Who is Will Prowse?

Who is Will Prowse and Are His DIY Solar Power YouTube Videos Helpful?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

If you are interested in building a portable or residential solar power system, there is a good chance you have come across Will Prowse and his DIY Solar Power YouTube channel.

With over 52 million views on his informative solar videos and an ever-growing following that currently sits at over 550,000 YouTube subscribers, it is fair to say that Will Prowse is one of the internet’s go-to resources for information on building DIY solar power systems.

While his massive YouTube following certainly speaks to his popularity, it is worth learning a little bit more about Will Prowse and his channel to discover whether or not his videos can actually help you build your own solar power system.

So, Who is Will Prowse?

Will Prowse currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Before this, he lived in an RV and spent a significant amount of time living off-grid. While his earliest YouTube videos primarily discussed living in a van or RV on a budget, he quickly shifted his attention to mobile solar power systems.

He wrote his Amazon best-selling book, Mobile Solar Power Made Easy around this time, which is an excellent resource if you are looking for step-by-step instructions on building and installing a vehicle-mounted solar power system.

Over the last few years, the focus of Will Prowse’s YouTube channel has transitioned from RV-centric solar power systems to affordable DIY solar power more generally. He explains everything from the solar electricity basics to more complex topics, like building your own solar power bank from basic components.

Are Will Prowse’s YouTube Videos Useful?

We are certainly big fans of Will Prowse’s YouTube channel and believe he can be a valuable resource for anyone interested in building or expanding a DIY solar power system; however, his videos are not without their faults. For starters, his videos can be fairly technical, which can make them somewhat challenging for beginners.

While many of his videos have simple titles that would lead you to believe that they are beginner-friendly, they are often aimed more towards viewers that already have a background in solar power. This is not to discredit the information offered in his videos, but it is something to consider if you are new to solar power.

We firmly believe that installing a DIY solar power system can be uncomplicated and enjoyable, so the last thing we would want is for anyone to become discouraged because they think it would be difficult and frustrating.

The sheer number and variety of videos can also be somewhat intimidating for viewers, especially if you are unsure where to start. Since Will Prowse is so experienced, his tutorials and product reviews touch on just about every topic, so finding videos that explain the basics can sometimes feel more difficult than it needs to be.

With all of that said, Will Prowse is undeniably one of the most reliable sources of DIY solar power information out there. His passion for renewable power and building affordable solar power systems is there for anyone to see, and he really knows what he is talking about. If you know what to look for, his video tutorials can be incredibly useful.

Take, for example, this Beginner-Friendly Solar Power System Build. This video tutorial quickly breaks down the components you need to build your own system and demonstrates how they are wired together. Videos like this are incredibly useful for beginners; however, they are no longer the main focus of his YouTube channel. As mentioned, he now tends to focus on more complicated and niche topics, like product reviews of individual components and fine-tuning larger-scale systems.

Pros & Cons of Will Prowse’s YouTube Videos

 To make things easy, we quickly broke down some of the pros and cons of Will Prowse’s DIY Solar Power channel:

Pros

Cons

Our Overall Impression of Will Prowse and his DIY Solar Power Videos

As mentioned, we are big Will Prowse fans, so it is no surprise that we believe his DIY Solar Power YouTube channel is a valuable resource for anyone interested in building their solar power system.

While it might not be the best resource for beginners and those just looking for an introduction to solar power, his video tutorials and reviews can become incredibly useful as your experience and knowledge grow.

Where Should You Start?

If you are new to solar power, building a complete DIY solar power system from scratch might be a little bit overwhelming. Rather than buying each component individually and attempting to do everything yourself, we recommend starting with a beginner-friendly solar kit.

Complete solar kits take the frustration out of getting into solar power, as they come with everything you need to get started in one convenient and affordable package. For one low price, you get all of the components you need to build your own solar system, including solar panels, a power inverter, a charge controller, one or more deep cycle solar batteries, and all of the cables, brackets, and connectors required to wire everything together.

Recommended DIY Solar Kits

While there are plenty of options out there, we always recommend choosing a solar kit that comes with high-quality components that will last and perform as advertised. The following kits are beginner-friendly and find the perfect balance between quality and affordability:

This complete solar kit combines three 200W monocrystalline solar panels with a 2,000W pure sine power inverter, an MPPT solar charge controller, and two 100Ah AGM deep cycle solar batteries. It also comes with all of the cables and connectors you need to get the system up and running.

Since the components are packaged together, the total price is significantly cheaper than it would be if you purchased each piece of equipment separately. Overall, it offers outstanding value and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have everything you need.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Complete DIY 600W Solar Panel Kit

For those that value mobility, this portable solar power kit is an excellent choice. It is one of the most popular solar power kits on the market because it combines the outstanding Bluetti AC200P solar generator with two 200W 12V monocrystalline solar panels and a 30’ MC4 PV extension cable.

This means you get all the advantages of a DIY solar power system in a highly portable package. Since the AC200P features a built-in 2,000W power inverter and a massive 2,000Wh LiFep04 solar battery, you get everything you need to store and access solar power in one unit. It also features all of the output ports you could ever need, so it is ideal for anyone living out of a van, RV, or remote cabin. It is also a great choice for anyone that is looking for a reliable source of power in the event of emergencies and extended power outages.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti AC200P 2,000W Solar Generator Nomad Kit

Final Words

We highly encourage you to visit the DIY Solar Power with WIll Prowse YouTube Channel; however, you should not allow yourself to get discouraged if the videos seem overly technical and confusing.

DIY solar power does not have to be complicated. Rather than try to build your first system from nothing, start with a high-quality solar kit and start reaping the many rewards of generating your own renewable energy right away!

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Off Grid Solar System

What to Look for In Off Grid Solar System Packages

What to Look for In Off Grid Solar System Packages

Off Grid Solar System

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

If you have contemplated installing an off-grid solar power system, you have probably searched online for information. It’s likely left you feeling utterly confused at the ridiculously large variety of everything sold under the name of solar power kits.

On the one hand are basic $1000 kits that include a solar panel or two, a tiny inverter, and some cables and connectors. On the other hand are complex, full-fledged systems with dozens of big and small components and a price tag of tens of thousands.

While it is easy to get lost in the sea of options, a slightly technical understanding of your own requirements and a basic understanding of solar power packages and their components and specifications can help you feel confident in making a perfect choice.

Steps in Picking the Right Off-Grid Solar System Package

1. Understanding Specifications

If you were about to buy a car, it would help to spend some time familiarizing yourself with specifications, such as engine capacity, brake horsepower, and fuel economy, to help you understand which model is more suited to your needs.

Similarly, different components of a solar power system have different specifications, and it is essential to understand what they mean if you want to choose the right solar system package for your off-grid requirements. Let’s take a look at these specs:

a) Power (W)

In physics, power is simply the rate at which work is done. So, an athlete running faster is consuming more power than someone slower than they are.

Power is measured in watts and tells us how much energy something is consuming or generating per hour. For example, a solar panel with a 200W power rating produces 200W (every hour), while a TV set with a 200W power rating consumes 200W of power (every hour). 

Different electrical appliances have different power ratings, and your solar panels and batteries must be capable of providing the total power consumed by all the appliances you will run at any point.

b) Energy (Wh)

Often confused with power and used interchangeably (wrongly), energy is the total power consumed over a certain period, such as in a day, month, or year.

Energy is an important factor in load calculations because getting only power consumption is incomplete information when designing a solar power system. Since energy is a product of power and time, its unit is watt-hours (Wh). Most batteries available in the market today specify their energy capacity in Wh.

c) Current (A)

Electric current is the flow of electrons from point A to B or in a circuit that facilitates the transmission of power. Current rating is important in solar system specifications since it helps select the correct size of cables, correct charge controller, etc.

d) Voltage (V)

To define voltage in simpler terms, one can say that it is the force with which current travels or power is transmitted.

All electrical devices have a specified voltage rating, and when connecting things, it is important to match their voltage ratings. For example, when connecting solar panels and batteries to a 24V inverter, the panel array rating and batteries rating should also be 24V.

2. Understanding Your Requirements

Getting an off-grid solar system package should be as easy as buying a TV. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and you have to spend some time learning how to choose wisely.

When it comes to solar kits, there is no one-size-fits-all. The first and most important selection criterion is how much power you need from your system and when you need it.

One way to calculate this is to find the power rating (W) of every appliance you have and the hours (h) of operation of each, then find the energy consumption (W x h) for every appliance, and sum it up for the total energy consumed.

Here’s an example:

Sr. No. Appliance Watts (Power) Duration of Use (hours) Energy (watts x hours)
1 Lights 100 6 600
2 TV 200 4 800
3 Water Pump 400 1 400
4 Refrigerator 200 6 1200
  TOTAL 900W   3000 Wh

Another option is to use an online load calculator, which has the power consumption values of several appliances pre-fed into it.

Example of Online Load Calculator

Example of Online Load Calculator

Once you have the total energy consumption in Wh, divide by the number of sunshine hours per day at your location, and you will have your required solar panel rating.

For example, if your location receives an average of 5 hours of sunshine daily and your total Wh consumption per day is 5000, then you will need

5000 Wh ÷ 5 h = 1000 W solar panels

Next is a simple calculation for batteries. Since you’re building an off-grid system, you will need batteries, but, the battery does not need to store every Wh of energy produced by the panels. A considerable amount of the energy generated by panels is consumed instantaneously during the day, while the consumption during darker hours varies from person to person. For instance, if you need about 60% of your energy overnight, you can choose a battery with an energy capacity that is around 60% of your calculated daily consumption value. In our example,

60% x 5000 Wh = 3000 Wh battery capacity

Similarly, when selecting an inverter, choose a power rating that is slightly higher than the size of your solar panel, such as a 1200 W inverter in this example.

Lastly, you will need a charge controller, which optimizes the charging of the battery. Based on your inverter’s voltage rating, choose a controller that has a similar voltage rating (12V/24V) and a current rating that is slightly larger than your system’s current rating (total amperage of your solar panels)

Another way of ensuring that the system is right for you is looking for a section in the product description that says something like, “What can you power with this?” This section usually appears on the seller’s website and often outlines the types and quantity of devices that you can run using that particular solar kit. Here’s an example from a well-built solar kit:

What Can Your Solar Kit Power?

3. Comparing Parameters

Calculating the size of your solar power system is only half the battle. Once you have noted the specs, you still need to choose among the myriad options available in the market today. Not all solar power systems of the same capacity are the same. Some might produce significantly less power if the component efficiencies are low. Some might have poor build quality, or some might have too few features for the cost.

Here’s a quick list to help you decide what to look for in an off-grid solar power system from the features point-of-view:

Monocrystalline solar panels

Solar panel efficiency has constantly improved since its invention, but the last two decades saw large technological leaps that took the efficiencies of panels from less than 15% to well over 20%. 

The more efficient a solar panel is, the less space it will occupy. Among the major types of panels in the market, monocrystalline silicon panels are rapidly gaining popularity because of their higher efficiencies compared to multi-crystalline panels.

Lithium batteries

Just a few years ago, bulky lead-acid batteries were the norm for off-grid solar systems. They were not only difficult to handle but also required regular maintenance.

In recent years, lithium-ion batteries have become mainstream, thanks to their notably higher energy density, which makes them much lighter than lead-acid batteries. 

But the advantages of Li-ion batteries are beyond just weight. Most of them are highly efficient, meaning you lose very little energy when charging or discharging the battery.

Even in Li-ion batteries, we recommended going for Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) or LFP batteries, which offer strikingly long life (thousands of lifecycles), much better fire resistance, and higher current rating.

Functionality

Suppose you have narrowed it down to a few contenders with similar price points, one of which gets to become your off-grid solar power system. All the specs and major features such as panel type and battery type are similar, how do you choose one?

At this stage, we look at what a component can provide above and beyond its basic role. Many inverters/generators come with several useful ports, such as an RV plug, wireless charging pads, etc.

Some companies offer solar panels that have integrated mounting stands, saving you the hassle of fabrication and mounting structures.

Other things to look for are the weight of the inverter/battery, the build quality of components, etc. Last but not least, you should receive a wiring schematic and even an installation guide that guides you step-by-step in the entire connection and installation process of the solar system package you have purchased.

