Sunday, June 23, 2024

I found the Goldilocks of portable power stations (and it’s currently on sale)


EcoFlow River 2 Max

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I really like energy stations. They’re the off-grid adventurer’s reply to the facility financial institution. They’re an enormous field of batteries that can be utilized to cost USB units and run devices that want AC energy.

However energy stations may be huge, weighty issues. That is tremendous in case you have a automobile to haul your gear to your vacation spot, however should you’re happening foot, most energy stations are simply too heavy to lug about.

Additionally: The perfect transportable energy stations you should buy

And most of these which can be sufficiently small to hold are too small to be helpful.

The EcoFlow River 2 Max sits within the center — compact sufficient to be transportable, large enough to be sensible. 

EcoFlow River 2 Max


EcoFlow River 2 Max

A portable power station that might power your adventures for the next decade.

EcoFlow River 2 Max tech specs

  • Capability: 512Wh
  • Web Weight: 13.4lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Cell Chemistry: LFP (lithium iron phosphate)
  • Cycle Life: 80%+ capability after 3,000 cycles
  • AC Enter: 100-120V, 50Hz/60Hz, 660W Max
  • Photo voltaic Enter: 11-50V, 13A, 220W Max
  • Automobile Enter: 12V/24V, 8A, 100W Max
  • USB-C Enter/Output: 5/9/12/15/20V, 5A, 100W Max
  • AC Output: 120V, 50Hz/60Hz, 500W (Surge 1000W)
  • DC Output: 12.6V, 10A/3A/3A, 126W Max
  • USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A, 12W Max
  • DC5521 Output: 12.6V, 3A, 36W Max
  • App Management: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Discharge Temperature: 14°F to 113°F/-10°C to 45°C
  • Cost Temperature: 32°F to 113°F/0°C to 45°C
  • Optimum Working Temperature: 68°F to 86°F/20°C to 30°C
  • Storage Temperature: 14°F to 113°F (68°F to 86°F is finest)/-10°C to 45°C (20°C to 30°C is finest) 

Observe that the model I am testing is the variant aimed on the UK market, so it has completely different AC retailers and energy inputs/outputs, however past that the unit is identical because the US variant.

Additionally: This $25 ‘photo voltaic cockroach’ DIY package is enjoyable for the entire household

I’ve beforehand examined the River 2 Max’s smaller sibling, the River 2. Weighing in at 7.7 kilos, an influence capability of 256Wh, and able to a sustained AC output of 300W (600W max), this smaller energy station is ideal for instances once you need to take energy outside, however you do not want an excessive amount of of it.

The handle is comfortable, even for extended periods of carrying the power station

The deal with is snug, even for prolonged intervals of carrying the facility station.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The River 2 Max takes issues to the subsequent degree. The capability is doubled to 512Wh, the load bumped as much as 13.4 kilos, and it’s able to a sustained AC output of 500W (1,000W max). Whereas 13.4 kilos is hefty, it is some 22% lighter than the earlier technology EcoFlow items of comparable specs.

Getting 124W of free electricity from that solar panel

All of the ports you want — USB-A and USB-C, AC, and DC.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You’ll be able to recharge the River 2 Max utilizing one among 4 strategies — AC, photo voltaic, 12V in-car, and USB-C. If you happen to select AC, the unit can go from zero to 100% in an hour, which suggests you’ll be able to go away charging to the final minute.

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If you wish to go completely off-grid, EcoFlow offers a 160W solar panel that may recharge the River 2 Max in about 4 hours. The panel is sturdy and waterproof to IP68, so it is the proper journey companion for the River 2 Max.

EcoFlow River 2 Max with 160W solar panel

EcoFlow River 2 Max with 160W photo voltaic panel.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The photo voltaic panel provides weight and bulk, however it transforms the River 2 Max into a very off-grid answer.

Additionally: Why you want a batteryless leap starter (and the way it works)

And it really works rather well. I’ve examined this within the UK in Could and will get 125W out of the panel with it positioned flat on a roof and a hazy solar, which is superb efficiency.

Getting 124W of free electricity from that solar panel

Getting 124W of free electrical energy from that photo voltaic panel.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You is perhaps frightened that each one the charging and discharging goes to wear down the River 2 Max, however you should not be. 

If you happen to have been to utterly cost and discharge the River 2 Max six instances per week, EcoFlow claims the lithium iron phosphate batteries would final for 9.6 years earlier than their capability drops to 80%.

Additionally: Tips on how to retailer your previous smartphones and tablets

A built-in fan kicks in and retains the batteries cool when charging and discharging at excessive wattages. The fan generates a most of 62db of noise, which is the type of sound degree you’d get from a family dishwasher. I’ve had this energy station working subsequent to my head and I did not discover the noise all that noticeable.

If you happen to do not need to spend your time jabbing buttons then the River 2 Max may be managed remotely utilizing the EcoFlow App. Control charging ranges, tweak settings, and alter charging speeds, all out of your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Inputs on the back of the unit for AC power and solar

Inputs on the again of the unit for AC energy and photo voltaic.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The River 2 Max will also be used as a backup machine for when the energy goes out. It could detect the mains energy is down and swap over to the battery in 30ms, which implies that linked units will carry on working as if nothing has occurred.

Additionally: Flip off this default energy setting now

Some context: a typical Wi-Fi router attracts about 10W, which suggests this unit can maintain the router going for about 16 hours.

The optional 160W solar panel turns this into a truly off-grid power station

The non-compulsory 160W photo voltaic panel turns this unit into a very off-grid energy station.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The unit is rugged and effectively constructed and shrugs off the knocks and bumps that it’s going to inevitably get when getting used.

At the moment out there for $419 (utilizing the $50 off coupon at Amazon), the EcoFlow River 2 Max is competitively priced and is very advisable for these searching for a very transportable energy answer. I plan on taking this on extra adventures actual quickly.

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