What is the best portable power? Yeti, ARK? Is there another?

Again, I don't think that's a limitation that Jackery can address because the "choke point" is likely the 12v power socket. Doesn't matter how good they make the Jackery if you can't push more than 10A through that socket.
I meant its limitation when it comes to being rapidly charged anywhere. It takes a long time even on AC. Some of the newer portable units have remedied that. I believe the Goal Zero 500X has a 120 Watt charger option.

For in vehicle operations, I would suggest just using solar charging. They way I envision my setup is that my solar panels would charge the starter battery when stationary and charge the portable lithium unit when on the go. Since my portable unit will be for light usage around camp and only as a backup for running the fridge, replenishment via solar need not be from complete empty to completely full.
 

4x4tripping

Adventurer
Even the more actual Goalzero 1500 Lithum just has that: Wall Charger (5A): 25 Hours (optained at their homepage). But 360 watts of Solar input with MTTP, what should work...

The Jackery is more weak at severall spots if we look in detail: Solarcharging max 100W (guess PMW) in 9.5 Hours, Wall Charging is 16h (WTF??), 12v charging is 7,5h (5A).

When Yeti400 Lithium Users has to do some powermanagement with 120W Solar but be able to life self-sufficent, then you had to do that even more issues with the jackery.

Maybe that will not work for more than weekend trips self-sufficent depending on the efficiency of your compressor fridge, and how often you use other electric stuff. For shure, if you visiting campsites with 110v Plugs than that point not hurt.

Another point of weakness on both, jackery and goald zero - is too the built-in battery setup.

The battery is lithium battery ≥500 cycles to 80% compared to LifePo ≥3000 cycles to 80%)

But as we know with our Notebooks, for depending on the usage it will work a while too with lithium. Even on daily usage, it will work a while.
 
Even the more actual Goalzero 1500 Lithum just has that: Wall Charger (5A): 25 Hours (optained at their homepage). But 360 watts of Solar input with MTTP, what should work...

The Jackery is more weak at severall spots if we look in detail: Solarcharging max 100W (guess PMW) in 9.5 Hours, Wall Charging is 16h (WTF??), 12v charging is 7,5h (5A).

When Yeti400 Lithium Users has to do some powermanagement with 120W Solar but be able to life self-sufficent, then you had to do that even more issues with the jackery.

Maybe that will not work for more than weekend trips self-sufficent depending on the efficiency of your compressor fridge, and how often you use other electric stuff. For shure, if you visiting campsites with 110v Plugs than that point not hurt.

Another point of weakness on both, jackery and goald zero - is too the built-in battery setup.

The battery is lithium battery ≥500 cycles to 80% compared to LifePo ≥3000 cycles to 80%)

But as we know with our Notebooks, for depending on the usage it will work a while too with lithium. Even on daily usage, it will work a while.
Goal Zero is redoing its systems with the X family that can charge a lot faster. The 500X solves that problem. Ecoflow, I believe, already has that feature. Jackery will likely follow up with its 2020 or 2021 models. This is where everyone is heading. The same goes for the 35-40 Ah devices including a MPPT. Goal Zero does it now as do a few others. Most will likely follow with their next models. Same with including USB Type C. The only shortcoming that is likely to persist is the inability to optimally charge via a 12 V car charger. I can live with that as long as they have an MPPT and I can buy or build a 8 MM cable connector to plug my existing solar panels into them. A few hours of solar while I'm on the move will likely give me enough juice back into these devices to run an Engel 45 overnight..

But you are right..the 2019 models do have a few very obvious shortcomings. But I expect the late 2020 / 2021 models to correct some of those. Goal Zero has done that though the 500X has had mixed reviews with some pointing out to QC issues. Expect those to be sorted in it and other competing devices over time.

I agree the battery won't last as long as a Battle Born. But these devices are also cheaper than a battle born 50 Ah battery so there's that to consider. While a DIY box with a Battle Born or a similar quality lithium battery is going to be a lot better, last longer, it is also going to be less portable and possibly come in at twice the cost. If someone can afford a properly done lithium DIY set up with a reputable lithium battery with low temp. protection, a proper DC to DC charger and a solar controller then nothing will beat that. In fact both RELION and Battle Born now have a lineup of Low Temp batteries that won't stop charging at low temperatures. You can scale it later by moving the rest of the components from a 50 Ah box to a 100 Ah box for example. But that is going to run up the bill and if you could afford to do that you would probably not be considering a $400-500 Jackery anyways. If I were going to be using these things for very long trips (anything beyond say a week at a time) I'd probably lean on building a lithium battery box. The per cycle cost in that instance is likely to be better. But my use case is mostly 60-70% long weekends and 30% week long trips. And I need to power a small efficient fridge via a backup source. Hence the portable system which I can also use around the house and elsewhere. For about $500-600 (the cost of a good 50Ah ReLION or Battle born) I can buy a 500 Watt Hour system, and a 100W solar panel. That would meet or exceed my needs.
 
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Captain Obvious

New member
I have an ArkPak that has served me well for years. I can run a fridge off of it for days connected by an Anderson connection. The 12v and AC connections have been useful as well, and when the battery eventually fails, I can just replace it and I'm good to go.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
IIRC ArkPak specifically recommends **not** using their products with LFP.

Really it's just a pricey box anyway.

Get some LFP cells, pack them into Pelican-style boxen, fit your posts & ports, switches and meters to suit, maybe a BMS.

Buy the charge sources, solar / mains / DC DC converters etc that fit **your** use case, not some ripoff company's idea of what the (mostly ignorant) "market" thinks it needs.

