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Bluetti EP500 vs EcoFlow Delta PRO

The Bluetti EP500 vs. The EcoFlow Delta PRO – Which Solar Generator Should You Choose?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Whether you are looking to outfit your home with a backup emergency power system, or you need access to renewable energy for your off-grid home, RV, or cabin, a high-capacity solar generator can be the ideal solution to your power needs.

Fortunately for consumers, two of the biggest names in the solar industry have just released their own high-capacity solar generators – Bluetti’s EP500 and EcoFlow’s Delta PRO. Each of these solar generators combine a massive internal battery with a powerful inverter and a wide variety of convenient and practical features.

If, like many consumers, you are torn between the Bluetti EP500 and the EcoFlow Delta PRO, you have come to the right place! Not only will we offer our review of either unit, we will compare the two and try to determine which solar generator is the superior option!

The Bluetti EP500 Solar Generator

When Bluetti announced their plans to release the EP500 in late 2021, it created quite a stir within the solar industry. This is because the EP500 is by far the most powerful solar generator Bluetti has ever released!

Where Bluetti’s popular AC200 MAX contains a 2,048Wh internal battery, the EP500 sports a massive 5,100Wh battery. This is more than double the storage capacity, which means the EP500 is large enough to become a practical option for whole home applications!

What Does the Bluetti EP500 Offer?

In addition to its massive 5,100Wh LiFePO4 battery, the EP500 also sports a 2,000W pure sine wave power inverter. An efficient MPPT charge controller also means that charging the EP500’s high-capacity internal battery takes far less time than you would expect.

While the impressive storage capacity is certainly the most eye-catching feature of the EP500’s battery, Bluetti also added a fully integrated Battery Management System, which helps protect the battery and ensure it is both safe and reliable.

Another big improvement the EP500 offers over its predecessors is chaining capabilities. By purchasing Bluetti’s Fusion Box, users have the option to connect two EP500s together, which doubles the storage capacity and, more importantly, increases the output power to a more robust 4,000W. This means the EP500 can be used to supply power to some of the most demanding electronic appliances, like dryers, stoves, air conditioners, and even some power tools!

The EP500 also offers a variety of convenient features, life Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which gives you the option to control and monitor the EP500 through Bluetti’s smart app. It features 15 output ports, including two 15W wireless charging pads.

Potential Downsides of Choosing the Bluetti EP500:

While the Bluetti EP500 certainly offers some impressive internal components and features, it is not without its faults. For starters, we believe the 2,000W inverter is somewhat underwhelming, especially for a solar generator with such a massive battery.

Unless you are willing to purchase a second EP500, as well as the Bluetti Fusion Box required to connect them, you would be limited to an output rate of 2,000W. This limits what you are able to power with your EP500. Given it is capable of storing so much power, we were surprised Bluetti didn’t choose to outfit the unit with a more powerful inverter.

The next issue we had with the EP500 is how heavy and bulky it is. At 167lbs, the EP500 is a beast. While Bluetti did outfit the unit with wheels, there is no getting around the fact that moving the Bluetti EP500 any significant distance is going to be a struggle. This might not be an issue for those that are planning to use it strictly as a fixed home backup system, but it is certainly worth taking into consideration if you value portability.

While the 5,100Wh internal battery is enormous, we also would have liked if Bluetti offered expansion batteries for the Bluetti EP500. The only way to increase the total storage capacity is to purchase a second EP500, which can be prohibitively expensive.

The Delta PRO was also released in late 2021 and it was designed to be a major upgrade over EcoFlow’s popular Delta 1800 Solar Generator. Like the Bluetti EP500, the Delta PRO generated plenty of hype when it was first announced. Since its release, it is safe to say that it has really lived up to all of that hype!

What Does the Delta PRO Offer?

The Delta PRO features a reasonably large 3,600Wh LiFePO4 internal battery. While this may seem somewhat underwhelming compared to the EP500’s 5,100Wh battery, it is battery expandability where the Delta PRO really shines. In fact, the battery can be expanded to a mind-blowing 25,000Wh (25kWh)!

With an expanded battery capacity of 25kWh, the Delta PRO can compete with whole-home power storage systems, like the 13kWh Tesla Powerwall 2, which is not portable and is far more expensive.

The Delta PRO also features a powerful 3,600W pure sine wave inverter, which is a major upgrade over the 2,000W inverter offered by the EP500. Users also have the option to link two Delta PROs, which doubles the output rating to a truly impressive 7,200W/240V. This is more than enough output power for any electronic devices or appliances you could throw at it.

By simply connecting two Delta PROs, you could run everything from a clothing dryer or convection oven, to a well pump or arc welder! Given that the Delta PRO is also compatible with EcoFlow’s Smart Panel Ecosystem, you could easily integrate the unit into your home’s power system and use it to supply power to all of your appliances. This is incredibly valuable for emergencies and lengthy grid outages. It also makes it easy to save money on your monthly utility bills by using solar power, rather than electricity pulled from the grid.

Another major highlight is the Delta PRO’s extremely rapid charging speeds. Thanks to EcoFlow’s unique MultiCharge feature, you can achieve an input power rating of 6,500W. This is the fastest charge rate of any solar generator on the market and means you can fully charge the PRO’s high-capacity battery in as little as 1.8 hours by plugging it into a wall outlet and solar panels at the same time.

It features 12 output ports, including a 30A Anderson RV port, which is a major plus for RV owners that are looking to outfit their mobile home with solar capabilities. Like the EP500, the Delta PRO is also Wi-Fi enabled, so it can be connected to EcoFlow’s user-friendly smart app. A built-in LCD touch screen display is also a nice touch.

Potential Downsides of Choosing the Delta PRO:

For those that have no interest in purchasing expansion batteries or a second solar generator, the EP500’s larger battery will be more appealing than the Delta PRO’s 3,600Wh battery. So, in this regard, the EP500 would be the superior choice. However, it is worth remembering that the EP500’s 2,000W inverter would limit what you could use that stored power for.

Given that the Delta PRO’s storage capacity can be increased to as much as 25kWh simply by connecting it to one or more of EcoFlow’s Smart Batteries, we believe its smaller battery is not really a major concern.

While the Delta PRO is also fairly heavy, it weighs nearly 70lbs less than the EP500 and it also features a retractable suitcase-style carrying handle. This means it is far more mobile than the EP500.

The Delta PRO also lacks the wireless charging pads you get with the EP500, so that might be a consideration for those that enjoy the convenience of charging their portable devices wirelessly. Aside from that, we struggled to come up with any real downsides for choosing the Delta PRO.

Pros & Cons for the EP200 & the Delta PRO

Pros:

Bluetti EP500

EcoFlow Delta PRO

Cons:

Bluetti EP500

EcoFlow Delta PRO

Our Overall Decision – Bluetti EP500 or Delta PRO?

While both units are extremely capable solar generators, we have to choose the EcoFlow Delta PRO as our top pick. The choice becomes even more obvious when you consider the fact that the EcoFlow Delta PRO is over $1,000 cheaper than the Bluetti EP500.

If Bluetti had chosen to upgrade the size of the inverter in the EP500, the decision would have been more difficult, but the truth is, a 2,000W inverter in a solar generator this large is just not powerful enough. While there is still plenty to like about the EP500, the Delta PRO just offers far too much.

The lightning-fast charging speeds, powerful inverter, expandable storage capacity, and home integration capabilities all combine to put the Delta PRO in a league of its own!

Top 3 Product Recommendations

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta PRO Quad Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta PRO Hex Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti EP500 Quad Kit

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Inergy FLEX 1500 Portable Power Station Review

Inergy FLEX 1500 Portable Power Station Review – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 7
Portability 8
Compatibility 6
Durability 4
Ease of Use 7
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

We are big advocates of solar generators. Whether you are new to solar and you are just looking for a small-scale, beginner-friendly piece of solar equipment, or you are looking to build a large-scale solar power system for your entire home, it is possible to find a solar generator that can perfectly satisfy your exact needs.

This is because solar generators are true all-in-one solar power stations. They contain a deep cycle solar battery, a power inverter, and a charge controller. This means you can simply connect your solar generator to one or more solar panels and you can immediately start storing and using solar electricity.

How Can We Help?

While you can certainly find a solar generator that will fit your specific budget and power needs by shopping around, there are now more options available than ever before, which can make it difficult to know where to start. Luckily, we have done the hard work for you by testing and reviewing just about every solar generator that is on the market today.

To help you understand your options, we are going to take an in-depth look at Inergy’s highly anticipated FLEX 1500 Portable Power Station. We will break down the specifications and help you determine whether or not this powerful little unit is the right solar generator for you. We will also take a look at the Inergy brand, which will give you more background on their reputation within the solar industry.

From there, we will offer some comparable alternatives, so you are aware of multiple options!

The Inergy Brand

Origin:

From the very beginning, Inergy has had a simple goal – to deliver affordable solar power to people all around the world. While this may sound like a fairly cliché slogan, there is serious authenticity and intent behind it. This is because the founder and current CEO spent his formative years in a Thai refugee camp with very little access to electricity. This experience really impressed on him the importance of power for modern-day life.

Early Success:

With this motivation, Inergy was launched. Shortly after it was founded, Inergy became one of the first specialized solar companies to enter the solar generator market. While their most recent models, like the FLEX 1500, are significantly more advanced than Inergy’s first few releases, like the Inergy Kodiak and Apex Power Stations, these early solar generators made a significant impact on the entire solar industry. This is because they focused on portability, quality, and affordability.

Current Reputation for Innovation & Quality:

Today, Inergy continues to enjoy a well-earned reputation for offering high-quality solar generators at affordable prices. They also continue to be one of the most innovative brands in the industry, which explains why they have won so many awards related to clean tech development.

While we will certainly spend some time dissecting the FLEX 1500, it is safe to say that Inergy is considered to be one of the more trustworthy brands out there. With that being said, Inergy has been known to struggle with supply chain issues, which, unfortunately, has led to some of their launches being delayed and their products being left on back-order for months at a time.

Now that you know a little bit more about the Inergy brand, we can take a look at the FLEX 1500 to determine if it is worthy of the hype it has created.

What is the Inergy FLEX 1500?

Inergy designed the Flex 1500 Power Station to act as a highly versatile, modular solar generator. Inergy also placed a strong importance on ensuring that the FLEX 1500 would be incredibly portable, which is why it features a top-mounted carrying handle and only weighs 29 lbs.

Like other solar generators, the FLEX 1500 contains a rechargeable, deep cycle solar battery, a built-in power inverter, an integrated and efficient charge controller, and a variety of output and input ports.

Essentially, it was designed so users could access reliable, renewable power, no matter where they were. While the lightweight and compact design certainly helps in this regard, what really sets the FLEX 1500 apart is its modular design, which means the main console can be detached from the battery.

The FLEX 1500 Power Console & Primary Components:

One of the first things we noticed about the FLEX 1500 is its robust 1,500W (3,000W surge) power inverter, which is what gives the FLEX 1500 its name. This efficient and powerful pure sine wave inverter ensures that the FLEX 1500 is compatible with a wide range of 110-120VAC and 12V electronic devices and appliances.

For such a compact and lightweight solar generator, a 1,500W power inverter is fairly impressive. Many of the solar generators we see that are under 50 lbs will only feature a 1,000W inverter. In simple words, a more powerful inverter means that you can power more demanding electronics without having to worry that the FLEX 1500 will be underpowered.

With that being said, those that are looking to run electronic appliances with a higher wattage and voltage rating, like a washing machine, full-sized refrigerator, or convection oven, may need to opt for a more powerful solar generator.

The FLEX 1500’s main console also contains an efficient MPPT charge controller that offers a 90V solar input rating. The addition of an efficient charge controller means that the FLEX 1500 will store more of the solar electricity your solar panels are able to generate. It also means that the 1500’s internal battery will charge much faster. In fact, with the right number of solar panels, you could potentially charge the internal battery in as little as 3.5 hours with solar power alone!

The FLEX 1500’s Battery Specifications:

Out of the box, the FLEX 1500 features a 1,000Wh lithium-ion battery. The battery contains high-quality Samsung cells, which is impressive for a solar generator at this price point. As mentioned above, the battery module is actually detachable from the main console, which can be helpful for storage purposes and any time you need to transport your FLEX 1500. For example, if you were hiking to a remote, off-grid camping location, you could detach the battery and console and divide the weight amongst two people.

While the 1,000Wh battery does not really get us too excited, one of the most appealing features of the FLEX 1500 is the fact that it is expandable! This means you can add as many FLEX batteries as you need. In fact, the FLEX 1500 can potentially support up to 96 expansion batteries, although this number wouldn’t be very practical.

While few people are going to take things that far, the fact you could easily double or triple your solar generator’s storage capacity by purchasing one or two expansion batteries is hugely appealing.

The Design and Features:

The modular design is one of the most unique things about the FLEX 1500, and it also happens to be one of its most appealing design features. Whether you want to expand or replace the battery, the simple latched design makes it incredibly easy to make upgrades and repairs.

We also like that it features a clear LCD display screen, which offers input and output information at the touch of a button. The battery also features a second display screen, which makes it easy to check how much power you have left.

