Review: Nitecore NES1200 Power bank for apocalypse (1252.8 Wh, 348000 mAh, 2kW)

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Lumeniac
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Review: Nitecore NES1200 Power bank for apocalypse (1252.8 Wh, 348000 mAh, 2kW)

You definitely have not seen such a super power bank! What about you like the capacity of 348000mah (1250 W*h!) And 2 kW of power output – enough to use a microwave or a powerful angle grinder. All this is Nitecore NES1200, the most powerful power bank in the world. The largest and the most expensive, by the way, too. Interesting? So I`ll show you everything that this portable power plant is capable of.

It is worth noting that 3 years ago I did a review of another, “only” 500 watt power bank by Bosscat. And there was no any other similar model but this model. The situation has changed significantly since then, manufacturers understood how convenient and potentially such devices may be. So now the problem is not to buy, but to choose a good large and powerful power station with a 110\220-volts output. There are bunch of such models. From cheap and low power ~100-watt models for $ 100-150 to the review hero, which with its incredible 2kWt of power output has no rivals on the market nowadays.

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Nitecore NES1200 specifications:
Cell: Li-ion 18650 batteries
Capacity: 1252.8 Wh (21.6 V, 58 Ah) (348000 mAh)

Inputs:
a) DC: 12V-36V, up to 10A (maximum power 180W)
b) USB-C input: 5V 3A / 9V 3A / 12V 3A / 15V 3A / 20V 5A (maximum power 100W per port)

Outputs:
220V version: 2 outputs. 220V~6A 50Hz, pure sine wave, 1200W, 2200W max.
110V version: 2 outputs. 110V~11A 60Hz, pure sine wave, 1200W, 2200W max.
Cigarette lighter power: 1 output. 12V≈10A (max. 120W)
USB-A output: 2 ports. 5V≈3A / 9V≈2A / 12V≈2A / 20V≈1.5A (maximum power 30W per port)
USB-C output: 2 ports. 5V 3A / 9V 3A / 12V 3A / 15V 3A / 20V 5A (max power 100W per port)

Operating temperature: -10~40°C
Size: 317*214*282.5mm
Weight: 10.65 kg

PACKAGE AND DESIGN

I think this is the most reliable package I’ve seen. It is not surprising as Nitecore NES120 contains 120*18650 built-in batteries
There is a thick layer of foam rubber between the shipping and the main boxes.

The box itself is already impressive. Huge, black, with highlight design. It is immediately clear that inside is some expensive branded item.


There is an even thicker layer of foam-rubber inside main box. For those who are planning to buy a Nitecore Nes1200 and are concerned about safety during transportation – I really don`t see any chances to damage this power station. Isolation layer is damn thick. Actually, usually i don`t focus on details like box, but as Nitecore NES1200 is really expensive, potential buyer should know everything.




Besides power station itself, you get a neat black bag with rest of kit: a power supply, a 12v car charger and manual. I think it would be appropriate to add a 100-watt type-C cable as well as it costs almost nothing but will help to charge Nitecore NES1200 way faster.

And here is the hero of the review, monster power bank, portable power station, no matter how you call it. Like other devices of this type, it is made in the form factor of a suitcase with a handle. Black, fairly large and heavy. Let me remind you: the size is 317*214*282.5mm and the weight is 10.65kg.

This is sort of the weight tells you that is the solid device, not sort of toy. And this is also a weight that doesn’t feel like burden. Even a girl can lift and carry it…for some time.
If this power bank was easier, it would be less capacious and powerful.

Nitecore, by the way, has such models in the NES line, but they have rivals at aliexpress. But Nitecore NES1200 is one of a kind. There is nothing similar in terms of capacity and power on the market.
!

The legs are made of some kind of rubberized material, the power bank does not slip.

To give you an idea of ​​the size of this colossal power bank, here is a regular compact 10000 mAh Romoss power bank for comparison


There is a pair of fans at the sides of the Nitecore NES1200.

I tried to get to insides, no success, screws are too deep in the body.
The handle is comfortable and ergonomic.

The front panel looks is really attractive with all these ports, buttons and large backlight display.

Just count, you get pair of 100w PD, 30w QC4 + and 220v output. One standard 12v cigarette lighter socket.

There is absolutely everything you need and in sufficient quantities.

UI
Super simple. 
there are several buttons used to turn on and off corresponding output.

