I am a big fan of battery backup systems that can supply emergency power during outages. After living through three major hurricanes, I have a deep understanding of the need for backup energy.
These portable power stations come in a variety of sizes and wattage capacities. While there are occasions when a large system is desired to run more demanding applications such as battery-powered tools, freezers, or even an entire home, the costs for those larger systems can be inhibitive for many.
The Bluetti EB70S hits a sweet spot for the average consumer, providing impressive energy storage in a small, affordable package. This unit is exactly the type of emergency backup system you can tuck away in a closet until needed, and then pull out and power essential items during a prolonged outage.
Key Takeaways From Our Hands-On Review:
- Solid build quality and respectable manufacturer reputation
- Simple, intuitive interface
- Impressive power in a relatively small, portable system
- Appropriate size and power for camping and grid-down emergency power (see test examples)
Let’s do a deep dive into this product and see how it performed under some real-world use cases.
Note: Bluetti sent us this product for review but had no input into my recommendations. As always, I test and report based on my own findings.
I received a UPS tracking number that I was able to use to keep up with when the product would be delivered. That’s important when ordering a product at this price range.
The item was delivered on time without incident and was well secured with thick styrofoam packing.
In the box were the unit, AC power adapter, solar connector, and a DC power connector (for plugging into a car’s cigarette lighter connection). Owner’s manual and registration card were also present.
After unboxing, I was pleased to discover that the unit arrived with a healthy amount of power already in the battery.
The visual display is large and bright and, for the most part, easy to read. I would prefer to have an exact percentage of battery power on the display but the visual representation of the battery’s power level does look nice.
Features and Specs
The Bluetti EB70S claims an 800-watt rating (716Wh capacity). It utilizes a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFePO4) that allows for much longer battery lifespan than traditional lithium batteries. In fact, it is rated for 2500+ life cycles!
This is an extremely important feature as it ensures a much longer lifespan for the unit than many competitors!
The unit offers a 200-watt max input with multiple modes of charging including solar, DC (through a cigarette lighter connector) and traditional AC input.
The EB70S includes AC and DC ports with separate power controls. This can be super handy when charging through the DC ports as you are not having to use energy powering the AC ports when they aren’t in use.
- USB A X 2
- USB C X 2
- DC 5521 X 2
- Cigarette Lighter Port X 1
- 3 prong AC 120v x 2
- 2 prong AC 120v x 2
The unit also includes an LED light on the front which can be used in continuous on or flashing mode (for emergency situations). The light is surprisingly bright and could be useful for illuminating an area while camping or working.
Portable power stations like the EB70S are very popular with campers and hunters, supplying power for essentials when living off the grid. Our use cases are different, though and I wanted to put the EB70S to task in the type of grid-down situation that is more likely to present itself to our readers.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when purchasing a portable power station is looking at the maximum wattage output as a target instead of a limit. An 800-watt power station should not be used to continuously run an 800-watt load. You want to consider the length of time that you need to power the device.
For this reason, I’m not going to focus on the usual “Will it run this? Will it run that?” appliance testing that reviewers so often test. There are valid reasons to test those load limits but my goal has always been to find practical solutions to grid-down situations.
So let’s begin with a real-world situation that any of us may run into.
Test #1 – Box Fan, Light, and Phone Charging.
The Bluetti EB70s isn’t designed to run a window air conditioning unit but it can certainly provide power to move some air with a box fan. I decided to test the device in the most practical situation we will all likely encounter at one point or another.
Scenario: The electricity goes out and you just need to move a little air to keep the sweat at bay. You need a light to help you find your way at night. And of course, you need to keep your phone charged so that you can stay in communication with family during the outage.
Beginning with a fully-charged system, I hooked up a standard box fan to the unit. I also connected a standing LED light and plugged in an iPhone. I wanted to test running the unit for at least 8 hours with the fan on medium.
While you could definitely get more runtime with the fan on low speed, a really hot day could demand running the fan on medium so I wanted to use this as our benchmark.
After 8 hours, the unit still showed a charge of 1-20%.
Note: This is when a percentage display would be helpful as I can only estimate the remaining battery power based on the display’s design but the bottom line is that the Bluetti EB70S packs more than enough punch for this practical grid-down situation.
Test #2 – Solar Charging For Continous Power
Once I was confident that the unit could supply the power needed to run our emergency setup overnight, I then turned my attention to our next test. Assuming a prolonged power outage, I would need to be able to charge the unit while continuing to use it to power our fan and light.
This is where most reviewers miss the boat when it comes to real-world testing. Pushing the unit to its limit to brew a pot of coffee or run a full-sized refrigerator can be a fun test, but if you are really dealing with a prolonged power outage you want to focus on minimal standard power usage that can be balanced with solar recharging.
In an ideal setup, you can put more charge into the unit each hour than you are expending during daylight hours. This would allow you to not only run the unit all day while charging but to actually take advantage of that stored energy during the night, giving you somewhere close to a 24-hour power solution.
That’s the real magic and potential of these portable power stations.
I connected a 200w portable solar panel to the unit using the included connectors (the solar panel was purchased separately). With a sunny day ahead of us, I monitored solar input and power usage but our primary goal was simple: I wanted to be able to put more power into the Bluetti unit than I was taking out each hour running the fan and light.
To this end, I was extremely pleased with the results. I was able to input more watts of solar power into the unit per hour than I was outputting. This means that we could realistically run the unit all day while charging it up for the night. This is an ideal scenario for extended power outages!
For the use case I tested, the Bluetti EB70S performed flawlessly and I have no reservations in expecting it to be able to provide emergency energy for the simulation we created. This is an excellent backup system for this type of use case. The unit can be charged up, stored, and ready for an outage at a moment’s notice.
Remember, the key is to operate the unit within the parameters that it is designed to be used. So for use cases such as camping or providing emergency power in the scenario we explored above, the Bluetti EB70S is a solid choice from a reliable company.
You can purchase the Bluetti EB70S through the company website.
As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.