In terms of output ports, the FLEX 1500 features the following:

  • 2x 60W USB-C ports with PD and QC 3.0
  • 2x USB-A ports with QC 2.0
  • 2x 5.5mm x 2.5mm DC outputs (Compatible with Inergy Basecamp LED lights and other branded accessories)
  • 2x 15A 13.8V cigarette-style DC ports
  • 6x 110-120V AC wall-style grounded outlets

You can also easily toggle between DC and AC output power with the touch of a button. Another feature we like is the option to add the Inergy FLEX MPPT Super Charger, which triples the solar input rating.

For added convenience, the battery can be charged in four unique ways. Aside from solar charging the battery using your choice of solar panels, you can also DC charge the battery with a car charger, or charge the battery with AC power using the included wall adapter. As a fourth option, you can dual-charge with AC power and solar power, which means you can plug the FLEX 1500 into a wall outlet and a solar panel simultaneously for an even faster charging speed.

Our Overall Impression of the FLEX 1500

The Inergy FLEX 1500 Power Station is certainly an impressive solar generator, especially when you consider its relatively inexpensive price and lightweight design. While there are plenty of solar generators out there that offer more impressive specifications, the FLEX 1500 is very affordable and offers some really unique features.

We really like the modular design and think it could be a great option for outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone else that values portability. The ability to easily upgrade the storage capacity by adding expansion batteries is also really useful.

While we really like what we see from the FLEX 1500 and would feel comfortable recommending it to our readers, there is a catch. Unfortunately, Ingergy’s ongoing supply issues are becoming a serious concern. Put simply, few people are actually able to order a FLEX 1500. Even if you are able to place an order, there is no guarantee when you will actually receive it.

On top of that, it does not pack a powerful enough inverter for some of the larger appliances, which means it is not exactly the most practical option for anyone interested in emergency preparedness. We would really prefer if they offered an option to upgrade the inverter to one with a higher voltage rating, so it could be used to power 240V appliances.

Unfortunately, this combination of issues is a real problem for consumers. However, if Inergy can ever address their supply issues and possibly add the option to upgrade the inverter to one with a higher voltage rating, we would happily consider it to be a serious option.

Inergy FLEX 1500 Alternatives

Given that the FLEX 1500 has a few faults and Inergy’s continued struggles to keep up with demand, we are going to offer some solar generator alternatives that we feel could be a superior option for certain consumers:

Although it has a slightly higher price tag than the Inergy FLEX 1500, the EcoFlow Delta MAX delivers over twice the storage capacity and a significantly more powerful inverter. The Delta MAX’s 2,016Wh lithium-ion battery dwarfs the 1,000Wh battery you get with the FLEX 1500.  The Delta MAX’s powerful 2,400W inverter can also handle significantly more demanding loads than the FLEX 1500’s 1,500W inverter, so you can use all of that extra stored power to run a greater range of electronics.

The Delta MAX’s larger battery also recharges at a much faster rate than the FLEX 1500. While they both contain MPPT charge controllers, the Delta MAX features EcoFlow’s X-Stream technology, which increases the charge rate.

Like the FLEX 1500, the Delta MAX is also expandable, so you have the option to increase the storage capacity to 6,026Wh by connecting it to EcoFlow’s Smart Batteries. Where the FLEX 1500 was primarily designed for portability and to be a practical option for outdoor enthusiasts, EcoFlow designed the Delta MAX for versatility. It is still portable enough to be a practical option for RVing and camping, but it also works extremely well as an emergency power source.

This is because it features a unique Emergency Supply Power Mode, which means it will kick in and supply power to your appliances as soon as it detects a power outage. When you consider some of the other convenient features, like Wi-Fi connectivity, a greater number and variety of output ports, and a lightning-fast 800W charge rate, the Delta MAX certainly presents itself as an interesting alternative to the Inergy FLEX 1500.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta MAX

For those with power requirements that far exceed the capabilities of a FLEX 1500, the Delta PRO is a significantly upgrade alternative This powerful solar generator was designed to be a true home battery backup system, which explains why it features an enormous and expandable 3,600Wh LiFePO4 battery.

The Delta PRO’s storage capacity can be increased far beyond anything we have ever seen from a solar generator. You can quickly and easily connect it to multiple 3,600Wh expansion batteries until you reach a total battery capacity of 25,000Wh / 25kWh! This puts the Delta PRO in the same category as the Tesla Powerwall 2 and authentically qualifies it as a full home battery system.

With an input rating of 6,500W, it also features industry-leading charging capabilities. The powerful 3,600W inverter also means you can use the Delta PRO to run large-scale appliances, like fridges, ovens, and even power tools. When two Delta PROs are paired together, the output power rating can increase to 7,200W/240V. This is some serious output power!

Even if you purchased 25 expansion batteries for your FLEX 1500, the performance capabilities would be way behind what you could achieve with two Delta PROs! While the Delta PRO is more expensive than the FLEX 1500, it is in a completely different solar generator class and it certainly justifies the added expense. Not only that, EcoFlow’s more robust manufacturing capabilities mean that you will receive your Delta PRO when you order it, rather than having to wait for months or more.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta PRO

Like the Delta MAX, the Bluetti AC200 MAX also delivers a much larger battery and a more powerful inverter than the FLEX 1500. While it is a bit more expensive than the FLEX 1500, it more than justifies the price. In fact, nearly every component within the AC200 doubles the performance specs of those found in the FLEX 1500.

You can also upgrade the 2,048Wh battery to a maximum storage capacity of 8,192Wh by connecting the AC200 MAX to Bluetti’s B300 expansion batteries. The AC200’s battery also has a truly impressive life cycle rating of 3,500+ cycles, which means it will outlast the battery contained within a FLEX 1500.

A robust 2,200W pure sine wave inverter means the AC200 MAX offers significantly more output power than the FLEX 1500. It also has a 900W solar input rating, which means that you can charge the much larger battery surprisingly quickly. Like the FLEX 1500, you can also multi-charge the AC200, meaning you can plug it into solar panels and an AC wall outlet at the same time to achieve an input rating of 1,400W. This means the massive battery can be charged in as little as two hours!

Overall, it is a versatile solar generator that offers some really appealing upgrades over the FLEX 1500. While it is more expensive and weighs a bit more, we believe it is certainly worth your consideration if you are looking into the FLEX 1500.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti AC200 MAX

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The Quad Kit packages the EB200 with four 100W highly efficient suitcase-style solar panels. It also comes with a carrying case and all of the solar cables and connectors you would need to power your new EB200 with solar energy.

This is an ideal option for anyone that spends time off-grid, or is just looking for a way to charge their EB200 without increasing the cost of their monthly electricity bills. It offers outstanding value and really is a great place to start for anyone that is interested in getting into solar.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EB200 2,000W Quad Kit

Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator Review

Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator Review – Everything You Need to Know About this Portable Power Station

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 8
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 7
Ease of Use 8
Value for Money 7

Table of Contents

Solar generators are incredibly useful pieces of solar equipment. Given that they feature a built-in deep-cycle battery, charge controller, and power inverter, they can act as an all-in-one solar power system.

Despite their compact design, these portable units can be used to charge your electronic devices and appliances. Given that they can store solar power, they can even operate completely off-grid. As you can imagine, this makes them perfectly suited for emergency preparedness applications, as they can act as a reliable source of power when you cannot access electricity from the grid. Their portable nature and off-grid capabilities also make them the perfect power source for camping trips, RV adventures, and off-grid living.

How Can We Help?

While solar generators certainly offer plenty of benefits, it can be difficult choosing the right model for your specific needs. To help you make the right choice, we are going to offer an in-depth review of one of the most popular models on the market today – the Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator!

This honest review will tell you everything you need to know about this handy solar generator. We will also offer some alternatives that could be a superior option if your power requirements exceed what the Jackery Explorer 1500 is capable of.

What is the Jackery Explorer 1500?

As mentioned, the Jackery Explorer 1500 is a portable solar generator. It was developed by Jackery Power to act as a powerful, all-in-one power station that would be ideal for RV and camper van enthusiasts, owners of off-grid cabins, outdoor adventurists, and anyone that was interested in emergency home power backup.

At just 35.2 lbs, this compact unit is extremely portable, which helps explain why it is such a versatile solar generator. While the compact size and reasonably large lithium-ion battery are clear highlights, it is worth taking a deeper dive into the Explorer 1500’s specifications to see how well it can actually perform.

What Does the Explorer 1500 Offer?

To help you determine whether or not the Jackery 1500 is a worthwhile investment, we are going to examine its technical specifications and explain what they actually mean.

Jackery 1500 Battery Specifications

Battery Capacity:

The Jackery Explorer 1500 takes its name from its fairly impressive 1,534Wh capacity internal battery. The power is stored within a stable lithium-ion battery, which is certainly noteworthy, as lithium batteries are far more reliable than their inferior predecessors.

Life Cycle Rating:

The Jackery 1500’s battery has a life cycle rating of over 500 cycles. This means that the battery can be fully charged and discharged over 500 times before you notice any significant reduction in its storage capabilities. As any rechargeable battery is used, it will begin to lose some of its original storage capacity.

While this is a natural process that occurs with any rechargeable battery, lower quality batteries degrade much faster than the higher quality lithium batteries. Knowing that you can fully charge and discharge the Jackery 1500 over 500 times before it will begin to lose storage capacity in any noticeable amount is really encouraging and shows us that Jackery Power did not cut any corners when they outfitted the 1500.

Battery Lifespan:

Since it operates around a lithium-ion battery, it also has a respectable lifespan. Lifespan refers to the amount of time the battery can hold a charge before the electricity stored within it drains. Unfortunately, all batteries lose power over time, even when they are not being used; however, some batteries can hold a charge much longer than others.

Thanks to the quality of the Jackery 1500’s battery, it can hold power for over 6 months, which is great news if you plan on using your solar generator as a source of emergency power. If you chose to do so, you could put a charged Jackery 1500 into storage for blackouts and emergencies and have a reasonable expectation that it would still have plenty of stored power when you needed it!

Safety Features:

Another highlight of the Jackery 1500’s internal battery is the fact that it is protected by an effective Battery Management System (BMS). This system offers over voltage protection and short circuit protection, which helps protect the battery and ensure it will continue to last for many years. It even has internal temperature controls, which prevent overheating issues from occurring.

Jackery 1500 Input & Output Capabilities

Power Inverter:

For a relatively small solar generator, the Jackery Explorer 1500 has some fairly impressive output capabilities. This is thanks to the 1,800W power inverter, which can even surge up to 3,600W.

The combination of a 1,534Wh battery and a 1,800W power inverter means that the Jackery 1500 can supply power to a wide range of electronics, including some fairly demanding appliances. For example, the inverter is powerful enough that it allows the Jackery 1500 to supply power to microwaves, electric grills, and pressure cookers. If you are on a camping trip, having a solar generator that is capable of supplying power to kitchen appliances means you can bring some of the luxuries of home to off-grid locations.

For those that are interested in emergency preparedness, the robust power inverter can be incredibly useful. You can use the Jackery 1500 to power anything from LED lights, to a small refrigerator. While everyone else is in the dark, you and your family can enjoy reliable access to electricity.

Output Ports:

The Jackery 1500 features 7 output ports, which means you can charge and supply power to a variety of electronics at the same time. You get 3 AC wall outlet-style plug ins, a 12V DC car-style outlet, 2 USB-A ports, and a USB-C fast-charge port.

In other words, the Jackery 1500 allows you plug your portable devices and electronic appliances directly into it. Whether you are setting up camp, or experiencing a blackout, this range of built-in output ports can be really convenient.

Input Ports and Recharge Times:

Another great feature the Jackery 1500 offers is the ability to recharge the internal battery in three distinct ways. Using the included AC adapter, you can simply plug the 1500 into any standard AC wall outlet. You also have the option to use an included 12V DC car adapter to charge your Jackery 1500 in your vehicle.

The ability to charge the battery using solar power is where the Jackery 1500 really shines. Simply by plugging the 1500 into a solar panel, you can charge the battery and access electricity from any location.

The Jackery 1500’s 1,534Wh battery can be charged in just 6 hours with AC power, 15.5 hours through a DC car port, or in as little as 5 hours by connecting it to four 100W solar panels. While they are not outstanding, these recharge rates are reasonable for such an affordable solar generator.

Our Overall Impression of the Jackery Explorer 1500

Overall, we are relatively impressed by the Jackery Explorer 1500 and can certainly understand why it is such a popular unit. The 1,534Wh lithium-ion battery can store plenty of power and the 1800W inverter ensures that power can be delivered to a wide range of electronic devices and appliances.

The built-in Battery Management System is also a major plus. The output and input port versatility is reasonable, and we like that it features one of the modern USB-C fast-charge ports. While you can certainly find solar generators with more impressive specifications, it is the fact that the Jackery 1500 only weighs 35.2 lbs that really sets it apart. It is so lightweight and compact that there is no wonder it is so popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts.

When paired with solar panels, the Jackery 1500 can truly act as an all-in-one off-grid power station, so it is a true solar generator. Another feature that we did not mention, but really grabbed our attention, is the built-in smart display. This real-time power monitoring system lets you quickly view input and output power information in a clear and concise way. It also gives the remaining power estimate as a percentage, which is really useful when you are running it off-grid.

Overall, we would certainly recommend the Jackery Explorer 1500 to readers that are looking for a reliable and highly portable solar generator that is available at a reasonable price. With that being said, it may be somewhat lacking in storage capacity and output capabilities if you are looking to supply power to larger appliances, or you are in the market for a practical backup power system for your home.

