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Editor's Choice

Editor’s Choice: EcoFlow brings power to off-grid living

The Delta Pro is an investment in self-reliance and peace of mind when power supply is uncertain, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

This week’s Editor’s Choice was last week’s Gadget of the Week. The accolade is given to products that represent a significant advance in technology, or a remarkable approach to innovation or user needs. The EcoFlow Delta Pro is Editor’s Choice for the week starting 19 October 2023.

What is it?

Portable power stations are generally seen as solutions to power outages, load-shedding and outdoor activity. The more cost-effective models tend to power smartphones, laptops, small refrigerators and lamps fairly easily, which is good enough to keep essentials going.

But what if one wants to – or needs to – take it further? 

The power grid is so unreliable across Africa, one has to be prepared for outages that last beyond a few hours.  Alternatively, if one wants to indulge in a serious stretch of off-grid living, such as a week in the wilds, a serious power supply can address many wants, needs and emergencies.

How serious does it have to get? It would be hard to beat the EcoFlow Delta Pro portable power station, if one wants to pack a very serious punch. With a capacity of 3.6kWh, output of 3600W and surge output of 7200W, there is little it cannot power.

It runs on a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, and it can be paired with an additional battery to double its capacity.

During a typical bout of loadshedding, it readily took on large refrigerators, electric ovens, kettles and power tools. It turns out that it’s also one of the fastest-charging large portable power stations on the market, charging from 0 to 80% in 60 minutes, meaning it is always ready for the next round of load shedding. That makes it ideal as an all-round load-shedding solution.

Of course, these high-wattage appliances will deplete its power relatively quickly, so it would not be ideal to keep powering them over longer outages. However, if one is keeping to essentials, the Delta Pro can keep going for a week or longer.

It’s hard to tell people what is essential to them, but the outlets on the Delta Pro provide  a good sense of what is possible. It houses the following ports:

AC x5 – 3,600W total, 7200 W surge

USB-A x2 – maximum 12W per port, total 24W

USB-A Fast Charge x2 – maximum 18W per port, total 36W

USB C x2 – maximum 100W per port, total 200W

Car charging output – maximum 126W

DC output x 2 – maximum 38W per port

Anderson output – maximum 378W, heavy duty outlet, typically connect a car’s power to caravans or trailers.

And then there is a range of input ports, too, providing the kind of versatility demanded by emergencies and unstable power supply:

AC input – maximum 3,000W

Solar charging input – maximum 1,600W

Car charging input

In combination, all these inlets and outlets tell a story, and that is a tale of off-grid living. Add a portable solar panel, and one can almost say good bye to Eskom or any other power utility.

In fact, the EcoFlow Delta Pro tells many stories, and its users will no doubt have many stories of their own to tell about becoming more self-reliant after a year or two. From emergency preparedness to home backup to going off-grid in the outdoors, there is nothing ordinary about this device.

There are, however, two elephants in the room, or in the outdoors, as the case may be.

For one, it is exceptionally heavy, at 45kg. That means that, while it is portable, it would be more accurate to describe it as luggable, much as they did the early laptops that came in large carry cases. But luggable it is, and can be moved fairly easily from location to location. It has two wheels on one end and short legs on the other, making it simple to move around a small space.

 If it’s going to be moved often, such as between indoor and outdoor use, we recommend a small aluminium foldable trolley, or even a small flatbed trolley, of the kind that costs less than R500, making it a negligible expense compared to the cost of the unit.

That brings us to the other elephant in the room, namely that gigantic price tag. That may well be the most expensive appliance you will ever buy. But. And a big but. It is the one that will ensure all your other appliances remain useful, come hell, high water or Eskom.

As with solar power, it is an investment in self-reliance, continuity and peace of mind.

What does it cost?

Retailing originally at a recommended price of R73,999, the cost directly from the EcoFlow store at has come down to R59,999. 

Why does it matter?

The EcoFlow Delta Pro one of the most powerful portable power stations on the market, providing a reliable source of backup power for off-grid living, emergency preparedness, or home backup. Whether the cost is justified depends on individual needs and budget.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • Obviously exceedingly expensive, but must be seen as an investment in self-reliance.
  • It is heavy, and should be called luggable rather than portable.
  • The fans can be noisy when charging or under heavy load.

What are the biggest positives?

  • Higher capacity and more ports than any portable power station in its price range
  • Excellent build, high quality and durable.
  • Exceptionally fast charging for its capacity.
  • LCD display screen provides extensive status information, along with an EcoFlow app.
  • Its versatility underlines its value as an investment in peace of mind.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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