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Review of 1000Wh Li Power Station for Under $500

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#1 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 12 November 2022 - 10:45 AM

Lithium power stations are becoming more common as the choice for powering our gear when we are away from home.  These consist of one or more regulated DC outputs, an AC inverter, multiple USB charging ports, an internal solar charge controller, etc.  Jackery is probably the most widely known brand and has a good reputation for good reason.  However, something like the Jackery 1000 which supplies 1000Wh of energy will set you back ~$800 to $950 depending on whether or not it is on sale.  I just finished 4 months of testing (at home and in the field) a new entry to the power station market which supplies the same total energy as the Jackery 1000 but will only set you back $499.99.  I think this one from may be a winner at only $0.50 per Wh and can even begin to compete on cost per Wh with stand alone LiFePO4 batteries.  If the company EBL is unfamiliar to you, it also was to me, but they have been around making batteries since the 90s.  You can find the full review either on the blog section of my web site or on YouTube here.  https://www.youtube....h?v=7ZldEI-GMHU

 

Best Regards,

Curtis


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#2 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 12:20 PM

Looks like the EBL Voyager 1000 price has been reduced to $479 now and the 330Wh model is on sale for Black Friday at $149 with $50 off coupon. 



#3 Tangent

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 12:51 PM

One thing I like about my Jackery is that it has a buck/boost circuit to keep the output at 13.6VDC regardless of the actual battery charge.  Does this one have that feature as well?



#4 briansalomon1

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 02:58 PM

I spend sometimes several weeks out in the desert/mountains. I have just assumed a Li-Ion battery can't realistically be recharged in the field without a fairly large solar array or generator, but I haven't seriously looked into it.

 

Does anyone actually recharge large Li-Ion batteries in the field? What do you use?



#5 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 04:53 PM

One thing I like about my Jackery is that it has a buck/boost circuit to keep the output at 13.6VDC regardless of the actual battery charge.  Does this one have that feature as well?

Both the Jackery and the EBL use LiNiMnCoO2 (NMC) cells and so do most, but not all, other power stations.  NMC cells have a voltage of 3.6V whereas LiFePO4 cells found in batteries like those from Ampere Time, Battleborn, etc. have a voltage of 3.2V.  So,

 

4 x 3.2V = 12.8V which is perfect for 12V systems.  This is why LiFePO4 batteries do not need nor have a voltage regulator inside.  The voltage is fairly flat over the discharge curve but will drop below 12V at ~ 95% of capacity.

 

On the other hand,

 

4 x 3.6V = 14.4V which is too high for a 12V system and 3 x 3.6V = 10.8V which is too low for a 12V system.  Hence, power stations which use NMC will have 4 cells in series, or 6 cells in series and will then have a voltage regulator to control the output voltage to be ~ 12.4 to 12.7V right up until the BMS cuts the output with 0% capacity remaining.  

 

So, yes, the EBL has voltage regulation.  It is the chemistry that dictates the requirement.

 

Regards,

Curtis


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#6 Adluginb

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 05:01 PM

Is the 330 watt ebl model or the 300 Jackery or Bluetti  big enough?  How much power does the typical mount and camera etc ap rig draw?

 

For under $200 would be nice!  



#7 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 05:07 PM

I spend sometimes several weeks out in the desert/mountains. I have just assumed a Li-Ion battery can't realistically be recharged in the field without a fairly large solar array or generator, but I haven't seriously looked into it.

 

Does anyone actually recharge large Li-Ion batteries in the field? What do you use?

Li batteries and power stations definitely can be re-charged in the field either partially or fully depending upon multiple factors.  I have been able to charge my 100Ah Ampere Time battery from 0% SOC to 84% SOC in 8 hours using 2 x 100W Jackery flexible solar panels and a inexpensive 30A solar charge controller.  It takes a total of 11 hours over 2 days to fully recharge to 100%.  This works out to ~10.5% per hour.  If the day is short obviously you would be able to recharge less than this.  But 84% of 100Ah (1075Wh) is a lot of energy.  It would take a load of 100W and over 10 hours to use that much energy.  Typical astrophotography setups would use much less than 100W.

 

Similarly, I was able to fully recharge my Jackery 1000 (910Wh) in 7.5 hours with the same 2 x 100W panels.

 

Best Regards,

Curtis


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#8 ngatel

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 05:09 PM

I spend sometimes several weeks out in the desert/mountains. I have just assumed a Li-Ion battery can't realistically be recharged in the field without a fairly large solar array or generator, but I haven't seriously looked into it.

 

Does anyone actually recharge large Li-Ion batteries in the field? What do you use?

For solar charging there are a couple parameters to consider. How much energy is used over the course of a night (assuming astrophotography only). The other is how much energy the solar system can generate, taking into consideration latitude, climate, and time of year. Summer in your deserts will provide a lot more energy potential than December.

 

My Astro battery banks (I have two LiFePo4 battery banks), typical use 22 amp hours per night. So I need to push 22AH back into the batteries. Also keep in mind that to push every amp back into the battery bank, it has to be charged at the voltage specified by the battery manufacturer. Both of my Astro banks and my 300AH LiFePo4 camper battery need 14.6 volts for a full charge. Charging at 14.2 volts will not fully charge the batteries. 
 

