I live in a part of the country that has seen much flooding in recent years. And I can tell you that blackouts, power shortages, and sometimes evacuations, arrive without notice.
As a result, everyone seems to have got one of those gasoline generators. Still, I wanted something I could use safely around kids and indoors. So the fuel and toxic fumes had to go.
That’s when I heard about the EcoFlow Delta 1300 — a much-advertised portable battery generator in the market today.
What attracted me instantly was the superior charging speed of 80% in just 1 hour.
But after more than a year of use, can I truly recommend it as a life-saving portable power station?
The EcoFlow Delta 1300 is a portable power station that can power your appliances and tools in case of an emergency, power outage, or when you’re vacationing off the grid.
The device has standard overload and temperature protection.
The unit casing is made of high-grade aluminum and sturdy plastic, fitted with two carrying handles.
There’s also a big LED display and a total of 13 output ports:
The EcoFlow Delta power station has a lifespan of 800 charges. After that point, the capacity drops under 60%.
In my use, I noticed the capacity dropping after only 500 life cycles.
Well, that’s not a good start.
Sure, you can still use your power station for years, but you’ll have to recharge it more often — and as a result, shorten its life even faster.
The EcoFlow Delta can take 1300 watts of charging, and give 1800 watts of AC power output. Its inverter is rated at 3300 watts of surge power, which means you can safely power devices with electric motors, which need more wattage to start.
The EcoFlow Delta 1300 can power most home appliances including those with sensitive electronics.
For example, you can power lights, hairdryers, microwave ovens, electric kettles, frying pans, fridges, and even a CPAP machine.
With this, I can charge my smartphone more than 180 times and my Macbook about 20 times.
You can charge the EcoFlow Delta power station from zero to full charge in only 2 hours, thanks to its new X-Stream Technology.
Using the standard wall outlet, I was amazed to see the charge reaching 80% after only 1 hour.
This is more than 10x faster than most battery generators in its price range, and definitely a new standard for portable station charging.
The EcoFlow Delta generator costs $1,399.00. In the box, you get the portable power device, an AC cable for a wall outlet, a car charging cable, a solar panel charging cable, an EcoFlow Delta bag, and a user manual.
The warranty on the EcoFlow Delta 1300 covers 24 months. I haven’t had any issues with mine and didn’t have to contact their customer support, but other users beg to disagree.
The refund policy of EcoFlow is a bit complicated. If you want a refund within 24 hours of your order, you can request it easily. But between 1-30 days, they’ll likely charge you credit card transaction fees.
This is definitely the biggest selling point of this power station. Plug the device into a standard AC wall outlet, and the battery goes from zero to 80% in just 1 hour.
This feature helped my family a lot, as we were able to charge the battery in between power outages caused by flooding.
On the other hand, solar panel charging is nothing spectacular. Even in perfect sunlight conditions, it takes between 14-28 hours to fully charge it with two 110W panels.
You can power up to 13 devices simultaneously and rarely need a power strip.
On a few occasions when I had to evacuate to higher ground, I plugged my phone and camera into the USB ports, which left the AC outlets free for food prep and the refrigerator.
In the end, I never used more than 4 outlets at the same time.
Battery generators are by default far more sustainable than gas generators, as they don't burn fossil fuels and don’t produce fumes. But you can readily use this one with solar panels.
When you pitch the tent or park your RV in the middle of a nature reserve, the last thing you need is the gas generator rumbling around.
The lifespan of these power stations is not impressive at all. Dazzled by the fact that it charges so fast, I didn’t discover until later that its lifecycle is so short — 800 charges. And this comes straight from the manufacturer.
With my usage, I expect to have this device working for a year and a half more. With plenty of other options around, I don’t think I’ll get another one of these.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still be able to power your devices after 800 charging cycles, but your capacity will be cut in half and dropping progressively.
According to YouTube solar equipment reviewer Will Prowse, this portable power station has a round trip efficiency of only 58%. This means the battery outputs a little more than half the total power that was stored in it. Most portable power systems in this range have an efficiency of 79%.
This is acceptable only if you plan to use it from time to time, but you can forget about using it as your day-to-day off-grid power source.
Although advertised as such, this power station is anything but silent.
A loud fan activates every time, whether I charge my phone or plug an electric grill.
To make it worse, the fan runs even when I charge the battery, and even when it reaches full charge (!), no matter the temperature. If you’re looking for a silent operation, you better look for another product.
