REVIEW | EcoFlow – Power your game studio during load shedding
For my installation, I placed the two batteries under my desk and connected all my electronic devices to them. The EcoFlow, in turn, is then plugged directly into the wall so that switching to battery power occurs without any downtime when the power goes out. There is also no switching lag and it happens seamlessly.
The LCD panel and app give you a power consumption readout and show how much battery time is left on the current charge. As you turn devices on and off, you instantly see updates reflected on the screen.
EcoFlow harnesses with a short extension cord that converts US type plug to South African. I then connected my two surge protected multi-adapters to the EcoFlow. I run most of the electronics in my studio on these, including two 27-inch LCDs, a desktop computer with a 700W power supply, and two laptops with a 700W power supply. 100W and 200W respectively. I’m also using two Godox ES45 esport LED panels for video and ambient lighting, each of them requires around 47w at full brightness but I’m running them at around 60%.
With everything in place to combat shedding, I was looking forward to a real-world test of the kit to see how well it really worked when I needed it most. Luckily, it only took a few days after installation for eishkom to announce a few load shedding cycles.
It’s strange how your behavior changes when the load shedding is announced and you know you’ll be able to work or play when the power goes out. It’s life changing.
The first few days of load shedding were pretty standard, it was during the day and I just needed to power my three PCs during the power outage. It was really great not having to anticipate shutdown time or manually switch to a generator. A single beep (which you can disable) alerts you that the power supply has dropped and from then on it’s just you and the chemically controlled electronics boxes under your desk.
When I’m not gaming or rendering video, the EcoFlow River Pro with the extra battery can power my desktop computer and two laptops for about 7 hours with a power consumption of about 240W. When I start playing on my desk and drawing more power from the battery, the timer drops to around 3 hours with a power draw of around 460w.
Sure, when under load there’s an audible fan noise coming from the EcoFlow, but it’s not particularly loud and I can barely hear it on the PC sitting on my desk. I even recorded video and audio in my studio while offloading without any noise issues while editing.
While your usage may vary, I’ve been absolutely blown away by how the EcoFlow has changed the way I can work and play when the power is out. I no longer worry about having to plan load shedding.
I even managed to record and edit videos throughout the load shedding once and didn’t even realize it. It wasn’t until I wanted to go make some coffee that I realized there was no power. Even here, the EcoFlow was able to power my beloved bean grinder, espresso machine, and milk frother.
Watt for watt, the EcoFlow battery powered inverter solution is more expensive than the larger inverter carts that are popular among gamers, but it all depends on your usage needs. Being a completely portable system is what really sold me on the EcoFlow River Pro. I’ve also used it with great success on a few video shoots to power the cameras and laptops needed. This is where two other features of the EcoFlow River Pro come in handy, solar panel charging and car charging. If you have a 200w panel (or you can purchase the official EcoFlow panel), you can charge the EcoFlow River Pro from anywhere. Similarly, you can also recharge this portable power station on your car’s 12v socket, the cables are provided.
For just under R20,000, the EcoFlow River Pro with extra battery offers an impressive range of features and usage scenarios. I like the small form factor and the fact that I can leave it under my desk.
There really is no one size fits all with batteries when picking something to suit your needs, but the EcoFlow manages to fit into my crazy lifestyle quite comfortably. If you are into camping or contract work, the EcoFlow will also add immense value due to the portable nature of the product.