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Is Patriot Solar Generator Worth It?

Solar power generators are highly useful energy insurance devices that come in handy when dealing with all types of emergencies, especially those related to power outages from the power grid.

These generators are a great way to ensure you always stay connected to a constant stream of power. It is essential for those of us who live off-the-grid, live in disaster-prone areas, or just want to keep our families completely covered during any type of emergency.

In light of this, choosing the right solar power generator can be burdensome due to the wide array of choices available in the marketplace. These include various solar power stations, solar generators, and even portable solar generators. In addition, the type of solar generator which is right for you depends on several aspects unique to you, your home, and your family. 

The Patriot Power 1800 generator is now available in the market. It is a great addition to the generator market, particularly since it is solar-powered and therefore perfect for people who want to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint.

But now, there is an even more powerful option than this, and it's called the Patriot Power 1800 generator. It promises to be a "bigger and better" product than 1500, and by most accounts, it does pack quite a punch. 

You may be looking at the Patriot 1800 solar generator, thinking that it sounds like a perfect fit for your needs. Are you looking for emergency backup power? Need to run things in the RV? Want something portable that is easy to use? Sadly, the Patriot 1800 doesn't do as much as most people think.

Seeing the number "1800" makes people think it must have a huge battery or large inverter which is capable of running everything they need. People get excited because it comes with a 100-watt solar panel, flashlight, small battery pack, booklets, food, and other small knick-knacks. But here are patriot solar generator reviews

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4Patriots is the brand behind the Patriot Power Generator 1800. The brand itself is a well-known manufacturer of survival food kits and self-reliance equipment. While they are not a specialized solar company, their Patriot Power Generator 1800 has proven to be a fairly popular item.

While it remains an expensive solar generator, the truth is the Patriot Power Generator first launched over five years ago. Given how quickly solar technology improves, five years is quite a long time, which is why it is worth taking an in-depth look at this unit's internal components to see how they stack up to some of the other solar generators out there.

Frequently Asked Questions About Patriot Power Generator 1800

Despite 1800 in its title, the storage capacity of the included battery is far from large. The estimated watt-hours of a fully charged Patriot power generator is a mere 650wH. Although its 12-volt lithium iron phosphate battery is very high quality, the capacity is simply too low to ignore.

According to the manufacturer, the Patriot 1800 supposedly has 2,500 life cycles, though that's obviously quite hard to test out anytime soon. In theory, this means that you could use this product every single day for almost seven years before you would need a replacement.

Solar generators are best used for charging devices and running small appliances. They're a great source of backup power for a boating or RV camping trip because of their portability, plus they're clean and don't require you to keep lots of fuel on hand.

When you get power from a solar generator, you're harnessing the sun's energy for free instead of using costly fossil fuels. Moreover, you can continue to get free energy from the sun for the lifetime of the solar panels you're using, which is usually between 25 and 35 years.

Not only that, but it can actually put out 30 amps of power which no other portable solar generator in the world is capable of doing. This means you could connect it directly to your RV/Travel Trailer, and it will run everything just like you were at home.

The Patriot Power Generator 1800

The Main Features of the Patriot Power 1800 Solar Generator

First of all, let's discover some of the many advantages of the all-new 1800 solar-powered generator. They include:

  • It is 100% fume-free
  • It is portable and lightweight at only 40 pounds
  • It is powered by the sun and not gas or diesel
  • It is safe to use even when it's indoors
  • It comes with a 100-watt solar panel and a free gift package
  • It is powerful enough to run heavy-duty devices such as your refrigerator
  • It can be relied on for 2500+ life cycles
  • It comes with a safe lithium-ion phosphate battery
  • It comes ready to be used immediately — it is even fully charged

Battery Capacity

When you see the name "Patriot 1800", you may think it comes with a large 1,800wh battery. It does not. The battery is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) which is a very good thing, but it is definitely not 1,800wh. It's not even half of that. The battery is only 690wh.

Technically speaking, the battery is 768wh, but it says in the user manual that only 90% of the battery is used. 768wh x 90% = 691.2wh.

The battery that was on the Patriot 1500 was only 500wh. This is one thing that can be found in their sales pitch: the new Patriot 1800 has a battery that is 28% larger than the previous model! Well, when the first model was a small battery, to begin with, adding 28% wasn't a very big deal.

