Does The Design Of The Wagan EL2546 Solar e Cube 1500 Lead To Great Power Generation?
Alternative power sources are becoming more of a necessity these days and consumers have greater choice on products that can help in an emergency – products like the intriguing Wagan EL2546 Solar e Cube 1500. This cube has 5 panels and 2 AC outlets to power appliances and 2 USB power ports for electronics to offer versatility for different applications and situations.
There are some buyers that will be looking at this cube as a way of powering their homes in a blackout – as an electronic version of a basic generator – and others that will be looking at it as a more substantial solar power source for camping. Is this product able to deliver or does it struggle?
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What benefits have been highlighted in user testimonials for this Wagan Solar e Cube?
The key feature of this product is the use of 5 different panels that “unfold and slide out” from the cube. Design wise, this all-in-one enclosure and simple unfolding is appreciated by a number of consumers because it means greater ease of use and portability.The makers promise that it requires no additional assembly, is ready to use straight out of the box and is “extremely user friendly” and this is aided by the inclusion of the collapsible handle and wheels – which is just as well considering the weight of the thing.
This is where the idea of it being an ideal model for camping comes in as it can be transported with little problem to provide an energy source for electronics like phones and radios.
There are many people highlighting the fact that the Wagan EL2546 Solar e Cube has AC and DC adapters that can recharge the 55AH AGM/gel hybrid battery – and that this device can offer consistent power for appliances whether there is plenty of sunlight or not.
There are two ways of looking at this: on the one hand, this shows a sense of reliability that some other products cannot provide; on the other, this does mean that it is working as a electronic charging unit and the solar aspect – which should be the main reason for purchasing this cube – takes a bit of a step backwards. For many buyers this is an alternative to gas-powered generators and in that respect it works well, there are just queries about the use of the solar panels and its part in the machine’s function.
Why is the solar aspect of the Wagan EL2546 solar panel potentially problematic for users?
First impressions of a solar cube lead to images of a 3-dimensional construction with panels that face in different directions to catch the sun at optimal angles – this is not the case with this cube – instead all the panels fold out to increase the surface area and face upwards. There are some adjustments that can be made to tilt them but not to the extent that some would like and not with the ease seen in other aspects of the design. Also, as some buyers point out, the configuration of the panels after being unfolded mean they overlap and cast shadows.
There are also questions about the potential power and wattage and what this machine can really do in a crisis. 5 panels with 16W equals 80W at full capacity, which is great for electronics and small scale, low-wattage appliances but nothing particularly power hungry, and the specification claims that it needs 18 hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged and runs with 17% efficiency. There is the potential for expanding the capabilities of the cube by adding extra panels should buyers feel the need.
Summary: is this Wagan EL2546 Cube still a recommendable choice for campers and those looking to be prepared?
In the end, the appeal of this device comes down to how important the solar aspect is and whether this is simply being bought as an alternative source of consistent energy. Consumers that are into solar generation and feel they are knowledgable on the subject give it a very low score; those looking for a portable generator with user-friendly features give it a high score.
The most important thing for many consumers is the fact that this product brings them peace of mind and helps them feel prepared should another storm or blackout hit, and at times like that they are not too bothered whether the power has come from the sun or a car battery.
There are issues with this approach – especially with the low wattage and capabilities – but most buyers are still endorsing the Wagan solar panel based on its portability for the camp site and its ease of use, which means it is highly recommendable for that target market. You can check out more customer reviews about the Wagan EL2546 Solar e Cube 1500 at Amazon here.