I have tested and used the Rockpower 500 to ensure that it works correctly and also to see if it is a beneficial solar generator for you.
|USB-C PD port is an input and output (up to 45W)||Cannot use AC ports while it is charging up|
|Powerful inverter – Up to 500W continuous from its AC ports||500 charge cycles to 80% capacity is average|
|Can recharge from solar + USB-C PD in 4.5-5.5 hours||AC charger gets hot after about an hour|
|Inexpensive compared to similar solar generators||Cannot use over 500W of power from all ports combined|
The Rockpower 500’s USB-C PD port charges devices quickly and can be used as a recharging input. Its cycle life of 500 cycles to 80% capacity is average for most small solar generators. The Rockpower 500 is a valuable system because it’s one of the least expensive solar generators for its size.
The Rockpower 500 is best for people who like to go camping outside or for car camping purposes. It can power a CPAP machine, phones, tablets, and lights for hours before needing to be recharged. At 12.3 lbs, it can also be carried short distances if needed.
Specifications & Features of the Rockpower 500
|Input Ports||(1) USB-C PD port (20V/2.25A, 45W max)|
(1) Anderson Powerpole solar input (11-24V, 120W max)
(1) DC input for wall/car charging (24V/3A, 72W max)
|Output Ports||(2) 110V AC outlets (500W continuous, 750W surge)|
(2) Standard USB-A ports (5V/3.1A)
(1) USB-A QC 3.0 (Max 18W)
(1) USB-C PD port (20V/2.25A, 45W max)
(1) DC car port (12V/10A, 120W max)
(2) DC ports (12V/5A, 60W max)
|Warranty||24 months (plus additional 6 months if registered from Amazon purchase)|
|Dimensions||12 x 9 x 6.1 in|
Testing the Rockpower 500’s Inverter
The Rockpower 500 is capable of 500W continuous and 750W of surge power from its two AC outlets. At 500W of output, it will run for about an hour before it runs out of battery.
I tested the inverter of the Rockpower to see if it could perform according to its specifications.
Starting with smaller items batched into a power strip, I combined a lamp, small desk fan, LED strip lights, and also connected a laptop, iPhone, and power bank to a power adapter to use with the generator.
The results of these devices all being used/charged at once were flawless. The total power output from the Rockpower 500 was at about 100-110W.
Since it is capable of much more than 100W of output, I decided to step things up, and connected a small space heater to the Rockpals system.
The space heater I used was rated for up to 500W, so this would be the maximum amount of power allowed from the Rockpower’s AC port.
After plugging it in, it worked flawlessly. It was running at about 425-450W of power and I continued to run the heater for about 30 minutes before powering the system off.
The cooling fans were running the entire time the space heater was being used to keep the battery at a cooler temperature. The fans were not loud, but were easily noticeable while I was using the generator.
Overall, the inverter performed almost exactly to its specifications from my testing.
Rockpower 500 – USB Port Testing
The Rockpals Rockpower 500 has four USB ports including two standard USB-A ports, one USB-A QC port, and one 45W USB-C PD port. The USB-C PD port can be used both as an input and output.
I used my Sherpa 100AC power bank to test each USB port on the Rockpals.
USB-A ports (standard + QC)
The standard USB-A ports worked to charge my power bank with ease, both charging it at 12W.
Using the USB-A QC (Quick Charge) port was slightly confusing, as it outputted the same 12W of power to the power bank.
After testing this port a second time, it read 12.2W of input. Since this port should be able to output up to 18W of power, it was a bummer to see that it could barely give my power bank more power than the standard USB-A ports.
However, this could have been due to the charging cable I used, which was a 39-inch USB-A to USB-C cable. The length of this cable could’ve reduced the amount of power that I could receive from the Rockpals power station.
USB-C PD port
The USB-C PD port can produce or take in up to 45W of power.
I ran both an input and output test to see what the Rockpower 500 could do.
Using the same powerbank to test these attributes, I was able to consistently get 42-43W of power both as an input and output method.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the system’s USB performance. However, the USB-A QC port did not give my power bank a full 18W of charging power.
Since this could have been due to my charging cable and not the solar generator, I cannot determine if the Rockpals USB port was responsible.
Recharging the Rockpower 500
There are four ways to recharge the Rockpals Rockpower 500, via: USB-C PD (45W max), solar panels (120W max), car charger, and via its AC charger (72W max).
I tested recharging the system with the AC wall charger and the USB-C port. Both worked as expected, bringing in about 67W from the AC charger and about 43W from the USB-C charger.
When I combined both charging methods (AC + USB-C), the total input to the solar generator was at about 107W consistently.
I did not test the solar panel input or the car charger input.
Below are the charge times for each possible charging method:
|Charging Method||Charge Time (hours)|
|Solar Panels (@ Max Input)||4.2|
|AC Wall Charger||7-8|
|AC Wall Charger + USB-C PD||4.3-5|
Other Notes from Testing
When testing the system, there were a few things I noticed that stood out to me.
Noise from cooling fans
The cooling fans are used to cool down the battery when in use. This applies to both using the Rockpower 500 for your devices and also recharging it.
