Is the Bluetti AC300 a Worthless Amazing Solar Generator?
There is no question that most people who are looking into powerful solar generators are considering the Bluetti AC300. On paper, it looks absolutely incredible. Its expandability is great, it can make 240v power, it can be monitored wirelessly, and even has really long-lasting LiFePo4 battery cells.
Then why is it that I do not recommend this power station? That’s a great question and I will explain why here in this full review. But if you’re looking for a short answer, I’ll save you some time.
The main reasons I do not like the Bluetti AC300 solar generator are first the idle power consumption rate, the screen has multiple issues, and the efficiency varies greatly between units.
But is it all bad? Definitely not. There are many great features like a powerful inverter, expandable batteries, a true UPS setting, and really good solar input. But is that enough to make it a considerable option? Only you can make that decision. For me though, not so much. Let me explain.
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The Bluetti AC300 has a 3,000w pure sine wave inverter that is capable of surging up to 6,000w. An inverter of that size is plenty powerful for nearly everyone’s needs for back up power supply. Even for a 30a service RV, van or small off-grid cabin 3,000w of continuous output is plenty to run all the essentials minus a 240v well pump.
The Bluetti AC300 solar generator can link two units together and make 240v power which then allows it to run things like well pumps and electric dryers. No solar generator can do central A/C so the AC300 is exempt from having that as a downside. But having 240v power and 6,000w of continuous output power is very good for small off-grid living or for emergency power.
Having the ability to make 240v power and using that in conjunction with a transfer/interlock switch means you don’t have to run extension cords to every room, fridge, freezer, and device you want to run which makes life less of a hassle when the power is out. You’ll need an electrician to install the transfer switch but that is a very simple task for nearly any electrician and isn’t overly expensive either.
Whether it’s running a fridge and a couple of freezers or powering up a shop to run a miter saw and a table saw, the Bluetti AC300 can absolutely do it. But is it still good enough?
The biggest issue that no one seems to be talking about with the Bluetti AC300 in any reviews is the idle power consumption rate. IPCR is how much power an inverter uses to simply be turned on. You can think of it as turning on your car on and being in park. The engine is running, which means it’s using gasoline, but you’re not going anywhere.
On the Bluetti AC300 it has an IPCR of about 64 watts. Other solar generators of similar size in this comparison chart have a much lower IPCR. For example, the Delta Pro, a main competitor to the AC300, only uses about 13 watts when turned on. That means the AC300 is using about 5x the amount of power just to have the inverter running but not even doing anything. Also keep in mind, if you turn on the Bluetooth receiver to use with the app, the IPCR goes up to nearly 100w! That’s a lot of draining.
In a 24 hour period, the Bluetti AC300 will consume about 1,536wh of battery capacity. That’s about 50% of the overall battery capacity on the AC300. It’s used up, for no good reason. Now on the plus side, the AC300 has an auto shut off function where if it’s not running anything for about 8 hours it will just shut off. In those 8 hours will use up 512wh of the battery, about 17% of it. But the bigger issue is, that many people need to run things like a sump pump, which only turns on when water fills a tank in the ground and then the pump pushes that water out to the city or septic system. They sometimes don’t run all day, or for long periods of time until they get filled up. This is just one example, but many items don’t constantly run which means the AC300 could turn off, and then there’s sewage back filling in the basement and there’s a much bigger mess to deal with. That would only happen if the tank got filled and the AC300 was off, not running that pump. But, if it’s happened once, it can happen again.
The second big issue with the inverter is the efficiency. All inverters do for the most part is convert battery energy to usable energy for your devices. Because there is a voltage change in doing that, there is an efficiency power loss. Meaning if you have 100wh of battery, you may only get to use 90wh of it, because the other 10wh were just burned up in the form of heat to convert from one voltage to another.
The Bluetti AC300’s inverter efficiency has varied greatly according to multiple reviews and posts on forums. One person will get 87% efficiency out of their unit, and another person will get 72% efficiency. That’s a massive spread. 87% is quite good for most systems, but 72% is quite bad. How do you know which one you’re going to get? Will Prowse in his own review got a higher number than the review done by Tom from HoboTech which was as low as 72%. This causes major concerns since you could be getting a poor-quality unit and not even know it. It’s basically a lottery system if you get a good unit. That’s quite the risk.
