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Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station. Makita solar generator

Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station. Makita solar generator

    Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station

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    • 1002Wh Capacity, 1000W (2000W Surge Power) Output
    • Supports 8 Devices Simultaneously
    • 3 Ways to Recharge
    • Safe and Easy to Use
    • Long Battery Standby
    • Shock and Fire Resistance
    • Compact and Portable

    Fast Delivery

    2 1 Years Warranty

    30-Day Money back

    Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station charges eight devices simultaneously. Featuring a battery capacity of 1002Wh, the portable power station is suitable for charging all devices during camping and power outages. Excellent features of the Explorer 1000 power station include three standard pure sine wave AC outlets, compact design, MPPT charge controller, and an industrial-grade quiet power station.

    To power with Explorer 1000 (1002Wh Capacity) Please enter the wattage of the appliance (not exceeding 1002W)

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    jackery, explorer, 1000, portable, power

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    The Explorer 1000 can be quickly fully recharged within 8 hours by connecting two SolarSaga 100W solar panels together with an adapter cable (package included).

    Solar recharging steps:

    Find the DC interface on the back of SolarSaga 100W;

    Connect the DC interfaces of 2SolarSaga 100W with the Y Parallel Cable;

    Connect the Y Parallel Cable with the Anderson input of Explorer 1000

    Product Details

    Notes: 1. Solar panel types and quantity depends on your purchase. 2. Buy 2 SolarSoga, get 1Solar Panel Connectors. 3. Buy 4 or 6 SolarSoga, get 2Solar Panel Connectors.

    This product (portable power supply) can supply power to your device in the temperature range of.10 to 40 degrees Celsius (-10 to 65 degrees Celsius for solar panels). If the operating temperature is outside the above range, this product may not work.


    Q: What devices can Explorer 1000 power?

    A: Please note that the AC output ports can only charge/power devices that operate at less than 1000-Watts, besides, the whole wattage should be under 1000 watts as well. Once exceeding, the Explorer 1000 will shut off automatically. Please refer to your device specification before purchase.

    Q: How to know the working times for my device?

    A: Working time = 1002Wh 0.85 / operating wattage of your deviceFor reference, assuming power consumption of your device is 60W (might be a box fan), working time will be 1002Wh0.85/60w=14.2hrs (rough calculated).Please note: actual power consumption varies from different usages, please consult Jackery for better purchase decision.

    Q: What is the maximum watts of solar panels can be used to charge Explorer 1000? Also how long will it take to recharge from a fully discharge battery?

    A: The maximum input wattage of Explorer 1000 is 126W(12~30V,7.5~8.33A ). As for recharging time, it depends on which panel you are using and weather conditions, for example, the Explorer 1000 can be quickly recharged within 8 hours by connecting two SolarSaga 100W solar panels together with an adapter cable. If connecting only one single panel, the approximate recharging time is 17 hours. Recharging time may varies from different location, temperature, weather etc, the actual time may be different.

    Q: Can the Explorer 1000 be charged while using?

    A: Yes, you can use the Explorer 1000 to charge devices, while it’s being re-charged at the same time.

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    The key is to skip the inverter and power directly from 12-volt batteries.

    Solar-powered charging stations for building sites are long overdue. One reason they’re not dotting the shelves of your local box store is that tools have different batteries and are typically set up with their own power adaptors to go from A/C to the onboard DC battery in the tool. And as you’re about to learn, from engineer Jeff Yago, powering 120-volt AC power tools requires a 1,500 to 3,000-watt inverter and very heavy battery bank. In other words, it’s just not practical. What is practical? You’re about to find out, in this great article, reprintede with permisssion from Backwoods Home Magazine.—Editor

    Phase 1: Standardize Your Cordless Tool

    If you are planning to live off grid, or are building something in a remote area without grid power, I am sure you are planning to use a generator. While I have also owned generators, I find them temperamental, noisy, and I hate to drag fuel up some mountain trail when I need to power construction tools. To wean myself off the traditional construction site generator, I found an amazing selection of high-quality power tools that operate on battery packs. In addition, if you standardize on the same brand and voltage, the same battery packs will be interchangeable with a wide array of power saws, drills, portable lights, and even radios. Keeping a spare battery pack on charge also allows a quick battery change and continued tool operation without having to wait.