For those that are interested, you can find this powerful little solar generator through the following link: Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator.

Recommended Jackery 1500 Alternatives

For those looking for greater power capabilities and more advanced features, we recommend the following alternatives:

For nearly the same price, the EcoFlow Delta MAX delivers a larger 2,016Wh lithium-ion battery and a more powerful 2,400W inverter than you get with the Jackery 1500.

The Delta MAX’s also recharges at a much faster rate than the Jackery 1500, which is thanks in part to its highly efficient MPPT charge controller. It also expandable, meaning you can connect it to EcoFlow’s Smart Batteries and increase the storage capacity to an incredible total of 6,026Wh. When paired with the built-in Emergency Supply Power Mode, the expanded battery can make the Delta MAX a true emergency backup system for blackouts.

When you consider some of the other convenient features, like Wi-Fi connectivity, a greater number and variety of output ports, and a lightning-fast 800W charge rate, the Delta MAX certainly presents itself as an interesting alternative to the Jackery 1500.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta MAX

Like the Delta MAX, the Bluetti AC200 MAX also delivers a much larger battery and a more powerful inverter. While it is more expensive than the Jackery 1500, you get plenty of power.

The 2,048Wh battery can be increased to a maximum storage capacity of 8,192Wh by connecting the AC200 MAX to Bluetti’s B300 expansion batteries. The battery also has a truly impressive life cycle rating of 3,500+ cycles, which means it will outlast the Jackery 1500 by a significant amount.

A robust 2,200W pure sine wave inverter means the AC200 MAX offers plenty of output power and a 900W solar input rating means that you can charge the internal battery relatively fast. One of the best features is the fact that it can multi-charge, meaning you can plug the AC200 MAX into solar panels and an AC wall outlet at the same time to achieve an input rating of 1,400W. This means the massive battery can be charged in as little as two hours!

Overall, it is a versatile solar generator that offers some appealing upgrades over the Jackery 1500. With that being said, it is more expensive and weighs nearly twice as much, so it might not be for everyone.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti AC200 MAX

For those with power needs that far exceed the capabilities of the Jackery 1500, the Delta PRO is a significant upgrade. This powerful solar generator was designed to be a true home battery backup system, which explains why it features an enormous 3,600Wh LiFePO4 battery.

Like the other Jackery 1500 alternatives, the Delta PRO is expandable; however, the Delta PRO’s storage capacity can be increased to some truly mind-blowing levels. It can easily connect to multiple 3,600Wh expansion batteries to a total battery capacity of 25,000Wh, or 25kWh! This puts the Delta PRO in the same category as the Tesla Powerwall 2 as a full home battery system.

With an input rating of 6,500W, it also features industry-leading charging capabilities. The powerful 3,600W inverter also means you can use the Delta PRO to run large-scale appliances, like fridges, ovens, and even power tools. When two Delta PROs are paired together, the output power rating can increase to 7,200W/240V. This is some serious power!

While it is over double the price as the Jackery 1500, the Delta PRO certainly justifies its price tag!

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta PRO

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Jackery Explorer Portable power station

WARNING: Jackery Explorer 500 Review + Top 2 Alternatives

WARNING: Jackery Explorer 500 Review + Top 2 Alternatives

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

Overall Rating 9
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 8
Ease of Use 8
Value for Money 9

Table of Contents

Having a backup source of power is valuable whenever the grid is down, but it’s also very important if you want to have an incredible experience outdoors, whether that is a week-long camping trip or a long picnic day with family and friends.

In this review, we cover one of the best and most reliable options available for backup power, the Jackery Explorer 500. We will also check out two valuable alternatives that you can consider to make the best possible choice among solar generator products. Let’s jump to it!

What is the Jackery Explorer 500?

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a portable power station manufactured by Jackery, one of the top brands in the backup market, integrated with an array of cylindrical 2400 lithium-ion battery cells with a high energy density capable of storing up to 518Wh of energy ([email protected]). This valuable device has a rated power capacity of 500W and 1000W for a surge.

This power station features multiple ports, including:

Jackery Explorer 500 Outlets:

3 x USB – A ports
2 x 12V DC ports
1 x 12V car outlet
1 x 110V AC outlet – pure sine wave output at 60Hz

Moreover, some of the extra features that the Jackery Explorer 500 comes with are:

  •         Built-in LED flashlight
  •         Built-in MPPT charge controller
  •         Carry on solid handle
  •         Built-in LED display
  •         Car charger cable
  •         AC charging cable

What can I power with the Jackery Explorer 500?

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

The Explorer 500 is capable of powering multiple appliances and electronic devices, including any of the following:

  •         Blenders (300W)                        
  •         CPAP machines
  •         TVs
  •         LED Lights
  •         Electronics: Smartphones, cameras, drones, iPads, headphones, etc.
  •         Electric blankets (40W)
  •         Heated travel mugs (100W)
  •         Mini-cooler

You will notice that all of these devices have a power consumption below 500W. Keep in mind that the AC output port is rated for a maximum continuous capacity of 500W, and exceeding this amount will cause the Explorer 500 to shut down automatically as a safety measure.

Any appliance powered with AC will need to have a demand below 500W to be connected to the Jackery Explorer 500.  In other words, you cannot power appliances like toasters, kettles, or electric frying pans with this portable solar generator. To make sure you can connect a device, check the power rating specs of whatever it is you want to power.

That said, the Jackery has a surge power rating of 1000W, which means it can provide an extra burst of power for a few seconds to get the appliance started, typically useful for appliances with small motors. This feature could come in handy for some small and low-demand fridges, but you would need to make sure that the continuous demand from the DC motor is below 500W.

How Can the Jackery Explorer 500 be charged?

You can fully charge this power station in several ways:

Car charger 7.5 hours
AC wall outlet 7.5 hours
Solar panels 9-10 hours

Keep in mind that the input terminal for all charging sources is rated to be below 100W. For solar panels, Jackery also offers the optional Solar Saga 100W solar kit that you can connect to the Jackery 500. As you can see above, using solar panels would take around 10 hours to charge the Explorer 500 fully; however, this can increase if weather conditions are not favorable.

What Do We Like About The Jackery Explorer 500?

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

What We Don’t Like About the Explorer 500

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

What are the Best Alternatives to the Jackery Explorer 500?

If you feel the Jackery Explorer is not for you, then we have some of the best alternatives you can think of for this power station. Similar in specs, quality, and price! Let’s take a look.

The EcoFlow River 600 Max is one of the best alternatives for the Explorer 500, and here is why.

Power Rating and Connectivity

The River 600 Max has a power rating of 600W and a surge power of 1200W. You will also enjoy 576Wh of battery capacity, and what’s more important, you can use it to power up to 10 devices at once.

As amazing as it sounds, the EcoFlow River 600 has an X-Boost mode that allows it to power up to 1800W in total (although the recommendation is to stay below 1200W to maximize the energy performance use). This is possible thanks to the three 600 WAC outlets, which offer much better connectivity options than the Jackery 500.

Super-Fast Charging

What’s even more incredible about the EcoFlow 600 is its super-fast charging capability, thanks to the X-Stream Fast Charging feature, which allows it to get fully charged in less than 100 minutes using an AC wall outlet.

When using a car port, it takes just three hours to charge fully. On the other hand, if you want to use solar charging, you can connect up to two 110W solar panels for a total of 220W, which allows you to charge the EcoFlow River 600 in just around three to six hours! This time is considerably less than with the Jackery.

UPS capability

A great plus of the EcoFlow River 600 is that you can use it as a UPS device. If you have the River 600 connected to the wall outlet and have a desktop computer connected to it, the River 600 will charge the desktop using energy from the grid. However, if the grid fails, this power station will automatically switch to a battery supply mode in less than 30 seconds, actively acting as a UPS device.

Go Lightweight

Another interesting feature of the EcoFlow River 600 Max is the possibility to remove the integrated extra battery pack to reduce the weight of the power station and make it more of an on-the-go kind of device, reducing 2.5kg from the total 7.7kg that the River 600 weighs.

This design is perfect if you want a larger power station for your campsite but still want to be able to carry a smaller power station to an area nearby without having to haul the whole weight of the entire unit.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow River 600 Max

Power Ratings

Another great alternative to the Explorer 500 is the Bluetti EB70. This power station is more powerful than the Jackery model, featuring up to a 700W continuous output rating with a massive 716Wh energy storage capacity made out of a lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, which is already powerful enough to run air pumps and mini-fridges comfortably.

Connectivity

Moreover, the connectivity is impressive, with up to four pure sine wave AC outlets at 110V, two USB type-C PD, and two USB-A ports. Plus, two DC output ports, a car port, and even a wireless charger of 15W for smartphones and other electronic devices with such capability.

Charging times

As for charging times, the Bluetti EB70 does not stay behind at all and even when having almost half more energy storage capacity than the Jackery Explorer 500. If you use a wall outlet, it only takes up to 4.5 hours to fully charge it. On the other hand, if you use a car port, it would take about 7.5 hours, just like the Explorer 500. Finally, if your choice is to use solar, you can expect it to be charged in less than six hours, assuming good weather conditions.

Lifetime Expectancy

One extremely valuable thing about the Bluetti EB70 when compared to the Jackery Explorer 500 is the number of cycles that the power station can run is up to 2500 at 80% capacity. This difference is huge.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti EB70

Comparison: Jackery Explorer 500 vs EcoFlow River 600 Max vs Bluetti EB70

To summarize the differences between the Jackery and our best alternatives, we have pulled up this table that will help you easily see the different specs between these products.

  Jackery Explorer 500 EcoFlow River 600 Max Bluetti EB70
Power Rating (W) 500 600 (expandable to 1800W with X-Boost mode) 700
Surge Power Rating (W) 1000 1200
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-iron phosphate
Energy Storage Capacity (Wh) 518 576 716
Expected Number of Lifecycles 500 to 80% capacity 500 to 80% capacity 2500 to 80% capacity
Charging times      
Wall Outlet 7.5h 1.6 h 4.5 h
Car Port (Wh) 7.5h 6.5 h 7.5 h
Solar 9-10h (100W max) 3-6h (2x110W max) 5.5h (200W max)
Operating Temperature range 0 – 40°C 0 – 45°C -20 to 40°C
Number of AC Outlets 1 3 4
Number of USB Ports 3 – USB-A ports

2-USB A ports

1 USB-A Fast Charge port

1 USB-C port

2-USB-A Ports

2-USB-C PD ports

Weight 13.32lbs (6.04kg) 17 lbs (7.7 kg) 21.4lbs (9.7kg)
Warranty Period 24 months 24 months 24 months

Outstanding Feature

(Feature that the other two do not have)

None

UPS capability

Detach portable mode

X-Boost mode

Wireless charging
Estimated Price $500 $550 $600

Final Words

As you can see from the table above, both the EcoFlow 600 Max and the Bluetti EB70 offer far better technical specs and features than what the Jackery Explorer 500 does for a little extra money, making them the best alternatives to consider at this price range.

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Hysolis Solar Generator

Hysolis MPS 4500 Solar Generator (Honest) Review

Hysolis MPS 4500 Solar Generator (Honest) Review

Hysolis Solar Generator

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

Overall Rating 9
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 8
Ease of Use 8
Value for Money 9

Table of Contents

The line between full-fledged home solar systems and portable solar power stations blurs more and more with each passing year, as portable solar generators continue to become more powerful and more practical. A classic example of this is the Hysolis MPS 4500 Wh/3000 W Solar Generator.

The MPS is not just a machine with enormous energy capacity and output – it is also a fabulously designed piece of equipment. It comes with a range of impressive features such as a low-frequency inverter, up to 1500W solar input, and pass-through AC power. Sure, it has its share of limitations, like the absence of an LFP battery or the not-so-impressive 120 lb weight, but if those aren’t big concerns for you, this might be the only solar device you’ve ever needed.

Let’s take a more detailed look at it in this Hysolis MPS 4500 Solar Generator review.

Hysolis Design and Construction

Take a quick look at the MPS 3K and it seems to resemble a small gas generator, but look carefully, and you will notice that it is a high-tech device that is neatly designed and put together.

Hysolis goes with a minimal design for this product, with a simple, boxy design with plain grey and black colors. The build quality, however, of everything from the metal to the plastic components is excellent. 

One end of the device comes with four 15 A AC output ports, which should be enough for most users. It has several circuit breakers for battery, solar, ac input, and ac output, which give a little more control and safety in the user’s hands.

There’s also a 12V car charger DC input port and two USB ports to connect your mobile devices, Bluetooth speakers, lamps or similar, small electronics. Hysolis has also provided a terminal block for AC input and output for connecting a panel or charging from the grid.

Hysolis solar generator MPS
Hysolis generator output ports

On the other end of the unit sits a large orange port, which you can use for battery extension if you need to join multiple MPS units together for higher energy or power capacity. Below the port are a fan vent, an Anderson connector for solar input, and a 12V DC output similar to the cigarette lighter in your car.

On the top surface of the device sits a small LCD screen that displays several bits of information such as power received from solar, battery capacity, power output to load, etc. It also comes with four LED indicators for PV, Line, Inverter, and Fault, respectively. 

The screen is by no means as advanced as, say, your smartphone, but it does not need to be, and the limited functionality it has is sufficient for its purpose.

