The selection of solar generators with battery storage and optional solar module is huge. Many manufacturers have jumped on the trend, but have no long-term experience with the construction of batteries. With AlphaESS, the exact opposite is the case. The Chinese company is one of the largest battery giants alongside Tesla and Huawei. I was able to take a closer look at the BlackBee1000 with a 200-watt solar module in the test.
AlphaESS BlackBee1000 in the test: conclusion
I liked the first solar generator BlackBee1000 from AlphaESS with a capacity of 1,036 Wh and an output of 1,000 watts (peak 2,000 watts) because of some special properties. First and foremost there would be those many connections and the wireless charging stations at the top. Two smartphones can be charged there with up to 10 watts. Via Power Delivery on the USB-C port, for example, a MacBook with 100 watts and many other devices via USB or Schuko socket. I was able to use my freezer via the 12-volt connection. That’s all Extremely practical and allows a lot of leewayif you need electricity on the go.
The built-in display of the BlackBee1000 always shows how much energy is being used or generated. each individual field with connections can be activated individually. So you don’t always have to unplug devices if you don’t want to charge them anymore. The large lamp on the back, which can provide light for hours, is also practical.
I noticed two major disadvantages. As soon as the three Schuko inputs are activated, the fan runs. It doesn’t matter whether I have something connected there or not. That’s why I didn’t charge the MacBook, cell phone and Nintendo Switch via the mains adapter, but only via the USB ports. The solar generator remains absolutely still.
Furthermore, there is no WiFi and no app. That’s a shame, because the competition now offers remote access and many setting options via cell phone. With this model, you always have to go to the device and you have no way of controlling the charging speed.
Overall, the AlphaESS BlackBee1000 is a solid solar generator that can be charged anywhere with the optional 200-watt solar panel. The price of 1,099 euros is okay, considering that you get mature and powerful hardware here. You have to pay an additional 499 euros for the solar module.
With the exclusive GIGA discount you pay significantly less until March 25, 2023:
- High performance
- Lots of connections
- Wireless charging function
- No app/WLAN function
- Most connectors without cover
- loading speed
Robustly built and kept simple
One thing has to be handed to AlphaESS. The BlackBee1000 solar generator is built tough. The plastic used is not reminiscent of toys, as is the case with many other models, but rather of tools that are used on construction sites. The handle is large and sturdy. With a little over 10 kg the solar generator with a capacity of 1,036 Wh is not too heavy either. It is easy to grasp and can be taken anywhere.
Even if I personally would have liked WiFi and an app to have more setting options, it is this model is basically self-explanatory. Simply connect a device to the solar generator with a cable, press a button to activate the connections, and energy is already available. It really couldn’t be simpler. The wireless charging station on the top has to be activated with a double press on the info button. This is the most complicated thing about this device.
Also the big one lamp on the back can be easily activated with just one push of a button in different light intensities. It’s just a pity that the connections don’t all have caps to prevent dust and dirt from collecting there. Only the 12 volt connection is covered.
Lots of loading options
The AlphaESS BlackBee1000 solar generator can be charged in four different ways:
- Directly to the socket with a power pack. This works with up to 180 watts and takes almost 6 hours.
- About a 200 watt solar panel. Here I saw a maximum output of 193 watts, but with good sunlight it is usually around 160 to 170 watts. When the sun shines through, it’s a little over 6 hours here.
- In the car via the 12 volt connection.
- Via USB-C port. Since I only had one power supply from the MacBook Pro, I came up with an output of 65 watts. Loading takes a long time.
It is practical that you charge and discharge at the same time can. All necessary cables are included. For example, I set up the solar module and operated a cool box at the same time. The cool box drew 65 watts, the solar module delivered 140 watts. So I could leave the freezer running and still charge the battery.
This works with all devices, for example when charging a laptop or similar. Thanks to the many connections, you can charge several devices at the same time and see both the total consumption and the charging speed.
With a charging speed of just under 200 watts, the solar generator definitely belongs not among the fastest loaders. The EcoFlow River 2 Pro (test) charges at the socket with 940 watts and is full in just over an hour.
Solar module convinces
Even if AlphaESS’s 200-watt solar panel isn’t a bargain at 500 euros, it is the simplest mobile solar module to date, which I tested. You just have to unfold it, loosen the supports at the back and it stands. The cables and adapters are stowed in a pocket on the back and everything is immediately ready for use and quickly stowed away again. That’s exactly what you want.
AlphaESS uses a 1,036.8 Wh battery that a capacity of 80 percent after 1,000 charging cycles should have. The guarantee is 24 months. There are 12 additional months if you register the device with the manufacturer. This puts the solar generator in the middle. Older models usually only manage 500 charging cycles, newer LFP batteries also 3,000 charging cycles. The latter also comes with a five-year guarantee.
However, since AlphaESS is one of the largest battery manufacturers who otherwise build storage systems for solar systems and more, the battery safety should be given. The relatively slow charging should also have a positive effect on the service life.
I did not notice any performance fluctuations while using the BlackBee1000 solar generator on my desktop PC, when charging the laptop, the switch or on a sandwich toaster or hair dryer. The device only stopped working with the 2,400 watt kettle. If you need more power, you have to buy a more powerful modelwhich AlphaESS also offers with the BlackBee2000 (look at Amazon).