Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Solar Generator Power Station Review

This is the big one. This is the biggest solar generator Goal Zero has ever made. The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X solar generator is their mac daddy when it comes to total capacity and capability. Does it really stand up to what’s on the market though? Is this really the best option available? Will this power station run all that’s needed during an emergency, blackout, or with an RV or Van?

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has the largest built-in battery out of all existing power stations on the market. That means with no alterations, it will run the longest before needing to be recharged. But is that a good thing?

Battery

With a 6,071 watt-hour, total battery capacity the Yeti 6000X is definitely long-lasting. It uses Lithium-NMC battery cells to hold the power inside ready to go. It is a 12v battery bank which is typical for solar generators but 24v or 48v would be even more efficient.

With a large battery capacity, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is capable of running a fridge non-stop for about 3 days straight on average with no solar panels connected. Now that’s impressive. We’ll get into solar charging shortly.

There are some bigger drawbacks to having such a large battery. Normally, more battery = better system. But with a bigger battery comes other needs such as the ability to recharge quickly, and have the ability to put out lots of power when needed.

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The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X battery cannot be fully recharged in a single day from solar panels which is a big problem. Also, it makes the unit weigh 104lbs which is going to be very hard for many people to move around. Luckily it does come with a moving dolly so it at least has wheels to move it but going up stairs, putting it in a vehicle, or even getting it out of the box is very challenging.

What is nice about the 6,071wh battery capacity is there is no need to upgrade the system to have external batteries. It has the option to add AGM batteries to it but that is really not necessary.

The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a decent-sized battery of 3,032wh and can be expanded on as well but adding the Goal Zero Tank system actually hurts the Yeti 6000X battery capacity.

Because the Goal Zero Tank system uses AGM batteries, you automatically cannot drain the entire system below 50%. The Goal Zero Tank has a 4,800wh battery option. With the onboard 6,071wh that would equal a grand total of 10,871wh of total battery capacity which is incredible! But, you can only use 50% of it which means the total battery capacity would actually be 5,435wh.

By adding the Goal Zero Tank you’d actually reduce the overall battery capacity of the 6000X. That’s not cool at all. Basically, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X should not be expanded on.

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has a lifecycle count of only 500 cycles. Not very high. And it will only hold a charge on the battery for up to 3 months. In my experience, even after 3 months, the battery is around 80% at best so it does discharge on its own somewhat quickly. Not as fast as the Patriot 1800 which will discharge completely in a couple of weeks.

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Inverter

Just like the Goal Zero 3000X, the 6000X has a 2,000w pure sine wave inverter that can peak up to 3,500 watts. That’s a good-sized inverter for running basic needs around the house or RV. It is not going to run an RV A/C unit as well as the microwave or anything at the same time.

It will run power tools, small A/C, fridges, and other important devices but it may not do it all at the same time. This will require a little bit of power management on your part if you’re running any big equipment.

If you’re not running much equipment but just need a good power bank, then the Yeti 6000X would be a pretty good option if it had a longer lifespan.

Generally, it’s best if the inverter is capable of pushing out twice as much power as the continuous power output rating which means it should be able to peak at 4,000w. 3,500w is fine but it’s strange that it’s not capable of double the continuous output.

2,000w of inverter output power is good, you just need to be mindful if you’re running any bigger equipment like A/C.

Charging

This is the biggest challenge of the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X. It has a huge battery which is great. It has a good-sized inverter which is helpful. But the solar recharge capacity on the 6000X is not good for multiple reasons.

One, they advertise that it can input up to 660 watts into the batteries but that’s actually not true. After reading the user manual and talking with the Goal Zero Customer Service reps both confirmed that only 600w can be put in by solar.

Since the main focus of solar generators is to provide power when there is no power due to power outages, boondocking, or away from the grid, solar is very important.

The issue is that even though it has an MPPT charge controller, the 6000X cannot be charged in a single day from solar panels. There are 5 solar peak hours a day on average in the USA. That means there are 5 hours a day that the panels can make their full potential power.

5 hours x 600w = 3,000 watt-hours

That is only 50% of the battery capacity. That is okay if you’re not draining the battery every day but many people are shocked by how much power they use on a daily basis even during emergencies.

The bigger issue is that 3,000wh is how much power it can make in a day, as long as nothing is being run off of the Yeti 6000X while it’s charging. That’s a big problem because during the day we still need to run our fridge, freezer, lights, fans, kitchen devices and so on.

That means in a single day it’s only likely going to be able to make upwards of 2,000wh while running essential equipment. That would mean it takes 3 days to charge! And that still doesn’t factor in using that essential equipment all night long and having a battery that’s even lower in the morning.

This is the big crutch of the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X system. It’s extremely hard to get it recharged unless you have very small power needs.

This is why the Yeti 6000X is in the last place on the Top 8 Best Solar Generators.

On the upside, it does come with a fast 600w wall charger to recharge the 6000X from a wall outlet in only 5 hours which is great. That is one of the fastest recharge speeds of most solar generators available according to all the reviews I’ve seen and done.

