Generac Enters the Portable Power Station Market with Two Lithium-ion Battery Models
When using a gas generator is not practical or safe, a lithium-ion inverter, also known as a battery-powered generator, provides a reliable portable power solution. Various brands offer such products, including power tool companies and specialty inverter manufacturers. Generac, known for its emergency and portable power solutions, has recently entered the market. In this review, we will examine the GB1000 Generac portable power station to determine if it lives up to its reputation.
Capacity and Output
Generac offers two models: the GB1000 and GB2000. The smaller GB1000 has a capacity of 1086Wh, while the larger GB2000 boasts a capacity of 2106Wh. Both models provide up to 1600 watts of continuous running power and 3200 watts of cranking power.
The question on everyone’s mind is, what can you power with these portable stations? The limit is 13 amps, which accommodates a wide range of devices, including power tools, home appliances, and electronics. Here are a few examples:
- Small angle grinder
- Coffee machine
- TV and Blu-ray player
- Refrigerator or freezer
- Portable fan
- Phone, tablet, and laptop charging
The output from these power stations is “clean” energy, making it safe for charging sensitive electronics. Keep in mind that the battery will deplete faster when you use devices with higher energy demands. Generac has added a helpful feature: an inverse comparison display that shows the active output in watts and estimates the remaining run time, assuming the load remains constant.
Outlets and Ports
Generac’s portable power stations come with a generous selection of outlets and ports for charging various devices. Each model includes three 120V outlets, two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, and a 12V car outlet. Additionally, the power stations feature a convenient 15-watt wireless charger.
You can use multiple outlets and ports simultaneously, as long as the total power drawn does not exceed 1600 watts. Keep in mind that the battery will drain faster as the power load increases. Therefore, it’s best to utilize these power stations when no other power source is readily available.
To activate the ports, you need to turn on the inverter. Simply press and hold the On/Off button until you hear a beep, and the display lights up. All USB ports become active at this point. To use the 120V outlet or 12V DC port, press the corresponding button to activate them. The wireless charger is connected to the DC switch.
The charging options for Generac’s portable power stations are versatile. You can charge them by plugging into a wall outlet or connecting to a solar panel, making them suitable for off-grid power needs. Additionally, Generac includes a 12V vehicle charging cable, making these power stations ideal for off-road adventures.
Thanks to the built-in MPPT controller, the GB1000 can reach 80% charge in just over two hours when plugged into a wall outlet. After reaching this threshold, the charging speed slows down to protect the lithium-ion battery from damage.
For the fastest charging speeds, you can combine power sources. For example, you can simultaneously use both 120V AC and solar power. However, it’s important not to exceed certain wattage limits to maintain overall battery life. For the GB1000, it’s recommended to stay below 540 watts, while for the GB2000, it’s advised to stay under 1000 watts.
To assist with locating and plugging in the portable power stations in low-light conditions, Generac has included a 2-stage LED light on the front. Rest assured, this light has a minimal impact on your battery life.
Generac Portable Power Station Models
The main difference between the GB1000 and GB2000 models lies in their capacity, which in turn has size and weight implications. Here’s a quick comparison chart:
|Generac GB1000||Generac GB2000|
|Operating Power||1600 watts||1600 watts|
|Start Wattage||3200 watts||3200 watts|
|Ports||3 x 120VAC
2 x USB-A
2 x USB-C
12V car port wireless charging board
|3 x 120VAC
2 x USB-A
2 x USB-C
12V car port wireless charging board
|Input Voltage||120V AC or 10 – 28V DC||120V AC or 10 – 28V DC|
|Rated Life*||800 cycles||1000 cycles|
|Weight||29 pounds||43 pounds|
|Dimensions||14.1 x 10.2 x 12.0 inches||16.8 x 10.4 x 15.1 inches|
*Rated life is based on the number of charge cycles before the battery reaches 80% of its original capacity.
Optional Accessories (Sold Separately)
Generac also offers a range of optional accessories that can enhance your portable power station experience. These accessories include:
- 200W charging booster
- 450W charging booster
- 30A Parallel Kit
- 100W solar panel
Generac Portable Power Station Prices
The Generac GB1000 retails for $999, while the GB2000 is priced at $1799. Generac provides a 3-year warranty for its power stations. When compared to the popular Jackery 1000, the Generac models offer more features, greater usable power, and a $100 lower price.
The Bottom Line
Generac has made an impressive entry into the integrated battery power station market with its portable power station design. These power stations deliver excellent power output, provide a wide range of sockets and ports, and offer additional features not found in other brands. Furthermore, Generac’s pricing is competitive, and they prioritize value over charging extra for their brand name. If you’re in need of a clean and reliable portable power source, we highly recommend considering the Generac GB1000 or GB2000.