Bluetti EB55 & SP200 review: Solar power station for power users
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The Bluetti EB55 power station promises a long service life thanks to its LiFePO4 battery. Combine the 537 Wh power station with the 200-watt SP200 solar panel, you can be independent of the power grid in the long run - #Vanlife. We tested the power station equipped with a solar panel from Bluetti for you.
- Compact and stackable thanks to the retractable handle
- Many ports including 100-Watt USB-C
- Wireless charging on top
- Integrated lamp with SOS function
- Solidly built
- 400 Watt charging power is only possible as a combination
- Noisy fan at high power output
- Solar panel stand is a bit wobbly
Bluetti EB55+SP200 release date and price
Do you want to play music and toast sandwiches in the city park for hours on end, move your home office into a van for weeks on end, or simply be prepared for all eventualities, especially when the zombie apocalypse begins? If you have answered in the affirmative, the Bluetti EB55 power station with the SP200 solar panel is highly recommended for you. The power station is especially exciting for power users, because the LiFePO4 battery offers a long shelf life. According to the manufacturer, it takes 2,500 charging cycles until the capacity drops to 80 percent.
What about the rest? Armed with two 230V sockets, one 12V car/boat, two 12V DC, a quartet of USB-A, and a single USB-C port inclusive 100-Watt Power Delivery, making up pretty much all ports you could ever want. In addition, there is a Qi charging pad at the top for wireless charging with up to 15 watts as well as a flashlight including a SOS function. We did not find any real weaknesses in the review. Only the loud fan is noticeable, but then you will have to turn the music up, since there is enough juice.
According to the manufacturer, the SP200 solar panel can produce up to 200 watts. Unfortunately, we couldn't achieve that level of performance during these cloudy July days. At the very least, we were able to catch a bit of direct sunlight in the afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and still managed just under 140 watts here in the review.
The Bluetti EB55 alone costs $499 according to the recommended retail price. However, the manufacturer currently offers a $100 discount in its own online store. In combination with the 120-watt solar panel, Bluetti charges a list price of $819 (currently discounted at $698).
As part of Amazon Prime Day, the price of the Bluetti EB55 including the SP200 has dropped to $999. Perhaps this is something that you might be interested to check out?
Design and processing
This is a small power cube: The Bluetti EB55 is pleasingly compact and has a high-quality build, but it is also a bit heavier than most competitors in the same capacity range. Nevertheless, the power station and the SP200 solar module are convincing in terms of design and workmanship.
What I liked:
- Bluetti EB55 comes with a high-quality manufactured casing.
- The power station is compact and stackable.
- SP200 solar panel is protected against water and dust according to IP54 rating.
What I disliked:
- Power station has no IP certification.
- Solar panel stand is a bit wobbly.
The Bluetti EB55 is pleasingly compact for a 537 Wh power station. For example, it is about 20 percent smaller than the Jackery Explorer 500 while offering aslightly higher capacity. Thanks to the retractable handle, it is also stackable and fits well in small camper cabinets or packed trunks. The case feels as though it is of a high quality and solid. However, you should not put the power station out in the rain. There is no IP certification from the manufacturer, and there are only protective caps for the charging inputs and the car plug.
In addition to the power station itself, the Bluetti EB55's box also contains a relatively large power supply unit, a connection cable for the solar panel, and a charging cable for the 12V cigarette lighter in the car. Unfortunately, a bag for the accessories is not included.
We now come to the solar panel. The Bluetti SP200 consists of four elements measuring approximately 53 by 52 centimeters, which are pleasantly compact when folded on top of each other. When unfolded, the solar panel is a good 50 centimeters high and just over two meters in length. The photovoltaic cells are enclosed in a solid, nylon-like fabric and stand on the ground with small fabric flaps, which remains reasonably solid at a 45-degree angle. When placed out in stronger winds or at festivals, however, I would seriously worry about the SP200's survivability. At the very least: The photovoltaic module is protected against water according to the IP54 rating. However, the manufacturer warns against leaving the panel out in the rain or snow.
Equipment and features
The Bluetti EB55 with its LiFePO4 battery is especially suitable for long-term power users. Various comfort features also fit into the picture, such as the successful integrated lamp or the Qi panel for wireless charging at the top.
What I liked:
- Long-lasting battery technology.
- Many ports and Qi charging pad.
- Integrated lamp.
What I disliked:
- Battery capacity is only indicated in 20-percent increments.
As mentioned at the beginning, the Bluetti EB55 relies on a LiFePO4 battery. Compared to the Li-Ion NMC batteries that are common in power stations of this category, the advantage lies in a significantly longer shelf life. Bluetti specifies 2,500 charging cycles up to a capacity loss of 20 percent, whereas this value is typically reached after 500 charging cycles with the Li-Ion-NMC battery technology. If you use the power station on a daily basis, for example, then it is roughly estimated that it will last anywhere from two to ten years.
