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 Battery Review

Ampere Time Battery Review

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.

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.  

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?

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 Review – Everything You Need to Know

EcoFlow Delta Max Review – Everything You Need to Know

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.

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EcoFlow Delta PRO

EcoFlow Delta PRO Review – First Look at EcoFlow’s Revolutionary Home Battery System

EcoFlow Delta PRO Review – First Look at EcoFlow’s Revolutionary Home Battery System

EcoFlow Delta PRO

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

When it comes to solar power generators and portable power banks, EcoFlow is one of the most highly respected and innovative brands in the entire industry.

We are incredibly excited to look at its upcoming line of solar generators and accessories. As you may know, we have previously reviewed the popular EcoFlow Delta 1800. We found it offered the perfect balance of power, efficiency, portability, and affordability,  which explains why it remains one of our top picks and one of the best-selling units on the market.

Today, we will be looking at what promises to be a real game-changer for the entire industry – the EcoFlow Delta PRO. From there, we will also explore some of the interesting accessories that EcoFlow plans to launch alongside the Delta PRO.

The Launch of the EcoFlow Delta PRO

In August of 2021, EcoFlow announced they would be launching two new solar power generators. The first, which we are looking at today, is the massive Delta PRO. The second is the EcoFlow Delta Max, which acts as the Delta PRO’s little brother.

While the Delta PRO is the larger of the two, we need to be clear that these are both incredibly powerful generators that pack unprecedented specifications for storage capacity, charge capabilities, and versatility.

Given the ongoing popularity of the EcoFlow Delta 1800, it is no surprise that the announcement of two new generators with ground-breaking specifications has been met with serious excitement from both industry professionals and consumers. EcoFlow announced their upcoming product launch through Kickstarter, and they were backed by over $10,000,000 in just 12 days!

What is the EcoFlow Delta PRO?

The Delta PRO is a revolutionary home battery system. It provides a significant amount of backup power from a highly portable solar power generator.

The PRO’s smaller counterpart, the EcoFlow Delta Max, primarily acts as a temporary backup power supply for emergencies, but the Delta PRO is much larger and versatile.

Essentially, it contains an enormous and expandable deep-cycle battery that can power anything from an entire RV to a simple desk lamp. To understand why the Delta PRO is so revolutionary, we will need to take a close look at its specifications, as well as some of the new features EcoFlow has outfitted it with.

The EcoFlow Delta PRO’s Battery and Storage Capabilities

Battery Capacity:

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

To help you understand just how impressive those battery specifications are, 3,600Wh is the equivalent of wiring three BattleBorn 100Ah 12V Deep Cycle Batteries together!

Given that these are some of the most popular batteries for residential solar power systems, packing that much power into a highly portable unit that also contains a built-in charge controller, power inverter, and a variety of output ports is a truly incredible feat.

Life Cycle Rating:

The massive internal battery is rated at 3,500 cycles to 80% and over 6,500 cycles to 50%. In other words, you can fully charge and discharge the Delta PRO nearly 4,000 times before you notice any significant degradation issues.

For perspective, the Delta PRO’s predecessor, the Delta 1800, has a life cycle rating of 800, which is pretty respectable. If you are unaware, life cycle rating is an estimate of the total number of times you can fully charge and drain a battery before its storage capacity begins to diminish. With an industry-best life cycle rating of 3,500 cycles, the Delta Pro’s internal battery is made to last!

This performance is partially down to EcoFlow’s battery management system, which automatically analyzes and regulates the voltage, current, and internal temperature in real-time to protect the battery and ensure optimal performance.

Shelf Life:

As if the storage capacity and life cycle rating were not impressive enough, the battery also has a shelf life of over 12 months. Given that all batteries naturally lose their charge over time, knowing that you can leave a fully charged Delta PRO in storage for a full year and still be able to count on a full charge is very reassuring.

If you plan on using the unit as a source of emergency power, lengthy shelf life is a feature you will learn to appreciate.

The EcoFlow Delta PRO’s Output Capabilities

The Internal Power Inverter:

Another area where the Delta PRO shines is its massive AC output, mostly because of its highly capable and incredibly efficient power inverter.

EcoFlow has a reputation for equipping all of their solar power generators with high-performance power inverters, but it blew us away when we discovered they had outfitted the Delta PRO with a 3,600W 30amp 12V pure sine power inverter.

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

The combination of an incredibly high storage capacity and an industry-leading power inverter means that this unit is a real stand out from anything we have ever seen before.

EcoFlow’s X-Boost Technology:

X-Boost allows you to run large, more demanding electrical appliances than you could with a traditional generator because it drops the voltage and allows more amps to flow from the unit.

This process can get fairly complicated, but the real takeaway is this. The highly efficient power inverter and unique X-Boost technology combine to give the unit the ability to power and charge more electronics at one time, including extremely demanding appliances, like air conditioning units, vacuums, refrigerators, space heaters, and more.

The power inverter is so impressive that you can even use the Delta PRO to run power tools that require enormously large start-up loads, including everything from a corded power drill, to an arc welding machine.

Output Ports:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

While the Delta 1800 offered a versatile range of output ports, the Delta PRO takes things even further. In terms of output options, the Delta PRO features the following:

EcoFlow Delta PRO Outlets:

2 x

USB-A Fast-Charge Output Ports

2 x

USB-A Standard Output Ports

2 x

USB-C 100W Output Ports

4 x Wall-Style 20A AC Output Sockets
1 x

30A Anderson AC RV Port

1 x

Car-Style 12V Charging Port

While we expect the plug-in wall-style sockets and USB-A ports, the 100W USB-C ports are a welcome feature. They allow you to quickly charge the latest portable electronics, including newer Apple Macbooks, iPads, and iPhones, as well as the latest Android smartphones and PC laptops.

However, it is the addition of a 30-amp RV Anderson hookup on the front surface of the unit that is the real head-turner. This simple socket means you can use the Delta PRO to power your entire RV or camper van. In other words, it gives you the freedom to take your mobile home to off-grid locations that would otherwise be inaccessible. If you pair the unit with solar panels, you will no longer have to limit your adventures to campgrounds that offer shore power hookups.

Charging the EcoFlow Delta PRO

EcoFlow Delta PRO

Wall Charging:

Another area where the Delta PRO shines is how quickly you can charge it. In just 2.7 hours, you can completely charge a fully drained unit with AC power! For perspective, power generators that have less than a quarter of the storage capacity of the Delta PRO can take nearly 10 hours to charge.

