Jackery 1000 Solar Generator: An Epic Camping Companion For Van Life
Portable solar generators are building a reputation for themselves in the RV/van life community, and Jackery is certainly a name that has come out on top.
It’s tough to put in a good DIY electrical system for your camper, and the promise of an all-included unit with a clean energy source that can give you power anywhere you go, even when you are off-grid, is certainly alluring.
But is the Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station all that it promises for van lifers, or is it just another fad and will fizzle out soon? Let’s find out.
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Jackery 1000 Solar Generator Overview
The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator is a portable solar generator that you can recharge with solar power, AC power, or even your car charger. It comes with two solar panels – the Jackery SolarSaga 100w – for charging when camping off-grid and has several output ports for connecting and running your various devices.
The generator is low on noise, eco-friendly, zero-emissions option for van lifers, car campers, and tent campers. It’s easy to use, well built, and is powerful enough to charge most of your short-duration trips.
On the other hand, the Jackery 1000’s 1002W power output may not be enough for longer trips and permanent van life. With a 500 cycle battery, frequent users may have to get a new unit much sooner than you might expect.
Our final assessment is that this versatile generator can serve many purposes, including powering a summer trip or as emergency backup power for your house or camper. Even if you are a weekend camper, this unit is a pretty good option, in our opinion.
But perhaps it’s not sufficient as the only power source for permanent van lifers. Read on to know why we say so.
Disclaimer: Jackery was kind enough to send us an Explorer 1000 and two 100W SolarSaga foldable panels for this review. However, the content of this post is not sponsored by Jackery. Our thoughts are our own and that of the grandchildren on a weekend car camping extravaganza.
Jackery 1000 Solar Generator Spec Summary
The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator is comprised of 2 products: the Jackery Explorer 1000 portable power station and 2 SolarSaga 100W solar panels. You can either buy them separately or choose to buy them as a bundle. The bundle is known as the solar generator.
- Output Rating: 1002W
- Output Surge Rating: 2000W
- Battery Type: Li-ion NMC
- Battery Ah: 46.4Ah @ 21.6v
- Battery Life: 500 cycles to 80% capacity
- Recharge Time: 7 – 14 hours (depending on charging method)
- Inverter: 1000w Pure sine wave (2000w surge)
- Charging Methods: Solar panel, main supply wall socket, vehicle’s 12V output, electric generator
- AC Output: 3 x 110 VAC, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Surge) (UK version has 2 x 230 VAC)
- DC Outlets: 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A, 1 x 12V DC Car Port
- Display: LCD screen
- Weight: 22.04 lbs / 10Kg
- Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in (33.3 x 23.3 x 28.3 cm)
- Warranty: 2 years
- Peak Power: 100W with 23.7% efficiency
- Power Voltage/Current: 18V/5.55A
- Open Circuit Voltage: 21.6V
- Short Circuit Current: 6.1A
- 1 x USB-C Output 5V, 3A
- 1 x USB-A Output 5V, 2.4A
- Operating Temperature Range: 14 to 159° Fahrenheit (-10 to 65° Celsius)
- Dimensions (Unfolded): 48 x 21 x 0.2 inches (1220 x 535 x 5 mm)
- Dimensions (Folded): 24 x 21 x 1.4 inches (610 x 535 x 35 mm)
- Weight: 10.33 lb
- Warranty: 2 years
What’s In The Box?
The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator comes with everything that you need to set it up:
- 1 x Jackery Explorer 1000
- 2 x 100W SolarSaga Panels
- 1 x SolarSaga Y Parallel Cable
- 1 x AC Sine Wave Adapter (wall outlet cable)
- 1 x DC car charger type adapter
- 1 x Carrying pouch for all the cables
- 1 x User Manual (Solar Generator) and 1 x User Manual (Solar Panel)
- 2-Year warranty
Jackery 1000 Features
It has a total output rating of 1002W, with a surge rating of 2000W. While you can exceed the 1000W output for a few seconds, the unit will shut down if you try to do it consistently as a safety feature.
So, for example, when you switch on your fridge, you may experience a power surge as the fan, compressor, and electronics startup. The startup cycle is usually short-lived, lasting only a few seconds. If that surge is greater than 1000w but less than 2000w, the Jackery 1000 will handle it.
The battery capacity for the Jackery 1000 is 46 amp-hours (Ah), which is nearly the same as a typical 12V deep cycle battery with 85Ah.
The one downside of the battery is that you can only charge it for 500 cycles until its capacity drops to 80%. That’s lower than what you would typically expect from a van life electrical unit. That said, if you are only using it for weekend camping trips, it will still last for many years.
Battery Power Output Ports
The unit has several output ports (8 of them). These are:
- DC Output
- 2 x USB-C
- 2 x USB-A
- 1- 5V/2.4A
- 1- Quickcharge 3.0
- 12V Car Charger
- 13.2V output, upto 10A
- 3 x AC outlets
- Sine Wave 1000W
The 3 AC outlets are perfect for running most appliances onboard your van, whereas the 12V DC outlet provides a constant voltage which you might need for your portable fridge, which has a built-in low voltage shutdown. You can charge your mobile phones/tablets etc., on the USB ports.
We tested the UK model, which has a few minor differences from the USA models:
- The inverter is 240v rather than 110v, and
- The US model has 3 AC outlets instead of the 2 outlets on the UK version.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
You will get three pure sine wave AC outlets in the unit, which lets you plug in things like your phone, laptop, and even a small motor. Sine wave inverters provide the same kind of AC power that your wall outlets provide. So you don’t have to be worried about your electrical appliances or sensitive electronics getting damaged.
Here is a summary of the charging methods and capabilities of the generator:
|2 x SolarSaga Solar Cells (100W each)||MPPT solar charge controller Anderson Powerpole inputs||30V / 163W maximum input||~8 hours|
|AC (Wall Outlet)||8mm AC adapter||24V max input||~7 hours|
|DC (Car Charger)||8mm DC adapter||12V max input||~14 hours|
The Jackery Solar Generator is the combined bundle of the Jackery Explorer 1000 and 2 SolarSaga 100w Solar Panels. If you already have solar panels fitted on your roof, you can connect them to the Explorer 1000. They must be 12-30V panels with between 7.5-8.33A current.
You’ll need an adaptor to connect third-party panels to the Explorer 1000.
Note that because the in-built MPPT solar charge controller is relatively small, connecting more than 200W solar panels will not result in faster charging. The Explorer 1000 has a maximum input wattage of 126W.
Build Quality Design
The Explorer 1000 is made of ABS plastic with a rugged build, capable of handling typical wear and tear of outdoor living. It’s very compact and has a nice handle at the top. The unit weighs about 22 pounds, so it’s not lightweight, but it is lighter than its competitors, and the handle makes it easy to carry.
There are rubber foot pads at the bottom which provide a bit of grip to the unit, so it won’t fall off easily from anywhere you place it. It has an LED flashlight on the side that’s great for nighttime operation. It also turns into an emergency light.
The SolarSaga solar panels are monocrystalline. They are constructed out of plastic, rubber, and nylon. These panels have a nice handle in the corner and magnets that keep them shut when folded. They also have a handy pouch to store their cables when not in use.
Each panel also has a USB-C and USB-A port built-in, which gives you extra options to charge your devices. The panels have kickstands built into the back, which can be folded/unfolded as and when needed. Each of the panels weighs around 10 pounds.
Jackery 1000 Benefits
The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator is super quiet. The unit does not produce much noise, even with the fans running during high temperatures. You can hear the crickets chirping in the field; it’s that quiet.
Compare that with other generators that use gasoline or diesel. You will realize how much of a difference the Jackery 1000 will create for you.
