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Like a Tesla Powerwall on Wheels: You Can Take This Home Battery With You

EcoFlow is known for its portable power stations, which provide power on the go. Even its new whole-home battery can't sit still.

EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra

The EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra home battery is super customizable, quite powerful and has wheels.

EcoFlow

I've seen the most popular home batteries up close and personal. They're big, solid boxes that cost $10,000 or more and never leave the wall of your home. But during my search for the most interesting energy tech at CES 2024, I wheeled around a portable version, and it didn't even seem that heavy. EcoFlow's new Delta Pro Ultra allows you to take some or all of your home's power with you -- even on vacation. Its power and versatility made it one of the best things CNET saw at CES this year.

The Delta Pro Ultra is EcoFlow's most powerful entry in the whole-home battery market, which is growing more competitive despite years of dominance by a few players, namely the Tesla Powerwall

Like other whole-home battery systems, it's essentially a stack of lithium iron phosphate batteries with an inverter on top to convert the DC electricity stored in those battery cells into the AC power your appliances use.


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What's different from competitors is that EcoFlow's batteries and inverters are in a stack, on wheels, connected by some simple wiring to a smart panel (called the EcoFlow Smart Home Panel 2) that distributes power between the batteries and your home. Because the batteries aren't mounted (like on a wall), it's fairly easy to add more and reassemble the configuration on your own. So if your energy needs increase, you don't have to call somebody to come and add more batteries for you. That could save you thousands of dollars on an installer, or tens of thousands if it means you don't have to buy a whole new big battery unit.

And, if you want power while you're away from home -- say, on a camping trip -- all you have to do is unplug the battery and inverter unit from the wall and take it with you. It suddenly becomes a very large but very powerful portable power station that can save you the hassle and cost of buying a separate unit just for camping.

Here's what to expect.

The EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra battery tilted at an angle on a cart.

EcoFlow had the Delta Pro Ultra loaded up on a cart at CES so you could wheel it around. It's surprisingly easy to move a nearly 200-pound battery.

Jon Reed/CNET

Powerful and flexible

First, some specs: The power of the EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra depends largely on how many you have. Each inverter is capable of 7.2 kilowatts of output, which is a good amount of power. You can have up to three inverters, for a total of 21.6 kW of output -- more than enough to start up your air conditioner on a hot day.

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In terms of capacity, you can start with as little as 6 kWh and upgrade to as much as 90 kWh, with up to five battery modules stacked under each inverter. 

You can mix and match: EcoFlow said the typical solar customer might have two inverters, with two batteries under each. Some quick math: That's 14.4 kW of power and 24 kWh of capacity.

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The Smart Home Panel 2 comes with 12 circuits, which is fewer than a full-scale smart electrical panel, but can still handle a lot of your energy needs. You also don't need the Smart Home Panel 2. A transfer switch or inlet box will suffice if you just want the battery backup.

Your home battery away from home

The coolest thing about the Delta Pro Ultra is that it can do something no Tesla Powerwall or Powerwall lookalike can: leave the house.

You can disconnect it from your smart panel and wheel the thing around, load it up in the car or the camper, and have all the electrical comforts of home with you while you travel. 

It's not the most portable of portable power stations. The inverter and one battery unit weigh about 190 pounds combined. There are lighter ways to haul electricity around. But it is still capable of being moved: I wheeled it around on the show floor at CES a bit, and it wasn't hard at all.

The advantage of portability stretches beyond being able to take a big battery to your tailgate party. If you move, and you have a home battery that's attached to the wall and wired into your home, you're probably leaving that battery for the next owner of your house. But with the Delta Pro Ultra, you can take the battery with you. The only thing that requires an electrician is the panel.

EcoFlow Smart Home Panel

The EcoFlow Smart Home Panel 2, which can connect the company's batteries to your home's energy system.

EcoFlow

Lose your electrician's number

OK, don't actually lose their number, but you won't need them quite as much if you install this battery. Essentially the only thing that has to be installed in your house by an electrician is the smart panel, which EcoFlow says should only take a few hours, for an installation cost of maybe $1,000.

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As for installing the batteries and inverters, you can do that on your own. It's just a matter of plugging things in. That's a game-changer.

Here at CNET, when we review and score batteries, one thing we look for is modularity: the ability to size the battery properly to fit your energy needs, and to upgrade it if those needs change. You shouldn't have to buy way more capacity than you need, and you should be able to add more at a reasonable price in the future.

The Delta Pro Ultra allows you to make those upgrades entirely on your own. You can pick the size based on your needs now, and then you can add more battery capacity or another inverter (or both) later if that isn't enough. That saves you money two ways: You're only getting as much battery as you need, and you don't have to pay that electrician or installer to come back out.

Article updated on January 7, 2024 at 6:10 PM PST

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Jon Reed
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jonreed
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
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