In this post I'm going to show you how you can charge your EcoFlow Delta Max Power Station as much as 10x faster while your driving.
One of the major selling points of the EcoFlow Delta Max Power Station is it's fast AC charging capability.
It is so fast in fact that the EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 model with its 2016Wh capacity can accept up to 2000 watts of AC power to charge from empty to full in under 2 hours.
Great news if you have access to a 240 volt AC power outlet.
However . . . the problem for us adventure travellers who tend to move camp often and therefore need to charge the system while driving, is that charging the EcoFlow Delta Max from the cigarette lighter socket in the vehicle is extremely slow.
This is due to the cigarette lighter socket outlet in vehicles being limited to around 100 watts of output.
That's a long way from the EcoFlow Delta Max's capacity to accept up to 2000 watts.
At that rate it would likely take over 20 hours of driving to recharge the 2016Wh system . . . not a great option.
The good news is . . . I found a solution.
If you've been following our YouTube channel then you may have seen a series of videos we posted over the past 12 months or so putting the EcoFlow Delta Max through it's paces and ultimately finding and field testing the fast charging solution.
I'll embed the videos this post as we go so you can watch them and see the whole process:
PART 1 - Unboxing and load testing the EcoFlow Delta Max 2000
In this first video I introduce you to the EcoFlow Delta Max and put it through it's paces to see exactly what it is capable of powering including a microwave oven, induction cook top & kettle.
I also unpack the 400 watt portable solar panel that came with the system and we see how that works.
PART 2 - Field Testing The EcoFlow Delta Max 2000
In the second video in the series I take the EcoFlow Delta Max and the solar panel out on a weekend camping trip to test it in the real world.
I'm considering using this as my main power source for future road trips so I need to be sure it is going to have enough grunt and capacity to get the job done.
Driving back from this trip I plugged the system into the cigarette lighter socket to test the in-car charging and soon realised that charging while driving was extremely slow, and would be a potential deal breaker for the the type of trips I like to do . . usually staying only one or maximum two nights before moving to the next destination.
Charging while driving would be the main source for topping up the EcoFlow Delta Max day to day so I needed to solve this problem.
PART 3 - Fast Charging While Driving Using An Inverter
After digging around looking for potential solutions and reading some great suggestions from viewers in the comments on the last video, a few options for fast charging while driving were considered.
The one I liked the most due to it's simplicity and relatively low cost, was to install an AC inverter in the Landcruiser that could convert the alternators high amperage DC current into 240V AC power and therefore take advantage of the EcoFlow Delta Max's fast AC charging capability.
I chose the Renogy 1000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter due to Renogy's reputation for quality products and it's relatively low price (under $200).
The alternator on an older diesel engine like the 1HD-T in my 80 Series Landcruiser doesn't have much work to do after topping up the main starter battery after starting the engine so there is plenty of excess power available that we can tap into.
One of the great features of the EcoFlow Delta Max is that you can dial up or down (using the EcoFlow smartphone app) the amount of AC power that the system draws from the AC power source.
You can choose to pull the full 2000 watts if it is available eg. from mains power at home, OR you can dial it down as low as 100 watts in 100 watt increments.
I chose The Renogy 1000 watt inverter as I didn't want to overload the Landcruiser's alternator and 1000 watts is still 10x more power than the meagre 100 watts from the cigarette lighter socket.
But the best part is that I can adjust the settings on the EcoFlow to pull 900 watts, 800 watts, 700 watts etc. until I find a good balance of draw from the alternator VS charging speed of the EcoFlow.
As you'll see later on, this is very handy as 1000 watts turned out to be too much for my alternator to deliver.
DISCLAIMER - At this point I want to clarify that I'm not an auto electrician and I'm not going to get deep into the weeds with specs and numbers because I'm no expert. I chose this solution because it is simple and scalable and within my amateur level capabilities. I'd highly recommend that if you're thinking about doing something similar, go and talk to an auto sparky and get some professional advice.
PART 4 - Installing The 1000 Watt Renogy Inverter
In this video I take you step by step though the installation of the 1000 Watt Renogy Inverter in the back of my Landcruiser including running the cables, attaching cable lugs and more.
While every vehicle is different, you should get enough info from this video to give you a good start with your own installation.
PART 5 - Road Trip Charging Test
In the final video in the series I take the whole system out along with Buddy (our Dalmatian) on a 3 night camping trip to field test everything and put it through its paces.
We move camp every night and use the induction cooktop for cooking food, boiling water etc.
In other words it's a real world test for the types of trips I like to do.
Ultimately I found that by setting the EcoFlow Delta Max to draw 800 watts from the inverter it was too high a load for the vehicles alternator.
It still worked and it did fast charge the Delta Max as expected, but the inverter beeped sporadically to let me know it was not getting enough power from the alternator.
I tested a lower setting and dialled down the EcoFlow Delta Max to draw only 600 watts from the inverter and the problem was solved.
I was still charging the EcoFlow Delta Max 6x faster than from the cigarette lighter socket and at the same time not overly taxing the vehicles alternator.
The beauty of this system is that it is adjustable so you can fine tune it for your vehicles capabilities.
In the future I might choose to install a higher output alternator and could then potentially increase the draw from the Renogy 1000 watt Inverter up to 800, 900 or even 1000 watts.
However there is no real pressure to do this. I found that in less than 2 hours of driving from one camp to the next, a short distance compared to most trips, I recharged the EcoFlow Delta max from around 30% capacity to 85% capacity - more than enough for the next nights camping.
And when I get home I just plug it back into the AC outlet and fully charge it to 100%.
Actually, when I'm not on road trips I use the EcoFlow Delta Max as a backup power supply for my NBN Internet and WIFI systems in our house so it is always kept at 100% and will keep the NBN and WIFI running for over 16 hours in the event of a power failure.
But that's another story!
The EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 along with the Renogy 100 Watt Inverter charging system has proven itself to be a good power solution for the road trips that I like to do and will continue to be used in our Landcruiser on future trips.
At some stage I plan to install some solar panels on the roof of the vehicle and these will add more charging options to the system so even when at camp the system will be charging from the sunshine above and just get a boost from the inverter when I'm driving.
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