Reliable emergency power supplies for your home – that are also portable.

As winter approaches, I’m reminded of a horrendous ice storm that hit my hometown 11 years ago. In January of 2009, our area was blanketed with five inches of snow that was topped off with 1.25 inches of ice. The combination of the two winter beasts caused power to be out for hundreds of thousands of people – some for several weeks. At that time, people scoured through hardware stores to find personal generators just to keep their homes warm enough to stay in. Those behemoth devices were hard to come by and if you were lucky enough to get one, then you had to find the gasoline and oil to run it, and eventually, you would need to store it. Fortunately, technology has evolved and there are much more portable power solutions available. The HomePower ONE from Generark is one of those options.

DETAILS

The HomePower ONE is an emergency power supply that can also be described as a backup battery power station. The unit is designed with electric-vehicle-grade battery cells. It’s meant to serve as an emergency power station to charge electronic devices as well as power home appliances in times of natural disasters and accidents. The power station has a capacity of 1,002Wh (278,400mAh) and it can last up to 7 days powering crucial devices on a single charge. The HomePower ONE features 3 AC outlets with a pure-sine wave, supporting up to 1000W rated power and 2000W surge power at 110V. The unit is 100% rechargeable and can be charged using an AC outlet, directly from your car, or by using the SolarPower ONE solar panel power generator. The power station has an industry-leading battery management system built-in. This includes overcharge protection, short circuit protection, over-discharge protection, over current protection, over-voltage protection, and temperature control. In addition to having multiple charging ports, the HomeOne also has an LCD display on its front to show the amount of battery life that’s available and the amount of wattage being used. 

In the Box1X HomePower ONE 1X AC Charging Adapter 1X Car Charging Cable 1X Accessories Bag 1X User Manual
BatteryCapacity: 1,002Wh Type: Lithium-ion NMC Cycle Life: ≥500 cycles (≥80%)
Inputs8mm Charging Port: DC, 12-30V, 7.5A (Max), 200W (Max) Anderson Charging Port: DC, 12-30V, 200W (Max)
Outputs3X AC Outputs: 110V, 60Hz Rated Power: 1000W Surge Power: 2000W 1X Car Outlet: 12V/10A 2X USB-C: PD 18W, 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A 1X USB-A: 5V/2.4A 1X QC 3.0 USB-A: Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, 5/6.5V/3A, 6.5-9V/2A, 9-12V/1.5A
Safety ProtectionOver Charge Protection Over Discharge Protection Short Circuit Protection Over Current Protection Over Voltage Protection Over Temperature Protection
Dimensions & WeightDimension: L 13.07″ x W 9.15″ x H 9.57″ (33.2 x 23.23 x 24.3 cm) Weight: 23.37 lbs (10.6 kg)
TemperatureOperating Temperature (Charging): 32°F ~ 104°F (0°C ~ 40°C) Operating Temperature (Discharging): 14°F ~ 104°F (-10°C ~ 40°C)

One of the most useful accessories you could add to the HomePower ONE is the SolarPower ONE also from Generark. The SolarPower ONE is a solar panel that is used to charge devices directly from its output ports. This generator is designed to provide an efficient, eco-friendly recharging option for the HomePower ONE. Because it’s powered by the sun, it has the ability to provide continual emergency power for devices and backup batteries. A single SolarPower ONE emits 100W of power, which can provide ultra-fast recharging for any battery-powered device. The panel is powered by Monocrystalline solar cells that are made out of a single crystal of silicon. This offers 50% higher energy conversion than traditional solar cells. The panel is portable and comes with a built-in kickstand. The device is made with durable PET high-temperature resistant material. 

In the Box200W: 2X Solar Panels | 100W: 1X Solar Panel 1X 10-feet (3-meter) Output Cable (8mm port) 1X 2-to-1 Adapter Cable (only with the 2X panel package) 1X User Manual
Solar CellsType: Monocrystalline Number of Solar Cells: 32 Transformation Efficiency (EFF): ≥23.4%
PowerRated Power: 200W with 2 panels, 100W with each panel Open Circuit Voltage (VOC): 22.4V Short Circuit Current (ISC): 5.73A Max. Power Voltage (VM): 19.2V Max. Power Current (IM): 5.41A
Outputs1X 8mm Output Port 1X USB-C: 5V/3A 1X USB-A: 5V/2.4A
Safety ProtectionShort Circuit Protection Over Power Protection Surge Protection
Dimensions & WeightDimension (folded): L 24″ x W 21″ x H 1.38″ (61 x 53.5 x 3.5 cm) Dimension (unfolded): L 48″ x W 21″ x H 0.2″ (122 x 53.5 x 0.5 cm) Weight: 9.1 lbs (4.13 kg)
TemperatureOperating Temperature (Discharging): 14°F ~ 149°F (-10°C ~ 65°C)

USER EXPERIENCE

The HomePower ONE came in a pretty simple product box. The outside of it does have a picture of the product, but there isn’t much else in the way of details provided on the packaging. When you open the box, you’ll find the generator, its accessory pouch with power cables, and the user manual. The generator itself reminds me of a smaller cooler because of its size, shape, and handle placement. The front of the generator has the display and outlets arranged on it while the sides are the vents for the fan. The operation of the generator is very simple. To gauge whether or not the power station has power, you press the display button to read the information available there. To activate the charging ports, you simply press the button about the port area (either AC or DC). Both sides can run at the same time. To charge the generator, you just plug the AC charging cable into the correct port under the input area. 

