BLUETTI AC200MAX power station review: Impressive portable power
Bottom line: The BLUETTI AC200MAX offers excellent power output and capacity to run nearly anything you plug into it. From standard AC outlets to the 30A RV plug and the 12V DC outlets and built-in wireless charging pads, this solar generator has plenty of power options. Just remember to allow plenty of time to recharge with the included 500W AC adapter.
- Excellent power output
- Great build quality
- Integrated port covers
- Lots of outlets and ports
- Expandable power
- – Included adapter only charges at 500W
- – Display is hard to see in direct sunlight
- – Could be hard to move around for some
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Finding a really great high-capacity power bank has become much easier in the past few years. But finding a large power station that can power much more power-hungry appliances like a full-sized refrigerator, air conditioner, heater, or other essential appliances when the power is out is a little more tricky. When you start looking into high-wattage output and the devices you want to plug up, a few things come into play. One such product to make it easier is the BLUETTI AC200MAX power station.
The AC200MAX is not a power station that you will take everywhere with you, but it is great to have around for travel, camping, or emergencies at home. This 2,048Wh battery pack has some major output from its fourteen different ports and two wireless charging pads. While it has a lot going for it on paper, how does it handle real-world usage? I spent a few months with the BLUETTI AC200MAX and tested it in a lot of different ways so I could answer that question.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: Price and availability
BLUETTI announced the AC200MAX in August 2021 alongside its AC300 power station. The AC200MAX got a launch price of 1,699 but has since reached a regular price of 2,099 through the BLUETTI store. The power station is also available from other retailers such as Walmart and Amazon, which currently sell it for 1,999.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: What’s good
In our world, where seemingly everything requires electricity in some form or another, being without power can range from an annoying inconvenience to a full-on emergency. This is why it’s good to have one of the best battery packs or a mid-size power station like the Anker Powerhouse II 400 available to power phones and laptops. But when it comes to running a device with higher wattage requirements, or you need a really long run time on something, that’s where the BLUETTI AC200MAX fits in.
These fridges average around 1,100W surge combined when the compressors fire up, and by the time we stopped for the night after approximately 14 hours of driving, the BLUETTI AC200MAX was at about 65% charge remaining. Once we finally reached the beach and set up our spot about 30 hours after starting our journey, the power station was sitting at 20% charge. I was delighted with how well the AC200MAX handled the trip.
Back at my home in Kansas, I have used the AC200MAX to run power tools such as my miter saw, circular saw, and drills. Since it is very cold where I live in February, we had to use a heater in the trailer when it was time to clean up the camper from our beach trip. Plugging the camper into the AC200MAX using the 30A RV plug — without an adapter — is so nice. We could power our 1,400W heater and a small ShopVac with no issues.
When it comes time to recharge the AC200MAX, many options are available. As mentioned for the input ports earlier, you can plug the included 500W AC adapter directly into the unit. The DC car adapter will plug directly into the unit with the included cable. But solar will use two cables, both included, to connect to the power station.
You can use the BLUETTI companion app to update the AC200MAX’s firmware along with some basic unit controls. You can turn on and off the DC or AC power options and turn off the power station itself. Since it uses Bluetooth for connectivity, you won’t be able to control the power station from a long distance as you would if Wi-Fi was an option.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: What’s not good
The BLUETTI AC200MAX offers a lot of portable electrical power possibilities. But I’d like to see some improvements in a few areas, and my biggest complaint is in the included AC charging adapter. While 500W AC isn’t anything to sneeze at, it is a bit on the slow side, considering the size of the battery.
Another area that could use some improvement is the display. Though I like that it uses resistive instead of capacitive technology for the touch screen for practical use, it loses some of that practicality when you can’t read it. In moderate to low-light situations, the screen is easy to read. But once in brighter environments, like outdoors, you’re going to have to use your hand as a visor to see what’s on the screen or make changes to the unit.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: Competition
Large power stations aren’t exactly new, but using lithium iron phosphate for the batteries is a fresh development for power stations. Other units used older lead-acid until recently, leading to heavier power stations with lower lifespans. Aside from other units from BLUETTI like the AC300, one of the biggest competitors to the AC200MAX is EcoFlow with its DELTA Pro.