What to expect from Nitecore NES1200

Charging

How to charge Nitecore NES1200? There are several way.

You can charge the Nitecore NES1200 using the main pin connector. In this case, the charging power will be 180 watts and it will take 7 hours to fully charge battery. And this is an exceptionally fast charge for 1252.8 W*h of capacity.

There is also a backup option – to charge via type-C. Here you are limited by the power of your GaN charging. If you are lucky owner of 100w Gan charger (i recommend model by Ugreen)
The charging power on photo has not yet gained the final 100w level, so it shows a little more time, the real figure appears in the video version of the review and you`ll see that in this case it`ll take 11hours to fully charge Nitecore NES1200. Regular nightlong charging.

This is primitive capacity test, this pic shows how much energy got into power station. Of course, real capacity is less. Let me remind you that the declared capacity of Nitecore NES1200 is 1252.8 Wh (21.6V*58 Ah=348000 mAh)

But! But, friends, there is simply a light speed way to charge Nitecore NES1200. This super power station can be simultaneously charged by the main pin and 100w Type-C at the same time! Only 4.5 hours this way. that is incredibly fast charge. Four and a half hours! In most of cases it`ll take you longer to charge a regular 20000mah power bank. And Nitecore NES1200 has almost 20 (!) time more capacity.


Ah, you are traveling in a car, you can also use regular 12v cigarette lighter socket.

Yes, it is worth noting that Nitecore also sells 100w Nitecore FSP100 solar panel to charge this power bank. If your wallet is big enough, you can even buy two and connect them to speed up charging.

Discharge power

According to promo pics, Nitecore NES1200 contains 120*18650 Li-Ion cells , way more than my previous power station Bosscat AY006 with only 56 of them inside.

The reason i finally decided to change 500w power station to something with extraordinary power was 900 watts water pump in my countryhouse. I live in countryhouse most part of year, and usually face energy blackout like once per month. That is not problem in April or October, but no water in summer is a real problem. And as I wanted complete energy autonomy, I got it when bought Nitecore NES1200. Now i can power up any device in my countryhouse with the exception of perhaps a 3 kW heating element in the shower, and welding machine.

And the Nitecore NES1200 gave me exactly what I wanted. Of course, I cannot illustrate the full power of this super-capacious power bank with photographs, but I will outline the main points.

Type-C outputs actually deliver 100 watts. Here, by the way, it is appropriate to note that the display overestimates the readings on the return. Where the tester shows a load of 100 watts, the Nitecore NES1200 display shows 107 watts. When charging, the numbers are quite consistent with reality.


I have only one powerful USB power load, so there is no way to test whether it is possible to get 100 watts at the same time from both Type-C outputs. Be that as it may, honest 100w even from one of them is very good.

The maximum that I could see with the load of both Type-C ports is 100 + 30w. More than decent too.

Of course, there are no complaints about USB-A outputs.

But that’s not the most interesting part, is it? Let’s see what the 220v output is capable of.

So, the simplest test is just to connect a powerful kettle. Voila, everything works. Let me remind you that with the declared 1200 watts of constant power, the Nitecore NES1200 is able to pull out significantly large loads up to 2 kW. So here, in the video, you can make sure that 1800-2000 watts lasts until the water boils.

Arithmetically, 2 kW should be enough for almost 40 minutes, but looks like that you don’t get it when battery charge drop below 30%, then you get “only” 1200 watt. Buy you get these 1200watts until full discharge. And it’s actually a lot. Nes1200 delivers this power for about an hour constantly.

Well, example of a low-power load is a TV.

I’ll zoom in on the display so you can see how much time the Nitecore NES1200 gives in this case. 13 hours!

video review of Nitecore NES1200 contains more interesting things, for example, how a power bank pulls a microwave or an induction stove (I heat a pot of snow there).

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Nitecore NES1200 is the exceptional device in each it`s feature. Size and weight, power, capacity, charging speed and, alas, price. Even taking into account the generous discount that manufacturer offered me, it took me about two months to decide to buy this portable power plant. From the position of the price, Nitecore NES1200 is a product for an extremely small number of frankly wealthy buyers who can afford shelling out one and a half thousand dollars just to get best what you can get, the most powerful power station on the market.

However, let me remind you that Nitecore also has more affordable models with a smaller capacity. If you don’t plan to use a microwave or a pump, my experience of using 500 watts power station is totally positive.

