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Review: PowerOak Bluetti AC50S – The Best Budget Portable Power Station?

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Poweroak Bluetti AC50S powerbank review

Living in a van is the perfect use case to test out a portable power station. The Bluetti AC50S portable generator is a leisure battery, solar charge controller and inverter rolled into one. So, this makes it perfect for life off-grid. It can be charged up by plugging it into a mains socket or by connecting portable solar panels. Additionally, it features both 12V DC charging points and 230V AC plug sockets.

We put the Poweroak Bluetti AC50S to the test as a back up power source in our campervan. Read on for our thoughts on one of Bluetti’s cheapest power stations.

poweroak bluetti ac50 portable powerbank

Functionality

The PowerOak Bluetti AC50S is comprised of an internal lithium battery, a solar charge controller, a pure sine wave inverter and a battery management system. Additionally, it has a screen to inform you of the current state of charge. Because of this, you always know exactly how much power you have left before you need to recharge.

Its main face is covered in various plug sockets. Furthermore, it has carry handles for easy maneuverability, and an integrated light on the back of the unit.

Battery capacity

The Bluetti AC50S has a 500Wh lithium battery. This is the equivalent of a 12V 42Ah leisure battery. This is enough to charge a laptop using a 60W charger 8 times, or a phone using a 10W charger around 50 times.

Power input

The PowerOak Bluetti AC50S can be charged in 3 ways:

  • A mains power wall plug (~7-8 hours)
  • A car cigarette lighter (though only possible to charge to ~50% from a 12V input)
  • Plugging in external solar panels (~9-10 hours using a 120W solar panel)

If you plan to use this powerbank as your primary source of power, we’d definitely recommend purchasing a portable solar panel so you can recharge off-grid. 

Otherwise, we think this portable power station works really well as a back up power supply. With access to a mains power wall plug (such as on a campsite, in a cafe or at home), you can recharge the unit easily. 

Power output

The PowerOak Bluetti AC50S has a range of different power outputs:

  • 1x 12V DC car cigarette lighter charger
  • 4x 12V DC USB chargers
  • 2x 230V AC mains power plug sockets
  • Wireless charging plate

The 230V mains power is supplied from an internal pure sine wave 300W inverter, meaning the unit can power up to 2 mains power products with a total wattage under 300W.

Because of the 300W inverter, we found the Bluetti AC50S was perfect for recharging laptops, camera batteries and phones. These products never came close to exceeding the 300W max output from the in-built inverter.

However, you may have appliances that require a larger inverter, such as a blender or hair straighteners. If so, Bluetti have a range of powerbanks with larger inverters and battery banks.

We also liked the wireless charging plate. This made it easy to recharge phones when we were using the unit to power other appliances. Simply placing a phone on top of the unit recharged it quickly.

Recommended usage

We think the Poweroak Bluetti AC50S is ideal for a couple of use cases.

Firstly, those who are converting a smaller van and don’t want to invest a lot of time and money in a complex electrical system, but still wish to have access to 12V and 230V power. Paired with a portable solar panel, the AC50S makes the perfect portable off-grid setup with absolutely no installation requirements – you can just use it straight off the bat.

Secondly, we thought this Bluetti powerbank was useful as a backup for anyone with a lower spec electrical system that might be concerned about lack of power. Simply plugging it in at a mains plug or whilst driving allows you to recharge and gain some possibly vital extra power.

The PowerOak Bluetti AC50S weighs in at just over 6kg, meaning you’re unlikely to use it for any camping trips that require you to walk a fair distance before setting up your tent. However, it’s a great bit of kit for those who are car camping and need more power than what their car charging point can supply them with. 

Additionally, the small inverter allows you to power any 230V appliances such as laptops, camera chargers and drone chargers.

Where to buy the Poweroak Bluetti AC50S

We have the full range of Bluetti portable power stations and solar panels for sale in our webshop. Plus, we’ve benchmarked all of our prices to ensure we’re cheaper than Amazon.

girl charging a macbook with a poweroak bluetti ac50 portable powerbank in a campervan

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10 Responses

  1. Please could you let us know what items can be run off this power bank.
    We are thinking about kettle, toaster and a small fan heater .
    Thank you Philip

    1. Hey Philip, you would be able to power a toaster using one of the larger power banks (the 1500Wh power oak has a 1000W inverter which would be able to power a kettle, these cost around £1,000), but unfortunately you wouldn’t be able to power a kettle or a fan heater off even the biggest power banks, as they have such a high wattage (around 3000W, which none of the power banks would be able to provide). To power the kind of appliances you’re talking about, you would need to look at installing a bespoke electrical system with a large 3000W inverter or MultiPlus to be able to deal with the power draw and high wattage of the appliances. Hope that helps!

  2. Is it possible to charge the power bank with the solar panels and use the power bank simultaneously? I read that the manufacturer doesn’t recommend this. Seems like a problem if so. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sam, I believe it should be possible to both charge the powerbank and use it at the same time. I’m not sure why Bluetti wouldn’t recommend this. It’s also worth looking at the Jackery and EcoFlow range, as these definitely allow charging and appliance usage at the same time, and both equivalent models have more powerful pure sine wave inverters than the PowerOak (EcoFlow RIVER Max has a 600W pure sine wave inverter and the Jackery Explorer 500 has a 500W pure sine wave inverter vs the 300W inverter in the PowerOak).

  3. Hi, I’ve got the AC50s, great power bank. I want to charge at home from solar, fitted to my shed roof.
    I’m not sure what size panel to go for, living in the UK it’s not always sunny. The Victron 175w looks good, but should I go smaller as the unit doesn’t charge over 120w?
    Thanks

  4. Could this be used on a campervan instead of a petrol generator.
    Using a 13A to 16A adaptor and pluging into the campers 16A socket.
    I have a leisure battery and solar panel so it would be used as a backup to power 240V LED TV, 12v fridge and LED lighting occasional use on diesel Heater

    1. Hi Tim, I just want to make sure I understand your question. Are you asking if it’s possible to recharge your campervan electrical system from a powerbank? In theory this would be possible if you could purchase a male 3 pin plug to male shore power cable, however I’m not sure this exists. Alternatively you could purchase a battery charger which could be connected to the powerbank and your leisure battery. You would also need to ensure that the powerbank you purchased had an inverter larger enough to deal with the power draw from the battery charger. We’d recommend looking at the EcoFlow range as these have more options for battery and inverter size, and are generally more reliable and well made. If you would like us to put together a quote for what you would need to do this, drop us an email at [email protected]

  5. Hi, is it possible to have the 12v car charger and the mains charger (from EHU) plugged in at the same time? So that whether you’re driving or plugged into a campsite the Poweroak is getting charged – without having to change over which is plugged into the back.
    Maybe a 2 to 1 adapter?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Malcolm, I’m not aware if such a product is available. Unfortunately we no longer stock the PowerOak powerbanks, I’d suggest contacting them directly regarding this. Thanks

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