Growatt VITA 550 Solar Portable Power Station
- Uses LiFePO4 batteries that are can last 3,000 charge cycles and still maintain 80%+ battery efficiency
- VITA 550 power station is compatible with an app that lets you control the unit remotely and access certain features such as Watt Plus that can take the AC output from 600W to 1050W
- Features fast AC recharging option
- Does not feature AC pass through charging but does feature solar pass through charging
If you’re searching for a portable power station to purchase, you’re in luck. There has never been a better time to get a power station because they’re going through many advancements. Many power stations are now converting over to using LiFePO4 batteries, some are compatible with a Bluetooth app on your phone, and their overall power output is becoming very impressive.
I’m looking at this Growatt VITA 550 600W portable power station in this review. Growatt is a brand known for its solar and EV charging products, and in this case, they are coming in hot with their power stations by offering the best that an electric portable power source can offer. Let me show you what I mean in this review.
The first thing to make a note of the VITA 550 is that it uses LiFePO4 batteries that can last much longer than regular Lithium-Ion batteries. In this case, even after 3,000 charge cycles, the batteries can still maintain 80% or more of their capacity.
The VITA 550 power station has a 538Wh capacity, which I consider a mid-range capacity. This amount of power isn’t too high or low and is the perfect capacity to fit most people’s needs when discussing the unit’s price point, portability, and usability.
Of course, what matters most is the amount of power capacity you can use of the 538Wh initial capacity. This is why I ran an AC and DC capacity. I think I pushed the power station a little too far for the AC capacity test because I powered a heater and had the Watt Plus activated on the power station. After running the heater continuously until the power station was at 0%, I ended up with a 410Wh capacity which is 76% AC capacity efficiency.
I think the AC capacity test isn’t too accurate because I did it with the Watt Plus feature, which pushed the power station further than it could handle. Also, my DC capacity test got me a 477Wh capacity, which was 88% efficiency for the DC capacity.
I will be doing another AC capacity and will link the video in this review, and overall, I think the capacity efficiency of this Growatt VITA 550 power station is good. Other reviews have yielded the same results regarding my DC capacity testing.
So how long will the 538Wh capacity on this power station last? That depends entirely on what you’re trying to power. The load tester I was using to test for capacity was pulling 120W, and the test ran for 4 hours until the power station was at 0%.
You could easily power a mini fridge that pulls about 80W-100W for nearly 6 hours; coolers with lower wattage can last a similar time. A fan that pulls 30W can likely last 15 hours. This VITA 550 power station can last long when using smaller and lower-wattage appliances.
The output options of the VITA 550 power station are varied and useful; they tried to fit as much as they could onto it. The output options include four charging ports, three AC outlets, two DC barrel ports, and a cigarette lighter port.
The DC cigarette lighter port can output 12V/10A, and the two DC barrel ports are rated to output 12V/30A; I did test the cigarette lighter port with my load tester and was able to hit its max output, but didn’t have any devices to test the DC barrel ports.
The charging ports fit most charging needs, with two standard 12W USB-A ports, a single USB-A 18W Quick Charge port, and a single 100W USB-C Power Delivery port. Including a 100W Power Delivery port is a must for this type of power station, so Growatt nailed it there; although I would have liked three Quick Charge ports, the port selection is still solid.
For the charging port testing, I charged my Galaxy Note 9 from the USB-A Quick Charge port and my Lenovo laptop from the USB-C port. I usually have to use a watt meter to check the port output; however, in this case, I was able to use the Growatt app, and I can see the output wattage of each port! That is an excellent feature! So in the app, I could see that my Note 9 was charging at 15W and my laptop was charging at 30W.
To push the USB-C port to its limit, I began charging my Excitrus power bank. The USB-C port on the power station could output nearly 98W, so this is a 100W Power Delivery port on this VITA 550 power station.
I almost forgot that this power station also features 15W wireless charging, and I could fast wirelessly charge my Note 9 with it.
The VITA 550 power station has three AC outlets with 600W Pure Sine Wave output. 600W is already a lot of power and lets you power many appliances. However, a huge plus with owning this power station is the Watt Plus feature that you can access from the Growatt app, which can take the output from 600W to 1050W. Growatt has noted in the app that you should only power one appliance at a time when using the Watt Plus feature.
For my testing, I powered a Lasko heater with about 750W power usage on its low setting. Without the Watt Plus feature turned on, the power station automatically shut off with the heater set to low. So this power station does have a hard limit of 600W. With the Watt Plus feature turned on, I could easily run the heater on low with no problems, and the power station kept supplying power.
I also set the heater to its high setting, but it barely lit hot air. This is likely because the heater has a 1450W output on its high setting.
My recommendation to make the most of the Watt Plus feature is to power appliances for a short time that is within the 650W to 1000W range. You want to use the Watt Plus feature briefly because the power draw will quickly deplete the capacity.
