Tue. May 21st, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • This high-capacity battery is able to recharge in 1.5 hrs.
  • The multiple output options suit various needs like camping and weather emergencies.
  • It’s compatible with solar panels up to 1,200W for extended use.


Just a year before getting my hands on the Bluetti AC200L Portable Power Station, I gave a glowing review to the older Bluetti’s AC200MAX Expandable Power Station. With many of the same conventions and design, the slightly upgraded model delights in all the same ways. I missed the dual wireless charging pad that’s surprisingly absent from the AC200L, but it’s a small price for a just as efficient model.

BLUETTI AC200L Power Station with AC/DC and USB output.

BLUETTI AC200L Portable Power Station

BLUETTI’s AC200L Portable Power Station features 5 AC outlets, 2 DC outlets, and four USB ports ideal for emergency scenarios and camping. The 2,048Wh battery has a 3,000-plus life cycle and can be charged within 1.5 hours using an AC outlet.

Brand
Bluetti

Dimensions
16.5 x 11 x 14.4in

Weight
62.4lbs

AC Output ports
4 x 120V/20A & 1 x 120V/30A

AC Input rating
2,400W

DC Output ports
1 x 48VDC/8A RV & 1 x 12V/10A Car outlets

Solar input rating
1,200W

USB Ports
2 x 100W USB-C & 2 x 18W USB-A

Battery type
LiFePO4

Connectivity
Bluetooth

Display
LED

Expandable
Yes

Operating temperature
-4-104℉

Storage temperature
-4-113℉

Battery Capacity
2,048Wh

Battery Lifecycle
3,000+

Pros

  • High-capacity, fast-charging battery can recharge in 1.5 hours
  • Ample output options for a variety of uses
  • Compatible with solar panels for up to 1,200W
  • Expandable to up to 8,192Wh
Cons

  • 62lbs is pretty heavy for a portable device
  • Battery has fewer life cycles than prior model

A Bit Big for the Great Outdoors

Knowing the AC200L is simply a successor to the AC200MAX, and there aren’t many changes, I wanted to have some fun testing the new model. So, I packed up my car with a few essentials and set out for the desert. Granted, it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and my “essentials” included an Xbox Series S, a portable monitor, my phone, and a few assorted very small cooking appliances. Finding a small swatch of desert in Red Rock Canyon, I set up shop, which was complicated only because the AC200L is incredibly cumbersome.


Carrying the Bluetti across uneven terrain was a chore. It made me realize that while marketing for AC200L suggests it’s a camping companion, you really do need a decent amount of storage space in your vehicle and parking near your campsite. A smaller build would make taking the unit on more isolated experiences more enticing, though the trade-off for a small unit would be lower capacity.

Size may be the AC200L’s crutch, but the unit’s power output offsets its bulkiness. I wasted no time plugging in my Xbox, my portable monitor, and a small panini press, and I quickly noticed that I was barely putting a dent in the 2,048Wh battery capacity.

Long Lasting, Trustworthy Battery

Bluetti AC200L Power Station showing 78% battery and 766W AC output
Mark LoProto / How-to Geek


Like the previous AC200MAX, this new AC200L has an industry-leading LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) battery. For some reason, it’s rated to last 500 fewer cycles than the AC200MAX’s 3,500-plus cycle life span, but it’s still a lot of time spent keeping your devices running.

The battery held up well over my outdoor stress test, even when I added my phone and laptop chargers. Thanks to Bluetti’s digital display, I clocked the Xbox, monitor, and small appliance in at just over 400W of power, and the battery life remained consistent. At 100%, the battery was expected to run for just under 10 hours with this setup. That estimate dropped a few hours when I plugged in a half-day phone and lifeless laptop, though both charged at about the same rate as they do from my home wall outlet.

I started testing the supplied DC charger once I had chipped away at a quarter of the Bluetti’s battery life. It was definitely less effective than I expected, though I believe part of that stems from ongoing issues with my car’s battery.


The Many Ways to Charge

Bluetti AC200L Power Station displaying multiple output ports.
Mark LoProto / How-to Geek

The AC200L’s upgrades can really be seen in its inputs. Though it charges the same way as the AC200MAX—with inputs for AC, solar, and a 12/24V DC—Bluetti significantly reduced charge times. Whereas the AC200MAX topped out at 500W for AC and 900W for solar power input, the updated model can reach a maximum of 2,400W from an AC input and 1,200W from solar.