This is why I love the Titan so much. The Titan can have a 6,000wh battery capacity just like the 6000X for about the same price. But, in addition to that, the Titan has a 3,000w pure sine wave inverter so it can easily run a lot more equipment at the same time. But then, even more, it has 2,000w of solar recharge capability through the two MPPTs built into the Titan. That means it can be used all day long and still get fully recharged by nightfall every day.

Longevity

How long will the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X last? It has 500 cycles which means that you can drain it from 100% down to 0% then back up to 100% 500 times before the battery is considered “used up.”

It isn’t truly used up and no good. After 500 cycles it will be 80% as efficient as it was when it was brand new. So rather than it being a 6,071wh battery, it would be more like a 4,857wh battery. It’s still a good battery and should work without any problems, it just won’t last as long-running equipment like it did when it was brand new.

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The Titan batteries are rated to 2,000 cycles which means it will last 4x longer than the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X battery. In addition, the Titan can add external batteries of any type, lithium or lead-acid, and make the cycles last even longer. I like to use the Titan Expansion Batteries to add more capacity to my Titan.

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X needs to be maintained every month or two. It will slowly drain the battery down as it sits on the floor waiting to be used. This is due to the fact that the Yeti 6000X doesn’t have a true “off” switch. The screen always has a readout and is never truly turned off. There is no off or on button. You simply choose which output you want to use and it will either turn those ports on or off. But the battery always has a tiny draw on it which causes the 3-month shelf life explained in the user manual.

Outlets

For having a massive capacity it only has 2 AC outlets. That’s okay, more outlets are not a requirement but it doesn’t make life easier when using the system. I find that a minimum of 4 outlets is good but 6 is best.

When the power goes out the most common devices plugged in are 1 fridge, 1 freezer, 1 fan, 3 to 4 lights, and different kitchen appliances as they are needed. Having only 2 AC outlets means that I have to keep a power strip around to make sure I can run everything I need. Not a deal-breaker, but again it doesn’t make life easier when the power is out.

When the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is used in an RV it doesn’t have an RV plug that the shore power plug can plug into directly. A dog bone adapter is required. Using the dog bone can make it hard to have the other AC outlet available to use if I need to plug something directly into the Yeti.

It does have 2 normal USB-A outlets, 1 USB-C QC (Quick Charge) 18w, and 1 USB-C PD (Power Delivery) 60w fast-charge port. Charging MacBooks, drones or other USB-C charging devices is easy with the high output on the Yeti 6000X.

On the 12v outputs, it has a regular cigarette lighter port that is regulated and rated to 13amps output as well as the 8mm ports at 10amps. But the 6000X does come with a special 30a Anderson Powerpole 12v port that will be great for many HAM radio operators who want to run heavy-duty HAM radio equipment.

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Customer Experience

Goal Zero has been around for a long time. They were the first big company to make solar generators/power stations and they will likely stay the biggest company for many years simply due to their amazing marketing team and worldwide influence.

Their customer service is great. Every time I have called to ask a question I have never had to wait very long to get an answer. They are very good at helping others figure out how to use the Goal Zero systems and get people pointed in the right direction.

Using the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is overall pretty good as long as your power needs not large. If you just need to run a fridge, a light, and a fan for a long time during a power outage or RV trip, then it’ll work great for that. If you have any more equipment that needs to be run off of the Yeti 6000X it will likely not be enough mostly due to the small solar input.

Pricing

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X can usually be found for about $4999.95. There is a scale that I made to determine the actual cost per “unit wattage” to better compare different solar generators to each other. It factors the 3 vital aspects of a solar generator which as battery capacity, inverter output, and solar charge rate.

Factoring all of those pieces together we get “unit wattage.” Meaning all the watts and watt-hours combined together then compared to the total price. The unit wattage of the Goal Zero yeti 6000X is $3.89/unit wattage. That is on the high end of the scale.

The Titan has the lowest unit wattage of all solar generators on the market at a mere $1.33/unit wattage. All things considered; the Titan is 1/3 the price for what you get.

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has a 6,071wh battery, 2,000w inverter, and 600w solar input for $4,999.95.

The Titan with 2 Expansion batteries added has 6,000wh in batteries, 3,000w inverter, and 2,000w solar input for $5,785.

Comparing the Yeti 6000X vs Titan shows that the Yeti is slightly more affordable, but it will only last ¼ as long as the Titan and does not charge as fast or put out as much power as the Titan. For me, I’d rather spend a little bit more and know that my power station is going to be with me through the thick and thin and do everything I need it to do.

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Conclusion

The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is not a bad unit. It definitely has its place in the solar generator/power station world. It has limitations and is not quite as good as other units but it is still a decent unit.

I hope that Goal Zero will look at their system in the future and change certain aspects according to the demands and needs of the market like how the Titan has done.

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Jackery Explorer 500 Review and What You Should Know About this Power Station

The Jackery 500 power station has been around for quite some time now. It has been one of the most successful mini solar generators that have ever come out. There are countless reviews and articles about it that all have great information. But what are they missing? What are they not telling you? In this Jackery Explorer 500 review, I will be revealing their little secrets.

