Personal Review of the BigBlue Cellpowa500 LiFePo4 Portable Power Station

The Big Blue CP500 is a new lightweight solar generator that is one of the top-performing power stations to hit the market recently. Only bested by one or two other units, which I will explain shortly, the CP500 is definitely worth taking a look at for the price.

It has some unique capabilities like fast wall charging, LiFePo4 batteries, expanding and collapsing carry handle, and much more. Pairing it with the Big Blue 100w Folding Solar Panel is a good option as well since the Big Blue 100w Folding Solar Panel has been one of the top-performing folding panels tested.


The Big Blue CP500 has a properly sized inverter that is rated to push out 500 watts none stop for as long as the battery lasts. It will peak at 1,000 watts meaning it’s capable of running some inductive loads, even things like smaller hair dryers, small space heaters, ebike chargers, and much more. It definitely isn’t recommended to use the CP500 for emergency backup power, it’s not large enough for that.

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It is capable of running a full-sized home fridge for a few hours but nothing more than that at best. And sadly it cannot run any AC load while being charged. It doesn’t matter if it’s being charged from the wall adapter, USB C ports, or the DC solar/car charger.

The inverter is a pure sine wave so it is capable of running any load that is under 500 watts of continuous output. The most practical uses I have found for the Big Blue CP500 are for running laptops, recharging drones, recharging portable power tool batteries, running CPAPs, powering a DC fridge on a trip, and keeping mobile devices like phones and tablets powered up on the go. It also does work well for a single ebike to get about one more charge back into the ebike, depending on which ebike you use.

One of the most surprising features is that the inverter has an 87% efficiency rating. 85% is considered really good, anything over 80% is considered good to average. If it’s less than 80% I wouldn’t use it at all. I was actually able to run about 525 watts continuously which is more than what the inverter is rated to.


The battery is quite incredible. It is a 534wh LiFePo4 cell battery that is rated to last thousands of cycles. There is no doubt the LiFePo4 batteries are what most people are looking for. It is very safe, has an unbeatable cycle count, and can be discharged completely without damaging the cells.

But what is most impressive to me about the Big Blue CP500 LiFePo4 battery is that it was capable of pushing out the full 525w draw of the inverter for about 52 minutes non-stop. As mentioned above that gives it an 87% efficiency through the inverter which is pretty hard to beat.

Most lithium batteries will not be that efficient through the inverter and will slowly push out less and less power as it gets drained closer to 0%. Not with the Big Blue CP500, it pushed out the full 525w draw until it hit zero. Big Blue definitely did a very good job designing the battery and making it powerful enough to do everything as advertised which is not common in the solar generator and power station world.


The Big Blue CP500 has a very impressive recharging capability. It can recharge with a wall charger like any other power station, but it can also recharge from both USB C ports at the same time as the wall charger which is different from most other units on the market. The wall adapter charger will charge at about 90 watts. Each USB C port will allow either 60 watts in or out. When charging it will obviously push the 60 watts into the battery. When recharging the Big Blue CP500 with the wall charger plus both USB C chargers I was getting 210 watts of input which is very fast.

Recharging the Big Blue CP500 with the wall and USB chargers will recharge the entire system in just 2.5 hours. You can use the USB C charging along with the solar or car charging as well but that seems to be less practical since that means the unit would likely be outside away from USB C plugs.

The Big Blue 100w folding solar panel did very well too. It was able to generate 88 watts of solar input in the middle of winter. Generally, solar panels don’t make as much power during the winter because the sun is lower in the sky. The fact that the Big Blue CP500 was able to get that much charge into it with the Big Big 100w folding solar panel is very good. That means during the summer it should be able to get much closer to the 110-watt max solar input for the CP500.

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The Big Blue CP500 is definitely an impressive unit one that I would recommend to almost anyone for easy portable power. I do not like the fact that it cannot run AC power while being charged though. This means it can’t be used as a UPS as a battery backup. I can’t have my laptop plugged into the CP500, and then have the wall charger plugged into the CP500 at the same time because the CP500 will just recharge and not run my laptop. So I wouldn’t use it as a UPS.