As a bonus, the simple power cord does not have a bulky power brick like you would find on a standard laptop charging cable, thanks to the fact that it is built into the unit itself.

Solar Charging:

EcoFlow also bumped the solar input up to 1,200W, which means it can charge using solar power much faster than any other generator on the market. While it comes packaged with MC4 solar cables, so you can quickly and easily connect it to your existing solar panels, it is worth noting that EcoFlow is also launching a set of 400W solar panels alongside the Delta PRO.

These highly efficient monocrystalline silicon solar panels will be lightweight and foldable, so they are perfect for anyone that values portability. Using just three of these panels, you could potentially charge a fully drained Delta PRO in as little as four hours. Again, there are currently no solar power generators that come even close to this.

EV Charging:

One interesting feature is the ability to charge the unit using an EV charging station. This truly unique feature allows you to use the EV charging port to take advantage of EV charging stations popping up around the country.

Once again, this feature is an industry first! Many EV charging stations are free to use as many state governments are doing what they can to promote electric vehicles, making this a convenient charging option for anyone in the market for a portable power bank.

Other Highlights

Double Voltage Hub:

Before this release, no solar generator company has ever been able to deliver a functional 240V adaptor. This unique feature allows you to connect two Delta PRO units for a combined 7,200W, 240V output, which is enough to power even the most demanding electronic appliances, like an electric heater, air conditioner, and more.

Essentially, this unique feature would allow you to use the Delta Pro just like a gasoline-powered generator. In other words, you can use an emissions-free solar generator to power a residential heating system, a well pump, and more.

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

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

Using the adapter, you could even run a full-sized washing machine and clothing dryer! While there are few situations where you would need to do laundry during an emergency, it gives you an idea of how powerful and capable the Delta PRO is.

Unlike a gasoline generator, you can also run the unit inside your house, which is useful during storms and other situations where you will want to go outside as little as possible.

Expandable Storage:

As mentioned previously, EcoFlow has designed the Delta PRO so you can connect it to multiple 3,600Wh battery expansion units.

At an affordable price, you can increase the overall storage capacity to a mind-boggling 25kWh! This territory is where you start to exceed what you can do with a Tesla Powerwall.

When you pair a Delta PRO with several EcoFlow smart battery expansion units and an EcoFlow Smart Home Panel, you can begin to take your entire home off-grid!

Wi-Fi and Smart App Connectivity:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

The Delta PRO 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.

The app even allows you to adjust how much power you want to flow through the unit, which is helpful when charging the Delta PRO through a wall outlet, as it helps you avoid tripping breakers by putting too much stress on your home circuit. If you are dealing with a dated electrical panel, like you might find in an older home or cabin, you do not have to worry about the Delta PRO straining your electrical system.

Our Overall Impression of the EcoFlow Delta PRO

EcoFlow Delta PRO

It is difficult to explain just how big of a game-changer the Delta PRO is going to be. Simply put, this solar generator can do things that no other unit can even come close to.

The incredible storage capacity, efficient charge controller, versatile output ports, lightning-fast charging capabilities, and powerful power inverter mean that the Delta PRO will shake up the entire portable power industry.

The convenience factor is also completely off the charts. It even has built-in wheels and two sturdy, padded handles, so, despite its weight, which is nearly 100lbs, this unit is still fairly mobile.

To make transportation even easier, EcoFlow equipped it with a discreet, pop-out handle on the underside of the unit. This collapsible handle allows you to lift and drag the unit behind you like a standing suitcase.

Then you have three options for monitoring and controlling the unit: the smart app, a wired remote, pushbuttons, or the built-in LCD screen.

We barely even touched on one of the best features – its outstanding 93% efficiency rating, meaning you can use more of the power stored within the massive battery.

In a few words, it holds more energy, supplies more power, charges faster, and has more versatile charging options than anything else on the market. EcoFlow took things to the next level with this unit, and we strongly feel that it will turn the entire industry on its head.

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 PRO Smart Expansion Batteries:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

The new battery expansion packs look similar to the Delta PRO but do not feature the output ports. Each battery has a capacity of 3,600Wh and a clear LCD screen. They weigh approximately 84lbs, so they also feature built-in wheels and a carrying handle.

The Smart Home Panel:

For those interested in emergency preparedness, the upcoming Smart Home Panel connects your generator and expansion batteries 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 feed power directly into your home’s electrical system.

It can connect with up to ten home circuits and has less than a 20-millisecond switchover time. The Smart Home Panel is Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with the new EcoFlow smart app.

EcoFlow Delta PRO

The EcoFlow Solar Tracker:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

This device helps improve solar panel performance and efficiency. A series of sensors detect the sun’s movement and automatically reposition your solar panel until it has the optimal orientation for sunlight absorption.

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

You can manually control and positioned it by hand or with the smart app, but the sensor almost always works best because it uses multiple light sensors rather than a single sensor, so it is incredibly sensitive and accurate.

EcoFlow believes you should get an average of about 30% more efficiency from your solar panels, but this seems low, especially if you are using your solar panels in a shady location.

The EcoFlow Smart Generator:

EcoFlow Delta PRO

While we have come to associate EcoFlow with renewable energy storage, they 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 acts as an emergency power supply that will automatically start when your solar generator’s battery is critically low. Assuming you could not charge your Delta with AC or solar power, the Smart Generator’s engine would fire up just long enough for a full charge.

Once you have fully charged the batteries, 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 their 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 useful and practical power solution for anyone who lives off-grid or wants a reliable source of emergency power.

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 they are 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 will 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 AC200 Max Solar Generator + B230 Expansion Battery Review

Bluetti AC200 Max Solar Generator + B230 Expansion Battery Review

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

Bluetti has recently launched two intriguing products in what they tout as the Grand Debut of full home battery backup. These include the AC200 Max, a solar generator that feels like a slightly stronger twin of the original AC200P, and the extension battery pack B230, which is a noteworthy addition to Bluetti’s line-up.

Though it’s similar to the previous model, the AC200 Max does offer a couple of exciting new features, such as a 30 A RV plug and a mobile app. What excites us most about the B230, though, is a segment-first battery extender you can use as a simple generator in itself and is compatible with older Bluetti power stations too. 

In this Bluetti AC200 Max + B230 Expansion Battery review, we cover the new 200 series model and compatible battery expansion pack in detail.

Bluetti AC200 MAX Solar Generator Key Features

1. Expandability and Flexibility

Arguably the biggest highlight of Bluetti’s new launch is the expandability of battery capacity, with the incredible B230 extension pack. If you are someone who likes Bluetti’s generators but wants a larger storage capacity like that of a Goal Zero Yeti 6000X, which is great news!

