Beware of the all in one solar generator boxes. These products are mass produced in China. Two of the most popular are Goal Zero and Humless, although there are many others. What I mean by all in one box is that they put all of the components (pure sine wave power inverter, solar charge controller, and battery) into the smallest box that they will fit into. Some may see this as a convenience, but there is an inherent danger here.
According to manufacturer specifications for the pure sine wave inverter, solar charge controller, and especially the battery is that they are to have adequate space, ventilation and must be mounted correctly. Electronic components heat up when they are in use, if you don't have enough space and proper ventilation these components become hot and can either burn up or malfunction. This is especially true for the battery whether it is an AGM or lithium ion. The battery is where your energy is stored. This is why Grid Eraser has a large steel power supply cabinet which provides more than adequate space for each component, but we also have numerous ventilation ports so that there is abundant air flow.
Compounding this problem is that these mass produced boxes in China utilize very thin wiring for the components, typically 12-14 gauge but sometimes 16 gauge. Here at Grid Eraser we use 1/O gauge for our pure sine wave inverter and our AGM solar battery, and 8 gauge for the solar charge controller. The lower gauge in wire is the thickest, while the higher gauge is the thinnest. You need the thickest copper wire possible because this is how energy flows between the components. Thin wire can melt easy, especially in a small confined space that is being heated up by the components.
Most of these all in one boxes have an A/C charger included. This is because they want you to recharge it by plugging into your wall A/C outlet. They know that their small panels will take 3-5 days to recharge the battery. By plugging into your wall you are defeating the purpose of the solar generator. At Grid Eraser our solar panels and solar arrays charge our units in 4-6 hours.
A quote posted on our YouTube page about a solar generator purchased from Solutions from Science aka My Solar Backup. "I purchased a Powersource 1800 and never used it. I kept it plugged in all the time and when I moved it and re-plugged it in it sparked and caught on fire within the circuit board."
There are also a number of competitors that take the all in one solar generator box a step further, and not in a good way. They actually put all the components encased behind the solar panel. So, now you have all the problems mentioned above plus now these components are exposed outside with the panel. In this day and age everyone's summer is hot and lasts longer than it used to - Climate Change. You never want electronics and batteries to be sitting outside in the sun and heat.
This is why we at Grid Eraser believe that our (solar generator) solar power system is the best on the market. In our 7 years we have put a lot of thought into design - form and function, and I believe that it shows. We have never had a failure in the field. And if a component were to fail at some point years down the road, you can replace that component. You do not need to buy a whole new system unlike our competitors. Don't purchase a trinket, buy a real "workhorse" solar system that provides power to real world devices and appliances.