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Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box Review (2022)

When you need all the solar power you can get, the Lycan 5000 Power Box delivers. But can it meet the expectations of an average user?

Product Summary: Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box

It’s big, it’s gray, and it has wheels. It can take up to 4,400 watts of solar input, power the biggest appliance in your home or the entire 30 amp RV, and can live outside with no regard for elements just like a wolf. 

Meet the Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box. 

Lycos means wolf in Greek. And in this case, the name is destiny. 

Just as lone wolves can thrive in the wilderness, the Lycan 5000 allows you to become a lone solar wolf — fully independent of the grid.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in an outdoor cabin or a San Jose suburb. 

When the power goes out, the Lycan 5000 kicks in. 

With 3,500 watts of power and a 4,800 watt-hours battery which is expandable to 19.2 kilo-watt-hours, the Lycan 5000 will power pretty much anything you have.

overall 

4.5/5

Things I Loved

  • 3,500 watts of AC power
  • 4,800-watt-hour battery, expandable to 19.2kWh
  • UPS protection
  • IP55-protected switchboard and outlets
  • Can stay outdoors
  • Hybrid and solar charging under 1 hour

Things I DIDN'T Like

  • Very heavy
  • Only for hard floors
  • Only 2 AC outlets
Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box

The Best Lycan 5000 Power Box Deals

With blistering temperatures pushing demand, the electricity use in California has reached 52 gigawatts on August 30, easily breaking the 2006 record. 

In 2019 the city of Los Angeles suffered 5,787 blackouts, with October being the historically most blackout-prone month. 

Experts agree that these blackouts occur as a mix of extreme weather and transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

So until statewide solar farms catch up, what can we do? 

We can take care of our homes and become independent from the grid. 

That was the very idea I had when I purchased this monster of a solar generator or in this case, a Power Box — To be able to see through any blackout no matter how long it lasts.

After using the Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box for the whole summer, I can only say — this dog will hunt!

But is it the best choice for you? Here’s my Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box review.

Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box Review

The Lithium-Iron Core

The heart of the Lycan 5000 is a pair of 48V, 50Ah smart lithium iron phosphate batteries with a total of 4,800Wh. 

The batteries are rated for 4,500 discharge cycles at room temperature, after which the capacity drops to 80%. However, you can still use the Power Box long after that. 

But listen to this — the Lycan 5000 uses heated batteries so you can charge it down to temperatures of 14°F (-10°C). On top of it, it has active cooling which allows me to use it up to 122­­°F (50°C)

This is great news for those of us living in the Southwest, but I can share another story, too.

Whoever has an RV knows how hot it can get inside if you park it in the sun, until the AC powers up. But for the AC to power up, you need power, right?

I used my Lycan 5000 throughout the summer on multiple RV trips, and never a single misfire. Whenever I needed AC power, the generator stood up to the task.  

So if you’re still complaining that lithium batteries don’t work in freezing or super hot conditions, your wish has come true. 

The built-in 4,800 watt-hours is a force to be reckoned with, but here’s the deal:

The Lycan 5000 can be expanded up to 19.2kWh by adding additional external Renogy Smart Batteries. 

In this category, this Lycan eats the competition for breakfast.  

Built Like a Tank 

Now let’s talk about the 265 lbs elephant in the room. So if you’re faint of heart or back, think twice before ordering. The size is royal as well — The whole box measures 33 x 20 x 29 inches.

Wherever you decide to put this big boy, make sure you have plenty of space

In the looks department, the Lycan 5000 resembles a cast-iron wood stove. It’s dark gray and even has a glass door that swings open. Except that this power station is made of what appears to be coated galvanized steel. The glass door protects all the switches and breakers from water, dust, and weather in general.

Since the top is flat and made of steel, it makes for a great table. I can even sit on it with no problems. 

Renopgy Lycan 5000 Build Quality

The unit comes with four caster wheels, so you can move it around hard surfaces such as hardwood floors or concrete. 

But if you try to roll in on soft dirt, this thing will sink in faster than an X-wing starfighter in a swamp on Dagobah — guilty of being a Star Wars fanboy!

If you walk around the Lycan 5000, you’ll notice that all the outlets are in sealed outdoor rated boxes, and the glass door has a rubber seal around it. 

Interestingly, the fan vents are on the bottom of the unit and the solar inputs are water resistant. 

Looks like the guys at Renogy have taken this seriously because the Lycan 5000 has the water and dust rating of IP55. I use it outdoors without any problems. 

Just make sure you don’t flood it and your Power Box will be OK whatever nature’s wrath throws at it. 

Now listen to this:

This solar generator comes with its own set of keys which allow me to lock the front and rear panels. You can safely leave it running with kids around.      

Not so Impressed by the Display

Now, here’s the deal. I reviewed the awesome Bluetti AC200P and its big brother the EP500 — offered for comparison in the table below. Both of those solar generators came with great touch screens with tons of options. 

Where am I going with this?

I just want to say that the Renogy Lycan 5000 is nothing like those all-in-one units. 

