I am looking at solar powered generators. What would they power in a normal summer?
That varies with the generator, and how many watt-hours of power it gives you. This will dictate what you can run, and for how long. For example, if your generator provided 800 to 1,000 watt-hours of juice daily, you could power a stereo for a few hours, plus charge a laptop and a cellphone, and run a few low-wattage lights during the evening hours. With 2,000 to 3,000 watt-hours daily, you could run another four or five lights, plus a water pump, a blender, and a TV.
To calculate how much power you’ll need, check your appliances: Each device should say how many watts it uses. Then, multiply that number by the amount of hours, roughly, that the appliance is turned on in one day. For example, a 100-watt light bulb, turned on for three hours, would eat up 300 watt-hours per day; a 60-watt light bulb, on the other hand, would use only 180 watt-hours. (That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to use high-efficiency, low-wattage lighting at the cottage.) Add up the watt-hour requirements for every device you hope to run to get your average daily demand. Then, it’s time to go generator shopping!