Frequently Asked Questions (Technical)

Q: My Patriot Power Generator won't turn on.

A: The Patriot Power Generator is ready to give you power by pressing the main AC power switch on the right-hand side of the LCD display. When the green LED is lit, your Patriot Power Generator AC outlets are on and ready for use.

For the Patriot Power Generator to function at its highest ability, it must be charged after being used and not be abused, misused, or damaged. Please ensure all of these conditions are met.

Please make sure your key is inserted into the master power lock located on the back of the unit and turned to the ON position. Should you encounter further trouble please contact our customer service department.

Q: I left my Patriot Power Generator plugged in to trickle charge it and now it won't accept a charge.

A: Your Patriot Power Generator should not be trickle-charged. Lithium batteries are not treated the same as any other battery. You can leave your Patriot Power Generator connected to a wall socket continuously and connected to solar panels for a day or two to charge it, but it is not recommended to leave the solar panels connected constantly unless you are using the unit to continuously power an appliance.

If you intentionally try to charge your Patriot Power Generator beyond the 600Wh capacity, you will damage it and void your warranty.

Please make sure your key is inserted into the master power lock located on the back of the unit and turned to the ON position.

Disconnect the solar charging cable from the Patriot Power Generator.

Check the battery status for charge. Turn the unit on and connect something that you have used with it before to make sure the battery is supplying power.

If the Patriot Power Generator powers the device, let it continue to run for a while to partially drain the battery.

Reconnect the solar charging cable to the Patriot Power Generator and check the LCD display for a lightning bolt on the left of the battery charge status bar.

Reconnect the solar charging cable to the Patriot Power Generator and check the LCD display for a lightning bolt on the left of the battery charge status bar.

If the Patriot Power Generator has the flashing lightning bolt on the left of the battery charge status bar, you have a functioning unit. Let it charge to full, disconnect it and store it.

If you are not able to see the LCD status change after following the above steps, please contact our customer service department to further assist you.

Q: I used the Patriot Power Generator once, and now it won't charge when I plug it into the wall.

A: The Patriot Power Generator is designed to work for over 2000 full discharge and charge cycles. If it will not charge when using the AC 120V charging cord, follow these steps:

  • Please make sure your key is inserted into the master power lock located on the back of the unit and turned to the ON position..
  • Disconnect the power cable from the unit and wall outlet.
  • Inspect the cable for damage to both ends and the cable itself.
  • Inspect the Patriot Power Generator and the wall outlet for damaged sockets or disfigurement.
  • After ensuring all connections are clean and free of any debris that may prevent a solid connection, reconnect the Patriot Power Generator and check the LCD display for a charging status.

If the Patriot Power Generator will not function after following these steps, contact customer support for further assistance.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator won't hold a charge.

A: Please make sure that when you store your unit, your key is inserted into the master power lock located on the back of the unit and turned to the OFF position.

The Patriot Power Generator will retain 80% of its 600Wh capacity after one year of storage. It will not accept a charge if either of the ports are not connected to a power source with a compatible cable. It will accept a charge from either an AC 120V or DC 12V source in their respective ports.

The Patriot Power Generator has a 12V 50Ah (600Wh) battery and will be able to provide the full 600Wh to any DC device connected to it.

If using the AC 120V outlet, a portion of the Patriot Power Generator battery capacity will be used to convert the native DC 12V battery power to AC 120V power. Using one of the most efficient processes available, the Patriot Power Generator is 86.7% efficient when using the AC 120V outlet. This means that the unit has 520Wh available while using the AC 120V outlets.

When comparing the time that different devices will function on the Patriot Power Generator, remember that all devices consume different amounts of energy. For example, a newer 60" LED television may consume less energy than a 42" LCD television manufactured 5 years ago, and consume much less than a 10" CRT (tube) television manufactured 15 years ago. Always use the actual wattage consumption displayed on the LCD when using the specific device to measure the life of that device on the battery of the Patriot Power Generator.

