For me, using portable solar generators is like going about life with cheat codes. I can literally get my electricity anywhere I want it, whenever I want it. If I run out, I can just earn more for free (after bombing equipment, of course). After testing the Mars 1000 portable power plant from LiPower, I am happy to see that the prices for this great and useful technology are headed in the right direction, i.e. down. And with LiPower offering an exclusive discount for ElectricA portable power station of this capacity has never been so affordable.
I will not bury the valve here.
While many portable power stations set the standard rate at around $1/watt or $1/watt-hour, the LiPower Mars 1000 reduces it significantly.
The regular selling price is $899 at both Amazon and LiPower, which is really a bargain since it offers 1,100 watt-hours of power and 1,000 watts of pure sine wave AC power.
But LiPower generously offers a better deal for Electricreaders. They only drop the price to $691 if you use the code Electric On the LiPower website or code Xiaomi 8 on amazon. Both codes are valid until the end of May.
A total of 1,100 watt-hours of stored energy and the ability to provide 1 kilowatt of AC power open up a lot of possibilities.
That’s enough power and capacity to power most basic off-grid devices for several hours. If necessary, he can run the refrigerator for several hours. And that’s just in its initial charge—wait for it to get to the solar panels in a moment.
But first, let’s start with what you get in the kit.
Opening the box reveals the Mars 1000 power station itself, along with its wall charger, accessory case with car charger and solar panel connectors, and a cute little instruction booklet.
So far, so good. Everything looks very typical.
The unit itself is well-designed and sturdy with convenient carry handles to pull the 12 kg (27 lb) device with you.
The knobs are flat on the top surface, which means you can place gear or boxes on top of the unit—a big advantage over some of the round knob models out there that aren’t stackable.
All the different plugs and outlets are also located on the front of the unit, which means you don’t have to rotate them to reach different areas. This is another sign of convenience, as you can leave it in a corner of your work area or facing a wall without blocking access to anything important.
In terms of ports, I’m very happy with what the Mars 1000 has to offer. For a 1100Wh power station that can deliver 1000W of power, you’ll likely want to connect multiple devices simultaneously. So three 110V AC plugs are a great addition, which are more plugs than we sometimes see on larger units.
For longer off-site construction jobs, the ability to recharge and keep DeWalt drill bit batteries is a great feature, as well as just about anything else I needed to plug in at the time. For those who still prefer to keep the cord on, you can run a corded drill outside the unit as well!
Then there are the USB ports. A total of three USB-A ports (including one Quick Charge 3.0) are available along with one USB-C PD 60W port. A second USB-C port would have been a nice touch, but I’ll probably only be charging one laptop at a time, so I can manage it with a single high-powered USB-C port.
There are several DC plugs including an old school cigarette lighter outlet, as well as dual solar panel inputs in a DC cylinder kit or Anderson PowerPole connectors, making it easy to connect your LiPower solar panels or any other solar panels you may have on hand. Already.
Connecting the solar panels is where the real magic happens, and the Mars 1000 can support 200W of solar input.
LiPower’s solar panels are rated at 100 watts each and are designed as four-section foldable panels.
We usually see these types of foldable panels built in two sections, which means the folded panel is much larger. But with four sections, the entire panel is folded into a package not much larger than the area of \u200b\u200bthe private power plant. This makes it easy for you to toss your car or even carry it in your backpack, if necessary.
With a pair of panels, you can fully recharge the device in about six hours of direct sunlight, about once a day if the lighting is right.
During emergency use this will give you about 1 kWh for daily use, if you are also recharging via solar energy. And if you don’t want to disconnect the power station entirely, the solar panels have their own dual USB-A ports and one USB-C port built right in the back, meaning you can charge your USB devices directly from the panel itself.
Having tested the LiPower Mars 1000 with a variety of devices, I’m certainly happy with the balance of performance and cost. However, I can still see room for improvement. I wanted a wireless charger included on top of the unit. Many units have these features, and make great additions by easily charging a phone or tablet without using a USB socket.
The screen is also somewhat streamlined. On the other hand, this makes it easier to read in sunlight because the contrast is good. But on the other hand, other units with more detailed color screens provide more information and a more detailed breakdown of battery capacity (I’d rather see “31%” on the capacity scale rather than two five-lit bars).
But aside from the little knobs, the Mars 1000 does exactly what it was designed to do and at a great price to boot! The $899 price is really worth it, but the discounted sale price is $691 with code Electric On the LiPower website or code Xiaomi 8 On Amazon, make this a real steal. And if you’re shopping on Amazon, packages with one or two foldable solar panels will also be discounted using the same coupon code. The Mars 1000 unit with one solar panel drops from $1,168 to $887, and the one with two solar panels drops from $1,437 to $1,074.
And trust me: adding those foldable solar panels makes for an even more useful package.
As far as portable power stations go, this station offers some excellent bang for your buck compared to the bigger names in the industry that carry correspondingly larger price tags. He’s a real winner in my book.
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