BioLite will be releasing two cleanly designed, simple-to-use rechargeable power stations called the BaseCharge line. Available in 600 Wh and 1,500 Wh capacities, the lithium-ion units can be charged by plugging them into the wall, a vehicle or BioLite's forthcoming SolarPanel 100, a folding solar panel that can generate up to 100W.
A maximum of four SolarPanel 100s can be daisy-chained together for a maximum collection of 400W.
The smaller BaseCharge 600 unit weighs 13 pounds, whereas the BaseCharge 1500 is just over double at 26.5 pounds. Both are cleanly designed; the handles on the sides double as the cooling vents, the layout of the ports (AC, USB-A, USB C, USB-C PD and 12V) is straightforward, and a display indicates input, output, battery life, a sort of odometer showing how much power you've used, and how much time you've got left before the juice runs out. There's also a wireless charging pad atop both units.
The SolarPanel 100 costs $400, the BaseCharge 600 costs $700, and the BaseCharge 1500 costs $1,700. Here's what BioLite says each unit can power:
The refrigerator claim on the 1500 might be disputable; according to this HVAC website, the regular running wattage of your refrigerator might be within the 1500 Wh window, but the starting wattage might exceed that. Obviously it will vary from model to model.
For those who rely on backup generators, it's exciting to think that we're getting closer to the possibility of easy, free solar power minus the hassles and potential unavailability of gasoline or propane. Getting closer, but not quite there yet; for the same $1,700 you'd spend on the BaseCharge 1500, as of August 2022 you can buy a 10,500W fuel-powered generator at your local big box. And the SolarPanel 100s are $400 apiece. Still, it is encouraging to imagine that as technology improves, the solar options will increase in power and decrease in price.
Here's the rollout video:
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The release dates have not yet been announced, but BioLite is soliciting e-mail notification sign-ups at their website.