As solar and battery industries continue to improve daily with new technology, off-grid power capabilities are becoming easier to come across.
Combining solar technology with high-powered batteries is the foundation of portable solar generators, and this way of generating power is becoming more common – even competing with portable gas generators.
Inergy is a company that harnesses the power of solar and battery technology to create lightweight solar generators for several off-grid power needs. Their second solar generator release is called the Apex, which we’ll be reviewing today.
The Inergy Apex is an 1,100Wh portable power station weighing 25 lbs in total. It features an MPPT charge controller, six AC outlets, and several 12V DC outlets. With 500W of maximum solar input, the Apex can recharge in about three hours.
Featured in this article are various features, dimensions, and power statistics of the Apex. I’ll also be comparing it with some of its competition, the Yeti 1400 and Yeti 3000 solar generators.
Please note that the Apex has been discontinued from Inergy. Some models may still be available for purchase from other vendors. Inergy has since created the Flex solar generator as the Apex’s successor. For more information on the Flex, read my article here comparing the Apex to the Flex.
The Apex generator has the exact same dimensions on the outside as Inergy’s first solar generator, the Kodiak, at 14″ W x 7″ H x 8″ D.
This is slightly heavier than the Kodiak by five pounds, mainly due to the newly-added MPPT controller. More on that later.
As the YouTuber, Canadian Prepper put it, “It’s like the difference between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 9.”
This means that there are many similarities between the few years’ old Kodiak and Apex, however, there are some major improvements in the Apex, which makes it more usable for RV users, boaters, campers, and many others.
Besides the generator being the exact same dimensions, it also has the exact same battery in it as the Inergy Kodiak (1.1 kWh), which is still very impressive, especially for the weight of the generator.
Also, the Apex has the same look and very similar inputs and outputs from the previous model.
Inergy Apex vs Kodiak: What Is Different?
- MPPT Controller: The Apex uses an MPPT whereas the Kodiak used a PWM controller. MPPTs are the better controllers of the two.
- Updated Display Screen
- External Lithium Batteries: The Apex can expand its battery capacity with Inergy Flex batteries
- EC8 Connection: Charging is achieved via an EC8 connector
The Apex has a Multitude of Features
There is an upgraded display screen, where the battery capacity and input for solar charging are displayed. Since the Apex hasn’t been shipped to anyone yet, it is difficult to get a gauge on the accuracy of the new features of the display.
Nevertheless, Inergy listened to their customer base and helped solve a big problem, which happened when people were charging their generator with solar panels and couldn’t figure out the exact amount of Watts that were coming into the power station to charge it.
Charging & Power Options in the Apex
Yes, you can charge the generator from solar panels, your car, and your wall outlet in a pretty fast manner compared to the competition. Scroll to the bottom for a Goal Zero Yeti 1400 comparison below.
Solar charging is a major asset to this generator, as it will charge in three hours with 500W of solar panels in good sunlight. This is amazing in the solar generator world and Inergy has really set the bar high with their charging times.
As for car charging, the Apex will be able to charge up in about 4.5 hours at 240 watts. Wall charging with 110 watts will take eight hours.
What Can You Use the Apex With & for How Long?
Here are some examples from Inergy’s website on the estimated charge and run times of various appliances and devices:
- Smartphones (5-7W): 100+ hours
- Tablets (25-40W): 40+ hours
- Laptops (50W): 20+ hours
- Electric Blanket (75W): 14 hours
- 50″ LED LCD TV* (65W) : 16 hours
- Microwave (1,000W): 1 hour
- Refrigerator* (150W): 33 hours
- Chest Freezer: 50 hours
- Sump Pump (1/3 HP): 2.5 hours
- Basecamp LED Light (6W): 183 hours
Apex Battery Performance
Also, the battery no longer needs “resets” as opposed to Kodiak, where if you had a low battery and tried to use a power tool or appliance with a lot of surge power, it would need to be reset by doing a strange sequence with plugs.
Now, the Apex automatically shuts down if you surge the power when there’s a low battery in order to protect the battery and give it longevity.
