You may be looking at the Patriot 1800 solar generator thinking that it sounds like a perfect fit for your needs. Are you looking for emergency backup power? Need to run things in the RV? Want something portable that is easy to use? Sadly, the Patriot 1800 doesn’t do as much as what most people think.
Seeing the number “1800” makes people think it must have a huge battery or large inverter which is capable of running everything they need. Because it comes with a 100-watt solar panel, flashlight, small battery pack, booklets, food and other small knick-knacks people get excited. But there are 5 reasons you should reconsider before buying.
You won’t believe what these reasons are. Be sure to read the full review.
Reason #1 – Battery Capacity
When you see the name “Patriot 1800” you may think that it comes with a large 1,800wh battery. It does not. The battery is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) which is a very good thing, but it is definitely not 1,800wh. It’s not even half of that. The battery is only 690wh.
Technically speaking the battery is 768wh but it says in the user manual that only 90% of the battery is usable. 768wh x 90% = 691.2wh.
The battery that was on the Patriot 1500 was only 500wh. This is one thing that can be found in their sales pitch, that the new Patriot 1800 has a battery that is 28% larger than the previous model! Well when the first model was a small battery to begin with, adding 28% isn’t a very big deal.
To put it into perspective a 690wh battery will run a standard fridge for about 6 to 9 hours. Not even a full day. The Patriot 1500 model would only run a standard fridge for about 4 to 7 hours. The 1800 model is better than the 1500 model, but it is still very low.
You probably need to run more than just one fridge during a power outage. You likely need to run a freezer as well. You probably need to run phone chargers, laptop chargers, a few lights, and maybe a fan. Or even more importantly you may need to run medical equipment like a CPAP machine.
If the battery were 3x the size then it would make a lot more sense since then it would be very easy to run items such as the fridge, freezer, chargers, medical devices for a long time. If the Patriot 1800 had a battery like the Titan solar generator then it would do much better.
The Titan has a 2,000wh battery which is 2.9x larger than the battery in the Patriot 1800 (2,000 ÷ 690 = 2.9). With the Titan it is very easy to run multiple things at once and have it last all day and night. Especially while solar panels are attached.
Reason #2 – Low Solar Input
What most people don’t understand is that one of the main features to look into on a solar generator is how much power it can make from solar. Now, this isn’t your fault that it is hard to understand how much power can come from a solar panel and what that means. It’s naturally hard to understand.
The Patriot 1800 comes with one 100-watt solar panel. What that means is that if the panel is plugged into the Patriot and is charging in perfect conditions (which never happens) that the panel will make 100 watts of power per hour. Or in other words, it will make 100 watt-hours of power.
If the Patriot 1800 was at 0% and needed to be recharged and the panel was in perfect conditions, it would take 6.9 hours to recharge the battery. There are two big problems with that.
First, since perfect conditions are extremely rare it will actually take more than 6.9 hours to charge. On a good clear day, the panel may make up to 75 watts of power per hour. At 75 watts per hour it would actually take 9.2 hours to charge from 0% to 100%.
Not all solar panels are made equal. Many solar panels will only make 40% to 50% of their rated value which is horrible. Buying cheap panels will mean cheap results.
Second, there is an average of 5 to 6 hours a day that solar panels can make their full power production. What that means is that for 5 to 6 hours a day the single 100-watt solar panel can make 75 watts per hour. The other time of the day during morning and dusk the panel will make power but not nearly as much as those peak hours.
If the Patriot 1800 makes about 75 watts per hour from the one panel and it has 6 hours (summer) in of peak power production, it will make 75 watts x 6 hours = 450 watt-hours. The battery in the Patriot is 690wh which means that it only charged from 0% to 65% in a single day.
The Patriot 1800 cannot be charged in a single day with just the panel that comes in the kit.
To get it to charge at its fastest rate you’d have to charge the Patriot without running any equipment while it’s charging. Which means all day long the fridge, freezer, fans, or whatever else cannot be used.
Luckily, the Patriot 1800 has a max solar input of 240 watts even though it only comes with a 100-watt solar panel. If you had 240 watts of solar panels connected to it then you could make about 1,080 watt-hours in a day. Decent solar panels will make an average of 75% of what they’re rated to, i.e. a 100-watt panel generally makes 75 watts in normal sunny conditions.