Not a single one of these pre-made powerpack's are decent value, and few are big enough to even run a small fridge.

And please do not refer to them as a "generator", even if solar panels are included (they never are).

Just keep reminding yourself, it's a battery in a box, and compare apples to apples.
 
IIRC ArkPak specifically recommends **not** using their products with LFP.
It lists LiFePO4 as a compatible battery type on the 730 series system while none of the other systems are lithium compatible. You can read it on their website and product description.


Get some LFP cells, pack them into Pelican-style boxen, fit your posts & ports, switches and meters to suit, maybe a BMS.
Yes one can build their own Lithium battery. That option is available just like for a lot other products folks use on their rig (like roofracks, bull bars, storage boxes, fridge slides, solar panel mounts etc etc). But that doesn't mean that there aren't other options for those who don't feel the need to put in that effort or who prefer a more turn key solution even if means a couple of hundred exta bucks.

Not a single one of these pre-made powerpack's are decent value, and few are big enough to even run a small fridge.
Quite a few of the options available in the market today are capable of running a fridge. The question is "how long can they run it". Based on the amount of power they have and whether they have a regulated 12 V DC source, quite a few CAN meet the needs of a particular cohort of users who would need to use a 12 V fridge in their vehicle. Again, if you want to spend 2 months off grid then these solutions aren't for you. But if you have an occasional long trip and mostly short trips they can more than serve your needs. Not everyone needs or wants to to first learn how to build a Lithium battery pack from scratch by sourcing products from Alibaba just so that they can go on an adventure. Similarly, not everyone needs to pack 4 batteries, and 2 solar panels for a weekend trip. A portable unit can serve them well and save them a ton of hassle wiring up their rig with wires, fuses, circuit breakers and other accessories that they won't use 90% of the time they are using their rig as a daily. Horses for courses!
 
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calicamper

Expedition Leader

Recommended books for Overlanding

Greeneyedman

New member
Well I see the PLB-40 as a power source and a problem solver all in one, sure people will why hasn't it got this or that but the truth is the PLB has everything a person needs to go completely off grid or use in a power outage,

My camper/Van has an 80/800cca AGM and it has 2x 110 Deep cycle batteries and it has a small Lithium supply with it's own small solar panel and it also has 240v Shore Power hook Up and I also have a 2000w Gas powered Generator, So I already have 5 ways to access power and with the 2 PLB-40's gives me 6 Options, But I just love the simplicity of the PLB's and the freedom of it being 100% portable and whilst on the road the PLB's have become my main source of power and all the other setups have become back ups.
Random I know but do you have a builds thread?! Seems dope!
 
Any one see or try one of these? The specs seem way better than a Yeti or goal zero

This is right up there in this class of devices as far as specs are concerned. But if one doesn't need the larger inverter, is it better than an ArkPak with a 100 Ah Battle Born, ReLION or other reputable LiFePO4 battery? It's out of my budget but if I did have plans to spend that much I'd seriously consider getting a 100Ah LiFePO4 and building something myself (DIY) or mounting it in an ArkPak. A $900 or so LiFePO4 should last a good 3000 cycles which is probably 2x what one would get out of the Lithium in these packs.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Random I know but do you have a builds thread?! Seems dope!
Not yet but I will be doing one listing all the fixings and added extras, My primary goal was to have all the power I need without tapping in to the Vans electrical system so I would have no reliability Issues so each system is a stand alone system that can be charged via solar or a Battery charger via a Generator or Mains AC power the Van also has AC Hookup and I can also charge my 2 PLB-40 Lithium packs Via a Cigar socket or Solar or AC via the Generator or AC Hookup Plus I also have a small lithium set up that powers a couple of small LED Lights, and Add to that the 3 110Ah Batteries will power my fridge for up to 27 days without even using the 2 PLB-40's which are 40Ah each,
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Do any of these built-out powerpaks (excluding ArkPak) allow for the user easily replacing the internal battery/cells once they've reached EOL?

If so a link to those with pricing would be helpful.

I believe most expect you to send the much more durable remainder of the product into the landfill and buy a whole new one.

Hopefully most owners would be smarter than that by then!
 

audiofile918

New member
You shouldn’t have that issue. Most LiFePo batteries are rated to 3000 cycles until their capacity drops to 80% of original. That’s full charge to full discharge every day for over 8 years, at which point they have lost 20% of capacity. For virtually any application other than full time off grid living the batteries last a lifetime, at least my lifetime. So if you have a cell failure that’s a manufacturing defect, mistreatment, or damage. It’s probably safer to seal them up than to make them serviceable.


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john61ct

Adventurer
Yes but isn't daily cycling assumed?

Above people are saying some units are using other LI chemistries, those might only last a few years

especially for users relying on the internal BMS LVC to guide their stopping point, way too low DoD.

Some models are even using lead!
 

audiofile918

New member
You can cycle a LifePo battery to its full capacity everyday for 25 years and it will still have half it’s original capacity. They are getting better so that might be stale. I don’t think of that as landfill territory but I will need more power at some point. OTOH It is hard to tell the quality of electronics in the various solar generators, and if something in there goes bad the perfectly good batteries could be scrap. Better to go modular and keep the battery separate from the electronics. Lead especially makes no sense at all for these because the electronics cost the same for a given rating, but you get less than 10% use from lead vs LifePo and there goes that investment. Of course someone could pair the cheapest batteries with the cheapest electronics. That might light the lights but it wouldn’t chill the beer, so I have no use for it.


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