While the EcoFlow DELTA Pro comes in at a higher price, it also has a higher output of 3,600W and a larger capacity of 3,600Wh. This power station is expandable with additional batteries. It can charge up to 1,800W via a wall outlet via the built-in adapter or up to a whopping 6,500W with combined solar, AC, and EV station charging. You won’t get wireless charging from the DELTA Pro, but it does have wheels to move its 99 pounds around.
The large power station is a category that is quickly becoming a crowded space with new players coming in like Mango Power. Those that have been around awhile are starting to take advantage of newer technologies to build new products. Sure, some of the older battery packs that boast large watt-hour capacity are an option, but they will be much heavier and won’t offer the same kinds of long-term lifespans as options like the EcoFlow DELTA Pro and the BLUETTI AC200MAX.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if.
- You want portable power to run large appliances.
- You want high power capacity for long stints without grid support.
- You go camping in an RV or trailer.
- You live in an area that experiences frequent power outages.
You shouldn’t buy this if.
- You want to charge at more than 500W out of the box.
- You struggle with moving heavy things.
The BLUETTI AC200MAX is a great large solar power station that can handle nearly any electrical need for an average person. Being independent of the power grid offers peace of mind knowing you can keep essential appliances running. It’s also a great unit to take camping for off-grid experiences if you can manage the 62-pound battery, with the option to recharge via the sun. However, if you want to power the AC200MAX up quickly, you won’t do that out of the box with the limited 500W adapter.
BLUETTI‘s AC200MAX is in the realm of something that nearly everyone should have. This solar generator can greatly affect how you travel or handle electrical emergencies from a convenience to an essential standpoint. Knowing that regardless of the situation, if you have a BLUETTI AC200MAX, you can power nearly any typical appliance or tool thanks to the capacity and power output.
If you take advantage of all the recharging options available for the AC200MAX, you can power it up very quickly to keep right on going with up to 1,400W of input. But, the 500W AC adapter that comes with the unit is both physically large and a bit on the smaller side for its output. Don’t get me wrong. It gets the job done; it’s just a little slow.
However, as a complete package, the BLUETTI AC200MAX is a winner. On its own, the power station offers excellent performance and is reasonably portable. As a system, the AC200MAX brings a lot to the table with expandable capacity and charging options. These are the reasons that the BLUETTI AC200MAX is worth considering for your home.
From its 2048Wh to the 2,200W of pure sine wave output, the BLUETTI AC200MAX does it all. No matter what you want to power or how you want to recharge the power station, you can do it with the AC200MAX.
Bluetti vs EcoFlow – 2023 Full Comparison | Best Portable Power Station
Use your portable power station when camping, RVing, or living off-grid! Also, have peace of mind knowing your family is safe during a power outage or blackout.
Use the comparison table below to decide which product is best for you!
Bluetti vs EcoFlow. Which One to Consider?
We compared the BluettiAC200MAX with the EcoFlow Delta Max; the winner was clear.
-Can power 16 devices at once
-2 Wireless chargers
-7 ways to charge
-2 hour charge
-Can power 15 devices at once
-6 USB ports
-4 ways to charge
-1.8 hour charge
-Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled with EcoFlow app
BluettiAC200MAX. Power All Your Devices
The BluettiAC200MAX is an impressive portable solar power station.
Its design and industry gold standard 16 ports (including two wireless charging pads) make it a go-to option for campers, overlanders, those pursuing van-life, and living off-grid!
What’s In the Box
- BLUETTI AC200MAX portable power station
- AC adapter
- solar/car charging cable
- XT90-aviation cable
- user manual
Battery Capacity and Power
The capacity and power of this unit offers a great bang for your buck!
