Think of a chaotic world where the grid is down and essential supplies are unavailable.
Now that’s not so hard to imagine, is it?
When you have to ride out an emergency from your apartment, having a reliable power source within reach is a must. Beating the darkness and keeping the food fresh in your home is a necessity for survival.
I have been using portable generators of all types for camping trips and general off-grid use for years. But while choosing indoor generators for apartments, you need to think differently.
When you think of generators, the first thing that comes to mind is a noisy gas-powered device. But those devices aren’t a safe choice for indoor operation. So, we have included battery-based devices in our list only.
To help you choose, we have reviewed 12 top indoor power generators that are the best options for disaster survival.
And after sifting through tons of data and a long debate with our experts, the EcoFlow Delta 1300 has emerged as the best generator for apartments.
So let’s get the ball rolling.
12 Best Indoor Generators for Apartments
What We Like
Honestly, the Ecoflow delta is loaded with so many top-grade features that it’s hard to figure out where to start.
The most popular feature of this battery-powered generator is its superfast charging speed. The patented X-Stream Fast Charge technology charges the battery from 0% to 80% in one hour. The total charging time is 2 hours.
So even if the effective hours of sunlight on a day is limited, you can still charge up the batteries for emergency backup. The shelf life of the battery when fully charged is one year.
The unit comes with 1260Wh battery capacity. That translates to 3300W of surge power and 1800 W of running power. To give you an idea, it can charge a 10W light for 36 hours.
It can easily operate indoor devices like freezers, coffee makers, washers, etc. Since it delivers a pure sine wave, you can charge sensitive electronic devices like laptops too.
It has 6 AC outlets and 6 USB outlets. You can charge 13 devices simultaneously. Moreover, the device can get charged and charge other equipment at the same time.
For charging, you can use the supplied AC or car charging cable. Or else, you can connect it with a solar panel with up to 400 W solar input. That makes it a great choice for bug out locations as well.
In terms of safety, the device has overload protection and high/low-temperature protection.
At this price, we also feel that the device offers excellent value.
What Needs Improvement
As with all lithium-ion batteries, the battery capacity of the Delta will drop with time. Ecoflow mentions that the battery capacity will drop to 60% after 800 charge cycles which is on the lower side. That said, you will easily get a few years of service until the battery capacity drops.
Last but not least, the battery efficiency is around 58%. That doesn’t make it the most efficient unit in the market.
The high output and seriously fast charging capacity make the Ecoflow Delta our numero uno choice in this category. We have no second thoughts about recommending it.
What We Like
The Bluetti AC200P is a 2000W solar generator that came close to being our top choice but lost out by a whisker.
One of the best features of this generator is the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery. Even after 3500 charge cycles, it retains 80% of the charge capacity.
Additionally, LiFePO4 batteries also have a better discharge and charge efficiency than lithium-ion batteries.
The battery recharge time is around 4 hours from a 700W solar panel. With an AC adapter, it’s close to 6 hours.
With a capacity of 2000Wh, the generator offers enough power for running all indoor gadgets. The surge power capacity is 4800W.
Not to forget, you get simultaneous charging and discharging.
Connectivity options are more than sufficient. The AC200P has four USB-A ports and one USB-C port. There are six 120V AC outlets and a 12V DC port as well.
Beyond that, there are dual wireless charging pads on the top.
In terms of design, the unit comes with a durable ABS body and rubberized feet. Setting up the device is simple and you can even run it in Eco mode to save power. The touch-controlled LCD control panel is a smart addition.
What about safety features?
The device comes with a battery management system, along with short circuit protection, and temperature control.
What Needs Improvement
When it comes to charging time, the AC200P is slower than the Ecoflow Delta. We wish that the solar charging time was faster.
Next, the unit weighs 60.6 pounds. While the aluminum handle feels durable, it’s not easy to move it around.
Other than that, the device gets a bit noisy when the load exceeds 1500W. Nevertheless, it’s quieter than standard fuel generators.
With a premium-quality battery and a rugged design, the AC200P offers a high power output that’s good enough for an apartment. Go for it if you have the budget.
