Photovoltaic system and the generator set: which one to choose

photovoltaic system

At this time, we are going through an energy crisis, which makes electrical supply unreliable and costly. In this post, we will conduct a comparative analysis between the most commonly used sources: the photovoltaic system and the generator set.

You should know that all alternative sources have their advantages and disadvantages despite being known for their efficiency and safety. The mentioned ones are the most used today, but… Which one to choose?

Next, we present a brief description of each of the mentioned ones and a comparative table. So you can make an informed choice. Let’s get started!

What is a generator set and what are its parts?

generator set

A generator set consists of a diesel engine that is coupled to a rotating generator on its shaft. Its most important parts include:

  • Engine
  • Rotating alternator for generating alternating current
  • Control panel and automatic transfer switch; for a deeper understanding of this equipment, we recommend our article, which you can read at this link
  • Various engine systems such as fuel, cooling, lubrication, etc.

Also, in the post Generator set: is it the solution as an alternative energy source? you will learn all about this equipment.

What is a photovoltaic system and what are its parts?

photovoltaic system

It is a system that converts solar energy into electrical energy, also known as photovoltaic energy in a direct current form. In general, its main components are:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar charge controller
  • Batteries, although optional, allow for electricity storage during nighttime and cloudy days
  • Inverter DC/AC

For more details on photovoltaic electricity, you can refer to our article The photovoltaic energy system for the home.

Comparative chart between the photovoltaic system and the motor generator group

Next, we present a comparison matrix between the two sources so that you can assess their pros and cons in relation to each other.

Initial costMediumVery High
Operating CostVery High: requires continuous fuel and consumablesVery Low
MaintenanceRequires periodic maintenanceRequires minimal maintenance
Energy SourceFossil fuelSun
Greenhouse Gas EmissionsYesNo
LifespanUp to 20 years depending on usageMore than 25 years
EfficiencyDepends on the load and generator capacityHigh efficiency
FlexibilityGenerates electricity at any timeDoes not generate at night and on cloudy days. Depends on solar radiation..
Environmental ImpactYesNo

Our verdict

The decision we made is based on the following criteria:

  • Initial and operating costs
  • Electricity availability
  • Lifespan
  • Installation complexity and required construction
  • Environmental impact

According to the above points, we believe that the photovoltaic system is the best decision you can make. For installing an alternative energy source to conventional electricity for your home. Here’s why:

  • Although the initial cost of a photovoltaic system may seem higher, consider that it has the advantage of being modular. Thus, you can increase its capacity by adding more solar panels. This versatility is not present in the generator group

Additionally, the photovoltaic system has no operating costs, and its energy source is free and inexhaustible. In contrast, the generator group requires expensive fuel and periodic maintenance

  • The generator group has an apparent advantage of being able to generate electricity at any time and regardless of the weather. However, the photovoltaic system can do the same, provided it is equipped with batteries
  • The lifespan of the generator is shorter than that of the photovoltaic system because it experiences greater wear. This is due to having moving and rotating parts. Also, its lifespan depends on preventive maintenance
  • Installing a solar energy system requires much less construction than installing a generator group. The latter also requires a specially conditioned area, which is not necessary for the photovoltaic system
  • The solar energy system makes much more ecological sense, whereas a generator is highly polluting.


In the blog of the energydcac website, we have a lot of content for you on these and other topics that will interest you. Visit it, and you’ll see!

If you have any opinions or questions about this or any other article, feel free to comment. We’ll be happy to read and respond to you.

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