Generac Enters Portable Power Station Market With Two Lithium-Ion Models
Lithium-ion inverters (often called battery-powered generators) are a great way to get portable power where you need it when it’s unsafe or unwise to use a gas generator. Lots of brands from power tool companies to dedicated inverter manufacturers are in the game. Now Generac enters the market, and with its reputation for emergency and portable power, we expect great things. We got our hands on the GB1000 Generac Portable Power Station to see if greatness is what they delivered.
Using the Generac Portable Power Station
Capacity and Output
There are two models to choose from: the Generac GB1000 and the GB2000. The smaller GB1000 has 1086Wh of capacity and the larger GB2000 holds 2106Wh. Regardless of which model you choose, you get up to 1600 continuous running watts and 3200 starting watts.
The main question is… what can you run?
The limit is effectively 13 total amps. From power tools to home appliances, there’s a wide range. Here are a few examples:
- Small angle grinders
- TV and Blu-ray player
- Refrigerator or freezer
- Portable fans
- Phone/tablet/laptop charging
The output is “clean” energy, so it’s perfectly safe to run/charge your sensitive electronics. Just keep in mind the higher the energy needs of what you’re using, the faster you’ll drain the battery. One nice feature Generac adds is a reverse-contrast display that shows you the active output in watts along with an estimated remaining runtime (assuming the load stays the same).
While our power was out during Hurricane Ian, the GB1000 ran our TV and Blu-ray player with a combined draw of just under 100 watts and more than 12 hours of estimated runtime. On the other hand, it was able to keep our refrigerator going for about 6 hours. The GB2000 would have been roughly double that.
Need more capacity or output? No problem—there’s a parallel connection so you can hook two Generac portable power stations together.
Outlets and Ports
Generac includes a generous suite of outlets and ports for charging on its portable power station. There are three 120V outlets, two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, and a 12V car outlet. A bonus that most battery-powered generators don’t have is the 15-watt wireless charger Generac has on the top.
You can use as many of these as you want at once as long as you don’t draw more than 1600 continuous watts. As we mentioned earlier, the more watts you draw, the faster you go through the battery, so pick your battles when you don’t have other power sources nearby.
To use any of the ports, you first need to turn the inverter on. Press the on/off button and hold it until you hear a soft beep and see the display light up. At that point, all of the USB ports become active. To use the 120V outlets or 12V DC port, you need to press the corresponding button to activate them. The wireless charger is connected to the DC switch.
As you would expect, you can plug the power station into the wall to recharge it. For those of you thinking about off-grid power, it also comes with a connector for solar panels. Another bonus we don’t typically see is the 12V vehicle charging cord that Generac includes, making this one of the most overlander-friendly designs we’ve seen.
Recharging is quicker thanks to a built-in MPPT controller. Plugged into a wall, you can get an 80% charge in just over two hours on the GB1000. Once it hits that mark, the charging slows down to prevent damage to the lithium-ion cells.
To get the absolute fastest charging, it is possible to combine power sources. For example, you might want to run both 120V AC and solar. However, going too fast can reduce the overall battery life. For the best results, stick with less than 540 watts on the GB1000 or less than 1000 watts on the GB2000.
Generac offers some help locating your portable power station and plugging things in when it’s dark. A 2-setting LED light is on the front. Not to worry—it’s a low draw on your battery and won’t have a major effect on your overall runtime.
Generac Portable Power Station Models
The primary difference between the two models is capacity and there are some size and weight consequences. Here’s a quick comparison chart:
|Generac GB1000||Generac GB2000|
|Running Watts||1600 watts||1600 watts|
|Starting Watts||3200 watts||3200 watts|
|Ports||3 x 120V AC|
2 x USB-A
2 x USB-C
12V car port
Wireless charging pad
|3 x 120V AC|
2 x USB-A
2 x USB-C
12V car port
Wireless charging pad
|Charging||120V AC or 10 – 28V DC||120V AC or 10 – 28V DC|
|Rated Life*||800 cycles||1000 cycles|
|Weight||29 pounds||43 pounds|
|Dimensions (LWH)||14.1 x 10.2 x 12.0 in||16.8 x 10.4 x 15.1 in|
Optional Accessories (Sold Separately)
- 200W Charging Enhancer
- 450W Charging Enhancer
- 30A Parallel Kit
- 100W Solar Panels
Generac Portable Power Station Price
The retail price on the Generac GB1000 is $999 and the GB2000 runs $1799. Generac backs the power stations with a 3-year warranty. Compare that to the popular Jackery 1000 and you’ll find that Generac offers a better feature set, more available power, and still comes in $100 less.
The Bottom Line
In the class of integrated battery power stations, Generac genuinely impressed us with its portable power station designs. It offers excellent power output, includes a wide range of outlets and ports, and adds features we haven’t seen from other brands. Even better, you’re not paying a premium just to have the Generac name on the unit and they’re not upcharging a ton for the features they added. If you’re looking for clean portable power, we highly recommend the Generac GB1000 and GB2000.