The enclosure of the MPS has spaces you can use as handles, but it is painfully difficult for one person to lift it, given its 120 lb weight. A pair of wheels or an optional wheeled cart would have been an excellent addition.

Hysolis solar generator

Hysolis Pros

Let’s summarize all the great reasons for buying the Hysolis MPS 3K. Besides its massive, 4500 Wh energy storage capacity and impressive solar power input rating of 1500 W, the generator offers excellent functionality with many conveniently placed ports.

It also comes with durable housing and neatly assembled components, so you don’t have to worry about shocks and vibrations. Inside sits a low-frequency inverter that provides better surge protection and peak power performance, churning out power in a pure sinewave waveform – something suitable even for sensitive electronics such as medical devices.

The device has a 2-year warranty (3 years for the battery), which is at par with other leading manufacturers. Hysolis might be a relatively new company, but it has been said that they offer solid customer service, and are pretty ambitious in maintaining the product as well as service quality.

Hysolis Cons

There aren’t many reasons to discourage you from buying the Hysolis MPS 3K solar generator, but let’s look at a few things.

Of the few areas where the MPS does not score full marks is its weight. The low-frequency inverter adds not just to safety and reliability but also the total pounds of the generator. At 120 lb, this is one of the heaviest solar power stations, especially under the sub-5000Wh category. For comparison, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is 106 lb, despite having a 33% larger battery.

Another drawback is that when many manufacturers have started opting for lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are safer and better, Hysolis still sticks to the lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese battery (Li-NMC). Furthermore, although you can extend the battery capacity, you cannot connect separate LFP (or lead-acid) batteries to the kit through the battery extension connector.

Top 3 Hysolis MPS 4500 Solar Kits

Where to Buy

Check Out the Hysolis MPS 4500 Hex Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the Hysolis MPS 4500 Quad Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the Hysolis MPS 4500 1KW Kit

Final Words: Should You Buy the Hysolis MPS 3K?

There is no such thing as the ultimate solar generator that suits every single person on this planet. Each user’s “perfect solar generator” is different and depends on a long list of factors such as storage capacity requirement, frequency of use, type of application (RV, home, off-grid living/adventures), ease of operation, etc. 

Fortunately, the Hysolis ticks a lot of boxes and is suitable for a wide variety of users. It boasts a large capacity, a better inverter and enough flexibility to be used for both RVs and homes. It also comes with a superb price tag that falls on the lower end of the spectrum when you compare the $/kWh for several power stations.

It is also an excellent alternative if you have been waiting for something like the Titan solar generator. It might be one of the more popular power stations out there, but Titan has had some notably serious supply shortages in recent times. The MPS 3K promises to be equally good and delivers many similar advantages while sitting in the same price bracket.

It is also worth looking at if you have thought about Goal Zero products but are hesitant because of the comparatively higher pricing.

Overall, the Hysolis MPS 3K solar power station gets far more things right than it gets wrong, and if you aren’t too concerned about its weight or the lack of an LFP battery, it is one of the best choices you can make as far as solar generators are concerned.

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a woman holding a portable solar generator

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Review

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Review

Overall Rating 9
Portability 9
Compatibility 9
Durability 9
Ease of Use 8
Value for Money 7

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

Our Verdict

Goal Zero is back with another addition to its blockbuster Yeti series of solar generator kits. As a 505Wh battery, you would imagine the Goal Zero Yeti 500X to be bulky, but Goal Zero does a great job at keeping the product compact. It claims to have squeezed 20% more battery capacity in a shell that is 20% smaller and lighter than the previous model.

The power station is feature-rich, too, thanks to four different ports, high-speed charging and solar input capability. It can charge a wide variety of appliances and can be charged fast itself. The cost might not please everyone, but the product packs enough value to justify this cost. Let’s dive into this Goal Zero Yeti 500X review to discover more about it.

Where To Buy

Compatibility

The 500X is a versatile power station that can be charged using a wall outlet at home, solar panels, and even a car’s 12V port. The wall outlet takes 8 hours to charge fully, and solar panels can charge it in as little as 3 hours. On the output side, it offers every port you can imagine – USB, USB-C, and USB-C PD ports, a 6mm port, a 12V car port, and two 120V AC output ports. The device can power almost everything, from smartphones to portable fridges. The 500X is quite similar in capacity and appearance to the Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium.

Durability

One look at the Yeti 500X, and it is evident that the casing is all-plastic, but once you handle the device, it is also immediately evident that it has a high-quality build. The reinforced edges and rubberized stoppers protect the battery from everyday minor shocks. The makers could have improved durability by making it water-resistant, but with so many ports and a big battery inside, it is easy to imagine the increase in cost it.

side facing x-caliber 7

Ease Of Use

Despite the many ports they sport, Goal Zero devices are known to be quite user-friendly. The 500X is no different. It has a total of 10 ports on it, but clear grouping and bright labels make it easy-to-use. DC and AC ports are grouped separately, labeled, and have a tiny LED indicator that shows when the port is in use. A display screen shows battery level and other important indicators. Goal Zero solar panels come with a single pin output, which means charging with solar panels is straightforward. Car charging is equally simple, except that you will need a specific cable for it.

Features

For its price, the 500X is a lot more than just a battery, and it succeeds at being a feature-packed device. Its versatility deserves the first mention, with an array of ports with several ways to charge or discharge. The display screen is always useful. It may be nowhere close to your smartphone screens, but it does its job well by displaying all the essential information that you should know. Using a lithium battery instead of lead-acid, Goal Zero really succeeds at making this power station super light for its capacity.

Design

The 500X carries the same design language from the Yeti family, with a black and metallic grey body with lime green accents. The design is a little boxy, but power stations do not need aerodynamics. Overall, it is simple enough to look like any power station but has enough design features to get a second look.

Portability

Thanks to the lithium-ion battery, the Yeti 500X manages to pack plenty of power in less than 13lbs weight, almost the same as the Goal Zero Yeti 150. A sturdy handle, some level of weather resistance, and compact size make it easy to carry this device. It is not comparable to a 20,000 mAh power bank, but it is amazingly portable for almost 25 times greater capacity.

side facing goal zero yeti 500x

What We Like

The 500X is one of the smallest looking Yetis from Goal Zero. Don’t be fooled by its size though; it packs enough juice to power a wide variety of small to medium devices, even TVs and mini-fridges. Our favorite part about this device is its flexibility to charge and be charged from pretty much everything you can think of. Whether you need something for your backyard parties, adventure outings, or simply as a reliable backup power source for power outages, the Yeti 500X does not disappoint. If you are looking for something cheaper and don’t mind some weight, check out our Goal Zero Yeti 400 review.

Pros:

  • Compact and rugged
  • Multiple ways to charge
  • Six types of output ports
  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • High cost
  • No water resistance

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Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Review

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Review – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

Composting toilets offer a practical alternative to traditional flushing toilets. They use little to no water and do not require a sewage hookup or connection to a septic tank. This is because they rely on the natural process of decomposition to eliminate waste and unpleasant odors.

Given that they can be installed and used anywhere, composting toilets are an ideal waste management solution for anyone that lives off-grid, on a boat, in an RV, travels by camper van, or has any other living arrangement where a traditional flushing toilet would not be an option.

How Can We Help?

To help you learn more about your options, we are offering an in-depth review of one of the leading self-contained composting toilet manufacturers – Nature’s Head. We will start by examining the company’s history, as well as its current reputation. From there, we will take a close look at their highly popular composting toilet. More importantly, we will decide whether or not a Nature’s Head composting toilet is worth your hard-earned money!

The Nature’s Head Brand

Nature’s Head was originally founded in 2006 by two long-time sailors that wanted to create a more user-friendly alternative to a traditional marine composting toilet. The company continues to operate out of its original headquarters in Van Buren, Ohio, but they have recently added a second location in Saraland, Alabama.

While the company continues to operate domestically, they proudly sell their popular composting toilets around the world, including in Canada, Europe, Australia, and beyond. Not only do they operate primarily out of Ohio, but all of the components for their composting toilets are also manufactured and assembled in Ohio and Pennsylvania, so they are a true American-made company.

The Nature’s Head Story:

The two friends and sailing enthusiasts that founded Nature’s Head originally sought to revolutionize marine composting toilets, as they believed the existing options were bulky, difficult to install, and often produced unpleasant odors.

While their first composting toilet was designed to withstand harsh marine environments, it has since proven to be incredibly popular for a much wider variety of applications. Since it is a self-contained unit that can operate in any environment that lacks plumbing and electricity, it works just as well on land as it does on the water.

The original version of their composting toilet was a near-immediate success; however, they have improved upon that design with various modifications and enhancements, including a unique spider-handled agitator, which helps increase the speed of decomposition, without requiring an electrical hookup.

Despite the fact that they started out as a small, independently-owned company, Nature’s Head has gone on to sell tens of thousands of units to customers all around the world. Today, their unique composting toilet is incredibly popular with owners of off-grid homes, tiny houses, remote cabins, boats of all descriptions, camper vans, RVs, workshops, barns, yurts, survival shelters, and more. In fact, they have even sold their composting toilets to the United States Military, so it is even trusted for military applications!

Review of Nature’s Head Composting Toilets

Now that you know a little bit more about the Nature’s Head brand, we can start to review their products, primarily their incredibly popular composting toilet.

Whenever you are considering a new composting toilet, there are several factors that you should always take into consideration. During our review process, we considered how well the Nature’s Head composting toilet performed in each of these categories. Below, you will see the results of our analysis:

Ease of Installation:

One of the things we liked the most about the composting toilet offered by Nature’s Head is how easy it is to install. The toilet simply attaches to the floor with two basic brackets. As long as you have a flat surface, you can position the toilet in minutes.

Nature’s Head also ships their toilets with everything you need for installation, so you will not need to worry about purchasing any additional components.

From there, you simply need to run one ventilation hose outside. If you opt for one of the versions with the electric exhaust fan, you will need a 12V power hook-up; however, the toilet is capable of running completely powerless.

If you do not have access to electricity, you will probably have to do without the fan. With that being said, the fan has such a low power requirement that you could easily run it using a small solar power system, or by connecting it to a basic solar generator, like the affordable EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station.

Nature’s Head packages their composting toilets with straightforward installation instructions, so there is no need to hire a contractor for professional installation. In fact, the easy installation was one of the primary goals when the Nature’s Head founders had when they started the company. In this regard, they clearly succeeded. Many of the other composting toilets we have come across are difficult to install and usually require hours of frustrating work.

Ease of Use:

Not only are the Nature’s Head composting toilets easy to install, but they are also easy to maintain. Unlike a basic outhouse or portable toilet, which often need to be emptied on a near-daily basis, the Nature’s Head composting toilets are designed to sit untouched for a significant period of time.

This feature was intentional, as the toilets were originally designed for marine applications, which meant they would have to be capable of sitting untouched for weeks at a time.

When it does come time to empty the toilet, you simply flip open two latches on either side of the containment compartment. From there, you cap the lid on the liquid container and lift it out of its compartment.

To empty the main tank, you unhook the 12V power cable and the vent hose. From there, you slide the upper section off of its hinge and undo two thumbscrews on the base of the toilet. The main tank is then ready for emptying. Since it does not contain any liquids, you will not have to worry about the same unpleasant odors you would get with a traditional waterless toilet.

Simply flip the contents of the tank into a standard, eco-friendly kitchen bag, and you are done. You do not even have to clean the tank after emptying it, as leftover matter actually helps to kickstart the composting process all over again.

Odor Management:

As is the case with any self-contained, non-flushing toilet, odor management is one of the most important features you will want to pay attention to. After all, who wants to deal with a smelly toilet, especially if they are in a small space, like an off-grid tiny home, RV, boat, or cabin?

Fortunately, the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet actually does an incredible job of trapping waste so it can be broken down. Not only does it create an effective seal that acts as a barrier between the odors and your living space, it actually separates solid waste from liquid waste, which means you will not smell any sort of unpleasant odor!

While it may be difficult to believe, the only odors we could detect were a mild scent that we would describe as earthy. The toilet’s ability to manage odors is even better if you are able to run the built-in fan, as it pulls air from inside the solid tank and forces it outside of your living space. Given that the fan only draws 0.1A or 12 watts, it is fairly easy to meet its power requirements with a very basic solar setup.

Without a doubt, the lack of any sort of unpleasant odor was the feature that most impressed us about this composting toilet. The odor control is so effective that you could easily install it inside of your living space, rather than in a separate shed or outhouse. Again, the effectiveness of the toilet’s odor management is not an accident. Since the toilet was originally designed for marine applications, such as the interior of a cramped sailboat, preventing the release of unpleasant odors was a primary design feature.

Affordability:

A Nature’s Head composting toilet will end up running just under $1,000, which is a very fair price considering the overall quality. For comparison, we typically see self-contained composting toilets priced between $1,500 and $3,000. Considering the fact that Nature’s Head includes everything you need and costs less than the average price, they certainly qualify as a budget-friendly option.

Not only can you purchase a Nature’s Head composting toilet at an affordable price, but they are also very economical to operate. This is because they are designed to work without any added chemicals.

Instead of expensive chemicals, you simply need to add a small volume of peat moss, as this helps break the waste down and even helps to absorb some of the moisture and odors. Nature’s Head claims that you can run one of their composting toilets off of a single bale of low-cost peat moss for years at a time. Given that you can usually pick up a bale at a garden center for less than $10, this is a very minimal expense.