No Fumes Eco-Friendly
The Jackery 1000 is very eco-friendly compared to similar 1000-W diesel or gasoline generators.
Let’s do some simple math here. A 1000 W gasoline generator can typically run for about 2 hours on a full tank (about 0.6 gallons). Burning a gallon of gasoline produces as much as 20 pounds of Carbon dioxide.
With a gasoline generator running on full blast, you could be generating about 6 pounds of CO2 every hour! If you do the same calculation for propane, it would also come out to about 5 pounds of CO2 per hour.
Using a portable solar power generator such as the Jackery 1000 with solar panels reduces your carbon footprint. In addition, it protects your family from the toxic gasses that gasoline generators produce.
You can just set up your 2 SolarSaga solar panels, and on a good day, you can charge up your power station in just under 8 hours.
You can also charge up the power station from a wall outlet before getting to the campsite, or even charge it up using the car charger while you are on the road.
Multiple Charging Methods
You can charge the Jackery Explorer 1000 in three ways: through the SolarSaga solar panels that come with the unit, any regular wall outlet, or through your car charger.
This makes it super convenient because you can charge it almost anywhere, whether at your house, campground, camping, or boondocking in the middle of nowhere.
Compare that with gasoline or propane generators, for which you have to buy and lug around gasoline tanks and propane gas cylinders all the time, or you run out of power. Those generators have no backup charge if you don’t have any fuel.
Jackery offers a lifetime customer support service, so you don’t have to worry even if you are out of the 24 month warranty period. You can either drop a mail at [email protected] or call the customer support services at 1-888-502-2236. The customer service options are only open Mon-Fri 9 AM – 5 PM PST.
Service, Warranty Manual
You get a 24-month limited warranty from the date of purchase with the Jackery 1000. In addition, the warranty covers shipping and returns, so if you ever get a defective product (rare but can happen), you can always send it back.
Jackery also offers a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee if you try and don’t like the Jackery 1000. You will also get manuals for both the Explorer power station and the solar panels in the packaging. The manuals are pretty well designed and easy to understand.
How We Tested The Jackery 1000
We live in our Sprinter campervan full-time and have been on the road in South America for over 4 years. Unfortunately, all the global trials and tribulations during 2020 played havoc with our travel plans to visit the family back in the UK.
So with the northern hemisphere Spring on the horizon, we finally booked an extended stay back “home.”
Stealing away the grandkids for the weekend was a must, but without the home comforts of our van, we got back to basics with a couple of nights of car camping – with tents, portable cookers, and of course, the Jackery 1000 Solar Generator.
We brought our essential electronics.
- The iPad was crucial for rainy day activities for the children. Spending an hour looking at photos of Baloo in the Andes mountains and penguins in the Antarctic from the comfort of a quilted sleeping bag is exciting for a 4-year-old!
- Both our phones needed charging during our 3-night camping trip, and more through testing the Jackery than anything else, we kept these topped up whenever we were on the campground.
- You may have noticed, but we run a blog, which means we often need access to our laptops and cameras. So we brought along one laptop and a camera battery charger.
- We’d have brought along an electric cooler or fridge in an ideal world. We didn’t take one with us, but we did run a small household AC fridge at home before we left. It was the only device running, the Jackery was fully charged when we started, and we didn’t plug it into the solar panels during the test. The fridge was in use, and in 24 hours, it had used less than half of the Jackery 1000’s capacity.
Because part of the objective of our weekend camping trip was to test and review the Jackery, we gave a lot of thought to how we’d potentially use it in the van and wanted to push it to see how far it’d go.
So we went crazy. We don’t carry a hairdryer or hair straighteners in the van, but we added them to our must-have list for a weekend camping trip in the Peak District to test this bit of kit.
And we love coffee, and in our temporary car, we have a lot of space in the trunk (or the boot to us Brits). There’s something so satisfying about rolling out of a tent, opening the trunk to the sight of a Gaggia coffee machine! Taking glamping to a whole other level!
Our Experience of The Jackery 1000
The Great British weather is nothing, if not predictably unpredictable. A forecast sunny but chilly spring weekend in March turned into a blustery, damp weekend with an occasional sunny spell.
The Jackery portable power station nor the SolarSaga solar panels are waterproof, but they are water-resistant. So, we kept the portable power station inside the tent or in the car.
We kept the solar panels indoors overnight (kind of obvious). During the day, we positioned them to face the (limited) sun, maneuvering them throughout the day to get the maximum benefit. Of course, we had one eye on the weather and needed to unplug the panels and get them out of the rain a couple of times during the weekend.
Setting up and packing away takes literally 2 minutes. There’s hardly anything to it because the solar panels are simply plug-and-play.
We fully charged the Jackery 1000 from an AC mains supply before setting off on our camping trip.
The battery was already around 34% charged out of the box, and it took 4 hours to charge fully. Aside from that, we ran entirely off-grid for 3 days without using shore power to top it up.
In reality, though, we could easily have plugged into the campground pedestal and never worried about its charging level.
Note: if using a Jackery 1000 in the UK, you will need an adapter to plug into the campsite pedestal. You can grab one here.
At a little over 2 meters, the cable length is pretty short. It’s not a problem for charging at home or if you have a hookup facility close to your vehicle. But that’s not convenient on some campgrounds, so an extension cable is most likely a necessary accessory.
Our tests running in less than favorable weather conditions proved to be a reasonably good test of the Jackery’s capability. In optimum conditions, the Jackery Explorer 1000 can absorb a maximum of 127W of energy. Of course, an overcast day isn’t optimal, but we saw around 50W of input from the pair of panels. When the sun came out, that would rise to around 100W.
We feel confident that we’d easily get the maximum charge into the power station in good conditions.
Again, one of the downsides of the solar panels out of the box is the length of the cable. At about 3 meters, the panels need to be positioned relatively close to the power station. That’s often not a problem, but as the sun’s position moves throughout the day, you’ll probably want to keep the power station shaded while the panels are in the sun.
If we’d have had better weather, we think we’d have needed to move the power station a few times and the panels. You could extend the cable yourself by splicing an extension cable into the Jackery provided cable or use an extension with 8mm connectors.
However, you’ll need to take care with that approach because the longer the cable, the more voltage loss you’ll experience.
Although the solar panels are lightweight and great for portability, that also makes them more likely to blow over in the wind. We experienced some blustery conditions when we tested the solar panels, and they blew over a few times. Next time, we’ll use robust tent pegs to secure them.
Luckily, we have a 12v socket in the boot of the car. With a bit of creative organizing, we had an ideal home for the Jackery so we could easily charge it while on the move.
We left the cable plugged into the socket all the time and connected the Jackery when we set off on day trips out.
Once again, the cable length is relatively short – only about 2 meters. For our setup, that was ideal, but if you don’t have a 12v socket in your trunk, that could be a tad awkward. Plus, you’ll need to find a suitable position to charge the unit while driving.
Charging from the engine is time-consuming, so we don’t suggest relying on this as the only recharge mode. That said, it’s a bonus to be able to charge while you’re driving, and it gives a little extra boost you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Charging Our Appliances
Aside from monitoring how much energy was left in the battery, we didn’t adapt our behavior or use of the Jackery 1000. Instead, we wanted to test it as though we were in the van and, of course, car camping to see if or when we’d hit its limit.
We kept our phones topped up all weekend and recharged the iPad twice. No dramas. We used the coffee machine a couple of times each day, and it coped beautifully.
We charged the camera batteries and laptop early in the day – just as we would in the van, so we had all day to replenish the used energy with the solar panels.
On the final morning, we tested out the hairdryer and straighteners. We were down to about 50% of the battery at the time, so we were pretty interested in how it would cope.