Overall, the Jackery Explorer 500 is a solid unit. It has been compared with many other units that cost more and cost less and the Jackery 500 has stood out among them. It has been compared to units such as the EcoFlow River 600, Sungzu 500, Bluetti AC50, AcoPower PS500, and many more. There are certain things that have made the Jackery 500 stand out among all of those when reviewed. In a word, reliability.

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Battery

The Jackery Explorer 500 has pretty much the same battery that all of those 500w mini solar generators have. But what’s different about the Jackery 500 battery is its rated output. It is able to fully handle a full 500w draw all the way until it reaches 0% which is incredible. Other mini solar generators such as the Sungzu 500 can do the same but their screen is so limited that you have no idea if you’re actually pulling 500w, 400w, or whatever the draw is.

The Jackery Explorer 500 battery is precisely 518.4wh in total battery capacity. It gets that from having a 21.6v and 24ah battery. 21.6v is a bit different from most 500w mini solar generators. Most 500w mini solar generators have 12v batteries which can generally be charged up to about 12.4v at 100% capacity. Generally speaking, higher voltage and lower amperage is more efficient than lower voltage and higher amperage.

Amps are really what cause heat in electricity. You can be moving 120v through a wire at 1a and it would generate very little heat and be using 120 watts. Volts x Amps = Watts. But if you were using 12v and 10a (12v x 10a = 120w) you’d be making a lot of heat. Heat = inefficiency. This means that for the Jackery 500 to run 120w with its battery it’s only going to use 5.55a because 21.6v x 5.55a = 120w. It is considered to be twice as efficient as other 500w mini solar generators.

This is one of their little secrets that no one realizes. Because they increased the battery voltage in the Jackery 500 it creates less heat, has better energy conversion through the inverter, and requires thinner internal wiring. That’s very smart on Jackery’s part.

It has a Lithium NMC (lithium-ion) battery which is one of the reasons it’s really lightweight.

One of the drawbacks of the Jackery Explorer 500 battery is that it is not rated to a very high amount of lifecycles. It is only rated to 500 lifecycles which is about the bare minimum that lithium batteries last before they reach 80% efficiency. Unlike the Titan solar generator which is far more powerful but is rated at 2,000 cycles per battery.

Inverter

The Jackery 500 power output is rated to 500w continuously off of the inverter. It has a 1,000w peak which is right where it should be. Inverter peaks should always be at least twice as much as the inverter continuous output.

When running my tests and reviewing the Jackery 500 on my own I found that I could sustainably run about 515w continuously without the inverter stopping. It can do a bit more than the 500w it is rated to which is very surprising. Not that an extra 15w is going to make a big difference but you never know.

One nice feature is that the Jackery 500 can either have AC power on alone or DC power on alone or both AC and DC power on at the same time. Other units simply turn on the entire unit which will cause the inverter to draw power slowly even if nothing is plugged into it.

I like to run my ICECO JP40 DC Fridge which holds 40qts. off of my Jackery 500. The DC port on the Jackery 500 runs my ICECO 40qt DC fridge for about 35+ hours without the need to use a solar panel to recharge the Jackery 500. If I need to use the AC power from the inverter, then it will run my ICECO JP40 for about 25 hours.

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Charging

The Jackery 500 can be charged in three different ways. The most common is from the wall charger. Charging from the wall outlet puts in about 77 watts which isn’t very much. The car charger will put it about 42 watts which is even slower. Then a 100w solar panel will be able to input about 58 watts at most into the Jackery 500.

This is the one area I feel that Jackery really could’ve done much better, the charge controller. It is an MPPT charge controller which is great but it doesn’t allow that much power to go in.

It has been my experience that if a solar generator cannot be charged in at least 5 hours then it’s not that great. Everything else about it is pretty good, but it needs to charge faster. In my video review of the Jackery 500 I connected 500w of solar panels to it, and it would still only allow up to 58 watts from solar panels to go in which is not good at all. That means with solar panels it will take about 8.6 hours to fully charge. That is more than one day’s worth of solar charging since you can only get about 5 full peak hours a day of sun.

Jackery really needs to adopt a better charge controller in future models. This doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world for the Jackery 500. The most common thing I use my Jackery 500 for is to run my DC fridge. Since that only uses about 10-20wh per hour to run, I can still get my Jackery 500 charged up each day. I can do that because each night my DC fridge doesn’t run the Jackery 500 battery all the way down to 0%. It only runs it down to 75%. I can charge the Jackery 500 back up from 75% each day while still running my DC fridge with no problem.

If I needed to run heavier equipment like a full-sized house fridge, then I’d be out of luck. The Jackery Explorer 500 is not equipped for emergency preparedness like the Titan solar generator. This mini solar generator is more to be used while camping to run small equipment like a DC fridge, phone charging, radio charging, camp lights, and so on. It also includes a small LED light on the side for helping light up a small area such as a campsite or room. It even has an SOS setting on the light for emergencies.

The wall charger will recharge the Jackery 500 in about 6.5 hours. The car charger will take about 12 hours. And solar panels will take about 8.6 hours.

It doesn’t matter if I use one of my own Rigid 100 solar panels which are extremely high quality or the Solar Saga 100 folding solar panel from Jackery. Since the charge controller won’t let more than 58 watts in from any solar panel, both of them work well. The Solar Saga is easier and lighter to transport though due to it being foldable and has no tempered glass on it.

