Are you shopping for a high-capacity solar generator for home backup or off-grid power?
The Bluetti EP500 could be what you are looking for. This massive power station features a 5.1kWh capacity and a 2kW inverter.
It’s great for home emergencies, off-grid cabins, RVs, boats and camper vans and any situation where you need to power multiple appliances and electronics for a prolonged period.
In this review, we take an indepth look at the Bluetti EP500. We discuss its best features and what we like and don't like about it.
If the EP500 is not what you are looking for, see our reviews of the best home backup solar generators for other high-capacity alternatives.
If you prefer something smaller, check out our round up of the best portable solar generators.
Bluetti EP500 Pros & Cons
What Can The Bluetti EP500 Power?
Full size fridge (300W)
Massive Capacity LiFePO4 Battery
At 5100Wh, the Bluetti EP500, along with the EP500Pro, is currently the highest capacity solar generator Bluetti sells.
It’s not quite the biggest solar generator in the market, though. The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has about 1kWh more capacity.
But 5.1kWh is still a lot of power. It makes the EP500 solar generator a good pick for home backup and powering off-grid cabins as well as RVs, camper vans and boats.
You may not be able to power everything in your home or RV (you’ll be limited by the 2000W inverter), but you can keep multiple essential appliances and electronics running.
Just as important as the large capacity is the type of battery the EP500 uses. Instead of a standard lithium ion battery, the Bluetti EP500 contains a lithium phosphate (LiFePO4) battery.
Read our Li-ion vs. LiFePO4 comparison to see why lithium-phosphate is generally a better battery chemistry.
The biggest advantage of lithium-phosphate batteries is their long lifespan. Bluetti says the battery pack in the EP500 can last 3500 cycles before it drops to a capacity of 80%.
And even after that, the battery is still usable for years. With good care, you could easily get 10 years of use from the Bluetti EP500.
With 2000W at your disposal, you can plug in just about any household appliance, including power-hungry appliances like a heater, coffee maker and portable AC.
One of the things I like about the latest Bluetti solar generators is the wide array of outlets they provide. Whatever tool or appliance you need to run, there’s an outlet for it.
For AC power, the EP500 has four 110V AC outlets.
For DC power, there’s a 12V/10A cigarette lighter port, two 12V/10A DC5521 ports, and a 12V/30A RV port.
There are also plenty of ports to plug in your devices and USB-powered electronics. These include four USB-A ports, of which two are 18W Quick Charge ports, and one 100W USB-C port.
In addition, the Bluetti EP500 comes with a pair of wireless charging pads for QI-enabled devices.
Fast Solar & AC Charging
One downside of large solar generators is that they take time to recharge. That’s not the case with the Bluetti EP500.
Bluetti has given users several ways to quickly recharge the large battery.
Unlike most solar generators, you cannot charge the Bluetti EP500 from your vehicle. But I don’t think that’s a major issue for most users.
For one, it would take too long to recharge the large battery from your vehicle’s 12V port. Second, The EP500 is not really designed for use as a portable power station for camping or road trips.
In any case, you have 5 ways to recharge the EP500. They should cover most situations you find yourself in.
Split Phase Bonding
The Bluetti EP500 produces 2000W 110/120V AC power from its four AC outlets. That means you can only run 120V appliances.
But if you need to run 240V appliances or systems like AC or a water heater, Bluetti has a solution.
You’ll need a second EP500 solar generator and an EP500 Fusion Box.
The fusion box lets you link the two EP500 power stations to double their power output and voltage. That’s called split phase bonding.
Now you can get 4000W 240V AC power.
The EP500 is not powerful enough to power your entire home. But you can still connect it to your home grid and let it power select circuits.
You can then set the EP500 to a UPS mode where it comes on automatically when power goes out.You’ll need the Bluetti Smart Home Panel to complete the setup.
You can monitor and control the Bluetti EP500 from the Bluetti app. You can see how much power is coming in, remaining battery charge, power consumption and other details wherever you are.
There are two connectivity options: Bluetooth and WiFi.
The app is not mandatory. The display screen on the power stations shows all the info and settings.
Issues & Concerns
If you are shopping for a budget home backup or offgrid solar generator, the Bluetti EP500 may not be what you are looking for.
As expected for a solar generator this big, the EP500 is expensive.
You’ll have to spend even more if you want to take advantage of certain functions like split phase bonding and home integration (UPS).
Large and Bulky
Weighing 167lbs, the Bluetti EP500 is not very portable. It does come with wheels, but it’s still tedious to move around.
We recommend the EP500 for folks who plan to set up the solar generator in one spot and leave it there.