It’s more like a large steel box full of off-the-shelf components from Renogy. Like a solar generator that someone would DIY in a garage

That considering, the Lycan 5000 comes with a tiny screen with 4 buttons that allow me to scroll through different inverter settings. 

Sadly, it doesn't display a state of charge or time to charge/discharge. It shows things like watts and amps coming in and out, but it’s not the most user-friendly interface, to be honest. 

This is where the Renogy DC Home App comes in — and disappoints as well. 

The App Needs Work

Once you sync the Lycan and have your Bluetooth turned on, you get the app’s main screen. There’s very little happening here. 

You get a small bar at the top that graphically shows you how much battery you have. On the right side, it says how long you can use it. Unfortunately, it comes up only if the inverter is running

When the charge is detected, it tells you how long it’s going to take until full. In the left bottom part, it shows both batteries paired with the Lycan and their current charge in percent. 

The lighting bolt symbol after the percentage indicates that it’s charging and at what amperage. 

That isn’t helping at all, as I’d rather see watts there. It’s just that I have to multiply that with 48 volts every time to get how many watts that is.  

Lycan 5000 App Control

When you click on the battery symbol, you get the battery tab with a big gauge that tells you how much battery you have and the maximum capacity — again in amp-hours, not watt-hours, which is annoying. 

Actually, there’s no single wattage info in the app. 

You can swipe left and right to switch between the stats for battery 1 or battery 2. 

That’s pretty much where the useful stuff ends.

In other tabs, there’s a bunch of unnecessary social things like account information — because you need to sign up to use the app. 

What’s next — pay-per-click solar charging?

Versatile Inverter 

The Lycan uses a massive 3,500W pure sine inverter with a 7,000W surge. But I don’t understand why it offers only one 20A outlet and a single 30A outlet

I also don’t understand the logic that I use power strips and extension cords in emergency situations. 

Come on, this thing is massive. I can’t believe they couldn’t find room for at least 5 or 6 AC outlets. I hope Renogy is reading this at some point. 

Now the good point is that you can easily hard-wire the Lycan into your home breaker box using a transfer switch. 

This is where Renogy gets ahead of EcoFlow and Bluetti because you don’t have to use a special converter box or expensive panel to do this. Although the Lycan comes with the instruction manual on how to do this, if you’re in the USA, you need a licensed electrician to hook that up for you. 

Speaking of regions, keep in mind that the Lycan 5000 cannot deliver 240 volts. It’s strictly a 120V power box and you can’t pair two of them in parallel to produce 240 volts. 

The inverter has three modes of operation:

  • PV Priority — uses solar + battery to power the loads. Once the battery power drops low, the AC power will pass through to run the loads.
  • Utility Priority — works like a standard UPS (uninterruptible power supply). It uses AC to power the loads at all times, unless the AC shuts off. In that case solar and/or batter take over.
  • Raw Inverter Mode — powers the inverter only with the battery until the battery drops so low that AC power needs to pass through and take over the loads.

The third mode is useful for charging up the battery with solar and then using the battery at night to power the loads. 

Charging: Two Ways, Four Modes 

You can charge the Lycan 5000 in two ways: 

  • AC charging 
  • Solar charging

Let’s get one thing straight —  this power box does not support 12V charging by any means. This makes sense, because I have yet to see someone squeeze this hog into a car.

As both AC and solar charging are handled by built-in components, the Lycan 5000 offers four modes of battery charging:  

  • PV Priority — Uses solar to charge during the day and switches to AC if there’s no solar. Since solar charging power is maxed out as 4,400 W, if you have perfect weather conditions, you can charge it for 0 to 100% in under 90 minutes. That’s fast!
  • Utility Priority — Uses AC power first, and then switches over to solar if AC is unavailable. Since the inverter can charge at 2,400 W from AC power, in this mode you can have it fully charged in about 2.5 hours.
  • Hybrid Charging — Solar and AC work together to charge at a whopping power of 6,800W and speed of just 1.3 hours. That’s super fast.
  • Solar Only — this mode ignores Ac input even if it’s plugged in and charges just using solar. Since solar charging voltage goes from 60V up to 145V it means you need a minimum of three  12 V solar panels or two 24 V residential solar panels.    

Of course this is just for starters — the more solar panels you have the better. 

But what about the USBs, 12-volt output and wireless charging?  

The Lycan 5000 doesn’t deal in small potatoes!

You’re going to need a different solar generator if you want to run your 12V fridge or charge your cell phone. If you need a truly portable and versatile solar box, check out our reviews of the amazing Bluetti AC200P or the ultra-popular EcoFlow Delta 1300

Price and Warranty

The Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box price is $5,199.99. This is way out of budget for most people who need a solar generator for outdoor activities.

However, the price is in line with heavy-duty power stations like the Bluetti EP500 Pro.  

Renogy offers 3 years of manufacturer warranty for the Lycan. 

Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box

The Best Lycan 5000 Power Box Deals

What I REALLY LOVED about Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box?