    When I first started buying battery-powered tools, I decided to standardize on DeWALT, but there are several other good brands of battery tools that offer the same interchangeability of battery packs in multiple tools. It is amazing what you can build with just a few battery-powered tools, and a complete set is indispensable if you live off-grid or are building a remote retreat.

    Most manufacturers of commercial-grade battery-powered tools with Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) battery packs have increased their voltage from 12 volts up to 18 volts to increase tool power and extend operating time. Some battery-powered tool manufactures are switching to Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which allow making smaller and lighter portable tools due to the higher energy density of this new battery technology. Although the DeWALT charger I used for this article can charge both NiCad, NiMH, and the newer Li-ion battery technology, you still should standardize on one type to make sure all of your battery packs can use the same charger.

    Phase 2: Purchase Vehicle Chargers, Not Inverters

    For large solar power projects, I am a firm believer in using high-quality DC to AC inverters which allow using standard 120-volt AC appliances and power tools. Inverters are becoming much more reliable and less expensive, which allows using your existing house wiring instead of having to rewire everything for DC. However, powering 120-volt AC power tools requires a 1,500 to 3,000-watt inverter and very heavy battery bank. Some small inverters costing less than 50 are now available to power your laptop computers and video devices while in your car or truck.

    Unfortunately, many of these lower cost inverters do not generate the same waveform as the utility grid, which can cause problems with the more sensitive electronic devices you want to power. It is also true that many battery chargers for recharging power tools will have very poor charging performance when connected to a low-cost modified-wave 120-volt AC inverter. Most of these low-cost inverters also have a low power conversion efficiency, and can quickly drain your car or truck battery if the engine is off while powering any 120-volt AC device.

    I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that most manufacturers of battery-powered construction tools now offer a version of their power tool battery chargers in a 12-volt DC portable model, typically called a “vehicle charger.” Although harder to find and a little pricey at 65 to 95, these DC-to-DC chargers provide the ability to recharge your 12 to 24-volt battery-powered tools from a 12-volt battery without inverter or generator. Here are some examples from Bosch and DeWALT.

    There are many advantages to using portable 12-volt power without the need for an AC inverter. Not only will this make all wiring easier and safer than dealing with 120 volts AC, but powering 12-volt DC devices directly from a 12-volt battery is much more efficient.

    This can be a real advantage if your construction project or weekend retreat is located in an area where hauling generator fuel and equipment up a mountain trail is a major effort. Although this project was intended primarily for powering tools at a remote job site, you can also use this portable solar-power system during a power outage or when camping to recharge your cell phone or power a laptop computer, since most of these devices include charging adapters to fit a 12-volt DC vehicle auxiliary outlet.

    Phase 3: Build the System

    I designed this project to require a minimum number of parts and very few wiring connections. I selected a standard Group 31 RV/Marine battery which is designed for multiple deep charge/discharge cycles while still being reasonably priced. I also found an inexpensive plastic battery box, 10 amp in-line DC fuse, and female cigarette lighter receptacle (Here’s one with battery terminal attachments and fuse built in). I decided to use this type of power receptacle for this project since so many portable tools and electronic devices have charging adapters that fit this type of 12-volt DC receptacle. As shown in the photo, I mounted the cigarette lighter receptacle in the box cover and wired it through the fuse to the battery using #10 standard copper wire and crimp on ring terminals. The center post of the cigarette lighter receptacle is always connected the battery positive and the outer shell is always connected to the battery negative (-).

    The Solar-Tech 85-watt solar module I selected for this project includes a full-size conduit box mounted on the back. (Note, we had trouble finding a model with attached conduit box, so you may have to improvise when attaching the charge controller. One option is to mount it inside the battery box, and purchase a cable that ends with male and female MC4 connectors (typical of most solar panels). Wire the bare end of the cable directly to the charge controller, and you can use a short, 2-conductor cable with ring terminal ends for quick connect and disconnect to the battery terminals using wing nuts. This also allows for quick disconnect near the panel.—Editor)

    Also make sure the solar module is advertised for a nominal 12 volt charging voltage (17 volts peak), as manufacturers are increasing the physical size and wattage of their modules so fewer modules and wiring connections are needed for the same array total wattage. However, this increased module size also requires increasing the nominal voltage to 24 volts (35 volts peak) to keep current and wire size as small as possible, and this is too high for directly charging a 12-volt battery. While solar charge controllers are available to allow a mismatch between the solar array voltage and battery voltage so you could use a higher voltage solar module, these solar controllers tend to have a much higher cost and are too large to use in this very basic portable solar charging system.

