Lion Energy FAQs
Before purchasing the unit:
Every output on your generator can only put out so much power at a time; just like every input can only accept so much power in at a time. The amount of power that each output can supply (measured in watts, abbreviated with a capital W) determines whether or a not that output can power a specific device.
For example: The 120 volt AC output on your generator can supply up to 1500 watts of power continuously. That means that I can easily run my lamp with a 100 watt lightbulb in it. As a matter of fact, I could run 15 of these lamps at the same time. However, I will not be able to run my 1800 watt industrial strength blender, because the power rating of the blender exceeds the maximum power output of the generator.
Sometimes, the power requirements of a given appliance will be shown to you as a combination of a voltage (measured in volts, abbreviated with a capital V) and a current (measured in amperes or amps, abbreviated with a capital A). The voltages of all of the individual outputs on your generator are fixed, and each output can supply a certain amount of current (very similar to power). Make sure that you plug a 12 volt device into one of the 12 volt outputs, and a 120 volt device into one of the 120 volt outputs, etc.
Check your generator model’s user manual to see the most up-to-date information about which outputs can support how much power or current. Be sure to add up the total amount of power or current from each device that you have plugged into one outlet to ensure that you do not exceed the power rating of that outlet. If you do exceed the power rating of an outlet by mistake, your generator will protect itself by cutting off power to that outlet (much like a circuit breaker in your home). Unplugging all devices from your generator, and turning it off and on again will restore power to your outlets.
The last thing to think about when determining if your generator will run a specific device or appliance is that not all appliances use a constant amount of power all the time. Some devices (e.g. a refrigerator) turn on and off as a part of the way they function. Many of these devices create a large power spike when they first turn on, consume a lower amount of power during normal runtime, and then consume almost no power when they turn off. This is especially true of devices containing large motors or compressors (for cooling). Keep in mind that the power rating on these devices usually reflects that amount of power the device needs during normal runtime. However, the initial power spike when the device first turns on may exceed the power rating of the output on your generator, causing the safety feature to deactivate that output. Your generator has been engineered to handle these power spikes, but it cannot account for 100% of possible situations.
If you believe that your generator should be able to power a device, but it is not able to, you may contact Lion Energy for technical support.
The length of time your generator will run a device requires a little bit of simple math to figure out. It will depend on the size of the battery in your generator and how much power the device uses. Check your generator model’s user manual to find out the size of your battery. This is called your battery capacity and is measured in watt-hours (abbreviated: Whr) or amp-hours (abbreviated: Ahr). The amount of power the device uses is measured in watts (abbreviated: W) or amps (abbreviated: A).
If the device’s power rating is listed in watts, then use the watt-hour capacity rating of your battery to do the math. If the device’s power rating is listed in amps, then use the amp-hour capacity rating of your battery to do the math.
To estimate the runtime of a device (in hours), divide the capacity of the battery (in watt-hours or amp-hours) by the power consumption of the device (in watts or amps respectively).
For example, let’s say that your generator has a fully charged, 600 watt-hour battery, and you want to run a 12 volt electric blanket. You look at the manual for your electric blanket and see that it needs 60 watts to run. Therefore, you can estimate that your electric blanket will run for 10 hours.
This calculation will work for all devices running on DC power (i.e. 12 volt or USB outputs). However, we must make one change when calculating devices that run on 120 volts AC. It takes some power to convert your battery voltage up from 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC, and the process your generator uses to do this is about 90% efficient. Therefore, when we estimate the runtime of any device plugged into the AC output ports, we must multiply the final result by 0.9.
In this case, let’s say we are plugging a lamp with a 60 watt bulb into the AC outlet on the generator. We would only expect this lamp to run for about 9 hours.
If you are powering multiple devices at the same time, be sure to add up the total watts or amps of all the devices before estimating the runtime.
If some of your devices tell you a current rating (in amps) and others tell you a power rating (in watts), you can easily convert the current ratings into power ratings by multiplying the current by the voltage.
A 12-volt blanket that needs 5 amps of current to run, will be using 60 watts of power.
Your generator has been engineered to use as little power as possible when turned off. This is important, as a battery that is discharged too low for too long can become damaged. Many of our competitors use batteries in their generators that will become completely useless if not charged every 3 to 6 months!
In contrast, we recommend that you charge your generator every 6-12 months just so that you are prepared when you need it. However, instead of voiding your warranty if you don’t charge your generator every 6 months like some companies, we give you 3 full years! If you leaved your generator off in your basement, you will be able to pull it out 3 years later, recharge it, and continue using it as normal with little to no impact on performance.
Please note: you must store your generator completely turned off, otherwise the battery will become depleted much sooner. It is recommended that you fully charge your generator before turning it off and storing it for an extended period of time.
The generator weighs 46 lbs, while the expansion battery pack weighs 44 lbs. Our goal is to keep all of our individual products under 50 lbs so they can be realistically transported if the need arises.
However, we know that, for many, 50 lbs is still quite heavy. So, in the interest of making sure that everyone can be mobile with their generator kit, we also include a rolling cart, which makes transporting your generator and expansion battery packs a breeze.
The only noise produced by the generator is made by a small fan inside the unit for keeping the circuitry cool. This fan will turn on and off as needed. At its loudest, the generator should make no more noise than a desktop computer.
The lifespan of any generator is determined by the life cycle rating of the battery that powers it. Every time you completely drain and then fully recharge the battery in your generator you add one more life cycle. This is very similar to putting miles on a car. The life cycle rating is determined by the type of battery in your generator and how well the generator circuitry takes care of your battery as it is being used.
At Lion Energy, we proudly use Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, which, at the time this is being written, are the safest and longest lasting Lithium batteries on the market. You can rest assured knowing that your generator is rated for 2500+ life cycles: 4-6x more than the average competitor! That means that if you completely discharged and then fully charged your generator once a day (an extremely high-use scenario), it would last for almost 7 years.
Many generator companies warranty their batteries for 300 – 600 life cycles, but what does that number mean? Does that mean the 600th or 2500th time you recharge your generator it will suddenly become useless?
No. Instead, as you put more and more life cycles on your battery, it will start to slowly lose its ability to store as much power. Life cycle ratings are usually defined as the point where your battery can only store 80% of the power that it could when it was manufactured. Which means that the appliance that used to run for 10 hours on a full charge when you first got your generator, after you recharge it for the 2500th time, will now only run for 8 hours. If you continued to put more life cycles on the battery, then the amount of power it could store would continue to slowly decrease. So, you won’t be throwing your generator away any time soon