Morgan Rogue 02.01.22
When it comes to having alternative power available, a solar generator is one of the absolute best options out there. They’re portable, lightweight, powerful, and great for emergencies, traveling, and even everyday use.
The Jackery 500 portable power station can be charged four ways.
- Solar panels
- 12V vehicle output
- Electric generator
- Wall outlet
The fact that it can be charged in so many ways makes this a huge winner. No power and no sun? Plug it into your electric generator or 12V vehicle output. Have power but no emergency? Keep it plugged into your wall socket and charged up for a potential emergency. Out traveling with tons of sun? Use the solar panels.
This particular model has a capacity of 500-watt output. It offers one pure sine wave AC outlet, three USB-A ports, and two 12V DC outlets. In addition to an input to charge via the wall outlet and solar panels, as well as the 12V outlet to charge via the car.
It weighs only 13.3lbs which makes it portable for just about anyone. Unlike gas or propane generators, the Jackery can be used indoors and it’s quiet.
The time it takes to fully charge via the solar panels will vary greatly depending on the weather. If there’s direct sunlight for a full 6-10 hours a day, it should charge up within that time frame. This is quite typical for solar in general to take a while to charge batteries, especially larger capacity batteries such as 500-watts.
Before you’re able to charge anything, a button must be pressed to ‘activate’ those ports. For instance, if you want to plug something into the AC port, you’d need to press the button above the AC port, that activates the port to then pull power from the Jackery.
I love this design because things aren’t being willy-nilly plugged in, you have to be deliberate about what you are charging. Once your device is charged, it notices that and will stop pulling energy, however, I would also advise that you unplug immediately, just as not to continue to accidentally keep drawing power, even after your device is charged.
It’s best to keep the power station out of direct sunlight as to not damage the system as a whole. If you think about it, it houses all of the important stuff, including the inverter, charge controller, and lithium battery. Keeping the system out of extreme temperatures, heat or cold, will keep it in good condition.
Before buying a portable power station, look at the items you want to charge while you’re traveling or for emergency purposes. Look at the wattages and how long you want to run those items for.
Say you want to run a 60-watt fan. You could run the fan non-stop for about eight hours straight with the Jackery 500.
However, if you want to run a mini-fridge that is 100-watts, you’d only be able to run it for about five hours.
Be realistic about what you want to power, for how long, and when.
The solar panels are great because they fold up flat and when in use, have two “legs” that fold out to hold up the solar panels. It also has a zipper on the back that houses the plug for the power station and can also hold some additional cords.
Jackery has various sizes available ranging from 160-watts to 1500-watts.
I think the Jackery 500 is a great entry-level power station that can charge just about anything you might want.
I’m a big fan of solar generators and I think Jackery has really knocked it out of the park with their power stations. Encourage you to take a look for yourself and invest in one today!