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First Impressions: The Bluetti AC180 Portable Power Station

Updated: May 4

The Bluetti AC180 on a rock near a river.
The Bluetti AC180 is a great option for vehicle camping and hunt camps.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, Bluetti emerges as a strong leader with its new product, the AC180 Portable Power Station. Crafted for digital nomads like myself, this sturdy device will be one of my main sources of power for the winter.

In this first impressions article, I'll talk a little bit about the features, performance, and overall user experience I've had with the AC180 thus far.

Introduction to the Bluetti AC180 Power Station

Established in 2015, Bluetti is a company that falls in the "power storage industry", offering a large range of products from solar generators to portable power stations.

The company positions itself as a provider of reliable power solutions for different scenarios, from outdoor activities to emergency backup.

Additionally, Bluetti is particularly recognized for its innovative designs and advanced battery technology, promising high performance and long-lasting durability.

Key Features of the Bluetti AC180 Power Station

Here are what I would consider the key specifications of this unit and it gives you an idea of how the AC180 can perform for your needs.

  • Capacity: 1152Wh

  • Battery Type: LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate)

  • AC Output: 1,800W / 2,700W (Power Lifting Mode) (4 x 120v/15A)

  • DC Output: 1 x 12V/10A

  • USB Output: 2 × USB-A1: 5VDC/3A 15W in total

    • 2 ×USB-A2: 5VDC/3A 15W in total

    • 1 x USB-C: 100 watt max

  • Wireless Charging Pad: 15W

  • Inverter: Pure Sine Wave (2700 watt surge)

  • Life Cycle: 3,500+ Cycles to 80% Original Capacity

  • Solar Input: 500W (max)

  • Weight: 16 kg or 35lbs

  • Dimensions: 340 x 247 x 317 mm

1800 watts of output is no slouch in the power department, I don't think I have anything that would need anything close to that.

It has all of the specs that I would be looking for in a power station, however, I would have liked to see at least one more USB-C port since a lot of my cables are that style.

The front display of the Bluetti AC180 Portable Power Station. It has a brightly lit LCD screen
There are various inputs to charge your electronics.

Unboxing the Bluetti AC180 Power Station

Upon receiving the Bluetti AC180 Power Station, the first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the box. It was quite large, but don't let that deter you; the product inside was extremely well-protected with lots of foam cushioning to prevent any damage during transit.

As I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised to find the charging cables neatly packed inside a small, separate box with the short user manual.

Their compact size of the cables makes them easy to store and carry around, a big plus for me.

The entire unboxing process was quite straightforward. It's worth noting that the package I received did not include a solar panel but given the meticulous packaging of everything else, I'm confident it would have its own special packaging to ensure its safety.

A downward view of the unit, various charging cables and the instruction manual
The AC180 comes with cables to charge the unit through AC power and your vehicle. There is also a connector for solar input.

Dimensions and Weight

While the Bluetti AC180 Power Station isn't the smallest power unit out there, it's still compact and light enough to be considered portable. I've carried a lot of batteries in my time and this one is manageable for when I need to carry it. But you do need some muscle if you want to carry it with you away more than 15-20 meters without having to put it down.

I appreciate how I can still carry it around myself (albeit with two hands for stability), making it not just a powerful, but a convenient addition to my outdoor adventures.

The side of the Bluetti AC180 shows a large hole for a fan
The fans can be quite loud when revved up, but so far it has not had to come on unless charging.

External Design and Build Quality

Upon first glance, the Bluetti AC180 Power Station exudes a sense of durability and quality. Despite the exterior being made of plastic, there was nothing about it that felt flimsy or cheap - it was quite the contrary.

The handles, formed as a single piece, gave a sturdy feel when I moved the unit around. The LCD screen was another standout feature, with its crisp display providing all the necessary information at a glance.

Notably, there were no rattling or loose parts, adding to the overall impression of solid build quality. In fact, I would venture to say that this is one of the higher-quality feeling products I've had the pleasure of using.

The front display of the unit showing output wattage and various cables plugged in.
The internal inverter manages power pretty well. I found the time remaining counter fluctuated a lot depending on what was plugged in.

Interface and Ports

The Bluetti AC180 Power Station is adorned with a myriad of ports and interfaces, making it a versatile companion for energy needs on the go. The main interface is an LCD screen that displays the input/output status and various features of the power station, offering a clear and easy-to-understand snapshot of the station's performance.

On the side, a 120V port is provided for charging the station, accompanied by a breaker for safety and control. The front of the station houses a car charger port and a port for solar PV, allowing for alternative charging methods when you're off-grid or need to harness solar power.

