Portable solar power stations

Exactimator

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I have a small gas generator (Home Depot special Homelite 2250 watt). Since I live in an earthquake area, in the event of a blackout I wanted something the could run the fridge, furnace and a window AC (basically keep us warm/cool and keep food from spoiling). Gas maintenance is a small chore and the generator is VERY LOUD. It's not inverter duty so it's either all the way on or off. If I wanted to run the fridge, the gen would be running full bore whether the compressor is running or not.

Now that portable battery power station/solar panel combos have been around a little while, combined with some good black Friday sales, I plan on buying one. Problem is there are many manufacturers and I'm having a little difficulty finding reliable info on what's good.

I'm leaning towards the Jackery 1000 with solar panels. https://www.jackery.com/products/jackery-explorer-1000-2-x-solarsaga-100w-solar-generator
There's also the Yeti Goal Zero, which seems to be good but expensive. Zero Breeze ElecHive, Bluetti... There's many to choose from.

Does anyone have any experience or advice?
 
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Funkworks

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All I have at this point is a computer backup battery I got at Staples for around $100-something. But I've looked into some of those names you mention, as well as Ecoflow.

Personally, I'd get a battery first, and just keep it charged. The solar panels may not be necessary if the battery is big enough. Depends on how long off-grid you want to prepare for. I haven't looked into all of them but the Bluetti is my favorite so far because it has LFP chemistry (lower risk of issues and greater number of charging cycles than other chemistry - seems ideal for stationnary storage), and it seems easily expandable with extra modules and panels. I've also seen one being used at a trade show.



 

mh9162013

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I don't have personal experience, but I've heard nothing but great things about the Jackery solar generators. If I were to buy one, that's what I'd get.

I think the Goal Zeros are nice, too. But you're paying extra for the brand.

Biolite makes some solar generators. They seem to be fairly new, but it's a company that produces solid products (and for a worthy cause, too).
 

Black Bart

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I have a small gas generator (Home Depot special Homelite 2250 watt). Since I live in an earthquake area, in the event of a blackout I wanted something the could run the fridge, furnace and a window AC (basically keep us warm/cool and keep food from spoiling). Gas maintenance is a small chore and the generator is VERY LOUD. It's not inverter duty so it's either all the way on or off. If I wanted to run the fridge, the gen would be running full bore whether the compressor is running or not.

Now that portable battery power station/solar panel combos have been around a little while, combined with some good black Friday sales, I plan on buying one. Problem is there are many manufacturers and I'm having a little difficulty finding reliable info on what's good.

I'm leaning towards the Jackery 1000 with solar panels. https://www.jackery.com/products/jackery-explorer-1000-2-x-solarsaga-100w-solar-generator
There's also the Yeti Goal Zero, which seems to be good but expensive. Zero Breeze ElecHive, Bluetti... There's many to choose from.

Does anyone have any experience or advice?
I looked at the solar generators. All you get is a LIPO battery and a inverter. Renogy makes one of the best systems, with lots of power at lots of cost. So i made my own. 50AH 12 LIPO battery, 100 watt folding solar panels and inverter. The panels come with the charger / controller on the back and you can add one more panel. You can opt for 200 watt panel. When i only need 12 volts i dont hookup the inverter. Under $ 600.00solar 1.JPG solar 2.JPG solar 4.JPG
 

Exactimator

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All I have at this point is a computer backup battery I got at Staples for around $100-something. But I've looked into some of those names you mention, as well as Ecoflow.

Personally, I'd get a battery first, and just keep it charged. The solar panels may not be necessary if the battery is big enough. Depends on how long off-grid you want to prepare for. I haven't looked into all of them but the Bluetti is my favorite so far because it has LFP chemistry (lower risk of issues and greater number of charging cycles than other chemistry - seems ideal for stationnary storage), and it seems easily expandable with extra modules and panels. I've also seen one being used at a trade show.