Angela’s hairdryer is a powerful gadget, pulling up to 2000w. The Jackery 1000 isn’t designed to run it, but there’s a variable setting to reduce the power of the hairdryer. The Jackery didn’t falter at 1300w. Much higher than that, and the Jackery cut out. Quite the result!
Onto the hair straighteners. These GHD bad boys heat up to 230°c in no time and pull 400w. Not a challenge for the Jackery 1000. They’d have glowed at their highest heat setting all day long (or until the battery was flat).
And after 3 days of car camping, with unfavorable weather, we still returned with 25% of the battery. And Angela’s never looked so spruced up after a weekend camping trip!
Remember, though, we didn’t bring our fridge on the weekend camping trip. Had we done and used the same fridge, the Jackery 1000 wouldn’t have supported all our electrical needs – at least not in the poor weather conditions we had.
Is The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator Any Good For RV Living Van Life?
So, after all that, what’s our verdict?
We loved the Jackery 1000. It’s a fine bit of kit, excellent quality, and compared to designing and installing an equivalent size electrical system in your camper, it’s pretty good value. That said, it’s not suited for everyone.
#1. If you are going on a shorter weekend trip or are out for a single season
Not all van lifers are full-timers. Sometimes, all you are aiming for is a short summer camping trip or just a weekend away from it all, boondocking away from the hubbub.
The Jackery 1000 is excellent for such short trips because you don’t need to install a whole electrical system. It will power most of your appliances for a few days.
#2 Campers and Car Campers
We live in a van but have just spent the weekend car camping. It turns out that despite our expectations, car camping can be almost as comfortable as van life. With the Jackery 1000, we never scrimped on our electrical devices once – even in typically British weather.
#3. When you just need to hit the road immediately
Not everybody is a planner; some road trips happen on the spur of the moment. If you are heading out immediately and don’t have an electrical setup in your van, a Jackery 1000 is a great temporary option to get you going.
It is a pick-up-and-go power supply, so if you’re not a full-timer and prefer not to learn everything you need to know about campervan electrics, this is ideal. So long as you’ve sized it to meet your electrical demand, the Jackery 1000 is a cracking solution.
#4. When you need a power source that can do multiple things
The Jackery 1000 can do a lot of stuff. If you want to camp without your van – a Jackery 1000 is a great way to power your appliances. If you want a backup power source at your house – it’s great for that.
You can power AC and DC appliances and use them for family garden parties, outdoor events, or weekend camping trips. If you have multiple needs for a portable power source, the Jackery solar generator is just the job.
#5. When you need a portable power supply
As an RVer or van lifer, you probably have an in-built electrical system, so you may think you have no need for a Jackery 1000.
One of the limitations of your camper’s electrical system is it’s only as portable as your vehicle. So if you want to hang out away from your van, say around the campfire or grill, with lights and music, a portable power source like the Jackery 1000 provides the best of both worlds.
#6. When you need backup power supply
Even with an onboard electrical system, sometimes you may need an extra backup supply.
Perhaps the weather forecast is atrocious, and you can’t rely on solar to charge your onboard battery bank. Maybe you intend to be off-grid for a few weeks and don’t want to worry about running low on power.
If you have the space to store it, the Jackery 1000 Solar Generator provides a whole lot of assurance.
#1. When you need a lot of power
The Jackery 1000 is versatile, but the one thing it lacks is the ability to add power to it. So what you see is what you get with the Jackery 1000 – it’s a 1000w inverter and a 46ah lithium battery, and that’s that.
If you need the power to run heavier electrical equipment, like AC units or an electric kettle, you’ll need a much larger inverter than the Jackery 1000, or consider installing a customized electrical system in your camper.
Read more: You can use our inverter calculator to figure out what size inverter you need and marry that to the Jackery of your choice.
Also, you must consider the battery size. The Jackery 1000 has a 46ah lithium battery. If you start your trip with it fully charged, you have those 46ah to play with. You must replace any energy you use to keep it topped up.
So, for example, if you need, say, 30ah per day, and you’re not charging the battery, the Jackery 1000 will be flat after a day and a half. But if you’re generating lots of energy from the solar panels, you’ll obviously make that last longer.
The critical thing to remember is to choose a battery size that can support your needs. You can use our solar calculator to determine how much power you need and what size lithium battery will support that. If you need a larger or smaller battery, consider the other Jackery solar generator models.
#2. You are a permanent van lifer
Not all van lifers are permanently on the road. But if you are one of the traditional van lifers in it for the long haul, you might want to avoid a portable power supply as your sole energy source.
Firstly, as the only source of power, it’s impractical in the long term. As the panels and power station are portable, you’ll need accessible storage for them on board. Then, you’ll be shifting them around frequently. Whether you’re moving the panels into better sunlight and hauling the power station around to follow or packing up and setting up camp. After just one weekend, we can see how the power station would become an irritating inconvenience.
Secondly, the lifespan of the Jackery 1000, measured in battery cycles, is limited to around 500 cycles. After that, you can expect some degradation of the battery performance. A typical lithium battery installed in a camper van’s electrical system has an expected lifespan of in excess of 5000 cycles. That’s not a typo – it’s 10 times more!
If you use the Jackery 1000 full-time, you can expect to use those 500 cycles in probably 2 to 3 years. That makes the Jackery a pretty poor contender for full-time use.
Note though – this is not to put off part-timers. Occasional use is likely to use far fewer cycles per year. The Jackery is most likely to last for many years when used less frequently.
#3. You want a customized electrical system
Building or specifying your electrical system allows you to completely customize every aspect of your setup. For example, you can design multiple USB Type-C ports, install large components to scale up your battery bank and solar panels in the future, house components in suitable locations, and increase the number of outlet sockets.
With a portable solar generator, you can forget all that. What you get is what’s in the box, and that’s it, and that’s all it’s ever going to be. It’s not scalable – nope – you can’t connect multiple Jackery solar generators.
If you want complete control over your setup, we recommend you don’t rely on Jackery as your sole energy source.
Is The Jackery 1000 Worth The Price?
It’s good to be skeptical whenever answering a question like this. We looked at the specs, performance, and capabilities of the Jackery 1000 thoroughly, and it’s a terrific product for what it does.
It offers you a good amount of power to run most of your electrical appliances and devices for a few days or short trips. If you are going to a spot with a power grid nearby, it can be a great all-in-one option to power your RV.
As far as solar panels are concerned, they are an excellent, eco-friendly addition to the Jackery 1000. They can certainly recharge your unit when the conditions are perfect.
Suppose you compare the price of the Jackery 1000 to installing a permanent solution of a similar size spec. In that case, the Jackery works out comparable, if not a little cheaper. Plus, you get a 2 year warranty and lifetime support – you don’t even get that with multi-thousand dollar van conversion companies.
However, Jackery’s lithium battery doesn’t have the same lifespan, so arguably, it offers a little less value for money.
The biggest downfall of the Jackery 1000 is that it does not let you add more juice to the unit – you are stuck with the 1000W inverter and the 46ah battery. It makes buying the right size for your needs absolutely crucial.
In terms of build quality, ease of use, and design, the Jackery 1000 certainly scores high. If you are in the market for this kind of generator, it’s a great buy.
How To Use The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator?
Hooking up the Jackery 1000 Solar Generator is pretty straightforward. The unit has rubber feet at the bottom so that you can place them on any surface. Next, unfold the SolarSaga solar cells, place them with clear access to the sky, and open the stand at the bottom.
There are cables kept in the back of the solar cells, which you need to plug into the solar cell and then connect them on the other end to the adapter unit provided. Then, plug in the adapter to the Anderson Powerpole socket at the front, and you are all set to charge the Jackery 1000 with solar panels.
