Jackery’s line of lithium-ion-based portable power plants set the bar for the category and defined what a solar generator was for consumers worldwide. The category has expanded significantly and has become the backbone of off-grid homes, van lifers, motorhomes, campers and more around the world. Jackery continues to lead the space and has packed some of their best technology into the new Solar Generator 1500 Pro.
The Solar Generator system pairs Jackery’s new Explorer 1500 Pro portable power plant with one or two of Jackery’s smart SolarSaga 200 watt portable solar panels. The result is a kit that can be taken pretty much anywhere in the world and still be able to produce power from the sun with the included solar panels.
At the heart of this system is Jackery’s Explorer 1500 Pro. The Pro line comes with a new look that includes a folding handle for a more streamlined look compared to its signature orange and gray units with the large ergonomic handle on top. This makes it more compact when the new Pro Series units are stored and gives a cleaner look.
To Pro or Not to Pro
Looking aside, the Pro line also differs with significant technical differences. At the very top of the list is the Pro package lifecycle. It can handle 1,000 cycles and still retain at least 80% of its capacity. That’s double the 500 cycles the base Explorer 1500 is rated for. It also charges 3x faster from an AC outlet, topping up in just 2 hours compared to 6 hours for the non-Pro version. It can also be connected to up to 1,400 watt solar panels, which equates to a recharging time of just 2 hours.
Its USB-C output has also been boosted up to 100 W max vs. 60 W. It has better heat dissipation hardware that is 30% more efficient at pushing heat out of the package. It’s built to be stronger and more durable for use in professional environments, and it’s not just talk. Jackery backs the Pro with a 5 year warranty compared to 2 years on its non-Pro powerplants. The enhanced Pro package is priced at 37.5 pounds, about 2.3 pounds / 1 kg heavier than the base Explorer 1500. Think of it as a higher-performance build of the Explorer 1500 in almost every way.
Using the Solar Generator 1500 Pro
The uses for the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro are endless. It allows you to generate your own power wherever the sun shines. It stores that power and lets you use it back when and where you need it. It may sound too broad, but it is the truth. In our tests, we took the kit on the road and found it more than capable of powering the 1500 watt induction hob that is the heart of our mobile camp kitchen.
We also tested it with our new mobile kettle and the Explorer 1500 Pro battery didn’t budge. It just kept pushing out power, with plenty of room to spare. To really sweat the system, we took it home and plugged in a ton of power-hungry appliances at once.
Our Vitamix blender is a workhorse and packs a scary amount of power. By itself, this unit draws between 700-1100 watts in our dedicated tests. We dropped in our favorite smoothie ingredients and set it up. Next we set up our standard 800 watt kettle to make some coffee to warm up from the smoothie. Just to make things interesting, we plugged in a Kitchen Aid 5 liter mixer and it was time to let things fly.
By turning on the Vitamix, kettle and mixer at the same time, the power consumption fluctuated from ~1850 watts up to 1950 watts. It’s right at the upper range of what Jackery can handle as continuous output, so we’ll just let it run. After 2 minutes of ear-splitting noise, we turned them off, satisfied that the Explorer 1500 Pro was up to the task.
With the ability to push 1,800 watts of continuous power and up to 3,600 watts of power for short periods, it’s harder to find something it can’t power than to list all the things it can do. It’s pretty damn impressive, and the extra boost in specs, durability and output that comes with the Pro line makes a noticeable difference.
Out of the box, the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro can be charged in three different ways, and we wanted to try them all. The primary benefit of the Solar Generator system is the ability to recharge from the sun. We set it up out on the deck with the two 200 watt SolarSaga folding panels facing south and at noon in Southern California, they were pulling 384 watts for the pair. That’s 192 watts per panel – a very reasonable output considering it was set to standard recline.
Better results could be achieved by angling the panels directly towards the sun and setting the tilt to a specific angle based on the local geography. Most users will simply set the panels up roughly against the sun, and in this situation the combination worked well. The two panels recharged the battery from 10% to 100% in just over 4 hours with zero adjustments to their position as the sun moved across the sky.
Given these results, in areas that draw in more than 8 hours of light per day, it would be easy to fully recharge the pack during daylight hours. For scenarios where more output is needed or where the geographic location translates to lower solar intensity, adding the second 200W SolarSaga panel cuts recharge time in half.
AC charging will likely be the default charging method for owners who want to use the system as a backup battery for the home and for more household use. The Explorer 1500 Pro boasts some serious numbers when it comes to AC charging, with a maximum charge rate of 1,800 watts, which equates to a full charge in 2 hours, taking into account the pack’s full charge profile.
We ran the battery down to 10% and connected it to the wall. We specifically looked for the maximum charging speed, the total charging time from 10-100% and to see if the wire was heating up from the huge amount of current being passed through it. In our tests, the battery took longer to charge from a wall outlet than expected, and the full 10-100% charge took 2.5 hours.
The Pro line of Jackery products sets a new bar for the brand and portable power plants in general with 30% more efficient heat dissipation, a more compact footprint, longer life with at least 2,000 charge cycles before degrading to 80%, and impressive standby capacity with up to 472 days standby from an 80% charge.
Jackery doesn’t just talk the talk, but rather puts a guarantee behind its new range with its 3+2 year warranty on the Solar Generator 1500 Pro. That puts it at the top of our list for high-performance, durable, long-lasting and high-quality portable power plants. When paired with Jackery’s SolarSaga solar panels, it becomes an absolute off-grid workhorse, whether it’s used to power tools on a work truck, keep a home or business running during a power outage, or keep everything humming while you’re on vacation in an RV.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro retails for $2,699 and includes the Explorer 1500 Pro and two 200W SolarSaga folding solar panels. Head over to Jackery’s website for all the details, beautiful lifestyle photos or to order one for yourself.
Disclaimer: Jackery provided the Solar Generator 1500 Pro to the author for the purpose of this review.
Explorer 1500 Pro specifications
- Capacity: 1,512Wh (43.2V 35Ah)
- Cell chemistry: Lithium-ion battery (NMC)
- Life cycle: 1,000 cycles at 80%+ capacity
- Management System: BMS, Over voltage protection, Short circuit protection
- AC Output: 120V, 60Hz, 1,800W (3,600W Peak)
- USB-A output: Quick charge 3.0, 18W Max
- USB-C output: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)
- Car port: 12V, 10A
- AC input: 120V, 60Hz, 10.83A Max
- DC Input: 17.5V-60V, 12A, Double to 24A/1400W Max
- AC adapter: 2 hours
- 12V car adapter: 16.5 hours
- 1x SolarSaga 200W Solar panel: 9 hours
- 2x SolarSaga 200W Solar panel: 5 hours
- 6x SolarSaga 200W Solar panel: 2 hours
- Weight: 37.48 lb (17 kg)
- Dimensions (LxWxD): 15.1 x 10.5 x 12.1 in (38.4×26.90×30.75 cm)
- Operating Temperature: 14-104°F (-10-40℃)
- Warranty: (3+2) year warranty
SolarSaga 200 W Specifications
- Peak power: 200 W
- Power voltage: 18 V
- Power current: 11.12 A
- Open circuit voltage: 23.2V
- Short circuit current: 11.76 A
- Dimensions (folded): 540 x 615 x 40 mm
- Dimensions (unfolded): 540 x 2320 x 25 mm
- Operating temperature: -10-65℃ (14-149°F)
- Warranty: 24 months
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