Tested by CleanTechnica: the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 portable power station

Most portable power stations can store energy, have a handle to carry them, and have a variety of options for charging and discharging. We’ve seen them everywhere here and after reviewing dozens of different powerhouses, the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 managed to raise the bar in almost every way. It packs six AC power ports, charging USB power ports on the front, a nice display, with the front of the device super clean and retro in a cool green paint job. Turning on the device brings up a crisp display, packed with relevant information and graphics in an easy-to-read format. It’s bright enough to read in sunlight without being overbearing in a dark room.

AC charging of the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

Disclaimer: The Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 was provided free of charge for the purposes of this review

The screen shows how fast power is coming in, being taken out, the current state of charge, whether the AC and DC circuits are powered, and lets you know if it’s connected to wifi. It’s true. The Super Power Pro 2000, in addition to having a name that sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie, has wifi, GPS, a SIM card and a smartphone app. I was initially skeptical, but found the app to have some great features that add value. It allows you to turn the entire unit on and off as well as individually control the power of the AC and DC circuits.

You can view the charging status and even set a maximum charge to extend the life of the 2 kWh on-board battery. Just in front of the unit itself is a light bar that echoes the current trend of electric vehicles. The control for this lightbar is in the app. You can change the color and brightness and the light turns on whenever the device is powered on. It’s not a game changer by any means, but it’s nice to have and makes it easy to see at a glance if the device is on or off. If I had to choose between having tons of features and a unit that is sparsely equipped and has no light bars, wifi and app, I’ll take the extra features any day of the week .

The back of the unit features ribbed runners and sturdy wheels while the side accommodates 6 AC outlets and a covered 12V outlet. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

About this app, the Vanpowers app is a bit difficult to connect (we had problems connecting wifi) but as soon as I was able to connect it to the unit the app opened up a world again control over the power plant. It offers full control of almost all device functions and many functions that you cannot access from the device itself.

From the app, you can turn the main unit on and off, independently turn on and off the AC and DC sides of the power output, and monitor all power flows as you can on the main screen of the unit. It’s a pretty neat feature set that I wouldn’t have thought to ask for explicitly, but after seeing and using it with the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 I can definitely see the usefulness of having remote control complete with a power plant.

When I first started using the Power Station, it was handy to be able to open the app to see how fast it was charging from AC, solar, or discharging through DC and AC circuits. More than just looking at the numbers, it was nice to have the ability to just activate the app and turn off the AC or DC circuits instead of having to walk to the unit. Granted, that’s not the biggest downside, but it does open up new possibilities for use cases that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

The Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 is a 2,096 watt-hour unit, or about two kilowatt hours of storage capacity. It packs this into a more compact unit than many power stations with far less capacity and at just 46.5 lbs for an NMC chemical lithium-ion battery. For ease of movement, the device has an integrated carrying handle and a set of wheels with an extendable luggage-style handle that makes it easy to move without having to lift it. The double handle at the top looks a little funny, but the more you use it, the more you use it.

To see how this thing performed in real-world scenarios, I set it up on the table and plugged in our 800W kettle. kettle like it didn’t matter. On paper, it can easily power two of these units simultaneously and still have extra capacity to keep all your devices charging.

Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 load test. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

To push it harder, I plugged in my Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus blender and crank it up to level 10. That only pulled 500 watts, pushing the device to just over half of its nominal power. I added a few USB devices and wasn’t surprised the unit barely flickered. It simply updated how long it would be able to sustain the highest load with each additional device added. Power tools were also no match for the Super Power Pro 2000. I plugged in my Bosch Colt router and a Porter Cable circular saw and the station was able to easily support both of these operations.

When it’s time to recharge the Power Station, it’s easy to plug it into a normal wall outlet, with a single cable that plugs into a standard wall outlet. Vanpowers has streamlined the charging system electronics, making it more user-friendly in real-world use cases. Plugged into a normal wall outlet, the device can recharge at 1,800 watts to bring it up to 80% in about an hour. We found this estimate to be accurate in both our full discharge and recharge cycles and were impressed with the ability to control the maximum state of charge through the app to maximize battery life.

Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

The unit can also charge up to 1800 watts from solar power and comes with an adapter that allows panels with MC4 connectors to plug in directly. Of course, 1,800 watts of portable solar power is a lot, so it’s more useful when using this power station as the storage and inverter part of an off-grid setup rather than a portable solution. It can charge slower with less solar connection and Vanpowers sent their 200 watt folding solar panel for us to test. It boasts an impressive 23% efficiency, which translates to less surface area, a smaller and lighter panel to achieve 200 watts of solar output. We plugged it in for a day and were impressed with how light it was and how easy its flat square form factor was to move around. Solar is particularly picky about sun angle, but we were still able to add just over 1,000 watt hours of capacity to the station with the panel in 8 hours of full sun charging here in California. The panel retails for $458 at Vanpowers, which seems steep, though it can probably be found on sale if you shop around.

Today, the primary use cases for portable power stations are home backup power for and to provide power in remote situations such as RVs, camping, small off-grid applications, and more. We are seeing more and more portable power station companies moving into a slightly more professional setting with kits that actually install in vehicles. Vanpowers hints at a similar option “coming” in the future with mention of a “Power Station” roughly twice the size of the Super Power Pro 2000.

Screenshot of Vanpowers Android app.

There is also a significant opportunity to apply these types of devices in a construction environment. It’s not hard to imagine a contractor adding a battery to his truck and connecting it to a fixed solar panel above the cab, for example, to keep it charged. This configuration allows contractors to capture free energy from the sun to power their work, allowing them to work wherever they want without the need for temporary power to the local utility or high maintenance generators.

With a continuous output rating of 2000 watts and a peak output rating of 4000 watts, the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 is an absolute workhorse of a unit and could be the foundation for any of the applications named above. The ability to set a maximum charge rate in the app allows owners to extend the life of their unit by only charging up to a maximum of 80% or 90%, much like we do today with our electric vehicles.

The charging inlets are kept safely under a door on the side of the device. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

Unfortunately, NMC chemistry tends to deteriorate faster than other more stable chemistries like LFP. Vanpowers expects these batteries to hold at least 60% charge after 3,000 cycles, but if cycle life is your primary concern, Vanpowers also offers a slightly smaller unit in the Super Power Pro 1500 that uses more sustainable LFP chemistry. This increases the cycles to 6000 at 60% load.

For more information on this device or to order one, visit the official Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 website.

Power plant specifications

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • Battery Chemistry: NMC
  • Ability: 2096Wh
  • Life cycle (60%): 3000 cycles
  • Nominal power, VA: 2000W
  • Charging time: 60 mins at 80%
  • AC outlets: 6 x 2000W max @ 100-120V
  • USB DC sockets: 2 x PD 100W, 2 x PD 20W sharing
  • AC load: 1800 W at 100-120 V, 16 A max.
  • AC solar charging: 1800 W at 60-160 V, 10 A max.
  • DC solar charging: 600W @12-60v, 10A max

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