X

Bluetti's New Power Station Is Hot-Swappable, While Its Portable Cooler Is Ice Cold

Because sometimes you want to go off grid but still have an app-enabled ice maker.

Jon Reed Senior Editor
Jon Reed is an editor for CNET covering home energy, including solar panels and energy efficiency. Jon has spent more than a decade making a living by asking other people questions. He previously worked as an editor at NextAdvisor, focused on home loans and the housing market; as a statehouse reporter in Columbus, Ohio; and as a reporter in Birmingham, Alabama. When not asking people questions, he can usually be found half asleep trying to read a long history book while surrounded by cats.
Expertise solar, home energy
Jon Reed
2 min read
A portable cooler and a portable power station in a booth at CES 2024.

Bluetti's MultiCooler (left) and AC180T portable power station offer hot-swappable batteries and an ice maker you can take on camping trips.

Jon Reed/CNET

I didn't expect a portable cooler from a power station manufacturer to have an ice maker in it. I especially didn't expect the ice to be so clear. Then again, Bluetti's newest products unveiled at CES 2024 are full of surprises, something the show's most interesting energy tech has in common.

Let's start with the power station. The AC180T is similar to the company's existing AC180 power station, but with a twist: This one has a pair of removable battery packs, each with a capacity of about 717 watt-hours. This tech, called SwapSolar, allows you to rotate battery packs if you need more energy capacity, saving you from having to buy an entire additional power station.

And these lithium iron phosphate batteries are hot-swappable, meaning you can rotate them in and out of the machine without having to shut it off. Your gadgets can stay connected to power while you add in new battery capacity. It's also weirdly fun to do. I giddily lifted the battery packs out of the power station and dropped them back in. They're heavier than you'd expect, at almost 19 pounds apiece. 

The author lifting a battery pack out of a power station.

The battery packs in the Bluetti AC180T portable power station are hot-swappable, so you can just take one of these things out of the station while it's operating.

Jon Reed/CNET

The AC180T has 1,433 watt-hours of capacity and an output of 1,800 watts, similar to the AC180. It has four 120-volt AC outlets, and the whole thing weighs more than 58 pounds with two batteries in it. 

Those battery packs aren't limited to the portable power stations. Enter: the MultiCooler, Bluetti's first portable refrigerator.

It runs off of one of the hot-swappable batteries, and can also be powered by portable solar panels. The MultiCooler has app-enabled temperature control, ranging from 68 degrees Fahrenheit down to minus-4 degrees. With a 40-liter capacity, the MultiCooler kept plenty of drinks cold at Bluetti's booth during CES. It weighs about 53 pounds.

A person holds several ice cubes above a portable cooler.

This is what the ice from the Bluetti MultiCooler's ice maker looks like.

Jon Reed/CNET

Then there's the ice maker. It uses running water to make ice, and all you have to do is pour some water into it. Bluetti told me that process makes the ice more clear, and the ice I saw coming from the machine was like glass. You can even control the size of the ice in the app.

Both of these products will be crowdfunded in an Indiegogo campaign starting in February, Bluetti said. You can sign up early on the company's website

Editors' note: CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or the company behind it. Before you contribute to a campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies -- in this case, Indiegogo -- to learn about your rights (and any refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.