Overall, I’m impressed by the AC outlets; with three, you can power a couple of appliances simultaneously, even with its standard 600W output. The Watt Plus feature is something more high-end power stations are using. Growatt has innovated smartly.
The recharging for this VITA 550 power station is excellent all around. You have three options to recharge the power station: car charging, solar, and AC charging. The unit also has a car, solar, and AC charging cable in the box.
The AC recharging is the fastest recharge because you can recharge the VITA 550 at 270W or 500W. You can switch from 270W to 500W AC recharging because this power station features a fast recharging option. You can activate it by pressing a button that can be found right next to the AC input; you can also activate it via the app. The 500W recharge speed can get this power station back to full power from 0% to 100% in about 1.5 hours, which is very fast.
Solar and car recharging are done via the XT60 port. Solar charging maxes out at 240W; I used a 100W solar panel for my solar charging test and got about a 70W recharging speed for VITA 550 power station. After about 4 hours, I got the capacity from 55% to about 75%, so if you can use a higher-wattage solar panel, I recommend it as it can work well with this power station.
Car charging is the slowest way to recharge the VITA 550 because it has about a 90W recharge speed, but if you need to recharge the unit while you’re driving, it’s always a handy option.
Size and Weight
The VITA 550 power station hits a good balance of power and portability. The unit has a length of 12 inches, a width of 8 inches, and a height of 7.8 inches. The power station weighs 18 pounds. So you can take this power station with you into the wild for camping or hiking; it can also be taken with you on a road trip as it won’t be difficult to place it in your car.
The handle at the top makes moving this power station easy.
Buttons, Screen, and Growatt App
Nearly all the output ports can be found at the front of the power station, except for the wireless charging pad that can be found at the top. Also at the front of the power station are the screen and LED flashlight. The LED flashlight on his power station is a little different than others as it’s more of a lantern and has a constant on mode and a flashing mode.
Each of the sections of the power station has a power button to turn them on, including the AC, DC, and USB sections. The power station also has a main power button to hold down to turn on the entire unit first.
Over to the right side is where you’ll find the input ports to recharge the power station, including the XT60 and AC input ports. The fast AC recharge button is right next to them.
The screen at the front of the VITA 550 is one of the best I’ve seen on a power station; I’m serious.
The screen is bright, easy to read, and has info that you will find helpful; the screen shows the remaining capacity, output wattage, input wattage, estimate runtime for when you’re using the output ports, the estimated recharge time for when you’re recharging, the Voltage of the AC outlets if Bluetooth and Wifi are activated. It shows if the fan is on, although you can likely hear that when it spins.
The Growatt app is unnecessary when using the VITA 550, but it’s still great to have the option, and to see the stats of what’s happening with the power station while you’re using it is fantastic.
The app tells you everything that the screen on the VITA 550 shows and more. You can view solar input wattage with a graph; the AC output also shows a graph on the app. You can remotely turn on and turn off sections of the power station from the app; you can even adjust the brightness of the LED flashlight. You can view the individual wattage output for the AC, DC, and USB ports.
On the settings page of the Growatt app, you can control when you want the power station to stop supplying power once it reaches a certain capacity; Growatt recommends 10%. You change the AC recharging speed, you can turn on and off the beeping sound that the power station makes when you interact with it, and inverter standby can be adjusted in case you’re someone that leaves the AC outlets powered on but you not using them, and you can adjust the screen timeout.
Overall, the app compatibility is fantastic and is just one huge plus for this VITA 550 power station that makes it rival competitors like Bluetti and EcoFlow.
The build quality of the VITA 550 power station is as good as it can get, and you have to follow the same rules as any other power station like it, which means that you shouldn’t drop it and expose it to water. The VITA 550 has a solid build and can last long if you treat it right. The internal fan does an excellent job of keeping the unit cool.
|Growatt VITA 550 Solar Portable Power Station Specs|
|AC outlet||120V, 60Hz, 600W |
|Car Outlet||12V/10A, 132W Max|
|DC 5521 Ports||12V/3A, 36W Max|
|Standard USB-A Ports||5V/2.4A, 12W Max|
|USB-A Quick Charge Port||5V/3.4A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A|
|USB-C Power Delivery Port||5V\9V\12V\20V, 5A, 100W Max|
|Size||12.2 x 8.4 x 7.8 inches|
Suppose you’re searching for a high-end mid-range power station, meaning a power station with a 600W output and 500Wh capacity that uses LiFePO4 batteries and has all the bells and whistles with app compatibility. In that case, this Growatt VITA 550 power station is a great choice. Growatt is coming in strong in the power station market, and this VITA 550 shows how serious they are; as you can compare this with competitors, it can come out on top.
Since 2016, Usman has flourished as an independent tech journalist, reveling in the evaluation of diverse tech gadgets, with a particular fondness for charging technology to ascertain product performance. Besides his journalistic endeavors, he helms the Charger Harbor YouTube channel, where he extends his tech insights to a broader audience.