There are separately marked DC and AC output ports, which you can turn on using the button provided above either panel. So long as the Jackery 1000 has some charge, you can hook up your devices and start using them.
We suggest pre-charging the Jackery 1000 from a wall outlet for short trips before taking it on the road. This way, you don’t have to wait around for the solar cells to put some juice in it.
How To Use The Jackery 1000 Solar Generator In Bad Weather?
Suppose you are camping in the Southwest or traveling in places where overcast conditions are common such as the Pacific Northwest. In that case, you won’t always get the bright, sunny skies that solar cells need for peak charging.
You need to make sure that the solar panels are always kept in a position where they can get the maximum amount of sun. Firstly, be careful that the sun’s shifting position during the day will cause the solar cells to come under shade. So you need to keep moving them to ensure they get as much sun as possible.
Secondly, neither the Jackery Explorer 1000 nor the SolarSaga Solar Panels are waterproof. Jackery has made them water-resistant, so a splash of water won’t hurt them, but the panels will get damaged if you leave them outside in the rain.
If you are in a place where the sun is not shining very brightly, the Jackery 1000 with solar panels will probably give you only about half of the juice that it can give you in bright weather. So you shouldn’t go too far from the grid.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 weighs about 22 pounds, and the two solar cells each weigh about 10 pounds. That makes about 42 pounds, which can be pretty heavy to lift.
Compared to other 1000W generators, the TogoPower gas generator weighs about 35 pounds, and the PowerSmart Generator weighs 39 pounds.
Keep in mind that these two are gas generators, which means you will also have to carry gasoline to fuel them.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 weighs in at almost 40lb without the solar panels. The Bluetti EB150 weighs in at almost 38lb, also without any solar panels. These are both competing alternatives for the Jackery 1000.
So in all, the Jackery 1000 is above par for the course as far as weight goes.
In terms of design, the Explorer 1000 unit has a nice and sturdy handle at the top, which makes it easy to lift the unit. Both solar panels also have handles built-in on their sides.
Another important aspect is how much space the unit takes up in your van. Let’s compare it again with the above products. The PowerSmart Portable generator takes up 15.9 x 14.7 x 14.3 inches of space, and the TogoPower unit takes up 15.0 x 12.8 x 12.6 inches.
Remember that you also have to keep your fuel somewhere in the RV, which takes up additional space.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 takes up 10.11 x 15.3 x 9.3 inches, and the Bluetti EB150 takes up 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches.
The Jackery 1000 is the most compact unit taking up only 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 inches of space.
The Solar panels are bigger but very thin. When folded, they take up just 24 x 21 x 1.4 inches. So you can put them away very neatly when not in use.
How To Recharge The Jackery Solar Generator 1000?
The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 can be recharged in three ways:
SolarSaga Solar Panels
Using Solar panels is the most environmentally sustainable method. You can add either one or two of the 100W solar panels with Jackery 1000, though it is better to use both for quicker charging.
The Jackery 1000 has an MPPT solar charge controller, which lets you monitor how much charge is coming in through your solar panels. It also comes with a standard adapter which you can connect to the solar panels.
- Plugin the charging cables from the solar panels into the adapter input
- Plugin the adapter to the Anderson Powerpole port at the front of the Generator unit
If you are on the road and need to recharge your Jackery Explorer, you can hook it up with the car charger. You can simply plug the DC Adapter (through an 8mm input) into the 12V car charger and plug the other end into the generator’s input.
Once you are back home or setting out for a new trip, you can plug the AC adapter (through an 8mm input) into any standard wall outlet.
It takes about 6.5 hours to charge from 0% to 80% under ideal conditions, or 8 hours to fully charge when using both SolarSaga panels.
It can take up to 14 hours to fully charge with just one panel.
You need to note a couple of points here:
- You can’t add the solar panels in series because the output of each panel is 18V. The Jackery Solar Generator does not accept more than 30V charging on solar input (In series, the total voltage would become 36V).
- Similarly, there is no point in adding more than two solar cells to the unit because the Jackery Solar Generator accepts only 126W solar input. Adding more than two cells will give you more than that in ideal conditions.
It takes about 14 hours to fully charge using your 12V car charger.
It takes about 7 hours to fully charge through a regular AC wall outlet.
How Many Times Can You Recharge A Jackery 1000?
The Jackery 1000’s battery is rated for 500 cycles before the capacity falls to about 80%. That means you can take it down from 100% to 0% 500 times before its capacity drops to 80% of its original capacity.
While this doesn’t mean that the Jackery 1000 will stop working immediately after that, it’s a marker that it’s time to get a new battery. Depending on how much you use it, this will typically last you between two to three years on the road.
If you compare it with other RV/Van Life typical batteries, the 500 cycles are pretty low. Most will have more than 3000 cycles; some might have even 5000 cycles.
What Can You Run With A Jackery 1000?
What you need to understand about the Jackery 1000 is that it is a sine wave inverter. That means it gives out AC power like your regular wall outlet.
With its powerful 1000W output, the Jackery 1000 can:
- Charge your laptop and mobile phone several times over
- Run your RV fan and lights for days on end
- Run your portable refrigerator for nearly 17 hours
- Let you cook with an induction plate for a 10-15 minutes dish.
- Let you boil a pot of coffee 8-10 times.
- If you are boondocking and need to run a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea, the Jackery 1000 is a great solution.
You can use all the power outlets simultaneously, both AC and DC, so long as the total power consumption does not exceed 1000W. It can also surge up to 2000W for brief periods, so it’s ok to exceed that requirement once in a while, but the unit will shut itself off if you overdo it.
Can It Charge Different Devices at Once?
The Jackery 1000 has eight power ports, and yes, you can use each of them simultaneously.
Following are the available output ports:
- 2 x 18W USB-C ports
- 2 x USB-A ports, including 1 for Quick Charge 3.0
- 3 x 100V AC ports
- 12V Car Charger Outlet
Just note that the power consumption should not exceed the rated 1000W.
Can You Use Jackery 1000 While It’s Charging?
Yes, you can. Jackery products have a “pass-through” charger, just a technical term for a charger that you can charge and discharge simultaneously. Jackery doesn’t recommend doing this regularly as it will reduce the battery life, but the unit can cope.
Even better, the Jackery 1000’s LCD panel lets you simultaneously see both the input and output power to the unit.
Jackery sent us their Explorer 1000 Solar Generator to review and we have to say we’re impressed. We were a bit skeptical at first, assuming it was just a battery in a box. However, it is so much more than that.
It is compact and easy to set up, and it provides enough power to run most small appliances.
The Jackery 1000 solar generator is one of the most popular portable generators on the market. It’s perfect for camping, tailgating, and other outdoor activities.
The generator is lightweight and easy to set up, and it can be used to power a variety of devices. Most importantly, it can run a coffee machine. So if you’re looking for a way to make Expresso in the wild, the Jackery 1000 is the perfect choice.
The generator is also very quiet, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors.
The Jackery 1000 is perfect for a weekend away in a van or car or even an RV. It’s a great option for those who need a reliable power source while away from home.
But let’s be honest here, it is not suitable for everybody.
Firstly, if you are a full-time van lifer, there are drawbacks to using this as your main energy source. Firstly it is portable, so it needs a secure and accessible storage space in your RV. It’s designed to work best with Jackery solar panels but with the right adaptors, you can connect it to third part panels too. However, the MPPT on this unit is limited to 126w so you can’t benefit from anything more than about 200w of solar.
That’s not a lot of energy capture capability, and it means the smallish battery takes around 8 hours to charge in good full sun. If you stick with the supplied portable panels as your primary energy source, you will spend a lot of your time moving them around to face the sun, pinning them down in windy conditions, and putting them away in the rain.
