In this video, I’m back with a long-term update on the EcoFlow Delta MAX portable lithium power station and its 400W optional folding solar panel. I’ve had the system for nearly a year and used it for many months of boondocking. I’ll go through how it has performed and my likes and dislikes.
My Use Case for the EcoFlow Delta MAX
Our RV already has a powerful off-grid power system with 940 watts of solar on the roof and a 420Ah lithium battery bank. But I now have a Starlink Internet Dish, a complete power pig. It’s a first-generation dish averaging about 80 watts of power draw! That can add up as we use it often for internet access and nighttime streaming entertainment.
So, I utilize the EcoFlow Delta MAX portable power station and its 400W panel as the primary power producer for Starlink. I like that the EcoFlow can recharge quickly using its AC input. If the solar harvest is poor, it takes under 90 minutes of generator runtime to fully replenish the EcoFlow 2048-watt-hour battery pack.
I’ve also added a mod to my trailer DC power system to transfer power from the RV battery bank to the EcoFlow power station. I added wiring, a fuse, a toggle switch, and a plug-in for the EcoFlows DC input. The wiring addition provides about a 100W charge. Enough to maintain powering the Starlink without using up the EcoFlow battery.
The Delta MAX has performed well for my needs and, at this time, is my favorite of the power stations I’ve had a chance to test out. If I was to buy one, this is the one I would get. Of course, nothing is perfect, so here are my likes and dislike lists for the solar panel and power station after using it for six months of off-gird camping and several months even on the grid.
400W EcoFlow Folding Solar Panel
- I like that it folds small enough to be carried in the truck’s backseat.
- Lightweight for 400 watts at 35.5 lbs 42 lbs including case.
- 40-volt output so that you can use a small gauge wiring and longer runs.
- Waterproof panel design. Crucial in the Pacific Northwest, but it does rain in the desert once in a while too.
- For a folding panel, it is surprisingly durable. Though the plastic front material could be easily scratched or gouged by a sharp object
- The wattage output is lower than the rigid glass panels I’ve used by about 25-50 watts. Winter sun at low elevations = 200-250 watts. Spring sun at higher elevations = 300-350 watts.
- The case kickstand is a crappy solution. The outer panels flop around, and the tilt angle is fixed. Easily can flop over in string wind gust
(However, since the complete panel weighs about 35 lbs, it works well when leaning against objects. It can also be tethered for high winds using the built-in grommets.)
- The plastic case zipper is flimsy and soon broke.
EcoFlow Delta MAX Power Station
- EcoFlow has an excellent smartphone app. The killer feature for me: charging input wattage control of 200W to 1800W in 100W increments.
- It has a small footprint and weight for the power provided: 2400W Inverter and 2048-watt-hour battery pack.
- No bulky AC adapter to worry about, just a single power cord
- Fans are quiet compared to others I’ve tested.
- Firmware is upgradable, and they have released updates to fix bugs and add features.
- UPS functionality (the switchover from grid power to battery/inverter power) is limited to 30 milliseconds. This time delay is too long for things like our Starlink dish and Anne’s iMac computer, which is annoying when charging off the grid with the generator.
- The NMC (Nickel, Manganese, and Cobalt) lithium battery chemistry used in the battery pack is not as safe from fire or explosion as other power stations that use LiFePO4 (Iron Phosphate) batteries. So, I’m counting on EcoFlow having the safety protections right. Given my perceived product quality and being a widely sold unit, I am confident it will be OK to have in our RV. The trade-off for better performance plus smaller size and less weight is worth the risk.
- The NMC chemistry also has a lower lifespan of 800 complete charge-discharge cycles to 80% capacity remaining versus 3000+ for most LIFePO4 batteries. Again for me, the trade-off is worth it.
As you can see, the EcoFlow Delta MAX system has performed well for us, and I’m a fan of it. However, that is based on my needs as a full-time RVer who often dry camps. If I were a home user more than an RV camper, other brands would become as attractive. For example, the Bluetti AC200MAX is priced similarly but has safer LIFePO4 batteries. As a home backup solution, the extra size/weight and slower AC charging speed become less of an issue.