I also wish it was easier to reach the 210-watt recharge input without having to use the USB C ports but at the same time, it’s incredible that it can do that through both ports at the same time. The EcoFlow River Max is the only unit that truly beats the Big Blue CP500 because the River Max will recharge at 300 watts just from the wall charger and has 200 watts of solar input and can run AC equipment while being charged. So if you’re needing those features then I recommend the EcoFlow River Max.

The bottom line, the price, is that it’s a good price. Generally found about $400 the Big Blue CP500 is very affordable for all the features you get. But for less than $100 more you can get the EcoFlow River Max which has the extra features as previously mentioned. Are those extra features worth the extra price? That’s up to you.


The Big Blue CP500 is a good unit. Not the absolute best one on the market for lightweight power stations or solar generators but definitely worth it to many people. It has a great battery, great inverter efficiency, and is very portable. Its shortcomings can be overlooked unless you absolutely need a UPS setup which most people don’t. And most people don’t need to recharge a system like the CP500 extremely fast which means it’s okay that it only has a 90 watt wall charger which is enough for most people.


Continue ReadingPersonal Review of the BigBlue Cellpowa500 LiFePo4 Portable Power Station

Duracell PowerSource 660 Gasless Portable Power Station Review

The Duracell PowerSource 660 gasless portable power station has many people looking at it to see if it is something they should buy. There are some reviews out there that say it is the best power station/solar generator to have come out in a long time. Many say in their reviews that “it’s great for the price.” But what do you get for the price? Will it work long-term in a blackout that lasts a few days to a few weeks?

We will find the answers to all of these questions and more in this review but first, we need to understand what’s inside the Duracell PowerSource 660. Since Duracell is one of the world’s largest battery companies, you’d think they would make a gasless portable power station that is top-notch.

I’ll tell you upfront, it’s not what you think. But there is a solution that is amazing!


The battery inside the Duracell PowerSource 660 is 660 watt-hours which is why it’s called the Duracell PowerSource 660. That’s not a very large battery, to begin with. If you take the average refrigerator, it will use about 80 watt-hours per hour that it’s turned on. So we can take 660 ÷ 80 = 8.25 hours of run time.

For the average power outage, you can get about 6 to 8 hours of run time before it turns off and the battery is dead. That’s not a very long time.

This review online from Charlie said “Purchased like 2 months before the Texas freeze. Following warnings of blackouts, I set the generator as a backup to the refrigerator. I did lose power one day for 14 hours, the battery lasted for 6.”

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During the Texas winter blackout, many people didn’t have power for days. The six hours isn’t enough then. But it has the ability to charge off of solar so wouldn’t that fix that? I’ll address that shortly.

The battery is a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery which for decades has been the common type of battery used for solar setups. However, in today’s day and age, SLA batteries are not considered any good. SLA batteries can only use 50% of their total battery capacity and are very heavy for how much power you get out of them. The Duracell PowerSource 660 weighs 56lbs for just 660wh of battery capacity.

Then the last part about the battery is how many cycles it has. Or in other words, how long will it last until it’s only 80% efficient. The Duracell PowerSource 660 has only 250 cycles. And it will only hold a charge for up to three months.

To put that into perspective, the average smaller solar generator that uses Lithium-Ion can 500 cycles and can hold a charge for up to a year. That is why the number 1 recommended power station is the Titan solar generator. It has 2,000 cycles on its lithium batteries, is 2,000wh of capacity, and can hold a charge for up to five years.

In terms of the Duracell PowerSource 660 battery, there are a number of issues. The capacity is small, the lifecycles are short, it’s heavy, and is old technology.