Good points. Here's the way I'm looking at it: If the power gets knocked out with an earthquake, I'd like to have something that can get us through about a week. The items I want to run (fridge, AC) drink a lot of power. As power station size increases, the cost increases pretty quick. If I can get by with a smaller battery and a couple solar panels, so I can run for 8 hours, charge for 8 hours, I think that will work. The Jackery gets me there with a comfortable $1K.

The Bluettis look great, but they're larger capacity and cost more than the $1K plus the solar panels.
 

Exactimator

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I looked at the solar generators. All you get is a LIPO battery and a inverter. Renogy makes one of the best systems, with lots of power at lots of cost. So i made my own. 50AH 12 LIPO battery, 100 watt folding solar panels and inverter. The panels come with the charger / controller on the back and you can add one more panel. You can opt for 200 watt panel. When i only need 12 volts i dont hookup the inverter. Under $ 600.00View attachment 547752 View attachment 547750 View attachment 547751

I admire people like you that have the time, patience and knowhow to make their own. I don't. So I'm looking for a neat little package I can buy.
 

Black Bart

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I admire people like you that have the time, patience and knowhow to make their own. I don't. So I'm looking for a neat little package I can buy.
The small portable systems will not last the night with just the frig on. You need a large battery. There are DIY plug and play systems. Signature Solar is a good place to look.
 

WillMarchant

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My suggestion is to first buy a "kill a watt" monitor (about $30 at Amazon.com) and measure the energy consumption of the things you want to keep running.

As others have mentioned, motors suck up a lot of juice. Fridges aren't too bad but I'm guessing your window AC unit will be a huge power sink.

Once you have some actual numbers on what you want to drive, you can then make some rational trade-offs between what you'd like to run and how much money you're willing to spend to do it.
 
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I've got the MPP8048 MAX installed with 33KwH of batteries and 6Kw of solar panels. You might have to install more batteries than you think to ensure they are capable of deliviring sufficient PEAK current for your maximum potential loading on the system. Single unit 8Kw max, 48v system. Can have up to 6 units paralleled. So 48Kw single phase potential.........If I bought more. Cost me Au$15k all up doing it myself. Payback period is 8 years here in high cost Australian electricity land. So here in OZ that's a 12% return on your money.
Technically this is an off grid system. I do not feed in to the grid from it, so it is an appliance. It uses electricity from the grid if required.
Overnight battery discharges 20%. So I have a 20% discharge cycle. This changes the battery life from the 3000cycles quoted for an 80%discharge to about 100,000 cycles at 20%. Obviously the batteries have a finite life, but it's not going to be the cycle life that's determining. I expect 20+ years.

I have not connected to the grid in 5 months since I fitted it.
There are various battery voltages available including 24v There are various output voltages available including 110v

PIP-MAX SERIES https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pip-max/

YMMV do your sums........
Of course this is not portable. But your aircon and other requirements don't lend well to portable...
 
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shockie

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I recently purchased a Bluetti AC50S that was on sale, to use as a launch site power source.
I'm pretty happy with it so far.

I also looked at Jackery models.
 
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The OP said they wanted to run aircon from it. This is 500Wh or 0.5kWh. A small AC is lets say 2Kw. So if it started the AC ( doubtful ) it would keep you cool for 15 mins if you could get all the energy out in that time.
It does not meet the requirements of the OP
For camping in a tent it would probably be ok.
The OP's requirement were high for a portable unit. Like wanting to run your entire house on an AA battery for a week.... :)
 

Funkworks

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The OP said they wanted to run aircon from it. This is 500Wh or 0.5kWh. A small AC is lets say 2Kw. So if it started the AC ( doubtful ) it would keep you cool for 15 mins if you could get all the energy out in that time.
It does not meet the requirements of the OP
For camping in a tent it would probably be ok.
The OP's requirement were high for a portable unit. Like wanting to run your entire house on an AA battery for a week.... :)

Meant to answer previous post, not OP.

looking to see specs on Bluetti AC50S did not see on manufacture site
đź–– :startrekspock:
 
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