I want to share our use case and my first impression of the AC500 (limited at this point) and compare it a bit with the AC300.
First and foremost I have been very happy thus far with the AC500 given our use. While I have have been critical to some extent of both units and Bluetti, of which those criticisms still stand, it seems the AC500 off the shelf is already more solid than the AC300.
First, here is our use case. We are fulltime RVers who decided to travel the country, work remotely and rely on consistent power throughout the RV on a regular basis. Our rig is a Class A motorhome running on 240v 50a.
Working with Bluetti support has been great. They are typically responsive and helpful. Any questions I’ve had are usually answered within a day and responses are usually in by the time I wake up. From what I can tell, primary support is in China, so you have to account for the time difference in your expected response time.
The surge times are not great on either unit and pale in comparison to other inverters (I’ve posted this a few times in the last couple months). Having even moderately better surge times can make a huge difference. The lack of surge time was very prevalent on the AC300 where the same items work on a 25 amp circuit.
The 30 and 50 amp receptacles are great for plugging an RV into the Bluetti conveniently, but they aren’t true 30 and 50 amp circuits; in the US anyway. (See specific info on each unit review below)
The AC500 has been able to handle almost everything I’ve thrown at it. When it has tripped, the only complaint I (still) have, has been due to the subpar surge times, specifically in the slight overload window. Similar to the AC300, the AC500 barely gets by a few seconds to their stated 2 minute surge on a resistive load. I was well under under the top wattage range of the 2 minutes threshold when it tripped.
This unit has been able to handle any other surge thrown at it thus far. I can start a 15k BTU AC/Heatpump and 12K BTU AC separately (I haven’t tried running them together as I ultimately won’t need to). This is a bit confusing to me since the 2 minute slight overload surge claim has already shown some weakness. But it works for inductive loads and I’ll take that as a win.
The WiFi has been solid
The Bluetooth range is way better, but still has trouble where we have it located.
The 30 amp RV plug is STILL only 25 amps in the US (120v x 25a = 3,000 watts). Even with a 5000 inverter, you can’t get 3600 watts out of the 30a receptacle without tripping the AC500. This was a bit disappointing, but I was able to create my own adapter to split the single 50 amp hot from the Bluetti (See below) and get the full 5000 watts to my RV.
Solid inverter up to 3000 watts, but only 3000 watts. It works fantastic up to 3000 watts. I wouldn’t depend on the surge and have the same complaint as the AC500 on the slight overload range as mentioned above. Larger surges from inductive loads, which always worked on a regular 25 amp circuit, occasionally worked but were inconsistent and ultimately required 3rd party equipment to work consistently (Lookup SoftStartUP to use an A/C with the AC300 if you’re having trouble).
I had to RMA my first unit due to a common error that others had. It seems firmware fixed the problem.
The Wifi/Bluetooth module were finicky. WiFi was extremely inconsistent. Bluetooth range was weak.
The 30 amp RV plug is really only 25 amps in the US (120v x 25a = 3,000 watts). It is only 30a at 100v.
More of our use case
We purchased two AC500 units with the intention of combining them for a full 240v system, which will be slightly under 50 amps giving us 10,000 watts per leg. The missing 1,000 watts on each leg from a true 50 amp should go unnoticed.
Until we have all of the equipment in hand, which will be closer to December, only one AC500 is usable and our B300 batteries originally paired with our AC300 are unusable, otherwise we’ll have 12kwh of off grid electricity to use all said and done! I’d love to DYI tying the two inverters together, but can honestly say I have NO idea how to handle neutrals coming from two different power sources and don’t want to void any warranty. I’ll leave that to the experts and wait until their equipment comes in.
In the meantime, in order to power both legs of our RV with a current maximum of 5000 watts (10k surge), I created a cord that splits the single 120v hot coming out of the inverter to power both legs of the RV. Since everything in our (and most) RVs are 120v, we don’t need to worry about 240v to any applicances. This is no different than a 30 to 50 amp dog bone that many RVers need when they are stuck at a 30amp site and likely already use with an AC300 or AC500!
Awesome review! Just got my AC500 yesterday and am loving it so far. Lots to learn as I’m coming from a much simpler AC200P with an auxiliary B300 battery which will be added to the AC500 when the adapter cords are sent.
Good review, I guess most people that are getting early AC-500s are also getting B300S’s (with the P100cable). Since I have an AC-300 and four B-300 batteries, they have the P090D cable and it wasn’t clear to me that I had to purchase TWO P100D to P090D cables separately from the unit. They are 100 bucks each, so $200 extra to make my system work (still I “think” a good deal because I got the early price on the AC-500).
The problem now is just waiting for cables and my worry is that I can’t test the AC-500 and at least see if it is DOA or working until I get those cables. I hope I get them before a warranty period runs out on the AC-500 brick.
