The Eco mode simply shuts the power down on the AC200 if less than a certain amount of power is being drawn. It basically turns the unit off automatically if you forget to turn it off and prevents the battery from going dead. But…if you want to run a very low powered item you can switch the ECO mode off and the AC200 will remain powered up until the battery is exhausted.
The AC200 consumes up to 2 amps per hour if the AC and DC outputs are selected even if nothing is plugged into them. By having an “ECO” mode feature you can set the unit to auto shut off after being unused for a period of time. This feature cannot be enabled all the time due to some customers needing to power low watt devices such as usb fans and charging a cell phone. If the ECO mode was selected operating these devices, the charging or output would stop even though it was not desired or intended.
Having an ECO mode function allows us to have the best of both worlds by allowing the user to select the function based on their individual needs. Perhaps a better word then “ECO” could be uses such as “Auto Shut Off” instead. There are character length limitations though.
Thank you for the explanation, that clears it up. I was hoping it was a sleep-mode as you described.
A related question is the sensitivity of the measurement on screen. Is there a minimum amount of load required before it registers on the screen of the AC200P? I have noticed sometimes it shows 0 watts when some things are plugged into the AC (AC turned on). It seems to have a threshold somewhere around 50 watts before it shows on the display, but I can’t seem to pinpoint what that is. It makes sense now that this is why the eco mode is there, as you described, so you can force it to stay on even when it is not registering that something is connected and drawing power.
I have also noticed that the various power meter readings are not very precise, when I connect kill-a-watt and compare it does show some inaccuracy. Is there a way to re-calibrate?
So far I am really happy with the AC200P.
Mine flashed between 0 and 35 watts…I’m guessing 18watts is being used
The screen shows amount of power being consumed by the AC200. Your Kilowatt is only showing power passing through the ac port. It always takes more power to produce the electricity (due to heat losses) than you are using and the screens will never match.
I was referring to the AC200 unit…not my Killowatt…I just use the latter to compare draws…with what the unit says…there is something glitchy about the what the unit is saying for standby AC draw…0…35…120…130 watts. (not volts)…I’m not sure why. Also…its 2000Wh…so it should withstand 1700W draw AC for an hour right? I’ll test that with a heat gun too. If it passes that and my fan tests, and my surge test…I’m keeping it.
Assuming you have the AC2000P model you should have the 2000 wh battery. With that stated, a large fast high demand draw will not get you the max wh capacity in a test. In rough terms you should get about an hour running a 1700 watt device. If you want to see max capacity, run about a 250 watt load from 100% to 0 percent.
Hmmm. I tested my AC200’s ECO mode (with zero loads) when I first received it and it only automatically shut off the AC inverter. It never shut down the DC or the unit itself. I’ll run the test again.
From what I understand the AC200 shuts down. But…I have never tested this personally. Let us know if it shuts down completely, just the AC or DC or shuts off both AC and DC. I do remember it takes several hours (4?) to enter eco mode.
Same result as the first test: 4 hours just the AC inverter shuts down. I suspect the rest of the test will be the same as last, that the DC and unit will remain on all the way down to 0%.
And guess it’s not specific as to just what will power down on their website. But again, it’s only the AC inverter that shuts down by Eco.
Well, I since the inverter is the biggest draw I guess every little bit helps. Doesn’t make sense not to shut down completely if the purpose of ECO is to shut down the power drain if less than 50 watts is used after four hours…
My guess is that they feel leaving the unit and DC on is what some folks might want. Say if your lights are DC, you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, flip your light switch, and nothing happens. Then you’d have to fumble around in the dark to reach your AC200, turn it on, then turn on DC. Hopefully future models will allow users to customize ECO Mode to their desired preference.
If DC mode is not affected, that would be great for running small compressor fridges.
It’s been 11 hours and everything’s still on except the AC. Terminating the test. Goodnight.
Thank you for your service. It def. looks like just the AC is shut off. At least this way a DC fridge will not be affected if in Eco Mode.
Reviving this thread with an update on Auto Shutdown. Last night I made a note at the 24 hour mark during a parasitic draw test on my AC200, standby only, AC and DC off. I took my photos of the screen and then walked away to let the test continue. Somewhere around 30 to 60 minutes later I walked by and noticed the unit was off. Was I not thinking and turned it off myself and just did not recall doing that? I didn’t think I turned it off. Only one way to be sure…I turned it back on to let my test continue and would see if it would auto shutdown 24 hours later. Fast forward to tonight. I took my photos at the 24 hour mark again and then walked away with the unit still on. A short time later I walked back to the AC200 and sure enough, it was off. So, conclusion is sometime between 24 and 25 hours of no load activity, the AC200 will shut down. However that was with AC and DC off. And ECO Mode was ON. I have now turned ECO Mode OFF. We’ll see if it shuts down after the next 24 hours with ECO off.
Update: Eco mode OFF, sometime between 24-25 hours with AC and DC both off, the AC200 automatically shut completely off. So it seems the AC200 performs an automatic shutdown regardless of ECO mode, under these standby conditions. Guess its a firmware safety feature that can’t be user disabled which isn’t mentioned in the manual. Can’t think of any reason this might be a bad thing. Once I’m finished with some other tests, I’ll run a small DC load to make sure it doesn’t shut down after 24 hours when running something like a low wattage LED light.
Thanks for doing this Mark, very helpful information!
Final 24 Hour Automatic Shut Down Update. I decided not to put any kind of DC load on at all. Just 24 hours with only the DC side ON. And as expected but now confirmed, having anything ON defeats the 24 hour auto shutdown feature with the AC200 sailing right past the 24 hour mark and NOT automatically shutting down. I also ran a 2nd 24 hour test with just the AC ON, no load. Same result: no auto shutdown at 24 hours.
Conclusions from the various tests:
- AC200 auto shuts down at 24 hours if unit is in Standby (unit on but both AC and DC are OFF, no input or other activity).
- ECO mode has no bearing on this firmware auto shutdown safety feature, and it can not be disabled (except by turning DC and/or AC ON, of course).
- ECO mode’s only apparent function is to shut down the AC inverter after 4 hours of no load.
- ECO mode does not effect the DC side.
Ancillary data points in the following photos on overhead loss over these two 24-hour periods with just DC ON and then just AC ON, respectively, if anyone is interested.
24 hour mark, DC only, no load. Down from 100% to 86%…a 14% overhead loss.*
Beginning of AC ON only 24 hour test.
End of AC ON only 24 hour test. Down from 86% to 48%…a 38% overhead loss.*
- Percentages on the display are approximations at best.