Duracell Powerpack 600

Last Edit: June 22, 2008

I'm looking for a battery that can be used in this situation:

  • grid power is on for less than 24 hours a day
  • can be charged in 12 hours or less
  • can supply power to a light and/or a laptop computer for several hours
  • can be plugged into a solar or wind system

The Duracell Powerpack 600 meets some of these requirements, but not all of them. For instance, the battery can be plugged into any renewable power system that provides 120 volts of alternating current or into the grid when it is on. It can also power a 20W  laptop for 7 hours or a 5W DC LED light for 50 hours (see the chart below) because it has both AC receptacles and 12V DC.

But the where the Powerpack 600 falls down is that it takes (according to the Owner's Manual) 35 hours to recharge from a completely discharged state. That means that if the grid is up for only 12 or 18 hours a day you won't get a fully charged battery before you need it again. I've just received mine and haven't completed the first charge yet, so I can't confirm this.

The output power is:

  • Continuous output power — 480W
  • Five minute AC output power — 600W
  • Peak AC output surge capacity — 960W

More technical specs are in the datasheet and Owner's Guide.

 

It does seem well designed and reasonably-well constructed. It has a 5W incandescent light and an AM/FM radio. It ships with jumper cables, an AC charger and a DC charge cable with a lighter plug on both ends so the unit can be charged while driving your car.

The Owner's Guide includes instructions on how to charge the battery via a solar panel, which takes about 10 hours in full sun with a 30W panel. 

Bottom Line: Despite its long recharge time, at least one of these is definitely worth having for when the grid becomes unreliable. With a low retail price and wide versatility, the long recharge time is the only significant drawback.

 

 

Datasheet (1.9MB PDF)

Owner's Guide (1.3 PDF)

Important bits from the Owner's Guide:

AC Appliances and Runtimes

AC-Powered Product Watts Run time
Cordless Telephone 5 35 hr
Portable stereo 10 22 hr
Laptop computer 20 7 hr
Fan 100 1 hr 42 min
36" TV 133 1 hr 12 min
3/8" Drill 300 23 min
Warm-air fan heater 312 21 min
Blender 385 17 min
HID floodlights 400 16 min

 

 

12V DC Appliances and Runtimes

12V DC-Powered Product Watts Run time
5W incandescent light (built into the unit) 5 50 hr
Cellular telephone 6 41 hr
Portable cooler 30 7 hr

 

Warnings on page page vi:
"The output of the inverter is non-sinusoidal.

Most rechargeable battery-operated equipment uses a separate charger or transformer that is plugged into an AC receptacle and produces a low voltage charging output. Some chargers for rechargeable batteries can be damaged if connected to the Duracell® Powerpack.

Do not use the following with the Duracell® Powerpack:

• Small battery-operated appliances like flashlights, razors, and night lights that can be plugged directly into an AC receptacle to recharge.

• Some chargers for battery packs used in hand power tools. These chargers display a warning label stating that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals.

Note: If you are unsure about using your rechargeable appliance with the Duracell® Powerpack, contact the equipment manufacturer to determine the rechargeable appliance’s compatibility with the modified sine wave (non-sinusoidal) AC waveform."