BougeRV is new on the scene in the bustling world of creative solar-powered adventure kits so when they reached out, I was eager to get my hands on some of their impressive looking kit.
They sent me their 30 quart electric cooler kit, which includes a 1,100 wH power station, and a lightweight 130 watt folding solar panel system. Combined, they enable power generation with enough storage to power a family camp site and keep some food and drink cool to boot.
Disclaimer: BougeRV sent this kit to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
Using the kit is as simple as folding out the lightweight 130 watt solar panel, plugging it into the power station, and plugging the fridge into that. The 30 quart fridge immediately pops on and starts cooling down whatever you have inside. I loaded it up with drinks for a family party and found that it was a great way to showcase the cool new capabilities of solar power generators and electric coolers at the same time.
Starting at the power generation side of things, BougeRV took the typical folding solar panel system and flipped it on its head. It still delivers 130 watts of output at 12 volts but sets itself apart with two stand out features. First off, the solar cells used are extremely efficient, with a rating of 23.5%. That’s top notch and maximizes the usable power produced by each cell in the panel.
Second, this is the lightest framed, folding solar panel kit we’ve seen, thanks to its use of ultralight PET plastic in the panel. That translates to an extremely light weight for the 130 watt panel of just 10.4 pounds. At first, I was skeptical, thinking this was a cheap knock off panel because we typically associate heftier weights with higher quality, more durable products.
In this case, it’s the opposite. The PET construction make this one of the easiest to handle and setup portable solar systems I’ve seen anywhere. Most framed solar panels use glass up front with a fiberglass back sheet which makes them awkwardly heavy to handle and fragile. BougeRV’s PET construction isn’t bombproof, but the lighter weight makes it easier to set it up without having to work against its own weight. The lighter weight of the panel itself allows for less non-value add material in the framing. At just 2.2″ thick, the folded panel is a nice compact size.
Solar Panel Specs
- Dimensions: 26.6″ x 21.3″ x 2.2″
- Maximum Power: 130 W
- Weight: 13.56 lbs (6.15 kg)
- Solar Cells Efficiency: 23.5%
- Product Dimensions (folded): 26.6″ x 21.3″ x 2.2″ in, 675 x 540 x 55 mm
- Product Dimensions (unfolded): 26.6″ x 42.5″ x 1″ in, 675 x 1080 x 25 mm
- Max. Power Voltage: 19.02V
- Max. Power Current: 6.83A
- Operating Temperature Range: -40°F～+185°F
Power from the solar panel is funneled directly into BougeRV’s 1,100Wh portable power station that stores power for when you’re ready to use it. The battery is a compact size with handles large enough to be useful but not so huge as to drastically increase the volume of the unit. In that size, they pack in plenty of power to make this unit a consideration for use as a backup power supply for your home in the event of a power outage. It can push out 1,200 watts of power continuous or up to 2,000 watts peak. In testing, It easily powered our hot water kettle and a handful of smaller everyday devices.
That’s not going to power everything in your home for days on end, but it could power a modem, wifi, lights, and keep your devices charged. When paired with solar, the utility can be extended even longer. When our home burned in 2017, the power (and thus, the internet) kept kicking on and off, making staying on top of local news difficult. Having a small backup battery solution like this can make all the difference when the power kicks out whether its for a few minutes or for several days.
On the connectivity side of the equation, the power station comes with 3 x pure sine wave AC power outlets, 1 x PD 60W USB with charge/discharge capability, 1 x USB QC 3.0 port, 2 x USB A ports, 2 x DC barrel outlets, and a standard 12 volt DC outlet. It can be charged up via an Anderson connector, a 12 volt DC adapter, and via standard AC using the included power brick.
Power Station Specs
- Chemistry: Lithium-ion battery
- Cycle Life: 1,500+ cycles with 80% capacity
- Capacity: 1,100Wh/50Ah
- Solar Input: 12-30V, 8A @ 200W max
- DC Input: 12-30V, 8A @ 200W max
- AC Output: 3 x 110V, 1,200W (2,000 W peak)
- 12v & DC Output: 2 x DC5521, 1x Cigarette Port, 120W max combined output
- USB-A Output: 2 x 5V/2.4A, 12W
- USB-A QC3.0 Output: 1 x 5V/3A, 15W; 9V/2A, 18W
- USB-C Output: 1 x 5V 3A / 9V 3A / 12V 3A / 15V 3A, 60W max
- Operating Temperature: 32°F-105°F (0°C~40.5°C)
- USB-C Recharge: 5V 3A / 9V 3A / 12V 3A / 15V 3A / 20V 3A, 60W max
- Weight: 13.5kg /30 lbs
- Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 14 in
BougeRV’s kit makes it easy to bring power and cold beverages anywhere. We put it to the test by dropping the BougeRV 30 quart refrigerator into our Tesla Model Y and taking it on the road. The size of this compact fridge meant that I could fit it in the rear footwell behind the passenger seat. To power it, I plugged it into the 1,100 wH battery with the included 12 volt adapter. The fit was a bit loose and kept losing the connection, so after a short time, I swapped it out for the AC power plug, which was solid.
The temperature of this little 30 quart fridge can be adjusted from -7F to 50F, meaning it can effectively serve as a refrigerator for fresh food or a freezer. It can run in Eco or Max modes, depending on how quickly you need it to get down to the temperature set point. Max mode uses more power, consuming 60 watts of power when the compressor is running, with Eco mode only pulling 45 watts.
In my testing, the fridge pulled 21-41 watts in Eco mode and from 35-50 watts in Max mode constantly when getting down to the temperature set point. From that point, the compressor kicks on every 15 minutes or so for a few minutes to maintain the temperature. Coupled with a 130 watt solar panel and the 1,100 watt-hour power station, I found the combination to be sufficient to keep the fridge running through the night with enough left over to keep phones and laptops charged up. In reality, consumption depends on how much you’re using your laptop, phone, and fridge.
30 Quart Refrigerator Specs
- Capacity: 30 QT = 28L = 0.99 cu. ft.
- Dimensions: 22.68″ x 12.60″ x 15.55″ inches
- Temperature Range: -7℉~50℉
- Weight: 22.8 LB
- Voltage: 12/24 V DC OR 110～240 V AC
- Wattage (Max mode): 60W
- Wattage (Eco Mode): 45W
- Noise: ≤45 dB
- Refrigerant: R134A
All told, this kit from BougeRV is an affordable way to pick up a solar powered off-grid setup that enables folks to get out and adventure. Ditch the combustion generator. Bouge RVhas you covered. The BougeRV solar generator 30 quart electric cooler kit retails for $1,419, but it’s currently on sale on their site for a few bucks less, at $1,399. For more information about BougeRV’s 30 quart solar power station kit, head over to their website.
BougeRV has offered CleanTechnica readers a 12% discount through the end of this year using promo code cleantechnica12. Drop that in to pick up some sustainable outdoor gear, go all Office Space on your petrol generator, and get out there to create some new memories.
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