Will report back and I am going to specifically test the stability and power quality nearing 5000 Watts ( I have a separate power analyzer to look at voltage and frequency). I need it to be clean because I am running audio gear on it. If anyone has analyzed this already I’d love to hear about it.
In order to use this product one must be able to buy this product. No response from Indiegogo, no response to phone messages left, no response to emails. I am at a loss to understand how they sell a product one cannot process a purchase for!
Hi @MamaBear80, I don’t work for either Bluetti or Indiegogo, so I’m not sure how much I can help. I just went to Indiegogo and have no trouble trying to purchase another unit.
If you go to the campaign you should see “Select an Option” with a scroll bar that gives you a list of all the remaining purchase options. Find the option you want and click on “Get this Perk”. You should get a popup that allow you to select the correct unit based on your country.
After selecting the right unit go to the bottom of the popup and click “Continue to Payment”
I hope that helps . Otherwise, I’m not sure what the problem would be.
Just a note about AC500 and B300 batteries. You can use your B300’s as long as you purchase the Indiegogo campaign $99 P150D to P090D cable. Also, only four B300’s can be used with each AC500 as compared to the six you can use with the AC500/B300S’s. Looking to do the same with our two AC500’s as soon as Bluetti can make a Fusion type box/setup for the FULL 50a instead of what they offer now as just 30a.
I have an open support email I’ve been going back and forth with them on the 50A/240V. I’ll let you know what I find out.
On the Indiegogo campaign they do have the AC500 Power Suite in the Choose Add-ons According To Your Needs section. I am waiting on confirmation from them that this will properly handle the neutrals like the AC300 Fusion Box does as it is advertised to work for split phase. I missed this option but have since ordered it (It’s a bit pricy but if it does the job then I’ll keep it)
However, they also referred me to the AC300 Fusion Box twice now and not the AC500 Power Suite which concerns me and is why I’m looking for confirmation. If the AC300 Fusion Box is the only 240v option it defeats the purpose of me upgrading to two AC500 units. The last time I spoke to support on this they indicated they have no plan to create a model of the fusion box for 50A.
Well that stinks! It will not be acceptable to my needs and Bluetti will hear about it! They make a 50a, 5000w unit and you can’t use it for what it’s made for! May need to get some input from the crowd on this one!
Thank you for reaching out. I had done all you suggested…several times over several days. The Indiegogo God’s must have appreciated my sacrifice and diligence…doing the same thing for the 3rd day multiple times worked. Kind of. Still trying to get a couple of items that don’t want to populate. Oh well! Will continue!
Again, thank you do much for reaching out. This is my first experience with Indiegogo…!
I saw that information at the Indiegogo page, where the P030A Fusion Box Pro for the AC500 will only work at 30 A or 7.2 kW for a 240 VAC Split Phase installation. See the Bluetti YouTube informational video here:
For a true 240 VAC, 42 A or 10 kW application, the solution is to rewire the cabling for 50 A and replace the L14-30R for a 50 A version. Either wait for Bluetti/PowerOak to design and produce it (maybe renamed as a P050A) or someone to do it by himself. The Fusion Box has a special circuit to measure and determine correct phasing before activating and illuminating its two LEDs near the base. So it does not depend on the current amount flowing inside it. Someone can do a reverse engineering job and build his own.
The lack of a 50 A Fusion Box is the reason why many home owners will not buy or invest in the AC500 units, including myself. Only stand alone 120 VAC applications will use this new system with 5 kW of power.
I’m a little behind on responding to my post with Bluetti’s response to me the other day (which I promised @DuAlac22) .
They are telling me the AC500 Power Suite, which is available on AC500 Indiegogo campaign, will work and gave me the schematic below. This setup would put the two inverters in a parallel master/slave situation, which I’ve read up on how to do this with other inverter brands where two neutrals are involved.
My understanding is that the communication cable in conjunction with the master/slave mode will help deal with the neutral issue I’m concerned about (based on reading other forums I mentioned for other manufacturers, not directly from Bluetti).
After a little back and forth, this is what support ultimately responded with. My only concern with this is the fact that the two neutrals are being combined, but seems like it is okay. Otherwise, the AC500 Power Suite is a complete waste of money and not sure why they are selling it.
What are your thoughts? Any insight is appreciated! (Note: If you look a the AC500 Power Suite, all of the pieces included in the diagram are included in that kit)
"If you already have NEMASS2-50 and NEMA14-50, you don’t need the P030A, the connection diagram of two AC500 double live wires is shown below, then you can achieve out 240/50A in this way, as you can see in the picture, 2 AC500 neutral will connects through AC500 split-phase input cable. "
So they managed to recreate the original AC300 Split Phase operation just with the communications cable and a AC500 Split Phase cable. They must have solved the phasing directly with software between the two AC500 units. If the AC300 could be upgraded with the same software, the P030A Fusion Box can be eliminated, too. The wiring part of that cable is simple, just use the “X” contact for the master unit line, the “Y” contact for the slave unit line, then connect both “N” lines together, and both “G” lines together. I might have to do some investigation in the P030A Fusion Box to verify if the phasing is done between the AC300 units, and not needing the Fusion Box at all to work!