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Outlets

The Jackery 500 does not have a lot of outlets on it. But does it need a lot of outlets? Not really. Because this is meant to be used with small electronics while camping or out at the beach or in the woods for the day. It has just one AC outlet to help power anything off of the inverter up to 500w. This could be used to boost up an E-Bike battery, recharge a drone battery, run an air pump for inflating an air mattress, or whatever else is needed out of the AC outlet. If more outlets are needed then a power strip can easily be used.

It has three DC plugs. One is the standard 12v cigarette lighter plug like what is in every car. Then there are two small 5.5×2.1mm barrel ports. In my experience, there are many CPAP machines that can use that small barrel port to run off of. This is great if you’re camping and need a lightweight power source that will run a CPAP all night long. The CPAP machine I have tested with it will run for about 2 nights off the Jackery 500. Different CPAPs will use different amounts of power. The DC plugs can put out up to 10a/120w.

Then it has three USB ports. All of them are typical USB-A style plugs which means you can use pretty much any USB cable with it. No USB-C fast charging ports on this unit.

Usage

One thing to keep in mind when using the Jackery Explorer 500 is that it does have all sorts of protection layers installed in it. It has overcharge protection, discharge protection, overheat protection, and so on. The Jackery 500 will not charge if it’s above 104 degrees Fahrenheit internally. It’s not supposed to be charged below 32 degrees Fahrenheit but it may let a charge in, so be careful not to charge it below freezing.

It’s safe to use it all the way down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit but it just can’t be charged below 32 degrees. Generally speaking, I always have my unit inside.

One of the big drawbacks of using the Solar Saga 100w folding solar panel from Jackery is that it only has a 10ft charging cable attached to the solar panel. That requires the Jackery 500 to be within 10ft of the solar panel to charge. This can be a problem if it’s hot outside and the Jackery 500 has to be in the hot sun to charge. The same applies to it being below freezing outside. It’s hard to have the panel in the sun outside and the Jackery 500 inside with such a short cable.

That is why I like to use an 8mm to PV Connector adapter which allows me to use pretty much any other solar panel. Most solar panels use PV Connector connectors. Then I can get any length of PV Connector cable that I need and put my solar panel anywhere in the sun while keeping my Jackery 500 safe inside out of the weather.

Jackery

Jackery as a company has been around for many years now and has an extremely good reputation. Their customer service is top-notch and they are always ready to help anyone out. Their warranty department is always willing to help with any issue if one ever comes up.

I have reached out to Jackery multiple times by email and phone and they have always responded quickly and were very helpful.

Even though Jackery units are made in China I don’t feel that that makes them lower quality. After all, the world’s largest lithium resources are in China so it makes that pretty much all lithium batteries come from China.

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Conclusion

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a simple, lightweight, and affordable mini solar generator/power station. It is easy to take outdoors or on road trips to run simple equipment. Whenever I need just a little a bit of power out and about, the Jackery Explorer 500 is the one I usually grab because I know it will work hard for me.

It could use a better charge controller, and maybe an outlet or two more, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means. I would recommend the Jackery 500 to anyone who needs lightweight portable power.

Continue ReadingJackery Explorer 500 Review and What You Should Know About this Power Station

What is the Best Price and Honest Review of the Bluetti AC200 – Is It Up there with the Titan?

MAXOAK Bluetti AC200 Review

MAXOAK has truly started making a name for themselves in the power station/solar generator world. They now have amazing reviews on their products and good customer service. With the releases of their other units like the AC50, EB150 and EB240 they have started capturing the attention of everyone out there looking for dependable backup power.

The Bluetti AC200 has surely caught the eye of every prepper out there, or at least everyone who wants a reliable backup power option. The big question everyone is asking is how well it stacks up against the Titan? What kind of power usage can be expected from it? And how well does it work in real-world usage?

The AC200 is definitely one of the top solar generators out there according to many reviews. They have taken a careful look at what people really want. People do not want to charge their cell phone, camera or drone at the beach while partying with friends as so many of the other solar generator companies like to advertise. People want a serious power backup option for when the lights go out. People want to run their fridges, freezers, CPAP machines, TVs, ice makers, power tools and so on.

People want to be able to run their RVs, campsites, emergency locations and run their essentials without worries. Solar generators are not cheap, so people want to know that it is going to work for them when they need it the most.

Rechargeable Power Station
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Battery

Finally, companies like MAXOAK are starting to put real batteries into their units like the AC200. The AC200 has a Lithium Ion (Lithium NMC) battery that is rated to 1,700wh. One of the best features about the battery is that is rated to 51.8v which makes it much more efficient because of the higher voltage. Systems that use 12v are not nearly as efficient as the AC200.

MAXOAK Bluetti AC200 Stock Image

Having a battery with a higher voltage means that there is less efficiency loss between the inverter and battery converting the 51.8v charge into 120v charge. Going from 12v to 120v is much harder and requires more inefficiencies.