Bluetti AC200 Max connected to B230 Expansion Battery

With a single Bluetti B230 battery, the AC200 Max can provide an impressive 4096 Wh storage, but the best part – up to two B230s can be connected with the Bluetti AC200 Max to expand the battery capacity to a staggering 6144 Wh. Interestingly, Bluetti is also offering the B300 expansion battery, which is also compatible with the AC200 Max, and with two B300s, you can achieve a whopping 8192 Wh capacity.

Bluetti AC200 Max with two B230 Batteries Connected

But the B230 and B300 aren’t just expansion devices. You can use them as standalone battery banks, too. This feature is an industry-first that beats other close competitors such as the EcoFlow Delta. 

The B230 has three different ports, and you can run a variety of basic appliances from it. It even has its own charging port, a power button, and a design resembling the AC200s, with strong handles for carrying it easily.

As for input, the device provides impressive flexibility by allowing you to charge it with 900W solar and 500W AC input – simultaneously. Using a 1400W input charges the battery in just 1.5 hours. You can also use solar to pump in the entire 1400W. All you would need is Bluetti’s charging enhancer, which is sold separately.

2. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) Battery

In the increasingly crowded space of solar power generators, only a few brands stand apart with state-of-the-art battery technology. Bluetti is one brand that can lay such a claim, with a long-lasting LFP battery that promises an excellent 3500+ lifecycles. In comparison, a Goal Zero battery with Li-NMC technology offers around 500 cycles.

But the LFP technology offers more than longevity. It also promises better safety. These batteries have exceptional thermal resistance, so there is a low chance of catching fire, even in extremely hot regions. Additionally, LFP cells are also known to offer better current ratings, which is evident from the 30A RV port the makers have offered on this product.

Furthermore, Bluetti leaves no room for complaints by choosing to go with cells manufactured by LG Chem.

3. High Power Output

If you look at any solar power station in the market today, it will probably have a power output in W that is about half or a third of the battery capacity in Wh. This ratio is another area where Bluetti’s generators triumph.

The Bluetti AC200 Max has an excellent power rating of 2,200 W, which is slightly higher than the AC200P. For a 2048 Wh battery, this is a striking amount of continuous power you can draw out of it. It does mean that you can drain the entire battery in less than an hour if you pull the entire 2,200 W, but it is always good to have that option available rather than not. 

What can the Bluetti AC200 Max Power do?

Additionally, the battery expansion packs can help improve discharge times by two or three times if needed, so the high power output shouldn’t always mean you will be left out of juice pretty soon.

4. One of the Best Display Screens

Display screens on solar power stations are no longer a new feature, but the quality of the screen on Bluetti’s AC200 Max is certainly exceptional. It is the same resistive, LCD touch-screen on the AC200P and eliminates the frustration of barely haptic, squishy button screens with poor visibility.

The screen is capable of more than just displaying a bunch of information. While it does show a large amount of information, it also allows the management of the generator. You can turn AC or DC power on or off and even regulate parameters.

Bluetti LCD Touch-Screen

5. 120 V/30 A Shore Power/RV Plug

A big difference between the Bluetti AC200P and the AC200 Max is the 30 A RV plug on the latter. For those who are into off-grid adventures that involve a camper, this is a boon. Using appliances in an RV by keeping an engine running is inefficient and expensive.

Connecting the RV battery to the Bluetti AC200 Max through the 30 A plug can help operate even relatively heavier appliances like an air conditioner for a decent amount of time. If you have solar panels on your RV, it increases flexibility and efficiency even more.

AC200 Max 30A RV Plug

6. Hot Swapping

Another upgrade over the AC200P, the Bluetti AC200 Max allows hot-swapping of batteries. If your generator is on and you need more energy, you can add a new battery module without turning the system off, adding flexibility to the use of the power station.

7. Mobile App

Here’s another area where the newer AC series generator is better than the older one – it comes with a mobile app with an intuitive layout and animations. It allows not only to check real-time status without having to go near the generator but also to control parameters and turn the device off when needed.

Bluetti Mobile App

Key Specifications: Bluetti AC200 MAX + B230 Battery

1. Bluetti AC200 Max

Battery 2,048 Wh, Lithium-ion (LFP), 3,500+ lifecycles
Output
  • Rated AC power: 110 V, 2,200 W Continuous (4,800 W Surge)
  • DC output: 5 V DC / 3 A USB Plug, 12 V DC / 3/10/25 A output ports
Input
  • AC/wall charging: 500 W
  • Solar Charger: Max 900 Watts, 10-145 V / 12 A MPPT
  • Car Charger: 12 V /24 V DC
Management System
  • MPPT charge controller
  • Low battery protection
  • Short-circuit protection
  • Overload protection
Size (L*W*H): 420 mm (16.5 in) x 280 mm (11 in) x 386.5 mm (15.2 in)
Weight 48 lb/ 22 kg 

2. Bluetti B230 Expansion Battery

Battery 2,048 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 Charger: Max 900 Watts, 10-145 V / 12 A MPPT
  • Car Charger: 12 V /24 V DC
Management System
  • MPPT charge controller
  • Low battery protection
  • Short-circuit protection
  • Overload protection
Size (L*W*H): 420 mm (16.5 in) x 280 mm (11 in) x 226 mm (8.9 in)
Weight 48 lb/ 22 kg 

Design and Construction: AC200 MAX + B230 Battery

The design of the Bluetti AC200 Max and even the B230 battery unit is very similar to that of the AC200P – a sleek, modern design that differentiates the devices from most other solar generators.

A textured black body with metallic grey edges and handles, accentuated with cool blue branding gives a high-tech look to the devices. Despite being built almost entirely out of ABS plastic, the units have a rugged feel to them.

Bluetti AC200 Max Ports

But the design delivers more than just aesthetics – it scores full marks for functionality too. All the ports are neatly grouped on the front panel. The display is in the center, and the power button is in the left corner. The addition of the 30 A RV plug as well as improved, fast-charging USB ports is a welcome upgrade from the AC200P.

The top of the unit has two wireless charging pads with input ports for AC and DC charging on the side.

Bluetti AC200 Max Ports

Overall, the AC200 Max is not vastly different from the AC200P, neither in design nor in specifications, and it is strange why Bluetti did not simply launch the battery expansion pack. In fact, the newer generator is so similar to the older one that Bluetti itself, on its website, writes “Small Change, Big Leap”, acknowledging that the AC200 Max and AC200P models are very similar.