The SS2-50 box is drawn as an receptable, but that is against the NEC code, which defines the outlet (female) as the supplier of power and the plug (male) as the load (the NEMA L14-50 is correctly drawn). I will find what really works later on.
So, first off, THANK YOU for getting this information “pulled out” of Bluetti, as I have not gotten the same response! They just tell me to use the 30a Fusion Box and “NO” there will not be a 50a version! Next - the diagram you show here from Bluetti is just cables, so where can I get these (yes of course I can make them!, but would want the “approved solution” from said company of course!)? Finally,with what is shown I could connect the input 50a(3) to the RV park 50a plug (pedestal) and then connect the split cable output (4) to the RV connection and be done with it! Of course there is a logistics problem of unit placement and cable length, but in my mind(dangerous - mind that is:grin:) what I’m looking for - Fusion box or not, just want to connect and be getting some sun power instead of Utility (your fav electric provider here) power! I still have the same concern as others do about the neutral balance and the units working together - still not clear from what has been sent forth from Bluetti! Thanks again! Hope we all can make this work - it is a great concept, just need it to work!
Ive enjoyed my 2 test AC500 units, I ordered them a bit oddly where I got 2 AC500s standalone and they sat for a few weeks until the two separately ordered B300S units-I assumed the cables for B300 use with the AC500 would be available sooner than they were/are. Ive not networked up the 2 AC500 and 2 B300S units I have but using them with my off grid solar so far has shown it to be a FANTASTIC successor to the AC300/B300s (Ive deployed two fusion-box AC300 setups with 16xB300s and ALOT of off grid solar and am looking forward to trying the 30A split phase charge cable once I get one later thisbweek/next week.
The AC500 with one B300S is great but trying it with TWO B300S really showed its fast charge and capacity upgrades-I also have a D300S 3kw transformer that Im eager to try with the AC500 next to use ALL the ac500’s 3kw solar input fully.
I wish I could get 4 more B300S to try out the AC500/6xB300s capability with my Phoenix, AZ hot summer sun!.. a guy can dream… :) Id have to sell off some AC300/B300 or at least 2 to 4xB300 battery hardware to do that…hmmm. Bluetti has such great hardware and support, always done well by me
I’ve been struggling with my AC500 and was hoping you could give more detail to how you were able to create your own adapter to split the single 50 amp hot from the Bluetti and get the full 5000 watts for you RV. I’m trying connect to a transfer switch and get the full 5000 watts. Thanks!
Hey @DuAlac22, so sorry, I’ve been slacking on this forum a bit! The equipment in the diagram was available in the accessories section of the Bluetti Indiegogo campaign listed as “AC500 Power Suite” which I don’t see on their website just yet but you may be able to still get as it looks like the campaign is still open. I haven’t received it yet (due for delivery in January I believe), it includes an inlet and transfer switch that I won’t need since I already have equipment, but it was the easiest way to ensure I got everything else.
Cable length is definitely a concern of mine for sure, thought. Not sure I can get both inverters in a single bay to connect them together :/
Thanks for the update/info! Yes, same here - waiting for P150D to P090D (mid DEC last email) so I can connect our 2xB300’s (“old”) to test the two AC500’s! We didn’t do the “kit”, as it is just standard boxes, and we used a different manual transfer breaker/switch (Generac G0063331). Just ordered the comm cable (received already since its the same as the AC300) and two 50A Split Phase cables (1x charging and 1x output), which, like you stated are due in Jan 2023. So, take a break and we’ll talk after cables get in. I’m thinking we’re removing the 5.5K generator up front and using the space for the AC500’s, connections, and putting the 4xB300S’s (when we get them) in the ‘storage space’ behind the generator space. Waiting on weather to tear into the bays! Oh, and we need to get solar panels onto the roof! Thinking 4x550W (Renogy), at least to start. Currently using Bluetti 2xSP350’s - getting a good 1.5hrs of 500W+ on full sun days, here in south TX, using the AC300, 2xB300’s. Again, thanks, and hope all goes well with this getting done!
Well, Dec came and went and no P150D to P090D. Happy New Year! And today 5 Jan 23, the P150D to P090D arrived in the mail!!! Late in the day so tomorrow is the “hold my breath” day to check out the new AC500’s (2)! Since we did not purchase the B300S, already owning 2 x B300’s will see how everything goes together and works! Still waiting on the Split Phase cables.