Slim Tests Jackery’s Explorer 500 & SolarSaga 100 Power System

while winter camping in the Rockies
recently I had a couple of things I wanted to test out what was a little
cool last night but it wasn't that bad when I went to bed it was about 10
degrees Celsius which is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit and to me that wasn't
cold enough to warrant starting up the wood stove because I've got a nice warm
sleeping bag and I was warm and cozy I really didn't need any extra heat I
think tonight it's gonna be a little colder so yes I will fire up the wood
stove for tonight but in the meantime I wanted to talk about power most people
probably know from my past videos that I use two twelve volt batteries I use a
deep cycle and an AGM and they're hooked up to the solar panels that I've got on
the outside of the trailer and most of the time that works pretty good because
I usually have enough sunlight and like the last few months I've never had
to charge up on a landline because I had enough power however if it gets super
cloudy if I'm camped in the shade or if it's winter time like it is now and
there's not enough sunlight during the day then it doesn't always work as
efficiently and especially now because like I probably have at best on a clear
day six hours of sunlight but the sun's low on the horizon so that means that
I'm gonna get some tree shade anyway I needed a third option and it's something
actually I've had for a while but I just have been holding out on you I haven't
announced it yet but the time has come to talk about that third option
and here it is and if you're thinking it's 24 cans of beer you're close it's a
cooler for 24 cans of beer what's in it is this this is a portable power station
by Jackery it's the Explorer 500 now Jackery was really generous they saw my videos in the past and knew the problems I was having with power and they sent
this to me to review it which is exactly what I'm going to do but I postponed the
review until the solar panels arrived now I have the solar panels I can show
you how the complete system works it is completely awesome obviously I mean
this thing's light compared to my big monster batteries the heart of this power station is the lithium battery rated at 518 watt hours or 41 amp
hours although smaller and capacity than most RV batteries it is far more
efficient and charges faster it's great as a standalone power supply however with a dedicated solar panel it becomes more versatile for off-grid applications
turn it on there's the light now I've actually been using this since yesterday
last night I plugged it in I started off with 110 sorry a full hundred percent
charge because you can charge this using 110 so I started off with a hundred
percent and I've been trying to actually get the power down well I've got my
computer I've got a lamp and I've got a battery charging I'm trying to drain the
the power off this portable station as much as I can so I can get to 50% but
it's taking a long time it's efficient that's that's a problem if you want to
drain a battery but I want to drain it so that I can show you how fast it
charges up but I thought of something like right now let me just turn that
light on it's all three together is draining 40 watts
however and remembered that I was carrying this little portable hairdryer
this is a Conair I don't know what kind it is doesn't matter but I think this is
a 1200 watt hairdryer and it runs on 110 now looking at the the jackery it says
right here 110 volt 500 watts it shouldn't handle 1200 watts and I'm not
going to try it but what about the low setting so what I'm going to do is I'm just gonna disconnect the laptop and I'll plug in the hairdryer and I'm just
going to use it on low setting and because this shows me the wattage is I'm
using it I can find out if there's an issue right away so right now it's saying 11 watts turn this on and it's gone up to 220 so that's good I
can actually operate a hairdryer on that in low speed now that's a big advantage
because using having a little travel hairdryer it doesn't take up much space
but especially if an emergency like for example your hands get really cold and
you got to warm them up well put it on low to warm your hands up there's
something you got a thaw or something like that my camera if it freezes up I
can use that if something gets wet you know have you got a spill and you don't
want it to turn to ice you can warm that up and dry it that's a real advantage
and there's probably a way and I haven't tried that so I'm not saying do it but
you know maybe if I could hook up a vinyl hose to this I could run it into
my sleeping bag and pre warm my sleeping bag or my pants or whatever like that so
that opens up a lot of new possibilities but for now I'm just going to turn the
hairdryer on just to get the battery to 50% so I can see how well it recharges in the meantime let me show you how to
use it the interface is easy to use and the components clearly visible the input
is for charging the solar panels and has a blue light to indicate it's working
from the DC panel you can recharge the power station with a 12 volt or 110 volt
external source or power up a 12 volt appliance up to 10 amps the USB ports take three five volt USB appliances rated up to 2.4 amps the 110 outlet can power any appliance up to 500 watts the LCD display measures watts generated
what's consumed and the battery charge amount Plugging my laptop into the
Jackery I can count on 13 to 15 hours of computer use as the day wore on the sky got a little hazy well it's noon and it's lunchtime and
somebody provided me this wonderful bench out in the wilderness thank you
for that but I got my lunch and just so happens the only plate I brought is the
same color as the Jackery so I'm color-coordinated now it's not the sunny day I had really hoped the Sun is kind of like hazy there's there's a little bit of a shadow but it's not full sunlight but it's what I'm gonna have to
test with and in this position here I probably only have maybe two or three
hours that I'm gonna be able to charge but I've got the Jackery and I brought
it down to 49% charge that should be enough to see what it'll do for at least
a couple of hours now temperature-wise it's above freezing it's about two or three Celsius which is probably 38 degrees Fahrenheit which is actually a little bit of a warm-up but it'll get colder later on so let me introduce to you the solar panel that is dedicated to the Jackery Explorer
500 series nice lightweight and it's got these little velcro supports
nice and compact inside here I've got a cord and the
instruction manual It's the Jackery SolarSaga 100 output 100 watts 18 volts which should be plenty so grab that because we're gonna need the cord and we're gonna need to know where the cord goes okay it says right there "DC out" so
slide that out.

