REVIEW: Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Pros & Cons
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The Lion Safari ME solar generator is one of the most exciting and versatile solar-powered generators on the market today. From Lion Safari, a company successfully dipping its toes into many solar niches, the ME is a great portable source of continuous power for recreation, emergencies, and off-grid living.
Over the past few months, this solar generator has gained a lot of interest, especially the complete solar generator kit, the Lion Safari ME Gold kit, which includes everything you need to begin producing and using massive amounts of solar power. To give our readers a closer look at this high-powered solar generator, we put together this in-depth article to explore the pros, cons, and small details of the Lion Safari ME solar generator.
History of Lion Energy Solar Generators
If you’ve been shopping around for the perfect solar generator, then you may already be familiar with Lion Energy. Lion Energy is an American company out of Utah producing high-quality solar energy products for about two decades.
The Lion Safari ME is much larger and more capable than most of the company's products which are lightweight, stealthy, and reliable. Despite their small size and price tag, compact generators such as the Lion Cub GO and the Lion Safari LT are still extremely capable of producing, transporting, and using clean, renewable energy, anywhere in the world.
Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Features
When we say that Lithe Lion Safari ME is the company’s most capable product, we mean it. The ME efficiently powers large amounts of appliances and takes in tons of solar power to recharge one of the highest quality lithium batteries on the market.
Lion Energy joins a club of modular solar generators that allows you to stack and swap batteries for an unlimited source of power. With fast charging and a long shelf and cycle life (2000+), the Lion Safari ME is a perfect backup or continuous source of electricity.
The biggest reason people love the Safari ME solar generator is it can power almost anything. The 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter is among the highest capacity on the market, making it ideal for powering high-demand appliances or many electronic devices at once.
It also has a 4,000-watt surge, so it handles things like pumps, full-size fridges, freezers, and more, no problem!
Components of the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator
The Lion Safari ME comes in two parts, the main unit, and the ME battery expansion. It's incredibly easy to transport the device alone or with an extra storage capacity bank for when you need more electricity.
As a package, the Lion Safari ME Includes:
- A built-in 922 Wh lithium battery, with a 2048 Wh expansion
- 2000W continuous / 4000W surge pure sine inverter
- 2 AC (standard wall plugs) outlets
- 2 USB-A & 2 USB-C outlets
- 1 12V DC (car cigarette lighter) outlet
- A built-in MPPT charge controller
- And a clear display screen
The Safari ME solar generator base unit weighs just 45.5 pounds. Although this is much heavier than its smaller products, it is still very light for its size. In a pinch, you can carry the ME to an emergency to power high-capacity equipment or appliances.
Of course, the included expansion battery also weighs 44 pounds, making the entire package a little less portable. However, with an extra set of hands (or a vehicle), the Lion Safari ME is still a great portable power solution.
Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Charging Capabilities
You can charge the Lion Safari ME with AC power through an ordinary wall plug or DC power from solar panels. You cannot charge it with your car, but you cannot deny the efficiency of the two available charging methods.
Plugged into the wall at home, the ME’s main battery charges in one hour and 23 minutes, with the massive expansion pack charging in as little as three hours. Likewise, the ME’s batteries charges in one hour and 35 minutes (the main unit) and three hours and 30 minutes (expansion) with solar panels in ideal sunlight conditions.
The Lion Safari ME includes a 585W MPPT charge controller that handles over 600W of solar input. With this in mind, it is very easy to achieve continuous power with 400W or 500W of portable or permanent solar power input.
What Can the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Power?
The 2000W continuous/4000W surge pure sine inverter is perhaps the most notable feature of the Lion Safari ME. With 2000W of continuous power, you can charge and power practically everything found in a home or RV.
On top of that, the 4000W inverter handles massive short-term loads, like the moment an AC unit kicks on.
Watch The Lion Safari ME Power Full Size Fridge/Freezer:
With the expansion battery, the Lion Safari ME can power the following and more:
- Full-Size Fridge (150W) - 20+ Hours
- Phone Charger (5W) - Charge up to 200+ times
- Laptop Charger (56W) - Charge up to 50+ times
- 55" LCD T.V (75W) - 38+ Hours
- LED Reading Lamp (4W) - 720+ Hours
- Hot Plate (500W) - 5.8+ Hours
Can You Use the Safari ME with a Home Transfer Switch or 30A RV Plug?
Yes, you can. The ME has a big enough inverter to handle this sort of usage. However, since it has 2 x 15A 110V plugs, you need a. 30A to 15A plug adapter that plugs directly into the ME. See the picture below for how one customer set this up:
Pros of the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator
Modular Battery Design & Technology
Perhaps the most critical aspect of the Lion Safari ME’s design is its modular expandable ability. With a detachable massive storage bank, the Safari ME has the dual capability of providing massive amounts of power and remaining a truly portable solution.
In a way, we feel as if the ME may be the ideal device for vans, RVs, and campers. While you can keep as many expandable batteries as possible in storage, the ability to detach the main device and power electronics in campsites and other remote locations makes the ME extremely versatile.