I sold such 500-watt power station that had served me faithfully for several seasons, added some money and bought Nitecore NES1200. And, you know what…I didn’t regret it at all. Sometimes you buy something and then the worm of doubt begins to gnaw at your soul. That didn’t happen to me. From the very beginning, I knew exactly what and why I was buying , I was initially sure that such a super-power bank as Nitecore NES1200 would completely close the issue of energy independence for me.

My refrigerator will not defrost and I will have a filter in the pool working the whole summer day. The pump will pump water and kettle will boil it.

Of course, it would be cheaper to buy a generator. Which will make noise, stink and need gasoline. Thanks’ no. I refuse. You have no energy when you ran out of gasoline. And in case of Nitecore NES1200, if you have solar panel – you always have energy. Having used such a Li-Ion batteries power station. I don’t want to use something else.

I also agree that combination of solar panel + car batteries + inverter also works great. But that is not portable at all. And i like to be able just to pick up power station and put into trunk.

The convenience of the Nitecore NES1200 will be fully manifested in the case of going out into the countryside. Not a hike, of course – Nitecore NES1200 is too heavy. I mean classic camping, hunting or fishing (Nitecore also sell special waterproof version of solar panels). Although, I see little point in dragging civilization along with you in last two cases. .

So, just load Nitecore Nes1200 and solar panels into the trunk. And that’s it. No bulky noisy and smelly generator, no gas canisters. Here, promo pictures depicting a joyful life do not lie.

I think it would be wise to mention the functional cons:

1) The indicator slightly overestimates the displayed power output.
2)Sooner or later, the batteries will die. There is a limit to everything. And here a removable battery pack would be more appropriate. However, this is a very distant prospect. I think you can pay to any local engineer to swap and resolder batteries, that is not a problem.
3) I would prefer that all output connectors were covered with rubber plugs.
4) adding some LED as lightsource to front panel would also be cool and usefull

Henk4U2
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That should be enough you power the ghost trap box in my cabin in the woods.
Just kidding.

More relevant use would be a way to store the energy from privately owned solar cells at times when Dutch grid operators are blocking the feedback by individual customers. Because “the grid is not designed for it and can’t handle the volume”. So on a sunny day, when the yield is max, they (are planning) to shut down the inverters by remote.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

vonroyale
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Wow that is truly impressive. $1200 is pretty painful though.

The Justice
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Jeez, for that price you could make an almost 10 kilowatt pack from raw LiFePO4 cells, and still have some money left over to get a pretty beefy inverter to go with it.

Those boxes are pretty cool, Jackery and Bluetti make similar products too, if DIY isn’t your thing.

Lights: Sofrin: C8f triple w/ LH351D 4k, C8G w/ sst40, D25s w/ SST40. Convoy S2+ w/ SFT40. Thrunite Ti2. Petzl Tikkina. Endless cheap zoomies.

Batteries: Sony VCT6, VCT5D, VCT4, Samsung 30Q, 50E. LG HG2. Eneloops.

Chargers: Miboxer 4 bay rapid, Nitecore 2 bay, a box of crappy ones.

Powerbanks: 10,000mah USB amazon special. Homemade 2.2kw LiFePO4 case w/ solar input.

will34
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With the price of solar batteries dropping like crazy and the portable generator market becoming so competitive it’s hard to justify that amount of money for lithium ion cells with barely a couple hundred cycles when with new lifepo4 tech it’s possible to achieve 5,000+ cycles at 80% and 15 years cell lifespan. Also there wouldn’t be a need for a regulated 12V output if they went with a better chemistry instead.

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will34 wrote:
... new lifepo4 tech ...

Thanks for mentioning this battery chemistry that I was unfamiliar with.

Some quotes from this website:

https://lithiumhub.com/lifepo4-batteries-what-they-are-and-why-theyre-th...

Quote:

...
LiFePO4 is now known as the safest, most stable and most reliable lithium battery.
...
While the LiFePO4 battery isn’t the best for wearable devices like watches (thanks to a lower energy density compared to other lithium-ion batteries), it turns out to be the best by far, for things like solar energy systems, RVs, golf carts, bass boats, electric motorcycles and similar applications.
...
LiFePO4 batteries can not only reach 3,000-5,000 cycles or more, they can reach 100% depth of discharge (DOD). Why does that matter? Because that means, with LiFePO4 (unlike other batteries) you don’t have to worry about over discharging your battery.
...
LiFePO4 batteries are the safest of the lithium batteries, because they will not catch fire, and won’t even overheat. Even if you puncture the battery it will not catch fire.
...
LiFePO4 batteries are usually more expensive on the front end, but cheaper long term because they last so long.
...