What We Like
If you want a compact generator that delivers reliable service, the iGen600s is a great choice.
Admittedly, it doesn’t offer the highest power output in this category. The peak power output is 1200W and the running output is 600W.
However, that’s a compromise you have to make while picking an affordable generator without sacrificing performance.
That said, the power delivery isn’t too bad either. For instance, it can easily charge a mini-fridge up to 42 times or a 3-inch LED TV for 11 hours. The pure sine wave output makes it safe for charging laptops and smartphones.
You can use an AC outlet, a car charger, or a solar panel to charge the lithium-ion battery. The average charging time can be between 7 to 10 hours.
As for connectivity, the iGen600 has four USB ports including two Quick Charge USB 3 ports. In addition, there are two AC outlets and one DC outlet.
Moreover, at 1.3 pounds, it’s one of the lightest generators in the market. If you need to head out for your bug out location, carrying this compact generator is a breeze.
This is one of the quietest generators that we tested. It’s nothing less than whisper quiet.
Westinghouse has added plenty of safety features as well. There’s over-voltage, overload, and short circuit protection.
At this price, the iGen600 offers excellent value.
What Needs Improvement
On the downside, if your power demands are higher, this isn’t the right generator for you.
Also, the battery life is good but not the best in this category. The shelf life at full charge is limited too.
When it comes to offering the right balance of price and performance, the iGen600 portable indoor generator is a winner. Note, this model is also available in other capacities. So you can pick as per your wattage requirement
What We Like
If you’re always running short of battery capacity, this model deserves a closer look. With a battery delivering 3,032 Watt-Hours, the Yeti 3000X is one of the high-capacity generators from Goal Zero.
Without a doubt, versatility is one of the strengths of this product. You can charge almost anything with it, ranging from power tools, pellet grills, and refrigerators.
Charging can be done by pairing it with a compatible solar panel. Or else, you can use the supplied 230W power AC wall charger, or the 12V car charging cable.
A Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) charge controller optimizes the charging time.
For connectivity, you get seven types of output ports with four USB ports. The integrated inverter delivers a pure sine wave and is equipped with a surge protector.
What about safety?
Suffice to say, there are multiple layers of safety features to ensure safe operation.
Apart from the features, the LCD panel also lets you know the remaining battery percentage. Based on the devices connected the remaining hours to full charge is also displayed.
A cool feature that is super helpful for the users.
The build quality is solid, and users have marked this as a bulletproof device. But at 70 pounds this is a super heavy unit.
Thankfully, Goal Zero has added a wheeled roll-cart along with telescopic handles to improve portability.
Lastly, the generator comes with a 2 year warranty. The Goal Zero customer service is one of the best. So you can depend on the reliability of the product.
What Needs Improvement
Here’s the thing.
Goal Zero mentions that the battery capacity will reduce to 80% after 500 life cycles. That isn’t enough compared to the competition.
To be fair, 500 full charges and discharges are good enough unless you use the generator really hard.
That brings us to the high price tag of the device. We suggest you pick it only if you live in a zone that’s prone to natural disasters.
The Yeti 3000X is one of the best products from Goal Zero that offers superior technology and a bulletproof design. But, be ready to pay the high price for the extreme reliability.
What We Like
The Ego Nexus is a portable power station that delivers a maximum output of 2000W of continuous power and 3000W of peak power.
What makes it stand out?
The first thing that strikes you is the robust design that looks and feels tough. The button layout makes it easy to use and the LCD screen offers a high resolution.
Under the hood, there’s a flexible system that allows you to use between one to four 56V Ego batteries. The product comes with two 7.5Ah batteries.
Depending on the type of battery you choose ( 2.5 Ah, 5Ah, 7.5 Ah, or 10 Ah) the output will vary. The best part is, you can mix and match batteries of different capacities.
By configuring the battery capacity, you can power most indoor devices like refrigerators, ovens, and even power tools with the Nexus.
The other advantage of external batteries is, you can keep extra battery packs as backups. All EGO Arc Lithium batteries are engineered for optimized power output and durability.
With the Ego App, you can also control the device remotely. And yes, it offers a pure sine wave output.
