Taking a portable solar generator out on a trip is a balance between weight and performance. The DELTA Mini comes in at just under 11kg. So, it’s not really in the lightweight category when it comes to packing your bags or rucksack for that matter. It all really boils down to what you will be doing and what you need to power.
For our trip it will be used for powering various fairly small devices on the USB ports, a laptop, a hair dryer, a portable AC unit, and lastly hair straighteners (not mine, the wife uses them). With the 1400W available from the AC sockets, the DELTA Mini should be able to cope with all we can throw at it, in some rather wild and unusual places.
Charging the DELTA Mini for The First Time
The DELTA Mini came with a 30% charge which is somewhat standard for the EcoFlow range. Before charging we downloaded the EcoFlow app – available for Apple and Android devices. Connection to the Mini was straightforward after making an account by entering all the usual details. With the app open you can see useful information such as charge level, temperature, and USB & AC sockets. There are useful information bubbles, which tell you what the best setting are. Like the charging cycles should be set to 80% when charging and 10% as a low shutdown on the unit. This is the optimum setting for getting the 800+ life cycles out of the solar generator. The Mini comes with everything you need to get you up and running: AC Charging Cable (1,5 m), Car Charging Cable (2 m), Solar Charging Cable MC4 to XT60, User manual.
Fast Charging Capabilities of The DELTA Mini
With optimum settings applied the Mini was plugged into the AC wall socket and switched on in fast charge mode. WOW – Almost 800 watts charging rate and in just 30 mins the DELTA Mini was up to 80%. Very impressive indeed. A huge developmental leap from the DELTA is the fan noise. We have noticed some people find the DELTA’s cooling fans noisy. EcoFlow have done an excellent job with the DELTA Mini’s cooling fans. They are whisper quiet – this will be a game changer for EcoFlow.
Putting the Portable Power Station to The Test
The Lake District in Cumbria was our first stopping destination. With its wild craggy hills and mountains, this would be a good test to see how the power station would cope with powering some work essentials. Our workstation was a small mound of boulders looking down Wast Water with Scarfell Pike in the distance, Great Gable, and Pillar flanked us on the right. A fantastic vista to have as your office backdrop.
Plugging all our office essentials into the DELTA Mini was easy, the USB ports and UK 3-pin sockets fitted like a glove and felt silky smooth. We knew the Mini could easily handle all our devices, it was a matter of how long could the Mini last. Using a different battery chemistry from the DELTA the Mini uses NCM (Lithium, Nickel, Cobalt and Manganese) with 822Wh of battery power. All our equipment charged as you would expect it to, as if you were at the office or home. The clear display on the unit gave our power consumption at just over 140 watts. This would give a real working time of around 5 to 6 days before we needed to recharge the Mini (based on a 9 – 5 working day).
Taking The DELTA Mini to the Max
We needed to give the Mini a real workout so we plugged our portable AC unit in, checking first if the Mini could handle the rated load as we didn’t want to overload it. With is 1000 watts (max) the AC powered up and started to cool. After a couple of minutes, the AC settled down consuming 640 watts, which would give 54 minutes of use. We decided to plug a normal house kettle into the Mini. Surprisingly the normal household kettle is one of the most power-hungry appliances you will come across. No real surprise here, the DELTA Mini went into overload mode and shut down. You can get lower rated kettles which would run on the Mini, this was done for testing purposes.
You can even run your home essentials with the Mini. Powering your fridge of freezer is in its capabilities should you have a power cut.
Recharging the DELTA Mini For FREE!
Recharging on the go via the 12V car charging cable can be a tad tricky. Trying to get the charging cable to reach the MC4 charging port was difficult in our car. We feel the cable could be a bit longer. But if you’re in a campervan or motorhome there will be 12V charging ports in more convenient places rather than just the one on the dash in our car.
The car charging cable looks and feels robust, there have been some issues reported with the DELTA over charging via the 12V car port leading to the lead melting. It looks like EcoFlow have addressed this issue. Charging at a rate of 106 watts (8 amps max) the Mini charged in just under 5 hours. The Mini can also be charged via solar panels, with a maximum input of 300W – 11-75V. This would give a recharge time of around 2-5 hours, depending on the available sunlight.
Will the DELTA Mini Power a Hairdryer and Straighteners?
One of the most asked questions we get from enquires on how portable power stations perform is “can it power a hairdryer and straighteners?” so this was a critical test for the Mini. Afterall, we all want to look our best when traveling about. We activated the DELTA Mini’s X-boost via the app for this test, giving a surge of up to 2100 watts. The hair dryer did struggle a little when set to the highest heat setting but we were using a professional hair dryer. After a couple of setting changes, we managed to get the dryer working well, but the Mini could not take both the dryer and straighteners at the same time.
This is a great power station if you’re travailing in a camper or motorhome, or even for emergency backup power in the home. However, its weight and size make it impractical to use if you are thinking about a lightweight expedition.
Charging via AC on fast charge, the super quiet cooling fans, and the battery capacity are the standout features which separates the DELTA Mini from the rest of the solar generators in the crowded market. The build quality is simply sublime and oozes style in the looks department.
The multiple USB ports makes charging mobile devices easy and quick, especially if you have the latest phone technology using the USB C fast charge port. The two 3-pin UK sockets are enough to power your essentials whilst on the move or even your home fridge during a power cut. The DELTA Mini is a complete game changer in the portable power station market and at just £999.00 it’s not the cheapest. But given its fast-charging time, build quality, and solar charging capabilities it’s a steal at the price. The possibilities of what you can use the DELTA Mini for are endless, let your imagination take you on your next journey.