Power generator and solar manufacturer BLUETTI has announced its latest power station, the BLUETTI AC500. The AC500 is the much-anticipated update to the AC300 power station that was launched in July 2021, which with the LFP battery module-B300, was one of the first fully modular power options available.
What broke ground with the AC300 was that the 3,072Wh power station could be used as a fully comprehensive power backup solution for the home and not just for camping or van life. This power station wouldn’t just keep your cameras and laptop topped up with a charge out on a shoot, but when you returned home, it would also power your TV, dishwasher, washing machine and even a power-hungry kettle.
While the likely hood of a complete power failure is unlikely, the costs of power are increasing, so the use of solar power to charge our homes is increasingly mainstream. The AC300 was just the start of BLUETTI’s Solar electrical storage revolution, and while it was designed to provide off-grid power, the latest AC500 is a huge step up in power and output.
The AC500+B300S combo will be released on the crowdfunding platform Indegogo with a special offer for the first 500 people who sign-up. It’s really worth checking that out now at https://bit.ly/3px8Rvo
But why are these power stations so exciting, and what do they mean for us as imaging professionals?
If you run a studio, then you’ll have seen your power cost rapidly increase, especially with no cap on your business rates. Even if you just run a home studio or workshop, the kit it contains probably burns through the household electricity at an incredible rate.
In my studio alone, as small as it is, I usually have a MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, three monitors, lighting, stereo, heater and kettle all burning through close to a Kw an hour. In monetary terms, that’s around 28p an hour, give or take a few pence.
The AC500 can, of course, be charged through the mains, but where it has primarily been designed to charge is through Solar, either the BLUETTI panels or standard household. The new BLUETTI AC500 is an ideal solution for home power storage, with the base unit being rated at 5Wh and potentially increasing that to 18,532Wh with the B300 or B300s battery packs.
Over the smaller capacity AC300, the AC500 also features a 5,000W inverter (10,000W surge) that will cover high-power electronics such as hair dryers, heaters, and kettles. This also means far more devices can be plugged in an used at any time.
While other battery systems of this capacity are either fixed or relatively slow to reach full charge, the technology developed by BLUETTI enables the AC500 with at least two B300S to be charged with up to 8,000W maximum input, this is via dual charging supplied by AC and PV simultaneously. That means a full charge in a little over 1.8 hours in ideal conditions.
While you can’t always rely on the sun, the portable design of the AC500 means there are nine different charging options, with AC and solar being just two.
Using the latest battery technology ensures a long life for the batteries with built-in advanced BMS and LFP batteries that will ensure higher security and extend the average lifespan for this style of power station.
A great feature that will appeal to many who get into the solar game is the ability to monitor the AC500 through the BLUETTI APP. This will provide you with all the detail about the status of the power station and the power being drawn as well as inputted during use.
While the AC500 is portable, it may take two of you to lift. The AC500 weighs in at 30KG, the same as a fully grown labrador, and measures 520x325x358mm.
Impressive Power – A Huge Leap Forward
You’ll read a lot about these power generators and what they can output, and while it all sounds impressive, it’s not always easy to know exactly what all those figures mean. The most important factor is that the AC500 will output AC power; AC power is essentially the same as the plugs in your home. So if you can plug in your camera chargers, computer or lighting into the socket in the wall, then the likelihood is you can plug it into the BLUETTI AC500.
The next numbers you’ll see are the 5,000W with 10,000W surge. This means you can plug in as many devices as you like up to that 5000W power draw. A MacBook Pro, for example, will draw between 50w and 180w and sometimes more and other times less; add to that a couple of monitors at 150w a piece, and you’re already looking at 450w; plugin the kettle, and that’s 3,000w in a flash. How do you know the power draw of these devices? You can either studiously study the manuals or look at the display of the AC500 or the App, which will tell you exactly what’s going on. If you get it wrong and everyone in the house decides it’s time to dry their hair while making a cuppa, the 10,000w surge protection will prevent the AC500 from melting under strain.
Expandable Capacity – Out of Imagination
The amount of power that can flood out of a power station is one thing, but then you have the capacity, or how quickly the power station will empty. So taking the MacBook Pro as an example with an average draw of 100W, it would take 10 hours to fully drain a 1,000Wh power station and 50 hours to drain the AC500.
That’s over two days of solid use without stopping, which would be impressive powerwise but also on your working endurance. If you’re up for a challenge, then the AC500 can expand its capacity with the B300s battery packs to 18,432Wh, so that essentially takes you to 184 and a bit hours of continuous use on the MacBook Pro, or just over a week. More rationally, that’s powerful enough to run an average house at 4.5Kw a day for four days without a solar top-up.
LiFePO4 – Charge Safer, Last Longer
As well documented, you need to be careful with LifePO4 batteries, and BLUETTI are one of the leading manufacturers producing long-life safe systems. The pack has long-term durability with 3,500 charging cycles to 80% of the original capacity and a life expectancy of over ten years.
Multiple Charging Options – Highly Flexible, Incredibly Fast
I mentioned the multiple charging options earlier, which is unusual for a power station of this type. Alongside AC (Mains) and Solar, you can also charge through Lead-Acid or two or three power sources in one go. The AC500 can handle up to 8,000W of input power.
24/7 UPS – Added Peace of Mind
The big feature that will interest many looking at solar systems is the 24/7 Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system built into the BLUETTI AC500. With the correct electronics installed in your home or Studio, the UPS will automatically kick in so that you shouldn’t see any interruption in power. The 20ms speed at which this happens should be fast enough to prevent data loss and hardware damage in the event of a power failure.
BLUETTI App – Monitor And Control at Fingertips
App monitoring is a feature that I have come to rely on with power systems. Being able to log in to the system and see the amount of power being input and drawn from the power system. This helps you regulate the power being drawn from your system and enables effective power management throughout your home and Studio.
BLUETTI AC500&B300S has been announced on Indiegogo. It will be launched with an early bird price, and you can discover more about the offer on the following pages.
For more information on the potential of the BLUETTI AC500, check out the manufacturer’s product page at https://bit.ly/3KdG8Fb
If you’re interested in investing in the system and taking advantage of the early bird offer, then check out the Indiegogo page at https://bit.ly/3px8Rvo
For information on other BLUETTI power stations, including the SB750 and AC200MAX, check out https://bluettipower.co.uk/