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The batteries that go with the AC300 are called B300 batteries. They are quite nice on the AC300 because they are high-grade LiFePo4 or Lithium Iron Phosphate. They last a very long time but are a bit heavier than Lithium NMC/Lithium Ion. But the LiFePo4 batteries for the AC300 are rated to 3,500 lifecycles which is very impressive. That means it can go from fully charged to empty and then fully charged again once a day for 10 years before the batteries have any noticeable degradation. After doing that for 10 years straight, which no one does, the batteries will be 80% efficient. Meaning they’ll have 80% of the original usable capacity from when they were new.
But there have been multiple reports now in reviews of people saying they found out one or more of the cells in their B300 have gone bad. How is the average Joe who isn’t an electrical engineer or who doesn’t play with solar stuff all of the time going to know that their battery is faulty? They probably will never know. And then sometime, maybe even years down the road when they need it the most that battery may just stop working all together. That’s a big concern for most people.
The Bluetti AC300 requires you to use proprietary Bluetti batteries. EcoFlow does the same thing with their Delta Pro and other systems. The Titan is the only solar generator where you can use any other battery with it as long as it’s a 24v battery which makes sense.
Each B300 battery is 3,074wh in capacity. There is no battery built into the inverter of the AC300. So if you get just an AC300, it will come with one battery that attaches to the inverter with a heavy duty cable. But each AC300 can have up to four B300 batteries connected to it for a total battery capacity of 12,296wh which is quite large. And even better yet, if two AC300 units are linked together for 240v power, you’re able to have 4 batteries on each system which maxes the total battery capacity to 24,592wh which is absolutely incredible. The expandability of the batteries is extremely impressive.
The Delta Pro can have two extra batteries per unit which makes its maxed our setup with two Delta Pros capable of having 21,600wh of batteries capacity all connected together. So the Bluetti AC300 definitely wins in that area, but we have to keep in mind that a lot of excess power from the batteries simply gets burned off just by using the AC300 so it may not actually have much more usable power than a Delta Pro.
Also, by comparison, the Titan can have up to 270,000wh of battery capacity connected. Not that anyone would ever do that, but it’s so much easier to add batteries to the Titan as far as having a large capacity than any other unit so far. And the Titan can use more Titan batteries, or other brands of batteries.
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Out of all the other solar generators in the heavycap and ultracap size categories, the Bluetti AC300 has some of the best solar charging rates out there. Each AC300 can input up to 2,400w of solar into it. This part is a little confusing because there is only one solar input port. But the Bluetti AC300 has a nifty adapter than has two MC4 connections built into it. The single solar input plug in reality has two inputs built into it. This is a great way they saved space and kept things simple for users.
There are two MPPT charge controllers inside and each one is rated to work from 12-150v and up to 12a to get a total of 1,200w into each one. That is how it gets 2,400w of solar input. This is something that would’ve been incredible in the Delta Pro because it only has one solar input maxed at 1,600w but that’s still quite a bit of solar input for the Delta Pro.
It’s pretty easy to get 1,200w connected to the AC300 but because of it’s really low 12a parameter, it’s difficult to get a good over-paneled setup on it. It’s definitely possible, but just keep in mind over-paneling isn’t great. For example if you were using 100w panels, each solar panel is going to put out about 20v and 6a. That means I can connect seven 100w panels together to be at 140v and 5a with a total input of 700w. Then I can double that and connect that to the unit for 1,400w connected to a single charge controller. Then double that again for a total of 28, 100w solar panels for 2,800w of solar input. I am able to over-panel the system in that way but it’s only over-paneled by 400w which isn’t huge.
One of the extra cool features though is that it’s possible to add an additional 200w of solar going into each battery that’s added to the system in order to maximize the solar input and increase the charge speed. That’s a cool feature that only the Hysolis MPS3K has been able to do in the past.
By the way, make sure if you’re using the two solar inputs to change the settings on the screen to PV charging on both solar input ports, as well as turn off “PV Parallel Enable” so if one set of panels is a different voltage than the other, the unit will continue to charge from solar. Many people were not getting a good charge from their solar panels according to different reviews and that’s how you should be able to fix it.