4. Optimizing Consumption to Optimize Size of Solar System

Prices for solar equipment have plummeted over the past few years, and going solar is easier than ever. Despite that, off-grid solar power systems still require a sizable investment. A wise way of minimizing the cost of a solar power system is to optimize power consumption.

For example, replacing a 300 W air conditioner with a 50 W fan reduces energy consumption by a factor of 6. For an operating time of 5 hours, the AC would use a staggering 1500 Wh, and a fan will use 250 Wh. This approach not only reduces the size of solar panels required but also the battery capacity. It is one of the most decisive factors in the pricing of the system.

Other tweaks include using LED lights and as much natural lighting as possible.

Summary

Off-grid solar system packages are becoming wildly popular, thanks to how much financial and ecological sense they make, plus their ability to power virtually anything anywhere. As a result, many companies have launched off-grid solar power kits, and it is more difficult than ever to choose the perfect kit per your needs.

The main steps to choosing the right kit for yourself include understanding the basics of a solar PV system, calculating your energy requirements, and understanding and comparing key features.

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Renogy

Renogy Brand Review

Renogy Brand Review – Are They Any Good? (WARNING)

Renogy

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

There are now more solar equipment manufacturers than ever before. With so many different solar brands competing for your business, knowing which company to choose can result in quite a headache.

You should see a solar power system as an investment, so you should choose components that are actually durable enough to withstand the test of time. Not only do you want to make sure you are choosing high-quality pieces of equipment that will last, but you also want to make sure that each piece of solar equipment you buy can actually perform as advertised.

After all, your entire solar power system is only as strong as its weakest component. There is no sense in running a high-capacity deep cycle solar battery if the solar panels it is connected to are inefficient and struggle to generate a meaningful amount of power.

How Can We Help?

Renogy

To help you choose equipment that you can trust, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the most well-known brands in the personal solar equipment industry. We will start by looking at the company’s origins and where it is heading, then focus on its reputation and the overall quality of its products and customer service.

Examining the Renogy brand and its product line will help us decide whether or not this major player in the solar industry is all it is cracked up to be. Whether you are new to solar or have been using it for years, knowing which brands to trust is incredibly beneficial!

Who Are Renogy and What Do They Do?

The Renogy brand was founded in 2010 as a small-scale project by a group of students from Louisiana State University. With the help of grants and the support of the Louisiana Business and Technology Center, the founders got their renewable energy start-up off the ground.

What is the Brand Mission for Renogy?

The current CEO and one of the company’s founders, Yi Li, grew up in China and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from Louisiana State University. Yi Li and the other members of Renogy’s management team remain committed to the company’s original goal of empowering individuals by providing them with DIY-friendly renewable energy products that can help them achieve energy independence.

To reach this goal, Renogy offers a wide variety of affordable solar products. While their range of solar panels is certainly their bestsellers, the brand also offers affordable charge controllers, power inverters, deep cycle solar batteries, and complete solar kits.

How Do Renogy Products Stack Up to the Competition?

While the brand certainly has lofty and respectable goals, its reputation for quality and customer service is somewhat lacking.

Quality Concerns:

While its solar products are certainly budget-friendly, the level of quality is not always the greatest, mostly because its products are made in China rather than domestically. While off-shoring their manufacturing certainly helps keep costs down, it means its products are not always built to high or consistent standards.

Renogy battery

Solar brands that make their products domestically tend to be durable and capable of withstanding the elements as intended. That said, Renogy products have been known to break down and deteriorate prematurely, especially when left outside for extended periods.

Renogy products can certainly perform as advertised, and they have earned their reputation for having some of the lowest prices in the industry, the quality and durability issues are very concerning.

When you purchase any piece of solar equipment, you want it to last long enough that you see a return on your investment. The fact that domestically made solar products are almost always built to a higher standard makes you wonder if the money saved on the upfront cost of Renogy solar equipment is worth the risk.

Poor Customer Service:

Unfortunately, Renogy also has a fairly poor reputation when it comes to customer service. Many customers find it impossible to contact a real customer service representative, which is incredibly frustrating when dealing with a brand that does not have a reputation for quality.

According to consumer review aggregator www.trustpilot.com, Renogy has a rating of 1.4, meaning more than 90% of the reviews label the customer service as bad, which happens to be the lowest rating users can choose. Given that most of these reviews list poor customer service as their number one frustration, it is a significant issue.

Renogy solar panel

Not only is the customer service issue a major concern, Renogy routinely suffers from delivery and supply chain issues, which, again, is an unfortunate consequence of having their products made off-shore. Some of their competitors have a quick turnaround and deliver products on time, but Renogy is considerably less reliable.

When you combine poor customer service with fulfillment and logistics issues, it is no surprise that many consumers find it is worth avoiding the potential frustration altogether.

Our Overall Impression of the Renogy Brand

It would be unfair to pretend that all of Renogy’s products suffer from quality issues, defects and faults seem to be a reoccurring problem. Simply put, we would feel more comfortable recommending a brand that has its solar products manufactured domestically.

With that said, Renogy certainly has some great prices on their solar equipment, especially when it comes to their beginner-friendly solar products.

Renogy 200W 12V Eclipse Solar Panel Suitcase

For example, take this Renogy 200W 12V Eclipse Solar Panel Suitcase. Not only is the folding design convenient and highly portable, but the solar panel also features efficient, monocrystalline solar cells and a built-in Voyager charge controller. As a bonus, the entire solar panel is protected with a canvas case, which would really come in handy when putting the panel into storage.

Assuming it arrives on time and in the proper condition, this suitcase-style solar panel would be ideal for any portable solar power system. However, that is the problem with Renogy. Its products look great on paper, but the delivery delays and customer service issues are not worth the hassle, especially when similar products from more reliable companies are available.

Regardless of whether the products are delivered on time and in working condition, we cannot overlook the customer service issues. So many other companies respond quickly to questions and concerns their customers have. For example, one of Renogy’s competitors, Rich Solar, has a reputation for outstanding customer service.

When you encounter any issues with your solar equipment, it is worth having the peace of mind of knowing that the manufacturer will resolve your problems right away. When there are solar equipment companies out there like Rich Solar, EcoFlow, and BigBattery that provide lengthy warranties and superior customer service, it makes you wonder if the money you would save buying a Renogy product is worth it in the long run.

Final Words

Overall, we believe Renogy offers some respectable solar equipment, and that it remains one of the most well-known solar brands is certainly a testament to that fact; however, we have major concerns about its logistical issues, quality control, and reputation for poor customer service.

If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford anything else, you might have some luck with Renogy products. But, you should be fully aware of the issues and limitations the company has.

As solar power becomes more mainstream and an increasing number of brands enter the industry, there is no doubt that consumers will benefit. Hopefully, the competition these new and innovative brands bring into the industry pushes some of the older companies, like Renogy, to innovate, improve, and overcome their current issues.

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Bigbattery

BigBattery Brand Review

BigBattery Brand Review – Are They Any Good?

Bigbattery

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

Whether you are building a large-scale residential solar power system or a simple mobile solar system for an RV or off-grid cabin, one of the most important components of your setup is the power storage system.

A reliable and efficient solar battery will help you store the electricity your solar panels generate, enabling you to access power when you need it rather than just when the solar panels are absorbing sunlight.

Whether you are storing electricity for emergencies and grid failures or powering your electronic devices and appliances regularly, choosing the right batteries is critical.

How Can We Help?

To help you make the right choice, we are taking a close look at BigBattery, one of the fastest-growing brands in the solar storage industry.

Bigbattery

After looking at the brand’s origins and mission statement, we will examine the current standing of their reputation amongst solar consumers. Once we know more about the BigBattery brand, we will determine whether or not we think BigBattery solar storage products are worth your consideration.

Who Are BigBattery and What Do They Offer?

While they started as a fairly small-scale battery manufacturer, BigBattery has now grown into one of the largest suppliers of off-grid, renewable energy batteries in the United States.

The brand’s founder, Eric Lundgren, has committed his life to environmental and sustainability causes. While remaining an adamant supporter of the green energy revolution, Lundgren found that expensive and unreliable batteries were holding the renewable energy movement back. As a response, he founded BigBattery, which had the simple aim of reducing the cost of solar storage by offering reliable and inexpensive solar batteries that are simple, efficient, and practical.

The brand continues to work on its main goal of lowering the cost of solar storage for the average consumer, as it believes this will encourage more people to adopt solar technology.

What is BigBattery’s Specialization?

As the brand’s name suggests, BigBattery’s specialty is modular batteries that offer outstanding life-cycle longevity, the latest and most efficient technology, and cutting-edge safety features. Its batteries are backed by an outstanding 10-year warranty, so they are made to last the test of time.

While BigBattery offers deep cycle batteries specifically designed for golf carts, vans, RVs, and various industrial applications, its off-grid solar batteries are the company’s best-selling products and clear specialization.

BigBattery’s solar storage systems tend to be large battery modules rather than typical 12V deep cycle solar batteries that need to be wired together to create a battery bank.

BigBattery solar batteries

These large-scale off-grid battery modules function similarly to the popular Tesla Powerwall but come at a much more affordable price. Some of the lithium batteries they use in their larger products use the same technology and materials as the batteries you would find in Tesla vehicles and other popular electric vehicles. BigBattery reduces waste and keeps costs low by buying surplus, unused lithium cells from larger brands, like Tesla.

By purchasing surplus lithium cells from brands like Tesla and then using these high-quality cells when manufacturing its own deep cycle batteries, BigBattery can keep manufacturing costs low while assembling its battery modules domestically in California.

While some of its competitors manufacture their solar storage products off-shore in countries like China, BigBattery assembles its batteries right here in the United States, partially explaining why its reputation for quality is rising.

What is the BigBattery Brand’s Current Reputation?

While they had quality-control issues in the past, the brand seems to have overcome them and now consistently delivers high-quality solar storage products.

Impressive Warranty:

One of the changes to the brand’s reputation was the introduction of a 10-year warranty on all of its batteries. This feature is really appealing, especially when you compare the length of BigBattery’s warranty to the industry standard.

Where other solar storage companies tend to offer a one-to-two-year warranty on their deep cycle batteries, BigBattery’s impressive 10-year warranty demonstrates how much faith the brand has in the quality of its products.

Domestic Manufacturing:

Another thing consumers really like about the BigBattery brand is that all of their batteries are designed and manufactured in California. The fact that BigBattery manufactures its products domestically but still offers its products at budget-friendly prices has proven to be a major hit with consumers.

Because all of its batteries are assembled in the United States, BigBattery customers do not have to deal with the same order fulfillment issues that are all too common with companies that have their products manufactured off-shore.

Solid Customer Service:

BigBattery also has a good reputation for its customer service, especially compared to its competitors. Where other brands, like Renogy, have a reputation for being difficult to deal with, BigBattery’s customer service team is both responsive and very helpful.

BigBattery’s Products

As mentioned, BigBattery offers deep cycle batteries that you can use for a variety of purposes. They have 12V, 24V, 36V, and 48V configurations available. Their battery modules are also available in capacities that range from just 2kWh up to an enormous 14kWh!

You can find the perfect battery module for your exact power storage requirements. For more convenience, its batteries are stackable, meaning you can wire more than one together to expand your storage capabilities. You can continue using your existing BigBattery module even if you need to increase the amount of power you can store in the future.

BigBattery 36V GATR Max LiFep04 5kWh Battery Kit

While products like their BigBattery 36V GATR Max LiFep04 5kWh Battery Kit are ideal for electric golf carts and forklifts, it is their off-grid battery modules that really catch our eye.

For example, take the BigBattery 6kWh 24 HSKY ELITE LiFep04 Solar Battery Module. At one low price, you get one of the most space and weight-efficient deep cycle batteries on the market today. It works exceptionally well for both grid-tied and off-grid residential solar power systems, and it can even be adapted to function as a power storage solution for RVs, food trucks, and other mobile solar power systems.

Convenient features, like a built-in LCD, an advanced battery management system, and the ability to operate safely within a wide temperature range, mean this battery is one of the best low-maintenance battery systems available in its price range.

