Generark HomePower ONE review: After more than a month of use, I believe in the power of the Sun

Nothing is worse than being stuck in the dark following a power outage.

Generark Solar Generator

Generark Solar Generator

Nothing is worse than being stuck in the dark following a power outage, just watching the food in your fridge go bad while the battery on your phone dwindles away to nothing.

That’s where generators and backup power stations come in.

After growing up in the midwest and sitting through power outage after power outage due to bad weather, I always wanted a generator of my own so I wouldn’t have to deal with all that anymore. So I researched the different options on the market, and decided that a solar generator appealed to me the most. 

For the past couple weeks, I've been using the new Generark HomePower ONE – generously provided by Generark – and will recount my experience below.

Generark Solar Generator: An alternative to gas or diesel

Most of the large-scale generators out there are powered by gas or diesel fuel and can power up many of the devices in your home, if not the entire house. But these are big and heavy and can’t really be moved around very easily. They’re also super loud since they’re literally a running engine.

At the other end of the spectrum, portable battery backups can be used for smaller things, like to keep your phone charged for a day. These are easy to charge and can fit in your pocket, but they can’t really power much for very long.

But what about something in between? That’s where Generark’s flagship product, the HomePower ONE, comes into play.

Included with the Generark HomePower ONE ($999)

  • 1,002Wh portable battery backup station (HomePower ONE)
  • AC power adapter for charging
  • Car charging cable
  • Accessories bag

Unbox your HomePower ONE and you’ll find the portable power station itself, an AC power adapter so you can plug it into the wall and charge it, a car charging cable, and a bag to carry your accessories in. 

HomePower ONE: Backup Battery Power Station

HomePower ONE: Backup Battery Power Station

I know what you’re thinking: but wait, I thought this was a solar generator? It is! At least in the fact that it can be charged with solar power. Just not right out of the box – at least not on its own. You’ll need to purchase the SolarPower ONE ($299 each) solar panel(s) to go along with it to embrace the power of the Sun.  Personally, I used two SolarPower ONE panels for faster and more reliable charging, but more on that later.

Additionally, you can bundle the power station and panels to save money upfront. For a single person or a couple, the 1x2 Bundle ($1,499) is perfect and saves you nearly $100 versus buying everything separately. With this bundle, you’ll get (1) HomePower ONE and (2) SolarPower ONEs, and all the necessary cables and adapters. 

This is what the 1x2 bundle looks like: 

Generark Solar Generator

Generark Solar Generator

For the extra money, the solar panels are more than worth it. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a power outage with a power station that you can’t charge using an outlet since, well, the power is out. And without the solar panels, the Generark can’t be considered a generator, since that’s the only way it actually generates power on its own.

Generark HomePower ONE and SolarPower ONE Specs

It’s about to get a little technical here. But if you’re in the market for a generator, this is most of the information that you likely want to know about the power station and the solar panels:

HomePower ONE Specs:

  • Battery Capacity: 1,002Wh
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Battery Cycle Life: >500
  • 8mm DC Charging Port: 12-30V, 7.5A, 200W
  • Anderson Charging Port (for solar panels): 12-30V, 200W
  • (3) Pure Sine Wave AC Outputs: 110V, 60Hz
  • (2) USB-C Outputs: 18W
  • (1) USB-A Output: 5V/2.4A
  • (1) Quick Charge 3.0 Output
  • (1) Car Outlet: 12V/10A
  • Dimensions: 13.07”x9.15”x9.57” LxWxH
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F - 104°F (charging); 14°F - 104°F (discharging)

SolarPower ONE Specs (per panel, recall the bundle comes with two):

  • Solar Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Number of Cells: 32
  • Transformation Efficiency: >23.4%
  • Rated Power: 100W per panel
  • Open Circuit Voltage: 22.4V
  • Short Circuit Current: 5.73A
  • Maximum Power Voltage: 19.2V
  • Maximum Power Current: 5.41A
  • Dimensions (folded): 24”x21”x1.38” LxWxH
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 48”x21”x0.2” LxWxH
  • Weight: 9.1 pounds
  • Operating Temperature: 14°F - 149°F

Built-in protection

In addition to the specs, here are all the different types of protection built-in to both the generator and the solar panels:

HomePower ONE Built-in Protection: 

  • Over Charge Protection
  • Over Discharge Protection
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Over Current Protection
  • Over Voltage Protection
  • Over Temperature Protection

SolarPower ONE Built-in Protection: 

  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Over Power Protection
  • Surge Protection

My Experience with the Generark

I’ve had my HomePower ONE for a little over a month now and I have to say, it’s been a great experience overall. No issues so far, and it’s done everything that I’ve expected of it. This is an overview of how it’s gone so far for me.