    I purchased a Morningstar SunKeeper-12 charge controller, which is designed to mount into the standard ½-inch knockout opening in the solar module’s conduit box and is suitable for mounting out in the weather. You can locate the solar charge controller on the conduit box attached to the back of the solar module, if you can find one with a conduit, (or follow the MC4 instructions detailed above).

    Phase 4: Estimate Your Power Needs

    Each tool charging cycle consumes an average of 7 amp-hours of battery capacity (7 amp charge rate for 1 hour). The Group 31 RV/Marine battery used for this project has 100 to 115 amp-hours of charge capacity, depending on price and brand. To avoid discharging this battery below 50% (which will help increase battery life), we will have approximately 50 amp-hours of useful charge capacity. This equals seven battery tool recharges (50 amp-hour/7 amp-hour) before the RV/Marine battery will need to be recharged. Of course, the actual number of tool recharges will depend on ambient temperature, battery age, and depth-of-discharge of the tool battery.

    We estimated this Group 31 solar battery will require 50 amp-hours of solar charging to replace what the battery tool charging took away. Assuming we have an average of five hours of full sun per day, this will require a solar module capable of providing 5 amps of output to fully recharge this size battery in two days. (50 amp-hours/5 amps = 10 hours).

    A typical 85-watt solar module designed to charge 12-volt batteries will typically have a peak output of 5.1 amps, so I selected an 85-watt module. This smaller wattage module is also fairly easy for one person to carry, while still large enough to provide a reasonable amount of solar power. Your solar module can be larger or smaller than my 85-watt module selection, which will reduce or increase the number of days it takes to fully recharge the RV/Marine battery.

    I have also omitted solar and charging efficiency considerations to simplify our example calculation. I have also assumed a clear blue sky all day, no module shading, and proper module solar orientation. When these factors are taken into consideration, you will most likely only convert approximately 70% of any solar module’s nameplate output rating into useful battery charging. Do not be surprised if it actually takes a little longer to fully recharge the battery you select.

    Phase 5: Put it to Work

    It feels really rewarding to build something off-grid in a remote area with the convenience of labor-saving power tools without having to deal with a noisy generator. It’s also nice to have a portable solar-charging system instead of having to keep your truck running while using a DC to AC inverter to power your tools and tool chargers. When not needed to recharge power tools at a job site, this portable solar-charging system can be used for camping or during emergency power outages. This solar module with built-in solar charge controller can even be used to recharge your RV camper batteries when dry camping.

    While most major manufacturers of battery-powered hand tools offer an “in-vehicle” charger, these are not easy to find in your local retail store. If you cannot find them locally, there are several Internet sites that sell in-vehicle chargers. Order the charger that matches your brand of battery-powered tools, and be sure the charger matches the voltage and chemistry of your battery packs.

    DeWALT #DC9319 7.2-volt to 18-volt vehicle charger:

    Makita #DC18SE 18-volt/Lithium-ion vehicle charger:

    Bosch #BC006 7.2-volt to 24-volt vehicle charger:

    Milwaukee #M12 12-volt Lithium-ion wall and vehicle charger:Milwaukee #M18 18-volt Lithium-ion wall and vehicle charger: This is one of the few that is also an A/C charger, so it’s double-your-value.

    Ryobi One 18-volt dual chemistry in-vehicle charger:

    About the Author: Jeff Yago is a licensed professional engineer and certified energy manager with more than 30 years of experience in the energy conservation field. He has extensive solar and emergency preparedness experience, and has authored numerous articles and texts.

