EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station EFDELTA Review
Author: Primereviews Editor
The EF Ecoflow Delta portable power station is one of the most flexible power stations on the market. It’s powerful enough to compete with heavy home power stations, but its battery capacity keeps it small and light enough for camping and tailgating. Now that EF’s Kickstarter campaign has ended, this high capacity solar generator is available to everyone.
The Delta has one XT60 charging port on a covered side panel for solar charging. EF includes an MC4 to XT60 adapter cable, making it compatible with most solar panels on the market. This charging input supports electricity ranging from 10 to 65 volts and a maximum of 10 amps or 400 watts. Under ideal conditions with a 400 watt solar array, the battery can go from flat to fully recharged in 4 hours.
Ecoflow makes 85 watt panels with the Delta in mind. One panel doesn’t come close to the maximum input for this power station. However, by linking these panels together using parallel connectors, you can get the full charge rate.
These panels use monocrystalline cells that are 21-22% efficient. Both the panel and MC4 port meet IP67 waterproof ratings. That means they can be fully submerged in up to three feet of fresh water up to half an hour without damage. Once unfolded, the built-in cover creates a kickstand. Depending on how this stand is connected, the panels can be propped up at a 60 or 90 degree angle to maximize sun exposure.
Once your power station is charged, you can use an adapter to connect the panel directly to a USB Type C port for fast charging. While the power system has no trouble adjusting to lower voltage rates, it can’t ramp down to power USB Type A devices. The panel weighs just 9.26 lbs. and measures 23.6 x 21.7 x 0.8 inches when folded into its carrying bag.
Grid and Vehicle Charging Options
EF’s “X-STREAM Technology” fast charge system is up to 10 times as fast as competing units. Recharging the Delta to 80% capacity takes an hour, while reaching 100% takes about 1:36. The inverter is integrated into station, so there’s no power brick. Instead, the AC cable uses an IEC 60320 AC connector. This is the same type of connector found on computer power supplies. If you forget your charging cable on the road, you can pick up a replacement at any electronics or home office supply store.
An adapter cable is included to connect a 12 volt car outlet port to the station’s XT60 socket. Using this method, it takes 10-12 hours to charge the battery.
The Delta has 6 AC outlets on the back panel. All 6 are two prong, but there are ground sockets between each pair of outlets, letting you connect up to three 3-prong plugs. This setup saves space, and gives you more options to position plugs and avoid interference. The outlets are spaced close together, so you may have trouble with power bricks getting in the way. Below these outlets, there’s a 12 volt DC car accessory port that can handle up to 130 watts. A switch on the back lets you turn the inverter on and off. Leaving it off when using just the DC ports conserves power.
The solar generator’s front panel has an array of USB ports for portable devices. This includes a pair of 60 watt USB Type C outlets, two fast charge USB Type A outlets, and two standard USB Type A outlets. The display above these ports shows input and output watts, battery percent, and warnings for temperature and overload. It also displays estimated runtime or charge time, depending on how it's is being used. EF includes a carrying bag for cables and adapters.
The Delta weighs 30.9 lbs, and measures 15.7 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches. Packing 1,260 Wh of power in a package this small is an impressive feat. EF didn’t skimp on materials to do this, either. The unit uses an aluminum chassis and has large rubber feet to keep it stable, whether it’s on your kitchen table or in the bed of your truck.
Two small fans keep the inverter and fans cool. If battery temperatures reach 113°F (45°C) or -4°F (-20°C), the outlets shut off and the fans turn on. Once the battery is back to normal operating temperature, the outlets turn back on automatically. These fans also kick on during and a little while during and after AC charging to manage battery temperatures.
The battery can hold a charge for one year, twice as long as most competing models. This makes it a great option for emergency backup power. Battery life is also impressive. Charge capacity drops to 60% after 800 cycles, which is more than double that of lead acid-based solar generators.
What Can the EF Delta Power?
Between its small size, light weight and high capacity, this is one of the most flexible solar power stations on the market.
It comes equipped with a pure sine wave inverter. This smooths out the flow of AC electricity, so it closely matches the power that comes out of household outlets. As a result, it’s safe to use with electronics, and has no trouble powering electric motors and battery chargers.
Want something for tailgating? Using a power station like the Delta means you don’t have to worry about noise and fumes. With so much power on tap, this station has no trouble powering high load devices including coffee makers and small hot plates.
The Delta is also a good substitute for small gas-powered home backup solutions. You won’t be able to power your whole house, but it will keep a refrigerator and some home electronics running during a blackout. It also has enough power to keep a CPAP machine running for 18-22 hours on one charge.
If you’ve seen EF’s promotional videos, you were probably surprised to see it power a small TIG welder. While that is technically possible, an average 120 volt welder will drain the battery in as little as 45 minutes. That said, this station is about the size and weight of a small two-stroke generator, but it provides the power of a much larger gas generator. This makes the Delta a great option for remote work, powering tools out in the field or providing temporary shed power.
Can it power an electric car? During the Kickstarter campaign, EF showed the pack adding 5 miles to the range of a Tesla. However, getting that power into your car’s battery will take hours through its 120 volt outlets.