What the Tech? Should You Get a Rechargeable Generator for Gamedays?
If you’ve ever tailgated at a college or pro football game you’ve probably walked by a party with a big, noisy generator powering all of the things the tailgate host brings with them. You might have even smelled it too as those gas generators are about all we had a few years ago.
So when I heard about rechargeable electric generators I was a bit skeptical that one could power a TV, refrigerator, fans, electric griddle, and speakers. When I got the chance to test a former Kickstarter product, the EcoFlow Delta power station, I honestly didn’t expect it to live up to the claims.
EcoFlow launched on Kickstarter this past July and has raised over $12 million. EcoFlow sent me an early unit for testing but didn’t ask for a good review, so here’s what I learned:
First, what can you plug into this thing? The EcoFlow Delta Pro has 6 AC plugs, 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C ports, and a DC car power outlet. You can use all the plugs at the same time.
If there is one drawback, it’s that the AC plugs are so close together, it isn’t possible to plug something into all of them. But I suppose you can use a separate power strip.
To charge the Delta Pro, you simply plug it into any standard wall outlet and it charges fast. After running the battery down to 0 which took a few times using it, I plugged it into an outlet and it charged fully to 100% in about 2 hours.
I really like the display screen which shows you how many watts it’s outputting, how much longer it will be able to power whatever is plugged in, and the percentage of battery left. It also displays the time needed to re-charge.
I tested it three ways. First, I plugged in a fan for an inflatable movie screen, a projector, and an iPad. We watched two movies in two nights this way before it lost all of its power. I’m pretty sure I left it turned on with something plugged in overnight or else it would have outlasted our movie nights.
To test it as an emergency backup power source I plugged in a full-size refrigerator which is pretty old and not as energy-efficient as today’s fridges. It kept the refrigerator running for 9 hours and as I write this, the display shows it still has another 8 hours to go on the full charge.
I wanted to see how it would do in a tailgating situation and plugged in a 50″ smart TV and laptop computer using, according to the display, 90 continuous watts. The EcoFlow Delta Pro kept them running for 13 hours before I took it off to recharge. Pretty impressive.
It is very quiet. Several times I had to get up to see if it was still working on the refrigerator. It barely makes any sound.
Something I didn’t have a chance to test was shelf life. How long can it sit unused before losing all of its charge? EcoFlow says a full year. So it’s something you can keep on hand in case the power goes off for several hours.
It weighs about 30 pounds, so something that might go unnoticed until you take it somewhere, are two handles that make it easy to carry from the house to the car to wherever you need power.
It’s currently $1,300.
If you’re living off the grid, you can connect solar panels to keep it charged and you can charge it in the car on a long trip. EcoFlow says it can also be used as an uninterrupted power source. So who’s it for? Campers, tailgaters, and for emergency power for when the lights go off. It’s impressive.