Otherwise, this device would be perfect for construction sites or in situations where noise is no big deal.
They call it a portable device, but this generator is definitely not on the light side.
Maybe 30 pounds is not an issue for you, but I have owned and tried many other power stations that were easier to lug around.
This is especially important in an emergency when I try to travel as light as possible.
Also, the two-handle design doesn't work for me at all. There are much better options with one solid carrying handle that leaves the other hand free.
And believe me, when the power goes out in the entire county, you need an extra hand.
Also, the two carrying handles look fancy but are far from ergonomic, especially considering the weight of the entire device.
As with every other product review, I like to include other people’s honest reviews and thoughts on the product. Some of these users are happy with their purchase, while others… not so much.
It does everything as advised, charges off my one panel (270 Watt, 24-volt Renergy) in about 3 hours in full sun. It will also power all my garage power tools and will run my huge fridge for 15 hours.
Jonn Coleman, EcoFlow User
If you are using this on the weekend, or once a week with some light solar charging, and you want to use it while camping, this is perfect. But I absolutely cannot recommend this for daily solar power system use.
DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse
This device is not returnable, so definitely be sure before you purchase it. I was surprised to find this out when I went to return it, but luckily tech-support solved my problem.
James, EcoFlow Customer
Look at the emergencies in California, Colorado, the two incoming hurricanes hitting Texas and New Orleans borders. If you or I were in that company how useful and for how long can you depend on the EcoFlow Delta? I have a family member who uses an oxygen machine. I plugged into it, it barely lasted six hours.
Mark, EcoFlow User
Battery capacity is usually listed in watt-hours (Wh) while the generator power is given in watts (W). To make it simple:
For example, the EcoFlow Delta has a 1260Wh capacity and 1800W power output. This means a 150W fridge can run for 7-10 hours, while you plug up to 1800 watts of combined power.
You can't just presume that the portable power station you buy will work with any solar panels you have at hand. Manufacturers often recommend solar panel options that are compatible with their portable power stations.
If you choose to build your own off-grid kit, pay attention to the maximum solar charging power. For example, the solar input power of 400W means you can use up to three 110W solar panels.
You can risk with the fourth solar panel, but the overload protection will likely kick in and you will lose power.
Most portable power stations have two 110V outlets, a 12V car port, and a couple of USB ports. More is definitely better, but the number of ports alone means little if there is not enough output power to keep all the devices running.
In other words, make sure the number of ports is backed by a large inverter load and surge power.
If you know what you need the portable generator for, you can quickly shorten your list. If you plan to use it in an emergency, you shouldn’t look for anything heavier than 20 pounds.
On the other hand, if you’re building an off-grid solar system to supply your cabin or boat day after day, choose a unit with a large battery capacity. The same applies if you have a CPAP machine that needs to stay powered for 8 hours or longer.
On the other hand, if you need a portable power station for camping, tailgating, or festivals, you don’t need a top performer, but rather something compact that you can haul around.
EcoFlow is a U.S.-Chinese portable power company that was founded in 2017 by a group of entrepreneurs with a background in the drone industry. The company gained publicity with its Delta and River series of power stations.
A generator will charge a battery very slowly and inefficiently. In some cases, you’ll never be able to get it fully recharged with a standard 12V port generator. Unlike portable power stations, generators are made to power small 12V devices directly, without a battery.
EcoFlow is a multinational company with offices in San Francisco, CA, and Shenzhen, China.
No, EcoFlow is a U.S.-Chinese company developed by engineers who formerly worked for a Chinese DJI drone company. It is based in San Francisco, CA and Shenzhen, China.
In spite of my initial enthusiasm, I can’t recommend the EcoFlow Delta 1300. Yes, it gets charged 80% in 1 hour, but it falls short in all other areas.
As someone who has used battery-powered generators on and off-grid, I prefer the Jackery Explorer 1000 more. It gives me better battery life, runs quietly, and allows me to carry more stuff along.
It feels at home both during emergencies and on camping trips, where I often use it flawlessly with solar panels.
Thanks to the efficient inverter, the Jackery 1000 gives me better autonomy when fully charged. At one time, it easily kept my gear powered over a 4-day camping trip, with only one solar recharge session.
It’s also a whole 10 lbs lighter than the EcoFlow Delta, and less expensive too.
At the first glance, EcoFlow’s solar generator might seem like a good offer but upon careful consideration, your money is better off invested in the Jackery Explorer 1000.
THE JACKERY EXPLORER 1000
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