The SolarPower ONE panel arrived in a nondescript cardboard box that was, frankly, destroyed in shipping. After removing the panel from its box, we removed its bubble wrap and set it up. The panel folds up nicely for storage and unfolds easily when you need to use it. What’s nice about it is that you don’t have to do anything to initiate charging. You just plug your devices into the USB-A or USB-C ports and they will immediately start charging (assuming there is direct sunlight). The panel does also have a cable for direct connection to the HomePower ONE. The manual for the generator states that it will take approximately 19 hours to charge the HomePower ONE with just one 100W solar panel. 

Thankfully, we don’t currently have any natural disasters in our area so testing of the HomePower ONE and SolarPower ONE were simulated circumstances. For the solar panels, I set it out in direct sunlight and plugged two portable power banks into it – one charged directly from USB-C while the other used a USB-A connection. After 95 minutes, both batteries had gained approximately 20% power. I found the solar panel to be very useful and pretty easy to set-up. I will admit that it’s a little awkward, but it seems to work much better than the smaller solar panels I’ve seen before. 

To test the HomePower ONE, I decided to charge my 11-inch iPad Pro from one of the USB-A ports, and then I decided to plug my entire workstation into one of the AC outlets. The power strip that provides power to my workstation has the following items plugged into it (or items are drawing power from other devices plugged into the power strip). 

The sky was overcast, but the solar panel was still providing 5W of power to charge the HomePower ONE.

I had the iPad plugged into the generator for approximately 2 hours. During that time, it gained 38% battery life. My workstation was also plugged into the generator for that same amount of time. I never once saw the power flicker or falter. The HomePower ONE provided smooth, consistent power for all my connected devices. I did notice that during that time the generator was drained by about 20%. This was a loss of approximately 0.17% per minute. With all those devices plugged into the generator at one time, I noted that the output wattage was consistently in a range of 82-85W. There was one period of time where I stepped away from my desk and my computer and monitor fell asleep. When they did, the HomePower ONE idled around 52W. 

I was charging a pair of headphones and had a power strip plugged in that was powering three laptops.

In addition to this testing phase, I also plugged a small personal heater into the generator. I knew that turning that heater on would spike the power outage, but I wasn’t prepared for how much. The heater has three settings, fan only (no heat), low heat, and high heat. I started with high heat and the wattage bounced up to 1300W. Since the Wh capacity of the HomePower ONE is 1,002 Wh, that heater on high would have drained the battery within an hour. When I turned the heater down to low heat, the wattage dropped to approximately 700W and when I switched it again to fan only the total wattage was at 100W. Now, it’s important to note here that my workstation and iPad were still plugged into the generator at this point. So, the 100W included 84% from the other devices. Because of this little demonstration, I would recommend not plugging personal heaters up to this generator unless you absolutely have to. It will just drain the battery far too quickly. 

Here are some additional thoughts I had from testing this system.

  • The fan on the generator is not super loud, but it’s loud enough. It sounds like an exhaust fan from a bathroom. It’s noticeable, but not overwhelming. 
  • The power brick on the generator gets really warm when it’s charging it. There is even a sticker on the brick to warn users of this. 
  • If you find yourself without any power, I would recommend using the solar panel to charge the HomePower ONE than portable batteries. It seemed to do smaller batteries pretty efficiently.
  • The generator itself does not get overly hot when it’s provided output power to other devices. 

Because this generator is designed for emergency use, some people might end up using it to power a refrigerator or microwave while their home is without power. Based on the specs on our personal refrigerator (LG LFDS22520S), the HomePower ONE would last approximately 14 hours.

CONCLUSION

This year has been full of uncertainty. And as we enter the time of year when power outages are more frequent than other times, the HomePower ONE could be a very useful tool to keep around. I’ve been impressed by its performance and I love that something that contains so much power can be so portable. Sure, it’s a bit on the heavy side, but its design makes it easy to cart around to different parts of the house. This is an investment at $1,199 USD for the HomePower ONE and $598 USD for the SolarPower ONE (at the time of publishing), but when you consider what it can help save you in the long run, it’s a worthwhile purchase. 

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