    Introduction: Solar Battery Charger for Your Cordless Power Tools

    About: My name is Jason Poel Smith. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker, and all around Mad Genius About DIY Hacks and How Tos »

    Solar power is a great way to get electricity out to a remote project site. One simple way to do this is to use a solar panel to charge the batteries of your cordless power tools. In this project, I am going to show you several ways that you can do that.

    Safety Note: Any time that you use a DIY battery charger instead of a commercial charger, you are accepting a certain amount of risk. So always use caution. Don’t over charge the battery and don’t try to charge it faster than the manufacturer recommends. There are many different kinds of batteries and they all need to be treated differently. These instructions are designed for batteries that are made of Nickle-Cadmium cells. I make no guarantee that these instructions will be appropriate for other battery types such as NiMH or lithium batteries.

    Step 1: Watch the Video

    Here is video walk through of the project.

    Step 2: Background: Cordless Power Tool Batteries and How They Are Charged

    There are many different styles of cordless power tool batteries and many different styles of chargers.

    Most cordless tool battery packs are made up of several smaller batteries that are all wired together in series. In the most basic models, the charger will connect directly to the end terminals of the battery pack at two exposed pins. The charger then applies a small direct current and slowly charges the battery pack over several hours.

    In more advanced models, the battery pack may have a number of internal sensors. For example a Craftsman 19.2V battery has a thermal fuse and an internal temperature sensor. To accommodate these sensors, the battery has two additional terminals (a total of four). The charger connects to the battery through the thermal fuse. If the temperature of the batteries ever goes above the maximum safety threshold, the thermal fuse will disconnect the battery from the charger. The temperature sensor allows the charger to actively monitor the temperature of the batteries while they are charging. This lets the charger automatically adjust the current to maximize the charge rate without overheating the batteries.

    If you want to use a DIY charger to charge the battery, your primary concern should be safety. The safest way to charge a battery is to do it slowly. This will sacrifice some efficiency but it will guarantee that you will not destroy the battery.

    Step 3: Materials

    Cordless Power Tools and Batteries

    Wires/Connector Cables (rated high enough for the maximum output of the solar panel)

    DIY Charge Controllers Materials:

    7805 5V Voltage Regulator

    5V Relay (with a coil that is rated for less than 100mA)

    2 x 0.1 Microfarad Capacitor

    2 x Diodes (rated for at least 1 amp)

    Step 4: Identify the Terminals of the Battery

    The first thing that you need to do is identify and label each of the terminals on the battery. If your battery has two terminals then you can easily use a multimeter to identify which one is positive and which one is negative.

    If the battery has more than two terminals, then there are several things that you need to check. Start by noting the position of the terminals on the power tool. A power tool will usually connect directly to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. You can then use a multimeter to measure the voltage of the corresponding terminals on the battery to determine which one is positive and which one is negative. Any additional terminals will probably be a thermal fuse or a temperature sensor.

    A thermal fuse is usually connected to the positive terminal of the battery. So if you measure its voltage with a multimeter it will have the same voltage as the positive terminal of the battery (or slightly less). The thermal fuse also connects to the positive output of the charger. Once you have identified the thermal fuse, any remaining pin will be the temperature sensor.

    If you want to double check yourself to make sure that you have correctly identified the terminals, you can carefully remove the cover of the battery pack and check to see where each wire is connected. Do not disconnect any wires, or move any of the sensors!

    After identifying each terminals you can label them with tape, a permanent marker or by scratching a note into the side of the plastic housing.

    Step 5: Select an Appropriate Solar Panel

    The next thing that you need to do is select a solar panel that is well suited to charge your battery. The panel needs to have an open-circuit voltage (Voltage measured with no load) that it higher than the voltage of the battery when it is fully charged. You can find the open-circuit voltage of the panel by connecting your multimeter directly to the panel when in bright sunlight. To find the fully charged voltage of the battery, simple charge it with the commercial charger and then use a multimeter to measure the voltage between the positive and negative terminals. This will typically be higher than the rated voltage that is listed on the side of the battery. For example, a 12V battery may measure 14V when fully charged.

    The other thing that you need to be concerned about is the charge rate. To be safe, I recommend using a panel that will charge the battery more slowly than the original charger that came with the battery. The easiest way to determine this is to compare their wattage ratings.