The device comes with a charging cable and you can also use an Ego solar panel charger for the purpose.
The generator has three 120V A/C Outlets and four USB ports. You get detailed information like the remaining battery capacity and charging time.
Note, the weight without the battery is around 30 lbs. So, it’s not crazy heavy either
What Needs Improvement
Coming to the downsides, a big drawback of the Nexus is simultaneous charging and discharging aren’t possible.
Also, charging the batteries through the power cable or a solar panel takes a long time. For larger 7.5 Ah batteries it can take as long as 14 hours.
At present you can only connect 180 watts of solar panels to the units. Now that’s a letdown.
If you prefer the flexible design, the Ego power station Nexus is a great pick for indoor use. Moreover, with firmware updates, the system can get even better in future.
What We Like
With a sleek design and orange and gray shades, the Explorer 1000 is one of the most attractive-looking generators you can pick.
And it has plenty of great features as well.
To start with, there’s 1000W of running power and 2000W of surge power. While it’s not enough for power-hungry devices, it’s good enough for powering laptops and iPads for hours. The pure sine wave inverter makes it safe for delicate appliances.
In addition, the generator has a built-in MPPT charge controller. You can connect it with two SolarSaga 100W solar panels for charging. The charging time can be around 10 to 14 hours based on solar intensity.
You can use a standard wall charger for charging it up too. The time needed is 8 hours.
There are plenty of outlets as well. You get three pure sine wave AC outlets, one DC carport, two USB-C, and two USB ports.
The LCD display offers loads of information including charge level, incoming power, and outgoing power.
Apart from a battery management system, Jackery has also added over-voltage and short circuit protection. With a weight of just 22 lbs. the portability isn’t bad either.
Excluding the solar panels, the Explorer 1000 will cost you around $1 per Wh. That makes it a competitive choice in the market.
What Needs Improvement
The slow charging speed is one aspect that could have been better. The Explorer 1000 falls short of its competitors here.
Moreover, the unit gets a bit noisy when the fan kicks in. If you’re looking for whisper-quiet performance, look elsewhere.
Overall, the Explorer 1000 is a reliable generator that delivers what it’s designed for. You can count on it to light up your apartment during emergencies.
6 More Generators for Apartments: Reviewed
If you’re looking for a small and affordable indoor generator, the Ecoglow River Flow is worth a closer look. It offers 720 Wh of battery capacity, which can be expanded to 1440Wh.
More clearly, the running capacity is 600W while the surge capacity is 1200W. So it’s not meant for running heavier appliances.
As expected, the EcoFlow X-Stream technology ensures a super-fast charging speed of 0% to 80% in just one hour. The total charging time is less than two hours. With 110W solar panels, you can fully charge the battery within 5 to 8 hours.
Go for it if you’re looking for a super portable device that offers solid performance.
This is a well-engineered generator from Anker that’s great for powering devices that need less than 500 W. That also makes it a great travel companion.
With the MPPT technology, the generator also supports maximum recharging efficiency. By using the 120W DC input and USB-C input together, you can charge it up within 5 hours. With a 120W solar panel, the charging time is between 8 to 12 hours.
In spite of a lightweight design, the build quality is top-notch. There are eleven outputs to power multiple devices. The detailed LCD display is one of the best in class.
While it’s pricey, the generator is a great choice if you are looking for an easy-to-use device to tackle an outage.
With a capacity of 2kWh and rated power of 2400W, the Delta Max can easily power up heavy devices. If that’s not enough, turn on the X-boost to power up to 3400W appliances.
Beyond that, you can expand the capacity by adding extra batteries.
The X-stream technology provides high recharging speeds like 0% to 80% in 65 minutes. Combining AC and solar charging is possible as well. It supports 800 W solar panels.
There are multiple charging ports to support a wide range of appliances. In addition, you can monitor the performance and the energy usage by using the Ecoflow app.
The Delta Max comes with a high price tag. But if you need enough backup power to support your personal and professional needs, it’s a good choice.
The Yeti 600X is a feature-laden generator that comes with the excellent reliability and usability that one expects from Goal Zero products. In terms of capacity, it delivers 2000W of running power and 3500 W of surge power.
