2022 – Oupes 1800W Power Plant – Solar Generator (CleanTechnica review)

Opes, a company I’ve never worked with, called me recently and sent me to review their 1800W power plant. It’s one of the best performing terminals I’ve tested, and it has a few tricks up its sleeve that others don’t.

Specifications and prices

Here are some of the specifications of the device so you can compare it with others while shopping:

  • 1800 watts max total power
  • 3 American style outlets 100-120V
  • Multi-color display showing capacity, power consumption and estimated time remaining
  • USB A and C (PD) ports
  • Cigarette lighter plug and two 12V output plugs
  • Lantern light on the back of the device, two light levels, flash function
  • Can be used with the included 185W wall adapter, 12V car charger, or up to 400W solar power (sold separately or as a bundle we need to check two panels)
  • $1,699 (regular price), $1,399 (on sale at time of writing), $2,099 with two panels ($1,799 on sale at time of writing)

What I love about Opes 1800w solar power plant/generator

Right away, I have to compare it to the only other solid station I’ve reviewed: The Jackery Explorer 1500. In some ways it lags a bit, but it’s progressing in others.

The solar panels fold very small and have a footprint very similar to that of a power plant. They have carry handles, a cord storage pocket, and foldable legs.

One of the ways it stands out from the Jackery is the size and fit of the solar panels. They fold like Jackery Solar Saga units, but fold slightly smaller. Instead of having to put them behind items in a closet or other storage area, you can place them next to the device because they have the same footprint. This can also be very useful when camping in the car.

Opens 1800W power plant and two Opes solar panels.

When deployed, they are a little wider and not the same height as the slotted boards we reviewed. Like all foldable solar panels I’ve tested, it can struggle to stay upright in the wind, so sometimes you have to put some weight on the legs to stabilize it. This can be done with scrap wood like I did here, or you can do it with whatever you have on hand like rocks or tent pegs.

The little legs have elastic support ropes and you can weigh them or a tent pole to keep them from flying away on a windy day.

In total, the two 100W peak panels deliver a respectable 130W. This sounds pathetic, but 150 watts is typical in good lighting and I didn’t have a great light today. A dust storm (you can see dust on the panels here) and wildfire smoke in the area disrupted my PSU. Given the circumstances, I think they did a good job. It will likely take about 8 hours to fully charge the device, but if that’s too slow, you can connect up to four panels to cut that time in half.

The lantern function lights up my table.

Another thing I really liked was the lantern feature. This would be great for both camping and emergency situations. The light was bright but not bright because the LEDs are hidden behind a diffuser panel. I am glad to see that they have typical uses for these in mind.

The show also convinced me. It shows not only the current power draw or charging power (or both if you’re doing both), but also how long you’ll stay at your current power consumption levels before the device dies. This requires a lot of guesswork and math, which makes it easy to quickly adjust to ensure you have enough power to get through the night etc.

Things that could be better

Personally, I think Jackery’s stations and boards look more distinct, but that’s only on the surface. It seems sturdy and practical, but this is just a matter of personal taste.

Another secondary nitpick: The 12V output is a little low in voltage. Most power stations produce around 13 volts, with the voltage dropping closer to 12 volts under heavy loads. This station puts out 12.5 volts at a light load and even as the load increases, it will drop to either 11.9 volts or 12.0 volts. It’s never lower than 11.9, so this will only be a problem if you have some very sensitive equipment that needs to be above 12 volts. None of my radio stuff had any problems.

Stress tests and HF

In order to subject this machine to a stress test, I attached a larger toaster. In toast mode, this pulled about 1,200 watts from the machine. We made frozen mini pizza out of it. Ten minutes of cooking used about 10% of the battery, so you can definitely use this for emergency cooking as long as you don’t have to make long baking. You should have no problem operating microwaves and other kitchen appliances because they provide as much power as any 120 volt socket.

Running a larger toaster oven (1100 watts) wasn’t a problem at all.

For the high frequency test, I did what I normally do: I use it to turn on a ham radio. When an electronic device emits bad radio waves, a sensitive receiver usually picks them up on all HF bands. Like other devices I tested, this one did not cause any radio interference.

The multi gym Oupes powers my computer and Yaesu 818 HF transceiver to transmit digital signals.

This has nothing to do with the power plant (it saved a lot of energy) but tonight I was able to get signals as far away as Japan and Western Australia which was fun. Since my radios and computers use very little power, I could do this with the power plant for 2-3 days, maybe indefinitely with good sunlight during the day.

last thoughts

Overall, it’s great value for money, especially when you can sell it as it is now. It performs well in all my tests, has plenty of features and ports to power just about anything, and has a built-in lantern for emergencies or camping. The solar panels were very convenient to transport, store and pack in the car. I would recommend this power plant if it suits your power needs.

All photos by Jennifer Sensiba.



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