Charging Bluetti EP500 Energy Storage System With Solar Panels & Grid

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A few months in the past, I wrote a review of the Bluetti EP500 Pro energy storage system. As a Floridian, it hit me after a very dangerous hurricane in 2022 that I ought to have a backup energy supply for when the following dangerous hurricane hits and we lose electrical energy for an prolonged time frame once more. Bluetti was form sufficient to ship over the EP500 Pro (a $3,999 retail value) for prolonged assessment. Bluetti additionally despatched over the complementary photo voltaic panels in a while. Right here’s my tackle the solar panel portion of the package deal after a few trials.

I used to be notably excited in regards to the photo voltaic panel package deal ($1,498 retail worth proper now — $749 per solar array with a $100 discount) since I needed to energy the vitality storage system with 100% clear, renewable, photo voltaic vitality. Sadly, I found that’s just a little tougher than anticipated.

Beginning with opening and connecting the photo voltaic panels themselves, that was really fairly straightforward. The cords offered are tremendous clear and straightforward to attach. The panels themselves are actually moveable and manageable. However there was one problem.

As you’ll be able to see within the image above, there are little fold-out backstops on the again of the photo voltaic panels. Pulling one in every of them out is simple sufficient, however they don’t then lock into place there. They maintain advantageous as soon as they’re all standing, however to open all 4 panels out, it’s difficult to get them every to remain standing as you pull the stand out for the following one and the following one and the following one. Those you pulled out first very simply slip again in opposition to the again of the photo voltaic panel as you’re attempting to open the following ones.  It’s clunky. Naturally, this isn’t the top of the world and it’s manageable, nevertheless it’s definitely not preferrred. Doing the job with two individuals makes it a lot simpler, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not completely clean and easy even with two individuals wrestling with the PV350 photo voltaic panels.

When you do get the entire stands open and the panel array standing, it really works effectively. It’s secure and robust. Once more, although, if you want to transfer the array a bit, it’s a little difficult since lifting it even a tiny bit can result in the backstops snapping again into their unique positions flat in opposition to the again of the panels. I’m shocked there’s not some locking possibility.

What I’ll say is that I like the simple and stylish means by which the photo voltaic panels fold up after which get wrapped up in their very own backings with none additional cowl. They find yourself wanting like artwork portfolios or particular journey circumstances. They’re surprisingly heavy in comparison with how they seem on this state, however I’d say they’re advantageous — not too heavy. They’re most likely a reasonably preferrred steadiness between photo voltaic capability and weight.

That stated, charging up the EP500 Professional with these photo voltaic PV panels is a unique form of problem. I first tried doing so one afternoon on our again patio — with daylight coming in however by means of a typical Florida pool/mosquito display screen (we don’t have a pool, however we do have mosquitoes). It simply wasn’t working. The solar wasn’t regular sufficient or sturdy sufficient by means of the display screen, and the vitality storage system was really steadily shedding electrical energy merely from being on outdoors and needing to chill itself, and never getting extra electrical energy from daylight to surpass these wants.

So, I took them out one other day and put them in our driveway, the place the screens wouldn’t intrude. Sadly, whereas it’s certainly the Sunshine State, it wasn’t the sunniest day. It was a bit overcast, and I bumped into the identical downside as earlier than. They did cost up the vitality storage system for just a little bit, however after a number of % of added cost, the system simply stalled at round 20%. I moved the panels round to attempt to hold them in as a lot solar as doable, however there was only a bit an excessive amount of cloud cowl and an excessive amount of additional shading from a few small timber. After about two and a half hours and no progress for many of that, I gave up.

As you’ll be able to see within the following image, I wasn’t getting something near the 700-watt max I ought to have the ability to get from the 2 arrays (350 W every). In the mean time I took the image, I used to be really pulling in additional energy than I used to be more often than not — 194 W versus one thing round 100 W. General, although, the efforts simply didn’t reduce it. I used to be caught at about 20%.

Now, if we had been in a real after-hurricane scenario, I do assume these would nonetheless be helpful. There are two sorts of climate you get after a hurricane passes over. You may nonetheless get bands of rain at instances, however a lot of the time, you get tremendous clear skies — the hurricane has sucked the clouds into it and leaves sunshine behind. So, I think about I’d have nice circumstances for recharging the EP500 Professional with the PV350 photo voltaic panel arrays proper after a hurricane, after I’d want the photo voltaic vitality probably the most. (Keep tuned — possibly I’ll get to check this out for actual subsequent yr!)

You can even cost the EP500 Professional with a easy electrical energy plug by way of the grid — by way of a traditional 120V electrical energy outlet. That works actually quick. You may cost the entire 5120 Wh vitality storage system in only a few hours. For comparability, you’ll be able to see two footage under from me charging the system this manner. The primary image reveals the system at 7% state of cost, and the second image reveals the system 43 minutes later at 30% state of cost. So, charging 1 / 4 of the battery takes round 45 minutes.

Naturally, this isn’t for on a regular basis use. It’s for emergency backup energy. (Although, if the photo voltaic panels collected daylight and turned it into electrical energy a bit higher, I’d most likely use the vitality storage system to energy my pc and telephone frequently.) I feel it’s a reasonably preferrred system when it comes to dimension, together with weight (it shouldn’t be any heavier) and vitality storage capability. I positively wouldn’t need it to be any heavier since you have already got to be tremendous cautious with any lifting to not put your again out, and I feel there’s ample electrical energy provide within the system. Equally, whereas it could be good to have extra and higher photo voltaic panels, in an emergency after-hurricane scenario, I feel these will work effectively and are the proper steadiness of weight and dimension (I don’t have limitless space for storing) and energy capability. Naturally, if Bluetti can supply photo voltaic panels which are twice as environment friendly or work higher in low-light circumstances, that will be even higher, however this could do for now.

If we ever get hit with a extreme hurricane and prolonged energy outage, or I simply have a free very sunny day, I’ll assessment the system once more and let you know the way it goes. Within the meantime, the EP500 Professional is resting within the air con inside the house and the photo voltaic panels are neatly tucked away within the storage between numerous tennis gear, some seaside stuff, and a stage 2 EV charger I would like to check at some point.

Additionally see: This Bluetti Energy Storage Backup System Is Smooth & Superb — I’m Ready For Hurricane Idalia!


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