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phoenix solar generator

Renogy Phoenix Solar Suitcase Review

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase is a portable all-in-one solar generator that’s great for camping, road trips and emergencies.

It comes with a variety of outlets including AC, DC and USB for powering and charging devices and small appliances.

You can charge the 17.1 Ah Li-ion batteryusing the built-in solar panels or external solar panels, as well as plugging it into an ordinary outlet.

Read on for our full review.

Key Features

1. 20W Solar Panels 

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase is an all-in-one kit, meaning everything you need to power or charge your devices is inside.

This includes solar panels. There are a couple of mono-crystalline solar panels, each with an output of 10W for a combined output of 20W.

To charge the battery, you simply open the suitcase to expose the solar panels to light.

2. Expandable

20W solar power is not a lot. According to the Renogy Phoenix user manual, It’ll take about 6 hours to fully charge the internal battery, and that’s on a sunny day.

Luckily, you don’t have to rely on just the two built-in solar panels. The Renogy Phoenix is expandable. You can add up to 100W of solar power using the two PV inlets on the suitcase.

With the fill 100W of extra power from external panels, the Renogy Phoenix takes just 2.5 hours to fully charge.

Expanding the solar input is handy if you plan to use the Renogy Phoenix outdoors or off-grid. You can rely solely on solar power to keep your devices running. It’s also a good idea to get extra panels if you anticipate a period of extended emergency when you may not have power such as during a hurricane.

3. 17.1 Ah Battery with Multiple Recharge Options

renogy phoenix review

The internal lithium ion battery has a capacity of 17.1 Ah or 246.24Wh.

You can charge the battery in several way. If you are outdoors or there is no power, use the built-in solar panels. Simply open the suitcase and leave it outside. For faster charging, get external solar panels (up to 100W) and connect them through the PV inlets.

If you are at home and there is power, use the AC inlet to charge the battery from a wall outlet. An AC charging cable is included.

If you are on the road in your car, truck or RV, plug the suitcase into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter using the included car charging adapter.

4. Multiple Outlets

renogy phoenix portable generator

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcases designed to power devices and small appliances. So it comes with a variety of outlets. They include:

  • One AC port with a max continuous output of 150W. Do not plug in an appliance with wattage higher than this. Some appliances that fall within this limit include a desk fan, a CPAP machine, a 32-50 inch TV and a small camping fridge. 
  • One 12V, 12.5A cigarette lighter port.
  • Two 12V, 6A DC ports.Four 5V, 2.4A USB ports.

5. LCD Screen and Flashlight 

A backlit LCD screen on the Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase lets you know what’s happening. It displays the current operating mode (AC, DC or both), error codes, battery charging status and whether the cooling fan is working.

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase also includes a 3W flashlight that you can use for illumination or emergency signaling.

Issues and Limitations 

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase is limited both in battery capacity and power output.

The 17.1 Ah battery discharges pretty quickly especially when you ae powering an appliance like a fan or a small camping fridge. And even for devices, the battery doesn’t last through that many recharges.

For instance, the Samsung S20 Plus has a 4,500 mAh battery. You can fully charge the smartphone using the Renogy Phoenix suitcase only three times. Now imaging every family member charging their tablets and smartphones.

You’ll find you need to recharge the battery frequently.

As for power output, the Renogy Phoenix suitcase is limited to devices and small appliances. You cannot power a full size fridge, a large TV or a hair dryer. The Renogy Phoenix is certainly the wrong choice for full home backup.

Specifications

Battery:  

17.1 Ah, 246.24Wh Li-ion battery

AC Inverter:

150W output at 60Hz

Dimensions:

16.2 x 11.6 x 3.9 inches

Input:

Solar, AC, DC

Output:

AC, DC, Cig, USB

Weight:

12.8lbs

Bottom Line

The Renogy Phoenix solar suitcase is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and highly portable solar generator that can power devices and small appliances.

With its expandable solar input, the Renogy Phoenix is also a great choice for campers and outdoor enthusiasts who go off-grid for days at a time. With an external solar panel or two, you can keep the battery charged no matter where you are.

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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