The full draw capacity of the battery is 2,000w. This means that even though it has a 1,700wh battery it can pull at a higher rate than what its own capacity is which is incredible. Older systems like the Inergy Apex and Kodiak suffered from not being able to run its full capacity and you were limited to a small system. Even the new Inergy Flex says that it can only run 1,500w continuously for up to 80% of the battery capacity. This was a big problem when people showed their reviews of those systems. The AC200 does not fall subject to that issue.

No one really knows how but MAXOAK has somehow figured out how to get the Lithium Ion battery up to a rating of 2,500 lifecycles which is an industry record for lithium-NMC batteries. Since this exceeds all other units out there this may be something to look into further because no one really knows how that would be possible unless that rating is based only draining to system down to 80% or 90% and then back up to 100%. Either way, it is a powerful factor when it comes to how long the battery will last in this unit.

Inverter

The Bluetti AC200 boasts a 2,000w Pure Sine Wave inverter which makes it quite easy to run heavy duty equipment off of it. More common things such as hot plates, coffee makers, personal heaters and so on will be amazingly easy to run off it because of its 2,000w inverter capacity. If you go look at many reviews online it is obvious that 2,000w of inverter capacity is generally enough power for basic things.

Keeping in mind that the battery is limited to 1,700wh but most items such as hot plates, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers and so on generally only use power for short amounts of time. This means that if you run a microwave that is rated to 1,800w for 3 mins you will only use up 90wh of total capacity which is barely anything off of the 700w of solar on Bluetti AC2001,700wh battery. (1,800w ÷ 60min = 30wh/minute of use).

One of the more interesting points about the AC200 is that is has a huge peak potential for large surges. It is normal and expected that the surge value of any good solar generator is at least two times the continuous running limit. That would mean that the AC200 should have a surge value of 4,000w since it has a continuous rate of 2,000w.

But the AC200 has a surge value of 4,800w! That is 2.4x the continuous running capacity which breaks the mold on having twice as much power for surging. This makes it easier to run heavier items such as chop saws in the shop, small A/C units and other items that surge really high.

One of the major flaws with their other units like the EB150 and EB240 was that the inverters were rated to 1,000w of continuous draw and only 1,200w of peak capacity which is nothing! Many times, while testing those units I would have my fridge and freezer surge at the same time which would cause the system to overload and stop working. The worst part is it does not really tell you that it is overloaded, and it just stops working and later you find that your fridge is warm. That is a big problem.

The AC200 does not have that problem because it has such a high peak rating. They finally got that one right. Being able to run something like a 5,000BTU window A/C unit can be extremely helpful during blackouts and emergencies, especially during hurricane season when it is very warm outside.

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Solar Charging

The MAXOAK Bluetti AC200 comes with an MPPT charge controller which is to be expected in today’s solar generators. No longer can companies come out with a “great system” that has a PWM charge controller such as the Goal Zero Yeti 1400. MPPT charge controllers get much more power from solar panels on sunny days and especially cloudy days.

Charging Cord DiagramThe AC200 MPPT charge controller has a solar input rating of 35-150v and 12a. It is rated to let up to 700w of solar go through it. The beauty of having such a large charge parameter is that it is capable of “over-paneling.” That means that I can install more than 700w of solar panels on the system to ensure I am getting the full 700w charge and that I can lengthen how many peak solar hours I get each day.

The AC200 solar charge input is nothing to what the Titan can do but it’s still pretty good. The Titan’s solar input rating is 35-145v and 30amps. So, it is a little more than twice as powerful. But then on top of that, the Titan has two MPPT charge controllers and can input up to 2,000w of solar which is unmatched by anyone out there.

That being said, the AC200 still has the second-best solar input of any other solar generator out there. Unless you consider the Inergy Flex system which has an expandable solar input capability. The downside to the Inergy Flex’s solar input expandability is the cost. It is cost-prohibitive, meaning it costs so much to get more solar power going into the Flex that it is not worth the investment to do that.

With the AC200 I can easily take seven 100w solar panels which on average will make about 21v and 6a. When I string seven of them together in series, I will make 147v and 6a. That allows me to easily be within the charge parameter.

But wait there’s more! Since the charge controller on the AC200 can go up to 150v and 12a I can easily add a second string of seven panels and have a total of 14 panels. This makes a series/parallel combo connection and would put my solar charge rate at 147v and 12a which is right at the limit of the charge parameter.

1400w Solar on Bluetti AC200

The beauty of doing that is that I will be able to make 700w of power very easily and I can do earlier in the day and later into the evening when compared to just having 700w of solar panels connected. Having the two strings of 700w in panels allows me to ensure I am making 700w of power for up to 8 hours a day during the summer months. That is quite impressive.

That means it has the ability to charge and run up to 5,600wh per day, during the summer. That is enough to charge the battery over three times. This means it is quite easy to be running my fridge, fans, chargers, and devices all day long while still getting a full charge on the battery. Normal power production of 5 peak solar hours a day is about 3,500wh which is still plenty to run devices all day long and having a full battery at the end of the day.

It can charge from 0% to 100% in as little a 2.4hrs if nothing is being run on it while charging. It can charge the battery while running other devices.

 

Connections & Outlets

One of the things I do not like about the system is the solar panel connection type. I really prefer companies to use non-proprietary or rare connections. Companies should use standard connections in my opinion in order to make life easier for users. The AC200 Connector CablesAC200 uses an Aviation SA201 connector and XT60 connectors.

