The Delta EcoFlow is a new battery generatoravailable on Kickstarter
[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ecoflow/delta-the-new-standard-of-battery-powered-generator] with incredible claimed features. Most are true, some are not.
Device like the Delta offer incredible battery storage capacity. Designed for
more than just recharging phones and tablets, these can run refrigerators,
pumps, power tools and medical equipment. They?re great for emergencies, camping
and general use where power is not available. Similar devices have been on the
market for some years so I was eager to verify EcoFlow?s claims.
The EcoFlow Delta can recharge from a wall outlet to 80% in an hour. It?s
amazing. The GoalZero Yeti battery of a similar size takes 25 hours. This
capability means the Delta can be used and then reused more than competitors.
The device is currently on Kickstarter where it quickly acquired over $2 million
from over 2,000 backers. The device?s features listed on the Kickstarter page
are clear, but after testing a pre-production unit, I found several of these
advertised capabilities and features misleading or false.
The Delta is the latest product from EcoFlow. The company?s founder,Eli Harris,
[https://crunchbase.com/person/eli-harris]says it?s ?The world?s strongest
battery generator.? I found the Delta to be a competent battery generator with
similar capabilities to competitors but it?s hampered by loud fans.
In short, if you need a battery generator that can recharge much faster than
others, the Delta is a great option. Otherwise, the GoalZero Yeti makes more
sense for most people.
Battery generators are a safe and more portable option than their gas
counterparts. There are no harmful fumes or fuel allowing them to be used
indoors, nearer the appliances or tools. Most often (though not with the Delta)
they?re silent, too, making them perfect for a camping or hunting companion.
In real-world operation, this quick recharge time could come in handy. Say, on a
construction site or in an emergency incident where power is still available,
but out of reach of an extension cord ? situations where loud gas generators are
generally used. While the Delta is louder than other battery generators, it is
not as loud as a gas generator.
The Delta battery comes packaged with a warning that the battery must be fully
charged before use. I generally ignore warnings, but I followed this one and
immediately plugged it in. Instantly, fans whirled to life and the screen popped
on displaying the current charge levels and how long it would take to get to
100%. The Delta was at 30% and would take 45 minutes to fully recharge. It
worked as advertised and 45 minutes later the battery was at 100%.
Recharging the Delta battery was a noisy affair. The fans are loud and continue
to run after the battery is fully charged. Compared to a GoalZero Yeti, this was
a shock. The Yeti is silent where the Delta is not. I keep a Yeti 1400 in my
basement, plugged in and ready to use. But with the Delta, even when the battery
is fully charged, loud fans still run presumably to keep the unit cool. EcoFlow
says the shelf life on the Delta is over a year where the GoalZero Yeti is six
months. To me, I would rather have the battery constantly plugged into power so
I know it?s ready to go when needed.
The Delta recharges without an AC power inverter (a power brick); it uses the
same sort of cable as a desktop PC. The company says by passing through the
inverter directly, the Delta can increase charging speed to more than 10 times
the traditional AC to DC adapter cable. This also means it?s easier to replace a
lost charging cable.
The Delta is much lighter than competing products and its design makes it easier
to move. EcoFlow says it?s rugged, and it feels the part. Even my pre-production
sample feels tough and ready to go to work. Large rubber pads keep the battery
in place and the tough plastic feels more durable than competing products.
There are a handful of plugs and outlets around the device, including USB, USB-C
and six AC outlets. It?s a lot and similar in capacity to large gas generators.
Most battery generators have much fewer AC outlets, though I?ve often
supplemented the capability with small power strips.
The Delta is currently on Kickstarter for pre-order and exceeded its goal. I
fear a good amount of backers will be upset to learn several notable advertised
features are false or misleading.
The Delta is not silent. Under operation, either recharging a cell phone or
running a power tool, loud fans run on both sides of the battery. These fans run
when recharging the battery, too ? even when the battery is fully charged. The
Kickstarter page and video lists throughout that the Delta produces no noise.
These fans detract from the appeal of the Delta battery. They?re loud. You have
to raise your voice to speak over them. Because of these fans, I wouldn?t take
the Delta camping or use it in the backyard for a quiet get-together. During
power outage situations, I wouldn?t want to sleep near it. But I would use it
for power tools ? like EcoFlow does in one of its demo videos.
Only one of the four videos on the Kickstarter page allows potential owners to
hear the Delta battery. The third video on the page shows the battery powering a
hammer drill. Six seconds into the video, the drill stops running, and the
battery?s fans are audible.
There are a handful of competing batteries that operate without noisy fans. I?ve
taken GoalZero?s Yeti batteries camping and they?re great despite their heft.
They?re truly silent and can still recharge from solar panels and car batteries.
I?ve used battery generators from Jackery, too, and those are also silent.
I spoke with Ecoflow CEO and Founder Eli Harris during the run-up of this
review. He was clear that Ecoflow?s main competitor is not other large
batteries, but rather small gas generators available from Honda and others. And
that makes a lot of sense. Those are the best selling generators available and
widely used for emergency and convenience. These small generators are loud, and
the Ecoflow Delta is quieter than those options while still offering most of the
When asked why the Kickstarter page is misleading, he said ?that fallacy has
never been called out? and he would check with his team about the use of
?superlatives and blanket statements.? Three days later, the Kickstarter page
still lists the false claims.
EcoFlow claims the Delta battery can run a variety of power tools, including
drills, circular saws, power washers and welders. I found this capability hit or
miss. Despite some tools being under the claimed amperage and wattage of the
Delta battery, the battery wouldn?t power my small or large circular saw or
power washer. EcoFlow also claims the battery can recharge a Tesla; it doesn?t
recharge my Chevy Volt.
Many tools require extra power when starting up, and I found most of these surge
requirements to exceed the capabilities of the Delta battery. This is the same
with other batteries like the GoalZero Yeti. In fact, I couldn?t find one tool
in my workshop that the Delta powered and the Yeti did not; they worked the same
for me, and I have a lot of tools.
Don?t mistake what I?m saying. The EcoFlow Delta has impressive capabilities
mainly around its recharge capabilities. This makes it an attractive option for
the right use. It?s compact and solid. It has a lot of outlets and is easy to
move. This could be a lifesaver in emergency situations where a person still has
access to power.
The Delta has some downsides just like other battery generators. It doesn?t
offer a dramatic increase in electrical output over competitors so don?t expect
this battery to power larger devices. Don?t expect a silent operation, either.
This massive battery is loud though, I admit, that?s a relative term. It?s
louder than other battery generators but less loud than a gas generator.
I would rather have a silent battery generator that recharges slowly versus a
noisy, fast-recharging battery. I use my battery generators camping and around
the house when the power goes out. The Delta makes sense on a construction site
or when providing power is priority. I just can?t get over the loud fans.