About four years ago I reviewed a small so-called “solar generator” power box called a Renogy Firefly. The Firefly had meager power output and a small 16 amp hour battery capacity. I didn’t find it suitable for RVing so lost interest in these type of products. Lately, though they have become more and more common, especially among van dwellers and the power/capacity has improved.
Therefore, when the Lensun company contacted me to offer a review sample, I decided to take another look. Their new model SG510 solar generator power box boasts a 500-watt pure sine wave inverter and a 46 amp hour lithium battery. My curiosity was peeked. With these specs, it could run quite a few things in the RV.
(Fair Disclosure: I received the Lensun SG510 free of charge. However, I’m not affiliated with Lensun, and I received no monetary compensation for this post and videos. – Ray)
I decided to split the review into two videos. First is the unboxing and going over the feature list and capabilities. In the second, I get into some real-world testing and detail my likes and dislikes.
Lensun SG510 Solar Generator – Unboxing and Quick Overview
Lensun SG510 Full Review Video
Lensun SG510 Likes and Dislikes
- Compact Size
- Lightweight (9.9 lbs)
- Stylish looking case
- Easy grab handle
- 46 amp hour capacity (LG Lithium Ion)
- 500-watt pure sine inverter (1000W surge)
- Can be recharged off a solar panel
- MPPT type of solar controller
- Lots of output ports (4 USB, 3 12VDC, 2 110V AC)
- Powers all 9 output ports at once
- Can be used as a UPS (uninterruptable power supply)
- Can jump start a vehicle (jumpstart cables included)
- Rated for wide temperature range (-10C to 60C)
- Takes too long to charge (8-10 hours)
- No 12VDC charging plug (only solar and AC)
- Display not accurate
- Jumpstart cables feel flimsy
- Cooling fans are annoying
I found the Lensun SG510 solar generator to be an attractive, lightweight package with good power output and battery capacity. But, there were a couple of significant flaws. As with many of these so-called portable solar generators, the recharge time is excessive at 8 to 10 hours. The product would be much more useful with a recharge time 2 or 3 times shorter.
A significant feature missing is the lack of a 12 volt DC charging port. I would have expected to see a plug for charging from a vehicle cigarette lighter style port. On long travels days, this would be most useful. Also, a lighter socket style 12VDC output cable would have been nice. I had to make my own for testing.
Because of these two drawbacks, I have a hard time recommending the Lensun SG510 to most RVers. However, people with smaller rigs, day trippers, picnickers or tenters with low power needs may get some benefit as it does pack a decent amount of capacity in a small light package. It also may be useful for homeowner backup power.
In short, it’s not going to replace a conventional style gas generator for longer-term off-grid camping with a larger RV, like our 30-foot fifth wheel.
Reviews of other products mentioned in the video
- Energizer 3200W generator
- Uni-T Amp Meter
- VIAIR Compressor
- Renogy 100 watt solar panel
- True North Heater