How to charge the HomePower ONE

One of the biggest reasons to consider purchasing the Generark is because it can be charged relatively quickly in three different ways: plugging it into the wall outlet (~7 hours), using your car’s charging port (~14 hours), or with solar panels (~5-10 hours). 

The easiest way to charge it right out of the box is to just plug it into a normal wall outlet in your house or office. When you first get it, the battery has no charge, but the unit kicks on and begins charging immediately once you plug it in:

Generark HomePower ONE

Generark HomePower ONE

During my first charge, I just took the generator to the office with me and plugged it in at my desk. It ended up taking almost exactly 7 hours to go from 0% to 100%, just as advertised. This makes sense because it has ~145W input while charging and has a capacity of 1,000W. 

When I decided to charge it the next time, I tried out the solar panels to make sure they worked. I live in an apartment, so using the solar panels isn’t quite as easy for me as it would be for someone with a big yard. That said, I do have a balcony and just had to set up the panels during the time of day when the sun was on my side of the building.

The panels did exactly what they were supposed to do and harnessed the power of the sun to charge the unit back up. In full sunlight, they produce ~200W between the two of them. But with trees and clouds in the way, it ended up taking a little over 6 hours in total to fully charge it.

I haven’t used the car outlet to charge it yet since I made sure it was fully charged before I left the house on my trip (more on this trip shortly). 

What can you plug into it?

Refer to the specs above to see the various outputs the HomePower one has. But you can really plug just about anything into it that you can plug into a normal outlet in your house. As long as the device is rated for less than 1,000W, you should have no trouble powering it, at least for a bit of time.

One of the cool things about this generator is that you can even plug devices into it while it’s charging. For example, look at the picture below. I had it plugged into the wall (~146W input), and I plugged my phone into the Quick Charge port (~8W output):

Generark HomePower ONE

Generark HomePower ONE

Now imagine doing that while using the solar panels — infinite power!

How good is the battery?

The battery is lithium-ion type (similar to what’s used in Tesla cars) with a capacity of 1,002Wh. Fully charged, Generark claims that it can hold its charge for over a year, but recommends recharging it every 6 months for best practice.

Since I have only had mine for a little over a month and I was constantly using it, I can’t attest to that. But I can say that the times I left it alone fully-charged, it still had 100% charge when I went back to grab it. So in my limited experience, it holds its charge just fine.

How I used it

The most exciting thing about the Generark was that I could have a reliable source of backup power for when the electricity went out. My main goals were to be able to plug in basic things like my laptop, phone charger, and some lights.

Once I got mine fully charged, I tested it out to make sure everything worked as expected. I was able to plug multiple things into it and it handled everything just fine. It kept my laptop fully charged, brought my phone up to 100%, and powered a couple of lamps with no issues. 

Knowing it could easily handle this stuff alone made it worth the buy, since that’s what I wanted it for in the first place! But I soon realized that it was more versatile than just waiting for the power to go out. I had a trip to a cabin in the mountains planned for a couple weeks after it arrived, so I decided to bring the generator along to see what it could do for me.

My trip consisted of mostly relaxing in the cabin with my girlfriend, getting some work done, and going on hikes. I originally wanted to bring it on the hikes with me to give us power even at the top of the mountains, but quickly realized it was a bit too heavy for that. It’s fine for moving around the apartment and stuff like that, but carrying it on a long hike is not something you want to do!

At the cabin, however, there was no WiFi; great for disconnecting and relaxing, but terrible for getting work done. Having to use the hotspot on my phone, I just plugged that and my laptop into the generator and was able to get plenty of work done on the back porch even with no outlets out there. Score!

