CleanTechnica Tested: The BLUETTI AC200Max Portable Power Station
The BLUETTI AC200Max is a behemoth 2 kilowatt-hour iron phosphate-powered portable power station that really packs a punch, but with a few caveats as well. The front of the BLUETTI AC200Max is imposing, and rightly so. It’s packing 2,048 watt-hours (Wh) of storage capacity and a continuous output capacity of 2,200 watts.
Get Stuff Done
Most portable power stations have power buttons, and the BLUETTI AC200Max is no exception. The company did level up the game a bit with a slick aluminum primary power button with green LED lighting behind it. That makes it easy to see at a glance if the unit is on and serves as a nice reminder if you forgot to turn it off after using it.
After the power button is turned on, the rest of the controls on the unit are on its integrated touch screen. Unlike other touch screens we’ve used, the AC200Max’s touch screen is responsive and intuitive to use. For example, it’s easy to turn the AC or DC circuits on or off from the touch screen with just a few taps.
Additionally, the touch screen is used to turn Bluetooth on to connect to BLUETTI’s smartphone app. The smartphone app gives you the power to remotely turn on and off AC and DC circuits. As it is just a Bluetooth connection, this can’t be done remotely over Wi-Fi, but it is a nice function to have just for around the house and has almost all the same functionality as the touchscreen to control the unit.
At 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches and tipping the scales at nearly 62 pounds, the BLUETTI AC200Max is not something you’re going to be lugging to the beach for the day to power a cooler. It is a big boy in both volume and weight. As such, it is much better suited for use as a stationary backup power solution for homes, in RVs where it can power just about anything in the vehicle including an air conditioner, and in tiny homes as a primary power source.
It was built with tons of capability, including the ability to act as a base unit that you can add more capacity to. BLUETTI currently has two expansion batteries that can be plugged into the AC200Max for a total of just over 8kWh. This makes it an even better option for stationary use and is a great starting point for a home system that can be expanded later as needs change.
The additional batteries are added via two proprietary side connectors that look a bit like miniature EV charging ports. The additional batteries are designed to stack and come in rectangular form factors, making it easy to add a battery and stack the base unit on top.
In addition to the two plugs for additional batteries, the AC200Max has a standard DC barrel connector input and another proprietary BLUETTI connector which is used to connect a solar system to the unit. It’s unfortunate this is not a standard Anderson style or DC style adapter though as proprietary plugs always feel limiting. The AC200Max does come with the adapter from this proprietary connector to the industry standard MC4 solar connectors which is nice.
When it comes time to charge up the AC200Max, The default for most owners is going to be AC wall power. This is definitely the weakest part of the AC200Max, as it can only charge from a wall outlet at between 400 and 500 watts. That translates to a charge time of about 5 hours, which is extremely slow when most comparable units can pull down between 1,000 and 1,800 watts from an AC outlet. Having said that, this is only a real barrier if you are pressed for time and looking to recharge as fast as possible. For most owners, an overnight charge or just dropping the battery onto the wall outlet for a few hours is not an issue.
When recharging the unit from an AC wall outlet, the BLUETTI AC 200 max does require its own dedicated power brick. This is a very large external brick, and it’s a bit unfortunate that BLUETTI did not integrate these electronics directly into the unit as many other competing brands do. This is a minor but noteworthy differentiation that again won’t cause an issue for most owners, but is still worth taking into consideration.
The AC200Max has a unique feature that allows it to recharge from a wall outlet and up to 900 watts of solar at the same time for a maximum charging speed of 1,400 watts. This looks neat on paper, but I can’t imagine a ton of scenarios where people are looking to leverage all of that solar, which could be accomplished with three of BLUETTI’s 350 watt folding solar panels and an AC wall outlet at the same time. Using one or the other makes the most sense but at least the option is there if you need it.
Recharging with solar alone is also possible, and you are able to utilize as much as the aforementioned 700 watts of solar power to recharge the unit. We tested the solar charging and found that with 200 watts of solar panels connected, it would take upwards of 12 hours to fully recharge the unit from 0-100%. With its maximum 900 watts of solar connected, it would theoretically charge up from 0-100% in a bit over 3 hours.
We stress-tested the BLUETTI AC200Max, plugging it into a wall outlet while simultaneously pulling 100 watts out of a USB-C outlet. This test was designed to see if it could pull maximum power from an AC wall outlet at the same time as it was inverting power and pushing it out through a USB port at maximum output. It performed flawlessly and did this for several hours with no issues.
We hooked the BLUETTI AC200Max up to the usual suspects of kitchen appliances we use in our testing to absolutely bang on portable power stations. The AC200Max, with its 2,200 watts of output capacity, was more than up to the task and powered all of the units regardless of the power setting they were on, pushing out 1,350 watts of power for about ten minutes in our testing.
The AC200Max also features a NEMA TT-30 AC outlet that gives it the ability to plug a standard RV’s shore power connection into the unit. That’s a really neat piece of functionality that makes sense on a unit of this size. The ability to expand the AC200Max’s capacity makes this an even better fit.
The AC200Max is a solid portable power station from one of the biggest names in the space and is built on a set of long-lasting iron phosphate battery cells. The ability to expand its storage capacity up to over 8 kWh with additional external batteries is clutch for folks looking to support larger loads in an RV, tiny house, or home backup system and sets the unit apart.
It is unfortunate that it has such a low charging rate with the standard AC adapter, but on the other hand, it does support up to 900 watts charging from solar. That’s great for folks in RVs who will be looking to leverage solar panels as their primary means of recharging the unit and won’t have the capacity to come anywhere close the maximum AC charging rate with shore power.
The Blue Eddie AC200Max retails for $1,959 and is currently on sale for $1,859 on BLUETTI’s site. That feels like a solid value, assuming your needs line up with what the AC200Max can do. For more information about the unit or to purchase one to power all your adventures, head over to BLUETTI’s site for the AC200Max.
- Storage Capacity: 2,048 Wh, expandable up to 6,144 Wh with 2×B230, or 8,192 Wh with 2×B300
- Cell Chemistry: LiFePO4 Battery
- Life Cycle: Retains 80% capacity after 3,500+ Cycles
- Recharges Via: AC/Solar/Car/Generator/Lead Battery/Dual AC/AC+Solar
- AC Output: 2,200W continuous, 4,800W Surge
- Inverter: AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- AC Charging: 500 watts max
- DC Charging:
- Solar: 900W max, VOC 10-145VDC, 15
- 12v Automotive Adapter: 12/24V from Cigarette Lighter Port
- Fast Charging: 1,400W max when connected to solar + AC Adapter
- AC Outlets: 4 x 120V/20A Outlets, 1 x 120V/30A NEMA TT-30
- DC Outlets:
- USB-C Port: 1 x 100W Max.
- USB-A Port: 2 x 5V/3A USB-A, 2 x 18W USB-A
- 12V DC Outlets: 1 x 12V/30A (RV Outlet), 1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet), 2 x 12V/10A DC 5521 (5.5mm Outlet)
- Wireless Charging Pad: 2 x 15W max each
- Connectivity: Smart Control & Monitor in the BLUETTI App
- Weight: 61.9 lb (28.1 kg)
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2in ( 42 x 28 x 38.65cm) (LxWxD)
- Warranty: 48 months
Disclaimer: BLUETTI provided the AC200Max to the author for the purposes of this review.
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