The B230 battery expansion pack, on the other hand, is a different story. It is arguably Bluetti’s milestone product in terms of usability. It is similar in size and looks similar to the generator itself, just slightly shorter. This simple-looking boxy device has three output ports, a battery extension port to connect it with the AC200 Max or AC200P, and an input port for independent charging. 

Bluetti B230 Ports

Pros

Bluetti’s new AC series generator with its new battery expansion packs is an exciting entry into the solar generator market. Together, they make one of the best solar power stations, if not the best. Here’s a quick outline of the reasons why you should consider buying the AC200 Max + B230:

Just like the older model, the AC200 Max looks high-tech, and so does the battery expansion unit, as it carries the exact same design language.

The LFP battery inside the device is not only energy-dense but also safer and lasts longer.

The optimum number of ports and an easy-to-handle construction, coupled with a terrific display screen and mobile app control make the generator as advanced as it can be.

The B230 expansion pack with its multiple model compatibility, independent usage, and hot-swapping feature provides much-needed flexibility of how much energy you want to use and when. The mobile app improves its flexibility even more by allowing remote monitoring.

Cons

There isn’t much to complain about the AC200 Max and the B230, but a few things are still worth noting.

With a top-notch battery, a pure sine-wave inverter, and a thoughtful design, you would expect the AC200 Max to impress in the efficiency department too. However, though not unacceptably low, the device lets down with an 80% efficiency, unlike some competitors that reach well over the 90% mark. So, you could charge the entire 2048 Wh but can only extract just 80% of it.

Although all of Bluetti’s solar generators technically fall under the portable category, the level of portability varies from model to model. Speaking specifically of the AC200 Max, it is portable but not easily. The energy-dense lithium battery does make it relatively less heavy than a lead-acid battery, but at 62 lb, it is not a breeze when just one person tries carrying it. 

Add in the B230, and its portability quotient suffers even more. It would have been terrific if Bluetti provided a wheeled cart, even optional, to carry the entire combo of the generator and the expansion battery.

Final Words: To Buy or Not to Buy

It is easy to find yourself lost in the sea of options when looking for a solar generator, and Bluetti might not be as popular as Goal Zero, but their products seldom disappoint, which applies to the Bluetti AC200 Max and B230 as well.

If a reliable battery, good looks, and flexibility of use are on your must-have list, you will not be disappointed with Bluetti’s recent products. Sure, the units have their tiny flaws here and there, but there’s hardly anything that should deter you from buying it. 

And even if you can’t get a hold of the Bluetti AC200 Max, the original AC200P is almost the same model and compatible with the new battery expansion packs.

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Jackery Explorer Portable power station

WARNING: Jackery Explorer 500 Review + Top 2 Alternatives

WARNING: Jackery Explorer 500 Review + Top 2 Alternatives

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

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

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

What is the Jackery Explorer 500?

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

This power station features multiple ports, including:

Jackery Explorer 500 Outlets:

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

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

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

What can I power with the Jackery Explorer 500?

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

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

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

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

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

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

How Can the Jackery Explorer 500 be charged?

You can fully charge this power station in several ways:

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

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

What Do We Like About The Jackery Explorer 500?

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

What We Don’t Like About the Explorer 500

Jackery Explorer Portable power station

What are the Best Alternatives to the Jackery Explorer 500?

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

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

Power Rating and Connectivity

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

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

Super-Fast Charging

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

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

UPS capability

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

Go Lightweight

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

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

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow River 600 Max

Power Ratings

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

Connectivity

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

Charging times

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

Lifetime Expectancy

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

Where to Buy

Check Out the Bluetti EB70

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

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

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

2-USB A ports

1 USB-A Fast Charge port

1 USB-C port

2-USB-A Ports

2-USB-C PD ports

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

Outstanding Feature

(Feature that the other two do not have)

None

UPS capability

Detach portable mode

X-Boost mode

Wireless charging
Estimated Price $500 $550 $600

Final Words

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

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EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

EcoFlow Delta 1800 Solar Generator Review: Is It Worth Buying? (2021)

EcoFlow Delta Review 1800W / 1300wH Solar Generator: Is It Worth Buying? (2021)

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

When the EcoFlow Delta  1800 first hit the market, solar generators were a real game-changer. Whereas a traditional solar power system requires installing expensive, bulky, and complicated components, a solar power generator can act as an all-in-one solar power station.

Today, the best solar generators feature a high-capacity internal solar battery, both a built-in charge controller and an integrated power inverter, as well as a variety of useful output ports.

In other words, the best solar generators can be paired with solar panels to give you the ability to generate, store, and access power from even the most remote locations.

The EcoFlow brand was established in 2017 with a simple goal – to reinvent the way people access power. They wanted to offer reliable, portable, and renewable power sources that customers could use for adventures in remote, off-grid locations or as reliable power banks for emergencies and power outages.

Honest Review of the EcoFlow Delta 1800

The EcoFlow brand was established in 2017 with a simple goal – to reinvent the way people access power. They wanted to offer reliable, portable, and renewable power sources that could be used for adventures in remote, off-grid locations, or as reliable power banks for emergencies and power outages.

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

In the brand’s short history, it has earned an impressive reputation for offering durable, high-performance solar products at affordable prices. Out of all of its products, the EcoFlow Delta 1800 continues to stand out as one of its best sellers.

To understand whether or not the Delta 1800 deserves its status, we dissect some of its internal components and look at its specifications.

EcoFlow Delta: Battery Capacity, Life Cycles, and Shelf Life

Battery Capacity:

One of the first things consumers look for when presented with a solar generator is the battery capacity.

The Delta features a built-in 1,260Wh (350Ah, 3.7V) deep-cycle solar battery, which is fairly impressive given its compact and lightweight design. For comparison, similarly-sized units, such as the Patriot Power Generator 1800, only feature a 652Wh internal battery.

Put bluntly, you get nearly twice the battery capacity you would get with other solar generators in the Delta’s price range.

For perspective, this means that a fully-charged Delta 1800 could charge and power electronic devices and appliances in the following ways:

Large refrigerator 15 to 18 hours
Coffee maker 50+ cycles
Standard Laptop 27+ recharges
CPAP Machine 20+ hours
32” television 23+ hours
10W LED flood light 140+ hours

As you can see, having a high battery capacity is incredibly important.

Whether you want to charge portable electronics, like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, or supply power to your more demanding electronic appliances, such as a toaster, refrigerator, blender, air conditioner, or oscillating fan, the Delta’s nearly 1,300Wh lithium-ion battery is up to the task.