Those connectors can be found online fairly easily, but, most solar panels use PV Connector connectors which is very standard, and it is harder to find SA201 to XT60 and or XT60 to PV Connector connectors. And by “harder” I mean that they do not exist. You must get extras from MAXOAK. Which means if I ever lose the adapter then up the creek without a paddle. I would have to contact MAXOAK and order a new cable directly from them which means I am 100% dependent on their response speed, shipping, and fulfillment.

MAXOAK does a fair job of responding to people quickly, according to reviews, but if you go to their website, you will see that there is no option to buy that connector/adapter easily.

As far as outlets go, the Bluetti AC200 pretty much has it covered. With six 120v house styled outlets it is easy to plug and play with anything you need to plug in. It can run up Bluetti AC200 Outlets and Frontto 2,000w continuously from the 120v outlets.

It has multiple DC outlets such as a 12v/10a DC cigarette lighter-styled port for running things like tire pumps, DC fridges, and more. It includes two 5.5×2.1mm 12v ports that can run up to 3 amps for running things like a CPAP machine or two.

It has five USB outlets. There are four USB-A styled outlets rated to 5v and 3a and then a single USB-C 60w high-speed port which allows charging on items such as Apple laptops and other lightning charging devices.

It also has two wireless charging pads on the top of the unit which allow phone to be placed on top of it and be charged up quickly and easily. Of course, your phone has to have that capability but most modern phones now have that option.

One new plug that is unique is the 12v/25a high output DC plug which uses a special plug which means you’ll need adapters in order to be able to use it.

30a to 15a AdapterIt does not have an RV plug though. I really wish it did. This is a perfect size unit for small RVs and for people who are not using A/C very often at all and just need to run the basics. You could get a simple adapter plug as I’ve used in the past, but those plugs are not designed to run up to 2,000w which means power will still be limited if using that plug.

Wall and Car Charging

It has a car charger! Not that it will charge quickly but it’s always nice to have a backup source if push comes to shove. It will charge in 17 hours from a car charger. That means it is charging at about a rate of 100w per hour.

The wall charger is quite fast and will charge the unit up in about 4 hours from any wall outlet or even off of a gas or diesel generator. Having a fuel generator is a great backup for a solar generator like the Bluetti AC200.

Weight and Dimensions

AC200 on Furniture Dolly

The AC200 is not a skinny little unit. It boasts fairly big power and for that reason, it is a bit heavy. Weighing in at 57lbs this unit is not for the faint of heart, literally. It’s heavy. The handles on the unit are very ergonomic which makes it easy to grip and move around but that is only if you can handle the weight.

That is why I love the Titan systems so much is that the battery disconnects from the main unit and the weight can be easily cut in half, so it is easy to move. The AC200 is still absolutely worth it and is a great unit but you may want to consider a furniture dolly to move it around easier.

The dimensions are 16.5in x 11in. x 15.2in. This image shows how it fits in the front seat of a car to give an idea of how large it is. It’s not small, and that’s a good thing. It is capable of powering so much which requires weight and size.

AC200 in Car

Warranty

MAXOAK gives the AC200 a full 2-year manufacturer warranty. That means if there is anything that goes wrong, breaks, or doesn’t work properly on the system they will replace or repair it for free for up to two years. That doesn’t include dropping it and breaking it, spilling liquid on it or anything like that. If it has a defect that pertains to the manufacturing process, then that is covered but not accidents.

MAXOAK states that it should be charged every 3 months to keep the batteries healthy and charged up. This was a bit surprising, seeing that it has a 2,500-lifecycle rating. Generally speaking, if a battery has that many cycles it shouldn’t have to be topped off on the battery multiple times a year.

Either way, MAXOAK is generally pretty good about handling cases for people and getting people squared away with their orders and products.

It is not protected against events such as an EMP Attack or Solar Flare. If that is something you’re concerned about you should consider purchasing at least one if not two XXL EMP Faraday bags to store the AC200 in to protect it from EMPs.

medium tech protect faraday emp bag

Expandability

The Bluetti AC200 has no expandability. What you see is what you get. It cannot accept external batteries being added onto it. It cannot expand its solar input capability. It cannot double together with other AC200’s and make a 4,000w inverter or 220/240v power. All of those items would’ve been nice to see but the system as it sits is quite good and is better than the vast majority of other units out there.

X-Factors

Bluetti AC200 Wireless Phone ChargingWhat is it that makes the Bluetti AC200 stand out above the crowd? Besides it’s good battery size, strong inverter, and fairly good solar input capability, it stands out for a few reasons.

It is the only unit to have two wireless fast charging phone pads on the top of it. This allows two people’s phones to be charged very quickly at the same time which is always a nice bonus.

It has an extremely intelligent screen onboard. There are so many features and specs that can be changed, tracked, and verified that no other system on the market has. The screen allows people to fine tune their system if they really want to. Or they can just leave it alone and know exactly how much power they’re making, using and how long they have left on their battery very easily.

It is the only unit currently that has a 25amp 12volt plug which many people who use items such as HAM radios can find quite helpful.

