A Review of BLUETTI AC60 and the B80 Expansion Pack
When looking for power that you can take outdoors, portable power stations tend to be the way to go (who’s still using gas generators?) There are two problems with electric power stations, however: a) small power stations hold less energy; and b) large power stations are bulky, heavy and harder to move. What about something that is mobile and also has customisable capacity for any scenario? Enter the BLUETTI AC60 and the B80 expansion pack. Let’s check them out.
BLUETTI AC60 at a Glance
The BLUETTI AC60 is an 8.6 kg (19 lbs) solar generator with a 600 W inverter and a 403 Wh LFP battery that can add B80 for capacity boosting. Equipped with seven different outlets, the AC60 can charge various devices, even 1200 W ones with its “Power Lifting Mode”. Here are some key features of the BLUETTI AC60:
- A 600 W inverter (and compatibility with the B80 expansion for capacity boosting – see below) to cover most power needs for the outdoors and camping
- 1,200 W max input and 0-100% charging only takes around 1 hour
- 7 charging inputs are available
- Built-in advanced LiFePO4 battery for higher security and longer lifespan
- Monitor and control at your fingertips with BLUETTI App
- Includes “Silent Charging Mode” with a near noiseless 40 dB while charging
- Weight/Dimensions: 8.6 kg/290×205×234 mm.
Water and Dust Resistance
An innovation of the BLUETTI AC60 is the internal structure; it is significantly upgraded compared to its predecessors as the circuits are isolated from the fan vents. What’s more, all external materials pass water-resistant and dust-proof testing; the AC60 is rated IP65 for water and dust protection. With this in mind, we consider this a reliable power source for camping in a range of environments, from beach camping to camping in unpredictable weather.
Born for Outdoor Activity
The AC60 (and B80 – more on that later) are compact at 290 mm x 205mm x 234 mm; that’s roughly the same size as a shoebox! They both have a solid fold-down handle, making them easy to carry and store during camping trips or outdoor activities. Furthermore, the unit is only 8.6 kg; much lighter than many other portable power stations in its category considering the power produced.
We’ve always been enamoured with BLUETTI’s power station’s ability for fast solar charging and, while the solar generation input of the AC60 isn’t anything new, it’s certainly worth mentioning if you’re looking for clean, green and free energy on the go.
Solar panels aren’t something that comes included with the AC60; you need to purchase fold-up panels like the PV120 (a good number of solar cells) or the PV200 (a better number of solar cells for even faster charging) if you want to be able to charge this portable power station with solar energy.
At 200 W, the AC60 takes around 2.5 hours to fully charge with solar panels.
As for other ways to charge this power station, the AC60 supports four charging methods including adaptor, car, solar and generator charging. With a 600 W AC turbocharging, it takes just 45 minutes to recharge AC60 from 0 to 80% or around one hour to reach 100%.
Fast Silent Charging
Perhaps one of the most impressive features is that the unit operates quietly at 45 dB, or below 40 dB under “Silent Charging Mode”, making this an unobtrusive gadget to use in a confined space like a tent or campervan. Way to make our 10 Ways to Make Your Generator Quieter When Camping obsolete!
Easy Monitor and Control
The AC60 is both high-tech and user-friendly, with an intuitive colour LCD screen that displays battery status, charge/discharge time remaining and other helpful information. This is especially useful to understand how much power devices and appliances are using so that you can manage your power intake much more efficiently and make adjustments when needed.
Plus, the BLUETTI App offers real-time monitoring and remote control for ongoing management. The app connects to the power station through Bluetooth within a 10 m radius, allowing you to not only control the unit (turning it on/off, for example, or switching between AC and DC) but also protect the unit and your devices from risks like short-circuiting, over-current, overheating and more.
Efficient Power Saving
Featuring an advanced ECO mode, the AC60 automatically shuts off if no loads are connected to save power. For powering small loads, AC and DC outputs can be adjusted separately to 10-30 W and 5-20 W respectively on the BLUETTI App. This can reduce its self-consumption and keep it running for 1-4 hours!
Moreover, the AC60 has ultra-low stand-by loss when not in use.
What is the B80 Expansion Battery?
Designed to complement the AC60, the 9.88 kg B80 uses the same reliable LFP cells – the most stable and safest battery for energy storage (see why in our BLUETTI EB3A Review) – that deliver over 3,000 cycles.
Two B80s – 806 Wh each – can expand the capacity of AC60 to a maximum of 2,015 Wh. That’s enough to power a 60 W mini-fridge for 17+ hours or charge your phone 75+ times!
What’s more, the B80 can work as a stand-alone DC power source with three DC ports: USB-A, USB-C, and a car outlet, or a power bank for other BLUETTI models like EB3A, EB70 and AC180 through an aviation-to-DC7909 cable.
It can also be recharged on its own via its input ports or in connection with the AC60.
Added Peace of Mind
Just like the AC60, the B80 comes with an advanced battery management system to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent over-voltage, over-temperature and short-circuit and other safety problems. Perhaps more impressively, BLUETTI stands by their product with a 6-year warranty!
Finally, a fully customisable power source for camping! Not only are the all-weather features very appealing for those looking to take their power station outdoors, but the ability to add solar charging as a feature, as well as expansion battery packs in case you have heavy appliances to power (or have the ability to upgrade in the future) makes the BLUETTI AC60 one of the best solar generators for camping.
Check out the BLUETTI AC60 over at www.bluettipower.com.au, available from 8 June.
More About Solar Generators for Camping
That’s it for our review of the Bluetti AC60 and B80. For more advice on choosing a portable solar generator, take a look at the following guides:
- How to Choose a Generator for Your Motorhome, Campervan or Tent
- 6 Best Power Stations for Camping
- How to Get the Best Deal on a Portable Power Station
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in How to Get Electricity When Camping in New Zealand.