Battery Shelf Life:

While battery capacity is important, it is also worth noting its shelf life. Essentially, shelf life refers to the amount of time you can leave a battery charged before it will lose its charge. While all batteries suffer from a natural draining process over time, some batteries hold their charge longer than others.

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

As you can imagine, shelf life is important for those who plan on using solar generators as a source of emergency or backup power. Fortunately, the Delta 1800 delivers. With a shelf life of over 12 months, buyers could conceivably leave the unit untouched and in storage for a full year and still rely on it to have a fully charged battery in the event of a power outage or emergency.

For comparison, similar units, like the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X, tend to have a shelf life of only three to four months.

Life Cycles:

The Delta 1800’s battery is rated for 800+ life cycles, which is, again, impressive. Essentially, life cycles refer to the total number of times the battery can be charged and drained before it starts to lose some of its capacity.

While this might lead you to believe that you can only use the battery about 800 times until you start to see signs of degradation, it is important to remember that a cycle refers to a full recharge followed by a full discharge. In other words, partially discharging the battery would not necessarily impact the battery the same way that a full discharge cycle would.

You could only use some of the Delta’s stored power before recharging the battery, and the impact on the battery’s lifespan would be negligible.

The fact that the Delta’s powerful power inverter allows you to discharge the battery fully is fairly unique. Some of the less efficient solar generators shut off before you can completely drain the battery.

EcoFlow Delta: Power Inverter, Charge Controller, and Output Ports

The Power Inverter:

One of the highlights of the Delta 1800 is its powerful and efficient internal power inverter. The 1,800W pure sine power inverter is impressive, especially when you consider the unit’s compact dimensions and lightweight design.

At 1,800W, there is nothing else like the Delta in its class. Most units this size feature far less powerful inverters, which is why most of the highly portable units are for charging smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, tablets, portable GPS units, and other handheld electronics.

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

As mentioned above, the combination of the Delta’s high-capacity battery and its 1,800W power inverter means it can power fairly demanding electronic appliances, like refrigerators, televisions, and more.

Not only is the power inverter rated at 1,800W, but it also offers 3,300W of surge potential, which means it can withstand the peaks and valleys you get with more temperamental electronics, like microwaves, blenders, toaster ovens, hairdryers, and straightening irons. Delta’s power inverter is so impressive that we have even seen it power some fairly demanding power tools!

Charge Controller:

The built-in MPPT charge controller protects the battery and ensures you make the most out of your power source. Generators with a far less efficient PWM charge controller require more solar power supply to charge the battery.

Your solar panels will perform effectively, and more of the DC power they generate will end up getting stored within your unit’s deep cycle battery.

The MPPT charge controller also protects against reverse battery drain, which can occur when power flows from the battery to a connected solar panel.  With a low-quality charge controller, this usually occurs after the sun has set and the connected panels are no longer producing power.

Output Ports:

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

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

EcoFlow Delta 1800 Output Ports:

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

All of these output ports combine to give the Delta 1800 outstanding versatility. With five unique charging options and the potential to power 13 devices at once, the Delta is incredibly impressive for its size. Typically, only the larger and more expensive units offer this many output ports, and even some of them lack the more modern USB-C ports.

How to Recharge the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Solar Generator

Another area where the Delta shines is its surprisingly fast recharge times.

If you are charging the unit through a standard AC wall outlet, you can fully charge the 1,260Wh battery in as little as 1.6 hours! This speed is incredibly fast, especially considering similar solar generators can take up to 12 hours to charge this way.

EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator

Using solar panels that have a total power rating of 100W, you can typically charge the battery in 4 to 8 hours. As is always the case with solar, the actual recharge time will depend on several factors, including the efficiency rating of the panels, the amount of cloud cover, your geographic location, and the time of day when the panels are being used.

One of the unique and useful features the Delta has is being able to charge the battery through a 12V DC input port. You can charge the battery from your car, which is great for campers and RV enthusiasts.

Our Overall Impression of the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Solar Generator

After taking an in-depth look at the Delta, it became pretty obvious why it is one of the best-selling solar generators on the market today. Put simply, the Delta 1800 offers outstanding reliability and performance at an affordable price point.

Given that similar units tend to weigh close to 50lbs and the Delta comes in at just 30.9lbs, it is also fair to say it is a highly portable solar generator. Backcountry campers, RV enthusiasts, camper van drivers, and anyone else who values mobility will also appreciate the two rigid carrying handles.

While the high-capacity battery and 1,800W power inverter were the real highlights, we cannot ignore the high-end features you get with the Delta. These include the crystal-clear LCD screen, fast recharge rate, 13 output ports, and the ability to charge through solar power, AC power, or a 12V DC carport.

EcoFlow Delta Pros

EcoFlow Delta Cons

As you can see, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Whether you are looking for a highly portable and durable unit that can accompany you on your next adventure, or you are looking for a reliable and powerful solar generator for emergencies, the Delta 1800 is up to the task, and we cannot recommend it enough.

The Best EcoFlow Delta 1800 Solar Kits

Now that we have given our impression of the Delta 1800, we can take a look at some kits that offer value and convenience:

This kit combines the outstanding Delta 1800 with four highly efficient, 100W monocrystalline solar panels. It also comes packaged with all of the MC4 solar cables and connectors required to wire everything together.

The rigid panels feature rugged aluminum frames and pre-drilled installation holes, making them easy to install and ideal for emergency preparedness. They also work exceptionally well for camper vans and RVs and for those looking to build a fixed solar array for an off-grid or grid-tied solar power system.

Best of all, the package offers excellent value!

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta 1800 4x 100W Solar Panel Quad Kit

The Double Kit is very similar to the Quad Kit; however, it comes packaged with two 100W solar panels rather than four. While it is less expensive, the value isn’t there. For the slight price increase, you would be better off with the four solar panels.

With that said, it could be a practical option for those that already own solar panels or for anyone that plans to charge their Delta primarily through AC power.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Double Kit

The Base Camp Kit is the perfect emergency power backup kit. Not only do you get the Delta 1800 and four 100W solar panels, but you also get a T10 EMP bag, a set of low-watt LED emergency lights and an emergency power preparedness guide.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Base Camp Kit

For those who prefer folding solar panels, you can get them with the Nomad Kit, which puts the Delta with two 200W folding suitcase-style solar panels. While you get better value with the Quad Kit, the portable nature of the Nomad Kit might be right for you, especially if you enjoy backcountry camping or frequently travel by RV, van, or skoolie.

