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Review: Bluetti EB3A power station

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Dave Ware

Dave Ware

As a culture, we use a lot of power these days. We carry phones and earbuds in constant need of energy, and have laptops, tablets, and an endless variety of gadgets to plug in and charge up. We use so much portable power that an entire industry has sprung up to meet those needs, with power banks and portable power stations becoming common. This is great for those of us who live and breathe our gadgets, making it a snap to keep everything running and online. But what happens when you need more power than a tiny handheld power bank can offer? You don’t want to worry about charging up multiple power banks or what happens if you forget one at home. That’s when you look for a Power Station like the Bluetti EB3A.

Bluetti EB3A
5

Summary

Using this power station was incredibly easy and quite fun as I racked my brain to come up with different ideas and things to try to exhaust it—and most of the time I couldn’t!

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of power
  • Handles many power needs
  • Indoor & outdoor use
  • Holds charge well
  • Small and portable

 

Cons

  • Might be large for some uses

Bluetti EB3A power station review

About the size of a car battery (but a lot less heavy,) the unit contains a tiny army of rechargeable batteries that work together to put out a LOT of power. In this review, we’ll take a look at the Bluetti EB3A power station; how it works, what it’s like to use and what we think overall. We’d also like to thank Bluetti for sponsoring this post. While they are sponsoring it, they have not told us what we have to say or can’t say about it and we got to try it out on our own terms, so consider these thoughts our own.

Bluetti EB3A power station: what you get

  • 600W AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter (1,200W surge);
  • 268Wh Capacity;
  • 430W Max. Fast Dual Charging (Solar+AC);
  • LiFePO₄ Battery with 2,500+ Life Cycles to 80%;
  • 6 Ways to Recharge (AC/Solar/Car/Generator/AC+Solar/AC+Adapter);
  • 9 Outputs for Charging Multiple Devices at once;
  • Smart Control & Monitor in BLUETTI App;
  • 200W Max. Solar Input;
  • Easy to Carry/ Fast Charging/ Safe & Reliable/ Cost-effective

The EB3A measures about 7 inches by 7 inches by 10 inches and weighs about ten pounds. It has a carrying handle to make it easy to move around. The front panel contains all inputs and outputs, a safety light (with different modes, including flash,) and there’s even a wireless charger on the top.

The nine outputs (the connections that power up our gadgets) are divided into two groups, AC and DC, each with its own power button. The AC group contains two “wall plugs,” into which you can plug in any device that uses standard AC power. The DC group has two USB plugs at 5VDC/3A and a single USB-C plug (100W). It also has a 12-volt charger (like you’d find in your car) and two 2 x 12V/10A DC 5521 (5.5mm Outlets)—the Wireless charger charges at 15W.

The input area (how you recharge the power station) contains both a 120V/9A max input AC plug, as well as a 12-2.8V DC/8.5A input that can be used with a solar panel (cable included) or a car plug (cable not included.) Interestingly, the AC and DC inputs can be used simultaneously to speed up the charging time. To make sure everything stays safe, there’s also a 125V AC/10A Circuit Protector, which will protect the Bluetti EB3A from power surges. In total you’ve got six options to power up.

LED readout for instant info

The LED panel in the center gives you up-to-the-moment information about power coming in and going out of the Bluetti. It has a readout for input, output and a meter that shows the amount of charge in the EB3A. When you plug a device in, the readout will tell you how long the Bluetti can charge or power that device for.

Charging Up

Since the EB3A arrived at my door 66% charged (handy!), before I could test out re-charging it, I had to discharge it. I set out to do that by plugging in the most significant power-draw devices that I could think of, including a small window air conditioner, my portable fan, and my laptop and my phone. It took a while, but once it was finally out of power, I took the Bluetti over to my kitchen counter, plugged it in directly, and waited.

At first, I was curious if it was actually charging. There was no indicator light, and the LED screen was blank. I figured this is because the device was completely out of power and had no way of telling me that it was attempting to recharge, so I left it alone while I took the dog out for a walk, and by the time I returned about 25 minutes later, the device was almost fully charged (Bluetti’s website says the device charges to 80% in 30 minutes when plugged into AC.  Another 20 minutes for good measure, and we were at 100% and ready to do more testing.

The Bluetti can be charged directly through an AC plug, by a solar panel (using the included cable,) or by using an adapter from your car.  You can also use more than one method to charge at a given time, so there are six ways to charge. Since the wall plug was so quick and efficient, I was happy charging it that way, but it’s great to know I’ve got other options in a pinch.

