BigBlue previously cut its teeth on a number of green energy and power supply products, including a modestly sized 500Wh portable power station and folding solar panel. But now the company is launching a much larger power station, the CellPowa2500, which can likely power just about anything you own, be it AC or DC.
Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that this is a Kickstarter. They’re pre-selling their newest model on Kickstarter.
I’ve always operated by two rules when it comes to crowdfunding projects: I won’t cover them unless 1) the company is already a successful operation that is currently delivering other products, or 2) the company lets me test the device first to verify that it’s legit. In this case, BigBlue qualified on both fronts.
They’ve got some nice smaller portable power stations as well as portable solar panels that they already stock on Amazon. But I also got to spend some quality time plugging everything I could find in the field into the new CellPowa2500 to see if I could overload it.
Spoiler alert: I couldn’t.
That’s because not only can it put out 2500W of AC power continuously, but it can even supply bursts of up to 5,000W.
I tried to push the thing hard by plugging as many devices into it as I could.
I started with my Sur Ron electric dirt bike. Then came an electric bicycle. That was followed up my a CyberQuad for Kids.
Together they pushed the power close to 1,000W.
Next I plugged in my electric pickup truck, shooting the power to around 1,600W.
I was running out of “in the field” devices to plug in, and settled on my power drill charger and then my walkie talkie charger.
The fact there are even six outlets to allow me to plug in that many AC-powered devices is already a huge win for this thing.
But even with six devices, I was barely over half way to reaching the CellPowa2500’s max continuous power draw, and barely a quarter of the way to its max peak power draw.
And that was just the AC side! Flipping the device around reveals two USB-A ports, four USB-C ports, two 12V barrel plug ports, and a 12V cigarette lighter port. Plus there are three 12V inputs for solar panels.
BigBlue even has its own 200W solar panels that can be combined for a total of six panels and 1200W of input power to the device!
So needless to say, there’s a lot of capacity in this 1,843 Wh battery, and there’s a lot of ports to draw that energy out.
The only two major downsides seem to be that the device is quite heavy at 55 lb. (25 kg) and that the screen is not very bright in sunlight.
When I’m indoors, the color screen looks great. But outside, you have to get your face close to it in order to read the text.
The weight might be partially due to the fact that they used LiFePO4 cells instead of Li-ion cells. Those are heavier, but they have the added benefit of being nearly fireproof and also lasting basically forever (or 3,000 cycles, which is almost forever).
And at least there are two comfortable handles for lugging the heavy device around.
Oh, and I never did find the walkie talkie function that the owner’s manual discussed, despite there apparently being a speaker and microphone built into the CellPowa2500. I did find the GPS function though, which is pretty cool. Perhaps the intercom/radio feature requires the app, and I wasn’t able to test the app since I have an iPhone and the companion app is currently only available for Android.
But if they can get that two-way radio feature figured out and roll out the iOS app soon, that would be killer.
The last great feature is the price. The device may carry an MSRP of $1,999, but it’s got an early bird pre-order price of just $999 for the first 300 orders, and then everyone else that partakes in the pre-order still gets a pretty awesome $1,199 price even if you miss the super early bird discount.
Considering that most power stations these days cost around $1/wh, this could easily be a nearly $2K device. But $999 is a song for the capacity, power, and functionality of the CellPowa2500.
I’m glad to see prices like these headed in the right direction, making these portable power stations more affordable for everyone, especially since they’re so useful for off-grid and emergency situations.
Who needs a stinky gas generator gathering dust in the corner of the garage when you could be using folding solar panels and a big backup battery like this every day!?
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