After the February 2021 ice storm in Woodburn, Oregon that caused 5 days of grid down in many parts of Oregon. I found I was using the BAB Lead Acid that I have. I used that battery with the CPAP and an inverter the first night of the power outage. When in a situation with no power, lack of sleep, and stress from the situation lead me to using the battery I use for my CPAP on the pellet stove till it hit 0% DoD. On the second day of power outage with no news, and seeing the ice melt. I live in the city. I didn’t think prolonged power outage would be an issue. I was so very very wrong. It was only the second day of power outage. No outages no matter how badly affecting other nearby Oregon cities and towns. We never saw more than 10 hours of power outages.
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The Lead Acid Battery is a X2Power AGM, it has around 76 Ah Amp Hours capacity at 12 volts. It has worked great to have charge, run my CPAP, sit in stand by, and I occasionally recharge it. I purchased this battery in 2013. Here I am in 2021 and I have no idea on capacity left. I’ve not ‘cycled‘ it beyond 50% more than 40 times in 7 1/2 years. This was the first 0% Depth of Discharge (DOD) I’d gone. And it was at 0% for days. This is pretty much a bad situation.
I couldn’t use any of my chargers with the generator we ran for the next several days. Honestly I didn’t see that being an issue. I thought out of the 5 charging solutions I had, I could stick in 10 amps an hour in. I couldn’t. This leads me to thinking the generator has power that isn’t clean good sine wave.
As you know, the more power that is drawn from a Lead acid battery, the less capacity you get. My DreamStation CPAP doesn’t draw very much power, even when heating the water reservoir and the tube.
I’ve recently purchased in March 2021 a Solar Generator. The BALDR 330 Watt Portable Power Station. The intent here was a more portable, lighter, lasts longer, ‘new’ is a good word as well. I wanted a battery that doesn’t care if it is at or near 0% DoD.
After using the CPAP for 7.1 hours, this will drain the BALDER to 50%. This is 148.5 watts of the 297 watt capacity. Calculated out, this means the CPAP draws 20.9 watts per hour to run. Now this is all using the built in Percentage meter, which will not be as accurate as a Kill A Watt meter.
Charging my iPhone will consume 5% typically if I use a direct USB plugin. That rings true at around 14.85 watts drain for charging an iPhone 12 Pro Max that is at around 25% charge when it starts. Stats say the battery in that iPhone is a 15.4 watt hour battery (3,678 mAh).
Apple Series 5 40mm watch LTE Renewed – I’ve used this for the past year. Works great. 40mm was all they had during 2020 May Covid Shortage (lock down). I’ve find the 40mm for a male is just fine.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Pacific Blue 128 GB – Locked Carrier Cricket on Amazon – I don’t have this carrier but I have this same iPhone 12 Pro Max with T-Mobile.
The MagLog charger that didn’t work on USB-C on BALDR. I had to use the iPhone 12 Charger【Apple MFi Certified】 2-Pack 20W Dual-Port Wall Charger Plug. I’m not sure why it didn’t want to work directly plugged in. I tried the USB-C charger on the BALDR to the GoPro 8. Worked fine, in 30 minutes the GoPro 8 charged from 30% to 59%.
I’ve used a Renogy 100 Watt 12 volt solar panel I purchased in 2016 (sometime back then). I also tried a 50 watt panel to charge the BALDR. Only the 100 watt panel works. The Documentation states the same to use a 100 watt 12 volts DC panel. When I tried to charge in my back yard, it took about 3 1/2 hours to recharge the BALDR from around 20%. The BALDR comes with the solar connectors that adapt the solar panels MC4 connectors to the BALDR’s power input.
My verdict on the BALDR 330 Watt power station: I’ve used it several times in 2 1/2 months, it will sit most the time in a mostly charged state 90% ready for use. Its good enough for my cpap, and charging my electronics. I can hook up my laptops and monitor and use those for most the day. I can take it on day trips to the hills and coast and camping. I realize It isn’t sufficient for a refrigerator or freezer. But for smaller power needs, and a simple solution to plug in a solar panel to charge it, or any of the other methods to recharge with. This Solar Generator works great for what it does.
It will work great to power my CPAP for about 2 days to a full discharged state. It will likely reach that 2 days if I turn off the reservoir and tube heaters.
A previous attempt at using a Solar Generator/Portable Power Station of another Brand name – I attempted to load it with a large AC load. The fuse blew but so did the inverter portion. The load wasn’t that much. This BALDR has powered a small desk Fan just fine. The Windows PC, the Laptops, and the monitor. The point of this device is a small portable power station that can easily recharge given many different options. It is light weight and replaces a very heavy AGM battery solution I’ve used till now. I will keep it for those light loads and not push the limits. There are lots of youtube videos that push these Solar Generators to their limits and beyond.
If I were to consider running my refrigerator and freezer during a power outage, size the solar generator along the lines of 1000 watt to 2000 watts solar generator solution. But at that point you are looking to go ‘big’ for capacity and I would recommend building your own inverter power solution like I did for my furnace. Add your own solar panels and a Solar charger.
Would I change anything about my purchase decision? I think I wanted a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery based solution, but at time of purchase non were available. I could have waited but was more concerned about more Ice and Snow storms in Feb 2021. If I should purchase an all in one Solar Generator like this again, this one will go to Mom and Dad.
- Bill Thompson