The battery will last up to 2,000 charge cycles, which, when you do the math, is actually saving you money compared to most other generators out there that do not have as many charge cycles.
Inergy Apex Overall Stats
|PRODUCT SPECS||POWER SPECS||WHAT CAN IT POWER?|
|Charging Temperatures: 32°F to 104°F||Internal Battery: 1,100 Watt hours (90 amp hours, 12.6 volts), Lithium NMC||Smartphones (5-7 watts): 100+ hours|
|Discharging Temperatures:20°F to 115°F||Battery Life Expectancy: Up to 2,000 Cycles or 10 Years, 4 times longer life compared to any competitor||Tablets (25-40 watts): 40+ hours|
|Dimensions: 14″ W x 7″ H x 8″ D||AC Inverter: 1,500 Watt pure sine wave, 3,000 Watt starting surge||Laptops (50 watts): 20+ hours|
|Weight: 25 lbs||Charging: 500 Watts max input, 3 hour recharge time||Electric Blanket (Queen Size, 75 watts): 14 hours|
|Warranty: 1-Year||Battery Expansion: Yes. Apex accepts Inergy’s external Lithium-Ion (coming early 2020), 12V lead acid or AGM deep-cycle battery||50″ LED LCD TV* (65 watts) : 16 hours|
|Shoulder Carrying Strap||MPPT Charge Controller: Allows for faster and more efficient charging||Refrigerator* (18 cu ft., 20% duty): 24 hours|
|Standard Wall Charger Included||USB-C Charge Ports||Chest Freezer (9 cu ft., 15% duty): 50 hours|
|USB Qual Comm 3.0 Charge Ports||Sump Pump (1/3 HP): 2.5 hours|
|3-Position Power Switch: Allows user to charge devices via the USB, USB-C, and 12V output ports without having to turn on the inverter||Basecamp LED Light (6 watts) : 183 hours|
|EC8 Input Plug: Creates an extremely user-friendly, plug and play interface|
|Compatible with EC8-to-MC4 Adapter|
|NOT Compatible with MC4-to-Neutrik Adapter|
Inergy Apex & External Batteries
An impressive feature in this generator is the ability to hook up external lithium-ion batteries to the Apex!
You can also use the standard 12.6 deep-cycle lead-acid/AGM batteries as well with the connections given on the outside of the generator.
Hooking up an external battery to the Apex will let you have more power (obviously) but will also give the Apex the ability to charge and discharge power from the external battery.
The lithium-ion external batteries will be released by Inergy very soon, and are also the only lithium-ion batteries allowed for use with the Apex under the warranty, which is a one-year policy.
Some new features have been added to the Inergy Apex, including an MPPT controller!
This will increase the charging efficiency and decrease charging times from solar panels – as compared to one without an MPPT (the Inergy Kodiak).
Pros & Cons of the Apex Solar Generator
- MPPT controller – Improved efficiency
- Massive power output (1,100Wh) and surge (3,000W)
- The most power per pound compared to other portable solar generators
- Lithium-ion external battery connections
- Five pounds heavier than the Kodiak (25 as opposed to 20)
- EC8 plugs instead of an MC4 adapter are used to connect the solar panels to the Apex
EC8 plugs are not waterproof or UV resistant. Inergy made this move because people were burning out their Kodiak generators with too many solar panels attached to the generator. Now, these plugs are used to prevent that from happening. There are several more pros and cons to the Apex, but the main ones are listed here.
Solar Panels Offered by Inergy:
The Linx solar panels are 100 watts each and are semi-flexible as well. They are the new and improved version of the Solar Storm panels from Inergy. Both are rated at 100W, which is the standard size for a mountable solar panel for a rooftop, car, shed, or any other flat surface with easy access to the sun.
What Are the Benefits of Having Linx Panels vs Solar Storm Panels?
There are two main differences. The first is that the Linx panel is made of monocrystalline, which is made with a higher grade of silicon thereby improving the efficiency of the solar panel. In addition, the Linx panels are half of the weight of the Solar Storm panels.
