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

john61ct

Adventurer
Bit of hyperbole there.

Fact is, we just **don't know** yet possible LFP longevity with best of care, they just haven't been around long enough yet.

I agree it **could** be decades, 5000+ cycles but **** happens, best laid plans etc.

I've seen plenty of LFP banks murdered in a season from owner nut behind the wheel mistakes. Also seen even more wrecked by failing BMS, they don't last forever.

Old school lead is much harder to do that, seen some of those go 13-15 years with remaining capacity higher than that,

50% SoH is well past recycle territory BTW.

And if you want good longevity you won't go anywhere near even 90% DOD never mind 100%
 
Maybe it's me, but I don't think someone looking for a handy portable system in the 15-40 Ah class, and weighing in at 15 lbs or lower, is going to compare it to buying heavy lead acid batteries, a separate charger, an inverter and a solar charge controller and wiring it all up. Especially not when they can buy the turnkey portable solution for $250-$450 price range and can make good use of it outside of camping. Will they last 3,000 cycles or 1,000 cycles? I don't know. But for some a standard 2-3 year warranty and proper usage may be enough to go out and confidently spend that money on a product that meets their portable needs. Sure, if you are going to be using 50 Ah of juice a day and need to recharge it fast via a DC source or solar then a 30Ah portable system is probably not the best investment. Perhaps such a use case calls for a proper auxiliary battery with a faster DC to DC system and larger solar panels. But not everyone has those sort of needs and not everyone is looking to spend a couple of weeks or months off grid. I do agree that some of the smaller systems probably make better sense given their portability. Once you get into the larger $1000 range then the cost of building something yourself probably begins to look/sound a lot attractive given what you get in return. A 50Ah LIFEPO4 battery with a 7 year warranty can be had for around $500-$600. Add a DC to DC for another couple of hundred and you probably have a more robust long term solution.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Maybe it's me, but I don't think someone looking for a handy portable system in the 15-40 Ah class, and weighing in at 15 lbs or lower, is going to compare it to buying heavy lead acid batteries, a separate charger, an inverter and a solar charge controller and wiring it all up. Especially not when they can buy the turnkey portable solution for $250-$450 price range and can make good use of it outside of camping. Will they last 3,000 cycles or 1,000 cycles? I don't know. But for some a standard 2-3 year warranty and proper usage may be enough to go out and confidently spend that money on a product that meets their portable needs. Sure, if you are going to be using 50 Ah of juice a day and need to recharge it fast via a DC source or solar then a 30Ah portable system is probably not the best investment. Perhaps such a use case calls for a proper auxiliary battery with a faster DC to DC system and larger solar panels. But not everyone has those sort of needs and not everyone is looking to spend a couple of weeks or months off grid. I do agree that some of the smaller systems probably make better sense given their portability. Once you get into the larger $1000 range then the cost of building something yourself probably begins to look/sound a lot attractive given what you get in return. A 50Ah LIFEPO4 battery with a 7 year warranty can be had for around $500-$600. Add a DC to DC for another couple of hundred and you probably have a more robust long term solution.
I Can use 32Ah from my 40 lithium pack according to the specs but I can also plug in a 120w panel direct in to the unit and put back up to around 40Ah per day while running the fridge So although it might put back more, The power the fridge is drawing uses the excess so the 40Ah pack is only having to run the fridge at night because during the day what the fridge takes out what the panel is putting back so the pack should remain full most of the time.
 
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I Can use 32Ah from my 40 lithium pack according to the specs but I can also plug in a 120w panel direct in to the unit and put back up to around 40Ah per day while running the fridge So although it might put back more, The power the fridge is drawing uses the excess so the 40Ah pack is only having to run the fridge at night because during the day what the fridge takes out what the panel is putting back so the pack should remain full most of the time.
Sweet. Did you build this yourself? I think if one can build a pack with a proper MPPT and a DC to DC charger then nothing like it. Batteries can be added and scaled. But that may not be a viable option for all the users of such systems. I suspect many will consider spending 400-500 on these systems as a better investment given everything involved.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Sweet. Did you build this yourself? I think if one can build a pack with a proper MPPT and a DC to DC charger then nothing like it. Batteries can be added and scaled. But that may not be a viable option for all the users of such systems. I suspect many will consider spending 400-500 on these systems as a better investment given everything involved.
No I did not build it, I use the Dometic PLB-40, The Beauty of the PLB-40 is you do not need a MPPT or a PWM controller because it has a 50A Anderson socket on the back of it which you can plug a Solar panel direct in to up to 150w which is 11.71Ah, The reason for not needing a charge controller is because that socket has it's own DC to DC charger built in So you feed it Raw DC volts etc and it optimizes the charge rate to suit the PLB-40,