Beyond this, the massive battery bank is great for keeping large amounts of electricity on-hand in an off-grid cabin or as an emergency backup for a regular home. The battery’s impressive shelf-life means you always have storage on hand as the lithium technology retains battery charges for up to a year.
On top of that, the expandable battery has an incredible cycle life of over 3,500 full charges. Compared to cheaper options, this battery pays for itself and more with years and years of possible daily use. With this in mind, you won't have to worry about replacing your batteries anytime soon.
One of the biggest things people notice on the Safari ME solar generator is the long cycle life. Cycle life is basically the number of times you can charge and deplete the unit before it starts to lose efficiency. A good analogy is like your phone battery after two to three years but on a much bigger scale.
The Safari ME solar generator base unit has a 2,000 cycle life, and the expansion battery has 3,500. Compared to something like a Goal Zero Yeti with 500 cycles, it’s easy to see why the Safari ME is so popular! When you’re investing this much money, you want to invest in something that will LAST!
Huge, High-Powered Inverter (Output)
Next, the large storage capacity of the Lion Safari ME matches its equally impressive inverter. With 2000W of continuous power, the ME packs a punch with one of the largest portable inverters on the market today.
If you’re not up to snuff with your technical electric jargon, the key takeaway here is that the ME can power just about anything. Although it is limited, with only two AC outlets, one DC outlet, and four USB outlets, you can use all of the ME’s plug options at the same time without overpowering the device.
With 4000W of surge protection, the ME handles large loads, like when your fridge, air conditioner, or other high-powered device has a high electricity demand on startup. For homes, RVs, workstations, and more, the Lion Safari ME powers nearly anything that you can plug into a socket.
Watch as one YouTuber runs his entire house off of the Safari ME Solar Generator:
Fast Solar AND AC Charging Times
Lastly, the Lion Safari ME’s fast solar charging makes it possible to generate and continuously use solar electricity in a highly efficient way. The device is standard with an MPPT charge controller capable of handling up to 600W of continuous solar power.
In ideal circumstances, the ME’s built-in storage and the massive expandable battery charge in as little as seven to nine hours. This period may seem like a long time, there are many solar generators on the market today that charge batteries with half of the capacity in twice the amount of time.
Although its AC charge time is equally impressive, the efficiency of the ME’s solar charging makes it possible to use this device as a reliable and continuous off-grid source of power for camping, cabins, festivals, emergency relief, and so much more.
Cons of the Lion Safari ME
Limited Output Options
Despite all of its advantages, the Lion Safari ME is not perfect, and the limited amount of output options is perhaps the most obvious drawback of the device. While other high-powered solar generators have as many as six AC outlets, the ME only has two. The same goes for DC outlets, as there is only one included on the Lion Safari ME.
We fear that a 2000W inverter is almost too powerful for its own good knowing that the capacity is tough to reach while only powering a few appliances and devices. If you want to run an entire home, you may find that the lack of plugs on this device is a bit inconvenient.
No Car Charging
Secondly, it is important to note that the Lion Safari ME does not come with a car charger. Although this is not critical for many people who choose to power their generators at home or with solar, the lack of DC car charging is tough for some to ignore.
We still think this is a great device for van lifers and full-time RV dwellers, long periods of cloudy days may leave you wishing that you could charge this device while driving your car.
What Makes the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Different? - Key Takeaways & Comparison
To get a better idea of how the Lion Safari ME stacks up against other high-powered solar generators, let’s look at the raw numbers of its features compared to other popular devices.
First, let’s examine the differences between the Lion Safari ME and the companies previously mentioned Lion Cub Go:
- Battery: 2,970 Wh vs 120Wh
- Inverter: 2000 W vs 150W
- AC outlets: 2 vs 1
- Weight: 45.5+ lbs vs 3 lbs.
- Charging Cycles: 2,500 (3,500 for extra battery) vs 1,000+
Obviously, Lion Energy has upped its game with the ME, but how does it compare to other high-powered devices? Here, you can see the Lion Safari ME solar generator vs. the Yeti Goal Zero 3000X:
- Battery: 2,970 Wh vs 3032Wh
- Inverter: 2000 W vs 2000W
- AC outlets: 2 vs 2
- Shelf Life: 1 Year vs 3-6 months
- Charging Cycles: 2,500 (3,500 for extra battery) vs 500
The Yeti 3000X is a very similar device with a nearly equal battery and inverter capacities. However, what sticks out the most is the number of charging cycles you can expect from both devices.
With over 2000 more battery life cycles, the Lion Safari ME delivers a far superior return on investment over the Yeti 3000X.
Ultimately, yes, we strongly believe that the Lion Safari ME solar generator is worth it for an emergency backup source of power and individuals looking for large amounts of continuous renewable energy.
With the Lion Safari ME Gold kit, you can quickly get up and running with your own power station for emergencies or even just your next camping trip. To learn more about the Lion Safari ME solar generator, feel free to check out our dedicated product page here.
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