BigBattery
BigBattery 48V KONG 12kWh Powerwall

The BigBattery 48V KONG 12kWh Powerwall and the BigBattery 48V APE 11.2kWh Powerwall are excellent choices if you plan on upgrading an outdated and underpowered solar battery bank in your home or RV. Like the HSKY ELITE, these feature built-in battery management systems, LCD screens, and incredibly efficient charging capabilities.

Upcoming Products:

While BigBattery’s existing product line is really impressive, we are also excited about some of the upcoming products they have announced.

BigBattery

The BigBattery 48V WHITE RHINO 14kWh Powerwall promises to be the world’s thinnest and strongest wall-mounted battery. At just 4.4 inches thick, this incredible 14kWh module is designed to beat Tesla’s popular Powerwall 2 in every single category.

While the proposed specifications are incredible, it is the fact that this powerful and compact battery system is going to be more affordable than anything else available in its class that really has us excited.

BigBattery

Given that it will also come backed with BigBattery’s signature 10-year warranty, the WHITE RHINO promises to be a revolutionary solar storage product that will raise the bar for the entire industry.

Why Should You Choose a Solar Battery Module from BigBattery?

So, why you should purchase one of the larger battery modules from BigBattery rather than use a series of smaller solar batteries? The answer is actually fairly straightforward – simplicity.

With solar power systems, simple components are almost always a better option than overly complicated equipment. By installing one large battery, rather than wiring several smaller batteries together, there will be fewer points of failure and fewer opportunities for the installer to make a mistake. This is particularly important if you are new to installing renewable energy systems and large-scale power storage equipment, as there can be a bit of a learning curve when you are first starting.

Fortunately, reducing complexity is fairly easy when you are dealing with solar storage. Rather than wiring multiple 12V deep cycle batteries together to form a battery bank, opt for one large battery that has the same storage capacity as multiple smaller batteries. Since a larger battery would require fewer electrical connections between terminals and battery circuit boards, you would be dealing with a much easier installation process.

Not only do the large battery modules offered by BigBattery reduce complexity and opportunities for failure, but these large-scale solar battery modules also offer the following advantages:

  • Safety – Rather than running multiple battery management systems (BMS), you can have a single BMS that overlooks your entire power storage system. Not only does this keep things simple, it tends to be more effective, which means your power storage system will be safer and it will likely have a longer lifespan.
  • Affordability – For many people, the most important advantage to buying a single battery is that it is almost always cheaper than buying two or more batteries that add up to the same capacity. This is especially if you are purchasing a battery from a company with a reputation for affordable prices and reliable products like BigBattery.

For example, compare this Renogy 12V 100AH Smart LiFeP04 Solar Battery to a BigBattery module. While the Renogy is a perfectly respectable solar battery, it would only be capable of storing the equivalent of 1,200Wh.

BigBattery

On the other hand, the BigBattery 24V MULE LiFeP04 3kWh Solar Battery has a storage capacity of 3,000Wh or nearly three times the storage capabilities of the Renogy battery. When you consider that the Renogy battery is listed at a discounted price of $899 and the BigBattery MULE comes in at just $1,249, it becomes obvious which product offers the better value.

Put simply, you would need three Renogy solar batteries to equal the same storage capacity as the BigBattery MULE, which would cost you an additional $1,448 and require a far more complicated installation process!

Aside from simplicity, safety, affordability, and reliability, another advantage of a larger battery module is they take up far less space than a standard battery bank with a much tidier appearance.

Our Overall Impression of BigBattery and Final Words

BigBattery logo

BigBattery delivers everything we could ever hope for from a solar battery supplier. With high-performance products that are both innovative and affordable, it really is a brand worth considering.

The fact that they make their products domestically and back them with a 10-year warranty really seals the deal for us. While they got off to a slow start, we believe the future is bright for BigBattery.

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Top 5 mobile solar system

The Top 5 Mobile Solar Systems & How to Build Your Own

The Top 5 Mobile Solar Systems & How to Build Your Own

Top 5 mobile solar system

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

While most people associate solar power systems with large, fixed solar panels wired directly to a home or business, mobile solar systems offer a practical and affordable power solution for a range of applications.

As the name suggests, mobile solar systems offer the same advantages that you get with a residential or commercial solar power system but with the advantage of being portable. While their small size and portable nature might lead you to believe that they are incapable of supplying significant amounts of solar electricity, the truth is mobile solar systems are now more powerful than ever before.

Since it was first introduced, the technology has improved, and now the components are drastically more efficient than they once were. Even the most compact mobile solar systems are now capable of delivering impressive power outputs.

How Can We Help?

To help you get started with this exciting technology, we will explain everything you should look for in a mobile solar system, what you can use these systems for, and why they are becoming so popular.

From there, we will list five of the best mobile solar systems on the market today. We will even explain what components you will need if you would prefer to build your own DIY mobile solar power system!

What are Mobile Solar Systems Used For?

Since you can use an efficient and well-built mobile solar system to generate electricity from even the most remote locations, they are becoming popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

Mobile Living:

Anyone that enjoys mobile living and the ability to explore exciting, off-grid locations could benefit from the freedom a mobile solar system could offer, which is why they are becoming so popular with RV enthusiasts and those who enjoy exploring the country from the comfort of a camper van.

Food Trucks and Mobile Event Businesses:

 Mobile solar systems are also proving to be quite popular with food truck owners, as they give you the ability to generate your own clean energy from anywhere that the sun is shining. Rather than rely on expensive, dirty, and bulky gasoline generators for all of your power needs, a mobile solar power setup would give you the ability to turn sunlight into usable electricity!

Off-Grid Living:

Even if you aren’t living the van-life, they are great for any off-grid living arrangement. A mobile solar system can even offer comfort and convenience to anyone living out of a tiny house or a remote, off-grid cabin.

Emergency Preparedness:

They also work really well for emergency preparedness, as they give you the ability to generate your own power during lengthy power outages and blackouts. Since they are so portable, some people will even keep a mobile solar system in storage and assemble it when it is needed.

What to Look for in a Mobile Solar Power System

While mobile solar systems offer plenty of advantages over traditional sources of mobile power, you must know what to look for. The following are important features that can separate a low-quality system from one that can last for many years:

  • Durability – Look for waterproof components that can withstand all types of weather conditions.
  • Performance – The best systems feature highly efficient solar panels that can generate significant amounts of power. Typically, monocrystalline solar panels offer the highest power ratings, but it is also important to look out for a high-quality power inverter, charge controller, and high-capacity battery.
  • Expandability – The ability to add solar panels and the option to upgrade components in the future will ensure that your mobile solar system will remain useful for years to come.
  • Affordability – Do not get caught up in marketing gimmicks from overpriced brands. Prioritize quality over appearance. Price is not always an indicator of quality, so you should learn to differentiate the fluff from practical features.
  • Portability – One of the key features of a true mobile solar system is its ability to travel with you wherever your next adventure takes you. Look for lightweight and compact components that offer convenient features, like carrying handles, folding designs, and built-in output ports.

The Top 5 Mobile Solar Systems

Now that you are familiar with what you should look for in a mobile system and how to use it, we can go over our top recommendations for the best mobile solar power systems.

Each of the following systems was selected because they come packaged with everything you need at an affordable price. They feature high-quality components and are portable enough to be a practical solution for anyone that values mobility.

The EcoFlow Delta Nomad Kit combines one of the world’s best-selling solar power generators with your choice of either two 200W rigid solar panels or two highly portable suitcase-style folding solar panels.

EcoFlow Delta 1800W Nomad Kit

The Delta 1800W delivers a built-in 1,260Wh deep-cycle solar battery, which is incredible given the unit’s compact and lightweight design. It also comes equipped with an impressive internal power inverter rated at 1,800W and can handle surges up to 3,300W. An efficient MPPT charge controller with a built-in battery management system also helps prevent power drain and allows you to get the most out of the solar panels.

When fully charged, this little unit charges a standard laptop over 27 times or power a large refrigerator for over 15 hours!

The Delta also features a wide variety of practical output ports, including:

  • 2 USB-A ports
  • 2 USB fast-charging ports
  • 2 60W USB-C ports (compatible with latest Apple iPhones and iPads, as well as newer Android smartphones)
  • 6 standard three-prong AC wall-style plugs
  • 1 cigarette lighter-style 12V DC carport

With unique features, like the ability to fast-charge the unit’s internal battery through a standard AC wall outlet or using pure solar power, the Delta Nomad Kit presents a versatile and reliable mobile solar system.

Put simply, the EcoFlow Delta Nomad Kit is ideal for anyone looking for an affordable yet powerful solar power system that can handle just about any mobile application.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta 1800W Nomad Kit

For those with greater power requirements, the Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator boasts a 2,000Wh lithium-ion battery and a 2,000W pure sine wave power inverter. Like the EcoFlow Delta Nomad Kit, the AC200P Nomad Kit comes with your choice of two 200W 12V monocrystalline rigid solar panels or equally powerful folding solar panels.

Bluetti AC200P 2,000Wh Solar Generator Nomad Kit

The package also comes with a 30’ MC4 solar extension cable and all of the clips and connectors you need to wire everything together. The rigid solar panels are perfect for RV enthusiasts, as they feature pre-drilled mounting holes and come with all of the brackets required to mount the panels directly to your vehicle.

Regarding the AC200P’s capabilities, this powerful solar power generator can act as a true all-in-one mobile power station. Thanks to its high-capacity LiFeP04 battery and a highly capable power inverter, the AC200P is capable of supplying power to even the most demanding electronic devices and appliances. It is so powerful that you can even use this portable solar generator to run air conditioning units, refrigerators, coffee makers, and more.

Other high-end features, like a smart touch LCD screen, a built-in battery management system, the ability to power 17 devices at once, and five recharge options explain why this is one of the most popular mobile solar system packages on the market today.

With two sturdy carrying handles and a total weight of just 57.3lbs, the AC200P can be the central component in any mobile solar system. Since the Nomad Kit includes two efficient solar panels and the Bluetti AC200P can handle up to 700W of solar input, you will always have access to reliable power, no matter where your next adventure takes you.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti AC200P Nomad Kit
Bluetti EB55 Nomad Kit

For those looking for a budget-friendly mobile solar power system, the Bluetti EB55 Nomad Kit is an attractive option.

As you would expect from a Bluetti solar generator, the EB55 is a small yet powerful unit that offers features you would typically associate with far more expensive generators. Like its larger brother, it comes equipped with a built-in, ultra-stable LiFeP04 deep cycle battery. The 537Wh battery has an outstanding life cycle rating, and it can be charged and discharged over 2,500 times before it starts to show any significant signs of degradation.

Despite its small size, the EB55 comes equipped with a massive 700W power inverter, which offers up to 1,400W of surge protection. This little unit can handle electronic appliances with a large start-up load, like blenders, power tools, and toasters.

It even features a top-mounted wireless charging pad, a USB-C fast-charging port, and eleven other output charging options. With that said, the EB55’s most impressive feature is how quickly the internal battery charges. Using dual charging, you can connect the unit to a standard AC wall outlet and the included solar panel to fully charge the battery in just two hours!

Since the Nomad Kit pairs this little unit with a highly efficient 200W folding solar panel, it is the perfect option for anyone that is in the market for an extremely compact and portable mobile power system. While it is the ideal solution for those traveling in camper vans and skoolies, at just 16.5lbs, it is even a practical option for tent campers.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti EB55 Nomad Kit

This All-in-One Off-Grid Solar Kit is the perfect option for anyone looking to install a mobile solar system in a food truck, camper van, or RV. It comes with everything you need for a semi-permanent setup, but each component is light enough to be a practical solution for mobile living.

2,400W Complete All-in-One Off-Grid Solar Kit

You get a powerful AC inverter that can support 2,400W worth of continuous power and handles surges of up to 4,800W. To generate power, you get four 200W monocrystalline solar panels for a combined power rating of 800W. In terms of storage, this convenient kit comes with two BigBattery 12V OWL LiFeP04 deep cycle batteries. Since it is a complete package, you also get the appropriate cables, fuses, brackets.

Even if you are new to solar power, having everything you need in one convenient package means you can install your system quickly and without any unnecessary stress. While this kit was primarily designed as a semi-mobile solar power system, it is also a practical solution for anyone looking for reliable backup power for their home or an off-grid cabin.

