Maxoak’s Bluetti EB150 was a hit as soon as it hit the market, but there was one repeated request from consumers: more power. The EB240 delivers, adding a substantial increase in battery capacity, along with a few minor improvements. The result is a solar power station that offers one of the longest battery life spans on the market. It's also one of the best generators for powering and recharging portable electronics.
The EB240 supports solar charging from panels with an output ranging from 16-68 volts. Sustained charging is limited to a 60 volts open voltage rating, which may be encountered when linking panels together for fast charging. The charging system can handle up to 10 Amps at up to 500 Watts.
The charging port uses a DC7909 socket. Maxoak includes a DC7909 to MC4 cable, making it compatible with the majority of portable panels on the market. Under ideal conditions, a full charge takes 5 to 5 ½ hours at 500 watts, and 8 to 8 ½ hours at 300 watts. A built-in maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller adjusts the load on the panels automatically to maximize the charging rate while managing battery temperatures. Even at its maximum charging rate, the outside surface of this station remains cool to touch.
The generator must be switched off to connect the panels, then turned on to enable charging. The inverter still works while the battery charges, letting you use the outlets while the Bluetti is connected to solar panels. Keep in mind that the generator will shut off when fully charged, even if you’re using it to power something.
Unlike most solar generator manufacturers, Maxoak doesn’t offer their own line of panels to use with their power stations. If you want to get the maximum recharging rate, you’ll need two or three portable panels with parallel capability to connect to the EB240.
Other Charging Options
There’s no way to charge from a 12 volt source, but the Bluetti does support AC wall outlet charging. It takes 15 hours to completely charge a flat battery using this method.
On the back of the unit, there are two 120 volt AC outlets that can handle three prong plugs. These sockets are spaced far apart, so there shouldn’t be any interference when using wall warts with this generator. The pure sine wave inverter delivers the same type of electricity you get from a standard wall outlet, so this station can power anything including electronics and battery chargers.
Up front, you’ll find one USB Type C outlet for fast charging new smartphones, tablets and laptops. There are also four USB Type A outlets. While most power stations only offer fast charging on one or two ports, all four Type A ports on the EB240 can send the maximum 3 Amps supported by the standard.
Instead of offering a pair of 12 volt car accessory outlets like the EB150, this model has a single socket. However, this single outlet can handle up to 9 Amps, making it compatible with just about any 12 volt appliance.
The EB240 measures 19.4 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches and weighs 48.5 lbs. That’s about the same size as a computer mini tower case. An aluminum alloy shell protects the battery and electronics while dissipating heat. The built-in fan kicks on during startup and under medium load, keeping the surfaces of the generator cool to the touch. A large fixed handle makes the unit easy to lift and carry around.
The lithium ion battery pack is built using LG’s latest 4S3P battery cells. Thanks to these high quality cells, a full case cooling system and an advanced power control system, Maxoak says owners should expect a lifetime of 2,500 battery cycles. That’s more than double the cycles of similar power stations. To reach this life cycle, the company recommends bringing the battery to full charge every 3-6 months.
The display doesn’t kick on unless charging or when power draw exceeds 30 watts. If you mostly use this station to charge electronics, you’ll rarely see it come on. For the most part, it provides the same readouts as other stations, including current charge and current draw. However, instead of generic error lights, the display shows error codes that can be referenced with the owner’s manual. While not as convenient as other displays, the information it offers is far more detailed. This takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting. Have an overload? The code tells you exactly which socket is drawing too much power, instead of forcing you to unplug all of your devices.
What Can I Power With this Solar Generator?
How does 2,400 Wh translate into real world use? Maxoak gives these examples of maximum operation time from a fully-charged battery:
At nearly 50 lbs, you won’t be carting it around on long trails. However, that weight comes with plenty of power for lights, portable electronics and small appliances. The long battery life makes it a practical solution for people who camp every weekend, or operate outfitting services. The high amount of full power USB ports makes it a great choice for people who use cameras and drones for outdoor filming.
With no way to charge it from a 12 volt source, this station isn’t a good fit for RVing. However, it’s a good compliment for your RV if you spend a lot of time outside. After charging it when you have shore power, you can bring it to picnic tables or set it under your awning for convenient power.
Low voltage limits keep the Bluetti from powering coffee pots, hot plates and other high draw devices. However, if you’re looking for a way to power a TV or a sound system at your next tailgate, it has you covered. It also has enough power for a crock pot or a small microwave.
Want a power source during outages? The power needed to start a full size refrigerator’s compressor is just outside the Bluetti’s capacity. However, it should have no trouble keeping a small fridge, TV, fan, and an array of electronics going during blackouts. It’s also far lighter than lead acid-based stations, and can handle several times the number of discharges.
Maxoak will repair or replace the Bluetti EB240 if there are any problems within the first 12 months of ownership.
If you’re looking for a solar generator that can power any appliance, look elsewhere.
However, if you need something that can handle heavy use, this is one of the best options on the market. Few competitors can offer the number of life cycles and attention to charge control. It’s also one of the best solutions for people who need a way to power lots of low voltage devices, including cameras, drones and smartphones.