- The Bluetti AC200MAX has 2048Wh capacity and can power 99% of your devices.
- It can power your home during a blackout and has the capacity to support living off-grid.
Port Selection and Performance
This is where Bluetti stands out! Its port selection is fantastic!
- With 16 outlets, you can charge all of your devices at once.
- Furthermore, the wireless charging pods offer extra convenience.
- Just place your phone or tablet on top, and it will charge automatically! No plug required!
- In our opinion, this sets it apart from other units and makes it perfect for any situation.
- At 62lbs, it is heavier than the EcoFlow unit. However, it has slightly more power.
- Our only knock is the LED touchscreen on the front of the unit is hard to read during the day or in well-lit areas.
Combo Pack with Solar Panels
The BluettiAC200MAX can be purchased with solar panels in a convenient combo pack. It comes with three solar panels that are compatible with the unit so you can get started right away!
Finally, the BluettiAC200MAX offers multiple ways to charge the unit quickly!
- Wall outlet solar
- Wall outlet
- Solar panel
- Dual wall outlets
- Lead-acid battery
- Car charger
Overall, the BluettiAC200MAX is an excellent device. Its port selection and ability to charge multiple devices set it apart.
EcoFlow Delta Max. Keep Your Family Safe and Protected at All Times
EcoFlow is one of the most trusted brands for portable solar power stations. Our readers love their high-quality and super fast charging.
- Have piece of mind knowing that you and your family are protected from a blackout or power outage at all times.
- It only takes 1.8 hours to fully charge and can easily handle your AC, heaters, and other high-wattage devices.
The EcoFlow Delta Max is lightweight and portable. It is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled though the app! Check out the reviews to see what other people are saying!
What’s In the Box
- DELTA Max solar power station
- AC, Car, and Solar charging cables
- DC5521 to DC5525 cable
Battery Capacity and Power
The capacity and power from this unit is spectacular!
- Its 2016wh capacity is safe and reliable. It has slightly less power than the Bluetti unit, but the EcoFlow Delta Max is ~15lbs lighter!
- The 2400W output can power 99% of your devices.
- For example, it can power your appliances during a blackout or charge your phone, and fuel your coffee maker on a camping trip.
Port Selection and Performance
The port selection is excellent as well!
- With 15 outlets, there is room for all of your chargers and plugs.
- We love that it has 6 USB outlets and 6 AC outlets!
- However, we wish the unit had wireless chargers for extra convenience. But the 6 USB outlets make up for it!
Combo Pack with Solar Panels
The EcoFlow Delta Max comes in a combo pack that includes one foldable solar panel. According to EcoFlow’s website, one solar panel is all that you need! You can buy more of course for faster charging.
This is where EcoFlow stands out and why we think it is superior to Bluetti. It charges fully in under 2 hours and can go from 0-80% in 65 minutes!
There are 4 ways to charge your EcoFlow unit.
Less Expensive Options | Save Money
People looking to save money can explore less expensive portable power stations from EcoFlow and Bluetti.
EcoFlow River Mini
Mini portable power station. Only 6.3lbs! Fully charges in 1.5 hours. Perfect for camping, hunting, and emergencies.
Best-seller on Amazon! A small model with a lot of power, has 9 outlets and a LifePO4 battery.
Popular with vanlife and campers!
Which is better Bluetti vs EcoFlow?
In our opinion, EcoFlow is the superior product due to its light weight and quick charging ability. But both brands are great options. Buyers can purchase less expensive products, that are smaller and have less power, to stay on budget.
Does Bluetti include solar panels?
Yes, Bluetti has a convenient combo pack that includes three solar panels!
Does EcoFlow include solar panels?
Yes, EcoFlow sells a combo pack that includes the EcoFlow Delta Max and one solar panel.
How long will a Bluetti solar generator last?
It has a lifespan of over 3,500 cycles. After that point, the capacity drops to 80%.
How long does the EcoFlow Delta Max last?
