BioLite adds portable power stations and a solar array to its charging lineup

After years of providing off-grid camping, cooking and pocket charger technologies, BioLite has moved into this genre with its newest and most powerful power backup solutions. The company just announced its BaseCharge 600 and BaseCharge 1500 portable power stations, along with the accompanying SolarPanel 100. As with most products of this type, it’s great for powering entertainment technology, appliances, and workspaces when you’re away from an outlet. It is also useful at home when the power is out.

Both power stations provide an LCD control panel with power gauges, system notifications, temperature alerts, outlet activation, and battery life status. You can also view cumulative usage over time and reset the counter as needed. They should hold a charge for a long time, but it’s recommended to ramp them up every six months, so they’re ready when you need them.
Each device is encased in a hard plastic wrap with small rubber feet on the bottom. There are interior areas on each side to help hold these relatively heavy devices. As for stiffness, it’s not specifically designed for big drops with weight in mind. And while they’re great for bringing off-grid power backups, there’s no IP rating or weather protection to speak of, so you’ll want to keep them out of the rain.

BaseCharge 600

BaseCharge 600
Biolite

The BaseCharge 600 ($699) is more expensive than the power station pair. It has a Li-ion battery capacity of 622Wh, with three types of inputs: a combo wall and a solar charger port, as well as a port for a USB-C PD input. Charging times range from seven hours via a wall charger, three and a half hours with both wall charging and USB-C PD and six hours using the SolarPanel 100 in peak sunlight. It weighs 13 pounds and measures 12.2 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches.

There are ten outputs:

  • 2-110 V AC (600 watts up to 1,000 watts burst)

  • 1 – Wireless charging of Qi and related devices on the upper platform (10W)

  • 2 – DC 12V (120W) barrel outlets

  • 12V car outlet (also known as cigarette lighter – 120W)

  • 2 – USB-A (5V)

  • 1 – USB-C (5V)

  • 1 – USB-C PD (5V/100W)

BaseCharge 1500

BioLite BaseCharge 1500 power plant.
BaseCharge 1500

Biolite

The larger, heavier, and more powerful model is the BaseCharge 1500 ($1699). It has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 1,521 watts and the same three inputs as the Model 600. Charging times range from 13.5 hours with a wall charger, eight hours with a wall charger and USB-C PD, and four hours in peak sunlight if you have it four SolarPanel 100 units. This larger device weighs 26.5 pounds and measures 14.4 x 12.2 x 8.2 inches.

There are a total of 12 outputs on this device:

  • 3-110 VAC (1200 W up to 2400 W)

  • 1 – Wireless charging of Qi and related devices on the upper platform (10W)

  • 2 – DC 12V (120W) barrel outlets

  • 12V car outlet (also known as cigarette lighter – 120W)

  • 2 – USB-A (5V)

  • 2 – USB-C (5V)

  • 1 – USB-C PD (5V/100W)

100 . solar panel

BioLite 100 solar panel.
100 . solar panel

Biolite

If you want to convert your portable power plant into a solar generator, there is the new SolarPanel 100 ($400). This is a single foldable unit, with four panels providing 100W of power output at peak sunlight. You can also pretend to be astronaut Mark Watney and daisy chain up four 100-second solar panels to quadruple the wattage.

These panels are IPX4 rated making them relatively durable and water-resistant, like a constant light rain. There’s no battery on board, but you can charge two devices directly from the board as it absorbs sunlight via two USB-A ports and a USB-C PD port.

All panels fold into one 20.1 x 14.3 x 1.5 inch rectangle, with a built in carry handle so you can pull all 9.5 lb panels. The back of the unit, which is the only exposed side when folded, is a gray fabric-like material. There is also a zippered bag for storing cables.

When expanded, it has a deck that spans 20.1 x 57.5 inches and a shallow depth of about an inch, as well as two relatively low legs when fully extended. The “optimal sun system” is the same as what you find in BioLite’s previous solar panels, which consist of a small target and a white recessed area so you can track the angle of the sun through its shadow.

Customers can sign up for a waiting list starting today on the company’s website, with pre-orders opening September 7 for all three new products. It is scheduled to hit retail outlets including Amazon and REI in October 2022.

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