Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Review: Is It Worth Buying? (2021)
Figure 1: Lion Safari ME Kit – Lion Safari
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?
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|
|Air cooler||80Wh||37 hours|
|American fridge-freezer||80Wh||37 hours|
|Water pump||300Wh||10 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?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.