Unlike some Bluetti solar generators (e.g. the AC200MAX), the Bluetti EP500’s capacity is not expandable with additional battery packs.
If you opt for this model, make sure the 5100Wh capacity is enough for your present and future needs.
Alternatives To The Bluetti EP500 Solar Generator
If you need more power than the EP500 offers, you don't need to go far. The Bluetti EP500Pro is an upgraded version of the EP500.
The main difference is the 3000W inverter. The higher output lets you power larger appliances and run more appliances at the same time. Capacity is the same for both models.
The EP500Pro also has more outlets including a NEMA 14-30 AC outlet for clothes dryers and two 100W USB-C PD ports.
In addition, you can charge the EP500Pro in less time compared to the EP500. It accepts AC input of up to 3000W and solar input of up to 2400W (double the EP500).
Combining solar and PV charges the EP500Pro in just 1.8 hours
Goal Zero Yeti 6000X
If you are good with 2000W of output but you need a bit more capacity, we recommend the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X.
It has a larger 6071Wh battery that lets you power your home, cabin or RV for longer. Power output is the same at 2000W.
Another advantage of the Yeti 6000X is that it’s a lot lighter at 106lbs (compared to 167lbs for the EP500), making it easier to move around. And it comes with a roller cart.
On the downside, the Yeti 6000X has fewer outlets (just two AC sockets) and doesn't charge as fast as the EP500.
But you can still integrate it into your home grid and it’s expandable with additional Yeti expansion tanks.
If portability is your main concern, we recommend the EP500’s smaller sibling - the Bluetti AC200MAX.
The AC200MAX is a compact power station that is much easier to travel with. It also takes up less space in your RV or truck.
Power output is roughly the same at 2200W but the LiFePO4 battery is much smaller at 2048Wh.
The cool thing about the AC200MAX, however, is that you can expand its capacity to even more than the EP500.
With additional B300 battery packs, you can expand capacity to 8192Wh.
By the way, the Bluetti AC200MAX is a great pick if you are on a budget. It’s cheaper than getting the EP500, and you still have the option of adding more capacity over time.
Care and Maintenance
Here’s how Bluetti says you should maintain and take care of the EP500 solar generator.
Bluetti offers a 5-year warranty on the EP500 solar generator. Visit Bluetti’s official website to see all the terms and conditions.
Where To Buy?
The Bluetti EP500 is impressive. Currently, it’s one of our most favorite large-capacity solar generators in the market.
You can order the Bluetti EP500 from the official Bluetti website or head over to Amazon.
All the alternative solar generators I mentioned are also available on the official websites as well as Amazon.
If you want a complete kit with solar panels and other accessories, ShopSolarKits.com has several pre-configured kits that include the Bluetti EP500Pro.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many solar panels do I need to charge the Bluetti EP500?
The PV input voltage range of the EP500 is 55-145V. So one or even two 12V solar panels are not going to be enough to achieve the minimum voltage input.
Bluetti recommends between three and six 12V solar panels. You can also use 24V solar panels to achieve the required voltage input.
Can the Bluetti EP500 charge a Tesla?
Yes, the Bluetti EP500 can charge a Tesla and most electric vehicles. However, it will only add about 10-16 miles of range.
We don't recommend relying on the EP500 to charge your Tesla.
How long will the Bluetti EP500 last?
The Bluetti EP500 uses LiFePO4 batteries that have a longer lifespan compared to lithium-ion batteries.
On average, you can expect to get about 5 years of use (3500 cycles), before capacity drops to 80%. But you’ll still be able to use the EP500 for five more years or so.
So overall, the EP500 can last for 10 years with good care.
Can I power my home with the Bluetti EP500?
You can connect the Bluetti EP500 to your home using a Smart Home Panel. But you’ll only be able to power a few appliances since the EP500 has a load limit of 2000W.
What’s the difference between the Bluetti EP500 and EP500Pro?
The EP500Pro produces 3000W of continuous power while the EP500 has an output of 2000W. The EP500Pro also has a special outlet for electric clothes dryers and an extra 100W USB-C PD port.
Other than that, other specs are similar including battery capacity.
How fast can you charge the Bluetti EP500 power station?
The fastest way to charge the EP500 power station is by combining 1200W solar input and 600W AC input. This will recharge the battery in just 3.3 hours.
Can I power an AC with the Bluetti EP500?
Yes, you can power an AC with the Bluetti EP500 as long as the AC is rated at 2000W or less.
The EP500 solar generator has a surge output of 4800W, so it should be able to handle the high startup power draw of ACs.
If you want to run a 240V AC, the EP500 has a split phase bonding function that produces 240V, 4000W of AC power. But it requires a second EP500 power station and the Bluetti fusion box.