The wall charging speed is programmable which is a really nice feature. If you need to charge it up really fast, you can change it to 15a for a normal house wall outlet. If you want to trickle charge the system, you can go as low as 1a charge speed. If you have a high-speed charging outlet like a 30a outlet you can go up to 30a charging speed for the AC300 which is incredible, but those plugs are extremely rare and nearly no one will ever get to use that feature.
If you’re really in a rush to charge, the AC300 can be charged with both AC (wall outlet) power and solar power at the exact same time. And of course, it has pass-through charging meaning you can charge the system and use it at the same time.
Things to Know About
The battery expansion cables are a big hassle for pretty much everyone. Nearly every review out there mentions that they don’t like the big bulky and unwieldy cables for the batteries.
There are a lot of outlets on the Bluetti AC300 which makes it very versatile. It has a 12v 20a cigarette lighter DC port as well as a 24v 10a cigarette lighter port. Six 120v 20a oultets (house outlets) and one 120v 25a TT-30 RV plug to run your RV off of. There are a number of USB ports as well for mobile devices and even two wireless charging pads on the top of the unit.
It does have a car charger that you can charge up the AC300 from a cigarette lighter port in your car, but it only charges around 120w at the most which means it’s a very slow trickle charge and no one uses those DC charging ports hardly anymore.
There are some really big wins for the Bluetti AC300. It has a powerful inverter:
Powerful 3,000w Pure Sine Wave inverter.
240v Capable for running nearly the whole house.
3,500 cycles on the LiFePo4 batteries.
UPS setting to supply immediate backup power for essential devices.
A large 2,400w solar input through two MPPT charge controllers.
Pass-through charging to run equipment while the unit is charging.
Dual charging from solar and wall power at the same time.
The batteries are separate from the inverter, so it makes the more portable
It has a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi app.
Extremely high idle power consumption rate, pretty much a deal breaker.
Any load under 100w will not show up on the screen.
The screen has a harsh viewing angle, you have to be right in front of it to be able to read it.
There are so many settings and options on the screen it can be confusing.
The inverter efficiency varies greatly, another deal breaker.
Most reviews dislike the dust covers on the outlets and the large battery cables.
The 240v power hub has had issues in the past and they are nearly never in stock.
The customer service is horrible. I have never received an email back for any question. I have never had my phone call answered. And their voicemail box is full. Basically, if you have the system, and something comes up, you’re on your own. Another deal breaker.
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Would I recommend this unit to anyone? Sadly, no. The issues that are built into this system are way too big. Not having reliable efficiency, the unit draining on its own really fast, and no one to help support me from customer service are major deal breakers. Just one of those items is enough to be a deal breaker and so the fact that there are three major issues like that means it’s definitely a no-go unit.
In essence, it’s a really good but worthless unit. It has many great features, but the bad features outweigh the good features.
What would I recommend? There are three units I’d recommend over the AC300:
The first would be the EcoFlow Delta Pro because it has a good price for what you get, can do 240v power, is expandable and has pretty decent solar input. Also, their customer service is great and the units are efficient and have a low idle power consumption rate.
If I don’t absolutely need 240v power to run something like a well or to run the outlets and light switches in my house, I’d for sure go with the Titan. The Titan has the same sized inverter at 3,000w, has a similar 2,000w solar input but has massive battery expandability and doesn’t even require proprietary batteries to expand the system. They are tried and true, I have two Titans, one of them has been running my off-grid cabin non-stop for over 2 and a half years without any issues. It’s hard to beat a track record like that. But the Titan will not do 240v power.
If not the Delta Pro or the Titan, then I would absolutely go with the MPS3K. It’s a very basic and not-so-user-friendly unit but it works extremely well. Once it’s set up, it’s very easy to run. It too has a 3,000w inverter but has a 4,500wh battery and 1,500w of solar input. But if you get the expansion battery for the MPS3K it adds another 4,500wh of battery and you can add another charge controller to that battery and add another 2,400w of solar input for a total of 3,900w of solar input which is ridiculously powerful. It is also a better bang for the buck than the Titan and Delta Pro, but the MPS3K will not do 240v power either.
In the end, the reviews speak for themselves about the Bluetti AC300. It’s great on paper, but not so great in person. And that’s really too bad. These other units will serve people very well as they have served me personally very well too.