PortaMax Solar Sentinel Generator

PortaMax offers a solution to noisy gas generators with their Solar Sentinel Generator System perfect for a tailgate, weather emergency...or R/C event!


Whether it be a tailgate, an emergency power situation from a storm, or in our case...camping at the wonderful Triple Tree Aerodrome for Nall in the Fall, you're going to need power. With battery technology advancing every day, we now have full electric automobiles, electric aircraft are in development, and now generators are beginning to see the light. With PortaMaxs' introduction of their Solar Sentinel system, you can leave your gas can and sound shields at home.

The Solar Sentinel generator system uses LiFePO4 battery technology to give you 2,400 watt/hrs of power with a continuous output of 2,000 watts, surgable to 6,000 watts. It was developed to handle virtually anything that uses a standard 110v plug. The system uses up to 3 flexible solar panels that are thinner than a quarter, and weigh around 11lbs. They also offer a folding solar panel that can easily fit into any vehicle. The panels fit into the provided cabling using simple keyed connectors that cannot be hooked up incorrectly. The battery can also be charged right from a normal AC wall outlet.

Setting themselves apart from the competition, the Solar Sentinel system can completely recharge in as little as 3 hours (using all 3 panels in full sunlight). The entire unit is encased in a durable Pelican case with wheels, and weighs around 100 lbs. The entire system can be yours for around $5400. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on this company for future developments, possibly geared more directly towards the R/C community!

Find out more about PortaMax solar generator systems here.

Last edited by Nikolei Zinsli; Sep 28, 2018 at 11:01 PM..
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Oct 03, 2018, 11:31 AM
Registered User
I was at fall nall and saw this in person. Every person in the hobby needs one of these. It performs anything you could ever need and it works through an entire night. Its free power, maintenance free, no noise and fumes. This is the solution for providing power at clubs/ flying fields that dont have power. Gary the owner is a stand up guy and has sure knocked it out of the park with this setup.

And its 100% made in america.

Steve j
Oct 04, 2018, 07:03 PM
Aircraft Life
wunkus's Avatar
I have a similar setup for hobby made by Goal Zero using one of their yeti 400 batteries. It didn't cost $5400.
Oct 06, 2018, 02:36 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by wunkus
I have a similar setup for hobby made by Goal Zero using one of their yeti 400 batteries. It didn't cost $5400.
I put together a “system” with a 26w folding/flexible solar panel, a charge controller and a 7ah gel cell back in 2013. At SMALL 2013, I flew practically non-stop for three days on this combo, both glow and electric. I never once hooked up to the car battery. I’d do a few things differently today, but it worked astonishingly well.
Oct 07, 2018, 08:22 AM
Registered User

Goal Zero vs Solar Sentinel

I have several Goal Zero products. They do a nice job for smaller power requirements. I purchased a Solar Sentinel, and there is no comparison in power output and the solar charging capabilities of the Solar Sentinel are far superior. As far as the cost goes, you get what you pay for. Even Goal Zero's Lithium series are not LiFePO4 batteries and if you use it, you will replace them at $1,000 each.
Last edited by BubII; Oct 07, 2018 at 09:53 AM.
Oct 08, 2018, 02:54 PM
Registered User
While in principal I think the idea has some merit, the price tag to me makes it a complete non-starter. You can get an inverter 2k watt geneartor for under $400 these days. I can buy an awful lot of gas for that extra $5k in difference. (And I find the numbers on their comparison chart to be dubious at best - heck, even they must feel that way since they don't include the price of the solar panels in their cost for their system. And based on their comparison chart, I get close the $7500 for the generator and solar panels (and you have to base that on their chart, since they don't seem to actually list prices on their website).)

I'm not even sure I could see this as a setup to provide power at a field on a more permanent basis. I'd have to sit and run the cost of what putting your own system together for would cost to get an equivalent power output, but I'm not sure you couldn't do it for less.

Maybe in a few years when the costs are around 1/3 of what they are now it might be something that could be considered as an alternative. But right now, I think you'd have to be really big on the tree-hugging side to make a case that this is a reasonable alternative.

Hmm, and at 128 pounds, quite a big heavier than a 2000 watt generator too.
Oct 08, 2018, 10:05 PM
Registered User
My flying club went to solar power this year, buying panels from Craigslist, shopping batteries etc. and ended up with with a system far and above what we could have afforded otherwise. We ended up with over 900 watts worth of panels-the batteries hardly ever work, exceot when everyone is at the field charging at the same time on the eight ports we have set up.

Next up will be a microwave and coffeemaker I’d imagine...
Oct 09, 2018, 01:20 PM
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Haoyang Wang's Avatar
From the chart, the cost is more like $6400 ($3995 + $2397 = $6392). Do you get $1000 discount when buying both together?

The prices on their web site are $4995 + $2397 = $7392.
Last edited by Haoyang Wang; Oct 09, 2018 at 01:27 PM.
Oct 17, 2018, 01:36 PM
Registered User


I paid $5,495 for the complete package including (3) 330 watt panels. I think that the pricing on the chart is msrp. To compare a $400 inverter to my Solar Sentinel is foolish. Do your homework. Maybe this is not for you. Have you priced a 2400wh LiFePO4 battery? Thousands. How about 330 Sunpower cell solar panels? These are cheap at around $2/watt. Find that anywhere else on the web. So yes you can buy stuff at Harbor Freight for less, but if you want high end components in one integrated package, this thing is actually cheap.

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