Here’s a long article about how I set up everything in my camper. Concepts are the same for a smaller capacity battery.

http://popupbackpack...epo4-batteries/

 

Another article deals with lead-acid deep cycle batteries and the charging requirements, with are much different than Li batteries. Lead-acid deep cycle batteries needs a 4-stage charging strategy. LiFePo4 is much simpler. I use a PowerWerx 30amp regulated power supply to charge my two Astro battery banks.

 

http://popupbackpack...r-battery-bank/
 

Charging my Astro battery banks at home.

gallery_20979_19129_597038.jpeg

 

Most people haven’t watched/measured the volts/amps during battery charging. Depending upon the state of charge, the battery amps will be high and volts low. As state of charge of the battery gets fuller, the charging amps decrease and volts increase. Fully charged, both my Astro battery banks will be 14.6 volts and zero amps showing on the power supplies. Typically the batteries are around 13.15 volts after a night of imaging. Although the power supply can output 30 amps, both battery banks are only accepting around 12-13 amps, while the power supply that is set at 14.6 volts will only show around 13.3 at first. All of this is determined by the internal resistance and state of charge of the battery. In the image above, both battery banks are approaching a full state of charge.

 

What is nice about the quality “power stations” like Jackery, is they internally regulate the charging voltage and they also sell solar panels that are “plug and play.” One needs to select the size of the panel to deliver the amount of daily charge required for one’s individual circumstances. I have never owned one of these turnkey systems, having always assembled my own systems, which include three campers over the past 20 years.



#9 briansalomon1

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 06:13 PM

For solar charging there are a couple parameters to consider. How much energy is used over the course of a night (assuming astrophotography only). The other is how much energy the solar system can generate, taking into consideration latitude, climate, and time of year. Summer in your deserts will provide a lot more energy potential than December.

 

My Astro battery banks (I have two LiFePo4 battery banks), typical use 22 amp hours per night. So I need to push 22AH back into the batteries. Also keep in mind that to push every amp back into the battery bank, it has to be charged at the voltage specified by the battery manufacturer. Both of my Astro banks and my 300AH LiFePo4 camper battery need 14.6 volts for a full charge. Charging at 14.2 volts will not fully charge the batteries. 
 

Here’s a long article about how I set up everything in my camper. Concepts are the same for a smaller capacity battery.

http://popupbackpack...epo4-batteries/

 

Another article deals with lead-acid deep cycle batteries and the charging requirements, with are much different than Li batteries. Lead-acid deep cycle batteries needs a 4-stage charging strategy. LiFePo4 is much simpler. I use a PowerWerx 30amp regulated power supply to charge my two Astro battery banks.

 

http://popupbackpack...r-battery-bank/
 

Charging my Astro battery banks at home.

gallery_20979_19129_597038.jpeg

 

Most people haven’t watched/measured the volts/amps during battery charging. Depending upon the state of charge, the battery amps will be high and volts low. As state of charge of the battery gets fuller, the charging amps decrease and volts increase. Fully charged, both my Astro battery banks will be 14.6 volts and zero amps showing on the power supplies. Typically the batteries are around 13.15 volts after a night of imaging. Although the power supply can output 30 amps, both battery banks are only accepting around 12-13 amps, while the power supply that is set at 14.6 volts will only show around 13.3 at first. All of this is determined by the internal resistance and state of charge of the battery. In the image above, both battery banks are approaching a full state of charge.

 

What is nice about the quality “power stations” like Jackery, is they internally regulate the charging voltage and they also sell solar panels that are “plug and play.” One needs to select the size of the panel to deliver the amount of daily charge required for one’s individual circumstances. I have never owned one of these turnkey systems, having always assembled my own systems, which include three campers over the past 20 years.

Thanks for that detailed explanation. I looked at the foldable/flexible 100W solar panels. About ~$300 each, so it would be $600 + the charge controller, and I suppose an inexpensive one could work. I would also need an AC adapter to charge the Li-Ion battery at home, $60.

 

Supposing I just bought a no-name Li-Ion battery for $300 I could make the whole thing work for about $1000 for a 100Ah battery to use in the field. Does that sound about right?
 


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#10 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 06:24 PM

You don't have to buy a no-name battery, the Ampere Time 100Ah battery is on sale through Mon for $330 and is a good battery.  It does not have low temperature charging cut-off so you need to make sure you don't try to charge it below 32 deg F, but odds are you aren't in situations where that is the case.


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#11 ngatel

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for that detailed explanation. I looked at the foldable/flexible 100W solar panels. About ~$300 each, so it would be $600 + the charge controller, and I suppose an inexpensive one could work. I would also need an AC adapter to charge the Li-Ion battery at home, $60.

 

Supposing I just bought a no-name Li-Ion battery for $300 I could make the whole thing work for about $1000 for a 100Ah battery to use in the field. Does that sound about right?
 