    Here is a simple example. My 12.0 Volt drill battery came with a charger that lists its output as 15V DC at 200mA. This means that its wattage rating is 3 watts (15V x 0.2A = 3W). So you would want to find a solar panel that is rated for less than 3 watts. I chose a 12 volt panel that was rated for 1.5 watts.

    Step 6: Charge Controllers

    It is possible to charge the battery by connecting the output of the solar panel directly to the terminals of the battery. However, if you are not carefully monitoring the voltage of the battery, then you run the risk of over charging it. This is why you usually want to use a charge controller.

    A charge controller is any circuit that limits the current that is sent to the battery in order to prevent over charging. You can purchase a commercial charge controller at most stores that sell solar equipment or you can build your own.

    In a previous project, I showed how you can use an Arduino as a charge controller. Because the Arduino has multiple inputs, you can use it to monitor and control the charging of multiple batteries. Check out the link to see how I did it.

    You can also make a charge controller with a simple 555 timer IC. These chips have an internal comparator that toggles the output on and off depend on the input voltages. This can be used to connect and disconnect the battery with a low power relay. This control circuit is discussed in more detail in the next step.

    If you plan on leaving the battery connected to the solar panel overnight, then you want to make sure that either the panel or the charge controller has a blocking diode. This is a diode that is placed between the panel and the battery to prevent the battery from discharging through the panel when it is dark. A schottky diode gives the best performance for this.

    Step 7: 555 Control Circuit Design

    Here is one simple example of how to make a DIY charge controller.

    This charge controller is built around a 555 timer IC. This chip has two inputs (pins 2 and 6). It compares these input voltages to a set of reference voltages that are based on the supply voltage. If the voltage at pin 2 drops below the 1/3 of the supply voltage, then the output at pin 3 goes HIGH. If the voltage at pin 6 goes above 2/3 of the supply voltage, then the output at pin 3 goes LOW.

    By using the 7805 voltage regulator, we can fix the supply voltage to 5 volts. So 1/3 of the supply voltage will always be 1.66V and 2/3 of the supply voltage will always be 3.33V.

    The input voltages at pin 2 and 6 are dependent on the voltage of the battery. Each input has a voltage divider that is made of two resistors. The ratio of the two resistors determines what percentage of the battery voltage is sent to the input pins. In this example the pin 2 voltage divider uses a 68 kohm resistor and a 10 kohm resistor. This means that the voltage at pin 2 will always be 12.8% of the battery’s voltage. Similarly, the voltage divider at pin 6 uses a 33 kohm resistor and a 10 kohm resistor. This means that the voltage at pin 6 will always be 23.2% of the battery’s voltage. This is only approximate because all resistors will vary a little from the indicated value.

    When the battery’s voltage goes above 14.4 volts, the output of the 555 goes LOW and activates the relay. This disconnects the battery from the solar panel. When the battery’s voltage drops below 13 volts, the output of the 555 will go HIGH and deactivate the relay. This resets the system for another charging cycle. In the case of cordless power tool batteries, this will happen when you disconnect the battery. But in a typical solar system, the battery stays connected and the voltage will drop as the power is used.

    If your battery has a different operating voltage, you can change the voltage setting of the charge controller by using different values for the resistors. The 33 kohm resistor can be replaced using the formula R = (3 x Vcutoff). 10 (in kohm’s). The 68 kohm resistor can be replaced using the formula R = (6 x Vreset). 10 (in kohms).

    jackery, explorer, 1000, portable, power

    Step 8: Assemble the Circuit

    First prototype the circuit on a breadboard and make adjustments as needed. Then once it is working, solder the components onto a breadboard.

    In this case, I needed to make some modifications to the board. The pins on the relay where positioned in such a way that there was no place that I could mount it on the board where the pins could be isolated from each other. So I mounted it in the middle of a set of columns. Then I used a knife to cut the conductors in the middle. This separated the two halves and let me access the pins independently.

    jackery, explorer, 1000, portable, power

    I also used a Dremel to trim the edges of the circuit board. This let me easily fit the board in a small plastic project enclosure.