240 watts x 75% is 180 watts. 180 watts x 6 hours = 1080 watt-hours. That means that it could be charged in a single day as long as the maximum number of solar panels are attached to it. That also means you could run a fridge a little bit during the day and still have a full battery by the end of the day.
That does mean on cloudy days that you can’t make enough power to recharge the unit because the solar input is so low. Solar panels will still make some power on cloudy days. It’s not very exciting to only receive a single 100-watt panel with the Patriot when it is capable of 240 watts.
It seems odd that the Patriot 1800 is rated to 240 watts of solar input but 4Patriots (the manufacturer) only supplies 100-watt panels for the Patriot 1800. This makes it very hard to get 240 watts if they only supply 100-watt panels.
That is why it’s recommended to have a really high solar input capability like what is on the Titan solar generator. The Titan has a 1,000w solar input capacity. Over 4x what the Patriot 1800’s solar input capacity is.
Not only does the Titan have a 1,000w solar input capacity but it has the unique capability to be “over-paneled.” Being over-paneled means that you can put more than 1,000w of solar panels on it if you’d like without hurting the system.
What would be the point in that?
The reason over-paneling is a great feature is that you now know that a 100-watt solar panel rarely makes 100 watts. Luckily, the panels that come with the Titan solar generator kits are the highest quality panels made and commonly make 90% their rated power in sunny conditions instead of just 75%.
If you had a Titan with 1,000 watts in panels that means you would make roughly 900 watts per hour. 900 watts x 6 hours = 5,400wh on an average sunny day. The Patriot can only make 1,080wh on a sunny day. The Titan makes 5x more power on the same day as the Patriot 1800 (5,400 ÷ 1,080 = 5)
Now with all of that being said, it is possible to add another 200 watts in panels to the 1,000 watts already connected. That would make 12 100-watt panels in total. 1,200 watts x 90% = 1,080 watts.
That’s more than the 1,000w rating. But since the Titan can handle 35-145 volts and 30 amps through each of its two solar input ports, that means you can truly make 1,000 watts per hour. The panels may be making 1,080 watts but the Titan will limit it to 1,000 watts. That is why over-paneling is a great feature.
It is possible to put 1,500 watts in panels into one solar input port on the Titan. This means even on cloudy days your panels will be making lots of power for the Titan. Then on sunny days it will limit the input to 1,000 watts so that you charge quickly but don’t damage your batteries.
You get the option to truly make the full 1,000w of power from the panels. No other solar generator in the world currently has that option. But not only that, since the Titan has two solar input ports, it can double its 1,000-watt solar input rating to 2,000 watts!
That’s right. That is an unlocked feature of the Titan once a second battery is added to it. You’ll learn more about expansion batteries here in a minute. But with two or more batteries on the Titan you can get 2,000w of solar input.
Reason #3 – Only 2 Outlets for 120v Power
When the power goes out and you know you’re going to need power anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks, you’re going to need to plug a lot of things in. Having two 120v (house wall outlet) style plugs isn’t enough.
Once the fridge is plugged into one and the freezer is plugged into the other, you’re out of outlets!
It is easy to use a power strip to give you more outlets. Then you can easily plug lot of things into the Patriot 1800 solar generator. It is a bit of a pain though to have to use power strips rather than just having more outlets on the unit.
Having more outlets is such a simple thing but is not included on the Patriot 1800. Everyone will need to run more than two items when the power is out so having more outlets is an absolute must. This means that the Patriot 1800 requires you to have at least one power strip on hand in order to run everything you need.
It does have 4 USB outlets on it which does make it easier for charging small devices like cell phones. Charging cell phones only needs to happen once or twice a day at most though so it’s not a feature that is used often.
With 1 DC cigarette lighter outlet it does allow for additional phone chargers to be plugged in like in the car if needed. It is rated to 20 amps which is nice.
Since the Patriot 1800 only has two 120v outlets it should come with power strips amongst all the other small gadgets they give you in the kit.
