What Is Bluetti and Why Is It Emerging?
Bluetti introduced a sodium-ion solar generator system in 2022, but that's not the only reason this company is making a splash.
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Bluetti, a Las Vegas startup founded in 2019, has been getting good reviews for its solar energy generation and storage products.
If you’ve noticed increased buzz about the company in tech publications, it’s probably because Bluetti announced the introduction of a sodium-ion solar generator at the 2022 Consumer Technology Association (CES) conference in Las Vegas. The company claims it’s the first of its kind.
The proliferation of large-scale battery packs for solar generation systems and electric vehicles has raised concern about the long-term availability of lithium, the light metal used to make in lithium-ion batteries.
Sodium is heavier, but it’s a thousand times more abundant in the earth’s crust. Mining it creates fewer negative environmental effects like soil degradation, atmospheric contamination and excessive use of water, according to Euronews.green.
Bluetti’s NA300 solar generator, used with its B480 battery pack, employs sodium-ion technology and isn’t widely available yet. However, the CES announcement may be a herald of good things to come. It’s one of many reasons to keep this company and its products on your radar.
What Does Bluetti Sell?
Bluetti manufactures and sells portable power stations, backup batteries, solar panels and kits that combine panels and power stations. Most of its power stations feature inverters and charge controllers that Bluetti also manufactures.
The company refers to its power stations as solar generators, which is confusing, even though PV panels generate solar power. The nomenclature is probably an effort to offer them as alternatives to gas-powered electric generators.
Bluetti’s power stations are rechargeable batteries that supply ready-to-use AC power via a built-in pure-sine-wave inverter. Input ports, output receptacles, inverters and charge controllers are all included in one housing. There’s one exception: The 3,000-watt AC300 inverter module, which must be coupled with at least one B230 or B300 external expansion battery.
Besides the AC300, four other power stations are available with outputs of 600, 700, 800 and 2,000 watts. All can be charged by solar panels, plugging into an AC outlet, connecting to a vehicle’s 12V system or via a conventional gas generator. Most have bluetooth capability which lets you to connect with your mobile device. All are more or less portable.
The solar panels are portable and come in three sizes: 120, 200 and 350 watts. They incorporate monocrystalline solar cells on a fabric backing and have legs that let you adjust the angle to maximize sunlight exposure. When not in use, they can be folded and stored in the supplied carrying case.
Bluetti’s web site offers connectivity cables and power adapters for charging the batteries and power stations from external sources, like AC outlets and vehicle batteries. You can also purchase a smart home panel to connect one of the larger power stations to your home’s electrical panel.
Bluetti power stations can be charged by any home solar array, but the output voltage from the panels may need to be reduced. The company also supplies step-down transformers for this purpose.
What Makes Bluetti a Standout?
All the batteries Bluetti currently produces incorporate lithium iron phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) technology, regarded as the best technology for large lithium batteries. (The soon-to-be-released sodium-ion ones don’t.) LFP batteries are less prone to overheating and longer lasting than other lithium batteries.
Bluetti claims its batteries can undergo 2,500 to 3,500 discharge cycles, more than five times as many as nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries produced by other manufactures.Warranty periods are 48 to 60 months, nearly twice as long as those offered by GoalZero and Jackery, the Bluetti’s main competitors.
SolarReviews gives Bluetti’s products high marks, finding they’re easy to use, reliable and perform as advertised. Plus, they’re reasonably priced. The 2,000W/2,000Wh AC200P portable power station with 17 outputs for multiple devices costs less than $1,500 and can be combined with three PV charging panels for about $2,800.
Bluetti Products for Casual Use
Smaller Bluetti offerings can supply power for camping trips, outdoor activities and more.
EB3A Power Station
The smallest power station Bluetti offers, the EB3A is also one its most popular. With its 268Wh battery and built-in 600W inverter, it can simultaneously charge up to nine devices and can be recharged six ways.
AC200P Power Station
Voted the top portable power station on the market by CNET, the AC200P has a 2,000W output with a surge output of 4,800 watts. That’s plenty to power kitchen appliances on camping trips, or sound equipment for an outdoor gathering.
PV200 Solar Panels
Lightweight and foldable, the PV200 solar panels can charge any of Bluetti’s power stations, whether you’re at home or on a fishing trip. They can also charge any other solar device with an MC4 connector.
Bluetti Products for Homeowners and Pros
Although products incorporating sodium-ion technology aren’t yet available, Bluetti offers a number of large LFP storage systems.
AC300 Inverter Module
The 3,000-watt AC300 inverter module must be coupled with at least one B300 expansion battery. You can stack up to four batteries for a 12.3 kWh capacity. That’s comparable to a Tesla Powerwall, but for less money. The AC300 system will soon have a sodium-ion counterpart (the NA300 inverter and B480 battery).
EP500 Pro Power Station
Providing everything you need for home backup power in a single housing, the EP500 Pro can power an entire house during a prolonged power outage. It has four 120V receptacles.
AC200MAX Solar Generator Kit
Need power on a jobsite? The AC200MAX Solar Generator Kit includes a 2,200W power station with a 2,048Wh capacity and three 200W foldable panels for remote charging.