Since the components are packaged together in one neat bundle, the total price is much lower than buying each piece of equipment separately. Overall, it offers outstanding performance and excellent value, so why not start saving money by outfitting your mobile home, food truck, or RV with this complete mobile solar power system?

Where to Buy

Check Out the Complete All-in-One Off-Grid Solar Kit

For those with serious power requirements, this HBK All-in-One Solar Kit delivers everything you could ever need. Not only does it come with each and every piece of equipment you would need for off-grid power, but the entire system is also easy to set up and install.

Growatt 3,000W HBK-5.1 All-in-One Off-Grid Solar Kit

Essentially, this versatile and reliable solar kit offers three things anyone looking to install their own mobile solar system should look for – simplicity, value, and performance.

The package includes the following components:

  • 6 x 360W monocrystalline solar panels, for an incredible combined power rating of 2,160W!
  • 1 x BigBattery 48V 5.3KwH HSKY LiFeP04 Powerwall Battery Bank
  • 1. x Growatt 3,000W Combined Solar Inverter and Charge Controller

It also includes all of the brackets, mounts, solar extension cables, connectors, fuses, and combiner boxes you need to get your new system up and running.

What we really like about this solar kit is the fact it is stackable and easy to expand. If you need more power and storage down the line, you can incorporate more solar panels and batteries, as the Growatt inverter/charge controller can handle an additional 2,000W of power.

Whether you want to add a high-capacity mobile solar system to an RV, set up a versatile off-grid power solution for emergencies, or reduce how much you have to rely on your local grid, this kit offers everything you need at a great price!

Where to Buy

Check Out the All-in-One Off-Grid Solar Kit

How to Build Your Own Mobile Solar System

To build an effective mobile solar power system, you will need to purchase solar panels, a charge controller, a battery bank, and an appropriate power inverter. You may also need other components, like mounting brackets and additional wiring, but understanding the four main pieces of equipment is a great place to start.

Solar Panels

There are countless types of solar panels to choose from, and you can find them with a wide range of power ratings. For a mobile solar system, you will need to prioritize portability and efficiency. While some of the larger and more rigid panels work great for residential systems, they are not always practical for mobile systems.

We recommend looking at something like this 200 Watt Eclipse Solar Panel Suitcase, as it offers two collapsible monocrystalline solar panels in one portable package. They are highly efficient and work great for most mobile solar systems.

Solar Storage

You will also need a battery bank to store the electricity your solar panels generate. While you can purchase one or more deep cycle batteries, another option is using a solar power generator that acts as an all-in-one unit. These convenient generators contain a battery, a charge controller, a power inverter and usually feature a variety of output ports.

Lion energy

We often recommend the EcoFlow Delta 1800 for anyone looking for the perfect balance between power and portability. If you want more of a fixed battery bank, the Lion Energy UT 700 Lithium-Ion 12V Battery is one of the most popular batteries for solar power systems on the market.

Power Inverter and Charge Controller

If you opt for standalone components, rather than a solar generator, you will need to purchase a power inverter and a charge controller. Since solar panels generate direct current or DC power, you will need a unit that is capable of converting that electricity into AC power.

AIMS power 10

The AIMS Power 10,000W Pure Sine Inverter is highly adaptable and can work with just about any type of solar power system. Best of all, it is practical for mobile solar systems, as it is fairly compact and does not weigh as much as the larger units.

MPPT

A charge controller will regulate the flow of electricity through your mobile solar system, which is important for the safety and integrity of your battery. The Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/50 Charge Controller is a great option if you plan on running either a 12V or 24V battery system. Not only does it feature programmable smart charging, but it also has Bluetooth compatibility and can be controlled through a smartphone.

Final Words

Whether you choose the convenience of a ready-made mobile solar system or prefer to assemble your own, having the ability to generate and access renewable power from even the most off-grid locations gives you a sense of freedom that you have never experienced before.

Remember, you can always start with a fairly basic system, then upgrade and expand your components until you meet more of your power needs with solar energy!

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Rich solar

Rich Solar Review

Rich Solar Brand Review – Are They Any Good?

Rich solar

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

As the demand for renewable energy equipment rises, an increasing number of companies are entering this ever-growing industry. As you would find in any industry, competition between solar companies has driven innovation and triggered a general decline in prices. As a result, solar equipment is now more efficient, user-friendly, and affordable than ever before.

This competition is hugely beneficial for consumers, but it can lead to some confusion and hesitation when deciding what to buy. With so many companies offering their own range of products, how do you know which brand to trust?

After all, you should see solar equipment as an investment, so you want to make sure that you are buying from a reputable manufacturer that offers high-quality equipment that will last.

How Can We Help?

The EcoFlow Brand:

To help you make an informed decision, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the top brands in the residential solar equipment industry – Rich Solar.

Rich solar

Here, we are looking at the brand to decide whether or not its products are worth spending your hard-earned money on. We cover everything, including when the company was founded, its overall aim, and its current reputation amongst solar enthusiasts.

From there, we look at its current and upcoming products to determine whether Rich Solar deserves its impressive reputation.

Who Are Rich Solar and What Do They Do?

Rich solar panels

Rich Solar was founded in 2005, so it’s been around for quite a while, especially considering how young the solar industry is. Since its founding, it has experienced a remarkable amount of growth, and it is now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of off-grid solar equipment for residential, commercial, and agricultural applications. They even lead the market for RV and marine solar equipment.

It has achieved tremendous growth because it offers high-quality solar panels, solar charge controllers, power inverters, and deep cycle solar batteries at affordable prices. Their all-in-one solar kits have also been a major hit, especially amongst beginners and those on more restricted budgets.

The Brand Mission

Some brands claim to have lofty goals like converting as many people as possible to renewable energy sources, Rich Solar has more practical aims. They aim to supply consumers with reliable and cost-effective solar equipment that combines the latest technology with durable build materials.

As we will explore in further detail, this modest goal is apparent when you take a closer look at some of their best-selling products.

The Rich Solar Product Line

As mentioned above, Rich Solar offers a diverse range of products. While they certainly specialize in solar panels, they also offer complete solar kits, solar batteries, and more.

Solar Panels

As you would expect from an industry-leading manufacturer, Rich Solar offers a broad range of solar panels, including rigid, portable, and even flexible panels.

Rich solar solar cells

Within those categories, it offers both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels as well as panels with a wide range of power ratings, so it is easy to get solar panels from Rich Solar that meet your exact budget and requirements.

In terms of performance and build quality, its solar panels function as efficiently as possible. They also feature durable design features, like high transmission, anti-reflective tempered glass covers, durable metal frames, and corner reinforcements.

While there are more powerful solar panels out there from other manufacturers, we find that panels from Rich Solar are ideal for mobile solar systems, as well as basic off-grid residential systems.

Foldable solar panel

While they certainly get the basics right, they also offer some fairly innovative designs. For example, take their 100W Portable Solar Panel Briefcase, which has plenty of convenient features, like a built-in kickstand for angle placement, a weatherproof exterior, a durable carrying handle, and a folding design that makes it ideal for any portable solar power system.

Solar Batteries

While Rich Solar specializes in solar panels, they also offer some high-quality solar batteries. Their deep cycle batteries are growing in popularity, especially among those looking to build off-grid solar power systems.

As long as you maintain them properly, all solar batteries have at least a 10-year lifespan. They also feature fully integrated ‘smart’ battery management systems, and they can operate in a wide temperature range. In other words, their deep cycle solar batteries are designed to last, which partially explains why they have surged in popularity over the past several years.

Rich solar battery

Amongst their most popular solar batteries is this durable and reliable Rich Solar 12V 100Ah LiFeP04 Lithium-Ion Phosphate Battery. Not only is it a suitable replacement for most RV and marine batteries, but it also works exceptionally well for off-grid solar applications. Aside from the fact that it comes backed with an outstanding 10-year warranty, part of the reason why this particular battery is so popular is the fact it can be stacked to create a large-scale solar battery bank.

Its sophisticated battery management system and lightweight design make it the ideal addition to any off-grid or grid-tied solar power system.

Solar Kits

Another area where Rich Solar shines is its convenient and affordable solar kits, which provide everything you need for a complete solar power system in one convenient package. Not only can these kits save you money, but they are also a practical solution for beginners, as they take most of the guesswork out of building your own system.

Rich solar panel kit

This 400W 40A Solar Kit is one of their most popular packages, and it is the perfect option for anyone looking to meet some of their electricity needs with solar power. With two 200W monocrystalline solar panels, an efficient MPPT solar charge controller, a Bluetooth control module, and the brackets and solar cables you need to wire everything together, it is the ideal option for anyone looking to get started with solar power.

As with all of their products, every component of this kit is reliable and convenient. In fact, the entire kit even comes back with an outstanding 25-year output warranty, so buyers can remain confident that their system will actually withstand the test of time. As a bonus, the kit is expandable, so you can easily incorporate additional solar panels when your power requirements grow.

Upcoming Products

While Rich Solar products are primarily known for quality and reliability, the brand is also fairly innovative. Their upcoming 3,000W All-in-One Power Inverter has many consumers excited. This powerful unit features a fully integrated MPPT charge controller as well as a 48V 3,000W power inverter.

Rich solar wifi monitoring

Optional Wi-Fi monitoring and a built-in LCD screen make it incredibly user-friendly, and a staggering efficiency rating of 93% is simply incredible for an all-in-one unit, especially since it is available at such an affordable price.

With such an exciting off-grid solar product on the near horizon, it is safe to say that Rich Solar will be around for quite a while.

Final Words

While we are often skeptical when a brand seems too good to be true, we have been thoroughly impressed by what Rich Solar has to offer. In all the years that they have been around, the brand seems to have kept true to its goal of offering high-quality, durable solar products at fair prices.

In terms of our overall impression of Rich Solar, we find that everything it sells is made to a high standard, and some of its solar panels are efficient enough to rank up there with those offered by the most expensive brands.

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How to build off grid solar system The Definitive Guide

How to Build an Off Grid Solar System

How to Build an Off-Grid Solar System: The Definitive Guide

How to build off grid solar system The Definitive Guide

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

Today, going off-grid is almost synonymous with going solar. And this is no surprise, given the impressive flexibility of solar power systems as well as the simplicity with which you can install them.

As long as you have the space, you can equip nearly any off-grid structure with solar. With the plethora of different component options readily available in the market, building an off-grid solar system is not so difficult – all you need is a little understanding of system design and some basic electrical know-how. 

We will try to cover both of these in this article, so you can be one step closer to building your own off-grid, solar-powered system.

What You Need

Four main components go into building any solar power system:

1. Solar panels 

Solar panels are the power-producing component of the system. They convert the energy in sunlight into electric current, hence the name “photo-voltaic”. Solar panels are available in two main types – polycrystalline and monocrystalline. 

Polycrystalline panels are cheaper, but monocrystalline panels are more efficient. Monocrystalline is the recommended choice since the prices of solar panels have fallen significantly in recent years.

2. Inverter

Thanks to its similarity in function and importance, the inverter is often dubbed the heart of a solar system. An inverter converts the direct current (DC) coming from the panels into a more usable alternating current (AC) that most of your appliances need.

If you are running only DC loads, you may be able to set up a system without an inverter, but this severely limits your ability to run a variety of everyday household appliances. 

When looking for an inverter, always look for one with a pure sine wave output for proper efficiency and reliability.

3. Batteries

Although solar systems can operate without batteries, it’s difficult to do so in an off-grid setting. Powering your loads at night or on very cloudy days becomes a challenge.

Batteries are chemical devices that are capable of storing electrical energy through chemical conversions happening inside of them. Batteries have evolved a lot, and today, the most advanced are lithium-ion batteries, which pack more energy capacity per unit volume.

4. Charge Controller

As the name suggests, this is an electrical component that controls the charge, or in other words, monitors the current flowing from the panels to the batteries for optimum charging and efficiency.

You can choose between PWM (Pulse Width Modulator) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker), but we recommend the latter for better efficiency.