The LiFePO4 battery of the EB55 offers a capacity of 537 Wh with a maximum output power of 700 watts for the sockets. Besides that, there is also a car port ("cigarette lighter") as well as two 12-volt DC ports with a maximum power of 120 watts each. The USB-C port supports Power Delivery of up to 100 watts, and the four USB-A ports can each handle 15 watts of juice. There is a separate on/off switch on the power station for each group of ports. And if you overdo it, the overvoltage protection kicks in at 1,400 watts.
You can see the charging status as well as the input and output power on the Bluetti EB55's small LCD panel. The display is nice, but I would like to see a more precise indication of the battery capacity than just in 20 percent increments. At the back of the power station, you'll find a light panel that scores points not only as a flashlight, but also doubles up as a reading or dining table lamp with pleasantly soft light and two different brightness levels. There is also an SOS function, in which the lamp continuously flashes three times briefly, three times long and again three times briefly.
Battery performance and charging
The Bluetti EB55 and the solar panel did not reveal any weaknesses in the review. The power station reliably supplies juice to all kinds of devices, ranging from smartphones to waffle irons without missing a beat. The solar panel eagerly supplies energy - as long as the clouds do not get too thick. However, the maximum charging power of 400 watts can only be achieved in combination with several charging methods.
What I liked:
- Reliable energy supply even slightly above the rated power.
- Simultaneous charging and power supply is possible.
- Fast charging with up to 400 watts is possible.
What I disliked:
- 400 watts charging power only possible under the right conditions.
- Telatively loud fan.
Now, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty. In the review, the power station had no trouble bringing my 700-watt rated sandwich toaster up to temperature. During the approximately five-minute heat-up phase, the EB55's output power was initially at 731 watts according to the display, and then it slowly dropped to 701 watts over five minutes until the unit reached its operating temperature and the heating element shut off. My interim conclusion? Grilling sandwiches or making waffles in the wilderness? Not a problem at all.
The Bluetti EB55 also performs well in less demanding tasks. For example, I easily got through a workday during which I not only toasted sandwiches, but also powered my MacBook Pro and charged two smartphones. Now all I really need is a van. Only the relatively loud fan disturbs the surrounding peace while working a bit. By the way, the fan does not only kick in when baking waffles, but also at lower loads. There is a fan noise note in my review notes at 131 watts input and 60 watts output.
When charging the power station, we were able to find a small limitation. According to Bluetti, the EB55 charges at up to 400 watts. However, the included power supply only manages a maximum of 213 watts in the review. The missing 187 watts can then only be achieved via a connected solar panel or via the cigarette lighter, where the same connection is used here in each case.
Speaking of the solar module: Unfortunately, we were not able to fully deploy the Bluetti SP200 during the review duration because we did not have unobstructed midday sun on hand. On July 7 at 3:00 p.m., however, there was only a slightly hazy, blue sky in Berlin, which was still enough to achieve 137 watts of charging power, which is just below 70 percent of the maximum power. With lightly veiled clouds on July 6 at 1:00 p.m., the power station with a solar panel still managed a respectable 100 watts. Under cloudy skies, the charging power quickly dropped below 20 watts and completely collapsed under dense rain clouds during the day.
The Bluetti EB55 is a compact and powerful power station that did not show any weaknesses in the review and performed all tasks within the specified range flawlessly. As for the case of the sandwich toaster, it even provided a bit more continuous power. Unfortunately, we could not verify the 2,500 charging cycles promised by the manufacturer during the review duration, but the LiFePO4 technology is generally known for its longevity. Only the sometimes somewhat loud fan clouds our impression here.
The SP200 solar panel also performed well in the review. As with most portable photovoltaic systems, the feet are a bit wobbly and for sure not storm-proof. However, the workmanship left a high-quality impression on us, where the panel is protected against dust and splash water according to the IP54 rating. Last but not least, it fills up the battery more or less quickly in the review, depending on the lighting conditions.
I would never buy a Bluetti product again. The design of these boxes is quite clever but they are let down by shoddy quality control & non existent customer service. Received a defective unit but apparently the problem is always what you plug into it. I sent them a video of the device shorting with NOTHING plugged in to it but they never took the time to download or look at it. Finally refunded after 6 wasted weeks using PayPal's dispute resolution centre. Avoid like the plague. But don't just take my word for it - Check out Bluetti's fine reputation on Trustpilot or Productreview
I have a larger but otherwise similar system from Safari. the move away from Lion batteries is expensive, but better imho.