At CleanTechnica, we get a lot of requests from companies to review products. Our team cannot handle the sheer volume of such requests, so we’ve started a new program, in which we offer the product to review (and keep!) to anyone who contributed an article we published, or pitched in a few bucks the previous month through our fund drive. To join in future offers, either send us an original article we can publish, or pitch in a few bucks! This is not a lottery kinda thing – there’s clearly no purchase necessary to be considered to receive a clean tech product from one of CleanTechnica’s climate-saving corporate partners. And the products are great! We get everything from things like this portable solar/battery station to e-bikes to thermal imaging cameras to books to courses to organic mattresses (no kidding) — so many great things.
The following article is from one of our contributors, reviewing the Bluetti AC60 portable power station.
by Dan H
I’m off the grid (kind of)!
Okay, okay, I’m not exactly off the grid. But my family’s phones, iPads, and Kindles have been off the grid for a few weeks now, testing this product out, and it feels great.
As a bit of a renewable energy nerd, I’m enjoying the Bluetti AC60 600 Watt Portable Power Station with foldable, 200 Watt, 4-panel solar array. The power station weighs about twenty pounds, but it’s pretty small and compact. The solar panels fold up flat to less than 2 feet square with a nice comfortable handle to tote around. And it’s SOOOOO easy to connect the power station to solar array and let it ride (more later).
First off, the Bluetti power station has plenty of ports: multiple USB, two AC outlets, and a DC outlet. You can charge and power to your heart’s delight. There are also many ways to charge the power station itself, with (thanks Bluetti) all necessary cords provided: charge it from your car, or your wall, or the handy-dandy portable solar array.
So, here’s what I put it through: Starting small, from 68% available charging power, I plugged in my iPhone (at 56%) and an older generation Kindle (at 64%). After one hour, the phone was at 96%, the Kindle at 95%, and the power station at 60%. Pretty easy-peezy. Then, let’s charge up that iPad at 30%. At the 2-hour mark, the iPad was at 84%, and the station at 41%.
Okay, let’s bust out that solar array. NOW we’re off the grid! I found the setup and connection/use to be super easy. You just unhook two clasps and unfold the panels. I laid it diagonally across a table in my backyard in full sun at high noon on a cloudless day. Within about 1 minute, I had the charging station connected to the array — one side of the connection cable is affixed to the array inside of a little pouch on the outside, then you connect a second cable to the first and then to the charging station. Anyway, moments later, the input surged up to about 160W and I walked away. I came back two hours later to find it fully charged…so I’m not quite sure how quickly that happened, but in theory, it should take about 2 hours to get 160 watt hours (.16 kWh) if consistently getting 160W. It seemed to go a little faster, so maybe the input was higher than I saw at times. Regardless, this implies less than 4 hours in full sun to charge the thing up to max. It goes without saying, I suppose, that it was very easy to disconnect the array and fold it back up. If you can find a way to support it diagonally, aimed directly at the sun, go for it.
I did a lot of variations of this. I even brought it camping (it doesn’t take up much space at all) and connected a 12-foot strand of holiday lights to guide our children back to our tent at night. We left the lights on for about 6 hours and still charged a few iPhones. WARNING: everybody in the vicinity will ask you to charge their devices. Get ready to be popular. My friend even suggested he charge his electric motorcycle, which…I don’t think the Bluetti has the output capacity for (Editor’s note: nope).
All this charging is honestly a little addicting and kind of driving my wife crazy to have it on the counter in our laundry room with 5 things plugged into it, but who cares, we’re OFF THE GRID (kind of)!
I should mention all the other fun features:
- Simple and easy to understand instructions that are actually correct.
- ECO mode that automatically turns the power station off if there’s no output for several minutes.
- It even has an LED lamp in the back for a little mood lighting.
- A wireless charging pad.
- A port for even MORE battery capacity (if 600W isn’t enough for you, bump it up to 2000 with a couple of optional expansion batteries).
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