system are mostly innate to the type of power, and not a problem with the unit itself.
The solar panels don’t work great on cloudy days
I tested the HomePower One in February and March in New England. On sunny days, the panels do pretty well, producing between 100W and 120W, which would fully charge the unit in nine or 10 hours.
However, on cloudy winter days, that output plummeted to around 15W, which wouldn’t charge the unit full before night fell. While a little bit of power is certainly better than no power, you will be at the mercy of the weather for power after you’ve drained the initial charge.
Generark claims that the unit can provide power for up to seven days. And, I’m sure that’s true, if all you’re charging is your phone.
However, most people without power won’t get anywhere near seven days before needing to recharge. And, to be fair to Generark, the company does have a list of estimates for how long the unit will power different appliances.
As near as I can tell, these estimates are pretty close. I was able to power my refrigerator for about 11 hours before the battery died. Cooking one meal with my Instant Pot took about 10% of the battery power. A few hours of woodworking took another 30% or so.
I also tried to use more than one kitchen appliance at once (both my Instant Pot and rice cooker) and the Generark couldn’t handle both simultaneously.
Shuts off without warning
This is the only true gripe that I have with the design of the system. When it is overloaded, it shuts off. Which is great—no one wants the battery to overheat and start a fire. However, there’s no warning when this happens.
When I overloaded the battery by trying to run multiple appliances, I didn’t know it had shut off 10 or so minutes later when I went to check on dinner. So, you do want to check on it, particularly if it’s charging something frequently out of mind like a refrigerator.
Generark offers a 5-year limited warranty on the HomePower One and SolarPower One products, on top of a 30-day return policy. If the product is found to be defective within the five-year window, Generark will exchange the unit for a replacement.
Should you buy the Generark HomePower One and SolarPower One?
If you’re looking to get away from a gas-powered solution, or if you simply live in a place where a gas generator isn’t feasible like an apartment, then the Generark is a fantastic solution for you.
Even if you just buy it for emergencies, there’s no question that you will be able to find far more uses for it. I can see these units being great for camping, for example.
It’s a quality product that does exactly what the company claims it will. Keeping it on hand, fully charged, will be great peace of mind for you and your family
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.