CES 2011: Ecotricity ECO1800 Solar Charger

Many off-grid homes with solar electricity systems feature a diesel generator for back-up power. Now, homes connected to the grid can use solar power as a back-up, thanks to the Ecotricity ECO1800 solar-powered generator on display this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

This new product from Universal Power Group (a distributor of batteries and power accessories) features an 1800 watt inverter with four 120 volt outlets and a 50-foot cord hooked up to a high-efficiency foldable solar panel. The unit includes a cart for optimal positioning via the rays of the sun and provides juice via standard DC or AC outlets. The 1800 solar generator is the first of Universal Power Group’s recently announced line of  solar-powered “Ecotricity” products.

Ecotricity Solar

image via Universal Power Group

Other features of this solar charger include fully charging its generator within 12 “solar hours” so that the generator can be used at night to power lanterns and radios and the ability to offer up to four hours of emergency power for a cordless phone, television, clock radio and lamp, among other devices.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

  • Brad Emerson

    Although I like this product, it will not replace a generator. I have a generator for two reasons:

    1) To power the house and recharge the batteries where there’s a lack of sun for an extended period of time. (days)

    2) In case of an inverter failure.

    This cannot do either of these. This seems like a cool product for emergencies, but it’s not a replacement for a generator.

  • Solar Nerd

    This unit is made in China for Xantrex, a French-owned company. It is modified sine wave, which the instructions clearly state “CAUTION: Equipment Damage”. It uses made in China lead batteries, which die between 6 and 24 months (read reviews on Amazon and on-line blogs). Whether branded Xantrex, Duracell, Northern Tool, UPG, etc., they are all the same. Most buyers run into problems around the year old period, and complain about no or poor support. We do not need any more lead in our environment, especially not from China!