To put it into perspective, a 690wh battery will run a standard fridge for about 6 to 9 hours. Not even a full day. The Patriot 1500 model would only run a standard fridge for about 4 to 7 hours. The 1800 model is better than the 1500 model, but it is still very low.

You probably need to run more than just one fridge during a power outage. It would help if you likely ran a freezer as well. In addition, you probably need to run phone chargers, laptop chargers, a few lights, and maybe a fan. Or, even more importantly, you may need to run medical equipment like a CPAP machine.

In truth, anything under 1,000Wh is fairly dated, especially when you are talking about a solar generator that is as large and as heavy as the Patriot Power Generator 1800.

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While the internal 12V LiFePo4 lithium-ion phosphate battery is made fairly high, the capacity falls short of the industry standard, which is somewhat unsurprising. 4Patriots has not updated the battery since it first released the unit.

If you plan to use your solar generator for backup power during power outages and emergencies, a high battery capacity is one of the most important attributes to look for. Simply put, a 652Wh battery is hardly going to be enough to run your electronics for any significant period, especially if you are looking to run multiple electronic devices.

To put things into perspective, a 652Wh deep cycle battery would struggle to power a standard refrigerator for much more than 5 hours, which is not much help if you are in a situation where the grid power is down for over a day.

Battery Shelf Life

One of the major downsides of the Patriot Power Generator is its unimpressive shelf life. Essentially, shelf life refers to the amount of time you can leave a battery charged before the power drains. While all batteries suffer from natural drain over time, some batteries are better than others at holding their charge. Therefore, shelf life is an incredibly important factor for those planning to use their solar generator as a source of backup or emergency power.

According to 4Patriots, the shelf life of the Patriot Power Generator is 6 months; however, most users find the actual shelf life is significantly less and comes closer to just a single month. Once again, this is simply a symptom of using a dated deep cycle battery. For comparison, most solar generators you will find at this price point have a shelf life of closer to a year, with many lasting even longer. So, if you are looking for reliability, you will want to keep a keen eye on the shelf life of the internal battery in your chosen solar generator.

Charging Rate & Lifecycle

Another top-notch aspect associated with 4Patriot's power generator is its lifespan. The company claims their unit's solar panels and the battery can be discharged and charged continuously for up to 2,500 cycles. This longevity has put this solar generator among the top ones in its class.

Charging Capability

Despite the drawbacks of the battery capacity, this solar panel generator does not fare too bad when it comes to the speed while charging itself. This, of course, is another feature of this solar generator that inevitably adds value for its users. The Patriot Power Generator also boasts of fast charging feature useful for charging cell phones and laptops.

Low Solar Input

Most people don't understand that one of the main features to look into on a solar generator is how much power it can make from solar. Now, this isn't your fault that it is hard to understand how much power can come from a solar panel and what that means. It's naturally hard to understand.

The Patriot 1800 comes with one 100-watt solar panel. That means that if the panel is plugged into the Patriot and is charging in perfect conditions (which never happens), the panel will make 100 watts of power per hour. Or in other words, it will make 100 watt-hours of power.

If the Patriot 1800 was at 0% and needed to be recharged and the panel was in perfect conditions, it would take 6.9 hours to recharge the battery. However, there are two big problems with that.

First, since perfect conditions are extremely rare, it will actually take more than 6.9 hours to charge. On a good clear day, the panel may make up to 75 watts of power per hour. At 75 watts per hour, it would actually take 9.2 hours to charge from 0% to 100%.

Not all solar panels are made equal. Many solar panels will only make 40% to 50% of their rated value which is horrible. Buying cheap panels will mean cheap results.

Output Ports

Aside from the low battery capacity, where the Patriot Power Generator falls short is the number and variety of output ports it offers. The Patriot 1800 features two AC wall-style outlets, a single DC 12V car-style output port, and four USB outputs. Unfortunately, while this may sound respectable at first glance, it is fairly dated.

More recent and updated solar generators almost always feature more output ports and newer options, like USB-C outputs. But, again, this is simply a result of the Patriot Power Generator not being updated in over five years. Given how quickly solar technology is advancing, it is surprising that the brand hasn't done more to keep up with technological improvements that are now becoming standard in the portable solar industry.

