Jackery’s line of lithium-ion based portable power stations set the bar for the category and defined what a solar generator was for consumers around the world. The category has expanded significantly and has become the backbone for off-grid homes, van lifers, RV people, campers, and much more all around the world. Jackery continues to lead the space and has packed some of their best tech into the new Solar Generator 1500 Pro.
The Solar Generator system pairs Jackery’s new Explorer 1500 Pro portable power station with one or two of Jackery’s slick SolarSaga 200 watt portable solar panels. The result is a kit that can be taken just about anywhere on the world and still be able to produce power from the sun with the included solar panels.
The core 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 grey units with the large ergonomic handle up top. This makes it more compact when storing the new Pro series units and offers a cleaner look.
To Pro or Not to Pro
Looks aside, the Pro line also sets itself apart with meaningful tech differences. Right at the top of that list is the lifecycle of the Pro pack. It can handle 1,000 cycles and still retain at least 80% of its capacity. That’s twice the 500 cycles the base Explorer 1500 is rated for. It also charges 3 times faster from an AC wall outlet, topping up in just 2 hours compared to 6 hours for the non-Pro version. It can also be connected up to 1,400 watts of solar panels, which translates to a recharge 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 pack. It’s built to be stronger and more durable for use in professional environments, and that’s not just talk. Jackery stands behind the Pro with a 5-year warranty compared to 2 years on its non-Pro power stations. The beefed up Pro pack does come at a cost, with the Pro weighing in at 37.5 pounds, some 2.3 pounds / 1 kilogram heavier than the base Explorer 1500. Think about it like a higher performance build of the Explorer 1500 in just about every way.
Using The Solar Generator 1500 Pro
The use cases for the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro are endless. It enables you to generate your own power wherever the sun shines. It stores that power and lets you use it back whenever and wherever you need it. That may sound overly broad, but it’s the truth. In our testing, we took the kit on the road and found it to be more than capable of powering the 1500 watt induction cooktop that’s the core of our mobile camp kitchen.
We also tested it out with our new mobile water kettle and the Explorer 1500 Pro battery didn’t flinch. It just kept pushing out power, with plenty of room to spare. To really put a sweat on the system, we brought it home and plugged in a ton of power hungry appliances all at once.
Our Vitamix blender is a workhorse and packs a scary amount of power. By itself, this unit pulls between 700-1100 watts in our dedicated testing. We dropped our favorite smoothie ingredients in and set that up. Next, we set up our standard 800 watt water kettle to make some coffee to warm back up from the smoothie. Just to make things interesting, we hooked up a Kitchen Aid 5 quart mixer and it was time to let things fly.
Turning on the Vitamix, water kettle, and mixer all at the same time, power draw fluctuated from ~1850 watts up to 1950 watts. That’s right at the upper range of what the Jackery can handle as continuous output, so we just let it run. After 2 minutes of ear splitting noise, we turned them off, satisfied the Explorer 1500 Pro was up to the task.
With the ability to push out 1,800 watts of continuous power and up to 3,600 watts of power for short periods, it is harder to find something it can’t power than to list out all the things it can do. It is damn impressive and the extra bolstering of specs, durability, and output that comes with the Pro line make a noticeable difference.
Out of the box, the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro can charge up three different ways, and we wanted to put them all to the test. The primary benefit of the Solar Generator system is the capability to recharge from the sun. We set it up out on the deck with the twin 200 watt SolarSaga folding panels facing due south and at noon in Southern California, pulled in 384 watts for the pair. That’s 192 watts per panel — a very reasonable output considering it was set at the default recline.
Better results could be garnered by angling the panels directly at the sun and setting the recline to a specific angle based on the local geography. Most users will simply set the panels up roughly facing the sun and in this situation, the combination performed well. The twin panels recharged the battery from 10% to 100% in a little more than 4 hours with zero adjustments to their position as the sun moved across the sky.
Given these results, in areas pulling in more than 8 hours of light per day, it would be easy to recharge the pack fully during the daytime. For scenarios where more output is needed or where the geographic location translates to lower solar intensity, adding the second 200 W SolarSaga panel cuts the recharging time in half.
AC charging is likely going to be the default charging method for owners looking to use the system as a backup battery for the home and for more domestic use cases. The Explorer 1500 Pro boasts some serious numbers when it comes to AC charging, with a peak charging rate of 1,800 watts, translating to a full charge in 2 hours which takes into account the full charging profile of the pack.
We ran the battery down to 10% and plugged it into the wall. We were specifically looking for the peak charging rate, total charge time from 10-100%, and to see if the cord warmed up from the massive amount of current being passed through it. In our testing, the battery took longer to charge from an AC outlet than expected, with the full 10-100% charge taking 2.5 hours.
The Pro line of Jackery products sets a new bar for the brand, and portable power stations overall, 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 capability with up to 472 days of standby from an 80% charge.
Jackery isn’t just talking the talk, but rather is putting a guarantee behind its new lineup, with its 3+2 year warranty on the Solar Generator 1500 Pro. That puts it at the top of our list for high performing, durable, long lasting, and high quality portable power stations. When paired with Jackery’s SolarSaga solar panels, it becomes an absolute off-grid workhorse whether it’s being used to power tools on a work truck, keep a home or business running during a power outage, or to keep everything humming along while on vacation in an RV.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro retails for $2,699 and includes the Explorer 1500 Pro and two 200 W SolarSaga folding solar panels. Head over to Jackery’s site 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 purposes of this review.
Explorer 1500 Pro Specs
- Capacity: 1,512Wh (43.2V 35Ah)
- Cell Chemistry: Lithium-ion Battery (NMC)
- Lifecycle: 1,000 cycles to 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 (38.4×26.90×30.75cm)
- Operating Usage Temperature: 14-104°F (-10-40℃)
- Warranty: (3+2) Year Warranty
SolarSaga 200 W Specs
- Peak Power: 200 W
- Power Voltage: 18 V
- Power Current: 11.12 A
- Open Circuit Voltage: 23.2 V
- Short Circuit Current: 11.76 A
- Dimensions (folded): 540 x 615 x 40 mm
- Dimensions (unfolded): 540 x 2320 x 25 mm
- Operating Usage Temperature: -10-65℃(14-149°F)
- Warranty: 24 Months
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