Oh It's just Push there we go and red to red, black to
black that seems easy enough now there is two outlets a USB and I think a
microUSB and an LED which probably isn't doing anything because I haven't got it
open yet so next step open it up and probably I opened it up upside down yeah
of course I did now one thing I did notice actually
before I actually put it down is the fabric here's the issue chances are like
right now you're gonna put it down in mud or dirt this seems to kind of
attract dirt I'm kind of wondering if they should have had something that was
easier to clean off cuz this is like a fabric's got a texture to it but we're
gonna give it a go anyway so there goes bring that out got it okay so easy to set up it's kind
of pointed to the Sun I'll probably adjust it I just wanted you to see the
panels and the panels they're not flexible panels they're there I guess
it's a hard plastic seems pretty durable let's plug it in input easy okay it
seems to be working there's a blue light on there and saying it's charging but
this isn't a good position so I'm just gonna move it out get the best I can
let's try it there it's at 49% right now and Oh input 17 watts it's not the
perfect day but let's see what it does in a couple of hours rated at a hundred
watts the SolarSaga 100 also has an excellent cell efficiency of 23%.

volts peak 5.5 amps it has a two-year warranty and also works with lead acid
batteries well now that I've had lunch and my brain's working properly again I kind of thought about it why should I have it set up by the trees anyway
when I've got all this wonderful snow all over the place so I just moved
everything put the charger on the stump and in this position instead of getting
something like 20 or 22 watts I'm getting 41 watts of charging so I've
doubled the amount of charging by just changing the position. And that's the
nice thing about these I can put them anywhere! that should cut the time down
it's 51 percent charge now well there's a little bit of a problem it got cloudy so I didn't have a full to 2 1/2 hours of sunlight, I just had daylight which really isn't a lot like right now I don't know if you can see it
press that button it's three watts is all that it's
generating right now but the next morning it was a lot better.

Well as you can see it's an absolutely perfect sunny day there's not a cloud in the sky and I
found a spot that had some snow around it so this should be absolutely perfect
for generating solar power it was a better location but I didn't have
anything to rest the Power Station on so I used my grill table for this it's charging and now instead of 41
which I got last time I have 64 watts that is perfect and I can probably
adjust a little bit more and get it a little higher well it's bright some people may not realize the advantages of the northern climate as solar panels are actually more efficient in colder temperatures add a little snow as a reflector and you can easily get peak efficiency out of your solar array that's pretty well the maximum right there which is 66 watts while I'm waiting for the power station to charge I did a little bit of reading on the
solar panels themselves and they actually have a frequently asked
questions which is good and one of the questions is: " Are the foldable solar panels waterproof?" and that's an important question because people would use them I certainly would expect to use them in the rain in the snow various
conditions but the answer and this is interesting the answer is: "to maximize
the lifespan of the module it should not get wet" so indirectly they're saying "no" it is not waterproof but I suspect it would take some moisture because you're
gonna use it outside there might be a little cloud burst every once in a while
but I would not leave it any torrential downpour or float it on a river or
something like that as a raft obviously there are limits I don't think
I have any problems with keeping it in the snow it's just you know don't go too
far it probably doesn't have the seals and you know if you think you're gonna
go hiking and you've left it and there might be clouds or a little bit of rain
leave it inside well it's been charging a little over two hours and as you can see I'm in the shadow right now so I'm gonna get over here you can just see the little tip that I'm running out of sunlight its getting in the trees.