Also, thanks to Lumeniac for another interesting and informative review.

How many flashlights does a "real man" need?

None, real men are not afraid of the dark.

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Wow that’s really impressive! Thanks for the review!

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Thanks for the review!

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“You definitely have not seen such a super power bank!”

LOL that’s not a big one by any means.

Beyond that, this price-wise is approximately in line with a goalzero solar generator. It looks okay but for apocalyptic or off grid uses I’d rather have one that is designed with solar in mind. Looks decent overall though. Thanks for the review, however you did not mention whether it was provided for review by nitecore or if you purchased this yourself.

PhantomPhoton on CPF; reddit.com/r/flashlights; LPF
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3) Have a KISS interface: no scrolling through blinky modes

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The Justice wrote:
Jeez, for that price you could make an almost 10 kilowatt pack from raw LiFePO4 cells, and still have some money left over to get a pretty beefy inverter to go with it.

Those boxes are pretty cool, Jackery and Bluetti make similar products too, if DIY isn’t your thing.

That’s, what, about 850Ah 12v lifep04 battery? I can’t see much cost savings, if any. Am I miscalculating?

Lumeniac
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in between...Nitecore offered me discount for review. even with discount price was really high and it took me a couple of months to open my wallet. i wouldn`t buy for the whole price. but that is only matter of income. there are bunch of people who can buy new Nitecore Nes 1200 after previous one discharged.    

 

funny thing is that now i would like to get something more capacious. though i don`t really need. 

there is good russian phrase about it : "best is an enemy of good". 

it is the same as with flashlights. u get 1000 lumens and say WOW! then after several day you understand that you really need 2000 lumens.

and this just repeats over and over -)

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It looks good but Jackery and Bluetti offer similar and superior size banks, and you can get double the size from the latter

The Journal of Alternative Facts

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Perception
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I like the idea, but there’s about 1500 companies that make these now. The limiting factor for all of them is price. Regardless of brand, they all cost ~$1 US per WH of capacity. I would love to get one, but they’re going to need to be about half that before I even begin to consider one.

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i hope that`s just matter of time. new chemistry also would help

2kwt\1500watt*hours power station, with like 1000 discharge cycles and price of 1000usd would be damn good purchase...

pcunite
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What is the difference between the NES and NPS versions of the Nitecore power banks? Just 18650 vs 21700? Like the NES500 vs the NPS600 for example.

Lumeniac
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exactly. i seen only 21700 as main difference (besides power and capacity)

they both are Li-Ion

 

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No competitors is a bit of a stretch, this maker for example seems like a direct competitor, with possibly better solar charging capabilities Anker 757 PowerHouse

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Not really. The Anker one is 2x heavier.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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Fair enough, wasn’t trying to say one is better than the other, just that it hardly without peers. I didn’t see how light it was, which is impressive. The Anker otoh is rated for 3000 charge/discharge cycles and uses LiFePO4 cells.

Both seem extremely impressive and pricey, and I’m sure Jackery and others offer their own take on this idea. Very cool to see these massive battery banks becoming available. I hope we see whole house batteries becoming smaller and more affordable too.

Edit: I was also really referring to the claims that there was nothing else on the market with this sort of capacity and output power. That is clearly not the case, but this is bringing its own advantages and disadvantages to the table. Looks like a very impressive piece of kit.

BlueSwordM
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Anyway, I do believe Nitecore should charge cells up to 4.15V rather than 4.20V.

That would barely reduce the capacity and boost cycle life from 500 to 800 cycles.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

MonkeyLight
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Something similar with expandable capacity.

https://www.ecoflow.com/us

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I really hope Nitecore comes out with a LiFePO4 based version. I think for the price, that LiFePO4 is really competitive. Is there a technical reason to prefer 18650/21700 cells over LiFePO4 in this type of application?

BlueSwordM
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A massive difference in energy density.

Best thing is that depending on which 21700 they are using, they could be getting 800-1000 cycles.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547