While I didn’t have solar panels, I did put the AC input to the test. While I thought the 2,400W rating was a typo, I did see spikes from my wall outlet of up to 1,800W. Being a rental, I can’t speak to the efficacy or efficiency of my home’s wiring, but I’d be willing to bet that an extra 600W could be squeezed out of higher-quality components. My outlets do tend to blow a fuse when I run my vacuum and anything else simultaneously, after all.


At a steady 1,800W, the battery went from 25% to 100% in just under two hours. According to Bluetti, at maximum efficiency, it should only take 1.5 hours to fully charge the battery. Considering its predecessor took about four to five hours, that’s an impressive leap.

An Ideal Backup for Home Emergencies

Bluetti AC200L Power Station showing solar and car inputs
Mark LoProto / How-to Geek

In my review of the AC200MAX, I noted how I’d want the unit in my home in the event of an emergency. I’ve since changed my mind. The AC200L is my new companion for disaster preparedness and a contender for the best power station.


I couldn’t quite get my bigger appliances plugged into the power station, so I stress-tested it with the next best thing—the vacuum that keeps blowing fuses. At a steady 800W and 75% battery, the vacuum would have drained the AC200L in about 2 hours. Since a modern Energy Star Certified fridge requires much less energy, sometimes around 150W, you can expect the power station to keep the unit running for about half a day. Connect a solar panel to the power station; you could easily run the fridge much longer should you lose power in your home.

The AC200L is also expandable, up to four times its standard capacity, with two B300 3,072Wh expansion batteries. Based on your projected power needs, you can customize your kit with a smaller 2,048Wh expandable battery.

If it’s emergency scenarios and power outages you want to prepare for, then an expandable battery is highly recommended. The AC200L does offer impressive longevity on its own, but you can’t go wrong with even more battery power to keep your household running.

Keeping Up to Date With the App


There’s not a lot to say about Bluetti’s dedicated iPhone or Android apps. It’s a fine companion piece, keeping you in tune with how much power you’re using. I just don’t think it’s essential to the Bluetti experience. Unless you’re constantly flipping between AC and DC outputs, which the app allows you to do seamlessly, it’s a data provider. It’s nice to see your battery consumption in real-time, though I don’t suspect the AC200L will ever really be inaccessible with how big it is.

Using the app is simple enough, so I guess you might as well since it’s available. The AC200L connects via Bluetooth, and all data, from the current wattage drain to where the power is being distributed to, is presented in an easy-to-read diagram. It even gives a reading on any attached expandable batteries.


Should You Buy the Bluetti AC200L Portable Power Station?

Unless you’re somehow fully confident you’ll never be without power in your home, yes, Bluetti’s AC200L Portable Power Station is a worthwhile purchase. It’s one of those devices that you want to have on hand but never want to have to use. Though the $1,999 price may be lofty for something you don’t want to have to use, it’s better to be prepared. You can find similarly sized models for cheaper, like Fossibot’s 2,048Wh station for $1,699, but it’s not expandable, and it only comes with a two-year warranty compared to Bluetti’s five-year.

I take “portable” with a grain of salt. The unit is a hefty 62 pounds, and it’s more than a foot tall and wide. It takes up quite a bit of space if you’re considering using it as a campsite companion. The tradeoff is you won’t be left wanting for anything. The large-capacity LiFePO4 battery could keep your small appliances running for the duration of your getaway, so you’re pretty much always guaranteed a hot meal.


With its bounty of outlets, including USB-C and USB-A ports and an RV and car outlet, the AC200L is designed for multi-device support. Whether you’re home or on the road, it will keep your most essential appliances and electronics charged and running. With its shockingly speedy charge time and the right setup, you can have a virtually endless power supply in case of an emergency.

BLUETTI AC200L Power Station with AC/DC and USB output.

BLUETTI AC200L Portable Power Station

BLUETTI’s AC200L Portable Power Station features 5 AC outlets, 2 DC outlets, and four USB ports ideal for emergency scenarios and camping. The 2,048Wh battery has a 3,000-plus life cycle and can be charged within 1.5 hours using an AC outlet.



Source link

By John P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *