Welcome to another Tiny Stuff product review! Recently, we had the opportunity to test out the new Growatt Infinity 1500 power station. Its top innovative feature is an adjustable inverter—unique among competitors. Also, it has an impressive power capacity, 1,500 watt-hours, in a quite small, light package. At 36.5 pounds, it's on the lighter side compared to other similar stations.
But if you're like us, it's easy to get lost in all the technical specs when trying to choose the most suitable power station. We'll share our advice, helpful resources, and an honest take on the Infinity 1500.
See the pricing details at the bottom of the post and the Black Friday sale discounts!
What Size Portable Power Station Do You Need?
With so many portable power station options on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. First, you must know what devices and appliances you want to power. Once you have your list, you next need to determine much electricity they use. Then, you'll know what wattage and watt-hour capacity are best for you in a power station.
What will help tremendously is a better understanding of the difference between these two measurements. In a nutshell, a watt-hour (Wh) is a unit of energy equal to 1 watt (W) of power sustained for 1 hour. When talking about appliances, watt hours are a way of conveying how much electricity they use per hour. An inverter wattage rating is the number of watts the inverter can put out continuously.
Did you know a portable power station is a battery-powered inverter generator?
A quality inverter will have a peak wattage load around 50-75% higher than the rated wattage. This is important because many appliances experience a high power surge when first plugged in. The Growatt Infinity 1500 power station has a max 2,000-watt rating with a 4000-watt surge peak.
So again, with an inverter, we're talking about the power it can output at that amount. A 2,000w means 2,000 watts of power.
Consider how you might want to use the Infinity 1500, for instance. Do you want to take it camping or use it for supplemental off-grid power or home backup needs? Growatt claims that the Infinity 1500 can power 95% of outdoor devices and home appliances. But just because it can power something doesn't mean it can power it all day.
Drilling Down Deeper: Calculating Watts & Watt-Hours
Let's say powering your laptop, no matter where you go, is a top priority for you (it is for us!). Then you need to know your laptop's wattage to calculate the watt hours to measure how much electricity it uses per hour. Importantly, consider how long during the day you want to power the computer.
Side note: a complicating factor for this example is that once a computer is charged, it can operate without being plugged in. But you can estimate the total number of hours you want to have it plugged in based on your knowledge of your laptop battery life.
For my MacBook Air, the power rating or wattage is 30 watts. If I were to use it for 24 hours, that comes to about 720 watt-hours. So with the Growatt Infinity 1500 power station's 1512Wh capacity, I could easily power this for about 48 hours continuously.
However, the portable power station won't last as long if I want to power my laptop and several other things. That's why you want to consider all the possible devices you want to power to calculate your total watt-hour needs.
As you review all the available options, know that the power capacity of the Growatt Infinity 1500 is at the high end of the market for most portable power stations. You can also daisy chain three units to triple your power capacity. But another critical factor to consider is battery chemistry.
Battery Chemistry Comparison
Currently, most power stations use some kind of lithium-ion battery chemistry. The Growatt Infinity 1500 uses nickel manganese cobalt (NMC). Like the cutting-edge lithium Iron phosphate (LiFePO4), it is a very safe battery type. When comparing the two, there are a couple of crucial differences.
Namely, the NMC is much lighter. Specifically, the Infinity 1500 is almost half the weight of a similar capacity LifePo4 power station. That's a massive difference. However, a LiFePO4 battery has a much longer lifespan. It is more than double that of an NMC power station.
Power Station Lifespan
The lifespan of a power station is directly connected to the number of battery cycles or "lifecycles." A cycle describes the complete charging and discharging sequence. This involves going from full charge to 0%, back up to 100%, then down to zero.
Commonly, you'll hear that a portable power station has 800 life cycles up to 80%, like the Growatt Infinity 1500. That means that after 800 cycles, it will only charge up to 80%. However, if you only run the battery down to 50% and back to 100%, the 800 cycles translates to 1600 "half-cycles." After that, the battery still functions at 80% efficiency.
With that said, a LiFePO4 battery features about 3500 lifecycles compared to an NMC or lithium-ion battery.
Other factors that affect power station lifespan are usage conditions and maintenance.
Infinity 1500 Power Station Safety Features
You don't want to worry about safety when you use a power station. That's where the Infinity 1500 shines. It comes with an industry-leading battery management system. Notably, the BMS is often considered the brain of the battery pack. It is critical to the battery's safe operation, overall performance, and longevity. Additionally, the BMS protects the devices plugged into it.
To do all this, the BMS monitors every one of the cells in the whole power station to keep track of what's going on. If something happens, like one of the cells has a weird overload, it'll shut the whole thing down.
More specifically, the BMS in the Growatt Infinity 1500 prevents a device from overdrawing while in use and a power source from overcharging the battery. It also monitors the remaining charge in the battery, the amount of energy entering & exiting the battery pack, and cell voltages. The BMS uses this data to know when the battery is drained, again, to shut it down to avoid damage.
Another safety feature of the Infinity 1500 is an Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) – basically, a backup electrical source. So if you have the power station charging from a wall socket and have something like your computer plugged into this when a power outage happens, it will keep running your devices. The idea is to prevent damage or loss of any unsaved work.
However, you have to anticipate this situation for the UPS function to be effective. Nonetheless, it's a good feature of the Growatt Infinity 1500.
Growatt Infinity 1500 Fast Recharge
The Infinity 1500 has an impressive fast recharge capability. You can charge it all the way to 80% in just one hour and 100% in two hours. It features a maximum AC input of 1,500 watts for wall charging.
You can also fully recharge the Infinity 1500 with solar panels with up to 800 watts. This is on the top end of input capability in the mobile power station market. If you max out the solar input, you can fully recharge the Infinity 1500 in just 2.5 hours, which is pretty fast for solar charging. Fortunately, it has universal connectors. So you can use the Growatt folding solar panels or almost any other panel.
Lastly, you can also recharge the Infinity 1500 in a car. Just plug this into a cigarette lighter port. Unfortunately, it will take 13.5 hours to charge fully, so this method is recommended only for topping off the battery or for extra-long drives.
Adjustable Growatt Inverter and Charging Mode
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Infinity 1500 is its adjustable inverter. You can change its wattage of it. Choose between 2,000, 1,800, or 1,500-watt output. But why would you want to do this?
You can save power by using a lower setting if you don't need the total 2,000-watt output. Further, it affects the fan noise. In the review video above, listen closely, and you can probably hear the fan. It's not the quietest, but it's not too distracting if you don't mind a little white noise in the background.
Relatedly, Growatt gives you the ability to change your charge speed setting. Choose from slow, regular, or fast modes. Low obviously will charge it much slower. Of course, if you go with the highest setting, that's the quickest way to recharge the Infinity 1500.
One good reason to use that function for a van dweller is if you're recharging from someone else's solar system. If they don't that doesn't have a lot of power output, the low setting would help charge the Infinity 1500 at more of a consistent rate. As a result, hopefully, the visiting vanlifer wouldn't pop their host's breakers because the fast charge is too much for it to handle.
Additionally, the lower charge settings reduce the Infinity 1500's fan noise. Noise level tolerance is personal. It doesn't bother us. It's quieter than the fan we have on at night. Therefore, we don't think we would use the low setting just for a more subdued sound.
Infinity 1500 Power Station App Control
App control is one of our favorite features of the Growatt Infinity 1500. You can control all the features like turning on and off the DC and AC power. Of note, you can connect to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi—internet connectivity is not required.
Of course, the app shares how long the power station will take to recharge fully. Even better, you can monitor how long the Infinity 1500 will run based on current usage. For example, if you have a few things plugged in, you can see the number of hours it will power those devices.
Infinity 1500 Downsides
While app control is super helpful, we're disappointed in the absence of a touch screen on the actual power station. You can see the charge level and if AC or DC power is turned on. But you have to use the app to change any other settings.
The screen on the Infinity 1500 goes dark after a few minutes, which is frustrating. Unfortunately, the only way to make it visible again is to turn it off and back on. Practically speaking, if you want to monitor the battery level, you must view it on the app.
There are buttons on the Infinity 1500 to on the AC and DC power; the app isn't needed for that. Also, a touch screen is less important for some. A van dweller, for instance, might store this under the bed and then would need to rely on the app to control it.
One tiny thing we don't like is the door cover for the charging ports. It's just asking to get broken off. Full disclosure, we say this because we had another power station with one that Christian broke off on the first day!
Infinity 1500 Ports
The Growatt Infinity 1500 power station features 12 different outlets. One side includes four AC outlets and a cigarette lighter power port (13.6V, 10A). It has various USB ports on the front—two USB-A, two fast-charge USB-A, and two USB-C. Additionally, it has a wireless phone charging pad.
Infinity 1500 Upsides
Overall, the Infinity 1500 is a well-rounded portable power station. In a nutshell, it features large capacity, compact, and truly innovative features—adjustable inverter and charge settings. The relatively low weight makes it truly portable. With that in mind, it is also easy to carry around with its sturdy, easy-to-grip handles. We find that with some power stations, the hand-holds are too close to the unit, making it difficult to get your hand in position.
Lastly, we appreciate that the Growatt Infinity 1500 has a two-year warranty. That is not common among power station manufacturers.
Infinity 1500 Cost + Black Friday Sale
So how much does the Growatt Infinity 1500 power station cost? It typically retails for about $1,600, which is on par or less expensive than competitors on the market. But right now, you can get it for $1300. Remember to take all the above considerations into mind when deciding if this portable power station meets your needs.