Elechive 2200 by Zero Breeze Solar Generator Review
The ElecHive 2200 by Zero Breeze is supposed to be the absolute newest and best system to launch in the solar generator/power station world. But does it really do what they say it can do? So far it seems like it looks great on paper, but not so great in real-world testing. Read on to find out.
Keep in mind that the ElecHive 2200 has not officially shipped out and so the testing is based on prototype units. But that being said, the prototypes are having some big concerns. Hopefully, those issues will be resolved by the time they are shipping out to everyone who has ordered one on IndieGoGo.
Click Here for the Best Price on the ElecHive 2200
The Zero Breeze ElecHive 2200 has an impressive 2,400wh battery. That is 200wh more than what is in the MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P. That is large enough to run essential items during an emergency or blackout. That will run a fridge and freezer for a night.
It is a 24v battery which is great to see they have moved on from 12v batteries. 12v batteries are not as efficient as 24v batteries. The Titan solar generator was the first to begin using 24v batteries and it has taken the solar generator world by storm. 24v is not as good as 48v but it’s still considered very good.
What is most unique about the ElecHive 2200 solar generator is the style of battery they use. The ElecHive 2200 uses a LiNiMnCoO2 (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) battery which is essentially the same as the 18650 Lithium cells but built differently to save more space. Because of that, it reduces weight and space taken up. Just to be clear, it’s still a Lithium NMC like most solar generators, just built differently.
What is special about the ElecHive 2200 LiNiMnCoO2 battery is that it is safe to use down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Normal Lithium-Ion and LiFePo4 batteries are not safe to charge below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it much more practical to use in cold conditions often found in the northern USA or Canada. It is also 32% lighter than typical lithium-ion 18650 battery cells. That is why the ElecHive 2200 is so much smaller than other solar generators of comparable capacity.
It’s incredible that it’s capable of running down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s much lighter but it does come at a limit of 1,000 cycles. The lifecycle rating on the ElecHive is estimated to be 1,000 cycles which is half as much as other solar generators like the Titan. 1,000 cycles is still much better than 500 cycles that most units have like the Goal Zero Yetis. It’d still be preferable to have more.
A cycle is when the battery goes from 100% down to 0% then charged back up to 100%. That means it can be done 1,000 times or once per day for 2.75 years before the battery reaches 80% efficiency. That means after almost 3 years the battery will be more like a 1,920wh battery, not a 2,400wh battery. It will still be good at that point but just not as good as it was when brand new.
The “2200” part of the ElecHive 2200 name refers to the inverter capacity. It has a pure sine wave 2200 continuous output pure sine wave inverter. With a peak of 4,000w, it’ll pretty much run any tool that is around the shop. The peak should be closer to 4,400w to be on par with the standard of the peak output being twice as much as the continuous output, but it is close.
There have been some major concerns with the inverter during the prototype phase though. As found on the HoboTech YouTube channel, he was able to get a prototype version and ran into many issues.
Some of the big issues were things like the voltage from the AC plugs was not stable. It fluctuated from 112v to 105v depending on how much power was being used from the inverter. That is concerning because devices that use 120v power are designed to work from 110v to 120v. So if it’s less than 110v then it can cause the item being used to not work properly. Or if it goes over 125v it can start to cause concern for a fire.
Also, the display was not working properly at all. Not only was it dim and hard to read, but it wouldn’t read out the correct power usage. This obviously has to be fixed by the time the production version comes out.
One thing I experienced with the Bluetti AC200 is that I purchased it on IndieGoGo but they too were having issues with that unit and then they made the AC200P which is the upgraded version. It’s been months since I paid for the AC200 on IndieGoGo and I still don’t have it. I ended up purchasing the AC200P on Amazon because I could get it sooner. I am hoping that the ElecHive 2200 doesn’t suffer a similar fate where they get way behind from their IndieGoGo campaign and have to slap together a new unit just to get something to customers.
Either way, the shunt and display they are using do not work properly at all during the prototype phase.
Click Here for the Best Price on the ElecHive 2200
The Zero Breeze ElecHive 2200 does have a very nice solar input parameter of 35v-150v at 12a. With the MPPT charge controller being limited to 800w input it can charge pretty quickly. 800w is the second-best solar input capacity for any solar generator except the Titan which is 2,000w solar input.
