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?
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.
Things I Loved
Things I DIDN'T Like
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
The third mode is useful for charging up the battery with solar and then using the battery at night to power the loads.
You can charge the Lycan 5000 in two ways:
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:
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.
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.
The Best Lycan 5000 Power Box Deals
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Best Lycan 5000 Power Box Deals
Renogy Lycan 5000 Power Box
EcoFlow Delta Pro 3600
Goal Zero Yeti 3000X
Battery Cell Type
Rated Power (PSW Inverter)
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
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.