The power station boasts a significant AC output of 1,800W, which can be increased to 2,700W in Power Lifting Mode. This output is distributed over four 120v/15A ports, providing the ability to power multiple devices simultaneously. The DC output includes a 12V/10A port for devices requiring direct current.

USB needs are well catered for, with two USB-A1 ports offering 5VDC/3A (15W in total), and a further two USB-A2 ports providing the same output. For devices requiring more substantial power or speed, there's a USB-C port supporting up to a 100-watt maximum output. As mentioned earlier, more USB-C ports would have been welcomed.

There are still plenty of options to charge my two laptops, 3 cameras, gimbals, and other various electronics multiple times without having to micromanage the devices.

Additionally, the power station features a wireless charging pad with a 15W output, providing a convenient, cord-free charging solution for compatible devices.

A smartphone sits charging on the top of the AC180
The top acts as a wireless charging pad.

Setting Up the Bluetti AC180 Power Station

Setting up the Bluetti AC180 Power Station is a straightforward process. Initially, you need to power it up by pressing the central 'On' button. Then, depending on your charging requirements, either press the 'AC' or 'DC' button.

For instance, during my first hour of use, I utilized the wireless charging pad to charge my smartphone – a testament to my penchant for technology!

It's worth noting that this power station arrived with a 60% charge. However, I would recommend charging it fully before starting to drain it. This practice ensures you get the maximum output from the power station for your devices when you need it.

Various items plugged into the AC180 such as a laptop, phone, and camera battery
I usually have to play musical sockets to get everything to fit but there is plenty of space on this unit.

Connecting Devices and Testing Power Output

All of my cables connected without any issues, and pleasingly, none of the devices served up any surge warnings or other concerning alerts. Immediately, I observed that the power output was slightly lower compared to another product charging the same amount of items.

However, each device's display indicated they were gaining charge efficiently. The inverter in the Bluetti AC180 Power Station must indeed be of high efficiency to accomplish this based on my limited knowledge of these things.

Charging Efficiency

The Bluetti AC180 Power Station exhibits an impressive charging speed, pulling over 1000 watts from the wall upon plugging it in. The internal fan, akin to a jet engine, briefly roars to life before stabilizing the power input. The device intelligently ramps up the input wattage as needed, allowing for a 50% to 100% charge in approximately 1.5 hours based on my limited experience charging it. The company's claim of charging from 0% to 45% in 45 minutes with 1440W AC input indeed appears to hold water.

Unit Runtime

The Bluetti AC180 Power Station's longevity is quite remarkable. Its intelligent design displays the estimated remaining charging time on the screen, an invaluable feature for power management.

Based on my usage, when simultaneously charging multiple devices, the power station confidently projected it could maintain this output level for over 9 hours. This extended runtime significantly improves the amount of times I can charge my devices, providing reliable power support for an entire workday.

A smartphone screen shows the charge as it sits on the wireless charging pad.
I still can't get over how there's a charging pad on this thing.

Noise Level and Heat Dissipation

Despite the considerable power output, the Bluetti AC180 Power Station manages noise levels exceptionally well. Even with two laptops and four other devices connected, the internal fan only briefly initiated on a single occasion, ensuring a quiet operation.

The most prominent noise is observed when the AC input is first plugged in, causing the fan to rev up momentarily before settling.

Interestingly, the Bluetti AC180 Power Station appears to manage heat dissipation remarkably well, as I've noticed no discernible heat output in my preliminary use. However, further testing is required to substantiate these initial observations.

The Bluetti AC180 unit sitting on a rock near the river
So far in my limited testing it has performed how I imagined it would. Charging this unit takes next to no time and that is nice to see.

Concluding Thoughts (For Now)

The Bluetti AC180 Power Station emerges as an ideal solution for those seeking a reliable and consistent power source for a weekend, or I could see possibly even an entire week if your power needs aren’t that high.

Its impressive battery life, coupled with an intuitive power management system, makes it a valuable asset for users with diverse power requirements. Regrettably, the opportunity to evaluate its compatibility with a solar panel was not available at this juncture, as one was not included with the unit.

Stay tuned for a comprehensive review after 90 days of consistent usage to truly gauge the potential and performance of this promising power station.

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1 komentarz

Oceniono na 0 z 5 gwiazdek.
Nie ma jeszcze ocen

25 paź 2023

I own this Bluetti and didn't know half of this information, thank you lol! Looking forward to your 90 day review.

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