Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Mike’s Gadgets – The Jackery 1500 Portable Power Pack

Mike’s gadgets!

The Jackery 1500 with 400 watts of solar panels

Now, I don’t often wax poetic about a new piece of gear, but the latest generation of portable power stations (please don’t call them solar generators) are getting quite good. I’ve had the Jackery 1500 for a month now, and have used it for a variety of remote power tests.

In addition to pure technology tests, I’m also experimenting with cooking in an RV camp using electricity instead of propane. Why this? Well, if you have enough solar panels and battery storage you may be able to cook for weeks or even forever without getting more propane. Here’s why I think that lithium battery and solar power could fuel the next generation of electric cooking in RVs.

So, just how much energy storage do you need?

Well, I’ve begun a few food cooking experiments to find out.

I now know that a slow cooker crock pot isn’t the most energy efficient appliance you can have since the cheap ones really never shut down. It’s basically drawing anywhere from 123 to 184 watts of power (high or low temp setting) for the entire slow cooking cycle, which could be 6 to 8 hours.

This means that one meal could use up 75% of your stored battery power in a Jackery 1500. Now, this energy use could easily be made up for with the 400 watts of solar panels. But I think there may be other electric cooking methods that use far less energy.

In the next few weeks I’ll do some experiments with induction cooktops. Those are very energy efficient since they don’t heat up the air, only the magnetic pan. I have no data on them yet, but they look promising on paper.

[The following is an ad from Google.]

Santa Baby, I need a pellet smoker…

And if Santa can get it down the chimney, I’m supposed to be getting a Z Grills® pellet smoker for Christmas, on which I’ll quickly do a test smoking a brisket while running from the Jackery Station.

On paper, at least, it should use a lot less energy than a slow cooker. So I’ll gather empirical energy usage data while I’m eating smoked brisket. Yes, I know that eating all this food is a sacrifice, but I’m taking one for the home team.

Rockwood Geo Power Package Testing

Finally, I’ll be duplicating these tests using the Geo Pro with the Power Package upgrade, as well. Since this boondocking trailer upgrade includes a 400 amp-hr lithium battery and 3,000-watt hybrid inverter, it should be able to power anything at least 3 to 4 times as long as the Jackery 1500. Yes, that’s a lot of smoked ribs, wings and brisket to consume, but I’m ready for it.

Let’s play safe out there….

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.

Check out my new RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com. Feel free to ask me your electrical questions there.

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Joe Testa
1 year ago

Fabulous newsletter, looking forward to your future experiments.

1 year ago

If you have never used a pellet grill you are going to love it. You can set a brisket, for example, to cook overnight and as long as you have pellets and power, you won’t have to even get up to check it until morning.

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