You can buy an Ampere Time 100AH LiFePo4 for $350 on Amazon. It’s a pretty good battery, which Curtis reviewed on his YouTube channel a while back. 

 

A decent 100W panel should run under $100 these days. I have no experience with the flexible types. Assuming 6 hours of sunlight for charging, you would get 600 wH of power. Let’s be conservative and say 300 wH, which is about 25AH for a 12 volt system. My system uses just under that each night. Two 100W panels should give you at least 50AH total for a 12 volt system. Add a solar controller (make sure it can be set for LiFePo4 batteries) and you should be able to but it together for around $600. 
 

For charging at home using 110V AC, you would want at least 10 amps and 14.6 volts. I had to return two “LiFePo4” chargers back because the were 14.2v and 14.3v respectively. The nice thing about the 30A PowerWerx regulated power supply is it can charge a battery or power other things like an astrophotography kit. They run about $185. 
 

The best way to start is measure how much energy your systems uses. I doubt most people use more than 30AH in a single night, although I have never used or measured a dew heater. Also I use 12V mini PCs. Again, I have never measured what my MacBook Pro would consume if I was using it at the scope. 


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#12 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 19 December 2022 - 11:09 AM

If you have been thinking about power stations to run your equipment, I just noticed that the price of the EBL Voyager 1000 is now down to $479.  Check out my review to see all of the features and capabilities of this portable power supply https://www.youtube....dEI-GMHU&t=296s



#13 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 17 January 2024 - 11:30 AM

As more folks switch to lithium power solutions over time the question becomes do you go with a stand alone lithium battery or get one of the portable power stations with all the added features.  If you just need DC power a LiFePO4 battery which comes in capacities of less than 10Ah up to hundreds of Ahs has the best price to capacity ratio.  For instance the Li Time 100Ah LiFePO4 battery is just $249 which works out to be $2.49 per Ah or $0.195 per Wh.  However, if you also need AC power to run some of your equipment - I need it for my laptop - or USB power to recharge your phone or tablet, a portable power station like those from Jackery, Bluetti, EBL and others will fit the bill.  Also since these have an internal solar charge controller you just need to add a portable solar panel to re-charge in the field which should also be considered in the cost comparison.

 

I have tested and reviewed portable power stations from all 3 of these vendors and I believe they all are good options with slight differences in pros and cons but no major differences that I have seen or experienced so far having used them extensively at home and in the field.  However, if someone is looking to get a portable power station now, I think I would recommend one of the EBL models just based upon price comparisons.Right now EBLs 3 portable power stations have discounts making them extremely cost effective.  For instance the 1000 model (999Wh) is just $429 which works out to $0.43 per Wh compared to the Jackery 1000 (1000Wh) which is currently $699 or $0.70 per Wh.  Similarly the EBL 500 is available for $379 and the EBL 300 is just $142.  You can find the link to my video review of the EBL 1000 portable power station in my post above.  You can also find written reviews of all three portable power stations on my web site here, just scroll down to view each review https://www.californ...power-solutions



#14 mdine1us

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 11:18 AM

Well, the EBL is on a great sale now at Amazon…down to $399 for the 1000 model. I bought it based on Curtis’ helpful test and review… 

( I also invested in the custom fireproof storage bag they offer too) 

  https://a.co/d/5TvE1Nt



#15 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 11:35 AM

Well, the EBL is on a great sale now at Amazon…down to $399 for the 1000 model. I bought it based on Curtis’ helpful test and review… 

( I also invested in the custom fireproof storage bag they offer too) 

  https://a.co/d/5TvE1Nt

I appreciate your vote of confidence in my review.  Please let us know what you think about it after you have had a chance to use it for a while.  I also have a Jackery 1000 and I find that I now prefer to take the EBL with me out into the field as it has the same capacity but in a smaller form factor and with a fold down handle making for a flat top for better packing.  And, it is $250 less.  EBL also makes a 300Wh and 500Wh and just introduced 2 larger models both of which use LiFePO4.  One of these is a 2096Wh version for just $759.  Prices are really dropping as these things are becoming more popular. 



#16 mdine1us

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 12:16 PM

Actually, I’ve been using it for nearly a year in the field. For me, it’s an excellent solution! The current sale makes it cost even less than I paid for it last year, so I think it’s a great deal. I appreciate all the effort you undertook to do a comprehensive review video. Thanks!

 

all the best,

Marty 


Edited by mdine1us, 18 February 2024 - 12:18 PM.


#17 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 08:09 AM

If you are looking for a portable power station for the summer star party season, the EBL line of portable power stations are on sale again.  These go on sale like the other models every so often so it makes sense to wait for a sale.  The 1000Wh model is on sale for a limited time for $419.  Their 300Wh and 500Wh models are also on sale.  They even have a 1843Wh model which is larger than I think most of us need.  You can check out my review of their 1000Wh model here https://www.youtube....h?v=7ZldEI-GMHU  I think it compares well to the Jackery models at almost half the price.  I prefer its more compact size and it is the one I usually take with me to star parties instead of the larger Jackery with the same capacity.


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