Besides the above four major characters, the stage for a solar power system requires a bunch of supporting characters as well, also known as Balance of System (BOS), which includes:

  1. Solar Cables
  2. Breakers / Fuses
  3. DC Busbars / Fuse Box
  4. MC4 Connectors
  5. Cable Ties
  6. Metering Device
  7. Terminal lugs
  8. DIN rails

Lastly, you will need tools that will help you install the solar system:

  1. Wire Stripper
  2. Crimping Tool
  3. Plier
  4. Screwdriver
  5. MC4 Spanner
  6. Spanners

Now that we have everything we need, let’s jump on to the step-by-step process of designing and installing an off-grid solar power system.

Steps in Installing an Off-Grid Solar System

Designing and installing an off-grid system isn’t necessarily complicated, but it is complex, involving a more or less fixed sequence of steps.

1. Load Calculation and System Sizing

Before purchasing or installing the components, determine the specifications and quantities you need based on how much energy and continuous power you will be using. 

There are two ways to calculate this. The slightly time-consuming way involves listing all your electrical appliances, their power consumption, and duration of use, as shown in the following example:

Sr. No. Appliance Watts (Power) Duration of Use (Hours) Energy (Watts x hours)
1 Lights  100 6 600
2 TV 200 4 800
3 Water Pump 400 1 400
4 Refrigerator 200 6 1200
  TOTAL 900 W   3000 Wh

Based on how much energy you will use during the day and the night, you may need to store this entire 3000 Wh in a battery or a part of it. It is safer to assume you will store all of it in the batteries, meaning you need a battery with about 4800 Wh energy capacity.

As for the solar panel size, it depends on the location. Some areas receive up to 6 hours of full sunshine on average, while some receive only about 3. You can refer to one of the many sources on the internet for average sunshine hours in the USA.

Assuming you are in a region with four hours of average daily sunshine, you will need a total of 3000 Wh / 4 h = 750 W.

These basic calculations can provide you with a rough approximation for the size of solar panels and the battery required.

Alternatively, you can also use an online load calculator that allows you to calculate your load and system size in a few clicks, saving a significant amount of time and give you accurate numbers with sufficient reliability.

2. Installing the Batteries

As mentioned before, batteries come in various types and sizes. The best choice today is a lithium-ion system for better efficiency, safety, and lifespan. 

Li-ion batteries come in more than one type – the Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) chemistry is a pretty common type, but the more advanced Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) is rapidly gaining popularity due to its significantly longer life and safe operation.

Most batteries are rated 12V by default. Depending on your system voltage, you might need to connect the batteries in series or parallel. The input voltage of the inverter you choose to install governs your system voltage.

Series and Parallel Connection for batteries

Series and Parallel Connection for batteries

3. Connecting the Charge Controller

A charge controller, as discussed before, is necessary to optimize the charging of batteries and protect the solar panels from reverse current. For the best results, we recommend choosing an MPPT charge controller.

Controllers come in 12V or 24V ratings, and you can choose the correct one based on your system (inverter) voltage.

As for the current rating, the device should handle the entire current coming from the solar panels and have a little safety margin. We can consider a safety margin of 30% in this case. You can thus calculate the current rating for the controller by a simple calculation:

Solar panel current rating x 1.3 = charge controller current rating

If the system rating of your solar panels is not known, use the following equation instead:

(Solar panel total watts/system voltage) x 1.3 = charge controller current rating

For example, if you have 600W solar panels and a 12V system, your charge controller rating will be 12V and

600/12 x 1.3 = 65 A

4. Installing the Inverter

Unless you are building a purely DC setup that runs only DC loads, you will need an inverter that converts the electricity coming from the solar panels or batteries into a usable form (AC).

Inverters come with a predefined voltage rating. Smaller sizes usually have a 12V or 24V rating. When setting up the entire system, select the solar panels, charge controller, and batteries so they configure to this rating. 

As far as the wattage is concerned, select an inverter slightly larger than your calculated system size. For instance, a 1000W inverter is sufficient if your load calculation says you need an 800W system. Among the modern inverters available, we recommend choosing one with a pure sine wave output for the best efficiency.

5. Installing Your Solar Panels

Your load calculation gives you the solar panel rating required, and you have selected the batteries, controller, and inverter. The next step is choosing and installing the correct solar panels based on the voltage rating. 

If your inverter input rating is 24V and your solar panels are 12V, you will need to connect two panels in series. If you need more than two panels, you can connect multiple pairs of two panels in series and then connect the pairs in parallel. For instance, if you are setting up an 800W 24V system and have four 200 W, 12V panels, you can connect two pairs in series and then both the pairs (technically called “strings”) in parallel.

Solar panels connected in series and parallel

Solar panels connected in series and parallel

When installing the solar panels, make sure they face south (north if you are in the southern hemisphere). Also, ensure there is no shade on the panels during the day from neighboring trees or buildings.

6. Connect Everything Together

The final step is connecting the panels, batteries, and inverter to the charge controller’s terminals. Following is the wiring diagram for the connection:

Off-grid solar power system wiring diagram

Off-grid solar power system wiring diagram (source – ZHC Solar)

While connecting components to one another, ensure that the polarity of the connecting wires is the same throughout (i.e. connect the positive terminals of one component to the positive of another and the same for negatives). It is good practice to use different colored wires for positive and negative, usually red and black respectively, to avoid mix-up.

When you finally connect the solar panels to the controller, cover the panels with a dark cloth so the sudden incoming current does not damage your other components.

Should You Build an Off-Grid Solar System from Scratch?

From the previous section, you can see building an off-grid system is not too difficult and involves only six steps. However, when installing the system, each of these six steps has a dozen sub-steps involved, and however general the procedure might sound, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building a system. 

Depending on factors specific to you, the installation procedure may require some frugality and last-moment innovation, which is not natural to everyone, especially those new to the world of DIY or even solar power.

Another important thing to consider is the availability of simpler options. While installing modern inverters, batteries, and charge controllers is a little easier than a decade or two ago, you can eliminate a lot of complexity by choosing ready-made complete solar power kits

A typical, custom-built solar power system will include correctly sized panels, supporting hardware, and most importantly, solar generators that integrate the battery, charge controller, and inverter into one unit, massively simplifying the system.

For instance, you can choose a powerful kit that includes a Bluetti AC200P solar generator that boasts a top-of-the-line LFP battery and plenty of ports for easy connecting and disconnecting of loads and/or solar panels.

Bluetti AC200P Hex Kit

Bluetti AC200P Hex Kit

Conclusion

Sustainable, off-grid living is catching up fast, and there is hardly a better option for your off-grid energy needs than setting up a solar power system. Thanks to the incredible flexibility and noteworthy simplicity of solar equipment, building a DIY, the off-grid solar power system is a great idea and often an enjoyable experience.

By using four main components, doing a few basic calculations, and understanding the basics, you can build an off-grid solar unit.

On the other hand, technology has advanced at terrific speed. Building an off-grid solar power system might not be necessary, thanks to the availability of well-designed solar generators which combine three crucial components of a solar system into one device.

There are several complete solar kits on the market, impressively put together using the above-mentioned solar generators. If you want to seriously reduce or even eliminate the complexity and hassle of installing a full-fledged solar power system yourself, these solar kits can be a blessing for you!

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SOK battery

SOK Battery Review

SOK Battery Review

SOK battery

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

SOK Battery manufactures and supplies LiFePO4 batteries and is one of the leading manufacturers in the market.

Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are a rechargeable battery that uses LiFePO4 as the cathode material and a graphitic carbon electrode as the anode. Because of low cost, low toxicity, well-defined performance, and long-term stability, LiFePO4 batteries are finding multiple applications in vehicle use, utility-scale stationary applications, and backup power.

The SOK 100Ah and 200Ah batteries are some of the best-selling LiFePO4 batteries due to their uses. These batteries are perfectly suited for RV’s, Off-grid cabins, and all kinds of energy-powered devices.

Here, you will learn about the SOK 100Ah and 206Ah LiFePO4 batteries product features and specifications and compare the specs of both batteries to others manufactured by leading competitors.

Who is SOK Battery?

SOK battery is a Chinese manufacturer and supplier of LiFePO4 batteries that lead the market, established around 2015 by a team of three engineers from CALB, a company with multiple branches worldwide.

The LiFePO4 Batteries the brand produces are superior to lead-acid batteries due to features like high specific energy, longer life cycles (3000~8000 cycles), compact size and lightweight, high thermal and chemical stability, and best safety and cost performance.

SOK 12.8V 100Ah Battery: Product Features and Specs

This battery has four built-in LiFePO4 battery cells of 3.2V 100Ah in series, with low-temperature cut-off protection that allows its use in cold places. It can be connected in series for 24V, 36V, or 48V battery banks or connected in parallel for larger capacity. The following specifications and features of this battery are listed below:

SOK battery

Figure 1. SOK LiFePO4 12.8V 100AH Battery –SOK Battery

Weight & Size

One of the most notorious features of the SOK 100Ah LiFePO4 battery is its physical size since it is lightweight and compact. It weighs 26lbs and has dimensions of 11.42×7.87×7.87 inches.

Battery Capacity & Current

SOK 100Ah has a battery capacity of 1,280Wh or 100Ah at an operating voltage of 12.8V, has a maximum charge current of 50A, and a maximum discharge current of 100A.

Internal design

This battery uses robust seven-inch wires to join the external connectors with the internal array of four removable lithium prismatic cells in series. It features a cover of isolating material and a quality Battery Management System (BMS) for protection, which you can remove, all inside a metal case.

Built-in Smart BMS

One awesome feature that the SOK 100Ah battery has is the capacity to detach and replace BMS or Cells, making these batteries adaptable to customers’ needs. This BMS protects against overcurrent, short-circuits, and high & low temperatures, preventing the battery from malfunctioning.

Higher life cycle and warranty

One of the benefits of including prismatic lithium cells in the SOK 100Ah battery is the higher life cycle, providing up to 8000+ cycles for normal usage and 4000 cycles for heavy-duty usage with free maintenance. Also, the SOK battery set a 7-years warranty over the SOK 100Ah battery and lifetime customer support.

SOK 206Ah Battery: Product Features and Specs

A battery nearly identical to how the SOK 100Ah battery is built with, 4 pieces of LiFePO4 battery cells of 3.2V in series, with cut-off protection and options to connect in series, or connect in Parallel. The following specifications and features of this battery are listed here:

SOK battery

Figure 2. SOK LiFePO4 12.8V 200AH Battery – SOK Battery

Weight & Size

This battery model came in with a heavier but yet easy-to-handle weight of 47,6lbs, with dimensions of 10.83×7.87×11.22in.

Battery Capacity & Current

The SOK 200Ah has a capacity of 2,636Wh or 206Ah at an operating voltage of 12.8V. It has the same maximum charge current and discharge current as the SOK 100Ah model and can also be connected in series or parallel.

Internal design, Built-in Smart BMS & Higher Life Cycle and Warranty

All these features and specs of the SOK 200Ah battery are similar to the 100Ah battery model, with the only exception of being bigger and wider in design.

SOK Batteries vs. Lion Energy UT 1300

So, now that we can understand the specs and features of the SOK battery models, we can compare both SOK models with The Lion Energy UT 1300 battery, a leading LiFePO4 battery competitor.

Lion Energy Battery

Figure 3. Lion Energy UT 1300 Battery- Source: Lion Energy

Size & Weight

The Lion Safari UT 1300 battery features a weight of 23lbs and a size of 10.2×6.6×8.8in, making the Lion Energy battery a lighter and smaller battery when compared with both SOK battery models, which means it is easier to handle.

Operating specifications

Batteries from the Lion Energy battery provide a maximum charge current of 100A and a maximum discharge current of 150A and up to 900A for surges. The SOK batteries have the same maximum charge current of 50A and discharge current of 100A and up to 200A for surges. In this aspect, SOK batteries can’t stand against the Lion Energy Battery. The Lion Energy battery is more suitable for applications that need higher instantaneous currents to work medium size DC or induction motors. However, refrigerators or freezers with lower surge currents could be powered using the SOK batteries.

SOK models have a temperature performance of (-22~140°F) for discharges and (32~140°F) for charges and a BMS Low/High-temperature cut-off of 32°F/149°F respectively. On the other hand, Lion batteries have an operating temperature range of (32~113°F) for charges and a range of (-4~131°F) for discharges.