In reality, this beast can power a full-size refrigerator for 85 hours and a microwave for 6 hours. On top of that, you get a high-quality battery and multiple safety features. But with a weight of 106 lbs., it’s super heavy.
The 6000X is compatible with a solar panel and comes with an integrated MPPT charge controller. However, the charging time is on the higher side- anywhere between 18 to 36 hours.
The Yeti 6000x packs a punch and is a dependable source for all your power needs. On the downside, the high price tag will burn a hole in your pocket.
This is an affordable and reliable mini generator from Flashfish that offers 300W of continuous power and 350W of peak power. With a compact size and a weight of 5.6 lbs., it’s also a good choice for outdoor trips.
The device can be charged in three different ways, including the use of a solar panel. Other charging options include a wall outlet and a 12V car socket.
It also has safety features like over-voltage protection, short circuit protection, and overheat protection.
In short, this is a great choice if you want a battery that can be easily carried from room to room to charge small devices. And the pure sine wave output makes it perfect for small appliances
The EB70 from Bluetti has a 716Wh battery capacity and 700W of rated power. The premium-grade LiFePO4 battery also comes with an efficient battery management system. The battery life is on the higher side and is rated for 2700 cycles.
Since it comes with MPPT technology, the unit can be charged by a 200W solar panel within 4 hours. There are plenty of outlets including four 110V AC outlets and four USB ports for charging multiple devices.
The EB70 is a great choice when you are looking for a reliable and portable power station. And considering the price, it offers the right bang for your buck.
Benefits of Buying an Apartment Generator
We already know this…
The aging power grid is finding it hard to battle those crippling superstorms and devastating wildfires. With the average duration of power interruptions rising, you need an insurance policy in the form of a backup generator.
Quite simply, when disaster strikes, you don’t want to be caught unprepared.
Question: What if you have plans to move to a bug out location during an emergency?
Well, in some scenarios, that might not be possible. And if you can’t move out, you need to be prepared for long-term urban survival.
Now, residential backup generators are designed to restore power supply automatically. They are connected to the electrical system. But in case of a prolonged disaster, such large systems may fail to operate.
To tackle emergencies, a portable battery unit with a solar charger or a reliable solar generator is an effective device for your apartment. These independent systems are easy to use and don’t depend on the grid or a fuel source to function. Also, they are flexible devices suitable for multiple applications.
Here are some of the main benefits of a backup apartment generator.
- An apartment generator can help you to maintain the right level of comfort and safety during a disaster. That gives you the necessary peace of mind during emergencies.
- A generator will deliver a quick supply of power during a blackout. This allows you to use the necessary appliances like refrigerators, televisions, heating and cooling systems, etc. On the other hand, you can choose a smaller device that operates just the critical appliances.
- Apartment generators come in various sizes. This allows you to choose the right model based on your needs and budget.
- Battery-based generators are emission and noise-free. This makes them the right choice for indoor use.
Safety Tips for Indoor Generators
No matter the type of generator you’re using, you can’t cut corners when it comes to safety.
Here’s the point.
It’s important that you get familiar with the working mechanism of a generator before using it. Make sure to read the safety instructions mentioned by the manufacturer and note the operating conditions of the device.
In case you’re using a gas-powered generator, never use it in enclosed spaces. Ideally, such generators should be placed at least 20 feet away from your home. However, that will not be possible in an apartment.
Other than that, there are some general safety tips that should be followed while using battery-operated indoor generators.
- Don’t operate a generator by placing it on a wet surface or with water around it. Make sure to store it in a dry space. As a general precaution, don’t touch generators with wet hands as this can lead to an electrical shock.
- Always plug-in appliances directly into a generator. If you need to use an extension cord, make sure it’s a heavy-duty one. Also, the cord should be free from any damage or cuts. And remember, running the cords under rugs or carpets can lead to overheating and fire hazards.
- Don’t overload the generator by running appliances that require more power than the unit’s rated wattage. If the device doesn’t have a overload protector, you might end up damaging it.
