REVIEW –Another week, another powerstation review. Will the GRECELL 500 power station review stand out among the ever-growing number of power stations sent our way? Or will it just be another option?
What is it?
This review of the GRECELL T500 power station is about a portable battery. These are also called “Rechargeable Batteries”. “solar generators”, but the term is a bit misleading: they can’t generate power by themselves, but rather serve as a storage battery for a solar panel. Since this one is sold separately from solar panels, as I reviewed it you’d need to charge it up before outings from the wall (or your car), and then it can provide power to up to 10 different devices as long as the total demand is under 500 watts. The model is approximately the same size as a standard 12V car batteries. This model uses Lithium Ion (the most common type of battery chemistry for power station), which is also used in many electric cars. It has safety features such as a Battery Management System, active cooling, and a Battery Management System to prevent battery fires.
What’s in the box?
- GRECELL T500 power station
- 1 x AC adaptor 100-240V
- 1 x DC car charger cable (12V)
- 1 x solar connector (MC4-7.9*0.9/8mm connect cable)
- 1 x Cable Storage Bag
- user manual
- Capacity 519.48 Wh (140400mAh), 22.2 V
- Weight: 14.1 Pounds
- Dimensions: 11.57 x 7.95 x 7.95 inches
- Output: 500 Watts
- AC Ports: 2x 3-prong Pure Sine Wave AC Ports, 110V60Hz. Total 500W
- DC Ports: 2x12V/5A, 1x “car port” 12V/10A
- Wireless phone charging 10W
- USB-A ports: 3 x 5V⎓3.0A, 9V⎓2A, 12V⎓1.5A 18W
- USB-C Power Delivery port: 5V/ 9V/12V/15V/20V⎓3A (Max.60W )
- DC / PV input 12V26V
Design and features
The GRECELL T500 power station is a standard portable battery generator that has a variety of AC, USB and DC ports. The LCD screen is easily readable in all lighting conditions thanks to the backlight. Additionally, buttons and labeling make it easy to use and understand.
A bright flashlight on the side can be useful for camping. It can also be set up to flash in an emergency. “SOS”Morse code pattern that would likely last for up to a whole week on a full charged.
The fans on the other side keep everything cool during heavy use or hot days.
The included AC wall charger is just like most laptop chargers (it’s performing the same function – delivering high wattage DC power to a battery-powered device). A DC “car port”A charger and a solar connector are also included.
Installation and configuration
I tested the charger on the wall and charged the device for the first time. I was able to charge the device with the included wall charger in 3.5 hours. However, most lithium-ion batteries charge much faster than the first half. The manufacturer estimates that a full charge will take 6-7 hours.
A car DC port can charge in 7-8 hours. They quote 6-9 hours for a solar panel, depending on the conditions. I tested my only solar panel that was within their accepted voltage (18 volts), but even on a bright day, the T-500 didn’t register any input. This same solar panel has charged several other power stations I’ve tested, and I even tried a different cable but wasn’t able to get any input into the T-500. I wasn’t able to resolve this issue, but maybe it was an incompatibility I didn’t understand. I’d imagine if you bought GRECELL solar panels, they would work since they are tested and manufactured by the same people.
I first performed a battery life test by connecting a space heater and running it on high – this results in a power surge of around 1000 watts, and some power stations shut off from this surge, but the T-500 coped. If you’re using items like freezers, refrigerators, or pumps, these can all have much higher power surges than their rated running wattage, so it’s good to know the GRECELL T-500 power station can handle a 1000-watt power surge as advertised.
The heater was then turned on low and it pulled in just under 100 watts per hour. I fully drained the T-500 in 4.5 hours, which is about what you’d expect for the quoted capacity. If you were running a lower-wattage device like a mini-fridge, you’d get 10-11 hours. GRECELL estimates that a typical CPAP machine can last for 20 hours on a fully charged charge. If you’re pulling the full-rated 500 watts, you’ll drain it in just under an hour.
I tested all USB ports, the DC car output port, and the AC ports. All of the ports worked as expected. The USB-C power delivery can deliver up to 60 watts, while the USB A ports support QuickCharge 3.0. As you can see, you can use any combination or DC, USB, or AC outputs simultaneously as long as your total draw is less than 500 watts.
The one bummer I ran into is in the manual: they don’t recommend passthrough charging with AC input. This means you shouldn’t use this power station as a backup battery for always running electronics, which was one scenario I had hoped to use this device for. I have another previously reviewed power station that’s always plugged in to remain fully charged, and then I run my router and NAS directly from the power station, so in the event of a blackout, my NAS and home internet remain working.
That said, the T-500 does support pass-through charging if you’re charging through DC, like with solar panels. This makes it a good option for RVs, longer-term camping, glamping, or even cabins or tiny homes: you can set up a solar panel array that is charging the power station throughout the day, even while you’re using it.
What I like
- Good selection of output ports
- Wireless charging
What I’d change
- Show ETA to full/empty
- Pass-through AC charging is supported so that it could be used in home as a backup battery
GRECELL T500 power station is a competent and affordable power station that will meet the needs for many users. This power station is versatile and can do solar passthrough charging and multi-device output. It also has good storage capacity and wattage ratings. I do wish it had an ETA to empty/full on the display like some of the other power stations I’ve used, but in the end that’s not a deal breaker for me. This power station can be used for camping, adventures, or even as a mobile charging station to charge my electric toys, such as the offroad scooter that I just bought.