As luck would have it — maybe the generator gods were looking down on me — but a storm rolled through and the power in the cabin went out for about 4 hours. But since we had the Generark with us, we were able to just plug both of our phones in, my laptop, and two lamps and we were fine until the power came back on.

I would’ve loved to see how well it charged with the solar panels while it was cloudy during the storm, but didn’t want to put them outside like that. Even though they’re water-resistant, I wouldn’t recommend putting them outside in the rain!

Overall, my experience has been great. You would never think of the power going out in a cabin in the middle of nowhere as a good thing, but when I wanted to test the HomePower ONE out, I was strangely happy about it! And I was sure glad I decided to bring it with me!

HomePower ONE Pros

There are a lot of things about the HomePower ONE that I’m personally a big fan of. In my opinion, the biggest benefits of the Generark include:

  • Compact and lightweight (enough)
  • Multiple charging methods (including free power from the Sun)
  • Long-lasting power
  • Various AC and DC outputs
  • Power your devices while charging the unit
  • Compatible with most household devices
  • Safe for indoor use
  • 5-year warranty

Compared to other generators, especially the diesel and gas ones that are far more common, the Generark is compact and lightweight. Since it’s designed to be a portable power station, this is essential. Weighing in at 23 pounds, most people can lift it and move it around to where it’s needed.

With the three charging methods discussed above, it’s easy to make sure the Generark is always ready to go when you need it. And since it can store electricity for up to one full year, you don’t have to worry about it losing its charge in the meantime.

Since it has 8 high-power outputs of all sorts, you can plug in just about anything into it, from your smartphone to your refrigerator. It can even provide power to your devices while charging, so if you have the solar panels bringing in power from the Sun, you’ll have just about endless energy — at least during the day.

Unlike other types of generators, this one is entirely safe to use indoors. Since it’s just a battery backup and doesn’t release any harmful fumes or chemicals, there’s no risk to using it inside.  And to top it all off, the Generark comes with a 5-year warranty so you have nothing to worry about for the next half-decade. 

HomePower ONE Cons

As you can tell by now, I’m a pretty big fan of the HomePower ONE. That said, there are a couple of things that I didn’t love about it, even though they certainly aren’t deal breakers:

  • Solar panels are not included and add about 50% to the price of the generator
  • A bit too heavy for hikes or anyone one that’s more on the move

In my opinion, the biggest con is that the HomePower ONE on its own does not include the solar panels necessary to really make it a generator. Without the panels, it’s nothing more than a fancy power station. 

Which, to be fair, is exactly how it’s referred to on the company’s website. But having to spend an additional 50% or more (depending on if you bundle or not) for the solar panels is a bit of a bummer. 

As mentioned earlier, I was excited about the possibility of taking it on my trip and bringing it on extensive hikes with me. But at 23 pounds, it’s just a bit too heavy to actually want to carry around with you. It’s great for camping and chilling at a cabin, no doubt. But hikes, not so much. 

That said, you almost never actually need to have a power source on a hike, but the weight could also be a little too much for an elderly person or anyone that struggles with heavier objects. It’s light for a generator, sure, but not easily portable for everyone.

In conclusion: Who the HomePower One is good for (and who it isn’t)

I’ll be honest, I think the Generark HomePower ONE is good for just about anyone looking for either a portable power station or a solar generator. Even though you have to spend more money to get the solar panels and make it into a generator, it’s well worth the cost since you’ll be able to harness endless, free energy from the sun.

Let’s start with the people that might look elsewhere. If you’re in the market for a generator that can power your entire house in the event of an outage, this isn’t for you. While the capacity is more than enough for most devices on their own (for a limited time), the Generark can’t handle an entire house like a larger-scale unit could.

On the other hand, it’s ideal if you just want to have a backup battery on hand to power some of the devices around your home in a power outage, which is what I originally bought it for. But once I started using it, I realized how versatile it was and how perfect it is for road trips and other types of vacations. 

Just imagine a multi-week road trip or camping trip with this thing. Plug it into your car while driving, pop out the solar panels while camping, and have endless power from just about anywhere in the world. I’m excited to take it on more trips with me and see how it continues to perform over the years.