How we tested Bluetti EB3A

With so many different ways to charge and draw power from the Bluetti, there was limitless potential for testing. The big question wasn’t what can I test but what couldn’t I. I decided to break up my testing into different areas where someone might use the Bluetti EB3A: Indoors was an obvious choice, as was outdoors in the garden around the backyard. Since I have a VW Westfalia, using the EB3A for camping and in the vehicle was natural as well.

Indoors

With so many devices in the home that are powered either through an AC plug or through USB, testing proved to be very simple. I started by plugging in my laptop as well as my phone and a monitor just to see how long I could run those devices off the EB3A directly. I’m not sure if this counts as lucky, but we happened to have one of the electrical breakers in the house blow out on us right before we got the EB3A, so testing became real-world in a hurry.

My favorite aspect of the Bluetti EB3A is the LED screen that shows you how long you can charge the devices that you have plugged into it before the EB3A runs out of power.  It gives you a sense of how much power you use with various devices you might not have otherwise. That became a game for me trying to guess how many hours it would take to drain the EB3A with whatever I plugged into it.

When multiple devices are plugged in, the readout will change up the display to show the different devices to show you how long each can be powered. My laptop, monitor, and phone combo came in at just under 3 hours, while just my phone could get juice for around 24 hours. My mini fridge would stay running for another 3.5 hours in a power outage.

I also really liked the wireless charger on the top of the unit. I could place my phone there without using one of the USB ports.

While Bluetti also sells Uninterrupted Power Supplies, it struck me that the EB3A could be used by plugging it into AC power and running your computer out of the Bluetti. You would have a UPS of sorts.  I can’t say whether this would be a good idea as you’d be constantly draining and charging, and I’m not sure whether that’s great for the rechargeable batteries, but theoretically, it would work.

Outdoors

For my next round of testing, I decided to take the EB3A outside and see how it performed in the garden. I gathered everything you might need on a summer evening: A small heater, a set of LED lights, and a  Bluetooth speaker. With the Bluetooth speaker and the LED lights plugged into the USB ports and the ceramic heater plugged into the AC, I could run all three devices, and the EB3A told me that it would be able to continue doing so for many hours.

Next up, I took the EB3A into my Greenhouse. While the greenhouse isn’t a place that draws a lot of power, it’s a place where reliable power for heat and fans is often needed, and any failure in power could be catastrophic, especially if I were to be away for a few days.

I plugged in my fan and my two hydroponic water pumps as well as the exhaust fan, and once again, the total draw told me that I had many hours left.

Camping with Bluetti EB3A

The place I was most eager to try out the EB3A was in our 1980s-era VW Westphalia campervan.  The van often has issues with power and battery, so any assistance we can give it is greatly needed. I started by plugging the EB3A into a trickle charger that I had bought and started charging the vehicle battery. In the past, we found the Westie battery starting to lose some of its charge when we were parked in a particular location for several days, so being able to recharge the battery at a slow rate is fantastic. For this reason alone I’d love to have this device as part of our permanent van kit.

The next test I had for the EB3A was to plug in all of our USB fans and LED light strips that we keep in the van. Being able to power all those devices off an independent power source and not the van battery is a fantastic win for us. The EB3A told me that we could continue to run the fans and the LED lights for about 24 hours—amazing! An entire day and night of being off grid and we wouldn’t need another power source. When you take into account the fact that you could re-charge the EB3A through the car power port while you’re driving, that could mean an endless power source for many weeks of camping.

In short, camping is a situation where the EB3A absolutely shines. One does have to be careful to keep it out of the rain as I’m not entirely sure if it’s waterproof.

Overall, using this power station was incredibly easy and quite fun as I racked my brain to come up with different ideas and things to try to exhaust it—and most of the time I couldn’t!  The Bluetti EB3A dealt with everything that I threw at it. If you’re currently using a smaller power bank of some kind and find that you’re having to recharge it more than you like, you should seriously consider the Bluetti EB3A, as it gets the job done quickly and easily in a small package and lasts a long time between charges.

Overall review: Bluetti EB3A

If you want to have a lot of available power on hand, the EB3A is an excellent option. It’s small enough to tote around and large enough not to get lost or left behind. Its variety of charging options and power outputs means it will come in handy again and again as we found out during our power outage and camping trip.

We recommend the EB3A for camping and keeping in the car if you’re on the road a lot. It’s also a great battery to have on hand in the home, covering you in case of power outages and interruptions.

Bluetti EB3A sells for about $329CAD, and you can often find sales or bundles with solar panels too. It’s available from Bluetti or Amazon.

 

 

 

Dave Ware

Dave Ware

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