The EcoFlow battery is the world’s first portable home battery that can provide your home with backup power or even complete independence from national supply when combined with solar panel arrays.
EcoFlow battery products have raised over $16 million dollars on Kickstarter in the last few years and this ‘little giant’ tech is also backed by Beijing. So what is so special about these portable power stations?
EcoFlow River Series
The EcoFlow River Series is a range of batteries called EcoFlow River / River Mini / River Max and River Pro that range from 210 watt hours to 720 watt hours. This makes them ideal for camping and RVs to power laptops and cameras right up to a mini fridge or coffee maker.
EcoFlow River batteries are designed to be charged on the move in a motor car or with solar panels. They can also be charged via a wall outlet. EcoFlow River batteries are expandable. You can double the output to 1440 Wh by linking two batteries.
One of the major selling points for the EcoFlow battery is the x-stream fast charge – the world’s fastest charge at just 1.6 hours to take an EcoFlow River battery to 100% on wall charge and 3-6 hours on solar input.
EcoFlow Delta Series
The EcoFlow Delta Series is a portable home battery series that can provide energy security for your home. This series of EcoFlow battery products includes the Delta / Delta 2 / Delta Mini / Delta Max and Delta Pro.
They range from 882 watt hours to 3.6 kilowatt hours. They are expandable to 25 kWh, making your home completely independent for energy during an outage or completely off grid when combined with solar panels for recharging.
At 99 pounds or 45 kilograms a Delta Pro battery is heavy and perhaps it is better suited to use as a portable home battery, rather than a battery you take camping, in which case a Delta Mini might be a better option (23.6 lb / 10.7 kg).
You’d need a minimum Delta Pro to power your 250 watt American Fridge Freezer for 12 hours during an outage. You can boost a single Delta Pro with X-Boost to 4500 watts or link two Pro units for 7200 watts, which would power most domestic appliances for a short period.
The EcoFlow battery units are scalable and you can link units up to 12.5 kWh for emergencies or 25 kWh for complete energy independence. This would not be a small investment as the Delta Pro EcoFlow battery + a single solar panel costs between $4,600 and $4,800 (on offer at $4,600 as we write). A Tesla Powerwall might be a better option for home energy independence.
The Delta Pro EcoFlow battery can be charged at an EV station, wall outlet or using solar and can be fully charged in less than 2 hours (EU) or 3 hours (US). Delta Pro can be connected with up to 3 x 400 watt / 48 volt solar panels. Max solar input is 150v.
Are EcoFlow battery products worth it?
A Delta Pro EcoFlow battery will last for 800 cycles up to 80%. This means that on daily recharging it would last around 2 years. You’d need 6-8 batteries plus solar panels and accessories to be fully energy independent, so minimum $30,000 investment.
The average energy use for a US 3 bed home is 10,715 kilowatt hours (EIA) and at 15.42 cents, that is $1,652 a year. By our reckoning, that means an EcoFlow battery set up for independent home energy is not economically viable.
On the other hand, if you live in an area where there are frequent outages and your home fridge/freezer has $300-$600 of food in it, an EcoFlow battery might be worth the investment. A Delta Pro battery is $3,699, so you would need 5-10 outages over two years to make it worthwhile.
The convenience of continual power when an outage occurs is not to be overlooked. Plus, if you are anything like us, you’ll enjoy experimenting with the battery, taking the unit in the RV or powering your workshop with it, etc.
Where are EcoFlow batteries made?
EcoFlow is a Chinese startup (Bloomberg). They are based in Shenzhen, China. They are backed by Sequoia Capital and have successfully run 3 Kickstarter campaigns to fund new product development.
Is an EcoFlow battery sustainable?
EcoFlow batteries use LFP. On the plus side, LFP batteries are less toxic than lead-acid batteries. On the downside, although LFP batteries can be recycled, it is a complex operation and high temperatures cause off-gassing which is not environmentally friendly (Science Direct).
Pros & Cons of an EcoFlow battery
An EcoFlow battery is a useful accessory for camping and RV life. Taking a power generator that is quiet, lightweight and powerful on trips is desirable.
Being able to link and scale power is also beneficial. The one disadvantage we keep seeing with battery packs is how little they can actually power for limited times. Fast charging is a huge bonus here, as is the choice of how to charge that comes with an EcoFlow battery.
On the home front, using an EcoFlow battery for backup during power outages could be an economically sound decision and also be very convenient.
Using an EcoFlow battery system as an independent energy source for your home is unlikely to be economically viable and has a potentially undesirable environmental impact.