Pros and Cons of the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

Now that we have examined some of the toilet’s main features, we can take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks that it offers.

Pros:

  • Low Price and Minimal Operating Costs – As we mentioned above, this is a very reasonably priced composting toilet. Typically, we would assume that a composting toilet priced near $1,000 would be made to a poor standard, but the overall quality of the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is outstanding. The fact that it is priced this low and made in the USA is also impressive.

As an added bonus, you will not have to purchase chemical composting agents, as the toilet takes care of that for you. Once you have purchased and installed the toilet, you will simply have to purchase some peat moss. The toilet also uses very little, so one low-cost bale should last you for a long time.

If you are limited on space, you can also use a compressed and dehydrated coir pith, as it will expand when it is placed in the reservoir. A block of coco coir pith is also very affordable, as you can see by checking the price on Amazon.

  • Lack of Odor – Given that the toilet automatically separates liquid and solid waste, the odor is extremely minimal. The slight scent you can detect does not smell at all of the human waste. If you can smell anything, it will be a slightly earthy or soil-like scent, which you will only be able to detect if you are standing directly beside the toilet with the lid open.

The odor control the Nature’s Head composting toilet offers is a great feature, but it is a particular highlight for anyone that plans on installing it in a tight, enclosed space, such as an RV, camper van, tiny house, cabin, or boat. Given the fact that many off-grid dwellings are fairly small, this is a really important feature.

  • Easy to Install and Use – As we described above, the installation process is extremely straightforward. Even if you just have basic DIY skills, you should not have any problem installing the Nature’s Head composting toilet.

Maintenance is also a breeze, as emptying the two tanks only takes a few minutes. Best of all, emptying the tanks is not really an unpleasant experience. Some self-contained toilets can be pretty gross, but the fact that Nature’s Head has an effective liquid separation system means it does not smell too bad, even when you are emptying the tanks. You also do not even have to clean the tanks after they are emptied!

  • Functionality – Using the Nature’s Head toilet is just like using a typical flushing toilet. In fact, it even looks just like a normal toilet, so there is no adjustment phase. If you are a van life or RV enthusiast, you can easily conceal the toilet, as it is also fairly small.

As we just discussed, it is also extremely easy to maintain. If two people are using the toilet, you can usually go about two weeks before needing to empty it, which is really good compared to a typical composting toilet, which will need to be emptied every three or four days!

  • Made in the USA – The fact that Nature’s Head manufactures and assembles all of their composting toilets right here in the United States really impresses us. Given how many composting toilet brands manufacture their products off-shore, it is a feature of the Nature’s Head brand that really stands out.

Five-Year Warranty – Nature’s Head also backs all of their composting toilets with an industry-leading 5-year warranty. This speaks to the overall quality of their products!

Cons:

Only Available in Ceramic White – The lack of color options is really the only fault we could find with the Nature’s Head composting toilet. While some brands offer their toilets in a variety of colors, Nature’s Head sticks to a basic ceramic white color.

Our Overall Impression of Nature’s Head Composting Toilets

We really cannot say enough about the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet. The fact that the design has remained relatively untouched since it was first introduced is a testament to its effectiveness.

It works extremely well, is incredibly easy to maintain, produces next to zero noticeable odors, can be installed in less than an hour, and is available at a very affordable price. Overall, it really has everything you could ever want out of a composting toilet.

No matter what sort of off-grid living arrangement you have, a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet offers an ideal waste management solution.

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Solar Panels with Built-in Outlets – Do They Exist?

Solar Panels with Built-in Outlets – Do They Exist?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

With growing concerns about climate change, the ever-rising cost of electricity, and the instability of electrical grids around the world, it makes sense that more people than ever before are turning to solar panels as a source of free and renewable power.

If you are new to solar power and you are unsure where to start, we are here to help. One of the most common questions we are asked is whether or not it is possible to purchase a solar panel that has a built-in outlet. In other words, can you simply plug an electronic device directly into a solar panel to charge it?

solar panel

So, is it Possible?

Unfortunately, plugging electronic devices and appliances directly into a solar panel is not possible at this time. While it may seem somewhat confusing at first, we are going to clearly explain why you cannot simply access power directly from a solar panel. From there, we will offer a beginner-friendly solution that will allow you to access clean, solar electricity, without having to install a large-scale solar power system.

While it may seem somewhat intimidating at first, getting started with solar is actually fairly simple, especially once you know the exact types of equipment you will need to purchase.

Can You Purchase a Solar Panel with a Built-in Power Outlet?

As mentioned above, it is not possible to plug an electronic device or appliance directly into a solar panel. While it would certainly be convenient if you could, there is a fairly simple explanation as to why this is not possible. To understand why, you have to take a few seconds to learn how solar panels actually work.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

In simple terms, a solar panel, or photovoltaic panel (PV panel), generates electric current by absorbing light particles from direct sunlight. These light particles are called photons. After they have been captured, they bounce around within the solar cells that make up the solar panel. As they move and bounce around inside the solar cells within the solar panels, they clash into electrons, which produces an electric current.

This current is then transferred to the solar panel’s terminals, so it can be used. However, before the electric current can be used, it must be converted from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC), which is what your electronic devices and appliances need.

To convert the DC power that solar panels generate into useable AC power, the current must flow through a power inverter, which is a specialized piece of solar equipment that can efficiently convert the power into the current you need.

When you plug your electronics into a standard wall outlet, you are accessing AC power, which is why just about every electronic you will find inside your home will be designed to run off of AC power.

What Do You Need to Access Power from a Solar Panel?

A Sufficient Power Inverter:

As described above, you will need to wire your solar panels to a power inverter in order to convert the DC power they generate into useable AC power.

The exact power inverter you are going to need will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of solar panels you are using, as well as the electronic devices and appliances you are looking to run with solar power. Essentially, you need an inverter with a power rating that matches the amount of power your solar panels will generate, as well as the input power demands of the devices you plan on using that electricity to charge.

An Appropriate Deep-Cycle Solar Battery:

Another factor you will have to consider is the fact that solar panels cannot generate any power unless they are exposed to direct sunlight. In other words, once the sun has set, or the sunlight is even blocked by clouds and other impediments, the solar panel cannot generate power. This means you need to connect your solar panels to some sort of rechargeable battery if you want to be able to access solar power at night and during other situations when the sun is not shining.

These batteries are usually referred to as deep-cycle solar batteries, and they are specifically designed to accept solar power and be charged and discharged repeatedly.

An Efficient Charge Controller:

Not only will you need a battery to store the solar power your solar panels generate, but you will also need a piece of equipment known as a charge controller to regulate the flow of electricity from the solar panels to your battery bank. Without an appropriate charge controller, the power flowing from your solar panels could overwhelm your battery. Since charge controllers are designed to efficiently regulate the flow of electricity, they help to protect your battery.

They also prevent stored electricity from flowing from the battery back to the solar panels, where it would otherwise be lost. In other words, a charge controller and an appropriate solar battery are also essential pieces of equipment if you plan on storing solar power so you can use it at your convenience, rather than just when the sun is shining.

Solar Cables and Connectors:

Once you have acquired the three main components you will need in order to store and access the solar electricity that your solar panels generate, you will need to purchase all of the solar cables and connectors required to wire everything together.

If you are lucky, the components you purchase will come with the required cables, however, in many cases, these solar cables are impractically short, so they will not be adequate if you are planning to position your solar equipment indoors, while your solar panels are fixed into position outside.

So, is it Expensive to Use Solar Panels?

While it may sound complicated and expensive to purchase all of the equipment required to get your solar panels up and running, it is actually fairly simple and affordable, especially if you purchase a complete solar kit.

The best solar kits come packaged with everything you need to get started, including all of the cables, connectors, and brackets required for installation. If you know where to shop, you can even purchase a solar kit that is designed to be as beginner-friendly as possible, which means even those that have zero solar experience can easily install their own solar power system.

Where Can You Find Beginner-Friendly Solar Kits?

While there are quite a few online retailers that offer solar kits, you have to make sure that you are purchasing one that actually comes with all of the components required to generate, store, and use solar power.

Some kits will come with solar panels and a charge controller, but you will not get a power inverter, or an adequate solar battery, which means you will have to make additional purchases after you have ordered your supposedly “complete” solar kit. You should also make sure that any solar kit you are looking at actually comes with solar cables and connectors, otherwise, you will have no way of wiring the individual solar components together.

ShopSolarKits.com:

We have found that www.ShopSolarKits.com is one of the best options for those that are just starting out with solar power. As the name suggests, ShopSolarKits specializes in off-grid and grid-tied solar kits. Not only are their kits available at outstanding prices, they only contain high-quality components from some of the best brands in the solar industry.

As an added bonus, most of their solar kits are designed to be beginner-friendly, so they are ideal for beginners and DIY-enthusiasts. They even come with custom installation guides and wiring instructions. Once you have purchased your solar kit, you also get access to lifetime customer support and plenty of helpful resources, both of which can be incredibly valuable for beginners.

DIY Solar Panel Kits:

If you are unsure where to start, we recommend trying out their Solar Kit Sizing Tool, which will help you find the perfect solar kit for your specific power needs and budget. If you have a basic idea of what you need, you can also browse their DIY Solar Panel Kits. Their solar kits are designed to meet a variety of power requirements, so you simply have to choose the kit that satisfies your needs and budget.

No matter which kit you choose, you will receive solar panels, and efficient charge controller, a power inverter, a deep-cycle solar battery, and all of the cables and connectors you need. You also get custom instructions, so installation should be a breeze!

Solar Generators – The Ultimate All-in-One Solution

If the idea of installing a solar power system in a fixed location is not what you are looking for, we suggest taking a look at solar generators.

Essentially, a solar generator is a convenient piece of solar equipment that contains everything you need in one unit, including a charge controller, power inverter, and a deep-cycle solar battery. These all-in-one solar units also feature a variety of input and output ports, so they almost act as a self-contained solar power station.

You simply have to connect your solar panels to your solar generator and you can start drawing solar power directly from the generator’s output ports. In other words, a solar generator is about as close as you are ever going to get to a solar panel with a built-in outlet.

How Do Solar Generators Work?

Since a solar generator contains all of the necessary components required to convert DC power into useable AC power, you simply have to plug your solar panels into the appropriate input port on your specific solar generator.

Once the electricity flows from your solar panels to your solar generator, it will then be stored within the solar generator’s internal battery. This allows you to access that electricity whenever you need it.

Not only can you charge the solar generator with solar power, but most also have the option to charge the battery with AC power, which you can do by simply plugging the solar generator into any standard wall outlet.

As an added bonus, some units even support car charging, so you can just plug them into the DC port in your vehicle. This is a really useful option for those that enjoy road trips, as well as those that are looking to use a solar generator as a portable source of power in their RV or camper van.

How Do You Use a Solar Generator?

To pull power from the solar generator, you simply have to plug your electronic device or appliance into the appropriate output port, which should be located on the face of your solar generator.

Most solar generators will have an array of AC outlets that look just like wall-style plug-ins. They also tend to feature USB-A and USB-C output ports, so you can plug your portable electronics, like your smartphone, directly into the solar generator. With some units, you even get DC output ports, which will look just like the cigarette-style outlet you get in a car.

For added convenience, most solar generators will also feature a display screen, which will give you output and input power ratings, and tell you how much power is remaining within the solar generator’s internal battery.

The most advanced units also feature Wi-Fi compatibility, so you can monitor and control them through a smartphone or tablet by downloading the appropriate smart app. Basically, solar generators are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, which is part of the reason why they have become so popular.

What Do You Need?

Since solar generators are designed to be the ultimate all-in-one solar power station, all you need is the solar generator itself, solar panels, and the cables required to connect them together. Most solar generators will even include all of the cables you need, so they really are the ultimate plug-and-play solar power system.

Fortunately, ShopSolarKits also sells solar generator kits, which package a high-end solar generator with an appropriate number of high-quality solar panels. You also get a custom instruction manual and all of the cables required to charge your solar generator and keep it connected to your solar panels.

The more advanced kits will also include expansion batteries, so you can store an incredible amount of solar electricity in a convenient and portable solar power system.

If you are interested in a complete solar generator kit, we encourage you to browse their Solar Generator Kit Collection.

What Can You Use a Solar Generator For?

One of the key benefits you get by using a solar generator is versatility. Even the most powerful solar generators are still designed for portability, so they will feature built-in wheels and handles.

Off-Grid Power for RV and Camping Trips:

When you combine their portable nature with the fact that they contain everything you need in one convenient package, you really start to see why they are perfect for off-grid applications. Whether you are looking for a source of electricity that you can take with you on your next camping or RV trip, or you would simply like to have the ability to do some work in the backyard, a solar generator can give you access to electricity wherever you need it.

Many people will keep a few solar panels and a solar generator in their RV, which gives them the ability to access electricity, even when they do not have access to a power hookup.

Basically, you can generate and store your own electricity, which can give you the ability to explore off-grid locations that were previously off-limits!

Backup Power During Emergencies and Power Failures:

If you are looking for a reliable source of power that you can access during emergency situations, like lengthy power outages and natural disasters, a high-quality solar generator can be the ideal option.

With some of the latest solar generator models, you can even connect more than one unit together, which will increase the total storage capacity, as well as the output power. For example, the EcoFlow Delta PRO Solar Generator supports this extremely beneficial chaining function.