    Step 9: Cut Slots in the Project Enclosure

    The circuit board has four wires that connect to it. So we need to cut four slots in the side of the project enclosure to accommodate these wires. I just used a knife to cut two lines in the side of the housing. Then I used a pair of needle nose pliers to break off the tab of plastic. Do this for all four locations on the top and bottom of the housing.

    Step 10: Test the System

    Now you need to test the system to make sure that everything is working properly. The easiest way to test this system is to switch the battery and the solar panel. The battery is connected to the input of the charger where the solar panel would normally be connected. Then the solar panel is connected to the output of the charger where the battery would normally be. Keep the polarities of the positive and negative wires the same.

    The battery supplies a stable power source for the charge controller circuit and the solar panel acts as a variable voltage source. Start by covering up the solar panel. You can either put something over it or turn it face down. Then slowly uncover the panel. As more light hits the panel, its output voltage will go up. When the voltage reaches 14.4V, you should hear a click from the relay activating. Then slowly cover the panel. When the voltage drops to 13V, you should hear another click from the relay turning off. If everything is working properly, then you are done.

    Step 11: Hook Up Your Finished Solar Charger

    Now you are ready to connect all the components together. First connect the output of the charge controller to the battery. Then connect the solar panel to the input of the charge controller. The relay may turn on and off a few times while the circuit is powering up.

    Now you have your own solar charger. This will let you charge your batteries anywhere that has sunlight. This can be really useful for working with power tools at remote project sites.

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    Комментарии и мнения владельцев

    thanks for making this! Question: I plan to connect the MC4 outputs of my solar panel to an MC4 to SAE connector converter. If I then connect the SAE connector to the charger that my drill batteries came with, will the charger act as a charge controller for the battery? Thanks!

    Hi, thanks for sharing!How would you change this to cope with changing conditions? I would like to use this as a mobile solution to charge a 18V power bank and ensure the device will always be pulling the maximum power available.

    My experience with charging power banks is that they will often limit/ shut off charging when panel output changes and not always restart charging once panel is out in the sun again.

    great explanation of how the charging circuit works. Want to build mine with a second set of resistors and a switch to charge at two different voltages. I’ll add some caps too, it’ll allow those to charge while the battery is in the tool. I don’t want to be one screw short at dusk with no juice. Thank you

    this was fine. however, can someone lead me to a site that will show how to hook up a cordless battery charger to a solar panel. the above won’t work for me. you see I use my tools on site. so I will not be able to tell when over charging will occur. so I need the charger. and, I don’t want to use an inverter because you lose power when going from DC to AC only to charge DC batteries.

    What exactly are you having trouble with?

    he 1 of the greatest ible makers here,

    i have al the parts for the pcb, to use it fot small 12v battery`s,

    but is it possible to make a picture or video of a breadbord with this, i can not read the scematic, and build from it. maybe you can help me dear friend

    Try checking out this tutorial on how to read a circuit schematic. It might help.

    Great project (5 star ), Very helpful specially showing how to change the resistors for different voltage to charge my AAA batteries

    I just ordered the parts to make one. Can you please let me know, while charging the batteries the cooling fans and a pump can run (charging while the system is in use).

    jackery, explorer, 1000, portable, power

    Using a Solar Generator for Power Tools May Be a Possibility… It Depends on How You Play the Game

    We absolutely loved what Kohler did in creating the enCUBE solar recharging generator. Using a 100 amp hour AGM lead acid battery, there’s enough power stored to run a variety of products for your home, office, shop, or even jobsite if there’s an issue with the power source or a lack of power all together. That made me wonder – could using a solar generator for power tools create a cordless jobsite?

    The question is relative of course. It might be more fair to ask if it is possible to create an off the grid jobsite. Even though there are plenty of recommendations of what you can run on a given generator in manuals and online, that doesn’t always translate to power tools since their energy demands are different than say, a refrigerator or microwave.

    The Kohler enCUBE is pretty much top dog when it comes to converting DC to AC power as a portable generator. It’s capable of delivering 3600 peak watts for start up, 1800 watts for ten continuous minutes, and 1440 sustained watts. There are a pair of 5 amp USB ports, two 12 volt vehicle power ports, and two 120 volt AC outlets. There’s also a positive/negative connection on the back that can be used for jump starting or to daisy chain another battery (possibly more).