The EcoFlow Delta Max has a lifespan of 800 cycles. After that point, the capacity drops to 80%.
Is Bluetti a good brand?
Yes, Bluetti is a good brand. Although they are relatively new, their solar generators, portable power stations, and solar panels have good reviews.
Is EcoFlow a good brand?
Yes, EcoFlow is a good brand. They are one of the most trusted brands in the industry. Our readers swear by EcoFlow and their products have great reviews.
Which model will you choose? Bluetti vs EcoFlow? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
- EcoFlow vs Jackery. Interested in more portable power stations? We compared the EcoFlow vs Jackery to see which was best. The answer may surprise you!
- Bluetti vs Jackery. See how the Bluetti compared to the Jackery model!
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CleanTechnica Tested: The BLUETTI AC200Max Portable Power Station
The BLUETTI AC200Max is a behemoth 2 kilowatt-hour iron phosphate-powered portable power station that really packs a punch, but with a few caveats as well. The front of the BLUETTI AC200Max is imposing, and rightly so. It’s packing 2,048 watt-hours (Wh) of storage capacity and a continuous output capacity of 2,200 watts.
Get Stuff Done
Most portable power stations have power buttons, and the BLUETTI AC200Max is no exception. The company did level up the game a bit with a slick aluminum primary power button with green LED lighting behind it. That makes it easy to see at a glance if the unit is on and serves as a nice reminder if you forgot to turn it off after using it.
After the power button is turned on, the rest of the controls on the unit are on its integrated touch screen. Unlike other touch screens we’ve used, the AC200Max’s touch screen is responsive and intuitive to use. For example, it’s easy to turn the AC or DC circuits on or off from the touch screen with just a few taps.
Additionally, the touch screen is used to turn Bluetooth on to connect to BLUETTI’s smartphone app. The smartphone app gives you the power to remotely turn on and off AC and DC circuits. As it is just a Bluetooth connection, this can’t be done remotely over Wi-Fi, but it is a nice function to have just for around the house and has almost all the same functionality as the touchscreen to control the unit.
The BLUETTI app provides a useful dashboard of information and controls for the AC200Max. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
At 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches and tipping the scales at nearly 62 pounds, the BLUETTI AC200Max is not something you’re going to be lugging to the beach for the day to power a cooler. It is a big boy in both volume and weight. As such, it is much better suited for use as a stationary backup power solution for homes, in RVs where it can power just about anything in the vehicle including an air conditioner, and in tiny homes as a primary power source.
It was built with tons of capability, including the ability to act as a base unit that you can add more capacity to. BLUETTI currently has two expansion batteries that can be plugged into the AC200Max for a total of just over 8kWh. This makes it an even better option for stationary use and is a great starting point for a home system that can be expanded later as needs change.
Two proprietary plugs on the side of the AC200Max make it easy to add one or two extra batteries to the unit for even more storage capacity. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
The additional batteries are added via two proprietary side connectors that look a bit like miniature EV charging ports. The additional batteries are designed to stack and come in rectangular form factors, making it easy to add a battery and stack the base unit on top.
In addition to the two plugs for additional batteries, the AC200Max has a standard DC barrel connector input and another proprietary BLUETTI connector which is used to connect a solar system to the unit. It’s unfortunate this is not a standard Anderson style or DC style adapter though as proprietary plugs always feel limiting. The AC200Max does come with the adapter from this proprietary connector to the industry standard MC4 solar connectors which is nice.
When it comes time to charge up the AC200Max, The default for most owners is going to be AC wall power. This is definitely the weakest part of the AC200Max, as it can only charge from a wall outlet at between 400 and 500 watts. That translates to a charge time of about 5 hours, which is extremely slow when most comparable units can pull down between 1,000 and 1,800 watts from an AC outlet. Having said that, this is only a real barrier if you are pressed for time and looking to recharge as fast as possible. For most owners, an overnight charge or just dropping the battery onto the wall outlet for a few hours is not an issue.