Where to Buy

Check Out the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Nomad Kit

EcoFlow Delta: Final Words

The Delta 1800 deserves its status as one of the best-selling solar generators on the market. No matter what sort of package works for you, we feel confident that you will be satisfied with your decision if you choose to invest in an EcoFlow Delta 1800.

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Lion Safari Me Portable Power Generator

Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Review: Is it Worth Buying? (2021)

Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Review: Is It Worth Buying? (2021)

Lion Safari Me Portable Power Generator

Figure 1: Lion Safari ME Kit – Lion Safari

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

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

Table of Contents

Lion Safari started in 2001, helping customers be action-ready in case of emergencies. They supplied emergency food, water, lighting, and more. Years later, they started designing portable power units to ensure energy availability on the go.

In 2012, Lion Energy was engineering powerful portable generators, ensuring energy anywhere and anytime: vacations, camping trips, blackouts, and in most emergencies. By 2014, Lion Energy was one of the best manufacturers for solar systems and portable power generators in the U.S.

One of the best portable power generators to date is the Lion Safari ME. With the Lion Safari ME Kit, you get this generator, a high-capacity expansion battery pack, and a 400W solar generation system. This kit ensures you get enough energy to power through emergencies, camping trips, and even to power your whole home for hours.

What Does the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Include?

The Safari ME Kit includes everything you need to install your Safari ME + XP and the solar panels, and all of these items are covered under a 1-year warranty by Lion Safari. Here is a list of all the items in the kit:

Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Kit:

1 x Lion Safari ME Power Generator
1 x Expansion Pack
4 x Lion 100W 24V Solar Panels
1 x Anderson extension cord

The Anderson connectors used by Lion Safari are different from the regular MC4 connectors. To connect any of these units to other solar equipment, you need an Anderson-to-MC4 adapter. We strongly recommend you only use Lion Safari panels with other panels from the same capacity from this brand.

What is the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator?

The Safari ME Power Generator is a professional-grade portable power Station that can power virtually anything. You can use it for simple power loads like charging phones, laptops, powering home appliances, tools, or even to power your entire home for hours.

The generator includes a built-in 922Wh Lithium-Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) cylindrical cells battery that lasts for more than 2,500 cycles at a 100% depth of discharge (DOD). To convert DC to AC power, the generator has a 2,000W built-in pure sine wave inverter which can deliver a power surge of 4,000W.

The aesthetic for the Lion Safari ME is superb, and so is the robust casing with built-in handles. The unit weighs 45.5 lbs. and has a size of 18.7 x 12.8 x 12.8 inches. It includes an LCD monitor screen in the casing, delivering real-time readings for:

  • Capacity level (Percentage)
  • Time to empty at the current load (Minutes).

The Lion Safari ME Generator includes several output ports at the front of the equipment, making it quite versatile. These ports are:

Lion Safari ME Generator Output Ports:

2 x 120V AC power sockets
2 x USB Type – A ports (5V @ 2.4A)
2 x USB Type – C ports (1 x PD 18W & 1 x PD 60W)
1 x 12V Cigarette lighter connector (15A max current)
1 x 12V Anderson connector

The ports are divided into sections that you can turn on and off using the right switch, and you can turn the whole generator on or off using the main switch at the top front. There are four switches in total:

1 x Switch for the 12V connectors
1 x Switch for the USB ports
1 x Switch for the AC outlets
1 x Main switch for the whole generator

At the back of the Safari ME generator, you will find several inputs, these are:

1 x Built-in 120V AC cord to charge the battery (@ 680W)
1 x Anderson connector to plug solar panels (@ 585W max. MPPT charging capacity)
1 x Expansion pack battery connector (Expansion pack included with the Kit)

Aside from the connectors, there is a small button at the bottom-left section at the back of the unit. This button works as a circuit breaker, resetting the circuit-breaker in case of tripping due to overcurrent. 

How much extra power can I get with the Lion Safari ME Expansion Battery?

Lion Safari Me Portable Power Generator

Figure 3: Lion Safari ME + Expansion Pack – Lion Safari

The Expansion Pack for the Lion Safari ME is a 2,048Wh battery that can be plugged into the generator, increasing its capacity up to three times. When used together, the expansion pack capacity is added to the 922Wh base capacity for the Safari ME Power Generator to achieve a total capacity of 2,970Wh.

The expansion pack is 16.7 x 9.6 x 9.8 inches and weighs 44 lbs. This unit can hold its charge for two years and delivers more than 3,500 cycles. Aside from powering loads for longer, the expansion pack can withstand many more cycles, which greatly increases the lifespan of the Safari ME + XP.

Using the Safari ME Portable Power Generator + the Expansion Pack (Safari ME + XP) allows you to power up to 2,000W in loads for three times longer. When charging with the 120V AC cord at 668W, the expansion pack charges in 3 hours and the whole Safari ME + XP in under 4.5 hours.

What Can I Power If I Use the Lion Safari ME + The Expansion Battery?

The Safari ME + XP allows you to power virtually anything. You can use them to power lighting systems, freezers, A/C compressors, TVs, gaming consoles, computers, power tools, household appliances, and many others, like the ones in the list below. In most cases, you can power several of these devices at the same time.

Loads and estimated power time with the Safari ME + XP

Device Hourly load consumption (Wh) Run time with the Safari ME + XP
Mini fridge 36Wh 82.5 hours
Phone charger 5Wh 594 charges
Laptop charger 56Wh 53 charges
55’’ L.C.D./LED TV 75Wh/116Wh 39.6/25.5 hours
LED lamp 4Wh 742 hours
Hotplate 500Wh 5.9 hours
Air cooler 80Wh 37 hours
American fridge-freezer 80Wh 37 hours
Water pump 300Wh 10 hours

Food dehydrator

800Wh 3.7 hours
Playstation 5 200Wh 15 hours
Guitar amplifier 30Wh 100 hours
Home internet router 15Wh 198 hours
Slow cooker 180Wh 16.5 hours

The possibilities with the Safari ME + XP are almost endless. This unit is perfect for powering high-consumption appliances at RVs, large boats, and more. You can even use the Safari ME + XP as a home battery backup generator.

The Safari ME + XP as a home battery backup generator can power many household devices simultaneously. Considering the 2,000W built-in inverter, you can power more than 100 LED bulbs, 1 – 2 LED TVs, a Playstation 5, a Fridge-Freezer, several laptops and phones charging, a water pump, an internet router, several other devices, and all at the same time. 

How much solar power do I need to charge the Lion Safari ME + The Expansion Battery?

