EcoFlow’s turnkey off-grid power system just needs sun

The Verge - Mon Jun 27 14:33

The ability to move off-grid just got a little bit easier with these new modular and expandable Power Kits from EcoFlow. These all-in-one Power Kits are turnkey solutions that take the guesswork and complexity out of implementing a battery-based power system inside an adventure van or cabin in the woods. As such, it should take up less room and require less wiring to free up much-needed space for things like food, water, and mountain bikes.

Imagine it: take a plug-and-play power system like this and combine it with Starlink RV space internet and your company’s new flexible office policy to live and work from just about anywhere.

“The EcoFlow Power Kits are designed to make creating custom power solutions easier than ever,” said EcoFlow R&D Director Thomas Chan. “EcoFlow wants to offer energy solutions that can be personalized to users’ exact needs, whether they are in a motorhome, off-grid house or retrofitting their workshops.”

The relatively compact Power Hub is perhaps the biggest selling point, as it combines several functions like an AC/DC inverter, MPPT solar charger, DC-DC converter, and DC-DC charger into a single box. It also creates a central location for all inputs and outputs to keep EcoFlow’s stackable lithium iron phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) batteries charged using solar power, your vehicle’s inverter when driving, or shore power whenever you return to civilization. LFP batteries have several advantages over lithium-ion battery packs, including faster charge times, longer life, lighter weight, and improved safety.

EcoFlow says the Power Hub can connect up to three of the company’s 2kWh or 5kWh LFP batteries. (The battery capacities can’t be mixed.) That allows for a max capacity of 15kWh — enough to power a motor home for 18 hours and an off-grid house for 11 to 14 hours, the company estimates. The unit can even receive power from one of EcoFlow’s own giant Smart Generator batteries, which can be carried separately and fitted with its own portable solar panels to stay off the grid even longer.

The Power Kits can be combined with flexible or rigid panels for a maximum of 4800W of solar input. That’s enough to charge 15kWh of battery in about three hours in full sun. The kit can be controlled and monitored from a console display mounted on a wall and via an app installed on your phone.

EcoFlow claims that its Power Kits can be set up three times faster than traditional systems (which take an “experienced user 10 to 15 hours to install”) based on its own internal testing, without naming any names of the competitor systems compared. It’s unclear, for example, if that’s versus Victron Energy, Ideal Power, Tesla, or someone else.

EcoFlow has built their system around 48V, not 12V, which offers a number of advantages, according to the company. These include lower current for the same power output, allowing for thinner cables to be used while still producing up to 3600W to power beefier appliances. The PowerHub’s step-down DC-DC module also makes it compatible with campers built around common 12V systems.

The Power Kits will be available in 15 different bundles starting July 5th (shipping from mid-August) with prices starting at $3,799 for a basic 2kWh “Get Set” kit to $13,399 for a 15kWh “Ultimate” kit. Those prices do not include any solar panels, which EcoFlow will happily sell to you separately. The company will provide a calculator on its website starting July 5th to help customers determine which configuration best fits their needs.