Jackery Solar Generator 500 hands-on: ready for the zombie apocalypse

Whether you are tenting, romping round in the metropolis park or simply needing just a little juice in the occasion of an influence failure: the solar-powered generator from Jackery guarantees absolute independence from the mains and approaches whole and lasting freedom. In addition to the Explorer 500 energy financial institution with a capability of 518 Wh, this bundle additionally consists of the foldable SolarSaga 100W photovoltaic system with a charging capability of as much as 100 watts. We examined the SolarSaga 500, so learn on to seek out out what we expect!



  • Good charging efficiency through its photovoltaic cells
  • Complete independence from the energy grid
  • Solid, sensible design


  • The toes of the solar panel are a bit unstable

Jackery Solar Generator 500 in a nutshell

If you want electrical energy in every single place or need to be ready for all eventualities, the Solar Generator 500 is unquestionably the most suitable option. In this take a look at we handle to attain a charging energy of as much as 74 watts through the SolarSaga 100W beneath the warmth of May solar. And the Explorer 500 will get a MacBook Pro 16″ with Core i9 effectively by a power-hungry workday, together with video enhancing in Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

Jackery power generator 500
When the solar panel often known as the SolarSaga 100W is folded, every part is simple to move. / © NextPit

However, that diploma of freedom additionally comes with a reasonably hefty price ticket: Jackery has fetched $829.98 for the Solar Generator 500 bundle. Even extra energy is obtainable in case you select the Solar Generator 1000. With this bundle you get, shock, shock, an influence financial institution with a capability of 1,002 Wh and a peak output of 1,000 watts, together with a pair of SolarSaga 100W panels for a mixed charging energy of 200 watts. The asking value? $1,649!

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Jackery solar generator 500

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Jackery solar generator 1000

Recently, Jackery launched the Solar Generator 2000 Pro package deal. With this set you get a whopping 2,160 Wh capability, a steady output of two,200 watts and 6 photo voltaic modules, every with an output of 200 watts. This is the way you journey with a cellular mini photo voltaic park with a charging capability of 1,200 watts. However, you’ll have to pay $6,199 for this.

Unpack and create

The very first thing you discover whenever you unpack it’s that the energy financial institution of the Explorer 500 is about the measurement of a bigger automobile battery, however is considerably lighter at simply over 6 kg because of the Li-Ion NMC. In addition, there’s a beneficiant carrying deal with on the high, which signifies that longer journeys are not any downside. In the field subsequent to the Explorer 500 is a small pouch that incorporates different cable equipment, particularly an influence adapter and an adapter for your automobile’s cigarette lighter plug. Together with the solar panel you then have three choices for charging the Explorer 500. But we’ll get to that later.

Jackery power generator 500
The Jackery Explorer 500 is strong and solidly constructed / © NextPit

The entrance of the Explorer 500 provides many connections. Of course, the most fun factor is the 230 volt socket hidden beneath a plastic cap, which delivers as much as 500 watts of steady energy. On the left are three USB ports that cost linked units at 5 volts with a most present of two.4 amps. Further to the left you can find one other cigarette lighter socket and two DC outputs. At the high left is the energy consumption for charging, with the show to the proper exhibiting you the cost standing and the present enter and output energy.

Slightly bulkier than the Explorer 500 is the foldable SolarSaga 100W panel, which measures 24 x 21 inches when folded. Thanks to its carrying deal with, nonetheless, it is only one.75 inches thick and suggestions the scales at 10.4 kilos, making it simple to hold. A pouch is completely connected to the outdoors of the SolarSaga 100W. Hidden here’s a USB-A port, a USB-C port, and a proprietary cable to attach the solar panel to the Explorer 500.

Jackery power generator 500
Two USB ports are hidden behind a zipper on the SolarSaga 100W / © NextPit

All elements seem like of top quality. Two magnets maintain the solar panel securely collectively when folded and there are skinny nylon flaps used to erect it. The flaps look a bit wobbly at first, however in actuality the complete factor is fairly stable. In any case, you need to be cautious with the photo voltaic modules, as a result of photovoltaic parts will not be unbreakable. Even rain is taboo for the photo voltaic cells and the energy plant.

Performance: charging and operating

Our first sensible take a look at passed off in shiny sunshine. According to the Explorer 500 show, the energy pack delivered 74 watts of energy beneath the blazing May solar in Central Europe. When summer time hits its peak, you may definitely anticipate just a little extra. At midday the sky abruptly turned a bit hazy and the energy dropped to 43 watts. During the course of the day, with the solar getting deeper and deeper, the charging energy lastly dropped to simply beneath 10 watts at 5:30 p.m. In the take a look at, it took about three hours on a barely cloudy sky till virtually 1 / 4 of the energy bar was crammed. It is due to this fact fairly practical to totally cost the battery on a traditional midsummer day utilizing photo voltaic power. According to the producer, this could take about 9.5 hours beneath optimum situations.

Jackery power generator 500
Practical: There is a flashlight on the aspect of the Explorer 500. / © NextPit

Alternatively, you may in fact additionally cost it through the provided energy adapter or the automobile’s cigarette lighter, which in line with the producer ought to take round 7.5 or 8.0 hours. In the hands-on take a look at, we noticed an enter energy of 85 watts when charging through the AC adapter, which took 4 hours and eight minutes to go from 0% to 66%. The nearer we get to the 100% mark, the slower the loading course of turns into.

Discharging the battery additionally labored with none issues. In the take a look at, I managed a performance-hungry working day with the Explorer 500. The MacBook Pro with a Core i9 processor and its energy provide normally required between 60 and 100 watts. Video enhancing in Adobe Premiere, Audition and After Effects and lots of different performance-hungry Google Sheets spreadsheets are a part of my on a regular basis life. A much less power-hungry pocket book ought to simply run for a number of days.

Jackery power generator 500
Sorry, no waffles: Unfortunately, the energy consumption of virtually 700 watts in steady operation was a bit too excessive. / © NextPit

Since you do not need to work on the campsite however need to calm down, hopefully you’ve a mini fridge or an electrical air pump, a blender or one thing related on the Explorer 500 as an alternative of a pocket book. In the take a look at, I used to be even capable of function a waffle iron with a nominal output of 700 watts on the Explorer 500, however the fan began up shortly and the energy financial institution switched off after a couple of minutes.

Jackery power generator 500
If the energy consumption is completely above 500 watts, the Explorer 500 switches off with a small warning triangle for security. / © NextPit

Final Verdict

$830 is some huge cash, that is for positive. In return, the Jackery Solar Generator 500 provides full independence from the energy grid, at the very least for “small” shoppers. You can simply cost your on a regular basis units and energy much less hungry shoppers like fridges, TVs, audio system and others on the go. Maybe that is the excellent fodder for the zombie apocalypse!

Jackery power generator 500
Independence from the energy grid: With the Powergenerator 500 it’s potential, at the very least for much less power-hungry shoppers. / © NextPit

However, the “small” energy plant isn’t sufficient for units with a considerably larger energy requirement comparable to waffle irons, toasters or kettles, for which 500 watts of steady energy or 1,000 watts of peak energy are merely not sufficient. If you fall into this class, you may have to shell out extra for one in all the bigger Jackery alternate options.

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Jackery solar generator 500

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