Lion Safari Me Portable Power Generator

Figure 4: Lion Safari ME – Lion Safari

Lion Safari specializes in powering backup systems using renewable energies, which means you can also charge the Safari ME + XP using solar panels. The Lion Safari ME Kit includes 4 x Lion 100W 24V solar panels that allow your generator to keep going for hours in most off-grid situations.

When using the 400W solar generation capacity of the panels in ideal conditions, you can fully charge the Safari ME + XP in under 8 hours. Since solar conditions are not always ideal, you can also expand the solar capacity to 600 – 800W by adding 2 – 4 more panels.

The Safari ME generator has an MPPT capacity that tops the DC charging speed at 585W, with two extra panels on ideal conditions or four on non-ideal conditions, ensuring a minimum charging time of five hours to charge the Safari ME + XP at 100%.

Installing the solar panels to power the Lion Safari ME + The Expansion Pack

You should know how to properly install the solar panels included in the kit to charge the Safari ME + XP. Here we will explain the basics of installing these panels to the power generator.

  1. Unfold the panels and install them in place. You can use the adjustable legs to set them in a stable foundation facing the sun or in a rack at the roof.
  2. The panels have two cables with Anderson connectors at the back, a short one and a long one. Snap the longer cable of the first panel to the short one of the second one.
  3. Repeat step two to connect the second panel to the third one and the third one to the fourth. If you’re adding more panels, repeat the same process with those.
  4. After connecting the panels, snap the short cable from the first panel to the extension cord (if an extension is required), then connect it to the back of the Safari ME portable power.
  5. That’s it! You are ready to start using solar power to charge your Lion Safari ME + XP!

The Anderson connectors are color-coded. Always remember that the red end is the positive connector, and the black one is negative. Be aware of this to avoid misconnections between panels or at the generator.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator

The Lion Safari ME Kit has many advantages against only a few disadvantages. Here we will analyze all of these to give you a clear idea of what this kit has to offer.

Lion Safari Me Portable Power Generator

Figure 5: Lion Safari ME – Lion Safari

Lion Safari ME Advantages

The Safari ME generator is one of the highest capacity models in the market. The Safari ME + XP can deliver the same power as 2 x 100Ah & 1 x 50Ah LiFePo4 12V batteries, occupying a fraction of the space and delivering better performance.  

Most solar generators withstand 500 – 1,000W. The Safari ME power generator has a built-in inverter that can deliver a constant power of 2,000W and a power surge of 4,000W, ideal for most applications, even powering a small home.

The Expansion Pack battery uses LiFePo4 prismatic cells, which are lighter, handle higher currents, and last for many more cycles. This is why the Expansion Pack battery lasts longer compared to regular cylindrical cells batteries.

Lithium batteries can deliver on average 2,000 at a 70 – 90% DOD. The Lion Safari ME generator can deliver beyond 2,500 cycles and the expansion pack beyond 3,500 cycles, both at a 100% DOD.

The Safari ME generator is made to be tough, durable, and robust, which is why Lion Safari included a heavy-duty quality casing to withstand any shock and built-in handles that make it easier to carry.

Lion Safari ME Disadvantages

The Safari ME Generator can only be coupled with one expansion pack, limiting the capacity to 2,970Wh. If you could couple it with two or more expansion packs, this generator could open a wider range of possibilities.

The weight for the Safari ME Generator is relatively heavy due to its capacity, making it relatively hard to carry.

Top 3 Lion Safari ME Kits

Where to Buy

Check Out the Lion Safari ME Gold Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the Lion Safari ME Elite Kit

Where to Buy

Check Out the Lion Safari ME Double Kit

Lion Safari ME Solar Generator: Final Words

The Safari ME Generator by itself is one of the best solar generators available in the market. This unit has features that make it versatile and ideal for most applications, especially since you can expand its capacity by three times and it can rapidly charge with a 400W solar system.  

Acquiring the Lion Safari ME Kit will ensure you get more hours of fun time using your regular devices and coupling this generator for virtually any application. With under 3,000Wh of capacity and a 400W solar charging capacity, the possibilities for the Safari ME + XP kit are almost endless.

The Lion Safari ME Kit is suitable for camping for several days, as a backup energy system, and even for people living off-grid using low-consumption devices. The best thing is that you get an extremely long lifespan in cycles, making this kit a great investment for the future.

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

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Patriot power cell solar power bank

WARNING: Patriot Power Cell Review + The 4 Top Alternatives

WARNING: Patriot Power Cell Solar Power Bank Review + The 4 Top Alternatives

Patriot power cell solar power bank

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 solar technology becomes more mainstream, we are starting to see an increasing number of portable electronics outfitted with fixed and fold-out solar panels.

One type of electronic device that has really embraced solar technology is the portable power banks and chargers. Today, solar power banks are essential for outdoor enthusiasts and a trusty tool for urban commuters who rely on their smartphones and laptops to get them through the workday.

These convenient devices store and generate electricity so you can charge your portable electronic devices daily, even when you do not have access to an AC power outlet. For others, a solar power bank is an essential emergency preparedness device that can charge electronics during natural disaster situations and power outages.

Patriot Power Cell Solar Power Bank: What You Need to Know

While all of this sounds straightforward, the truth is, solar power banks are now available in different styles from a wide variety of brands, which makes choosing the right solar power bank a fairly complicated decision.

To help you choose the right option for your needs, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the best-selling options on the market today – the Patriot Power Cell from 4Patriots. Once we have determined whether or not it is worth the hype, we will also examine some of the best alternatives.

In-Depth Review of the 4Patriots Patriot Power Cell

Patriot power cell solar power bank

4Patriots has a well-established reputation for offering survival food kits and emergency preparedness equipment. Even though it is not a specialized solar equipment manufacturer, its Patriot Power Cell is one of its best-selling products.

Part of the reason for the Patriot Power Cell’s popularity is its affordable price point. To purchase one device, you would be looking at spending roughly $30. However, 4Patriots also promotes a bundled option where consumers purchase four units for just $100, which brings the price of each unit down to $25.

While affordability is always an important factor, it is not the only thing you should consider when researching solar power banks. We need to take an in-depth look at the Patriot Power Cell’s internal components and specifications to see how they compare to some of the other power banks and solar chargers out there.