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The inverter is actually great on the Duracell PowerSource 660 power station, well mostly. It is a 1,440-watt continuous output inverter that is capable of running most electronics due to its larger capacity. Many other solar generators or power stations have smaller inverters at 1,000w such as the Bluetti EB240, Suaoki G1000, and the Jackery 1000. But all of those units, even though they have smaller inverters, have pure sine wave inverters.

A pure sine wave inverter means that the inverter is capable of running any electronic efficiently and safely. The Duracell PowerSource 660 portable power station uses a modified sine wave inverter.

The differences between a pure sine wave and a modified sine wave inverter are pretty simple. Basically, there are only certain things that should be run on modified sine wave inverters. And pure sine wave can run anything. That doesn’t mean that you can’t run certain things on a modified sine wave inverter, it just means it won’t run them efficiently.

Going back to the fridge example where the fridge will use about 80wh per hour it’s running. That’s off of a pure sine wave inverter. Running the same fridge off of a modified sine wave inverter could decrease its efficiency and use something like 100wh or 120wh per hour instead of 80wh.

The size or capacity of the inverter is great, 1,440 is generally enough to run any essential piece of equipment. But the sine wave is considered “dirty” and you need to be careful what you run off of it.

Luckily, the Titan uses a pure sine wave inverter and since it’s a 3,000w continuous output inverter it’s capable of running multiple heavy loads from multiple pieces of equipment at the same time without any issues. It’s even capable of running up to a 1.5hp well pump with the right equipment.


The third most important feature of any power station or solar generator is how fast it can charge and from what sources it can charge. It has a wall charger of course and the wall charger is very nice in that it is a simple power cable, with no power adapter. There’s no black box in the middle of the cable, it’s just a straight power cable.

But most importantly is the solar charge capability. First things first, we know that there is an average of five solar peak hours each day around the USA. That means for up to about five hours a day your solar panels can make up to their maximum rated output. A 100w solar panel can make 100w per hour for up to five hours which equates to 500 watt-hours of battery capacity created.

Since the Duracell PowerSource 660 has a total battery capacity of 660wh we know that we need to make at least 132w off of the solar input to charge in a single day (660wh ÷ 5hrs = 132w). Sadly, the Duracell PowerSource 660 can only input a max of 100w.

It uses a PWM charge controller, which again is older technology. That means it’s incapable of truly letting in 100w from the solar panels. In my video where I tested the PowerSource 660, I attached two 100w solar panels and still was not able to input more than 89w at a time.

Not only does the PowerSource 660 have older technology using a PWM charge controller, but it can only let in 89w at a time which means it cannot be charged in a single day.

Not to mention, that in a true blackout scenario, we need to be running a fridge while charging. Since a fridge will use at least 80wh/hr and the solar panels can only make 89w, the maximum amount of power we can make during the day while running a fridge is 9w, which is nothing.

That is why I love my Titan solar generators so much. Not only do they have incredible battery capacity and a large pure sine wave inverter, but it has 2,000w of solar charge capacity. That is 3x more solar input than any other solar generator on the market and 22x more (2,000w ÷ 89w = 22.47x) than the PowerSource 660.

It’s unfortunate that Duracell, being a huge worldwide company, decided to use the cheaper PWM charge controller.

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But remember, the reviews said that “for the price, it’s good.” The Duracell PowerSource 660 gasless portable power station typically sells for about $699 as seen here and has loads of great reviews. It is definitely working for people, but we have to know what their needs are to qualify those reviews. Because we know firsthand now that if you only need to run a fridge for six hours that it’s a great unit. But if you need to run a fridge for 4 days, it’s not a great unit.

Let’s break down the price. There are three main important features of any solar generator or power station. 1. Battery capacity, 2. Inverter capacity, and 3. Solar charge capacity. We take the specs from all three of those features and then divide each spec by the total price.