The three batteries have a charge voltage of 14.6V. At the operating voltage of 12.8V, the competitor Lion Safari battery has a capacity of 105Ah. The SOK 100Ah battery has a slightly lower capacity than the Lion Safari, but it’s cheaper and can withstand higher temperatures.

Warranty & lifecycles

Lion Safari battery warranty surpasses standards by providing lifetime warranties and ensuring the proper functioning of the battery for a minimum of 3,500 cycles (100% DOD). On the other hand, both SOK batteries provide a 7-years warranty, but both ensure the proper functioning of the battery for a minimum of 4,000 (100% DOD) cycles and a lifetime of customer support. In normal usage (80% DOD) Lion Energy battery provides 5,000+ cycles while the SOK batteries provides 8,000+ cycles.

Depth of discharge (DOD) indicates the percentage of the battery discharged relative to the overall battery capacity.

The SOK batteries have more charge and discharge cycles than the Lion Energy battery before losing performance. In other words, SOK lasts longer than the Lion Energy battery.

Prices

While the Lion Energy battery has similar operating specifications to the SOK 100Ah battery model, the price is almost double ($999), while the 100Ah costs $500. The SOK 206Ah battery is $1029, a similar price to the Lion Energy product but with more capacity, making SOK batteries a much cheaper option.

SOK Batteries vs. Battle Born

Now we will compare specifications and features of SOK batteries models with batteries from another leading competitor, Battle Born, specifically the 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery.

Battle Born Battery

Figure 4. Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery – Source: Battle Born

Size & Weight

The Battle Born 100Ah battery surpasses the weight of the SOK 100ah battery with 31lbs and exceeds the length of both SOK batteries with its dimensions of 12.76×6.86×8.95in, making Battle Born heavier and larger yet narrower than both SOK models.

Operating specifications

Battle Born 100Ah batteries provide a discharge current of 100A, a charge current of 50A, and up to 200A for surges, the same currents that both SOK batteries have. The Battle Born battery has an operating temperature range of -4°F to 135°F and BMS Low/High-temperature cut-off of 25°F/135°F respectively. They also have water resistance which is a feature that SOK batteries don’t.

When comparing the 100Ah SOK battery to the Battle Born one, both batteries have the same discharge/charge/surge currents and capacities. Temperature performances are also very similar to one another. The only difference would be that the Battle Born battery has water resistance, making it more suitable for marine applications than the SOK model.

Warranty & lifecycles

The Battle Born batteries have a 10-years warranty and work at least 3000 cycles (5000+ at 80% DOD). The SOK models are far more durable batteries; however, they have three years less warranty coverage than the Battle Born one.

Prices

Battle Born battery has similar operating specifications to the SOK 100Ah battery model but has a 50% higher price ($799).  On the other hand, the SOK 206Ah battery costs $1029 but has way more capacity than the Battle Born battery.

Conclusion

The Lion Energy battery has better design features, currents, and warranty, but the SOK battery models still count with high-quality features that guarantee you higher lifecycles at a much lower cost. Battle Born’s features are similar to the 100Ah SOK ones; however, the Battle Born one has lower lifecycles. 

The Battle Born battery is also more expensive than the SOK 100Ah model and only surpasses SOK models in warranty coverage and resistance against water. If we make a balance out of this, the SOK batteries will provide you similar specs, will last longer, and cost much less for the equivalent amount of energy, making SOK batteries a much better choice than the Battle Born ones.

Both SOK models are great options if you are looking for a battery for any application of mid and high-demand.

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Ampere time

Ampere Time Battery Review

Ampere Time Battery Review

Ampere time

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

Choosing a battery is vital to getting the best performance and power delivery for any application. Whether for camping, marine use, UPS systems, battery banks, or any other application, you should always consider lithium batteries.

Lithium batteries have many advantages that make them stand out compared to other technologies. These batteries deliver high currents on demand, have a large capacity, are manufactured to withstand high depths of discharge (DOD), and more. If you are looking for batteries with great performance, you should consider Ampere Time batteries.

Ampere Time designs outstanding batteries with lithium technology. Some of the best medium-high and high capacity models are the 100Ah Ampere Time battery & the 200Ah Ampere Time Battery. Today, we do an in-depth analysis on both batteries and compare them against another leading battery brand in the market.

Ampere time battery

Figure 1: 100Ah & 200Ah Ampere Time Batteries – Ampere Time

Who is Ampere Time?

Ampere Time is a quality battery brand founded more than 12 years ago, created as a subsidiary of Shenzhen Ampere Time Technology Co., Ltd. This brand emerged to supply a basic need for customers looking for quality performance LiFePO4 batteries for a good price.

Since its founding, Ampere Time has been engineering some great quality batteries and related products, ensuring their customers have all their energy needs covered. Batteries manufactured by Ampere Time are backed by several professional conformity certificates, ensuring great performance and a 5-year warranty for their products.

To date, Ampere Time manufactures 12V, 24V, and 48V batteries. To suit the needs of every customer, the brand offers a wide variety of capacities, ranging from 6Ah to 300Ah. Alongside the batteries, you will also find battery chargers designed with the right parameters to charge batteries at 10A or 20A, ensuring a longer lifespan for Ampere Time batteries.

Ampere Time 100Ah & 200Ah Battery Features and Specs

The 100Ah & 200Ah Ampere Time batteries are among the most popular options for this brand. Both batteries use the same technology, so they share several benefits, features, and specifications. Both Ampere Time batteries are durable, long-lasting, and deliver a quality performance.

Next, we will dive into the specifications and features for each battery, detailing what aspects they share and how they differ.

Capacity & stored energy

One main difference between the 100Ah & 200Ah batteries is their capacity and the amount of energy they can store.

100Ah Ampere Time Battery

The 100Ah Ampere Time battery has a medium-high designed capacity of 100Ah delivered at an operating voltage of 12.8 V. It can store and deliver a total power capacity of 1,280 Wh. With this, you can easily power any electronics, several appliances, and the battery for all types of applications like camping, battery banks, and more.  

200Ah Ampere Time Battery

This battery has a high capacity of 200Ah operating at 12.8V, meaning that it can store and deliver up to 2,560 Wh. This high-capacity battery is better suited for large UPS systems, solar battery banks, and many other applications requiring a high-capacity battery.

Size & Weight

Lithium batteries with different capacities require varying amounts of LifePO4 battery cells depending on the capacity, which is the case for the 100Ah and 200Ah Ampere Time batteries, which differ in size & weight.

100Ah Ampere Time Battery

The 100Ah Ampere Time Battery has a compact size of 13 x 6.82 x 8.48 in. and a relatively lightweight of 25.35 lbs., which is lighter than batteries with similar capacity. Comparing the size and weight as they relate to capacity, the 100Ah Ampere Time battery is ideal for stationary applications and others that might require manually transporting the battery.

200Ah Ampere Time Battery

The 200Ah Ampere Time battery has a size of 20.5 x 9.37 x 8.54 in. and a weight of 46.07 lbs. While it has twice the capacity of 100Ah Ampere Time Battery, it is only 82% heavier, but it has more than twice the size. Since this battery is heavier and bulkier, we recommend it for stationary applications or in-home solar power systems, personal vehicles, wheelchairs, or marine applications.  

Ampere Time Battery

Figure 2: 100Ah Ampere Time Battery – Ampere Time

Casing & IP rating

While both batteries have a different weight and size, they share a similar high-quality casing that is durable, robust, and includes handles for transportation. The casing is ABS material, which is resistant to shocks and vibrations. Both batteries have 16mm-M8 terminals installed and are versatile for many applications.

With a casing manufactured with the highest standards, both batteries have a high Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP65. They are completely sealed against dust particles, protected against small splashing or dripping of water, and withstand water jets with a nozzle of 6.3 mm or less.

Charge/discharge current

Both batteries can deliver high peak currents of 280A for five seconds and continuously discharge at a maximum current of 100A, meaning the 100Ah Ampere Time battery is ideal for a 1C C-rate and the 200Ah battery for a 0.5C C-rate.

You can charge both batteries at a 0.2C C-rate, meaning that you can charge the 100Ah battery at 20A while the 200Ah Ampere Time Battery at 40A.

Depth of Discharge (DOD)

Ampere Time has engineered quality LiFePO4 batteries that can be discharged at a 100% DOD, allowing you to use the full capacity of the batteries.

Even though they can withstand a 100% DOD, at 10% capacity, they read a voltage of 12.8V, and at 1%, they read 10.8V, which is why we recommend using a maximum 90% DOD, and avoiding discharging them beyond 99% DOD since it can damage the battery.

Expected life cycles

The 100Ah and 200Ah Ampere Time batteries are designed to deliver 4,000 – 8,000 cycles, depending on the DOD used. The average lifespan for both batteries is 10 years.

Working temperature

Both batteries can also work at the same temperatures. Ampere Time batteries can discharge from -4º F to 140º F and should only be charged at a temperature range of 32º F – 122º F. For storing the batteries, you should ensure a temperature range of 14º F – 122º F.

Supported parallel/series connections

Ampere Time batteries allow for up to 4 batteries to be connected in series or up to 4 batteries to connect in parallel. If you want to perform a parallel/series connection, you can plug 2 sets of 4 batteries in series, connected in parallel with each other.

Ampere Time vs. SOK Battery: Which Should I choose?

Ampere Time Battery

Figure 3: 300Ah Ampere Time Battery – Ampere Time

Ampere Time and SOK Battery are excellent battery manufacturers with 100Ah & 200Ah models. In this section, we will do an impartial comparison between both technologies, detailing the key differences between the models by each brand. 

Capacity

Both 100Ah batteries share the same capacity, but this differs for the 200Ah batteries by each brand. The Ampere Time battery has a designed capacity of 200Ah while the SOK battery has a 206 Ah capacity, delivering 6 Ah more than the Ampere Time model.

Charging/discharging current

Both the 100Ah and 200Ah SOK batteries can be discharged at 100A and charged at 50A, meaning that the 100Ah SOK battery charges at 30 amps faster than the 100Ah Ampere Time battery model while the 200Ah SOK battery charges at 10 amps faster. As for the discharge current, it is the same for all four batteries.

Protection systems installed

Ampere Time and SOK Battery models have built-in Battery Management Systems (BMS), but this works differently for both brands. The Ampere Time BMS has a high-temperature charging cut-off system, while SOK BMS has both a high & low-temperature charging cut-off system, ensuring a longer lifespan for batteries in hot and cold climates.

Price

Both 100Ah batteries have a very similar price. The 100Ah Ampere Time model costs $499.99, while the SOK battery costs $569.00. The price is more contrasting for the high-capacity models with the 200Ah Ampere Time battery costs $799.99 while the 206Ah SOK battery costs $1,029.00.

Life Cycles & Warranty

Another important aspect to consider is the life cycles & warranty. Even though Ampere Time and SOK batteries can deliver 4,000 – 8,000 cycles, Ampere Time batteries have a 5-years warranty, while SOK Battery ensures 2 more years of liability for a 7-year warranty.

Ampere Time vs SOK Battery conclusion: Which brand is better for you?

When comparing the performance and specifications concerning the price, SOK batteries are superior. These batteries handle higher currents, have a better BMS, and have a longer warranty, making them safer to use for all applications and temperatures.

The aspect standing out from Ampere Time batteries is the price. The 100Ah Ampere Time battery is $70.01 cheaper, while the 200Ah battery costs $229.01 less than the SOK model. While price is important, you consider overall specifications, warranty, BMS system, and many more aspects to ensure you get a battery that lasts longer while delivering better performance.

Conclusion

Both 100Ah & 200Ah Ampere Time batteries are excellent for solar battery banks, boats, RVs, security systems, and many other applications. These batteries handle high discharging/charging currents, are robust, have a quality casing, and have a great overall performance.

Using Ampere Time batteries will ensure you get the best power output for many applications, even at a battery bank using eight batteries to get two times the voltage and four times the capacity of the batteries. Ampere Time Batteries also have a long lifespan, quite a good warranty, and an excellent price.

The price for Ampere Time batteries highly contrasts when compared to brands like SOK Battery. When looking for slightly higher currents, a longer warranty, or a better BMS system, you might want to consider SOK batteries, but if you are looking for the best price, Ampere Time batteries are for you.