Patriot Power Cell: Key Specifications

Battery Capacity 8,000 mAh
Solar Cell 1.5W
Estimated Wall Charging Time 6 hours via micro-USB charging port
Estimated Charge Time Through Solar 40 hours with bright, unobstructed sunlight
Input DC5V / 1.6A
Output DC5V / 1A, DC5V / 2.1A
Total Life Cycles 500 charges

Patriot Power Cell Capacity and Shelf Life of the Internal Battery

Battery Capacity: 

The Patriot Power Cell’s internal battery has a capacity of 8,000 mAh, which should be enough to charge a typical smartphone roughly two to four times. While this may sound impressive for a portable and compact power bank, it is fairly poor compared to the industry standard.

Shelf Life: 

In terms of shelf life, the Patriot Power Cell should hold a charge for three months. In other words, a fully charged unit can be left untouched for roughly 12 weeks before you will have to charge it again.

For perspective, some of the more rugged options, like the Lion Energy Prowler, have a shelf life closer to six months. Shelf life is particularly important if you plan on using your power bank as a source of emergency electricity. While the integrated solar panel can give you the option to charge the battery during a grid failure, this will only work if the sun is up and you have adequate time.

Ideally, your power bank would be able to retain a charge for a long period, so you could pull it out of a glove box or storage closet and immediately begin charging your electronics. Unfortunately, the Patriot power cell’s three-month shelf life falls a little short.

Patriot power cell solar power bank

Patriot Power Cell: Charging Capabilities and Output Ports

Charging the Patriot Power Cell:

When it comes to charging the internal battery, you have two options: either charge it through a micro-USB input port or with solar power by using the built-in solar panel.

Charging the Patriot with AC power takes roughly six hours, which is really very slow. Some solar power generators pack massive 1,260Wh deep cycle batteries that only take 2 hours to charge. To give you an idea of how large that battery is, that is enough power to charge a typical smartphone well over 100 times!

If you think that is bad, solar charging the Patriot’s internal battery can take up to 40 hours! That also refers to 40 hours of peak, uninterrupted sunlight. In other words, the solar panel is not going to do much to charge the internal battery. While it can be useful for topping up the battery in remote, off-grid situations, do not count the solar panel to be an adequate or reliable source of electricity. The truth is, the built-in solar panel is not efficient or powerful enough to be a practical power source.

For those that have experience using solar equipment, a 5” solar panel with a low power rating seems more like a gimmick than anything else.

Output Ports:

In terms of the Patriot Power Cell’s ability to charge electronic devices, it features only two USB Type-A ports, which is pretty limited, even when compared against the industry standard. Most portable power banks feature at least four USB ports. Most contemporary battery banks will also feature USB-C ports, which are required to charge the latest iPhones, tablets, and Android smartphones.

In this sense, the Patriot Power Cell is a bit dated. While you might be okay using an older phone or tablet, those with newer smartphones may need to purchase an adapter.

Our Overall (Honest) Impression of the Patriot Power Cell

Patriot power cell solar power bank

If you examine the Patriot power cell within the context that it is an inexpensive and fairly simple device, the Patriot Power Cell can be somewhat useful. It is small enough to fit in a glove box or backpack and can carry a large enough charge to keep your smartphone topped up throughout the day, but charging the internal battery through a wall outlet or computer can be very time-consuming.

In regards to its solar capabilities, the Patriot Power Cell is extremely limited. Charging the battery with the built-in solar panel would take multiple days, and that is assuming you live in an area that receives plenty of direct sunlight. Essentially, the solar panel is barely functional, and it is more of a gimmick than a practical feature.

What we did like about the Patriot Power Cell was some of the extras, like the fact that it has a water-resistance rating of IP67 and features a built-in LED flashlight. It also has a fairly rugged, rubberized exterior, which is great if you are clumsy.

Overall, we simply cannot recommend the Patriot Power Cell. In terms of performance and practicality, it lacks just about every department. With that said, it is inexpensive, so it is not an overly risky purchase; however, we would always recommend going with a more capable solar power bank from a recognized solar company. Spending the extra on a higher quality unit will ensure you have power when you need it.

Pros

Cons

While the Patriot Power Cell does have some things going for it, namely its affordable price, it lacks the storage capacity or charge capabilities to be considered a serious solar power bank.

We feel confident that there are better options out there that you should consider before buying the Patriot power cell.

The Best Alternatives to the Patriot Power Cell

Now that we have given our overview of the Patriot Power Cell, we can take a look at some more practical alternatives that offer superior performance:

While the Lion Energy Prowler does not feature a built-in solar panel, it beats the Patriot in just about every category. It features a much more robust internal battery that has a rated storage capacity of 74Wh – 20,000 mAh.

Despite its much larger internal battery, it only weighs 1.5lbs with a fairly slim and discreet profile.

Where the Prowler stands out is its charging capabilities. Like the Patriot, it features dual USB-A charge ports; however, it also has a USB-C charging port, so you can quickly and easily charge the latest electronic devices. On top of that, it has wireless charging capabilities, which means you can effortlessly charge any Qi-enabled smartphone, speakers, watches, and more.

You can recharge the internal lithium-ion battery using a micro-USB cable or via a USB-C cable which is much faster. The rugged exterior withstands drops, spills, and scratches, so it is the perfect device for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. A powerful 9-LED flashlight is also a nice feature.

Overall, it is a great portable power bank that outperforms the Patriot in every category. While it does not feature a built-in solar panel, the Patriot’s is so inefficient and impractical that this really should not be seen as a slight against the Prowler.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Lion Energy - Prowler Portable Charger and Power Bank

Even though it features four separate solar panels, this portable solar charger from Hiluckey is still compact enough to be a practical on-the-go power solution. The internal Li-polymer battery offers 25,000 mAh of power, charging most smartphones eight to 10 times.

Where this charger stands out is its four foldable solar panels, which give you the ability to charge the battery from even the most remote locations. Unlike the Patriot, the Hiluckey’s solar panels can charge the unit’s battery within a day. It also features a built-in LED light and dual output ports.

If you are looking to go off-grid, the Hiluckey is a much better option than the Patriot Power Cell.

Where to Buy

Check Out the Hiluckey - Portable Fold-Out Solar Panel Power Bank

The BLAVOR has a similar design as the Patriot Power Cell, but it offers some much-needed upgrades. Not only does the internal battery have a slightly larger capacity (10,000 mAh), the unit features a USB-C output port, dual flashlights, and a Qi wireless charging feature.

Essentially, you are getting a more modern take on the Patriot Power Cell for roughly the same price. In that sense, it is the superior option.

Where to Buy

Check Out the BLAVOR - Portable Solar Power Bank

For Those with Greater Solar Power Needs

If you find that a handheld power bank cannot store enough power to meet your needs, you might want to consider a portable solar generator.