Solar Capabilities 

While you might assume that all solar generators are equally capable of storing solar power, the truth is several factors will determine how quickly and efficiently a solar generator can charge its internal battery with solar power.

For starters, the solar panels you choose to pair your solar generator with will play a significant role in determining overall performance—4Patriots packages the Patriot 1800 with a single 100W solar panel. Since solar panels have a power rating based on how well they perform during ideal conditions, this means that a fully drained Patriot Power Generator 1800 would take about 6 to 7 hours to recharge using the included solar panel. It also assumes that the solar panel would get at least six continuous hours of direct, peak-hour sunlight, which would not happen during a typical day.

Even on a sunny day, a single 100W solar panel would struggle to generate 75 watts per hour, which is why most people pair their solar generator with multiple 100W panels or a single solar panel with a higher power rating. However, the problem with the Patriot Power Generator is it has a maximum solar input of 240 watts, which means it cannot handle more than 240 watts at any given time. In other words, even if you wanted to add additional solar panels, you could only increase the charge rate by 140 watts, which is rather low, especially when compared to other solar generators at the same price range.

You Only Get Two 120-Volt Power Outlets.

With the Patriot 1800 generator, you only get two 120-volt power outlets. What does this mean in practical terms? Let's just say that you suffer a power outage and you know that you won't get your electricity back until several days from now.

You immediately scramble to start plugging in all of your important devices, but with only two standard outlets, you won't be able to plug in very many items.

One of the great things about having a solar generator is that when there is a power outage, one can be assured of charging their most important devices. To this effect, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 model does not fare too well. With only two 120 volt wall outlet plugs, it seems a bit minimal. One may want to plug in a fridge, mobile, laptop, lights, etc. 

The limited two outlets could be a turn-off for many hoping to buy a product that would be a lifesaver during emergencies. Of course, one could purchase an extra item such as a power strip, but it seems to be a moot point when you order a product that you expect to be fully equipped for emergencies.

On the upside, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 model comes with 4 USB outlets and 1 DC cigarette lighter outlet.

However, this generator does contain a total of four USB ports, which means that you can plug in smaller devices such as your cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Still, suppose you decide to plug in more than two devices. In that case, you'll have to use one of the power outlets to plug in a power strip, which seems a little unnecessary when you consider that including a few more power outlets on the generator is something that the company could've added with little effort.

Customer Service

4Patriots, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 model company, can be praised for having a customer service team who actually answered the phone. Many companies do not even bother to provide their customers with this necessity. Having said this, a brief look at the many complaints lodged against their customer service department concerning solar generators is unnerving. Apparently, those on the other line are totally incompetent when it comes to knowing the details of their products, especially of their Patriot Power Generators and their Patriot Power Sidekick brand.

Over-All Impression 

At first glance, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 seems like a capable solar generator. It has a built-in deep cycle battery, power inverter, MPPT charge controller, and several output ports; however, when you compare its actual specifications against other generators in its price range, the Patriot Power Generator falls short.

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There is much to say about this best-selling and industry-leading solar generator. Some are good, and some are bad, but overall this device would deserve a slightly above average score. In several aspects, the positive features that it has do outweigh the negative ones. For example, this solar generator can power up your refrigerator, freezer, medical devices, etc. It is also smoke or fume-free and has high quality and durable lithium-iron-phosphate battery renowned for its stability. 

The Patriot Power Generator can also handle upwards of 3,048 watts at peak power usage and a continuous rate of about 1,800 watts (hence the namesake). Having stated this, we believe that this handy device will surely be an asset worth holding on to when you so desperately need an emergency backup power in a worst-case scenario.

Despite its drawbacks, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 model still wins the race. As an old-fashioned American success story, 4Patriots, LLC is the epitome of a family-run business. The company literally began at a kitchen table in Nashville, Tennessee. The company wholeheartedly wants to create things that can really help regular people and give them real-life solutions to problems that might arise during emergencies. To this effect, they offer a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee which protects your Patriot power generator by a no-questions-asked policy. With this in mind, it is not difficult to see why many customers love and trust this company and its products.

But the important thing to remember when researching either of these generators is to compare them not only with each other but also with other brands of generators.

In addition to knowing beforehand which features are most important to you, that is the best way to determine if the Patriot 1800 is right for you.

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