Props to EcoFlow for improved solar panels

May 4, 2024 by Joshua
in Tips

I think I can safely describe myself as a power user of portable solar panels. I:

  • Use them almost daily
  • Set them up and break them down again sometimes multiple times per day
  • Carry them up and down eleven flights of stairs a couple times a day when I have roof access
  • Carry them a few blocks to the park and back through Manhattan streets when I don’t have roof access

Carrying and using wears out anything, new technology even more.

I chanced into EcoFlow when I bought a used power station of theirs from someone on Craigslist. I wasn’t looking to become a tester or influencer. I didn’t even know if I could use their equipment, let alone rely on it for all the power in my home for two years. For the record, they have sent me equipment at no cost, including the panels I describe below, but no other compensation. I don’t get paid anything if you buy from them because of me. Regular readers know I don’t talk much about brands in ways that may sound like promotion.

I guess when the media started covering me, EcoFlow contacted me and have been very supportive since. In fact, of the solar equipment companies I’ve worked with, I’ve found their customer service the best. In fairness, Bluetti has been helpful, but not as much.

I’m writing today not because of their customer service but because of their latest design and implementation of their 220 watt portable solar panels. They arrived yesterday, just in time for me to charge up the battery (also EcoFlow) in preparation for Rain and clouds as far as the forecast goes. More challenges to solve.

You can tell from the long shadows in the pictures below that I got out early, around 8am (today being a lifting day, I lifted weights first, and meditated as every day) since the forecast is for clear skies for a couple hours, then clouds for days.

Before heading out I unpacked the panels. Before opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised that the size and weight were smaller than the last 220 watt panels of theirs I used. Since they’re near the maximum efficiency in converting solar to electric power, I presume the savings came from improved design. Carrying them around is a lot easier. When folded the old ones were longer, which made them harder to carry on stairs. These panels: no problem on stairs. Being less long, they may be wider, which may make them less convenient for someone shorter to carry. I can’t say.

These also have stands for angling the panels to the sun built in. Their last design used the carrying bag to angle them, which worked, but I prefer these stands. So in the picture below, the panels are angled with stands built in.

I can only give an unboxing report. If you want a long-term review, ask me later. So far, they feel solidly built. They work as expected out of the box. Maybe I’m more enthusiastic because they arrived just in time to prepare me for upcoming overcast week, but it reinforces one of my major discoveries of living more sustainably: whatever the challenge, the other side of that challenge always leads to community. Every time, it connects me to others who end up helping me, then expressing gratitude, which ends up mutual.

Polluting and depleting lead to isolation. If you haven’t tried living sustainably after your mindset shift, you may not believe me, but when you do, you see how much depending on polluting, depleting technologies contribute to our social and emotional struggles, like anxiety, loneliness, suicide, depression, obesity and all the health problems it leads to, fragility, and so on. But this post isn’t about how to improve your life, society, nation, and culture. It’s just to say I’m pleased at EcoFlow’s new design and consistent customer service.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter