Bluetti AC200 Max Solar Generator + B230 Expansion Battery Review
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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|
|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|
|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
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.
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.