This is a review I have been wanting to do for a long time. I first heard about the Titan Solar Generator more than six months ago while it was still in its beta testing stage. There was a lot of buzz about it already because it was expected that the Titan would correct many of the complaints people had from other backup solar generators. And I can honestly say I am not disappointed.
In this article I am going to touch on all of the abilities and benefits of this solar generator along with its limitations. I will show you how you can calculate in your home what devices it will run in an emergency. I will explain how to operated it as well as how to hook up the solar panels. But first to start please take a moment and watch this review video I did on the Titan. I don’t go over things in quite as much detail as I will here, but you will get to actually see what I will be talking about in this article.
Okay now that you have watched the video let’s get into the nitty gritty of this review!
The Titan VS. Gas Generators
Depending on the size of the kit you get (see PoweredPortableSolar.com) the Titan compares to a 2,000 to 3,000 watt gas or propane generator as far as the amount of watts you can draw from it. The advantage the Titan has over them however is that it can handle a surge up to 6,000 watts if you have at least two batteries. That kind of a surge could stop a gas or propane generator of a similar wattage size.
The ability to handle surges like that helps out a lot when you are plugging devices in that have higher wattage usage during starting than they do once they are running, such as a refrigerator or a freezer. The other advantage the Titan has compared to gas or propane generators is there is no fuel to store. As long as you have some sun, you can generate power and charge the batteries.
The disadvantage is that with a solar generator you are limited to how many solar panels you have for charging the generator. And during non peak sunlight hours and cloudy days the panels won’t produce power at full capacity. This is why I like the idea of having a gas generator as well. Then as you will see in the below video, you can recharge the Titan in about 3 or 4 hours and then switch back to using the Titan the rest of the day.
What Devices Will The Titan Solar Generator Run?
This is the all important question everyone wants to know. With the Titan if you have just one battery then the total wattage draw from the devices you plug into it needs to be less than 2,000 watts. If you have two or more batteries then you want to limit the devices to draw less than 3,000 watts. I never recommend maxing a system out. So then it follows that you need to know what the devices you want to use during an emergency draw in watts.
For example to continuously light a 60 watt light bulb, the light bulb draws 60 watts of power; hence the name. My cell phone and tablet both draw around 10 to 15 watts to charge. My laptop draws around 25 or so as I recall. In the above video I plug some other electronic devices into the Titan and test what they draw so that you can get an idea on different types of devices.
Since the Titan can draw up to 6,000 watts (if you have at least two batteries) on a surge of power, you don’t really need to worry about the starting wattage draw from items (within reason).
So to plan what the Titan will run for you in your situation you simply identify the watts drawn by all of the essential items you want to run, and limit yourself to less than 2,000 watts if you have one battery. Or less than 3,000 watts if you have at least 2 batteries. I hope that this all makes sense. If not maybe watch that video again and you will get a better idea of the types of wattage things use when running.
The other thing to consider is how long each battery will last. This will also effect how many items you want to plug into the Titan. Each Titan batter is rated for 2,000 watt hours, which means the battery will drain completely out of power in one hour if you are using exactly 2,000 watts during that hour.
Likewise if it is daytime, you can be charging your Titan as you use it. This means that whatever wattage of power your solar panels receive from the sun, this will offset the power you are using.
So for example lets say you have enough solar panels and sunlight to generate 1,500 watts of power while you have enough devices plugged into your Titan to draw about 1,500 watts. In this scenario you would not be using your batteries at all because you are bringing in enough power to offset what you are using.
Here is a great video explaining this input and output relationship of this solar generator. This is a video by Ben of PoweredPortableSolar.com showing how his family runs their small off grid cabin full time with the Titan.
How To Operate The Titan Solar Generator
When take a look at the front of the Titan Solar Generator, you can notice that there are at least two parts. The first is the power module or inverter. This is the top part with the 120 volt AC outlets on the front of it. And the section(s) just below that, having handles, is the battery or batteries. You can add pretty much as many of these stack-able batteries as you would like. And obviously the more you add, the taller the titan will be.
Inside the top section, the power module, is a 3,000 watt inverter. That is pretty much the best in the industry at the moment, as far as portable backup generators go. Next, on the left, is a 3 option power button. The middle option turns the unit off meaning the power module is completely disconnected from the batteries.
Turning the switch up powers up both the AC ports and the DC ports. And finally with the switch in the down position, only the DC ports are live.