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a logo and a hand in front of the solar panels

Solar Panel Recycling: The Ultimate Answer to the Solar Panel Waste Problem​

Solar Panel Recycling: The Ultimate Answer to the Solar Panel Waste Problem

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

Solar photovoltaic is the technology that provides tremendous hope when it comes to solving the climate crisis. With solar officially becoming the cheapest technology, its widespread adoption is obvious. However, there is a downside. After their lifespan of 30 years, solar panels’ power generation drops significantly – enough to make sense to simply discard them.

With millions of panels installed every year, we will soon be left with gigantic amounts of solar panels that have no use. However, there is an opportunity in crisis. The International Renewable Energy Agency predicts that by 2050, we will be able to extract a whopping 78 million metric tons of valuable material from these solar panels if recycled correctly. And the absolute best thing? To inject these materials back into solar panel manufacturing.

Making the Economy Circular

Solar panel recycling is not a new concept. Some countries and states even have legislation for mandatory recycling of panels. As time progresses and the amount of solar waste increases, these legislations will become more common – and for a good reason. Solar panels generally contain raw material that is non-decomposable and, to some extent, even harmful to the environment.

image – sstimated pv waste increase

Image – Estimated PV waste increase (Source: Greenmatch)

The materials that can be recycled in solar panels are mainly glass, metal, and silicon. However, conventional solar panel recycling focuses on extracting these materials and utilizing them in various industries. But one solar company has adopted a custom technology to disassemble panels and extract materials – to use them in their own solar panels again.

In Ohio, one of the leading solar companies worldwide called First Solar has established a recycling plant right beside its panel manufacturing plant. The company claims to recycle 90% of the materials from end-of-life panels to use them again in their own new modules. First Solar also has similar recycling plants in Germany and Malaysia.

According to the company, if 95% of the semiconductor material can be recovered and put back in a solar panel, and the cycle continues to repeat, the same material could serve us for up to 1200 years – an astonishingly long duration. This would ease the pressure on mining for more silicon, saving resources, and reducing the relatively few emissions caused by solar panel manufacturing.

Solar Panel Recycling: What Comes Next?

outdoor solar field

Though solar panel recycling is not a novel concept, it has a few limitations. There is a significant gap in the numbers of module manufacturing plants and recycling plants. Often, end-of-life modules must be shipped to distant locations for recycling.

The cost incurred in this transportation does not always make financial sense for the materials that get reused. To solve this problem, more recycling plants need to come up. If possible, as Andreas Wade of First Solar says, they should be mobile recycling plants.

As new module manufacturing units come up, it would be a good idea to design and build module manufacturing and recycling units instead. Companies doing this might even have financial benefits in this model since they won’t have to import raw materials from foreign destinations, which is normally the case. Of course, this would happen only when modules will be recycled in huge numbers, which, as we have discussed, is not so much in the distant future.

Solar PV modules, whether they are regular panels or rugged, portable panels, all have a specified lifespan. Although most panels are not near the end of their life, we must act with foresight. It will be wise to plan better for the huge amounts of waste solar will generate in the coming decades – and reusing the recycled materials into building solar panels might be the ultimate answer to the waste problem.

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Ecoflow delta max

EcoFlow Delta Max Review – Everything You Need to Know

EcoFlow Delta Max Review – Everything You Need to Know

Ecoflow delta max

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

EcoFlow has established itself as one of the leading brands when it comes to portable power technology. Its compact and practical solar power generators offer fully integrated, high-capacity deep-cycle batteries, efficient, built-in charge controllers, high-performance power inverters, and many useful output ports.

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.

Our Review of the EcoFlow Delta Max

The EcoFlow Brand:

Before we look at the new models and accessories, it is worth taking a quick look at the EcoFlow brand to learn what it’s all about.

Given that it started in 2017, EcoFlow is a relatively new company. However, in the short time the brand has been around, it has shaken up the portable solar power industry. In many ways, it has fulfilled its ambitious aim of reinventing the way people access power.

Its reliable and highly portable solar power generators have given consumers the ability to access renewable power from even the most remote locations. As previously mentioned, the EcoFlow Delta 1800 has earned an impressive reputation as a durable, high-performance solar generator available at an extremely competitive price, which is why it continues to be the brand’s best-selling unit.

This is where the EcoFlow Delta Max and Delta Pro come in.

The Upcoming Product Launch:

In August of 2021, EcoFlow announced that it would be launching two new solar generators with a variety of accessories and a smart gasoline-powered generator.

As expected, this announcement was met with excitement from consumers and industry professionals alike. People excitedly backed the Kickstarter announcing the upcoming solar generators, contributing $10,000,000 in just over ten days!

While the accessories are exciting, the real buzz stems from the announcement of two upgraded and updated versions of the popular EcoFlow Delta 1800 – the EcoFlow Delta Max, which we will be taking a look at today, and the EcoFlow Delta PRO, which we will explore in a separate review.

While both are much larger than the Delta 1800, the Delta PRO is the largest and most powerful, which is why it is marketed as the big brother to the Delta Max. While one unit is larger than the other, both new models are massive and offer incredible features.

The EcoFlow Delta Max

EcoFlow Delta Max

The Delta Max primarily acts as a backup power supply for emergencies, but like its predecessor, the Delta 1800, it is incredibly versatile, which is why it is a practical choice for anyone looking for the ability to access power in off-grid situations.

Battery Capacity, Life Cycles, and Shelf Life

Battery Capacity:

The first thing we noticed when we examined the Delta Max is its outstanding battery capacity. The Delta Pro features a built-in 2,016Wh deep-cycle solar battery, a significant upgrade over the Delta 1800’s 1,260Wh battery.

While the larger battery is a major upgrade, what is exciting is the fact that EcoFlow has made both the Delta Max and Delta Pro expandable.

So, you can expand the Delta Max’s already impressive battery capacity to a staggering 6,028Wh by adding two compact and affordable battery packs! Even without expanding the internal battery, you can use the Delta Max to charge and power some fairly demanding electric appliances.

For perspective, a Delta Max could power a full-sized refrigerator for nearly two days, charge a standard laptop over 60 times, or run a 32-inch LCD television for nearly three days. On top of that, expanding the battery could potentially triple these figures!

Battery Shelf Life:

Given that EcoFlow designed the Delta Max for the specific purpose of supplying reliable power during emergencies, such as grid failures and natural disaster-induced power outages, it is no surprise that the battery has an impressive shelf life.

Essentially, shelf life refers to the length of time you can leave a battery charged before it will lose its power through a natural draining process. While all batteries lose power over time, higher quality batteries can hold their charge for longer than inferior batteries.

Shelf life is incredibly important for those that plan to use their generator as a source of emergency or backup power, as you want a unit that can be relied upon to charge your appliances and electronic devices when you need it.

With a shelf life of over 12 months, users can leave the Delta Max in storage for an entire year with the expectation that the unit will still have a charged battery if the power in their home goes out.

Life Cycles:

In addition to its extraordinary capacity and shelf life, the Delta Max’s internal battery is rated for over 800 life cycles. Life cycle rating estimates the total number of times you can charge and drain the battery before its storage capabilities begin to diminish.

800+ life cycles is rather impressive, especially when you compare that number against the industry standard. Most solar generators start to lose some of their storage potential way before reaching 800 charge cycles. It is also worth noting that a cycle refers to a full recharge followed by a full discharge, so partially discharging the battery would not have the same impact as a full cycle.

You could partially use the battery rather than fully drain it, and the impact on its lifespan would be insignificant.

What is New About the Delta Max?

While the Delta Max features an incredibly capable MPPT charge controller and an efficient power inverter, we have come to expect these features from an EcoFlow solar generator. What excites us about the Delta Max is some of the new features:

Wi-Fi Connectivity:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

The Delta Max is Wi-Fi enabled, which means it is compatible with EcoFlow’s user-friendly mobile app. You can monitor everything from charge output and input information to the brightness of the LCD screen from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

As we will explain in greater detail, it also means that the Delta Max is compatible with the new EcoFlow Smart Generator, which can efficiently and automatically charge your solar generators using gasoline when they need a boost.

X-Boost Charging:

X-Boost allows you to quickly charge connected devices much faster than you could with a conventional solar generator. X-Boost technology and 3,600W dual charging capabilities also mean you can fully charge the Delta Max itself very quickly.

A full recharge can be achieved in just 1.8 hours using a standard AC wall plug-in! Given that generators with a similar battery capacity can take as long as 8 hours to charge, these speeds are truly incredible.

Whether you are charging your Delta Max through a wall outlet, car charging port, or solar power, it will charge quickly and efficiently.

Emergency Power Supply Mode (EPS Mode):

EPS Mode means the Delta Max will automatically fire up when your main power source fails. For anyone interested in emergency preparedness, this is incredibly helpful.

Whether you have concerns about natural disasters or want to ensure that occasional power outages and grid failures do not disturb your lifestyle, this new feature offers a real improvement over the previous EcoFlow generators.

Battery Expandability:

As mentioned above, EcoFlow has designed the Delta Max to accommodate two extra batteries, taking the total storage capacity up to 6,028Wh.

Given that this would take the Delta Max’s battery capacity up to nearly five times the capacity of the Delta 1800, it is a really useful feature!

Our Overall Impression of the New EcoFlow Delta Max

EcoFlow Delta Max

Simply put, the EcoFlow Delta Max met and exceeded our high expectations. At just 48lbs, it offers an incredible weight-to-power ratio and is still much lighter than its competition.

It offers some of the fastest charging in the portable battery bank industry, which is important to us. Aside from its big brother, the Delta PRO, there is nothing like the Delta Max out there.

Wi-Fi connectivity and the new EPS mode are great additions, as is the ability to increase the overall capacity with expansion batteries.

The Delta Max is so powerful that you can easily use it to run power tools, including incredibly demanding devices, like an arc welding machine. The battery capacity is so large, and the internal components are so powerful that you could even give an electric vehicle a quick charge. This news is huge for those who own an electric vehicle, like a Tesla, as it allows you to keep an emergency power source in your trunk in case your vehicle’s battery ever drains before you can reach an EV charging station.

A wide range of charge ports sets the Delta 1800 apart, and EcoFlow built on this with the Delta Max. In addition to six AC wall-style plug-ins, you get a variety of USB ports, including two of the new USB-C 100W ports for fast-charging iPhones, Android smartphones, laptops, and more. It even features a car-style 12V input and output, so you can connect the Delta Max to your vehicle’s battery.

One of the best portable solar generators on the market just got better! We were already massive fans of the EcoFlow Delta 1800, so to see an announcement for a new and improved version got us excited. Luckily, EcoFlow has not disappointed, and the new Delta Max is just as incredible as we had hoped it would be.

Overall, it is just an extremely capable unit. With 5,000W of surge power and 2,400Wh of storage capacity, it is more powerful than a Honda EU 2200i gasoline-powered generator!

It holds more energy, supplies more power, charges faster, and has more versatile charging ports than anything we have seen at this price point. The fact it is also compact, lightweight, has Wi-Fi capabilities, can be used as a complete EPS for an entire house, and is expandable, just means the upcoming Delta Max is something worth getting excited about!

The New EcoFlow Accessories and Smart Generator

Now that we have reviewed the Delta Max, we can take a quick look at some of the accessories EcoFlow announced alongside it.

The Delta Max Smart Expansion Batteries:

The new battery expansion packs have a similar appearance to the Delta Max itself. They each feature a total storage capacity of 2,016Wh, as well as an easy-to-read LCD screen. They weigh approximately 40lbs and have a built-in carrying handle, so they are also portable enough to be a practical power solution for RV enthusiasts, campers, and anyone else who values mobility.

Like the Delta Max, the Smart Expansion Batteries are rated to 800 life cycles. They easily connect to the Delta Max with a simple connector cable and have a grooved bottom, which allows them to safely sit on top of the generator.

EcoFlow Delta Max

The Smart Home Panel:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

For those interested in emergency preparedness, the upcoming Smart Home Panel allows you to connect your generators and expansion batteries directly to your home’s electrical panel. The Smart Home Panel communicates with any Delta Max or PRO that you have connected to it, so when the power fails, your solar generators will immediately begin supplying power to your home’s electrical system.