It is also not capable of expansion. So in the future, if you need to increase your power capacity, you can’t just add more batteries to the unit, extra outlets, or a bigger inverter.
Of course, you could buy another unit that would increase the number of outlets and battery capacity, but it still would not increase your 1002w AC load limit.
And finally, what about bang for your buck? Is it worth the money? We think so, if this unit is the right size for your needs and you just want occasional or straightforward use.
We love it, and will find the room to keep this Jackery in the back of our van just in case.
Jackery 1000: What I Love Hate About This Solar Generator
If you’re seeking a powerful, portable power generator, then the Jackery 1000 may be for you. This solar generator is ideal for taking with you on camping trips or for use as an emergency power supply when the power goes out, such as using this generator in your apartment. But it has its downsides, like a slow charging speed, and steep price.
I took the Jackery 1000 on a two-week camping/teardrop trailer trip around Oregon this summer as my primary generator. I used it mainly to power my portable freezer. The Jackery 1000 was rock-solid on the trip. It handled smoke, sand, and powered from my EU2000i gas generator with ease. I think if I do a trip like that again, pairing 1000 with the EcoFlow delta, and a backup gas generator like the Honda EU2000i would be the ultimate power trifecta for boondocking or RV’ing.
Jackery Explorer is well-known for its durable, quality power stations, and the Explorer 1000 is the largest they make. Its 1002Wh capacity, 1000W rated power, and multiple-output charge/recharge ports make it a diverse and flexible product. This powerful energy supply also makes it one of the strongest portable power stations in the solar power generator market.
In this review, we’ll cover the ins and outs of the Jackery Explorer 1000 to see if it’s a good fit for you!
Brief Overview of the Jackery 1000
The power contained within the Explorer 1000 portable power station means it is able to supply the majority of electrical appliances in your home and beyond. It can take a range of items, from smartphones, tablets, and laptops to fans and coolers.
If you don’t like to be without power because you need access to your work or like being connected to people, the Jackery 1000 portable power station is the ideal solution. You can take it with you anywhere you go, ensuring that you’re never without a reliable power supply.
over, it is a solid backup solution. The solar panel explorer 1000 has a clear LCD screen displaying the charge and discharge data and battery life status, enabling you to keep track of when the device needs recharging.
Jackery 1000 Functions and Ease of Use
The Jackery Explorer 1000 power station is a useful product for emergency power shortage situations. If you own one and keep it well charged, you will always have a reliable backup.
It is easy to use, with a sleek finish, clear digital display, and simple instructions. The multiple functions embedded within the compact Jackery Explorer 1000 model make it a powerful product that can be used in a number of different situations.
A battery-powered generator like the Jackery Explorer 1000 is incredibly easy to use. As the name itself suggests, the product is portable and can therefore be taken anywhere. You can even use this generator inside your aparment!
Weighing just 22lbs, the Jackery Explorer 1000 is relatively light and compact. It has rubber feet, making it easy to place both indoors and outdoors, and a rigid handle that makes it even easier to transport. Although 22lbs forms quite a chunky product, it is light compared to many other portable power stations on the market.
Solar Power Systems
The Jackery Explorer power station is an off-grid generator with a solar-led green energy system. This makes it a valuable product in a competitive, environmentally aware market.
The product can be recharged by connecting two SolarSaga 100W solar panels together along with an adaptor cable. This cable is included with the product purchase, making it easier than ever to keep the power station running for hours.
This energy-efficient solar system makes the power station ideal for outdoor recreations. It can be successfully used in RVs and trailers, with its powerful battery providing reliable support.
For outdoor parties or simple stay-at-home evenings, the Jackery 1000 power station can power a number of devices. You can link up a radio, mini cooler, or even a projector to keep guests and family refreshed and entertained.
The 1002Wh capacity battery gives various appliances a greater running time. This means you don’t have to worry about them running out of battery just when you most need to use them.
With this solar-powered system, the Jackery Explorer 1000 can be recharged within the short space of 8 hours. This means it can easily be re-powered for 8 hours during the night or throughout the day in preparation for an outdoor evening event. It doesn’t have nearly the speed of the EcoFlow Delta 1300. Nothing matches the EcoFlow delta right now in charging speed.
In my real-world charging test, I was able to go from 0% to 100% charge in 7 hours, 45 minutes, and 20 seconds.
4 Wh battery w/300 W AC, 120W 12VDC, 60W USB-C PD 18W USB-A outputs
Jackery Explorer 300 (118.2 oz./3,350g/7.4 lbs., 299.99). bigger. I got mine from Amazon. I’d also get it at eBay if you know How to Win at eBay.
This all-content, junk-free website’s biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.
A power station is a big power bank. It’s a big battery with inverters to provide whatever sort of power you’d like. You can use whichever outputs you like at the same time; each section has its own switch.
You charge this through the DC INPUT on the left with the included AC-to-DC adapter, the included 12V DC car charging cord or an optional solar panel, and/or you can charge it through its USB-C PD input. For faster charging you can charge through both the DC INPUT and the USB-C PD inputs at the same time.
Charge this power station with a solar panel and the combination is called a solar generator. It’s much bigger than a power bank, and it’s still much more portable than any gasoline generator.
The solar panel charges it in just a couple of hours, and it’s just as fast as plugging it in the wall — and solar power is free.
You don’t want to leave your valuables sitting outside to charge directly from the solar panel, so charge this by day and then charge and run everything later from the power station.
You can use this while it’s charging. You might want extension cord(s) if you want to work away from the solar panel, or get more than one power station and run from one while the other is charging.
You can charge at school, in your car or office during the day and then use the power at home at night.
Charge in the hotel or your RV each night and run everything from it on location all day, or just keep it charged at home for emergency power. Charge from solar or OPP (other people’s power) and your power is free!
For my light-duty uses, running my MacBook Pro and charging my cameras, iPhones and iPads, a couple of hours of charge provides for days of heavy use, so I can charge whenever I like and run from the power station most of the time.
Its battery is big enough (294 Wh or 80,000 mAh in power bank terms) that I have clocked that it can charge and run my MacBook Pro for about 20 hours of hard all-day Photoshop and web development use with numerous card readers and peripheral drives! That’s a few days of full-time heavy professional use or a week of more of rational use like just web browsing, sucking only about 4% of the battery charge per hour. With casual use of just my MacBook Pro as shown here it ought to run about 30 hours just from the Explorer 300:
Jackery Explorer 300 running my MacBook Pro. bigger.
Unlike a gasoline generator, it’s completely silent and safe to use indoors. It’s just a battery:
Jackery Explorer 300 running my MacBook Pro. The device on my cable at my MacBook Pro is an accumulating wattmeter I use for battery capacity measurements. bigger.
MacBook Pros usually have plenty of juice to run all day, however an advantage to this power station is I can run fast and hard without worrying about screen brightness, processor loads or even bothering to check any battery gauges.
While I’d suggest the Explorer 1000 for running a full desktop system, big monitors and pro audio system, even this Explorer 300 easily drives my complete desktop system with a 55 4K monitor and a full complement of class A and class AB audio monitors and biamplified powered subwoofers, DACs and crossovers. It won’t run it more than an hour or so (that system draws 150W or more), which is why the Explorer 1000 is a smarter idea for running a high-power desktop system for many hours, but this compact power station does indeed run it all. The Explorer 1000 charges from the same sources.
This Explorer 300 is not happy driving my 500 watt-second Novatron studio strobe power pack; it draws too much surge power. It works, but moans and groans and turns its internal fan on and off. The Explorer 1000 should do this easily, but I haven’t tried yet. The Explorer 1000 should let me bring my big, fat American-made studio strobes out anywhere to shoot.
