Wildfires are apparently all the rage this year in California, and to add some spice to the mix, utilities have implemented intentional rolling blackouts, also known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs. These actions aspire to proactively cut power to high risk areas of the grid to reduce the risk of even more wildfires.
In just the first few weeks of Public Safety Power Shutoffs, customers have been delivered a harsh reminder about just how important electricity is. Many are turning to gas generators, but we aspire to shift that demand to residential energy storage. Not everyone can afford or should afford a full-blown Tesla Powerwall or sonnen ecoLinx unit, and thankfully, Renogy has built a beautifully packaged, affordable power bank with a built in 110 volt outlet.
The folks over at Renogy sent us one of their Phoenix 100 Mini Power Stations for us to run through the paces for this review. This little gadget takes the power banks you probably use for your phone already and amps it up with tons of cool features. Built with 21700 lithium-ion cells, this little guy is just a tad larger than a coffee cup, but still manages to pack in 27,000 mAh of storage capacity.
That power is on tap first and foremost through the built-in AC outlet that can push power out to devices requiring up to 100 watts. That’s probably not enough to power your fridge during a power outage, but it is likely enough to power a CPAP machine, a breast milk pump, or a router. At just $160, that is a noteworthy accomplishment that delivers disproportionate value during a power outage. It can also push out power from a standard USB port and a USB-C port, which is a nice feature.
On the input side, this little puppy isn’t just a one trick pony, pushing out power and then keeling over during an outage. It can also be recharged during an outage with any solar panels that push power out through USB, including many of Renogy’s panels.
What is your piece of mind worth? Having gone through a wildfire and lost our home in the exchange, I’m excited for the Renogy Phoenix 100 Mini Generator and the line of similar products Renogy is pushing out to help ease the pains of the transition until homeowners and utilities define new solutions in a world where annual wildfires are the sad reality.
All images courtesy: Renogy