Solar-compatible power bank can replace a generator
The struggle to carry adequate portable power around with us has become a major pain point in recent years, as lifestyles become increasingly mobile. Portable battery company Jackery is taking orders for a big-time battery that it says can replace loud stinky generators when you're away from the power grid.
Jackery describes its Power Pro as a 578-Wh battery-power generator that can simultaneously charge and power whatever you need on the road just as you would at home. The power bank weighs 12 lb (5.4 kg) and sports a three-prong, North American style 110-volt outlet, a pair of 12-volt DC 6-mm ports, a DC cigarette lighter port, two USB ports and a built-in flashlight.
The Power Pro itself can be charged up by being plugged into a 110-volt outlet on the grid for 6-7 hours or, perhaps most impressive is the ability to use a compatible 85-watt, foldable solar panel array that can fully charge the Power Pro with just seven hours of full sunlight.
Basically the Power Pro combines a big battery and AC/DC inverter into a single splash-proof portable package that includes surge and short circuit protection as well as temperature control and a nifty LCD display to monitor discharge level and other statuses.
None of these technologies are new, but putting them together has typically been clunky with lots of parts and wires and certainly not something you can tote around in a small backpack. The SunSocket came out with something similar a few years back, but it wasn't quite as portable, compact and consumer-friendly as what Jackery is going for here.
Jackery claims that each charge of the Power Pro can power a mini fridge for 10 hours or a television for four hours. You could also expect to get 4 - 7 laptop recharges or dozens of smartphone charges from each.
Orders for the Power Pro are currently being taken via Kickstarter for as low as US$375, less than half the projected retail price of $799. Jackery hopes to ship to backers in February 2017. A Pledge of $675 will get you the Power Pro and compatible solar panel, which will retail for $1,398 for the pair.
It's always important to mention that ordering a product like this through a crowdfunding campaign comes with an added degree of risk. It's sadly quite common for shipping of products to be delayed and sometimes they never show up at all. Fortunately, Jackery isn't a brand new company being run out of a dorm room somewhere. It's got a pretty extensive line of portable power products, although this is probably its most ambitious offering yet and we haven't been able to evaluate any of its claims for ourselves just yet.
The Kickstarter campaign just launched this week and has about a month left. It's raised about a third of its $50,000 goal so far.