My Explorer 300 easily runs all the Luxli LED lights in my video studio (two Timpani and one Cello), as well as my TASCAM DR100 Mk II audio recorder and phantom-powered microphones. With the Timpani at 67% and the Cello at 35%, everything draws only 125W total. Be careful; the Explorer 300’s internal fan turns on at about this power if you don’t want that interfering with your audio. No big deal; LED lights draw much less power in practice than they’re rated
The Explorer 300 is light enough to grab-and-go wherever I want to run or charge. It’s always easier to grab it when I need to charge anything rather than looking for a wall socket or extension cord.
It’s much easier to grab this to provide AC, DC, USB and/or PD power rather than mess with extension cords when I’m crawling around troubleshooting. It’s also easier to grab this instead of a long extension cord to power a work light. I’ve already used this to troubleshoot my hot water heater’s recirculation pump: it was easier to grab this than to find my multimeter and extension cords.
Ditto for running my classic Made-in- U. S. A. orange Celestron 8 astronomical telescope’s AC-powered clock drive. It’s much easier to take this to my backyard rather than run an extension cord — and it’s perfect for use nowhere near AC power with its frequency-accurate pure sine wave output.
The power station lets me be cordless, whether for my telescope at night, running my laptop on a kitchen or outdoor patio table or at an on-set workstation. The power station eliminates power cords running across the ground, preventing people from tripping and damaging expensive equipment.
Would you rather have to go find a land-line telephone mounted to the wall, or just grab your cell? With this power station you no longer have to go find a wall outlet or use a long cord every time you charge.
I love using this because it has every kind of power I need. I just grab-and-go to power or charge anything without having to find the right charger and then finding a wall outlet and/or extension cord.
It has a huge battery. It can run all week charging most things so I only have to charge the Explorer 300 once a week or less, or whenever it’s convenient.
Good intro top
Solid, reliable and well-regulated power at all loads in a compact package.
Charges fast from the SolarSaga 100W solar panel or other sources.
Charges from just about anything from 12 to 24 V DC: a solar panel, the included AC-to-DC adapter, the included 12V DC car cord, or any other DC source like my 12V DC hard drive power supply, so long as you have a 7.9 × 0.9mm plug on the end. at Charging.
Also charges from just about anything USB: regular USB-C, USB PD or even from a USB-A with the right cord. at Charging.
You can use charge from two sources at once for faster charging. at Charging.
Display LCD always active while charging or operating, but the backlight always times-out after 15 seconds.
Very efficient converters and inverters; the AC inverter only seems to draw a few watts at idle and the 12VDC and USB outputs draw less than a watt at idle, so it’s no big deal to leave any of these on for extended periods and not have to worry about wasting power if an output is unused.
Display backlight blinks ten times when you hit 20% on discharge to warn you. Also is supposed to do the same at 10%, but my sample dies at 12%.
Bad intro top
I measured the battery capacity and it is as advertised, but the power station’s output dies when the battery gauge reads 12%. It’s like having a car that dies when the gas gauge reads 1 /8, even though it has the correct tank size and range.
Like many PD dual inputs and outputs, if you forget to turn on the USB section for it to be a power source, the Explorer 300 will think that you are wanting to charge it from the PD source connected to it, so it will suck power from your USB-C PD power bank, iPads or MacBook Pro to charge itself. Yes, you can charge the Explorer 300 from these devices, but you probably don’t want to. Since the Explorer 300 has a battery about six or more times the size of an iPad or MacBook Pro, if you just plug one in without first pressing the button on the Explorer 300 to get the green LED, you’ll probably suck your device dry trying to charge the power station. Be careful and look at the watt meters.
Missing intro top
No flashlight, work light or ambient light. (so plug one into one of its many outputs.)
No time-till-empty or time-till-charged indicators.
The display LCD is always active while charging or operating, but the backlight times-out 15 seconds after each button-push. There is no way to keep the backlight on continuously.
It reads power-in and power-out separately, so if you’re using and charging at the same time it doesn’t show net battery charge or drain; you’d have to do the math yourself.
No storage compartment for small accessories or plug adapters.
12 V DC
Charging Inputs specifications top
You may charge with both of these at the same time for faster charging, up to 150 watts total:
7.9 x 0.9mm (DC7909) input jack.
90 watts maximum from solar panel, car cord or AC.to-DC wall adapter.
Auto Shutoff specifications top
No automatic shutoff on DC outputs: the USB or 12V outputs stay on until you turn them off.
Shuts off after 12 hours with less than 10W drawn from the AC outputs.
Size specifications top
198 × 231 × 132 millimeters HWD.
Weight specifications top
7.4 pounds (118.2 oz. or 3,350 g) actual measured weight.
Included specifications top
Included AC power adapter, DC cord to charge from your car’s power sockets and their small case. bigger.
Packaging specifications top
Optional Accessories top
This 100 watt panel works great, charging this power station in a couple of hours.
5.5 × 2.1mm to 7.9 × 0.9mm adapter to charge from smaller solar panels or AC adapters.
Discharge Capacity: 265 Wh
The battery is rated at 294 watt-hours, but inverters and converters are never 100% efficient so we expect to get less than this out of the power station on each charge.
I measure that I repeatedly can get 265 watt-hours out of my USB-C PD output on a charge, so if we assume the battery really is providing 294 Wh, that makes discharge 90.1% efficient, which is about average.
Charge Energy: 326 Wh
The battery is rated at 294 watt-hours, but both the chemical charging process and the converters are never 100% efficient so we expect to have to use more energy than this to charge the battery.
Mine takes 326.2 watt-hours to charge a completely dead battery through the USB-C PD input.
If we assume a 294 Wh battery, again this is about 90.1% efficiency, which is textbook-standard for Li-Ion batteries.
System Efficiency: 81%
Since it takes 326.2 watt-hours of input to get 265 watt-hours of output, the whole process is only 81.2% efficient — which is exactly what I expected.
While the DC input is rated 90 W and the USB-C PD input is rated 60W, I’ve seen the charge rate meter read 157W when I’ve had it connected to both my SolarSaga 100W panel and my Apple 61W USB-C PD charger at the same time.
As expected for charging Li-Ion batteries, the charge rate ramps down above 90% and becomes zero at 100%.
You can do your own math knowing that a full charge takes 326 Wh of energy.
Typically charging at 60-90W it charges from 50% to 100% in a couple of hours, and might take a few to several hours to charge a completely dead power station. The great news is that this huge power station charges fast enough that it should charge in less than a day sitting outside with the SolarSaga 100W panel, even if the power station is totally dead or if you have some clouds.
The built-in power meter registers 0 watts of drain with either or both of the DC or USB outputs active.
The built-in power meter registers about 3 watts of drain with the AC output active.
This is great; it means even if you forget and leave them on all day or night that you won’t drain the battery. Bravo!
USB-C PD Output Voltages
It puts out 5, 9, 12, 15 and 20 V DC.
15V and 20V are often within 10 mV or so while loaded.
12V DC Output Voltage
The 12V output measures 13.4V at no load, as it should.
AC Output Voltage Regulation
I measure 111V AC RMS actual output voltage with a load of anywhere between 0 and 127 watts. This is excellent regulation.
AC Output Frequency
I measure 60.29 Hz, which is close enough for anything modern.
AC Output Fan
The cooling fan usually pops on for a moment when the AC output is first activated, then is off at low loads.
It starts running at a load of about 107W and above.
The fan runs faster above 140W.
It pops on and off and speeds and slow in distinct steps; it doesn’t smoothly change its speed.
