Best Solar Generator 2018 - Full Review And Test
Best Solar Generator 2018 - Full Review and Test:
This is a comprehensive review, with testing, of the Inergy Kodiak Solar Generator.
The Kodiak Solar Generator has a 30 amp plug on the front, which is very helpful for RVers. By plugging your RV into that port, you are attaching a 90 amp hour lithium ion battery and adding a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter with up to 3000 watts of peak performance for surges. You can also attach up to 600 watts of solar to this generator, so it charges in less than three hours, or if you have 150 watts of solar, it will charge in eight hours. You can also attach lead acid or AGM batteries.
This is a complete off-grid solar system in a twenty pound box. It is lightweight, portable, and has a handy shoulder strap.
The Kodiak Power Plant
The Kodiak uses a lithium Ion battery, specifically a Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide Battery. This is a 90 amp hour lithium battery, which lasts up to 2000 charge cycles, or more if you’re not doing full discharge cycles. Traditional lead acid batteries only have 500 cycles. It has a ten year shelf life. It will remain operational for long periods of storage, as long as you’re charging it every three months or so. It has an integrated charge balancer and controller built in and overcharge and balancing protection. Its dimensions are: 9 inches tall, 14 inches wide, 9 inches deep, weighing 20 pounds.
Generator Output Ports
This generator has:
- six (6) 110 volt AC plugs.
- 1000 watt continuous per plug
- 3000 watt starting surge
- 10 amp max for each AC plug
- 1500 watt total limit for combined AC and DC output
- One (1) 30 amp RV plug 125 volt
- Two 12 volt DC universal car sockets (cigarette lighter style)
- 15 amp maximum per socket
- 4 USB outlets 5 volts DC
- One (1) 2.1 amp port
- One (1) 1 amp port
- 15 watt max per adapter.
- Two light ports 12 volt DC
- They are 2.5 mm connectors with 50 watt max output per port. Those are used for the basecamp LEDs that come up with this unit. You can chain together up to ten of those lights.
AC, solar, and car charging occur through port A. You can use up to 270 watts or 10 amps max worth of charging through that port. That is your low voltage connection.
Then you have a second charging port, labeled B, which is your high current charging port for solar, wind, and up to 32 volts DC at 40 amps with 600 watts maximum.
You’re also going to have an external battery bank connection, which is C. This is where you would connect additional lead acid or ACM batteries to increase the storage capacity of this unit. It does not specify how many batteries you can connect. But you could use 12 volt batteries in parallel or six volt batteries in series or hook up a big battery bank of six volts in series parallel.
Reading the Power Display
The display has four unique readings.
- The top left is your current in amps that are being consumed by anything plugged in.
- The top right is your battery voltage, fully charged is approximately 12.5-12.8 volts and completely depleted is 9.6 volts.
- The bottom right reading is the watts being consumed by whatever you have plugged in.
- The bottom left is accumulated power readings of different metrics for advanced users. You likely won’t use this very much.
The Battery Storage Indicator
To determine how much battery you have left, turn on the power button. There are ten multi colored LED lights. Each one represents approximately ten percent of the battery capacity. When it is full, it will be blue. When it is depleted, it will be red.
What the Kodiak can Power and For How Long
This can run pretty much anything, particularly small kitchen appliances. The manufacturer provides a small list of some appliances, how many times you can charge them, and how long they will run. For example, you can charge a smartphone 150 times, a tablet 30 times, a laptop 20 times, a 40 inch LED tv for 25 hours, an electric blanket for 14 hours, basecamp LED lights for 180 hours, a CPAP machine for 20 hours, a 16.5 cu ft refrigerator for thirty hours, and a 1000 watt microwave for one hour. That’s impressive. But, I also wanted to do some testing of my own.
Testing the Kodiak Solar Generator
Cardinal Explorer 5th Wheel
We connected to the power supply of a 5th wheel to see what this Kodiak Generator is capable of. This RV has a 50 amp service but we used a 30 amp adapter to plug into the Kodiak. The generator completely powered the residential refrigerator inside the fifth wheel, all the lights inside, two TVs, all of the wall plugs, the stereo, and the vent and fan system. It will also power a 1000 watt microwave.
I tested a 12 amp 6.5 horsepower vacuum (1440 watts). Since the Kodiak has a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter I wanted to see if it could handle the load of this vacuum. It handled it all beautifully, pulling about 1440 watts.
Massive Load Test
I plugged the following items into the generator: solar lantern, laptop, two ryobi 18 volt batteries, a large TV, cellphones, two LED lights, and two 12 volt fans. This generator and inverter are super quiet, even while powering so many devices. We were operating at 200-270 watts. Then I added a huge hammer drill (6.5 amps) and a black and decker drill (3 amps). That pushed it to 1000 watts, leaving us at 500 more watts before reaching the limits of that inverter. I then added the wet/dry vacuum to see if it could handle that additional load (minus the drills). It pulled 1700 watts and continued to work.
Final Thoughts and Discounts
This is an awesome, portable, all-in-one kit that can run while being charged. The versatility of this system is so impressive and it’s really a game-changer. You can also add any manufacturer’s batteries to build onto the power storage capacity of this generator.
Thanks and happy camping!