Bluetti Smart Screen

Pricing

This really is one of the absolute best features of the Bluetti AC200, it is in a very affordable price range for solar generators. Retailing at $1,799 it costs about the same as a Goal Zero Yeti 1400 unit, but you get nearly twice the unit as you would with a GZ Yeti 1400.

Click Here for the Current Best Pricing

 

best portable solar generators

See full comparison chart here

Overview

The AC200 can truly stand on its own. There are three main factors to consider when looking into a solar generator. 1. Battery Capacity. 2. Inverter Size. 3. Solar Charge Rate.

The Bluetti AC200 has a good battery capacity of 1,700wh which is comparable to other units on the market such as the Titan which has a 2,000wh battery. The Titan can expand its battery capacity but for most people a single 1,700wh is plenty big for running simple things like a fridge, freezer, lights and fans during an emergency.

The Bluetti AC200 has a great inverter size. Some people don’t need more than 1,500w but since this unit has a 2,000w draw capacity it ensures that you can run your fridge while running the toaster and you don’t have to unplug everything else just to run one big device.

And lastly, the AC200 has one of the largest solar charge rates of all the solar generators out there. The EcoFlow Delta, Bluetti EB240 and Inergy Apex were all limited to about 400 or 500w of solar input. The AC200 can be over-paneled and put in a true 700w of solar capacity which is great! The only unit currently that beats that charge rate is the Titan with a total of 2,000w solar input capability. But for a system of this size of the AC200, 700w of solar input is extremely good.

It truly stands out as one of the absolute best solar generators currently available.

Continue ReadingWhat is the Best Price and Honest Review of the Bluetti AC200 – Is It Up there with the Titan?

Humless 1500 Power Station Review

Humless 1500 Series Power Station

If you are trying to be more self-reliant in case of emergency, or just for your day to day, an excellent place to start is by investing in a fuelless solar generator. It can be pretty hard to know what to buy though, especially if you are unfamiliar with the technical wording that can sometimes be scattered throughout fuelless generator reviews. The best way to figure out what you want is to compare the different generators on the market, and you can find a detailed comparison chart here.

The short answer about the Humless 1500 series solar generator is that it is not enough for sustainable long term backup power. If you view the comparison chart above you’ll see it doesn’t have enough battery capacity or charge rate to be dependable.

Something like the Titan is much more reliable and dependable because of its power, capacity, expandability, and portability.

The following is a detailed and simplified explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of the Humless 1500 series solar generator.

Lithium Battery

The Humless 1500 uses a lithium-ion battery, which is the best kind of battery on the market as far as reliability, low maintenance, and durability go. Lithium batteries are more lightweight than lead-acid batteries, but the weight of the lithium depends on the quality of the lithium. So it may surprise you that the Humless 1500 is about the same weight as the Titan but almost one-quarter of the capacity. This means the Titan can handle four times as much power for almost the same weight.

Battery Size

The Humless 1500 solar generator can be one of the more confusing generators on the market because it isn’t very transparent in its capacity. There are two different Humless 1500 models on the market. One has a battery capacity of 1300 watt-hours and the other has a capacity of 640 watt-hours. So if you find a Humless 1500 for an amazing deal, make sure you double-check what the battery wattage is before you purchase it; itcould be the lower capacity.

Humless 1500 1.3 vs .64

The most common Humless 1500 is the .64kwh version. This is definitely not enough battery capacity to handle longer power outages lasting a couple of days.

The battery capacity is a huge deal when you are buying a power station because you won’t always be able to be plugged into your solar panels. The time of day or if you are “on the go” will affect if you are able to recharge. If you are going to have an emergency backup generator, a bigger wattage capacity is typically better. The last thing you want in an emergency is to run out of power.

As far as battery size, the Humless 1500 at 1300wh is comparable to other great solar generators on the market. Just be aware of the smaller capacity battery available for this same model of Humless generator. The 640wh capacity is much too small for most people who want a solar generator.

Inverter

In most fuelless solar generators, the inverter will have a continuous wattage output capacity of about half of its peak. However, the Humless 1500 isn’t quite like this. The Humless 1500 has an inverter continuous output of 1500 watts with a peak of only 1600watts. With many other generators, they have the capacity to run at a peak for a short period of time. It is not exactly clear why this is but I believe it is a poor feature on the Humless. As a standard, the peak should be at least two times the continuous rating.

Pure Sine Wave Inverter

The Humless peaks at only 100 more watts than it can run on continuously, so running big appliances or power tools, maybe impossible. Just be aware of this as you are considering what you might need in an emergency situation or what you want to use your generator for in everyday use.

It is pure sine wave which is much better than modified sine wave.

Max Solar Input

In comparison to other solar generators on the market, the Humless 1500 has a pretty average to low solar input. The Humless 1500 will input up to 260 watts of solar power. The trickiest part of that is getting 260 watts in panels. It’s easy to get a single 260w solar panel but then the panel itself is very heavy and hard to move around. It’s easy to get two 100w or 120w solar panels but that still doesn’t add up to 260w total.