The panel can be easily installed and integrated into your home’s power system. It can connect with up to ten home circuits and has less than a 20-millisecond switchover response time. As with the Delta Pro, the Smart Home Panel is Wi-Fi enabled, so it is compatible with the new EcoFlow smart app.

In other words, the new Smart Home Panel can instantly supply your home’s electrical system with up to 7,200W of power in situations when your home would otherwise be without power.

The EcoFlow Solar Tracker:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

This exciting and highly portable device connects to your existing solar panels to make them more efficient. A series of sensors detect the sun’s movement and automatically reposition your solar panel for optimal orientation for sunlight absorption.

Not only will the Solar Tracker move the direction of your panels, but it can also alter their angle. It can accommodate any solar panel, including rigid panels and flexible varieties. The entire Solar Tracker is water and weatherproof, so you can leave it out in all conditions.

It is really easy to use and adjust, as there is no need to program it. Right out of the box, it will automatically orient your solar panels using its sunlight sensors. Best of all, it barely uses any power, as it only draws about 30W while it is moving. EcoFlow also designed the tracks to keep the cables separated. You do not have to worry about them tangling during movement.

You can manually control or position the panels using the smart app if needed, but the sensor almost always works best. It contains multiple light sensors rather than a single sensor, so it is incredibly sensitive and accurate.

The EcoFlow Smart Generator:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

While we have come to associate EcoFlow with renewable energy storage, it also announced the release of a Smart Gasoline-Powered Generator, which is compatible with the Delta Max and Delta PRO.

Essentially, the new Smart Generator is designed to act as an emergency power supply that will automatically start when your solar generator’s battery is critically low. Assuming your Delta could not be charged with AC or solar power, the Smart Generator’s engine would fire up just long enough to fully charge your generator.

Once the batteries have been fully charged, the generator will immediately shut down, so you do not burn unnecessary fuel. It is also incredibly efficient, especially compared to a traditional gasoline-burning generator. EcoFlow claims its Smart Generator is at least 25% more fuel-efficient than a standard generator.

You can also control the Smart Generator with the EcoFlow app, or you can manually start it. It is incredibly easy to use and offers a really useful and practical power solution for anyone that lives off-grid or just wants a reliable source of emergency power.

The Best EcoFlow Delta MAX Solar Kits

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta MAX Quad Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta MAX 6,000 Quad Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta MAX Nomad Kit

Final Words

With the success of the EcoFlow Delta 1800, we were excited to see what EcoFlow would release next. Luckily, we were not disappointed!

Both the Delta Max and PRO are incredibly powerful and exciting solar generators and the collection of accessories it is launching alongside them are interesting. Unique and practical items like the Solar Tracker and Smart Generator are incredibly innovative.

With these announcements, it is safe to say that EcoFlow is going to continue fulfilling its aim of reinventing the way people access portable power. For more information, take a look at EcoFlow’s Kickstarter Announcement.

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Bluetti AC300

Bluetti AC300 + B300 Expansion Battery Review

Bluetti AC300 + B300 Expansion Battery Review

Bluetti AC300

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

If you list the top few developments of the year in the solar generator market, Bluetti’s game-changing AC300 solar generator and B300 battery expansion pack will be somewhere near the top. The latest offering in the AC series is not only different from other solar power stations, but it is also unique among Bluetti’s own set of generators.

The AC300 comes without a built-in battery and relies on the B300s for energy storage but promises extraordinary numbers for power output and input. With incredible scalability of up to 24,600 Wh and 6,000 W, this modular combo pushes the limits. Let us dive deeper into this Bluetti AC300+B300 Expansion Battery Review.

Key Specs

1. AC300

Battery No battery inside
Output
  • Rated AC power: 110 V, 3,000 W Continuous (6,000 W Surge)
  • DC output: 5 V DC / 3 A USB Plug, 12 V DC / 3/10/25 A output ports
Input
  • AC/wall charging: 3000 W at 120 V; 6000 W at 240 V
  • Solar: Max 2400 Watts, 12-150 V 
  • Car Charger: 12 V /24 V DC
Size 520 mm (20.5 in) x 343 mm (13.5 in) x 300 mm (11.8 in)
Weight 44 lb/ 20 kg 

2. B300

Battery 3,072 Wh, Lithium-ion (LFP), 3,500+ lifecycles
Output
  • DC output: 18W USB-A Plug, 100W USB-C Plug
  • 12V/10A cigarette lighter
Input
  • AC/wall charging: 500 W
  • Solar input: 200 W 
Size 520 mm (20.5 in) x 358 mm (14.1 in) x 325 mm (12.8 in)
Weight 74 lb/ 34 kg 

Key Features

1. Extreme Expandability and Flexibility

The AC300 does not sit in the segment of solar generators designed with expandability as just an option. It goes above and beyond that. It is designed with expandability to be its forte, its most powerful selling point.

To begin with, the AC300 dares to be just a power management system without a battery in it, needing you to buy the B300 battery unit separately. Despite that, it amazes with how much you can expand the capacity. 

A single B300 comes with a 3,072 Wh capacity, and you can connect up to four such units to the AC300 to achieve an admirable 12,288 Wh. But it does not stop there. Bluetti has also launched a Fusion Box Pro, a device that combines two sets of AC300+4xB300, taking the battery capacity to a humongous 24,576 Wh and the power output to 6,000 W. These numbers should be easily sufficient to power even larger households.

Bluetti AC300

AC300 + B300 Maximum Expansion

The B300s not only serve as great expansion devices, but you can also use them as standalone basic power generators on their own. They have two USB ports, a 12V cigarette lighter port, and a power button, providing segment-first flexibility.

2. Great Input and Output Rating

The word “powerful” is an apt description of the AC300 + B300 combination. It has a continuous AC power output of 3,000W, with a surge capacity of 6,000W. With its tremendous expandability, the largest setup churns out 6,000W of power continuously, a figure hardly any portable solar generator reaches.

The numbers are impressive on the input side, too. An adjustable AC input of 3,000W or 6,000W allows you to charge the device in just an hour (or half for 6,000W), which is a big leap even from the previous AC series models, which support up to 500W AC input.

The solar input rating is equally stunning. At 2,400W, you can charge the device in about 1.5 hours. Combining AC and DC inputs allow a staggering 5,400W into the system continuously (needs 2 B300s for combined charging), which is a remarkable feat.

3. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) Battery

Like Bluetti’s other offerings, the B300 also comes with a modern lithium-iron-phosphate battery. LFP batteries are the next big step in lithium battery technology, and Bluetti is one of the few brands to adopt it early – beating even more popular brands like Tesla and Goal Zero.

Bluetti AC300

LFP Battery in the Bluetti B300

The biggest advantage offered by LFP batteries over traditional Li-NMC (Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt) batteries is their durability. For instance, Bluetti’s batteries promise over 3,500 lifecycles. In comparison, a typical NMC battery, such as that of a Goal Zero model, would offer only 500 lifecycles.

These batteries don’t just last a long time. They also have much higher thermal resistance, meaning an LFP battery catching fire is very unlikely. This tolerance also allows LFP batteries to have higher current ratings.

4. Split Phase Bonding

A major difference between the smaller AC series models and the AC300 is its split-phase bonding feature. Technically, this means the voltage can be doubled (splitting of the phase) for greater power transfer.

While the regular input or output voltage is 120V, split-phase bonding allows it to be 240V. The power rating subsequently doubles from 3,000W to 6,000W. On the output end, this means you can run heavier loads on the same device, and on the input side, it means you can charge the unit by almost twice the speed.

5. Practical design

Bluetti’s generators have got more than just good looks, and the AC300 is no exception. The makers have designed it thoughtfully to include many practical features. For instance, the AC300 comes with a 30A RV port. You can now run any appliances in your RV by simply plugging one cable into the RV port. The B300 has enough juice to power pretty much everything in your RV for a few hours.

Speaking of practicality in design, the AC300 + B300 also supports hot-swapping, meaning if the battery level in a B300 is too low, you don’t need to turn off the entire unit to charge the battery, just unplug it plug in a new one in a hot-swap and your generator’s operations continue seamlessly. 

6. Advanced Functionality

Unlike a decade ago, a good solar generator today is a lot more than just a good battery and inverter. Most manufacturers are trying to make using their power station as simple and intuitive as possible, and Bluetti does not disappoint on this front.

The AC300, like the other models in the AC series, comes with an exceptional display screen. The screen is a high-quality, responsive LCD touch-screen with excellent visibility and superior functionality. It shows a large variety of information such as input and output parameters and more, and also allows regulating voltages and currents. 

Bluetti AC300

Bluetti AC300 Display Screen

But you don’t have to walk up to the solar generator to look at the screen each time, Bluetti now offers a mobile app with the device. The app comes with an interface that is slightly similar to the LCD screen on the unit, and you can also use it to turn off the device remotely.

Bluetti AC300

Bluetti Mobile App

Design and Construction

Bluetti continues its streak of aesthetically pleasing designs with the AC300, mainly by sticking to the metallic grey and textured black combination with the cool blue branding. The AC300 resembles the other AC series generators but looks slightly boxy, suggesting a more powerful look.

Despite being mostly built out of ABS plastic, the AC300 and B300 manage to exude ruggedness through the design. Usage-wise, the AC300 is very similar to the AC200s. The front sports all the ports, the display screen, and the power button.

Bluetti AC300

Bluetti AC300 Output Ports

Bluetti AC300

Bluetti B300 Output Ports

On the top are two wireless charging pads, and on the side of the unit are battery connection ports as well as input ports – for solar DC input and AC wall input.

Bluetti AC300

Bluetti AC300 Input Ports

Pros

Bluetti’s most powerful generator + battery combo to date – the AC300 + B300 – is more than just a larger version of their existing products. It is a uniquely powerful device. Let us list down the reasons why buying the AC300 + B300 makes sense:

5-digit battery storage capacity in Wh was unheard of when it came to portable solar generators, but Bluetti shattered the norm with the extreme expandability of the AC300 with the B300s. The modular design and a maximum of 24,600 Wh mean you never have to worry about running out of energy storage. 

The power output is equally impressive at a maximum of 6,000W and should run heavy appliances for quite a long time.

The LFP battery inside the device is not only energy-dense, but it is also less susceptible to fires or explosions and lasts significantly longer.

A 30 A RV port allows for convenient powering of RV appliances, plus the hot-swapping feature lets you do quick and easy battery changes when the unit is in operation. Coupled with a superb LCD touch screen and an intuitive mobile app, the AC300 and B300 provide guaranteed peace of mind when it comes to functionality. 

One would expect the B300 battery expansion pack to be secondary to the AC300 in importance, but it impresses as much as the AC300 itself – its independent input and output capabilities turn it into a basic solar generator itself, adding tremendous flexibility to the combination.

Cons

There aren’t many things that should deter you from buying the AC300 and B300, but these machines do come with some flaws.

The AC300, however well-built, does not include a battery, unlike the previous AC models. So, you MUST buy the B300 with it. You can use the AC200 Max or AC200P, on the other hand, as full-fledged generators without necessarily having to buy the B230 or the B300.

At 44 lb, the AC300 is not particularly heavy for its power output, but as mentioned before, you will need a combination of the AC300 and B300 to have any energy storage in it. With the B300’s 74 lb, the total weight comes to a grueling 118 lb. 

Without a wheeled cart, moving the AC300 + B300 combo is a big hassle and questions the “portable” tag of the devices.

Final Words: Should You Buy the Bluetti AC300 + B300

There is no such thing as the ultimate solar generator that suits every single user, but Bluetti’s AC300 + B300 comes as close to claiming that title as possible. Its outstanding expandability and high power rating make it suitable for everything from off-grid adventures to powering large homes.

The unit boasts one of the highest solar input ratings at 2,400W and one of the highest total input ratings of 5,400W, allowing it to charge it in an impressively short time. Its split-phase bonding is another unique selling point, thanks to which you can double the input or output voltage for double the charging speed or power output.

A state-of-the-art LFP battery promises exceptionally long life and safe operation, while a well-designed display screen and mobile app make using it super-convenient.

The devices do have their flaws, such as the battery-less AC300 and its unimpressive mass. But if a couple of minor drawbacks are not a big turn-off, the AC300 and B300 are certainly an excellent combination to own.