1. Will the generator run my *(blank)*?
Each output is only capable of expending a certain amount of power at a time; just like every input can only accept a certain amount of power at a time. The amount of power each output can supply is measured in watts and denoted with W. This determines whether or not a specific output can power a specific device.
Example: The 120 volt AC output on your generator can supply up to 1500 watts of power continuously. That means that one can easily run a lamp with a 100-watt lightbulb. The 120 volt AC on the generator could actually run 15, 100-watt lightbulb lamps at the same time. However, one would not be able to run an 1800 watt industrial strength blender because the power rating of the blender exceeds the maximum power output of the generator.
Often, the power requirements of a given appliance are shown as a combination of a voltage (measured in volts, abbreviated V) and a current (measured in amperes or amps, abbreviated with A). The voltages of all individual outputs on the generator are fixed. Each output can supply a certain amount of current – similar to power. One would need to plug a 12-volt device into the 12-volt output and a 120-volt device into the 120-volt output, etc.
Each generator’s user manual has the most up-to-date information about which outputs can support specific power or current. Add the total amount of power or current from each device plugged into one outlet to ensure the power rating of that outlet is not exceeded. If the power rating is exceeded by mistake, the generator will protect itself by cutting off power to that outlet – much like a circuit breaker in your home. If this happens, unplug all devices from the generator and turn it off and then on again to restore power to the outlets.
Not all appliances use a constant amount of power continuously. Appliances like refrigerators turn on and off throughout the day. Appliances like this create a large power spike when first turned on. This is typical with devices containing large motors or compressors for cooling. The power rating on these devices reflects the amount of power the device needs during normal runtime. However, when first turning on the device, the initial power spike may exceed the power rating of the output on the generator, causing the safety feature to deactivate the output. The generator is engineered to handle power spikes but cannot account for all possible situations.
2. How long will the generator run my *blank*?
To determine the length of time the generator will run, it is necessary to do some simple math of the size of the battery in the generator and the amount of power the device uses. Look at the generator’s user manual to find the size of the battery – battery capacity. The battery capacity is measured in watt-hours, abbreviated Whr or amp-hours, abbreviated Ahr. The amount of power the device uses is measured in watts (W) or amps (A).
If the devices power rating is listed in watts, use the watt-hour capacity rating of the battery to do the math. If the devices power rating is listed in amps, use the amp-hour capacity rating of the 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, if the generator has a fully-charged 600 watt-hour battery, to run a 12-volt electric blanket that needs 60 watts to run, the generator can power the blanket for 10 hours.
This calculation works for all devices running on DC power (example: 12 volt or USB outputs). There is one necessary change for devices that run on 120 volts AC. It takes power to convert battery voltage from 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC and the process the generator uses to do this is 90% efficient. That requires multiplying the final amount by 0.9. In this case, a lamp with a 60-watt bulb running on AC outlet of the generator will run for approximately 9 hours.
To run multiple devices simultaneously, add the total watts or amps of all the devices before estimating the runtime.
If some devices list a current rating in amps and others list a power rating in watts, convert the current rating into power ratings by multiplying the current by the voltage. A 12-volt blanket needing 5 amps of current to run will be using 60 watts of power.
3. How long will my generator hold a charge?
Each Lion Energy generator has been engineered to use as little power as possible when turned off. This is imperative because a battery that is discharged for too long becomes damaged. Many other brands on the market utilize batteries for their generators that become useless when not charged every 3 to 6 months. In contrast, we recommend charging Lion Energy generators every 6 to 12 months to ensure its prepared when necessary. However, unlike other brands, Lion Energy does not void the warranty when the generator is not charged every 6 months. Lion Energy gives their customers a full year. If the generator sits in the basement for a year, it can be recharged and will operate as normal with little to no impact on performance.
Please note: Lion Energy generators must be stored completely turned off or the battery will deplete much sooner. It is recommended to fully charge the generator before turning it off and storing for an extended period of time.
4. How long does the generator take to charge?
This is dependent upon the charging method. For example, a wall outlet charges the generator from empty to fully charged within 3.5 to 5 hours. A solar panel in full sunlight charges the generator between 9 to 10 hours. Additional solar panels will reduce this time. The expansion pack triples the time it takes to fully recharge: 10 to 15 hours on a wall outlet and 24 to 30 hours with a single solar panel
5. How heavy is the generator? How about the expansion battery?
Our portable generators are all under 50 lbs
6. How loud is the generator?
Lion Energy generators are essentially silent. The only noise produced is created by a small fan inside the unit that keeps the circuitry cool. It turns on and off as needed and at loudest makes no more noise than a desktop computer.
7. What is the warranty on the generator?
This is getting more frequently asked as we advertise more heavily. I would recommend taking the information straight from the user manuals, but stress that after the warranty ends, we are still willing to assist, through troubleshooting, or repair at a potential cost to the customer.
8. How long will my generator last before I have to replace it?
The lifespan of a Lion Energy generator is determined by the life cycle rating of the battery that powers it. Every time a battery is completely drained and fully recharged, one lifecycle is added. This is similar to putting miles on a car. At Lion Energy, we proudly use Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries which are the safest and longest lasting Lithium batteries on the market. This means our generators are rated for 2500+ lifecycles. That is 4 to 6 more than the average generator on the market. That means, in an extremely high-use scenario, completely discharging and then fully recharging the generator once a day, it would last for 7 years.
When the generator reaches the life cycle rating of 2500 uses, it does not become useless. Rather, as more lifecycles are added to the battery, it will slowly start to lose the ability to store as much power. Life cycle ratings are defined as the point where the battery can store 80% of the power it could at the time it was manufactured. That means the appliance that used to run for 10 hours on a full charge when first using the generator will now only run for 8 hours after the 2500th cycle. Continued life cycles on the battery will result in a continual slow decrease. Ultimately, meaning Lion Generators last a very long time.
For additional questions, contact Lion Energy’s support team.