- Never operate the generator in any place where it can get extremely hot. Also, keep it away from flammable objects. Unless it comes with a weatherproof rating, avoid exposing the device to moisture, dirt, and fumes.
What Kind of Generator Works Best in Apartments?
When it comes to choosing generators for apartments, it’s best to pick battery-operated models. While gas generators are relatively cheaper, we wouldn’t recommend them for home use. They work best as outdoor generators.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons behind that.
- When you’re tackling an emergency scenario you can’t depend on the supply of gas for your power needs. During a large-scale utility shut off, the local gas stations will run out of supply. In such scenarios, solar power-based devices are a better option.
- Whenever you are using gas, there are emissions. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be a deadly side effect of burning gas in an enclosed space. Running such a generator even in partially enclosed spaces like a balcony isn’t risk-free. On the other hand, battery-operated devices deliver clean power and can be used in small rooms and enclosed spaces.
- Unlike gas generators, batteries are maintenance-free. You don’t need to change oils or filters.
- Storing gasoline or propane in an apartment needs additional safety measures. Gasoline can also break down after some period. So it needs to be replaced periodically.
- Noise is another side effect of gas generators. And trust me, you don’t want to attract attention by using a noisy generator when the world has descended into chaos. A silent battery generator is a much safer choice.
Note, you can always supplement a generator with other products like emergency candles or kerosene heaters. That will help you to extend the generator’s runtime during power outages.
How Much Does an Apartment Generator Cost?
A battery generator can cost anywhere between $200 to $6000. And when you consider the expense in terms of dollars-per-watt-hour, it can range from $0.80/Wh to $1.3 /Wh.
That said, battery generators don’t come with portable solar panels. To make it a self-sufficient unit for tackling disasters, you need to invest in the panels too.
It goes without saying that the upfront cost of a battery backup unit is higher. But you don’t have to bear the cost of fuel.
The price depends largely on the battery size and capacity. With a higher power output, the price will be high too. That means you need to fix your budget based on your power requirements.
In addition, there are other factors like battery technology, advanced features, and reliability.
What Size Generator Do I Need For My Apartment?
Estimating generator size might seem tricky. But in reality, it’s not so difficult.
When you’re asking about generator size, what you actually want to know is the wattage requirement for your apartment. The amount of power delivered is measured in Watts.
If you pick a small generator and overload it, it will either overheat or shut off. If you choose a unit larger than your requirements, you are simply wasting money.
That said, it’s always a good idea to pick a generator with a higher capacity than your exact needs. Battery power is something we never seem to have enough of.
Now, let’s look into the concept of running watts and starting or surge watts.
The running wattage is the steady supply of electricity that’s needed to keep a device running.
But during the startup period of an electric motor or compressor, the current that flows through it is much higher. This tapers off as the motor reaches full speed. Generally, the power requirement can be three to five times higher in this period.
The surge wattage of a generator is the maximum power it can deliver to meet the startup requirement. The generator can only deliver that high wattage for a few seconds.
For example, a large refrigerator might need 700 Watts for running. However, the additional power requirement during startup can be as high as 2200 Watts.
In case you can’t find the starting watts for a device, consider it 3x the running/rated watts.
Let’s consider the above refrigerator again. The generator that delivers 2300 watts at peak and 800 watts of continuous power will be a good fit.
Likewise, add up the starting and running wattage of all the appliances that you plan to use. That way you will get an estimate of the surge and running wattage of the generator you need.
Devices like lights, televisions and smartphones have no peak demands. You can use their running wattage to calculate the peak power requirement of the generator.
So have we got that straight?
Now, if you’re not confident about your estimate, use a reliable wattage calculator. Otherwise, take help from a qualified electrician.
Being faced with a SHTF situation and getting stuck in your apartment is a tough ordeal. Having a reliable source of power with you is a must in that situation..
A battery generator offers clean energy along with a hassle-free performance. And once you team it up with a solar charging unit, you have a long term solution for your emergency power needs.
Out of the long list of generators for apartments we have chosen the Ecoflow Delta 1300 as our top pick. It comes with an advanced battery design and offers solid reliability. The super-fast charging speed is the cherry on the top.
It’s down to you.