Most of us live our lives reliant on the constant flow of power that comes from the sockets in our walls and pay a utility company to provide that power. But what happens when that flow of power stops due to a power outage, a natural disaster, or some other cause?
And what about other power needs? What if you're camping and want power to keep food cold, to charge your laptop, or to provide some off-grid outdoor lighting? What if you're working on a job site and the power company hasn't yet hooked up main power? How do you run that table saw or keep the other tools charged and running?
The solution used to be living in the dark or buying a gas-powered generator. Sure, candle light can be romantic, but it gets old fast when you're worried about the food in the freezer going bad.
Gas-powered generators are considered to be workable solutions, but they're noisy, generate nasty fumes, require you to store dangerous fuel someplace safe, get very dirty and greasy, and have to be set up and used outside. Plus, they can be expensive, difficult to maintain, and can be stolen during the night.
According to market analyst Frost & Sullivan, Growatt is one of the largest suppliers of photovoltaic inverters in the world. These inverters convert the energy captured by solar panels into AC power that is usable within the home.
Growatt's experience in the renewable green energy industry, and leadership in the home residential inverter market, provided the experience to launch portable solar panels and portable power stations, like the Infinity 1500 – a small, self-contained box roughly the size of a toaster oven. It comes with 12 outlets: four grounded AC outlets, two USB A, two Fast Charge USB 3.0, and two USB C outlets, and a cigarette lighter adapter. It also has a tray on the top of the unit where you can charge your phone wirelessly.
In terms of power, there are two measures to consider: how much power can it store (measured in Wh, for watt hours) and how much power can it put out (measured in W, for watts). The Infinity 1500 has a battery capacity of 1,512Wh and can output AC at up to 2,000W. This unit is part of a new era where batteries can punch above their weight class, outputting more watts than they have in watt hours.
What does that mean practically? Let's say you're on a job site and have to trim down some sheets of plywood using a table saw. Table saws vary in their power usage, but a typical 10-inch saw spinning at 4800 RPM uses about 1,750 watts. That means you could power the saw for about 45 minutes continuously with the Infinity 1500 on a single charge. A smaller circular saw, running at about 1,200 watts, would go for about an hour.
When it comes to smaller appliances, a one-time charge of the Infinity 1500 could run a 5 watt LED desk light constantly for about a week and a half. A 30 watt electric fan could run for more than 40 hours straight. You could fully charge a completely dead MacBook Pro about four times.
Now, here's an important health-related example. CPAP machines are used by people with sleep apnea to help them breathe while sleeping. If power goes out and you need a CPAP to sleep, the Infinity 1500 should be able to keep a typical CPAP running for almost three eight-hour nights.
And for fun, let's consider how many cups of coffee the Infinity 1500 could brew. Assuming a heat-up wattage of about 1,500W running for about 4 minutes, and a brew wattage of 200W, a Keurig with a 12 cup reservoir can brew through nine tanks worth of water. That's 108 cups of coffee. That ought to be able to get you through the day!
Obviously, each appliance you might power is a bit different, and will vary from model to model and vendor to vendor. And, in the real world you'd likely be charging a combination of these devices rather than using it to power a single device. But, we've given you rough running times to get you in the ballpark, and to give you a feel for what the Infinity 1500 can do.
Fast charging the Infinity 1500
We've discussed how long various devices can run on a fully charged Infinity 1500. We also need to talk about how to charge the power station itself. You can put power into this thing three ways: from the wall, from solar cells, and even from your car. The most impressive part is how fast the Infinity 1500 fills up.
Using wall power, you can fill a completely depleted Infinity 1500 to 80% in just an hour. You can fill it from zero to 100% in 2 hours.
Then there's recharging with Growatt solar cells. Solar cells and batteries each live in their own worlds of basic physics. What comes out of a solar receptor is not typically compatible with what's needed to charge up a battery. To make these two different environments work together, you need an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) Charge Controller. This is the circuitry that negotiates the energy transfer interface between the solar cells and the batteries – and this is a technology where Growatt has already been an industry leader with over a decade of experience.
When you plug one of Growatt's solar panels into the Infinity 1500, you can charge it to 100% in 2.5 hours. The solar charge interface can support up to 800W of photovoltaic (PV) input, which Growatt reports has resulted in some full charges taking as little as 2.2 hours.
Of course, all of that is dependent on the sun. You'll need to put the solar panels into direct sunlight. The good news is that with a charging system that replenishes the batteries so fast, you won't have to worry about the sun moving across the sky. By the time it moves out of position for your solar panels, the Infinity 1500 could be fully charged.
Another cool feature
The Infinity 1500 is also a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). This means you can keep the Infinity 1500 plugged in and always fully charged, and then plug some devices in that you use every day. In the event of power failure, the Infinity 1500 will take over and keep your devices running.
The big difference between the Infinity 1500 and a typical UPS? The Infinity 1500 can keep those devices running for far, far longer than the typical consumer UPS being used to protect consumer electronics. Also, unlike a typical UPS, the Infinity 1500 is app enabled, so you can monitor and control it from your smartphone.