$699 ÷ 660wh (battery capacity) = $1.06/wh

$699 ÷ 1440w (inverter capacity) = $0.49/w

$699 ÷ 100w (solar capacity) = $6.99/w

Combine that all together and we create what we call the “Unit Wattage.” The total unit wattage for the Duracell PowerSource 660 is $2.84/UW. That’s pretty high. Truly then, when people say “it’s great for the price,” is it really? Because for the price you’re paying $2.84 per unit wattage. By comparison, the Titan breaks down to less than half of that at $1.33/unit wattage.

To be 100% fair, the PowerSource 660 is only $699 which means regardless of what you get for that price, it’s a cheap price in the world of solar generators and power stations.

The Titan is $2,995 which is much higher than the PowerSource 660. But, you’d have to buy over dozens PowerSource 660’s just to equate to one Titan. The Titan is literally 4x the battery, 2x the inverter, 22x the solar charging, and 8x the lifecycles of the PowerSource 660. Not to mention that the Titan holds its charge for 20x longer than the PowerSource 660.

According to all the reviews saying “it’s good for the price” I beg to differ. The numbers don’t lie. The real-world experience I had while testing the Duracell PowerSource 660 doesn’t lie. In no way can I recommend to anyone that they get the PowerSource 660. The only way I could recommend it is if you absolutely have to get something right now, it’s the only unit available, and you don’ have more than $700.

Click Here for the Best Portable Power Station


But truly, you’d be better served to get an inverter gas generator with a propane fuel conversion on it and storing multiple bottles of propane and gasoline. The propane won’t go bad and you’ll spend less than buying the PowerSource 660.

Really you should just save up to get a Titan. Because the Titan has been out on the market for quite some time now and the biggest companies who make solar generators still haven’t beaten it. Goal Zero, Duracell, Inergy, MAXOAK, LION, Jackery, and so on, have all released new units since the Titan was released back in August of 2019, and still, the Titan is the #1 best unit out there bar none.

If you’re truly preparing for a long-term blackout, the Duracell PowerSource 660 gasless portable power station isn’t going to cut it. But the Titan will.

Continue ReadingDuracell PowerSource 660 Gasless Portable Power Station Review

MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 Portable Power Station Review

MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 Power StationTypically, it is preferred to have a larger solar generator or power station as an emergency backup power source. Or it can be used for camping, RVing, off-grid locations and so on. But especially for camping and traveling the larger solar generators can be too big. That is why it is also nice to keep on hand a very small and simple solar generator or power station. It should still be able to be charged by solar in at least one day.

The MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 is a very good option and generally my #1 choice for a very lightweight option. It weighs in exactly at 13lbs 7oz. It is a very affordable, lightweight and easy to use system that is very handy when doing some light camping. It’s definitely not big enough to run a fridge, freezer, or TV for very long. But it does work well for CPAP machines, inflatable beds/air pumps, laptops, and other smaller items.


The Bluetti AC50 has a pure sine wave inverter that allows up to a 300-watt continuous draw. The peak draw on it is 450 watts. On most solar generators the peak draw can be run for a couple of seconds. On the AC50 though it can run 450 watts for up to 2.5 minutes! If a little extra power is needed for a short burst, it will be able to handle it no problem.

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It has a 500wh Lithium NMC (Lithium-Ion) battery that is capable of a 90% capacity draw. What that means is that 90% of the battery is usable. 500wh x 90% = 450wh usable capacity. I find that I can get more than that depending on what I am using. If I am using a small draw like a phone, camera or laptop I can get a bit more draw out of the battery. But, 450wh is what should be considered the usable amount of battery.

It does allow for the full 300 watts from the inverter to be used until that 450wh is used up which is nice.

Bluetti AC50 Turned On



It is very normal for a Lithium-Ion battery to have about 500 cycles on it. That is how many times it can be drained and recharged fully. After 500 cycles the battery efficiency is about 80%. The best way of extending the lifecycles is to not use the 300-watt draw every single time it’s used and to charge it slower.

The AC50 actually has 1,000 cycles. So it’s twice the standard. The best way to reach that 1,000 cycles is to charge it slowly and discharge it slowly.


