Thursday, September 29, 2022

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RVelectricity: The Jackery Explorer 1000 Solar Generator goes Pro!

Dear Readers,
It’s starting to be a whirlwind month for me. After being flat on my back from COVID for three weeks in August, I’m now able to begin testing electrical devices in my FunkWorks Lab™ once again. And boy, I have a really fun tech review this week.

Lithium portable power stations?

This is a relatively new class of portable battery power stations with a really large lithium battery, 120-volt pure-sine inverter, 12-volt DC outlets, and USB connections for your smartphone and other USB chargeable devices.

Sometimes called “solar generators” because of their ability to be recharged from the sun with portable solar panels, they now can be used for all sorts of applications both in the home and on the road in your RV. Here I am in front of my Rockwood Geo Pro G19 toyhauler with a new Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro and a 200-watt solar panel.

I’ve already written about some possible applications, include my infamous study on how many Sock Puppets you could sew from one charge. See where I named the power unit SPEU (Sock Puppet Energy Units) HERE.

TNG (The Next Generation) of portable power stations….

I’ve already tested a variety of these “solar generators” over the last year, including products from Southwire and Jackery, from 300 to 2,000 watt-hrs of lithium storage. And while all of these needed an external power supply for charging, the latest version of these portable power stations include built-in chargers that only require a 120-volt power cord plugged into a wall outlet.


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Enter the Pro series of Jackery Explorer Solar Generators

Last month I did a review of the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro, which was really interesting. In fact, I used it for testing the latest SoftStartUp unit in a Dometic Penguin II A/C unit. These “Pro” series of Jackery Explorers not only have a built-in battery charger (which is one less thing to forget to pack), they can charge from 0% to 100% from any 120-volt outlet in around 90 minutes.

That’s right, you don’t have to plug them in all night for a full charge. Just 90 minutes (or less) is all the time you need. And if you put enough solar panels on them, they can fully recharge from the sun in a few hours. Here’s a picture of my demo Explorer 1000 Pro charging from a wall outlet at 763 watts.

Goldilocks knew what she was doing…

As I noted above, I’ve been testing lithium power stations with battery capacities from 300 to 2,000 watt-hrs. For many of you, the Goldilocks size will be around 1,000 watt-hrs. That’s a lot more capacity than the 100 amp-hr FLA or AGM battery that probably came in your RV, which ends up being 600 watt-hrs of available energy. (12 volts x 100 amp-hrs x 50% max discharge = 600 watt-hrs.)

My measurements show that the Jackery 1000 Explorer Pro can provide nearly as much energy as a 100 amp-hr lithium battery and inverter upgrade in your RV trailer. And here’s me (above) overloading the 1,000-watt inverter with 1166 watts, which it was able to do for 23 seconds. That’s great overload capacity.


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Nuts and bolts

(click to enlarge)

The Advanced Smart Screen on the Jackery Explorer is great. I’m a bit of a nut about control and measurements, so here’s what the control panel looks like. You can see the incoming charging power and time, watts being used, how much energy is left, and the estimated hours of power at your current load.

What can you power with it?

In addition to my own testing, here’s what Jackery says is possible with the Explorer 1000 series.

(click to enlarge)

As you can see, this Explorer 1000 would do a great job powering an electric blanket and CPAP machine, and still have enough energy in the morning to make a few cups of espresso/cappuccino starter fluid.

More specifications

Here’s what the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro is rated for. And I’ve confirmed nearly all of these ratings so far.

But I’ll be looking for additional real-world tests for this mid-sized solar generator in the coming months, including making morning coffee with my Nespresso, and powering a band for a 3-hour set. Yes, there are a lot of possibilities for this mid-size solar generator / power station, so stay tuned.

What about those solar panels?

Well, the latest 200-watt SolarSaga panels from Jackery are rated as dust- and water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about a little rain and dirt. But hey, that’s camping, right?

And you can hook up to six of these panels for 1,200 watts of solar on the Explorer 2000 Pro, which should be able to completely recharge the lithium battery in just a few hours. With this Jackery/SolarSaga setup and some sunshine, you should be able to boondock for weeks without starting up a generator. Amazing!

Let’s play safe out there….

Send your questions to me at my RVelectricity forum here.

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVT1069

 

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Drew
19 days ago

It seems to me that plug in recharging would be the first choice. I’m confused that this is news.

Mike Sokol
19 days ago
Reply to  Drew

All the previous models used an external charger box that took 4 or more hours to charge the batter.
The Pro models have a built-in charger that only needs a 120-volt power cord, and it will charge the battery in around 90 minutes. Plus it will accept a lot more solar panels for faster charging.

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