When you connect two Delta PROs, you can achieve a stunning output power rating of 7,2000W / 240V! If you are unfamiliar with what these numbers mean, it basically means that you can use the solar generators to keep heavy-duty, demanding electric appliances, like refrigerators, ovens, and air conditioners, running for days at a time.

Recommended Solar Generators

While there are numerous solar generators on the market these days, it is important to choose a high-quality unit that is manufactured by a reputable brand. The following are just some of our favorites:

There are plenty of reasons why the EcoFlow Delta 1800 is one of the best-selling solar generators of all time.

When it was first released in 2019, the Delta 1800 really stood apart from any solar generator that preceded it. For starters, it features a robust 1,300Wh deep-cycle solar battery, which means it can store enough power for a wide range of applications, including emergency preparedness, portable power for RV and camping adventures, and much more.

It delivers a powerful 1,800W inverter that can handle surges of up to 3,300W. While the impressive battery capacity and power inverter certainly turn heads, what really sets the Delta 1800 apart is its budget-friendly price.

The Delta 1800 also delivers some fairly impressive extra features, like a chaining ability, which means you can easily connect multiple Delta 1800s to increase its output power and battery capacity. This is really helpful if you are looking to store and use a significant amount of solar power on a tight budget. It also features an informative LED display screen, which makes it easy to read input and output information, as well as a straightforward estimate of the amount of power your Delta 1800 has remaining in its battery. Again, this is really helpful for emergency situations and blackouts, as it can help you budget your remaining power appropriately.

An incredibly fast charging rate also means that you can recharge the Delta 1800 from 0% to 80% in as little as one hour! 13 output ports and the ability to detect power outages automatically really put the Delta 1800 in a different class than the Patriot Power 1800.

All this plus a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and an affordable price point make it fairly obvious why the Delta 1800 has remained one of the most popular solar generators on the market.

Launched in late 2021, the AC200 MAX is one of the most exciting solar generators on the market today.

It offers two expansion battery ports, which means it can accommodate up to two BLUETTI B230 expansion batteries (2048Wh each), or two B300 expansion battery modules (3072Wh each). When you consider the fact that this means you can expand your AC200 MAX to a total storage capacity of 8,192Wh, you can really grasp how impressive this solar generator can be.

The AC200 MAX also features 16 power outlets, so you can run and charge all of your devices and appliances at the same time. On top of that, you can also re-charge the AC200 MAX’s internal battery and expansion batteries at the same time that you supply power to your electronics!

RV enthusiasts and boaters will also appreciate the fact that the AC200 MAX features a built-in 30A (“RV Plug”) – NEMA TT-30 rated outlet and a powerful 12V 30A DC outlet.

The AC200 MAX can also handle a solar input of 900W and a 500W input from AC power, which means the internal battery can be charged incredibly fast. It also supports dual charging, meaning you can use AC and Solar charging simultaneously. When doing so, you can achieve an input rating of 1,400W, which means the unit’s massive battery can be fully charged in less than 2 hours!

While it is more expensive than the previous two options, the Delta PRO completely blows the competition away. This is because the Delta PRO is the most powerful solar generator ever released.

This is because the Delta PRO was designed to be a whole-home battery system. When it is combined with expansion batteries, it can supply enough power to keep a full-sized home running for days at a time, which means it can help you achieve off-grid solar independence.

Not only does it contain an enormous 3,600Wh deep-cycle battery, it is expandable, meaning it can seamlessly connect to multiple 3,600Wh expansion batteries for a mind-boggling total battery capacity of 25,000Wh or 25kWh! This means the Delta PRO can almost double the power storage capabilities of a Tesla Powerwall 2!

Not only can the Delta PRO store an incredible amount of power, it also offers some of the most advanced features of any solar generator on the market today, such as Wi-Fi compatibility, the world’s fastest charging rate, and the ability to integrate it directly into your home’s power circuits with the EcoFlow Smart Panel Ecosystem.

Overall, this truly is one of the best solar generators we have ever seen and it certainly justifies its price tag.

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Real Reviews: The EcoFlow Delta PRO – What are People Saying About This Popular Solar Generator?

Real Reviews: The EcoFlow Delta PRO – What are People Saying About This Popular Solar Generator?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 9
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 8
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 9

Table of Contents

The EcoFlow Delta PRO was first announced in August of 2021. Not only did it promise to be the highest capacity solar generator in the EcoFlow lineup, but its impressive specifications also made the Delta PRO one of the most versatile and powerful solar generators ever released by any manufacturer.

Since its release, EcoFlow has gone on to sell tens of thousands of Delta PROs, so it has had one of the most impressive launches of any solar generator in the entire industry’s history. While its extraordinary specifications and unprecedented sales record speak for themselves, we wanted to take a deep dive into this unique solar generator to see what real users have to say about it.

If you are considering purchasing an EcoFlow Delta PRO, but you would like to know how it actually performs in the real world, you have come to the right place!

Why is the EcoFlow Delta Pro So Popular?

Unlike the EcoFlow solar generators that preceded it, the Delta PRO is marketed as a revolutionary, whole-home backup system. Where smaller units are designed to act as a source of portable power, or as a temporary backup power supply for brief power failures, the Delta PRO’s massive and expandable battery, as well as its powerful inverter and coupling capabilities, ensure that it is both powerful and versatile enough to be a practical source of reliable electricity for much more demanding applications.

Whether you are looking for a source of power for your entire RV, or you are looking to meet a significant amount of your home’s electricity needs with solar power, the Delta PRO is versatile and powerful enough to meet these requirements.

EcoFlow Delta PRO Highlights:

Before we get into some of the customer reviews for the Delta PRO, it makes sense to take a quick look at some of its most impressive features:

  • Storage Capabilities – The incredible battery capacity is one of Delta PRO’s main features. Even without an expansion battery pack, the Delta PRO’s LiFeP04 lithium-ion battery has a rated capacity of 3,600Wh or 3.6kWh!

The massive internal battery also offers an outstanding 12-month shelf life, which means you can leave a fully charged Delta PRO untouched for an entire year and you will still be able to pull electricity from it when required. This is incredibly useful if you plan on using it as a source of emergency power!

  • Expandability – EcoFlow has designed the Delta PRO so it can be connected to multiple 3,600Wh battery expansion units. At an affordable price, you can increase the unit’s overall storage capacity to a mind-boggling 25,000Wh, or 25kWh! This is the territory where you start to exceed what you can do with a Tesla Powerwall. This is also why EcoFlow markets the Delta PRO as a whole-home backup system.
  • Remarkable Output Capabilities – Where the Delta PRO really shines is its massive AC output, which is mostly down to its highly capable and incredibly efficient power inverter. EcoFlow has a reputation for equipping all of their solar power generators with high-performance power inverters, but even we were blown away when we discovered they had outfitted the Delta PRO with a 3,600W 30amp 12V pure sine power inverter.

Given that a single Delta PRO offers an AC output of up to 3,600W, which can be increased up to 4,500W thanks to EcoFlow’s unique X-Boost technology, there really is nothing else like it on the market.

  • The Double Voltage Hub – The Delta PRO is also compatible with the new EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub, which allows you to connect two Delta PROs together to achieve an output power rating of 7,200W / 240V. This level of output power is unheard of from a solar generator and it is enough to meet the power requirements of even the most demanding electronic appliances, like washing machines, air conditioners, and even 240V well pumps.

The Double Voltage Hub is really easy to use, as the smart cable connects to both units, then simply funnels into a 240V plug, which can be connected directly to your home’s electrical system in the same way that you would integrate a gasoline generator, or large-scale, grid-tied solar inverter.

If you are using solar panels, this means you can directly run your home off of solar power. For those looking to save some money on their monthly utility bills, you can use the solar energy stored in your Delta PROs to avoid drawing grid power during peak hours.

While the features listed above are some of the highlights, the Delta PRO offers users even more. Wi-Fi connectivity and smart app compatibility mean that you can monitor and control the Delta PRO remotely.

A versatile range of output ports, including two USB-C 100W Fast-Charging Ports, means that you can easily plug your electronic devices and appliances directly into the Delta PRO. The addition of a 30-amp RV Anderson hookup is another innovative feature, as it makes it much easier to use the Delta PRO to supply power directly to your entire RV or camper van.

You can also charge the Delta PRO’s battery through an EV charging station, as EcoFlow added an industry-first EV Infinity Charging Port. This is a really helpful feature for those that plan on taking the Delta PRO on road trips.

So, what are People Saying About the EcoFlow Delta PRO?

Given that the Delta PRO has been on the market for roughly half a year, we thought it would be a good idea to see what recent buyers have had to say about it. While it certainly blew consumers away when it was first announced, you can never tell how well a piece of solar equipment is going to perform until you have had the opportunity to test it out firsthand.

The following are just some of the countless positive Delta PRO reviews that we have found through various online retail stores, off-grid message boards, and gear review websites.

EcoFlow Delta PRO Customer Reviews:

This Blew My Mind! “The Delta Pro’s battery is a BEAST and surprised me with its design. This is coming from someone who has reviewed over a dozen battery brands, including Goal Zero, Jackery, BigBlue, Rockpals, Aimtom, and the like. This EcoFlow battery bank surprised me and they have now skyrocketed to become one of the top brands I have tested and used.”
Cameron Waite - Feb 24, 2022 - ★★★★★
This is the Future! “I have watched this closely from the original Kickstarter concept to its retail execution. I now own three of these units and three extra batteries. They're pretty close to being the perfect power station. Here are just some of the highlights: The inverter is absolutely top notch. This thing can handle heavy loads from your home, RV or van and meets them without breaking a sweat. The unit is rated for 3600W continuous, but I've found that I can exceed that by a fair bit for a few minutes before it shuts down. You can also pair two of them with their double voltage hub accessory and connect it to your home transfer switch. You can run split phase 240V loads like well pumps, electric dryers, or even smaller central air conditioners (with a soft start kit). The best part is that you can keep this inside away from the rain, snow, high winds or potential theft. You can even charge this up, often for free, at a level 2 EV charge station.
Ria Jairam – Feb 15, 2022 - ★★★★★
The LFP Battery is Awesome! “Love this thing! It’s amazing! It can power my entire office for almost 9 hours! I am waiting for some of the accessories and such to become available, but you can completely discharge and recharge this thing, every day, for almost 10 years and it will only lose about 20% capacity… this is a lifetime battery! That’s ten years of cycling it every single day! I plan on having this for many years! It is also surprisingly easy to move thanks to the handle and wheels!”
Paul Wroth – Jan 2, 2022 - ★★★★★
Smart and Powerful. A Great Source of Backup Power! “It looks like a huge and bulky thing, but EcoFlow gives it wheels and handles to make it a flexible and portable power station. We weighed out the cost and ease of using the Delta Pro versus other solar stations and this made much more sense for us. I was able to plug just about everything into it without problems. From 100% charge, it lasted for one full day with about 25% left. This is with a family of 7 using it! It handled all of the appliances in the house and had them running normally. We also liked that the Delta Pro is expandable, so it can connect to extra batteries and the smart generator. I'm considering buying other EcoFlow products in the future. It has everything we need for full home backup during long power outages. It is definitely the greatest power station ever! It’s expensive, but definitely seems to be worth the money so far.”
Mark Roberts – Feb 14, 2022 - ★★★★★
BEST Plug and Play Solar Setup Out There! “I purchased the Delta Pro, the Delta Pro Extra Battery, the Smart (gas) Generator, and the Smart Home Panel for complete emergency backup power for my home. Simply AMAZING product! Just the best on the market at the time of purchase. Really can't say anything negative about the Delta Pro or any of the accessories. Together, they have super-fast recharging, they can power everything except for my hot water heater and A/C unit. BUT, if I had purchased two Delta Pro's, it would have produced 240V and powered those too. Super easy to use and works great! Can’t say enough about it!”
Richard Huzar – Jan 24, 2022 - ★★★★★
Only Had it for About Two Weeks, but LOVING it So Far! “Everything about it seems to be very well designed and manufactured. It was easy to move around (due to wheels and a collapsible pull handle). It was also easy to install in my RV (just a few things to the plugin). It is heavy (but not too heavy for me to lift by myself and I am an old lady). Best of all, everything actually worked right away. I was even able to download and install the app and get that going fairly easily. Preliminary tests indicate that when used with the extra battery and 2 x Trina Solar 325-Watt Mono Solar Panels, I can go for about 4-5 days off-grid and run all of my lights, computers, fans, fridge, water pump, and even occasionally my microwave. You’ve gotta love that! This will save me camping fees and give me the freedom to go to remote places and stay there longer. Now my most limiting resource is just water! Also, while it will successfully run both my heater and my A/C (even at the same time which I did accidentally during tests), it will only do that for a few hours before depleting the battery. But that is okay, as I am happy to visit places where the temps are in the 20s to 80s. Really happy with it so far!”
Sandra W. – Feb 4, 2022 - ★★★★★

Common Themes from Delta PRO Customer Reviews

We read hundreds of real customer reviews to find out what people were actually saying about the EcoFlow Delta PRO. While there are plenty of professionally written reviews and articles about the Delta PRO, we were more concerned with how it performed for real people in the real world.

Impressive Storage Capacity:

Throughout our research, we kept coming across the same general themes. For starters, most users were blown away by the Delta PRO’s storage capacity. RV enthusiasts found that the Delta PRO’s enormous battery gave them more freedom than ever, as they could use it to supply power to their electronics while they explored off-grid locations. We also came across quite a few reviewers that had purchased the EcoFlow Extra Batteries alongside their Delta PRO, so they were able to use it as a high-capacity battery bank.

Portability and Versatility:

Another point of praise that we kept coming across was just how versatile the Delta PRO is. Many reviewers explained that they bought it for one specific purpose, but later found out that they could use it for others.

Many people simply bought a Delta PRO to function as a source of emergency power but discovered a wide range of daily uses for it, such as using it as a portable power hub for their workshop, or as a source of mobile power for family camping trips.

We also noticed a large number of reviewers expressed relief that the Delta PRO is actually more portable than it appears. While they did stress its considerable weight, many felt that the suitcase-style handle and built-in wheels really helped with portability.

Remarkable Output Power:

Just about every customer review we came across mentioned how surprised they were at the level of output power the Delta PRO can achieve. Users plugged in everything from hair straighteners and speakers to refrigerators and air conditioning units. No matter what they plugged in, most people found the Delta PRO could handle it.

There were also quite a few off-grid users that chose to purchase two Delta PROs and the EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub. These reviewers said they were able to use the Delta PRO to keep largescale appliances running without any issues. Quite a few even said they could not tell a difference between pulling power from their Delta PRO ecosystem and pulling power from the grid!

So, What Was the Overall Impression of the Delta PRO?

The truth is, we could hardly find anyone that had anything negative to say about the Delta PRO. While some did mention it is fairly expensive, all of these reviewers seemed to agree that the Delta PRO more than justifies its price tag.

When we reviewed the Delta PRO ourselves, we were very impressed by what it had to offer. It was unlike any solar generator we had ever seen, and some of the features promised to be incredibly beneficial to users.

After reading through real reviews from real people that have had the opportunity to use the Delta PRO in real-life settings, it seems fairly clear that the EcoFlow Delta PRO actually lives up to all of its early promises!

If you are interested in the Delta PRO, we encourage you to browse the ShopSolarKits.com EcoFlow Delta PRO Collection. Here you will find the Delta PRO as a standalone unit, as well as a variety of Delta PRO Solar Kits, which pair the unit with solar panels, expansion batteries, and more!

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Review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries

Review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Up until very recently, the amount of electricity a solar generator could store was limited by the size and quality of its internal battery. This meant that a solar generator’s total storage capacity was a figure that could only ever move in one direction. When you bought a solar generator, you were stuck with those storage capabilities until even that limited storage capacity decreased due to battery degradation.

Over the last year, several of the leading solar equipment manufacturers have introduced expandable solar generators that can be connected to one or more expansion batteries.

Today, we are going to take a look at the highly advanced EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery System. Not only will we explain how these expansion batteries work and why they can be so beneficial for consumers, we will break down their specifications to see if they really are as effective and useful as EcoFlow claims.

What is the EcoFlow Delta Pro?

Before we get into our in-depth review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery, it makes sense to quickly explain what the EcoFlow Delta PRO is and what it offers. After all, what good are expansion batteries if you are unfamiliar with the solar generator that they connect to?

The Delta PRO was released in late 2021 and it was designed to be a major upgrade over the brand’s incredibly popular Delta 1800 Solar Generator. Almost immediately after its release, the Delta PRO established itself as one of the most powerful and versatile solar generators on the market.

For starters, it features an enormous, built-in 3,600Wh internal battery. As we will explore in greater detail shortly, the Delta PRO is also compatible with multiple expansion batteries, so it is not limited to its already impressive 3,600Wh storage capacity.

What Does the Delta PRO Offer?

In addition to a high-capacity internal battery, the Delta PRO also contains a powerful 3,600W pure sine wave inverter. Users also have the option to link two Delta PROs to double the output power to a truly impressive 7,200W / 240V. This means the Delta PRO is truly unprecedented in terms of output power. It also means that you can use the Delta PRO for genuine, whole-home applications! In other words, by connecting two Delta PROs, you could potentially supply power to some of the most demanding electric appliances, like a clothing dyer, power tools, oven, well pump, and more, which means it can be a practical power source for an entire house!

Charging the Delta PRO’s massive internal battery is also incredibly fast and easy. Thanks to EcoFlow’s unique ‘MultiCharge’ feature, which allows you to charge with solar and AC power simultaneously, the Delta PRO can reach an input power rating of 6,500W, which is the fastest charging rate of any solar generator in the world!

The Delta PRO is also compatible with EcoFlow’s Smart Panel Ecosystem, which means you can fully integrate the unit into your home’s power system. When the power fails, your Delta PRO will automatically kick in and supply your home with power, so you will have access to electricity when you need it the most. Again, this explains why the Delta PRO actually is a practical option for whole-home backup.

The Delta PRO also features 12 output ports, including USB-C fast-charging ports and a 30A Anderson RV port. On top of that, the Delta PRO features a touch-screen display and it is Wi-Fi enabled, so you can easily connect it to EcoFlow’s user-friendly smart app.

So, What About the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries?

As mentioned, the Delta PRO was designed for expandability. Each Delta PRO can be linked to as many as two Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries. When you consider the fact that each of the expansion batteries has the same storage capacity as the Delta PRO itself (3,600Wh), you begin to realize how much power this solar generator system is capable of storing.

By simply adding a single expansion battery, you can take your total storage capacity up to 7,200Wh, or 7.2kWh. Two expansion batteries can deliver a total storage capacity of 10.8kWh. This is an incredible amount of power for a single solar generator; however, where the Delta PRO Extra Battery System really shines is when you pair two Delta Pros with a complete set of expansion batteries.

When you upgrade the Delta PRO to its full potential by pairing two units with four expansion batteries and the home integration kit, you can reach a mind-blowing storage capacity of 25kWh!

This means that the Delta PRO can compete with whole-home solar backup systems, like the Tesla Powerwall 2, which can only store 14kWh of power! When you consider the fact that the Delta PRO’s robust and expandable storage capacity is only one of the exciting features it offers, it begins to make sense why it was considered to be one of the most advanced solar generators in the industry’s entire history.

How are the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries Charged?

The Delta PRO’s Smart Batteries are charged in the exact same way as the Delta PRO’s internal battery, which means they benefit from its incredible input power rating and its 6,500W ‘MultiCharge’ feature.

As long as the Smart Battery, or Smart Batteries, are connected to a Delta PRO, they will begin charging immediately. Once the Smart Extra Batteries are connected, they will charge and discharge in unison, which means the remaining battery percentage will be kept level across all units. This is a convenient feature, as it prevents one battery from wearing out at a different rate than the rest of the batteries in your Delta PRO ecosystem.

Just like the Delta Pro’s internal battery, the Smart Extra Batteries can be charged from six unique sources – AC charging through any standard wall outlet, EV station charging, solar charging, EcoFlow Smart Generator charging, 12V DC car port charging, and even wind charging through a turbine.

Of course, ‘MultiCharging’ means you can also charge the batteries from two sources at the same time.

How Fast Can the Smart Extra Battery Charge?

Naturally, the charge speed will depend on your chosen charge method. With that being said, it is safe to say that the Delta PRO and the Smart Extra Batteries charge incredibly quickly.

If you are utilizing the ‘MultiCharge’ feature to reach a 6,500W charging rate, you would be able to charge the Delta PRO and a connected Smart Extra Battery in just under 2 hours! If you opted for AC charging alone by simply plugging the Delta PRO into a standard wall outlet, you could charge a Smart Extra Battery in just 2.7 hours; however, this would require the Delta PRO to be fully charged ahead of time.

Other Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery Features:

Like the Delta PRO itself, each of the Smart Extra Batteries also sports a bright LCD display screen. This easy-to-read screen displays all of the information you could ever need at all times. This means you get input and output power readings, as well as the remaining charge as a straightforward percentage.

You can even read how much power is remains until the battery is completely depleted if it continues to operate at its current output.

The Smart Extra Batteries are also Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with the EcoFlow Smart App, so you can quickly check all of the information listed above from your smartphone or tablet. This is what actually makes the Smart Extra Battery “smart”.

Smart app integration is incredibly useful if you are using your Delta PRO Solar Generator Ecosystem to supply power to your entire home. You don’t even need to be home to check how your Delta PRO and the connected Smart Extra Batteries are performing!

Each of the expansion batteries also features a carrying handle and a convenient set of durable wheels, so you still retain the portability that you get with the Delta PRO itself. While they are still fairly heavy, they are far more maneuverable than a standard deep-cycle battery bank or power wall. This means they are a practical option for RV enthusiasts and anyone else that would like to have the option to relocate their home backup system when required.

Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery Specs

  • Capacity: 3,600Wh / 3.6kWh
  • Battery Chemistry: Lithium-iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Battery Cycle Life: 6,500 cycles to 50% battery capacity, 3,500 cycles to 80% capacity
  • Shelf Life: 1 year on a full charge
  • Dimensions: 25” x 11.2” x 16.4” or 63.5cm x 28.5cm x 41.6cm
  • Total Weight: 84 lbs / 38 kg

 

What Can You Use the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries For?

While you can certainly pair a single Smart Extra Battery with your Delta PRO to increase your total storage capacity, the real advantage of the Smart Extra Batteries is their ability to transform your standalone solar generator into a whole-home solar power ecosystem.

By connecting two Delta PROs using the EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub, you can achieve a continuous output power rating of 7,200W / 240V! This is enough to power even the most heavy-duty and demanding electric appliances, so you can fully meet your home’s electricity requirements with pure solar power.

While connecting two Delta PROs would double your storage capacity to 7,200Wh, which is impressive, this might not be enough if you are planning to meet your entire home’s power requirements, or if you live off-grid.

This is where the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries would really come in handy. Since the expansion batteries are less expensive than the Delta PRO itself, you can greatly increase your total storage capacity without having to break the bank. Not only are they relatively affordable, but you can also increase your storage capacity to a total of 25kWh, which is far beyond what was ever possible with a solar generator prior to the EcoFlow Delta Pro’s release.

You can take things to the next level with the new EcoFlow Smart Home Panel, which is pictured above. The Smart Home Panel acts as the heart of the entire Delta PRO home battery ecosystem, as it can connect up to two Delta PROs and four Smart Extra Batteries with ten home circuits.

This combination ensures that you will have uninterrupted power during blackouts and other emergency situations. It also means that you can use your Delta PRO system to manage your solar electricity use, so you can easily switch your home over to solar power whenever you desire.

This is really beneficial for those that are connected to the grid with a smart meter, as it means you can run your electronic appliances and devices off of solar electricity when power sourced from the grid is at its highest price. This lets you reduce the cost of your monthly electricity bills, so you can start to see some return on your solar generator investment right away.

Would We Recommend the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries?

If your power requirements exceed what a single EcoFlow Delta PRO can deliver, we would certainly recommend purchasing one or more Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries.

Not only can they each store an impressive 3.6kWh worth of electricity, but they are also incredibly easy to use. You can simply plug them into your existing Delta PRO and double or triple your storage capacity in seconds.

The easy-to-read display screen and ability to connect the batteries to the EcoFlow Smart App are also nice touches. If you are looking for a simple way to introduce solar power into your home, we cannot recommend a complete Delta PRO solar generator ecosystem enough.

For those that are interested, complete Delta PRO solar kits, like this EcoFlow Delta PRO 10,800Wh Solar Generator HEX KIT, are a great option. The Delta PRO HEX KIT pictured above pairs the Delta PRO with x2 Smart Extra Batteries and x6 200W monocrystalline solar panels. In other words, you get everything you need to store and use a significant amount of solar electricity in one convenient package.

Overall, we cannot recommend the EcoFlow Delta PRO and its Smart Extra Batteries enough!

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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Unbound Solar Review

Unbound Solar Review – Taking an In-Depth Look at This Popular Solar Power System Outfitter

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

There are plenty of reasons why so many people choose to embrace solar technology each year. For starters, installing a residential solar power system can safeguard your family against ever-rising electricity costs.

There are also numerous non-financial reasons why making the choice to go solar is growing in popularity at such a rapid rate. For many, concerns about global climate change can act as a powerful motive. Making the decision to power your home with renewable energy, rather than electricity that is sourced from the grid, can help you feel as if you are doing your part to protect the environment.

Then there is the fact that the lengthy blackouts and power failures that have plagued the nation over the past few years have exposed the fragility of the American electrical grid. This has left many American homeowners craving the security and energy independence that a residential solar power system can provide.

Regardless of your specific reasons for wanting a residential solar power system, it is important to know which retailers can supply the most efficient and reliable equipment at the best prices. This is why we feel it is our responsibility to review solar retailers, rather than strictly reviewing individual pieces of solar equipment.

In the past, we reviewed the EcoFlow Delta 1800 and found it to be an extremely impressive and capable unit. It remains one of our favorite solar generators, and it continues to be one of the best-selling units on the market today.

We are incredibly excited to take a close look at EcoFlow’s updated and expanded version of the Delta 1800 – the EcoFlow Delta Max. Not only will we review the upcoming EcoFlow Delta Max, but we will also take a look at some of the exciting accessories EcoFlow announced alongside the Delta Max.

How Can We Help?

To help you better understand your options, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the top solar power system providers in the United States – Unbound Solar.