So if the panel can supply IE 10Ah and the fridge might use "Say" 50Ah per 24hrs, With the Panel connected during the day it might take 2.5 hours to charge it back up from what it used at night once it has done that then the fridge will be running from the PLB while the panel never lets it drop below 100% and even around sundown the panel is still providing power to the PLB So the PLB only has to power the fridge from sundown to sun up,

And if you are driving a lot you can plug the PLB in to your Cigar Socket using the Supplied Cigar/Anderson lead and the PLB will never drop below 100%, The PLB charges from it's own AC power supply and a rate of 14/16% per hour and it never really takes longer than 2 or 3 hours to fully charge, So even though you are running the fridge via the PLB it will still be at 100% while you are setting up camp,

Like many I thought that being only 40Ah/ 32Ah @20% SoC it would not handle larger fridges but I did test it running 2 fridges at once and needless to say it did run them both without any form of input power keeping the PLB topped up. I also ran the ARB 78L / 82Qt from the PLB set to -18*c and it did well and if I had hooked it up to a solar panel then it would never of dropped below 80% SoC.

No they are not the cheapest on the market but I can swap it from vehicle to vehicle or use it anywhere around camp or take it indoors during a power outage and it is light enough for any 10 year old to carry, And the USB ports can charge my Cell phone faster that what the 2Ah phone charger can, I am really impressed with how much power it can deliver when needed,

Hope that helps.
 
No I did not build it, I use the Dometic PLB-40, The Beauty of the PLB-40 is you do not need a MPPT or a PWM controller because it has a 50A Anderson socket on the back of it which you can plug a Solar panel direct in to up to 150w which is 11.71Ah, The reason for not needing a charge controller is because that socket has it's own DC to DC charger built in So you feed it Raw DC volts etc and it optimizes the charge rate to suit the PLB-40,
It is quite nice though much like the ARKPAK it is too limited (8 A) when it comes to DC - DC charging compared to dual battery setups. One alternate would be to just buy a 40 Ah LIFEPO4 battery and a DC-DC charger. Total cost of that would be approximately $700 (+/- $50 depending upon if you wait for a deal) with additional cost for wiring and ports. An advantage of that would be that the LIFEPO4 battery would be able to charge at 20-30 A via the DC-DC when the engine is running and the battery would be warrantied for at-least 5 years. Though the system will likely not be as portable as the Dometic which appears to be really compact and well built. I may consider that option but the Dometic seems to be a really well made product though it is quite a bit pricier compared to some of the entry level 30-40Ah systems which come in at roughly $1 per Watt Hour. The Goal Zero 500X has an optional 12 Volt charger that can charge at either 5 or 10 A.
 
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67cj5

Man On a Mission
It is quite nice though much like the ARKPAK it is too limited (8 A) when it comes to DC - DC charging compared to dual battery setups. One alternate would be to just buy a 40 Ah LIFEPO4 battery and a DC-DC charger. Total cost of that would be approximately $700 (+/- $50 depending upon if you wait for a deal) with additional cost for wiring and ports. An advantage of that would be that the LIFEPO4 battery would be able to charge at 20-30 A via the DC-DC when the engine is running and the battery would be warrantied for at-least 5 years. Though the system will likely not be as portable as the Dometic which appears to be really compact and well built. I may consider that option but the Dometic seems to be a really well made product though it is quite a bit pricier compared to some of the entry level 30-40Ah systems which come in at roughly $1 per Watt Hour. The Goal Zero 500X has an optional 12 Volt charger that can charge at either 5 or 10 A.
The trouble with Goal Zero is they are not regulated to produce 12.8v from start to finish and as their power gets used up their voltage drops tripping the fridges battery protector So where I can run my fridges up to 4 days+ you might only get 2 or 3 days from the GZ using my small fridge and maybe One and a half days using one of my larger fridges. With the PLB-40 I get full power right to the end,

