Updated: December 22, 2020

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator Review

by Charles Jasper

Product Overview

The Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator is a generator that runs on solar power. This means that it can be charged wherever the sun is shining. Not to mention this unit is ultra-light and uses a durable handle so you can carry it anywhere from your backyard to your campsite.

A portable generator like this is capable of charging devices like smartphones and laptops and comes at a price point that makes it an accessible emergency preparedness item for anyone.

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
  • 17. 1Ah li-ion(neck) Battery
  • 20W Mono-crystalline Solar panels
  • 110 Volts
  • Equipped with a PV terminal
  • 12.8 pounds weight

Who Can Use a Portable Generator?

Different portable generators are useful for different applications depending on the amount of output power they can handle.

In general there are a few main applications for the portable generator for which they are most useful tools:

  • Outdoor use: take a portable generator anywhere you won’t have access to power outlets to ensure you’re able to charge your devices and power small electric appliances like camp stoves or coffee makers. Whoever said you have to rough it to go camping has never used a portable generator!
  • Emergency prepping: store a fully charged portable generator with your other emergency items so you use it case of an earthquake, hurricane or any other situation where you find yourself without power. Buy one for yourself and one for your kids or elderly relatives so you know everyone you love will have a way to contact you in the event of an emergency that leaves them without phone power.
  • Road trips: you don’t have to be camping or hiking to enjoy the benefits that a portable generator provides. If you’re taking the family on a road trip and don’t want to have to fight over who uses the car charger so the kids can keep busy on their tablets or phones, a portable generator offers a fantastic solution.

Portable Generator Information

Renogy, the brand behind the Phoenix Portable Generator, started out as a student project as Louisiana State University. With the help of advisors at Louisiana Business and Technology Center it grew from a simple project to a company that uses solar powered products to offer unique new solutions to everyday consumer problems.

It is easy to see why Renogy has been such a successful consumer brand when you take a closer look at their Phoenix Portable Generator. It features Rangy 20 watt Mono-crystalline solar panels but can be expanded to use up to 100 watts of solar power with additional paves.

While other portable generators offer solar charging but require you to purchase extra equipment in order to use that functionality, the Renogy Phoenix comes with the ability to use solar panels, AC power or 12 volt car power for amazing versatility in charging for unlimited power.

How to Charge the Phoenix using Solar Panels

If you’re using the solar panels that come included with the Renogy Phoenix, charging the solar panels is as easy as propping open the lid of the generator. You’ll see the panels are inset on the top side of the briefcase like design.

Position the panels so they’re facing the sun. The brighter the sun is, the faster you’ll experience charging. Remember to move the solar panels as the sun moves so the unit doesn’t sit in the shade or partial shade. You’ll notice that on a cloudy day the generator will take longer to charge.

If you’ve purchased the expandable solar panel kit, plug these into the included PV terminal and ensure that the whole unit (the extra panels as well as the panel set into the generator) are positioned well to get maximum power from the sun.

Pros

  • Lightweight and built into an easy to carry briefcase style container for maximum portability.
  • Includes a 17. 1Ah li-ion (neck) battery.
  • Capable of a maximum of 150 watts of continuous output power so you can power appliances like televisions for an extended time frame.
  • Includes a variety of cables and adaptors for easy charging of multiple devices.
  • Internal fan to promote cooling during charging.
  • Built in multi-mode LED flashlight for outdoor use would also come in handy if needed during a power outage or other emergency.
  • MPPT charging easily converts DC output from solar panels to consumable voltage for charging the battery unit.
  • Full charge in 10 hours with the included panel or in as little as 2.5 hours with a 100 watt solar panel.
  • Comes with a 5 year warranty on the solar panels.

Cons

  • Charging capacity isn’t strong enough to power larger appliances for more than an hour.
  • Slow charging from car charger extension.
  • The additional solar panels are a necessity for most users so expect to order those as well to benefit from the full functionality of the Phoenix.
  • The Phoenix may overheat if left in high temperatures. This is likely to happen when you are using the solar panels to charge the device. Be sure to monitor the heat using the temperature indicator that’s included with the product.

Summary

The Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator is a fantastic choice as an all in one, portable solar generator for everyday charging or emergency situations. The price point makes it an affordable product for anyone who likes the idea of having access to a charging station in the outdoors or during a power outage. It is charging capabilities don’t extend to larger appliances but for smartphones, laptops and cameras it is a great source of portable power.