I am a huge fan of portable power stations for portable power, especially emergency backup power. The ability to run a small fridge or freezer, or more importantly, use your critical medical equipment in a grid-down situation makes having a portable power station a must for every family.
Jackery contacted me and asked if I would do a review of the Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator. Jackery is a very respected name in the world of portable power stations, and I was excited to put it to the test.
Putting the Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station to the Test
For the past couple of weeks, I have been exploring the Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Generator. I used it to run a variety of loads including my freezer, washer, dryer, tool battery charger, fan, induction cook plate, Vita-Mix blender, and a few other items. It did the job without any issues. It is well-designed and functions as it should.
Check out our video review of the Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station. You can see us demonstrating how to use the various appliances with the Explorer 1000 and 1500 power stations.
The Jackery Explorer 1500 is a mid-sized power station, and although it isn’t as large as some stations out there, it is definitely a large step up from the 1000 watt-hour and smaller units on the market, including Jackery’s own Explorer 1000. You can find our review of the Jackery Explorer 1000 here.
Important Considerations When Selecting a Power Station
Not all power stations will be the right fit for your needs. When looking for a power station, there are 3 numbers that are significant. These numbers include:
- the storage capacity (in watt-hours),
- the output watts (or the size of appliances you can operate), and
- the amount of solar that you can input to charge the station.
These are all important numbers because they define how much load you can run, and for how long. Your ability to input a significant amount of solar energy is vital to your ability to recharge the station in a reasonable amount of time.
Jackery Explorer 1500 Storage Capacity
With the Jackery Explorer 1500 power station, you have about 1500 (1534.68 to be exact) watt-hours of storage. Power stations on the market today have a range of about 100 watt-hours to 6000 watt-hours, with the most common sizes in the 500 to 2000 watt-hour range.
In general, you don’t want to fully deplete the power station, so you really have about 1300 watt-hours of usable storage with the Jackery Explorer 1500. To put this in perspective, that would allow you to run a 10-watt LED light bulb for about 130 hours.
As another example, if you are using a CPAP machine that needs 50 watts of energy, you would be able to run it for 26 hours without needing to recharge the station. It is a good idea to try to recharge with solar each day and in most cases, you could fully recharge it if that was the only thing you were using the station for.
Jackery Explorer 1500 Output Wattage
As far as the output wattage is concerned, this Explorer 1500 power station will allow you to deliver up to 1800 watts continuously (3600 watts surge), although by doing so, you will fully deplete the storage in about 40 minutes.
The loads you are running will likely be much smaller and/or of shorter duration in most cases. By comparison, stations on the market will deliver anywhere from 100 watts (200-watt surge) up to 3600 watts (7200-watt surge) and higher. Some even include the ability to deliver 220/240 volts.
Jackery Explorer 1500 Solar Input
In regard to solar input, the Explorer 1500 can input up to 400 watts of solar. This compares with a range of 60 to 1600 watts or more with other stations, and generally 200 watts with 1000 watt-hour stations, so a big step in the right direction.
Advantages to the Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station
There are several things that I like about the Explorer 1500 power bank.
Ease of Use
The Jackery Explorer 1500 is incredibly user-friendly. It is so simple to use…just plug and play. It can easily be used to provide emergency power for the average person.
The Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station retails for $1599. The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 comes with four 100-watt foldable solar panels for $2,699. Jackery has priced it to be competitive with the competition.
Large Informative Display
The information you need to know is readily available and displayed in an easy-to-understand format.
Relatively Compact and Portable
The Jackery Explorer 1500 power station sports a tidy package. And at 35 pounds, it is easy for me to haul and use wherever I need to.
Clean Power Delivery
The Jackery Explorer 1500 power station delivers clean power. The pure sine wave output is easy on fine electronics. It produces no carbon monoxide or other pollutants that can be dangerous.
Jackery’s Stellar Reputation
Jackery is known throughout the industry for producing quality products. One quick look at the online reviews provides evidence of a wealth of happy customers. Jackery is a well-respected company and stands behind its products.
Disadvantages to the Jackery Explorer 1500
Honestly, there just isn’t much that I don’t like about the Jackery Explorer 1500. There are a few things I am not wild about but they are definitely not deal breakers.
Pass-Through Charging Disclosure
Charging while using function. The user’s manual states that the “Explorer 1500 supports pass-through charging. But we don’t suggest it because doing so will cause damage to battery life.”
From the standpoint of having emergency power, sometimes it is a “game of inches”, and the ability to be charging while powering critical loads is important. After visiting with the folks at Jackery, I determined that this is probably an issue with most stations. It essentially creates more battery cycles that, over an extended period of time, will reduce battery capacity. Jackery just advises to minimize pass-through charging when possible.
The reality is that when you need that power in an emergency, you are going to be extremely happy to have a good quality machine to meet your needs. If this means some pass-through charging, that is a small price to pay.
Solar Panel Options
Solar panels. For portable power, the Jackery foldable panels are very nice. For use at home, I like fixed panels that can be anchored down and are more weather resistant.
This is a minor problem since good-quality panels in a variety of sizes are easily available through a variety of vendors. Just make sure you get the voltage right (12 to 30 volts) and the appropriate connectors or adapters.
Overall Impression of the Jackery Explorer 1500
All things considered, I really like the Jackery Explorer 1500 portable power station. It is easy to use and does a great job of meeting my needs, while still being very portable. I am confident that my family would be able to use it even if I’m not around to help them. Two thumbs up!
Thanks for being part of the solution!Jonathan and Kylene Jones