The PLB-40 is a No Fuss solid performer, I have run small fridges from it and large fridges from it and I have even run 2 fridges at one time from it, Along with other small gadgets and phones and tablets etc, Other Guys/Gals here who are new to using Fridges and battery packs have used their PLB-40's and New Fridges with Great success for days at a time and were equally impressed, I was so impressed that I bought a 2nd PLB-40 ASAP after trying the first one,

The big deal here is you only need a Cigar socket and OR a 100-150w Solar panel fitted with a 50A Anderson Plug and you have a complete portable power system without the pitfalls of messing with the vehicles electronics of paying anyone else to do the work for you or any added extras that's what makes the PLB-40 so good.
 
You are right the PLB-40 appears to be very solidly built and almost the right solution for running fridges. The X series Goal Zeros have regulated 12V output now and an optional 10 Amp DC charger (with correct voltage to charge the battery completely) can also be purchased for around $40. Though the reviews of the 500X have been mixed so too early to tell whether it is a solid purchase or not. To your point, lots of great turnkey options out there and I'm willing to bet the coming 1-2 years will see more competition and lower prices. Excellent for the adventure consumer across all use cases. There are now some serious alternatives to running a 50+ pound AGM battery and carrying that weight on the rig 100% of the time. Depending upon one's use case, there may be some really capable and affordable options out there once one calculates the total time and effort to mount a large house battery.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Yep, they will come down in price with a bit of luck, the new 500X sounds like a winner,

When it comes to off grid travel and living running a fridge is the most important thing we buy so basing our power needs around that is the main objective and as our needs grow so does our power requirements, I started of with the 3X 110Ah batteries but I wanted a fast charging power supply for the fridge which meant I could use the 3 batteries for less urgent needs and for running a large AC inverter.
 

4x4tripping

Adventurer
Bit of hyperbole there.

Fact is, we just **don't know** yet possible LFP longevity with best of care, they just haven't been around long enough yet.
That is not true. There are many drone pilots out there, who are using Lifepo batterys and who hits their 3000 recharging cycles easily....

Maybe you shold have a deeper look inside of a DJI Community / Webforum or other brand, to get a feedback about...

I`m very curious when my Ecoflow R600 pro reaches me, for a detailed test. Not about charging cycles, but about 500W Walllcharging time, Solarcharging, 12v charging and the 600/1200W Sine Power for 110/220v. We crowdfunders had to finalize our survey already, maybe it will comes at 2020 😅

Surfy
 

john61ct

Adventurer
You misunderstood.

Of course 3000 is easy, I've seen many at 10,000+ in non propulsion use cases.

What I meant was we don't know what the upper limit (to say 75% SoH as EoL) is with optimal care yet, might be 20,000 might be double that.

Same with calendar life
 

Steve_P

Member
I've been a lurker on most of these "power box" posts and haven't done any real research of my own but I'm surprised that I've never seen the Powerwerx box/Bioenno battery combination mentioned. For someone who doesn't want an inverter and who doesn't mind external charging systems this might be a good choice. Highly configurable from 15 to 70 amp hours and with all the DC outputs anyone could want at what appears to me to be a very competitive price.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
You misunderstood.

Of course 3000 is easy, I've seen many at 10,000+ in non propulsion use cases.

What I meant was we don't know what the upper limit (to say 75% SoH as EoL) is with optimal care yet, might be 20,000 might be double that.

Same with calendar life
That's right John, I bought a 5200mah battery for my mobile phone back in May 2012 and it is still going good that's 2980 days / times it's been charged and I have used it to provide my internet connection ever since then,
 

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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I've been a lurker on most of these "power box" posts and haven't done any real research of my own but I'm surprised that I've never seen the Powerwerx box/Bioenno battery combination mentioned. For someone who doesn't want an inverter and who doesn't mind external charging systems this might be a good choice. Highly configurable from 15 to 70 amp hours and with all the DC outputs anyone could want at what appears to me to be a very competitive price.
Do you have a link?
 
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