Over the last few years, the increased popularity of residential solar equipment has led to an explosion in the number of solar retailers on the market. While this competition may sound like a good thing for consumers, it can make it difficult for individuals to know which retailers can actually deliver what they promise, and which have overinflated prices and low-quality products. This is where we can help.

By taking a close look at Unbound Solar, we can determine whether or not they are worthy of your consideration. We will start by taking a closer look at the brand and its history. From there, we will examine their product catalog and other offerings to determine if they have what you need.

As we always say, a residential solar power system is a major investment, so taking the time to research manufacturers and retailers before you make that investment is incredibly important.

Who is Unbound Solar?

The company was originally founded in 1992 under the name Wholesale Solar; however, in October of 2020, the decision was made to rebrand the company as Unbound Solar.

As its original name suggests, the company started out as a wholesale distributor of solar equipment and complete solar power systems. While they originally focussed exclusively on off-grid solar components and systems, they have now branched out into a much wider range of products, including grid-tied solar power systems and other energy independence products, like high-capacity battery banks.

Today, Unbound Solar continues to operate as a 100% employee-owned company. They also continue to operate domestically out of the American Pacific Northwest. Under the direction of the company’s current CEO, Wil VandeWiel, Unbound Solar continues to be one of the nation’s leading solar power system retailers.

What is the Brand Mission for Unbound Solar?

Unbound Solar’s slogan, “Do it Your Way”, perfectly encapsulates the entire company’s vision. Basically, it is their aim to work with customers to help them design the perfect solar power system for their unique needs.

Whether you are looking to install a small-scale solar power system yourself, or you are looking to convert your entire home over to solar power by hiring professional installers, Unbound Solar gives customers the power to choose the exact equipment they need for their specific project.

What Does Unbound Solar Offer?

Unbound Solar places a great deal of importance on only working with the best manufacturers in the industry. Their main selling point is the fact Unbound Solar does not work with you during installation, so they can offer solar equipment at much lower prices than full-service, turn-key installers.

Essentially, the customer acts as the project manager and decides for themselves what they need. Once Unbound Solar delivers your solar equipment, you can choose to install it yourself or hire local contractors to help with installation.

By keeping upfront costs relatively low, the buyer can see a much faster return on their investment. In other words, the money invested into the solar equipment you purchase from Unbound Solar will begin paying for itself much faster, as it will be far less expensive than if you paid for a full-service solar installer to do everything for you.

What Happens When You Buy from Unbound Solar?

Unbound Solar’s buying process is fairly straightforward, as they leave the installation up to you. Once you have made the decision to buy from Unbound Solar, you work with the company to choose the exact solar components you need for your preferred solar power system. Once you have made your choices, you place your order and Unbound Solar will package and ship your solar equipment to you.

Once you receive your solar equipment, it is on you to determine how you will install it. As mentioned, you can either install it yourself or find a local installation company to work with. After you have received the equipment and installed it your way, Unbound Solar will offer ongoing support, which means they can help answer any questions or concerns you have about your new solar power system, even if it was purchased many years earlier.

What Types of Solar Power Systems Do They Sell?

Unbound Solar sells both off-grid and grid-tied solar power systems, so customers can choose what works best for them.

They even offer several solar kits that are specifically designed for RVs and boats. This RV and marine solar power systems are limited in terms of output power, but they can be a great option for those that are looking for a small-scale system they can mount directly to their RV, camper van, or boat.

In terms of individual components, Unbound Solar offers a wide range of products. For starters, they offer individual solar panels from Astronergy, Heliene, and Solaria, which happen to be some of the best residential solar panel brands on the market.

Although the three types of panels they offer are all made by reputable manufacturers, so they are all built to a high standard, we were a little bit disappointed that Unbound Solar does not offer bulk discounts when you purchase more than one solar panel at a time. While this is fairly standard for online solar retailers, there are a few companies out there that will offer discounts depending on the number of panels you purchase.

They also offer a variety of deep-cycle solar batteries, various solar panel racks, and several types of power inverters. While they will not appeal to all customers, they also offer several natural gas-powered generators. While these can be really helpful as a source of backup power, they are not powered by a renewable energy source.

Strangely, they do not carry solar generators, which we found somewhat disappointing. Given the fact that solar generators can act as a beginner-friendly, all-in-one solar power station, it is a shame that Unbound Solar does not carry them. Fortunately, those that are looking for a portable source of solar power can choose from several reputable retailers that carry solar generators.

What Do We Like About Unbound Solar?

Now that you know a little bit more about the company, we can take a look at some of the things we really like about Unbound Solar.

Impressive Selection:

One of the things we liked most about Unbound Solar is the fact that they work directly with a wide range of solar manufacturers. Some of the smaller retailers only work with a small number of manufacturers, which can severely limit options for consumers.

Given that Unbound Solar works with over 50 manufacturers, we find that it is fairly easy to find the exact equipment you are looking for through their online store. The ability to build your own custom solar power system by mixing and matching components from various manufacturers really allows you to build and install a system that matches your preferences. This is another way that Unbound Solar lives up to its slogan, “Do it Your Way”.

Dedication to a Positive Environmental Impact:

While offering their customers high-quality components at fair prices is certainly Unbound Solar’s primary goal, the brand has always remained dedicated to making a positive environmental impact.

According to Unbound Solar’s website, since they first started, the 20,000 residential solar power systems that they have sold have generated roughly 100 Mega Watts of clean electricity. When you consider the fact that over 140,000 tons of CO2 would have been emitted if the same volume of electricity was sourced from a conventional electrical grid, their products have had a very significant environmental impact. Reducing carbon emissions by 140,000 tons is the equivalent of saving 92.3 acres of trees!

At Ecotality, sustainability has always been one of our primary concerns, which is why we always check to see what efforts solar manufacturers and retailers take to make sure that their products are eco-friendly. While you may assume that all solar equipment is eco-friendly, the truth is, some of the lower quality products are not made to last. When solar equipment is made, the manufacturing process can result in fairly significant carbon emissions, so the equipment must last long enough to generate the power required to cancel out what was emitted while it was being made.

Fortunately, Unbound Solar makes sure that they only carry solar equipment that can make this difference!

On top of this, Unbound Solar donates a set percentage of each sale to one of fifty non-profit organizations. The customer chooses which non-profit they would like the money to go to. One of the top organizations Unbound Solar donates to is One Tree Planted, which works towards reforestation efforts around the world. For every dollar they receive, One Tree Planted will plant a tree. Currently they have planted over 4 million trees!

Personalized Assistance and Lasting Support:

For those that are interested in purchasing a complete solar power system, rather than just a few individual components, Unbound Solar will offer lifetime support on your system. To do so, they help you understand manufacturer warranties and they can even help you get in touch with local equipment technicians.

Their team of solar experts will also help walk you through the buying process by answering questions over the phone. While this type of support might not be of much use to those that have experience installing and using residential solar power systems, it can be a real benefit to beginners.

Each of the complete solar power systems they sell also comes packaged with a basic electrical diagram, which will explain the basics of wiring a solar power system together. For an extra fee, you can even receive customized diagrams that will be tailored to the specific components within your newly purchased solar power system. While we would have preferred if this service was provided at no cost to the customer, it is still really helpful for those that are eager to install their solar power system on their own.

Would We Recommend Unbound Solar to Our Readers?

There is plenty to like about Unbound Solar. The fact that they have been in business for 30 continuous years is a massive achievement in itself, especially when you are talking about an industry as young as the residential solar power industry. Selling over 20,000 complete solar power systems is also a testament to their enduring quality, as few solar retailers can come close to these numbers.

We also really like that Unbound Solar focuses on helping its customers find tailor-made solar solutions that actually fit their specific budget and power requirements. They really do seem committed to their “Do it Your Way” slogan; however, we would have preferred if they did not charge extra for custom wiring instructions. With that being said, the base prices for their solar power systems are very competitive, so we cannot really argue with the extra fee too much.

We also like that they sell both off-grid and grid-tied solar power systems, but we found that some of their off-grid systems are a bit underpowered. This could be because they are designed for smaller, off-grid cabins, rather than full-sized houses, but it is still something to consider.

Another thing we really liked is the fact that they feature a Solar Permitting System, which helps customers acquire the necessary permits to have a solar power system installed on their home. If you live in a jurisdiction that requires engineering stamps, they can even help you get your permit professionally reviewed and stamped (again, for an additional fee).

Overall Impression:

In short, we would certainly recommend Unbound Solar, but they will not be the perfect option for everyone. If you are comfortable purchasing a solar power system that will likely require professional installation, and you also know that there are qualified installers or contractors in your area, Unbound Solar is a great option. Remember, they did start out as a solar wholesaler, so most of their solar power systems will be similar to what you would receive if you went through a local solar installation company, but Unbound Solar’s prices should be better.

If you are more interested in a beginner-friendly, DIY solar power system that you can easily install yourself, you may want to look at another retailer, as this is not Unbound Solar’s specialty. The same can be said if you are looking for a convenient and portable solar generator.

ShopSolarKits.com:

Like Unbound Solar, ShopSolarKits is an extremely popular online solar retailer. While they are involved in the same industry, the two companies specialize in different types of solar equipment and complete solar power systems.

Where Unbound Solar’s main focus is roof-mounted, wholesale-priced solar power systems that often require professional installation, ShopSolarKits offers products that are more geared towards DIY enthusiasts that would prefer to install a solar power system without professional help.

This is because ShopSolarKits specializes in pre-assembled solar kits that range from beginner-friendly, plug-and-play kits, to large-scale whole-home grid-tied and off-grid kits.

What we like the most about this retailer is the fact that all of their solar kits actually come with every single thing you need. This includes everything from mounts and brackets, to solar cables and connectors. When you purchase a solar kit from ShopSolarKits, you know that you will have everything you need in one package.

While complete solar kits are certainly their specialization, like Unbound Solar, they also sell individual pieces of solar equipment, so you have the option to upgrade or replace any component in your current solar setup.

Why ShopSolarKits?

One of the best things about ShopSolarKits is the fact that they offer true lifetime customer support on all purchases. Whether you have purchased one of their complete kits, or you have just ordered a few solar panels, ShopSolarKits guarantees that they will always be there to help throughout your solar journey.

While their low prices are certainly appealing, it is the impressive variety of solar kits they offer that really sets them apart. Whether you are looking for an off-grid power solution, or you just want to install a simple emergency backup power system for your home, ShopSolarKits has everything you need.

What Do They Sell?

They sell traditional grid-tied, off-grid, and hybrid grid-tied + battery bank solar kits, as well as complete solar generator kits. As we discussed above, solar generators are incredibly practical and convenient pieces of solar equipment. All you need to do is connect a solar generator to an appropriate number of solar panels and you have portable, off-grid power that you can reliably access from anywhere. This makes them perfect for campers and RV enthusiasts, as well as those that are looking for a source of emergency power for blackouts.

Fortunately, ShopSolarKits offers a wide range of these solar generator kits. They package solar generators from some of the best brands in the industry with an appropriate array of efficient solar panels. These kits are then offered at incredibly low prices. As an added bonus, they also come with wiring and installation instructions, so even the least experienced individuals can get them up and running in no time.

For example, their EcoFlow Delta MAX Quad Kit contains a highly versatile 2,016Wh / 2,400W solar generator and x4 12V monocrystalline solar panels. You also get all of the cables, plugs, and connectors required to get it up and running in no time. All of this is available for just over $2,500! This is ideal for beginners, those with basic power needs, and anyone that is on a tight budget.

We encourage you to browse their Solar Generator Kit Collection to find a wide range of kits that can meet just about any need.

For those with greater power needs, they also sell a variety of Whole Home Solar Panel Kits, which come with everything you need to convert your entire home over to solar power. They even come with high-capacity battery banks and power walls. While Unbound Solar also offers off-grid solar kits, they carry fewer options and their solar kits often require professional installation.

Final Words

Overall, Unbound Solar is a trustworthy wholesaler of large-scale, grid-tied, and off-grid solar power systems. If you are comfortable with locating and hiring your own contractors to install your system, they are certainly a more affordable option than purchasing a system directly from a local installer.

On the other hand, if you are in the market for something that you can install yourself, or you are looking for something a little bit more budget-friendly and portable, like a solar generator kit, you may want to consider another retailer, like ShopSolarKits.com.

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Real Goods Solar Review

Real Goods Solar Review – Who Are They and Should You Purchase Your Solar Equipment from Them?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Solar equipment can be very expensive, which is why it is usually treated as a substantial long-term investment, rather than something you just pick up impulsively. With the rising popularity of residential solar power systems, it only makes sense that more people than ever are looking to purchase durable and reliable solar equipment from retailers that they can trust.

While there are plenty of trustworthy solar retailers and distributors out there, it can be a little bit overwhelming to determine which companies will actually deliver what they promise. This is why we firmly believe in the importance of reviewing each and every major solar retailer out there, as this can help our readers avoid making costly errors.

How Can We Help?

To help you understand your options, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the longest-serving solar retailers in the industry – Real Goods Solar. Not only will we take a closer look at the company’s history and reputation, but we will also explore the solar products and packages that they have to offer. After we have given our overall impression of Real Goods Solar, we will even offer some viable alternatives that might be a better fit for your specific needs.

As discussed above, a solar power system should be viewed as a major investment for your home. By purchasing from a reliable retailer that only stocks high-quality sola