Our Thoughts on the Generark HomePower 2 – Plus
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How many of you live in areas that experience periodic power failures due to hurricanes, flooding, high winds, or blizzards? Here in Wisconsin, we get three out of four of these, and when you add in the bitter cold, having reliable power is an absolute must.
For years, we had a noisy gas-powered generator, which worked well enough for lights and appliances, but not so well for delicate electronics and computers due to the dirty power output. We had been looking for something better, and we found it- The Generark HomePower 2 – Plus! This is not a generator per se, but rather a well-designed battery/inverter unit.
Our first thoughts on the HomePower Unit
Right out of the well-packed box, we could see that this was a very thoughtfully designed device, with 120VAC outputs, 12VDC output, and 5VDC USB-A and USB-C jacks. Each section is independently controlled, so unused outputs can be turned off.
It is rated at 2200W of continuous clean 60Hz power, so powering your electronics is worry-free. The slick LED display shows you how many watts you are drawing, along with the estimated time it can continue to supply power at that rate. It also shows the charging input wattage, and lets you know how long it will take until fully charged.
There are also various warning lights should there be any issues with temperature or an internal malfunction. The entire unit glides effortlessly on its detachable wheeled base.
How to charge the Generark HomePower unit
Now, here’s the best part- You can charge the system in several ways. We plugged in the power cord to a wall outlet and charged the unit in a couple of hours. You can also charge the unit using up to four folding Generark solar panels. Although we have only two panels, we’ve found that they performed well, but it does take longer to charge. The other option is charging from a car power jack, which we’ve not tried.
Although this unit is designed as a home backup power source, we took our charged Generark power station on a camping trip for a two-day test. Arriving at the campsite, we got some interesting looks from adjacent campers as we set up the solar panels to help maintain the charge.
Using the Generark HomePower Unit
As we connected our camper and turned on some lights, we realized how cool this unit would be to take to campsites without power. How wonderful it would be to have some of our powered conveniences when we’re far from civilization!
In the morning, we plugged in the electric skillet and made pancakes, and this did cause the cooling fan to kick in, understandably, as we were pulling some serious wattage. As soon as we were done though, it settled right back down to its silent self.
As the day warmed up, we plugged in two fans to keep the air circulating in the camper, then as night approached, we turned on the lights again. Overnight, it operated our CPAP machine, and the next day, we did it all again. When we broke camp, it still had about 30% charge left. In fact, I’m sure we could have gotten at least another day out of it.
What we would improve on
Although the solar cells are water-resistant, the HomePower 2-Plus itself is not, so you’re going to want to keep that dry, which shouldn’t be a problem as this would normally be in the house. The only two things we would improve are the location of the output jack on the solar panels.
When the panels are deployed as instructed, the jacks face straight up, so rain could get into the jacks, causing a potential short or corrosion of the contacts. This is a minor thing, but just something to be aware of. Also, the manual states that it does have overcurrent protection, but we do not see any externally operable circuit breakers or fuses, so it must be built-in, possibly requiring disassembly if activated.
When not in use
Lastly, the HomePower 2 – Plus, and the solar panels come with fitted storage covers to keep everything clean. That’s a nice touch!
We are ready for the next power outage (or off-grid camping trip!) and are impressed by the Generark’s power capacity. With storms in the forecast, that time could be soon.
Where can you get the Generark HomePower Unit we are talking about?
Costco.com now carries it! You can see it for yourself HERE