With a 2,400wh battery and 800w solar input, the ElecHive 2200 can be charged in about 3 hours. The best part of the charge parameter is it allows for “over-paneling.” That means I can realistically install 1,600w of solar panels on the ElecHive and it will still charge. The advantage of over-paneling is it allows me to charge for more hours during the day at the max 800w solar input. This allows me to make more power during the day even though the max input is 800w.
The wall charger is not super-fast as it only allows about 240 watts in which means it will take about 10 hours to charge it up from a house outlet. But it does have multi charge capability, which means I can charge the ElecHive 2200 with solar panels and the wall charger at the same time. This is good when you’re using a gas generator to recharge the ElecHive and you can use your solar panels at the same time to get it charged up very quickly.
The ElecHive includes a car charger as well but it will take about 20hrs to charge it up. That’s not a fault with the system, car chargers just can’t charge solar generators up very quickly at all. That’s just how it is.
On the IndieGoGo Campaign and the Zero Breeze website, it states that the ElecHive 2200 only weighs about 34lbs but real testing of the prototype unit showed it was actually 42lbs. That’s a big difference. If they were off by a few ounces that would make sense but to be 8lbs off means there is a big difference between what they have right now, and what they may be shipping out.
It does have nice carry handles built into the top of the unit so it makes it easier to move around.
There are four 120v AC outlets. Those were having issues when the prototype was tested but they should be working fine once they begin shipping new units.
It has 1 DC cigar port for normal 12v items to plug into. It also includes 2 USB-C and 2 USB-A plugs.
There is no RV outlet which is always a bummer because it’s much easier to get the RV plugs rated to more than 18 amps and run a camper or van much easier. You can still use the RV adapter that’s affordable and works but it ends up taking space on the front of the unit and is still rated to the same output as a normal outlet.
As previously mentioned, it is only rated to 1,000 cycles which is nothing to write home about. It’s not amazing, and it’s not poor but it’s right in the middle at “okay.”
Because of the success, the ElecHive has had on IndieGoGo, Zero Breeze has stated they will be upgrading their 1-year warranty to a 2-year warranty. But it is unclear if that only pertains to people who purchased the unit on IndieGoGo or if it will apply to anyone who purchases the unit at a later date as well.
The first time I asked them what the ElecHives shelf life was they didn’t know. I had to ask multiple times for them to tell me it will last for almost a year before needing a charge. It’s not a direct answer to the battery shelf life but at least it’s an answer. Maybe they are not sure how long it will actually last because it hasn’t been around long enough to truly know. It’s probably safe to say 6 to 9 months shelf life before needing to be charged.
The Zero Breeze ElecHive is definitely a very unique system due to its size and weight. They compare it to the size of a basketball. It’s obviously bigger than a basketball but not too much bigger. That is quite amazing.
For the size, it has an amazing capacity and output capability. It’s absolutely the biggest thing that sets them apart from everyone else.
It is said that they will have a special EC8 charging port that will allow up to 1,250w of charge to go into it. But other than that, there is really no info on it.
Click Here for the Best Price on the ElecHive 2200
The ElecHive 2200 is untested, besides the one prototype test unit, which ended up frying. The prototype did not have any output protection, charge protection, heat protection, and is really a potential fire hazard. We can only hope that those protections will be installed before production units come out. But it wouldn’t be the first time that an IndieGoGo solar generator did far less than what it was advertised to do.
There are a lot of promises with this unit that so far have not been kept. The shunt doesn’t work, the screen doesn’t work, the USB outlets don’t work, there’s no protection from fire, and on and on.
As of right now, I am very hopeful for this unit to be as good as they say, but I don’t see how they can make it be 34lbs with the specs they are claiming. The math just doesn’t add up. That’s why I think the prototype is already 42lbs, and the production unit may be more.
As of right now it’s available on IndieGoGo for $1,099 which is about the same cost as of Jackery 1000. The Jackery 1000 is about one of what the ElecHive 2200 is in capability, but we know that the Jackery 1000 works and is available.
It is said that the ElecHive will be about $2,500 at normal price after the production model is out, which makes much more sense. As of right now, it’s quite the gamble if the IndieGoGo units will be any good.
I have yet to have any issues with my Titan solar generator. It has worked through and through for me. It has been running non-stop for almost a year at my off-grid cabin and has been amazing.
The Bluetti AC200P has had a few little issues but has otherwise worked pretty well.
I feel the ElecHive is in third place for the best solar generator. BUT, that is only based on the specs they have listed, not actual testing. Until I get my hands on my ElecHive that I have ordered on IndieGoGo, we won’t know if it’s as good as they claim it to be.