The reason the Patriot 1800 has the number “1800” in its name is because the inverter is capable of running 1,800 watts continuously until the battery is depleted. That means the two 120v plugs are rated to 15 amps.
Volts x Amps = Watts. 120 volts x 15 amps = 1,800 watts. That is the common limit to a normal house outlet. If you’ve ever turned something on while someone is blow-drying their hair and you flip a breaker it’s because you used more than 15 amps off of that one circuit. That’s when you have to go flip the breaker.
Alternatively, the Titan has six 120v outlets on it. On the front of the Titan you can see that it is split into two sides. There are three 120v outlets on the left with an orange line around them and then another three 120v outlets on the right side with an orange line around them.
The two sides run independent of each other. Each side is rated to 15 amps. That means the Titan is basically like having two Patriot 1800 solar generators combined together in terms of output capability. Not only that but it still has more 120v outlets as a single Titan unit than if you had two Patriot 1800s.
The Titan comes with 4 DC cigarette lighter ports instead of just one. All together the DC ports are capable of running up to 20 amps! That’s incredibly high. Not only that but the DC ports are regulated on the Titan meaning that no matter how full the battery is they keep the same voltage.
The Patriot 1800 DC plug is not regulated which means as the battery drains the DC port will lower its voltage. That means whatever is connected to it will start to run slower and with less power.
The Titan comes with 4 DC plugs that can be inserted into the DC cigarette lighter ports to use as needed for phone chargers. This means you have the option to run multiple phone chargers or run more DC items like HAM Radios, a DC fridge or other items that use 12v DC.
One unique feature to the Titan is that it has a 30amp 3 Prong RV Plug built into it. Not only that but it can actually put out 30 amps of power which no other portable solar generator in the world is capable of doing. This means you could connect it directly to your RV/Travel Trailer and it will run everything just like you were at home.
Or if you have a 30-amp 3 prong plug on your house or on an electrical sub-panel you can plug the Titan directly into that and run your house! It is semi-common for houses to have 30-amp plugs built into them so that when the power is out a gas generator can be used to run the house.
You must have a transfer switch installed to do this. Your power from the grid has to be 100% disconnected in order to make this work. Otherwise, you run the risk of destroying your unit and causing other hazards.
The Titan uses that same plug and is capable of the same 30-amp output which means anything on the sub-panel can be run like normal. If you don’t have one of these plugs already installed it’s not overly expensive to have an electrician install one.
Reason #4 – No Battery Expansion Capability
As noted in reason #1, the battery size of the Patriot 1800 is very small at only 690wh. With the Patriot that’s all you get. If you have more batteries or wanted to add more batteries to it in order to make it last longer running equipment you can’t add them. There’s no way to expand the battery capacity.
This is why it’s recommended to get the Titan instead. The Titan comes with one 2,000wh battery. But another unique benefit to the Titan is that you can add as many batteries as you want. Not only that but you can get more Titan batteries and stack them vertically on the Titan.
The Titan is only portable solar generator in the world to have a stacking battery setup. There’s no need to get heavy cables and attach batteries externally taking up more space. No need to wonder if you’re hooking it up right or if you’re about to blow up thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. It’s simple, safe and easy with the Titan batteries.
To add batteries you simply balance the Titan batteries by charging them to 100%, remove the top section of the Titan called the “Power Module,” stack another battery on top of the battery/batteries that were already connected, place the power module back on top, and latch it down.
This video shows how to setup the Titan for the first time and how to balance the batteries.
Adding a second battery is extremely simple and doubles the capacity. Adding three batteries is just as simple as adding a second battery. This means that you can build a battery bank large enough that you could go many days without sunlight at all and would still be able to run your equipment no problem.
One little trick is to use this outlet timer. Use it to reduce how long your fridge and freezer run each hour. Your food will stay the same temperature but your power usage will drop about half!
Reason #5 – Customer Service
There is one thing to be said about their customer service in that they do answer their phone which is great. There are many companies out there where they give you the go around with customer service and never seem to pick up.
When I called 4Patriots and had questions about the Patriot 1800 it only took about 5 minutes or so for someone to answer which isn’t bad. But the reason their customer service is on this list of reasons to reconsider the Patriot is because they didn’t know what they were talking about.