The output and input power meters seem reasonably accurate; I couldn’t find any discrepancies. They’re always visible if you have ambient light and only turn off if the power station isn’t charging or running anything.
The meter is most visible from above. Its contrast lowers when seen straight-on and goes away seen from below.
The bluish-white backlight times-out 15 seconds after the last button push.
The bar icon reads as follows:
My percentage meter is miscalibrated. My power station goes dead when it reads 12%. Just like bringing home a new car and testing if the gas gauge is accurate around EMPTY, be sure to run yours down to see exactly where it shuts off. You’re getting a full charge, it’s just the meter which is off at the low end.
Self Discharge measurements top
Mine arrived arrived 48% charged.
I haven’t noticed any self-discharge, but I use mine every few days.
Mechanics measurements top
It’s all the usual plastic with rubbery feet we expect from China. No news here.
Laser engraved on the top right of the backside.
Compared to the Anker PowerHouse 300 II
I had bought two of the Anker PowerHouse 300 II for myself, and then got this Jackery. These are both about the same price and power capacities. The vary as each goes on and off sale.
I first got the Ankers because I LOVE their huge, detailed meters:
I sent both Ankers back because while the meters are superb while ON, their huge backlight turns off 30 seconds after the last button press, and with the backlight off, the meters turn off, too! The huge display backlight draws a watt or two in the Anker, whch is why it won’t stay on all the time, and know that when you’re looking at the watt meters.
I don’t know about you, but it drives me nuts having to walk over to the Anker power station and tap it to read the meter every time. The Explorer 300 meters are always on when you’re using it, even if there’s no backlight.
The Jackery has no time-till-empty or time-till-charged indicators as does the Anker.
While charging and discharging the power station at the same time, the Anker’s power meters read the net power charging or discharging the internal battery, while the Jackery reads both power in and power out on separate displays at the same time. To read net power to/from the battery in the Jackery you have to subtract one reading from the other, while in the Anker you can’t read input and output sepatately. Neither is better or worse, it all depends on which style you prefer.
If you don’t care about the meters, the Anker feels like a much, much higher quality product. It’s bigger, heavier and much more precisely made with much nicer materials, like metal buttons. The Anker is a work of art, while the Jackery feels like a throw-away-when-it-breaks toy. Both are made in China.
The Anker also adds two lights: a cool-white flashlight on the side for walking around at night, and a big, beautiful soft, warm ambient light that’s the entire width of the back panel to light up your home, tent or camp all night. The Jackery has no lights, but of course you can plug lights into it. The lights of the Anker use so little power (a watt or so) that you could use them all night for weeks if that’s all you did with the Anker PowerHouse 300 II. The warm ambient light is beautiful and matches candlelight or dimmed tungsten wonderfully. If the power went out for weeks, this would be awesome.
The Anker lacks a second AC outlet. Both are rated 300W total from the AC port(s), and if you need more, just use an outlet strip. Neither has an AC ground connection; each has a hole to reeive the ground pin but it’s not connected anywhere.
The Jackery charges and runs better. Both allow you to charge from USB-C and DC at the same time. Both allow charging at up to 60W from USB-C, but the Anker only charges at up to 65W via the mainline DC input while the Jackery charges at up to 90W via the mainline DC input.
THe Jackery’s inverters are much more effiricnt. Both the USB and DC outputs runinng togehter at idle register zero watts on the Jackery’s meter, and the 110V AC inverter reads but 3 watts at idle. THe Anker reads about 10 watts at idle for its AC inverter.
The Jackery’s AC outputs are better regulated, not varying in voltage with loads from 0 to 127W, while the Anker varied from 114VAC at no load down to 105V AC at 170W load.
This will most likely very from sample to sample, but I found the Anker’s AC output frequency more accurate than the Jackery. My Ankers were at exactly 60.00 Hz, while my sample of Jackery was ½% high at 60.29 Hz. I doubt anyone will notice. Also the Anker can be set to 50 Hz; I didn’t see that for the Jackery.
The Jackery has better peak AC output capacity, rated at 500W while I see no surge rating for the 300W Anker. While neither of these is particularly happy trying to drive my 500 watt-second Novatron studio strobes as they recycle, the Anker turns off to protect itself while the Jackery tries its best to power the load. The Jackery strains but sort of works, while the Anker is quieter, but fails-safe powers off.
Here’s the other kicker: each has about the same power and features, but the Jackery is smaller and lighter. I’d much rather grab the Jackery and go. The Anker feels nicer on my desk, but much less fun to carry around.
User’s Guide top
Charging measurements top
It charges from just about anything. It stops charging when full, and you can use the outputs while it’s charging, so you probably could leave it plugged in all the time, making it an uninterruptible power supply.
I prefer to charge mine from my Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel, or you can plug it into the wall with the included AC to DC adapter or plug it into your car with the included 12 V DC cord.
Use any source of DC from 12 ~ 24V with a 7.9 × 0.9mm plug, center positive. If working with a DC source with a 5.5 × 2.1mm plug, common with 12V and many other DC items like external hard drives, laptop chargers and some solar panels, use a 5.5 × 2.1mm to 7.9 × 0.9mm adapter.
You also can charge from any source you can connect to the USB-C input. Ideally something like an Apple 61W USB-C PD charger is prefect, and it can be charged from smaller chargers, just more slowly. Even my 20W USB-C Apple charger or a regular USB-source with a USB-A to USB-C cable charges this. Charging from USB-A only charges at about 7½ watts, which might take two days to charge — but it will charge if that’s all you have.
You can charge through both the DC INPUT and USB-C inputs at the same time for faster charging
Avoid using solar panels indoors: newer homes often use special heat- and infra-red-reflective glass which greatly reduces the output from solar panels. Panels make a great deal of their electricity from infra-red which is blocked by most glass.
I look at the wattmeter, but also the Charge LED is blue while charging and green when done. It goes off when you remove the charging source.
If you need more AC outlets, use a power strip.
The internal cooling fan runs a moment when you turn on the AC output, and then runs (or not) depending on the load.
If you want light at night, try 2700K (warm white) LED bulbs rather than normal tungsten or halogen bulbs. LEDs use far less power. Avoid compact fluorescents; they have awful color rendition and aren’t as efficient as LEDs.
Be sure to press the button and see the green LED if you want to use any of the outputs, especially the USB-C output.
If you don’t activate the USB section as an output, the Explorer 300 will attempt to charge itself from whatever you’ve plugged into the USB-C jack!
It’s most efficient (you’ll get the most charge and run time) if you run and charge devices like cameras, laptop computers, iPhones and iPads directly from the USB, USB-C or PD outputs instead of using a power adapter plugged into the AC outputs. This is because much less power is wasted getting DC power directly from the USB outputs rather than asking the power station to invert DC to 110 V AC and then using another wall-wart or power adapter to turn it back into DC again. Each conversion wastes power.
The most efficient way to run or charge a MacBook Pro or other USB-C device is directly from the Explorer 300:
Thankfully all the inverters are so efficient that even if you left all of them on the power station would still run I compute a couple of days, so don’t worry too much about forgetting to turn off an output.
LCD Meter measurements top
Mine is accurate at 100%, but my power station is empty when the gauge reads 12%. Just like the gas gauge on a new car, be sure to test yours before doing something critical.
Maintenance measurements top
Jackery suggests discharging and recharging it every few months if you don’t use it.
Jackery suggests recharging to 100%, however most Li-Ion batteries last longest stored at about 40% charge. They don’t like to be kept at 100% all the time, but Jackery doesn’t seem to discourage that.
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What Size Solar Generator Do I Need? (Power Station Tips)
A solar generator is a highly convenient and versatile power source. You can use one to access power while on the go or as a backup source of energy for your home. Before buying one, you might be asking yourself, what size solar generator do I need?
