Bluetti EB3A Power Station Review

Fast charging, built-in charger, ports for plugging in 9 devices, Bluetooth app control and a slick multi-color sectional LCD display. The Bluetti RB3A power station is a top contender in the mid-size power station market, heralding all new features.

Fast charging, built-in charger, ports for plugging in 9 devices, Bluetooth app control and a slick multi-color sectional LCD display. The Bluetti RB3A power station is a top contender in the mid-size power station market, heralding all new features.

Featuring a LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) battery capacity of 268.8 Wh (12 Ah), capable of 600 watts output (1200 W surge) and a range of other standard ports, the Bluetti EB3A makes big promises in a small budget – nice package. But will it measure up in the lab?

The Bluetti EB3A seems like a contender in the lower price ranges with its unique combination of 268.8 Wh battery and 600 watts of output capacity. Usually you see a match between watt hour/comparable power (eg 300wh/300w), so this is an interesting entry in the segment.

Bluetti EB3A Feature Set

Cutting to the chase, the Bluetti EB3A offers what equates to the ‘standard’ range of ports and sockets on the market these days. 2 AC outlets rated at 110V 60Hz, one USB Type-C rated at 100W and 2 USB Type-A outlets rated at 3 amps (15 watts), one cigarette lighter style port, two DC barrel outlets rated at 12V and sharing 10 amps between the two, and on top is a wireless charger.

Another thing we often see included on these solar battery generators is the inclusion of a light/lantern in the front, which is appreciated for its incorporation, but not for its retina-burning placement, something that another competitor in the market has approached. putting the light on the side.

The Internet of Things is here, and it’s here in the boldest way. On the surface, it’s actually not a bad implementation as the app gives you the basic data which is also available on the color LCD screen. Charging, discharging and system warnings are readily available via Bluetooth connection, which is ideal for expanding the use cases of the unit.

As for what else you get in the box with your EB3A; AC charging cable, warranty card, user manual. The inclusion of a built-in charger and the standard PC power cable entry is appreciated and welcomed into the power bank space. We at StorageReview really like and appreciate the lack of a massive, hot brick to lug around with the powerhouse. Without hinting too much at the meat and potatoes of the review, we can’t say we’re in love with the implementation.

This unit is relatively cost effective, with a list price of $299 on Amazonwith a $60 off coupon right now.

Table of advertised specifications

Ability 268Wh (12Ah)
Battery Type LiFePO4 (over 2,500 cycles at 80%)
AC input 268W max. (Standard) / 350W Max. (Turbo)
Solar input Voc 12-28V / 200W Max. / 8.5A max.
AC output 2 x AC 120V (1200W surge)
DC output 1 car 12V, 2 DC5521 12V
USB output 1x 100W PD, 2x 5V/3A
Wireless charging pad 15W max.
Charging temperature 32°F-104°F
Discharge temperature -4°F-104°F
Dimensions 10.0 x 7.1 x 7.2 inches
lester 10.1 pounds

Bluetti EB3A Construction and design

Build quality is good for an entry-level portable powerhouse offering, although the case feels quite light for the size. Compared to others that have a more solid feel or weight, the case could be a little thinner if needed.

The case is fairly simple, with large vents on the sides for active cooling to drain away. The carrying handle is in the right place to balance the device during transport and folds flat to give you unobstructed access to the wireless charger.

An interesting note is the 125v/10a resettable fuse on the front, installed using the included mains voltage charger inside the panel.

Input Bluetti EB3A

Bluetti here advertises an impressive life of over 2500 cycles for the LiFePO4 battery, which is ideal for frequent deep cycle users. If you’re looking for something that will drink power all night long and can be topped off during the day, this might just be the ticket thanks to battery chemistry.

Bluetti EB3A top loader

Both sides of the Bluetti EB3A have cooling ports, where the left side draws air over the circuit board, and the port on the right side pushes air out after it passes through the case.

Bluetti EB3A side

The bottom has four rubber feet, which is the total shock protection for the unit. The bottom also has a label covering the main specifications of the EB3A unit.

Bluetti EB3A Panties

Application for use and management

Using the device is simple, with the touch buttons to turn on each of the features, AC, DC and the light. The built-in LCD display shows the current status of the input and output, what is powered on and if it is running in passthrough/UPS mode.

The only control you can’t do without the app is to adjust the charge rate. The ability to do this via the buttons on the unit would have been a huge advantage no matter how complicated or complex the implementation. Concerns about software discontinuation, lifecycle, or services going offline come to mind, so hypercritical response to an application-dependent feature/setting is an important consideration.

Bluetti EB3A active screen

The app itself has some quirks that could also be ironed out, especially the power calculation in the app. Take the photo below for example; the display shows 228 watts of input power, 439 watts of output power, while the app combines them to show the combined AC input consumption.

The input on the unit itself is really the battery charging circuit input, while the app shows an input which is the total incoming power. While these are all helpful metrics, keeping the elements consistent throughout would help the overall experience.

The on-board charger has a few advantages and is a nice addition to a unit in this price class. The first is that there are no extra items to carry around and the second is that you can charge the portable power station much faster. The Bluetti EB3A has three charging modes, Turbo, Normal and Silent, of which we focus on the first two.

Turbo mode from 0% load starts with a load rate of 430W. Lowering it to Normal, this speed drops to around 262w. This gives it the ability to charge much faster than units using an external power source typically limited to less than 200 watts.

To measure the capacity of the Bluetti EB3a portable power station, we took it to full load and used a 300w fan to charge it until the power ran out. During this time, we measured a total consumption of 0.22 kWh through the system with a Kill-A-Watt. This was around 82.1% of its rated capacity, which is slightly lower than expected with many similar units closer to 85%. Performing a full charge, we measured 0.32 kWh.

Bluetti EB3A charging and overheating

We have encountered issues with the Bluetti EB3A that may be addressable by firmware. Many times when we brought the system down to low discharge and plugged it in to completely fill the unit, the EB3A would overheat. That was with no load applied to the battery, just leaving it to its own devices to recharge.

After reaching 95-96%, it would trigger an overheating warning, stop the charging process, cool down slightly, and then resume. This overheating would occur several times before reaching 100% charge. However, we did not observe this same behavior when a load was applied to the unit.

Our guess is that the firmware (updated to the latest) is not applying a strong enough cooling fan profile during the charging process only. When a higher load is applied to the system, the fans run more often and do not cause the same problem.

During each of the overheating scenarios, all activity in the plant ceased, including the fan. Keeping the fan on, or at least turning it on when the system gets too hot would have been a good thing. We contacted Bluetti when this problem started, but received no feedback. We’ve also seen users online mentioning a similar overheating issue with their EB3A units.

Final Thoughts

The EB3A is a solid entry into the market by Bluetti with its unique combination of capacity, power delivery capability and battery technology. We can see that it works well for some applications. The reliance on app integration to alter the charge rate, combined with the stock fan firmware causing overheating when charging, meant we were less than impressed with the final implementation.

These are things that could be fixed in a hotfix, although not at this time. The EB3A has a lot of potential to be a good product just by implementing a firmware fix for overheating. However, without comment from Bluetti, we cannot say for sure if these issues can or will be resolved, leaving us in a difficult position.

Considering the Bluetti EB3A’s very low entry price, if the problem of overheating while charging is fixed by an update, it’s a very nice portable powerhouse to keep for projects or power outages. Until then, there are better options to consider.

Bluetti EB3A at Amazon

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