Maybe it’s the fact that I spend so much time reading and writing about tech, but every couple of months I allow myself think about what it could be like to render all of it and reside off-grid for some time. There are endless ways to detach, and you can go all-out or land somewhere in the center. Among the simplest ways to feel a bit more independence is to provide yourself with your very own sustainable supply of power.
Many newer homes are built with things like solar energy and geothermal warmth in mind. Reducing or removing your dependence on various forms of infrastructure isn’t only liberating but can also be good for your environment. Regrettably, I’m in no position to construct a new off-grid home or even move to a little cottage in the woods, so when Jackery achieved and asked if I wanted to test one of the company’s solar generators, I stated heck yeah.
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Jackery delivered me their new Solar Generator 1500 package, which includes the Explorer 1500 mobile power distribution and 4 of their organization’s very own 100W SolarSaga mobile solar panels. It’s quite a bundle, and while you would not have the ability to power your whole home with just one of these things, it is effective at some unexpected feats.
The Explorer 1500 includes a claimed 1,488 watt-hour capacity. That’s a whole lot, and it’s sufficient to run. A contemporary refrigerator, for example, uses roughly 130 into 150 watt-hours of electricity every day, once it’s ready to go, and also a washing machine needs approximately 250 watt-hours to finish a cycle. Various other appliances like clothes dryers and air conditions use much longer, but as a source of backup power, a fully-charged Explorer 1500 would keep your refrigerator cold and your gadgets billed without issue.
You can purchase the Explorer 1500 unit separately and control it using a home power outlet and save it for backup energy, but the biggest benefit of the package is always the solar charging. Utilizing the quad solar panels on a bright day can charge the battery 80% in just four weeks, the company says. I really don’t have a way of verifying those specific claims, especially since those amounts are likely ideal conditions, but I did find that the battery has been replenished quickly when all four panels needed a clear view of the Sun.
To check it out, I tasked it with powering my garage and attached shed. It managed a half dozen lights, a small fridge, and tools I was using. I’d it recharging battery packs for my own stainless steel blower and drills, running a massive mill lover, and recharging my pone in addition to that. It provided plenty of power for my Saturday, and after making sure the solar panels had a fantastic angle on the Sun, I went indoors for a few hours in the late afternoon. By the time I came out, it had boosted back itself up and was almost completely charged again.
If I were ever going to really test myself by living off-grid and wanted to reduce or completely remove my reliance on the electric grid, then I’d definitely need something like this. Likely several of these, really. For the time being, though, it gave me a small sampling of everything that might be like, and it was pretty brilliant.
Jackery provides several potential use cases such as the solar generator bundle, including camping, remote work where power tools are necessary, and as a backup energy alternative if the electricity goes out. According to my time with the hardware, I could safely state the solar generator could be incredibly helpful for all of these situations.
I’m particularly keen on attempting it on a long camping trip, as it would make life a whole lot easier to not have to rely on a vehicle or a lot of small backup batteries to maintain everybody’s smartphones or laptops up and running. The main component and the solar panels are very mobile, and as the battery weighs over 30 pounds, being