This is certainly an important question. Buying the right size solar generator will ensure that you have an optimal source of power without paying more for one than you have to.
But perhaps the real question you should be asking is, what size power station do I need for my solar generator?
This is because a “solar generator” can technically refer to a solar solution that combines two (or more) components. A Jackery Solar Generator consists of:
The solar panels – which collect the solar energy from direct sunlight.
The power station – which stores the electrical power converted by the solar panels.
In this article, we will help you figure out what size power station is most suitable for your solar generator goals. Keep reading to learn how to calculate the right power station size, along with other information about solar generators, so that you make the best choice.
How Power Stations Are Sized
Power stations are typically sized in watts (W). This is a measure of power that’s used to calculate the rate of energy transfer. But what you really need to know is that the greater watts a power station has, the more power it can provide you in a single charge. That being said, there are different watt measurements to pay attention to when deciding on a power station.
The first measurement is usually called continuous power. This is the amount of power that a power station can provide consistently.
The second measurement is usually called peak power. This is the maximum amount of power that a power station can provide in a short burst.
Continuous Power vs. Peak Power (An Example)
Here’s an example. Think of when you turn on your air conditioner. It needs a quick burst of power to get started. That’s peak power. But the amount of power needed to continuously run the AC unit is generally lower. That’s continuous power.
Some appliances, such as refrigerators, need a burst of 3-7 times their normal power needs to get started. Keep in mind, your power station needs to be able to accommodate this peak power requirement to run the appliance. So, if you are looking for a solar generator to run a refrigerator, simply meeting the continuous power requirements won’t be enough.
Continuous power will likely be the more impactful number for you to think about. It’s what tells you how much power you will get from a single charge of your power station under normal conditions.
How to Calculate Your Optimal Power Station Capacity in 4 Steps
Jackery sells power stations to meet a wide variety of power consumption needs. Our products range from 167Wh of capacity to as high as 2,060Wh of capacity.
How Many Watts Do I Need in a Solar Generator’s Power Station?
To figure out which Jackery product offers the right power capabilities for you, you’ll need to perform the following calculations:
Step 1: Select What You Want to Power With Your Power Station and For How Long
The first part of picking the right power station for your needs is understanding what those needs are. This means selecting the specific devices that you want to power with your solar generator, and setting a rough estimation of how long you’d like for its power station to provide that power.
Tip: Be sure to only pick devices that you can plug into your Jackery Power Station. For example, things like water heaters are often hardwired into your home. So, the chances are you wouldn’t be able to power one with a power station. (Unless you also hardwire that device to your home.)
Here are some common devices that people power with solar generators:
- Laptops and PCs
- Phone chargers
- Kitchen appliances
- Air conditioners
- Video game systems
Step 2: Find Out How Much Energy Each of Your Selections Uses
Once you know what you want to power, it’s time to figure out how much energy you need to do so.
The starting point towards calculating this is finding out how many watts your devices need to run. This number is often listed somewhere on the device itself. But if you only see a measurement for amps, you can multiply that number by the item’s voltage to convert into watts.
Next, you need to pick how many hours you want to be able to use each of your devices. Then, multiply the number of hours that you’ve selected by the watts of each item. This will give you the total watt-hours you require to be able to power each device.
You want to power two 60 watt lightbulbs for two hours each. To find the total amount of watt-hours of power you need:
- Get the total hours: Multiply 2 hours of power by 2 light bulbs. (2 x 2) = 4
- Get the total wattage: Multiply 2 light bulbs by their 60 watts. (2 x 60) = 120
- Multiply them together to calculate the total watt-hours. (4 x 120) = 480
Then, divide your answer by 0.85 to account for a constant energy consumption rate of 85% when the device is in charge.
This results, in you needing a power station that can provide at least approximately 564 watt-hours to meet your goal of being able to power two 60 watt lightbulbs for 2 hours each.
Step 3: Add All Of Your Watt-Hour Answers Together
You need to perform the calculation shown in the previous step for each item you want to power with your Jackery Solar Generator.
Then, simply add all of the answers together to get the total amount of watt-hours that you need the power station to provide and reach the goals you have for it.
For example, let’s say you need 400 watt-hours to power your lights, 300 to charge your phone, and 300 to charge your laptop. Your total watt-hour requirement would be 1,000 (400 300 300).
Step 4: Determine the Watt-Hours of the Power Station You Want
At this stage, you have all the information that you need to pick the right portable power station.
Simply take your answer from Step 3 and compare it to the wattage offered by each power station that you look at. Just make sure that you pick a power station that has a higher wattage than your total watt-hour requirement calculated in Step 3.
Can a Solar Generator Power a House?
Note that unless you purchase a large Jackery Solar Generator (such as Solar Generator 1500 with an portable power station with 1,534Wh capacity), you likely won’t be able to power everything in your house for multiple hours with a solar powered generator.
If you find that the answer you got in Step 3 is higher than almost every power station you look at, then you may need to go back and reassess what you really need to power with it. If you can lower yourself down to just the essentials, then you will find a solar generator that works for you without having to break your budget to buy it.
The Benefits of Buying a Portable Solar Generator
Portable solar generators are a dynamic backup power option. You can use them both in your home and when you’re on the go. They’re purposefully made smaller than dedicated home backup solar generators to offer this flexibility.
As they feature a power station that you charge with portable solar panels, you essentially plug the portable solar panels into the power station until it’s charged. Then you can use the power that you’ve created on almost any appliance or electronic device that you want.
Many people purchase portable solar generators to get access to clean power while enjoying the outdoors. Then, as an added benefit, they can use the generator as a backup source of energy for their homes whenever they need one. It’s this versatility that’s made portable solar generators so popular.
Power Station Sizing FAQs
Can You Charge Any Device with a Jackery Power Station?
Jackery Power Stations can power a wide variety of consumer devices since they feature USB ports, a DC carport, and pure sine wave AC outlets.
Your device will need to be powered with one of these methods and use a level of power that is compatible with the Jackery Power Station you select.
Can a Jackery Power Station Jumpstart My Car?
No, you cannot jumpstart a car with a Jackery Power Station. But you can charge a car’s battery with a power station. So you can use your Jackery product to get the battery charged enough so that you don’t need to jumpstart it.
How Long Can a Jackery Power Station Power My Device?
This is entirely dependent on the amount of power that your device uses. You need to perform the watt-hour calculation (shown above) and compare that figure to the wattage of the Jackery Power Station model you select. Doing this will give you the answer you are looking for.
What Size Jackery Power Station Is Best for Me?
This will depend on how much power you want to get out of your portable solar generator. If you want to maximize the amount of power you get, then you should consider either our Explorer 1,500 Portable Power Station or our Explorer 1,000 Portable Power Station.
Jackery Power Station Size Options
Jackery provides a wide variety of power stations to make it easier for you to find one that fits your needs. We’ve put together a chart to help you figure out which is right for you.
Check out this table to get a better sense of the type of power you can expect to get from several popular Jackery Power Stations:
Solar generators provide clean, renewable energy as a low-maintenance power source for wherever you need it. Whether that’s in the home, the outdoors, or both. They can be a very worthwhile investment. However, it makes sense to buy the right size for your energy needs.
That’s why Jackery offers solar generators equipped with power stations of various sizes to ensure you find the one that suits your goals and budget. Always keep in mind what devices you are looking to power and for how long.
If you are unsure how much power you need, we hope this article helps you to calculate the right size power station, and consequently, the right size solar generator for you.
For more information on Jackery Solar Generators and the various size power stations they come with, take a look at our solar generators page.
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