The 4 round ports that look like car cigarette lighters are the DC ports. The Titan comes shipped with 4 male adapters that have both USB-A and USB-C ports in them. These adapters fit into the 4 DC ports. The cigarette-like DC ports themselves can have devices plug into them (things designed to plug into a cigarette lighter) as well. The four DC ports allow you to draw up to 20 amps between them. If you accidentally go above that and you overload the DC bank, you can reset them with the button in the center just above them.
Next, just below the DC ports, are the two banks of 3 AC 120 volt outlets. Normal electrical devices can be plugged into these outlets just like you would plug them into the outlets on the wall of your home. Computer surge protector type extension cords, the type with multiple additional AC outlets on them, can also be plugged into the Titan so that you can plug more devices into each bank. Your only limitation is that each bank of 3 AC outlets on the Titan is limited to 15 amps. If you accidentally overload either AC bank you can easily reset each with a reset button that sits just above each bank of AC outlets.
The last plug or port is the RV plug for powering up your RV. It is placed on the far right side of the front panel of the Titan. This plug allows you to draw up to 30 amps which is currently the best on the market. Above center of both the AC and DC ports is a reset button that resets all of them including the RV port.
First, on the left of the display is a picture of a battery showing how many amp hours (Ah) remain in the battery. That is a really handy thing to know. It also shows (shaded in the battery) how fully charged the battery is. Next the up or down arrows next to the amp hours tell whether you are bringing in more energy by charging, than you are using, or visa versa, by whether the arrows are pointing up or down.
The big number “94%” in the right top of the screen tells you the percentage the battery is charged. Below that where is says “92:29” tells you the number of hours you have left before the battery is drained at your current usage. Or if you are charging more than you are using, the number displays how long you have before the batteries will be fully charged.
Along the bottom of the screen it shows the net watts, volts and amps you are coming into or out of the system. In other words if you are charging more watts than you are using, that number will subtract the power coming in from the power going out and give you a negative number. If you are using more power than coming in by charging it will still do the math and show you the difference as a positive number. It is a really handy dandy display screen.
Charging Port Side Of Titan
This is the side of the Titan Solar Generator where you can plug into it things to charge or power it. Starting from the left there are the two ports for the solar panels to plug into. The next port to the right are two ports for plugging in the two AC chargers that come with the unit (for plugging into an outlet in the wall of your home).
Third from the left allows you to charge the Titan using the cigarette lighter in your car. The Titan comes with a cord that plugs into this port that also has an adapter that plugs into a cigarette lighter on the other end.
The final port on the right allows you to attach other batteries made for other devices as long as the voltage is compatible with the Titan system. If they are, then you can attach those kinds of batteries through this port.
Hooking Up The Solar Panels
The amount of solar panels that come with the Titan Solar Generator depend on which Titan kit you purchase. The largest kit has 20 100 watt solar panels. The maximum wattage you can charge the Titan with is 2,000 watts from solar panels. You can however add pretty much as many of the stack-able Titan batteries to this system that you want to.
On the back of each of the solar panels you will see two cords. One cord has a male end and the other cord has a female end. To connect them together all you do is hook the female end of one panel to the male end of the other panel. Then you continue doing this on down the line to create a series. Once you are done you will be left with one male and one female connector on either end of your series of panels. You then connect each of these connectors to cords, and then into a wire that connects to the Titan. If sun is hitting your panels, then you are charging the generator. It is super simple.
Solar Panel Stands
Most people don’t want to just lean their solar panels up against the south side of your home, but you certainly can. Most prefer having a stand for the panels. Since the sun moves, having a stand will help you maximize the available sun throughout the day. This could be crucial in an emergency if you are relying on your solar generator for power.
In this below video it shows a simple inexpensive way to build a strong but light weight stand that will do a great job with these panels. Please take a moment to watch this video.
So compared to every other backup solar generator I have seen the Titan Solar Generator is the best on the market. It has a stronger inverter, better AC, DC & RV port amp use allowances. And the company does not inflate the capacity of its batteries like some of their competitors.
I think you should have a gas generator too, but I feel the Titan is a Emergency preparedness necessity. What better fuel source can you use than sunlight? There is nothing to store. And from my tests the Titan is strong and runs the devices within its limits just like they were plugged into an outlet in your home. I really like the Titan.
In the below video Ben shows the largest Titan kit and how to assemble it.
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