The easiest way to charge the Bluetti AC50 is by using the wall AC adapter but it charges pretty slow. That may be good for the battery to charge slow but it can be a bit of an annoyance to have to wait hours for it to charge all the way up.

It also can be charged by solar. The solar input rating is 14v-40v and 10 amps. It says it’s capable of using one 120w panel to charge. I almost always use 100w solar panels because they are lighter, easier to move and are affordable.Stringing two 100w solar panels together in series will make about 38v and 6 amps of power which is within the safe limit of the Bluetti AC50. I find this is the fastest way of charging it on bright sunny days because it creates much more power than the wall charger.

MAXOAK AC50 Accessories Included

Charging it from a car really isn’t possible since it uses a 24v battery internally and cars use 12v batteries. You can technically get it to work but it won’t charge the battery fully which makes it pointless in my mind. The best thing to do if it needs to be charged on the go is to have a small 300-watt 12v car inverter and use that with the DC cigarette lighter port in the car.

It can be charged and used at the same time. It does have an MPPT charge controller in it though which is great. An MPPT charge controller makes it charge much more efficiently than a PWM. I am glad MAXOAK is putting quality parts into their units.


One neat feature is that it does have a wireless charging pad on the top of the AC50 which is nice to use when outdoors. It makes it easy not to worry about forgetting a charging cord for a phone or tablet and it can be placed right on top for charging.

It also includes two 120v AC outlets which can be used up to 300w continuous draw. The 4 USB A ports are rated to 3 amps which means they will do “fast charging.” The single USB C port is rated to 45 watts and will charge much faster for anything that has a USB C charging port such as a laptop.

Inergy Basecamp Lights on AC50One of my favorite features of the Bluetti AC50 is that it has two 5.5×2.1mm barrel ports. To most people, these ports rarely ever get used. But when camping I love to bring the MAXOAK AC50 and a few Inergy Basecamp lights. The lights are extremely bright, lightweight and string together to easily light up the entire campsite. Since the AC50 has two of these ports I can easily string up to 6 or even 12 lights around my campsite and make it extremely bright.

The MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 also has a standard DC cigarette lighter port that is rated to 10 amps. Which means it will pull a maximum of 120 watts from it. The downside of the AC50 is that the DC ports are not regulated. Meaning that as the battery gets drawn lower the output voltage of the DC ports goes down. At 100% the voltage is at 12.4v but as the battery gets drained that voltage will drop. This means at 100% it can make 12.4v x 10a = 124 watts. But at 50% when the voltage is at 10.8v it can only make 10.8v x 10a = 108 watts. This is why it’s nice to have a regulated DC port like the MAXOAK Bluetti EB150 which is the big brother to the AC50.

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Unique Features

As mentioned above it does have a wireless charger which is really nice for phones. But it also has another unique feature in that it has a nice light built into the back of it. This is helpful when at a cabin, in a tent, in the back of the truck or wherever. It has a high, low and SOS setting. It can be a little bright in the eyes when pointing outwards but I typically point it at a wall, tent wall or away from me and lights things up very well.

Bluetti AC50 Back Light



All-in-all I like the Bluetti AC50. I don’t know why MAXOAK decided to name all of their solar generators or power stations “Bluetti” and then change the letters that come after that. It makes it a little confusing. But I do like taking the AC50 with me on camping trips with my family to power the small things in the tent. I typically use it for the air pump for the air mattresses, phones, laptop, speaker, tablets, lights, cameras and so on. If I am going camping for a few days I will bring my two solar panels with me and keep it charged up all day long so it’s ready by the evening.

It comes with everything in the box to connect to wall outlets, solar panels and so on. It also comes with a small bright colored carry case which I find a bit cheesy but is quite helpful. The colors are straight from the ’80s but makes it nice to keep everything together in a nice tight bag.

Continue ReadingMAXOAK Bluetti AC50 Portable Power Station Review