Humless makes a 130w monocrystalline foldable solar panel which is what they want people to buy to work with the Humless 1500. I personally dislike it when companies try to make people use their own panels. One big reason is that many people already have panels and so it makes it very difficult to purchase more panels when they already have some.

It uses common Anderson Powerpole plugs which are very easy to get PV Connector adapters for so that any solar panel can be used. Keep in mind that the input voltage limit is 12v to 50v.

With the battery only being 640wh it will only take two to three hours to charge it up completely which is great. It’s only a fast-charging unit because the battery capacity is so low though.

Charge Time

The maximum solar input is connected to the charge time. If the Humless 1500 generator has a maximum solar input of 260 watts, then the 1300wh version takes 5.2 hours to charge and the 640wh takes 2.6 hours to charge. This is an important thing to think about when you have a generator that is dependent on the sun. In a typical clear day, you will have about 5 hours of peak sunshine, so if your generator takes more than 5 hours to charge, then you may not be able to get your battery to capacity if you are planning on using it daily.

Charging Humless 1500 Generator

There are of course other factors to consider, like winter peak hours, where you are latitudinally, and if you have a lot of overcast days in your area. So a 5 hour charge time is manageable if you don’t depend on it every day. However, if you are using your generator every day and need it to be charged, you would benefit from getting one that has a higher maximum solar input and shorter charge time, like the Titan can be charged within 2 hours quite easily.

Car Charger

One feature that can be important if you want to take your solar generator on the go is if you can use a car charger. You cannot always use the sun, especially if you are driving and cannot set up your solar panels. In an emergency, this car charger can be very useful, especially if you are evacuating from a fire, hurricane, flood or whatever natural disaster. However, if you want to use your generator solely for home use, this feature might not be very important to you.

The Humless 1500 does not have a car charger. It is possible to work around this by using a 12v car inverter and just plug the AC wall charger into the inverter and then into the Humless.

Outlets

The Humless 1500 is about average when it comes to the amount of outlets it has on the generator. Of course you can always use extension cords to connect other tools and appliances you want to run at the same time, but it is far more convenient to have a good amount of outlets on the actual generator itself. The Humless 1500 is equipped with two 110v standard outlets, one 12v car outlet, and four USB outlets.Top of Humless 1500 Series

One thing that the Humless 1500 does not have is an RV outlet, which would be invaluable to you if you have an RV. Also, the fact that it only has 640wh of battery capacity does not make it a very good option for RVers or VanLifers. Even if you don’t currently have an RV, you may want to invest in one in the future, if you are really serious about living or vacationing off the grid, so it could be convenient to have an outlet.

Warranty

With technology products or any kind of big investment purchase, it is always nice to have a solid warranty. When it comes to technology, you never know if you have a lemon until you run it a few times. So a warranty is a really valuable thing to have when you are looking into generators. The Humless 1500 has a one year warranty, which should be enough time to figure out if there are any kinks in your system. That length of warranty is pretty standard for the generators on the market that actually have one.

Expandability

One of the biggest drawbacks to the Humless 1500 is that it is absolutely not expandable. Some generators have the ability to expand their battery capacity to some additional external batteries. For example, the Titan can expand vertically with more lithium-ion batteries unlike any other generator on the market. This can be a huge benefit especially in emergencies or storms, where you may not be able to use your solar panels for an extended amount of time and will also be dependent solely on your generators.

This is also something to be especially wary of for the Humless 1500 since it is easy to mix up the Humless 1500 with the 1300 watt-hour battery and the same model name with the 640 watt-hour battery. If you were to purchase the smaller capacity battery, thinking that you won’t need too much wattage, and were to decide that you wanted to expand down the road, you wouldn’t be able to. There are other generators on the shop page that are expandable that you can check out.

Lifecycles

One of the biggest benefits of the Humless 1500 is that it is rated to more lifecycles than any other solar generator on the market that uses Lithium-NMC batteries. It is rated to 2,500 cycles which is extremely high for a lithium-ion battery. I haven’t been able to get a clear answer as to how they got that rating but that’s what their user manual says.

2,500 cycles would equate to over 6 years of constant use before the battery reaches 80% efficiency which is very good.

Videos

Humless 1500 1300wh

Humless 1500 640wh

You can see in these two short videos that visually the 1300wh and 640wh units look almost identical. This is what makes it so hard to identify which one is actually being viewed.

Weight

Weighing in right at 35lbs for the 640wh unit puts it right at the limit of easily portable. I find that for myself and most people that 35lbs is relatively easy to move around with two hands. The 1300wh version is 48lbs which is much heavier and harder to move around. The 1300wh version does come with nice pop out lift handles though.

Conclusion

Sadly this isn’t a solar generator that I can recommend to people. The 1,300wh unit is very hard to find these days. It almost seems like Humless decided to do away with it which to me makes no sense since it was a great battery size. The 640wh version simply isn’t large enough to handle real power outages. It may be good for someone who is doing a lot of filming, flying drones or needs to recharge small items on the go.

I view it more as a battery power station than a portable solar generator. Humless makes other larger solar generators but they are not portable, they are meant for stationary situations.

Something like the Titan is definitely a better unit for real power outages.

Continue ReadingHumless 1500 Power Station Review