The cooling fans made noise whenever I input over about 55W of power. Since I charged it from the wall charger, which outputs about 67W, the fans started working right when I plugged the charger in.
The noise was not loud, but it was consistent throughout the entire wall charging process.
The fans get louder when there is an input or output of over 100W from my testing. This noise may be unsettling for you if you’re in a quiet room and using the system at or above this rate, but for the majority of uses, it is not disturbing.
AC wall charger gets hot
The brick part of the wall charger gets hot after about 30 minutes of charging. As a safety precaution, make sure to avoid placing the charging brick on a carpet or fabric surface.
This was not a big issue for me, but it was surprising when I noticed how warm the charger was.
Comparison – Rockpower 500 vs. Rockpals 500
The Rockpower 500 is the successor to the Rockpals 500. Compared to the older version, the Rockpower model has a smaller battery (505Wh vs. 520Wh), added port covers on its AC ports and car port, and a higher solar input (120W vs. 90W), among other modifications.
Below I list the differences of each system to give you a better idea of what changed in the newer model.
|Model||Rockpower 500||Rockpals 500|
|Cycle Life||500 cycles to 80% capacity||1,000 cycles to 80% capacity|
|Differences in Output Ports||– AC outlets: 500W continuous, 750W surge|
– USB-C port: PD (input/output), 20V/2.25A, 45W max
– Two 12V DC ports
|– AC outlets: 500W continuous, 610W surge|
– USB-C port: QC 3.0 (input), 5~9V/2A, 18W max
– Four 12V DC ports
|Weight||12.3 lbs||14.3 lbs|
|Solar Input||120W max||90W max|
|LCD Screen||Measures wattage for both inputs and outputs||Indicates which ports are in use, but does not display wattage|
|Other Differences||Port covers on the car port and AC ports||No port covers|
For more information on the older Rockpals 500, I have a review article that goes more in-depth on the specifics of that model. I compare it with yet another Rockpals 500 generator that came before the 520Wh model.
Check out the article here: Rockpals 500 Review (In-Depth) – Features, Specs, and More.
Rockpals Rockpower 500 vs. Jackery 500, Yeti 500X, & Bluetti AC50S
Here I compare the Rockpower 500 to similar models from different brands. This will give you an idea of which is best for you in terms of port options, pricing, and the overall value of each system.
|Model||Rockpower 500||Explorer 500||Yeti 500X||AC50S|
|Input Ports||(1) USB-C PD (20V/2.25A, 45W max)|
(1) Anderson Powerpole (11-24V, 120W max)
(1) DC input (24V/3A, 72W max)
|(1) DC input (12V-30V, 100W max)||(1) USB-C PD (5-20V/3.0A, 60W max)|
(1) 8mm port (13-22V/10A, 150W max)
|(1) DC input (14-40V/10A, 120W max)|
|Output Ports||(2) AC outputs (500W, 750W peak)|
(2) USB-A ports (5V/3.1A)
(1) USB-A QC 3.0 (5-9V/2A)
(1) USB-C PD port (45W max)
(1) DC car port (12V/10A)
(2) DC ports (12V/5A)
|(1) AC output (500W, 1000W peak)|
(3) USB-A ports (5V/ 2.4A)
(1) DC car port (12V/10A)
(2) DC ports (12V, 7A)
|(2) AC outputs (300W, 1200W peak)|
(2) USB-A ports (5V/2.4A)
(1) USB-C port (5-9V/3.0A)
(1) USB-C PD port (60W max)
(1) DC car port (12V/10A)
(1) 6mm port (12V/10A)
|(2) AC outputs (300W, 450W peak)
(4) USB-A ports (5V/3A)
(1) USB-C PD port (45W max)
(1) Wireless charging port
(1) DC car port (12V/10A)
(2) DC ports (12V/3A)
|Weight||12.3 lbs||13.3 lbs||12.9 lbs||13.6 lbs|
|Warranty||24 months + 6 months |
if registered from Amazon
|24 months||24 months||24 months|
|Dimensions||12 x 9 x 6.1 in||11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in||7.5 x 11.3 x 5.8 in||11.6 x 7.5 x 7.7 in|
In short, the Rockpower 500 has the longest warranty, is the lightest, and is the least expensive out of all of the options compared in the table above.
I also compare the Rockpower 500 to its smaller version, the Rockpower 300 in a separate post. The smaller version might be a good option for additional portability. Check it out here: Rockpals 300 vs 500 – Which Is Best for You?
Where to Buy the Rockpower 500
The Rockpower 500 can be found on Amazon via the button below. This is an affiliate link where I make a small commission on every sale.
There is a $50 off coupon available on Amazon that you can apply to this model. Also, the Rockpals team offered a discount code to me that you can use in addition to the $50 coupon. The code is VPDW5PBM.
I’d recommend getting the 100W panel because it will significantly reduce recharging times.
If you like this system but you’re not sure if it’s the right one for your power needs, I’ve created an article ranking the top 15 best solar generators for camping.
This piece gives recognition to the best models from the smallest to largest in terms of battery size and power output. Go ahead and check it out here: Top 15 Best Solar Generators for Camping (Small to Large).