Pro-level Controls & Safety

Again, the Lycan 5000 is not your typical solar generator you can take to a beach party. This piece of engineering is for solar power enthusiasts who love to have full control of their power box.

Behind the mentioned glass door, there are breakers for Solar 1 and Solar 2, since there are two solar inputs. There’s the breaker for the main battery that I can shut off. And there are surge protectors which act as a lightning protection, since you can use the unit outdoors. 

Below these, you have the separate breakers for the 20A output and the 30A RV output as well as the AC input breaker.

Any of these breakers will trip in case of a short circuit and protect your generator. In peacetime, they all act as ON and OFF switches

As a comparison, most portable power stations come with either fuses or automated overload shut off circuits.  

Now comes the best part:

The whole front unlocks open, so you can inspect all the components inside. The inverter/charger is a standalone unit so if it ever breaks, I can easily replace it. There is bare wiring all down to bus bars so if the unit malfunctions, I can visually check if there's any damage to the wiring.

However, as long as you’re under warranty, I don’t advise any DIY electric work. 

Renogy Lycan 5000

Weatherproof Ports

Both the inputs and outputs are in watertight containers, so I can plug my cable in, run the wire through the rubber grommet, and close the socket lid to make the connection waterproof

Thanks to this I can leave the Lycan 5000 plugged in outside, and it won’t be a problem even in the rain. 

Speaking of bad weather, this solar generator comes with the grounding tab. So in case of a lightning strike or an electrical fault you’re protected from electric shock.      

The Not-So-Good Things about Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box! 

Too darn heavy

I get it that this is a heavy-duty solar generator capable of powering an entire RV and the most demanding appliance in your home. But at the same time this is the heaviest power box I had the chance to handle. If you thought the Bluetti EP500 was heavy, think again.

Even on a polished concrete floor you have to push like a sumo wrestler to move this power box into place. If they used a sturdy polymer case, things would certainly be better.

It has wheels, but the Lycan 5000 is not a portable solar generator by any means. 

Only two outlets

The second peeve I have about the Lycan is that it only comes with two AC outlets. I understand this is not a portable solar generator you can use to charge half a dozen gadgets at the same time. Still, for practical reasons I’d like to see at least 4 weatherproof AC outlets. 

If you’re going to use it with your RV that’s not an issue, because you can use your trailer’s internal wiring via the 30 amp outlet. 

But if you want to use it in your off-grid cabin, make sure you bring a 20 amp-rated  power strip. Not cool. 

Pros and Cons of Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box (Summarized)

Pros

  • 3,500 watts of continuous power
  • 4,800-watt-hour battery, expandable to 19.2kWh
  • Wide temperature range
  • Super-fast solar + AC charging
  • Hard-wiring option
  • UPS protection
  • IP55 dust and water protection
  • Modular construction
  • High level of control

Cons

  • Not portable at all
  • Only 2 AC outlets
  • Basic display
Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box

The Best Lycan 5000 Power Box Deals

Comparing Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box with Other Popular Solar Generators


Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box

EcoFlow Delta Pro 3600

Bluetti EP500

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X

Battery Capacity

4800Wh

3600 Wh

5100 Wh

3032Wh

Battery Cell Type

LiFePO4

LiFePO4

LiFePO4

Lithium-ion NMC

Life Cycles

4500

3500

6000+

500

Rated Power (PSW Inverter)

3500W

3600W

6000W

2000W

Surge Power

7000W

7200W

6000W

3500W

Charging Time

2.5 hours (AC)


1.5 hours (Solar)


1.3 hours (AC + Solar + Smart Extra Battery)

2.7 hours (AC)


2.8 hours (Solar)


1.7 hours (AC + Solar + Smart Extra Battery)

3.5 hours (AC)


3 hours (Solar)


1.77 hours (AC + Solar)

6 hours (AC)


6 hours (Solar)

Car Charging Availability

No

Yes

No

No

Solar Input

4400W

1600W

1200W

1200W

Weight (Approx.)

265 lbs

99 lbs

167 lbs

70 lbs

Portability

No

Poor

Very Poor

Average

Price

$ 5,199.99

$ 3,699

$ 4,999

$ 3,499

Conclusion: Should You Buy Lycan 5000?

The Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box is a serious piece of gear with a niche user in mind.

With super-fast solar charging and weather-resistant rating, this is a perfect option for off-grid living and overcoming power outages. 

There are just two AC outlets, but you can hard-wire it to your home’s main switchboard and use your wall outlets. 

If 4,800Wh is not enough, you can buy extra batteries and expand the capacity to 19.2kWh. That’s more than any solar generator I’ve reviewed. 

However, the sheer bulk and price will drive many potential buyers away. The reality is that not every user is ready to pay $5000+ for a stove-size generator they can’t take with them in an emergency. 

If you’re looking for maximum AC power, fast solar charging, and an enormous battery that works in both freezing and desert-hot conditions, the Lycan 5000 is the generator for you. 

If you’re looking for a more versatile power station, check out our review of the best solar generators for 2022 and the best solar generators for RV use.  


Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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