Polycrystalline, which is what the Solar Storm panels are made of, is made with lower grade silicon and reduces the efficiency of the solar panel by a small percentage.
From 16.2 pounds to an 8-pound panel is a feat within itself for Inergy and can help you transport your solar panels much more easily, especially if you have a bunch of them.
Inergy’s Role in Giving Back to the Community
Inergy has given back to communities in need in various ways within the last couple of years.
When a large storm comes in, it could ravage a city and the surrounding areas. In the case of Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, the storms came through and ravaged their land.
In response to this horrid event, Inergy donated several of their Kodiak solar generators to families that needed the machines to help keep them and their families alive. Overall, Inergy has donated over $350,000 in products thus far to families in Puerto Rico and Haiti.
Why Does Inergy Support Others in Need?
One of the main reasons has to do with the company’s CEO, Sean Luangrath. Sean’s family escaped from Laos when it was being overrun with communist control, and became a refugee with his mother guiding him.
Being affected at such a young age with the realities of poverty, Sean and Inergy are able to realize the true benefits of something taken completely for granted in the western world: electricity.
Through the various donations from Inergy to poverty-stricken areas, a total of 131 families have been served off-grid power.
Sean feels as though it is his obligation to give back to the world due to what he experienced in his upbringing and all the help that he and his family received as they were searching for a better life.
Comparison: Inergy Apex vs Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium
The Yeti 1400 Lithium has the following features compared to the Apex:
- Heavier: 43.7 lbs
- More Expensive: $1,899.95
- Longer Charge Times: 4.5 hrs from solar (360W) and 25 hrs from the AC charger
- Lower Cycle Life: 500 to 80% capacity
- Wi-Fi-enabled; the Apex is not
- More Powerful: 1,500W, 3,000W surge
In addition, the Yeti 1400 has a much better display screen than the Apex, allowing you to review input and output data, battery charge status, and more. Although it doesn’t have much more information available than the Apex, the general aesthetic is more pleasing to look at on the Yeti 1400.
Overall, the Apex is more portable than the Yeti 1400. Although the Yeti has more battery capacity and inverter strength than the Apex, both of these factors add to its weight, making it nearly twice as heavy as the Apex.
Similar – Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Review
Inergy Apex vs Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is a beast of a generator, so how does this model compare to the Apex in terms of the following?
Check out this comparison chart that compares a few important qualities to look for when looking for the right solar-powered generator:
|Model||Yeti 3000 Lithium||Apex|
|Longer Battery Life||X|
Although the inverter capabilities of both of these generators are equal, the actual output from the AC ports is greater for the Yeti 3000 Lithium. The Apex’s continuous discharge is rated at about 550W. It can run devices over 550W, but it is not recommended for long periods of time.
When looking for the right generator, you need to look at what you’re mostly going to use it for.
For RV use, the Apex is better because of easy mobility. You can take it outside or move around the RV without much trouble.
On the other hand, if you’re wanting to get a generator for backup power for appliances and electronics within your home, then the Yeti 3000 will probably outweigh the Apex because it can produce power for a longer duration AND it is WiFi-enabled, allowing you to monitor the use of the generator. Read my full review of the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium here.
Overall, this solar-powered generator is an exciting investment to have and has lived to tell the tale since releasing the Inergy Kodiak.
The Inergy Apex is becoming a versatile tool for RV users, campers, and other areas where portable power is needed.
Being as powerful as its predecessor, the Kodiak, the Apex brings many features that only make it more appealing and user-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you use the Apex generator while you are charging it?
A: Yes, you can! We recommend using as much of your power output requirements while charging to offset output loads.
Q: If you attach an external battery, will it be charged when the generator is charging? Or should the external battery be charged separately?
A: The external battery will be able to be charged alongside the internal battery.
Q: Does this have built-in surge protection?
A: Yes, the Apex has a built-in charge controller.
Q: What’ the current from the RV plug?
A: The RV Connector Type is a 30 Amp RV 110 – Nema TT-30R.
Q: Where can I find the user manual for this?
A: You can find it right here! Inergy Apex User Manual