So how did it do in that two hours? it charged about 15% actually a little bit better than 15% in that two-hour period which seems right because according to the instruction manual it'll typically take 16 hours to
charge from 0% but the thing is you're never it would be very seldom that you actually bring this down to 0% because if you start off with a hundred you know if you leave home before you go camping or whatever and you have it fully
charged then I would say in a typical day you probably only get it down to 70
or 60 percent charge and then it would only be like if it was sixty percent you
probably be looking at maybe four or five hours of direct sunlight to charge
it up again that's not too bad what that means is whatever amount you use at peak hours you should be able to gain back the next day now just to show you now it's at 44% because I'm losing some of the sunlight
but let me just put it right in the shade here right like that I mean that's
partial shade and that brings it to 7 watts so even if it's if it's a cloudy day or you only have shade you're still going to get some power so overall I think it works great now here's a topic that maybe other reviewers might not have thought of: security! look at this.

if you had to have this out in
the sunlight all day what happens if you want to go out and a hike? imagine somebody prowling around campsites or where you are looking at this and saying: "hey I want that!" fold up the panel's grab the handle it's gone in seconds! here's one solution I have for that so here's my idea put the solar panel
behind your windshield of the vehicle that way it's secured, it's locked up,
it's not getting the intense sunlight but it'll still get some sunlight that it'll charge and the power station is in behind it it's all locked up it's secure you can go away and do some hiking Now I know there's been a lot of great reviews about lithium batteries in general and in particular about the Jackery, I think
it's a very good power station this whole system I'm really impressed with, however… there are limits and you should be aware of them in looking in the Jackery User Manual it's the recharging temperature you should be concerned with because the absolute minimum is zero degrees Celsius 32 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing now fortunately it is above freezing today it's about 4 degrees Celsius what's that about 38 degrees Fahrenheit so yes I can charge it right now and not damage the battery however if the temperature dropped 10 degrees I couldn't so if somebody like myself wants to use a lithium battery in the winter time or during a cold spell you may have problems but for me 38 degrees 40 degrees that's like t-shirt weather! as a matter of fact yeah a little bit of overkill it's time to get a tan! the Jackery solar panels have a much
broader operating temperature than the power supply they can be used down to minus 10 Celsius or 14 degrees Fahrenheit up to 65 Celsius which is a hundred and forty nine degrees Fahrenheit well the sun's going near the horizon so
I'm not gonna get a lot more charge but it was it did really good in the short
period that I was charging it I'm quite impressed with it I like the power station I like that everything's out front
there's nothing you have to plug in from behind or anything like that.

it's very
easy to use it's got three docking stations there for USB 12-volt and 110V
easy to use that's a bonus and the same with the solar panels really easy to set up so I'm quite pleased but it doesn't mean I can't make a few suggestions and here's one of them: this is how it comes out of the box there is no case so I think Jackery should maybe think of just giving it a little bit of protection a little bit of a case because if you're using this in your you put it in the back of your car it's gonna get banged around and scratched up and all that. however I do have a solution and that is: a beer cooler! 24 can beer cooler like this actually fits the Jackery perfectly just zip that up and there you go and
you've got a little pocket right here to keep the cords and all the accessories
you need. This is made by Outbound I'll put a link in the description of
the video if you want to check that out but having a case not only does it
protect the power station but it also insulates it which means that if you
have to go out in colder temperatures then you can use it you can probably use
it a little bit at least because you can retain that warmth.

Now of course I like to use it with my trailer however you don't have to you can just simply use it with a car! you can put it in the backseat in between seats in the trunk or I like to put it right up front where I can use it I can use it from my laptop,
I can use it for my refrigerator I use it for charging it has nothing to
do with my car battery I have no issues with it going dead.
however when I'm actually traveling I can use the car battery to plug it in so
it's charging and chances are when I get to where I want to go it's already a
hundred percent charged. win-win! if you're all powered up and you don't need it for anything else, then it's perfect for a workout! I hope you enjoyed this video check out my other ones as well oh yeah pumping iron! (or
more accurately pumping lithium)! there's also many other features so please check out the video description for more details on the Jackery Power system.


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