    False Start

    With that kind of power available, we set out to discover what we could run. Battery chargers are a no-brainer. The low level draw they require means your entire suite of cordless tool battery packs can remain charged. From there, Clint and I started big. Real big. 15 amp, 12-inch miter saw big. You’ll never guess what happened.

    The generator has enough muscle to run the saw based on what we know from its power requirements on paper. Whether 3600 watts wasn’t enough or it couldn’t produce it long enough, the enCUBE just wasn’t able to overcome the start up power needed. 10-inch miter saws are going to be in the same boat since most professional saws also run a 15 amp motor.

    From there, we moved down to our Bosch 8-1/2 inch compact miter saw. This time we got somewhere. The enCUBE tried to get the blade spinning, but again, the saw just needed a little too much start up juice than we could get. We were actually able to get the saw going by tapping the trigger quickly and repeatedly. We also won’t argue that it’s a reliable way to plan on using the either the generator or the saw – so just don’t do it.

    First Down

    Next came a 6.6 amp grinder. The enCUBE ran this tool beautifully. We tried to really bear down on the abrasive disk to see if we could peak the output beyond the 1800 watts it is rated to sustain for a short period. We didn’t come anywhere close.

    With a solid success to hang our hats on, we moved up again. This time it was Milwaukee’s 11 amp Super Sawzall – and Shop Tool Reviews Director, Tim Johnson will be quick to point out that it’s his 50th anniversary special edition. From start up to cutting, the enCUBE was able to deliver consistent power for the recip saw to cut just like it was plugged into the wall.

    Powering the Drive

    What we discovered is that using a solar powered generator to create an effective off the grid jobsite isn’t necessarily plausible. You’re pretty much limited to tools that run an 11 amp motor or less, but even that’s a wide generalization. Tools with a soft start have a better chance of getting started than models that just get right after it.

    Cordless tools, on the other hand, are wide open. That’s where we think the enCUBE is going to be your best friend. With options like DeWALT’s FlexVolt line offering a cordless table saw and miter saw or Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel line bringing a cordless miter saw to the party, you have some realistic ways to be off the power grid while still delivering results with professional level tools.


    We know that for many of you, 10 hour days are the short ones – particularly during these summer months. The real limitation on using a solar charging generator for power tools is going to come down to the power source and the recharge rate.

    The enCUBE comes with a 100 amp hour battery and replacements are on the market to get you up to 125 amp hours. Using a lead acid battery, it’s recommended that you don’t draw the battery down below 20% to get the most out of it.

    With 60 watt solar panels, I was able to get a consistent 45 watts of charging power back into the unit. That’s a recharging cycle of roughly 21 hours if I stick to the 20% max discharge rule. With the 150 watt option, I can expect 110 – 115 watts and a recharge time of somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-1/2 hours.

    If you go with the higher panel option, you can likely get 2 full charges worth of power out of a solar generator over the course of your day in excellent conditions. On a completely cordless platform, perhaps supplemented with a corded reciprocating saw, grinder, or other hand held power tools, you can probably get through the entire day without connecting to a power source that’s on the grid.

    Post Game Coverage

    We started the day wondering if using a solar generator for power tools could be a realistic option. Our results?

    We think it’s a real possibility for Pros who are going to be using mainly cordless and sub-12 amp corded tools. You really need to consider having at least 150 watts of solar panels to make it through your work day.

    Taking your entire trailer off the grid including miter saws, table saws, and other high draw tools won’t work though.

    The benefits are pretty obvious. You’re leaving a smaller environmental footprint by using off the grid power generated by the sun. That’s assuming you recycle your battery when it’s time to replace it. That could be every 5 – 6 years if you’re maintaining it properly.

    You’re also reducing the noise and emissions of a gas generator down to zero in both categories. Like all battery powered tools, there are no emissions. The Kohler enCUBE is also silent running, save for a small cooling fan.

    The really cool thing is that this is just the first step for Kohler. They’ve got a solid platform with the enCUBE. I’m hoping that as lithium-ion technology continues to develop and decrease in price that we’ll see a generation capable of running those 15 amp tools and offering even greater run time.

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