When recharging the unit from an AC wall outlet, the BLUETTI AC 200 max does require its own dedicated power brick. This is a very large external brick, and it’s a bit unfortunate that BLUETTI did not integrate these electronics directly into the unit as many other competing brands do. This is a minor but noteworthy differentiation that again won’t cause an issue for most owners, but is still worth taking into consideration.
Recharging the BLUETTI AC200Max from a wall outlet topped out at 470 watts in our testing. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
The AC200Max has a unique feature that allows it to recharge from a wall outlet and up to 900 watts of solar at the same time for a maximum charging speed of 1,400 watts. This looks neat on paper, but I can’t imagine a ton of scenarios where people are looking to leverage all of that solar, which could be accomplished with three of BLUETTI’s 350 watt folding solar panels and an AC wall outlet at the same time. Using one or the other makes the most sense but at least the option is there if you need it.
Recharging with solar alone is also possible, and you are able to utilize as much as the aforementioned 700 watts of solar power to recharge the unit. We tested the solar charging and found that with 200 watts of solar panels connected, it would take upwards of 12 hours to fully recharge the unit from 0-100%. With its maximum 900 watts of solar connected, it would theoretically charge up from 0-100% in a bit over 3 hours.
We stress-tested the BLUETTI AC200Max, plugging it into a wall outlet while simultaneously pulling 100 watts out of a USB-C outlet. This test was designed to see if it could pull maximum power from an AC wall outlet at the same time as it was inverting power and pushing it out through a USB port at maximum output. It performed flawlessly and did this for several hours with no issues.
We hooked the BLUETTI AC200Max up to the usual suspects of kitchen appliances we use in our testing to absolutely bang on portable power stations. The AC200Max, with its 2,200 watts of output capacity, was more than up to the task and powered all of the units regardless of the power setting they were on, pushing out 1,350 watts of power for about ten minutes in our testing.
The AC200Max also features a NEMA TT-30 AC outlet that gives it the ability to plug a standard RV’s shore power connection into the unit. That’s a really neat piece of functionality that makes sense on a unit of this size. The ability to expand the AC200Max’s capacity makes this an even better fit.
The AC200Max is a solid portable power station from one of the biggest names in the space and is built on a set of long-lasting iron phosphate battery cells. The ability to expand its storage capacity up to over 8 kWh with additional external batteries is clutch for folks looking to support larger loads in an RV, tiny house, or home backup system and sets the unit apart.
It is unfortunate that it has such a low charging rate with the standard AC adapter, but on the other hand, it does support up to 900 watts charging from solar. That’s great for folks in RVs who will be looking to leverage solar panels as their primary means of recharging the unit and won’t have the capacity to come anywhere close the maximum AC charging rate with shore power.
The BLUETTI AC200Max retails for 1,959 and is currently on sale for 1,859 on BLUETTI’s site. That feels like a solid value, assuming your needs line up with what the AC200Max can do. For more information about the unit or to purchase one to power all your adventures, head over to BLUETTI’s site for the AC200Max.
- Storage Capacity: 2,048 Wh, expandable up to 6,144 Wh with 2×B230, or 8,192 Wh with 2×B300
- Cell Chemistry: LiFePO4 Battery
- Life Cycle: Retains 80% capacity after 3,500 Cycles
- Recharges Via: AC/Solar/Car/Generator/Lead Battery/Dual AC/ACSolar
- AC Output: 2,200W continuous, 4,800W Surge
- Inverter: AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- AC Charging: 500 watts max
- DC Charging:
- Solar: 900W max, VOC 10-145VDC, 15
- 12v Automotive Adapter: 12/24V from Cigarette Lighter Port
- Fast Charging: 1,400W max when connected to solar AC Adapter
- AC Outlets: 4 x 120V/20A Outlets, 1 x 120V/30A NEMA TT-30
- DC Outlets:
- USB-C Port: 1 x 100W Max.