Sadly, their customer service team is just sales reps. As you have likely experienced from the Patriot 1800 website, it is extremely vague how big the battery is when reading through their website. They say plenty of times that it’s 28% larger than the previous model but that doesn’t actually tell you how big it really is.
When I called and asked for clarification, I asked, “How many watt-hours is the capacity of the battery?” The person I was speaking with said, “The Patriot 1800 can do 1,800 watts…” I said, “Okay, great. But what is the battery capacity?” Again, they said, “It can do 1,800 watts from it.”
This was extremely alarming that not only was I just talking to a sales rep and not someone who could help but that they didn’t even know the basic specs of what they were selling. I had to ask them to email me a copy of their user manual so I could read through it to find the total capacity of 690ah.
And in addition to that, the rep talked with their “tech team” 3 or 4 times trying to find out the answer and not even their tech team knew that answer. I thought it was a very basic question since it’s a basic spec to know for a solar generator. After 25 minutes on the phone, mostly on hold while they asked for help, I had to read the manual to get the answer.
When I asked the rep “It says on your website that the Patriot 1800 will run a fridge/freezer for 16.3 hours, how big of a fridge is that?” The rep didn’t know the answer. But having worked with solar generators for many years now I know that a modern standard fridge uses about 70 to 80 watt-hours.
You can see in this picture the type of fridge they used to get the 16.3-hour estimation. It is much smaller than an average household fridge which is why they say it runs a fridge for over 16 hours. It looks like an RV 12v DC fridge.
That is why the Patriot 1800 will only run a standard fridge for 6 to 9 hours because 690wh ÷ 80w = 8.6hrs. The range of 6 to 9 hours is because some people live in hot climates where their fridges runs more, and other people live in cooler climates, so their fridge runs less often.
When looking at the Titan it was a completely different experience with their customer service. When calling their customer service hotline to get help with the Titan I was answered within about 20 seconds.
Not only did they take my call very quickly, but they were very knowledgeable about every aspect of the Titan and how to work it.
Should You Buy the Patriot 1800?
People should not buy the Patriot 1800. Just looking at the specs of what it is capable, or not capable of doing is enough reason. The battery is too small, it has very low solar input, there are very few plugs on it, there’s no ability to expand it, and if I have an issue that I need real help with the customer service reps don’t know the answers.
Knowing that it can’t run essential items for just a few days of a power outage is enough evidence to not buy it.
The absolute best option, and does not cost much more, is the Titan solar generator. The Titan has pre-built kits that come with 100% everything you need to be up and running without any problems. Forget getting a few bags of freeze-dried food, flashlights and preparedness manuals.
Get what you need from a solar generator kit which is solar equipment accessories. Get a kit that perfectly fits your needs so that you know when the power is out you can sleep comfortably knowing that each day you have enough power to run everything you need for weeks or months on end.
The Titan kits come with pertinent accessories like solar panel carry cases, chainable lights, faraday bags for EMP protection and much more.
Power outages, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, storms and so on can leave areas without power for weeks at a time. Electricity is the dividing factor when it comes to ease of life.
Just look at the example of Puerto Rico having gone through Hurricane Maria as well as multiple earthquakes. People cannot run their fridges, fans, washer machines, medical devices, and so on. They wouldn’t be able to do that with the Patriot 1800 either for more than a day.
It’s horrible to think that some people would purchase a Patriot 1800 kit with the expectation that they’d be able to run their essentials. Then find out the hard and expensive way that it isn’t enough.
But with the Titan solar generator kits there is nothing keeping you from having as much power as you need. The kits go from just a Titan solar generator with no panels all the way up to a Titan with a second battery and 2,000 watts of solar panels. Get the kit that meets your needs.
It is also possible to get a smaller kit like the Titan 500 then grow it into a Titan 1000 or larger kit. The #1 selling and most used kit is the Titan 1000 Flexx Kit. It is mobile, powerful, and easily expandable.
If you’re going to spend a large amount of money on something that you will depend on for electricity while there’s a blackout or while RVing, don’t waste it on something that will not perform. Put that money towards a Titan and know full-well that you’ll be completely taken care of.