- USB-A Port: 2 x 5V/3A USB-A, 2 x 18W USB-A
- 12V DC Outlets: 1 x 12V/30A (RV Outlet), 1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet), 2 x 12V/10A DC 5521 (5.5mm Outlet)
- Wireless Charging Pad: 2 x 15W max each
- Connectivity: Smart Control Monitor in the BLUETTI App
- Weight: 61.9 lb (28.1 kg)
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2in ( 42 x 28 x 38.65cm) (LxWxD)
- Warranty: 48 months
Disclaimer: BLUETTI provided the AC200Max to the author for the purposes of this review.
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The Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living: Top 7 Choices
Whether you’re a hardcore camper or survivalist or simply like the idea of living off the grid, having a solar generator is extremely important. The best solar generator for off-grid living will offer you the chance to live emission-free and save tons of money on gas and fuel for refilling a traditional generator.
Regardless of your motivations, solar generators could be extremely beneficial to your off-grid lifestyle. So, without further ado, let’s dive into how to find the best solar generator for off-grid living and how to go about choosing one.
What Is a Solar Generator, and How Do They Work?
Solar generators use solar panels to harness energy from the sun to convert it into electricity. Each generator can attach to solar panels that harness the energy, then transfer it to the generator. The generator then stores this energy until it’s at total capacity and is ready for use.
Solar generators are mostly designed to power small devices such as laptops and phone chargers or lights. However, advancements are being made in solar technology, and generators are being designed bigger and better than ever. While solar generators are still recommended as a backup or supplemental source of power, there are a few that can power your desire for off-grid living.
How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living
When choosing the best solar generator for off-grid living, the main things to keep in mind are your goals and how big of a generator you need. Each of the below considerations affects your generator’s capabilities and what you can use it for.
A generator’s power storing ability is measured in watt-hours. Most solar generators have storing capabilities of less than 100 or 500 watt-hours, which is only enough to power a light bulb or charging device.
However, a heavy-duty generator, the best solar generator for off-grid living, will have power storage capacities of several thousand-kilowatt hours. However, this doesn’t mean that you can power your home for several thousand hours straight. To figure that out, you have to add up the wattage amounts of each of the appliances and devices you want to power.
For example, if you want to power a refrigerator that uses 500 watts and your generator has a capacity of 2,000 kilowatt-hours, you could power your 500-watt refrigerator for four hours. Simply take the wattage of what you’re powering and divide it by the storing capacity.
Along with power storing abilities, the best solar generator for off-grid living should be able to recharge quickly is extremely important. The size and amount of solar panels you have will largely determine how quickly your generator recharges after using its stored power. If you hope to continually run appliances or have permanent power, charging capability and speed is vital.
You’ll also want a generator that you can charge via other means, such as a 12-volt battery. If the sun isn’t shining and you need your solar generator to recharge, batteries, outlets, and other power sources are necessary.
Output capability refers to how many different devices the generator can power at once and how many different sources of power it has. Sources of power refer to the types of outlets, plugs, and ports on the generator itself. The best solar generator for off-grid living should have many different styles and sizes of ports and a maximum output that’s higher than its maximum input.
You also want a solar generator that’s portable and easy to move from place to place. This is especially important for off-grid living, including camping, boondocking, and any other living situation you can think of. The typical best solar generator for off-grid living will range in size from 10 to 100 pounds, but don’t forget about any cords, batteries, or solar panels you have to transport.
Finally, you don’t want a solar generator that works well enough but will need to be replaced often. For true off-grid living, you should have a solar generator to match. Conditions might get rough and dirty, and having the best solar generator for off-grid living means having one that can withstand bumps and bruises and last a long time.
Overall Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living
Jackery Explorer 1500
The Jackery Explorer 1500 offers excellent output capability, portability, durability, and comes in a tiny package. Each of these things are important to consider when purchasing the best solar generator for off-grid living. While it might not be as good in each area as other generators, it does the best job of combining each aspect and taking our top overall spot.