To know the life of a device with the Patriot Power Generator as a power source, divide the capacity of the Patriot Power Generator (600Wh or 520Wh) by the power consumption of the device (in watts, W) that is displayed on the LCD and you will have the time the device will last in hours (h). Capacity / Consumption = Life of the device. - Example: 100W light bulb used in the AC 120V port; 520Wh / 100W = 5.2 hours. If you were to use a 9W LED bulb with a 100W equivalency rating, the result would be 57.8 hours.

To know how long it will take to fully charge the Patriot Power Generator, use the same formula arranged: Capacity / Wattage = Hours.

If the Patriot Power Generator will not function after following these steps, contact customer support for further assistance.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator battery doesn't last as long as I thought it would.

A: The Patriot Power Generator has a power capacity of 600Wh, or 0.6kWh. While the Patriot Power Generator has a very large energy capacity, it is not limitless, and after being used will need to be recharged.

Think of the Patriot Power Generator as a glass, and energy as water. When you drink water from the glass, it does not refill itself, but will hold more water if you refill it. Refer to question 4 above for information regarding how long a specific device should stay powered.

To extend the life of your Patriot Power Generator battery, consider using more energy-efficient devices and connecting it to solar panels during use.

Q: How do I know when my Patriot Power Generator is fully charged?

A: To ensure the Patriot Power Generator is fully charged while using the AC 120V charger:

  • Turn all switches to the off position.
  • Insert the end of the cable with 3 prongs into the AC 120V plug in the wall, and insert the end of the cable with 3 slots into the AC 120V charging port on the back of the Patriot Power Generator.
  • The LCD display should show a lightning symbol on the left side of the battery charging status bar.
  • Continue charging the Patriot Power Generator for at least 3.5–4.5 hours.
  • After 3.5–4.5 hours, the Patriot Power Generator will be finished charging and the LCD display will show a full battery charge status bar with no lightning symbol.

If you have been charging for a long time and the lightning bolt is no longer flashing but the LCD display battery indicator only shows 5 out of 6 bars, then the computer needs to be reset. Turn the key in the master power lock to the OFF position, wait 3-5 seconds, and turn the key back to the ON position. The LCD display battery indicator will then display the full 6 out of 6 bars or the lightening bolt will come back on. If this does not happen, please contact customer service.

If you remove the cable from the Patriot Power Generator while it is charging, you may need to wait 1 minute while the Patriot Power Generator recalibrates and is ready to accept a charge again. Charging should resume normally. This behavior is a safety feature to protect the battery from surges of power, harsh disconnections, and over/undercharging.

To ensure the Patriot Power Generator is fully charged when using a DC 12V power source:

  • Ensure all switches are in the off position.
  • Connect the power source to one of the Patriot Power Generator's DC 12V Anderson input ports (black to black and red to red).
  • Know how much current (in Amps or Watts) is being put into your Patriot Power Generator through the 12V Anderson port. If you know the Watts, divide 600Wh by that number, and you will know how many hours it should take (with accuracy anywhere from 3-30%, depending on weather conditions and physical placement of the panel). If you know the Amps, divide 50A/h by that number and you will know how many hours it should take the Patriot Power Generator to charge (again, with accuracy anywhere from 3-30%).
  • Let the Patriot Power Generator charge for the estimated time. Watch to see the battery charge status bar update and it will give you the battery charge level. When the lightning symbol disappears and the battery charge status symbol indicates a full charge, continue to charge the unit for 30-60 minutes (depending on sunlight conditions) to ensure that the battery cells are optimally balanced. The Patriot Power Generator has a cutoff built into it that will stop current from flowing to it after the Patriot Power Generator is fully charged.
  • Do not attempt to over-charge the Patriot Power Generator. You cannot over-charge the Patriot Power Generator without damaging the battery and creating an unsafe environment that may lead to serious injury or death.

Some energy sources are more reliable than others. Know the type of electricity and the current you are putting into your Patriot Power Generator. For instance, if you have a Patriot Power Generator and two DC 12V 100W solar panels, you know that when connected to the Patriot Power Generator and in direct sunlight, the panels will give 200 Watts of DC 12V energy to the battery. The battery has a capacity of 600Wh (Watt/hours), and so it will take roughly 3-4 hours of direct sunlight to charge the Patriot Power Generator. When the lightning symbol disappears and the battery charge status symbol indicates a full charge, continue to charge the unit for 30-60 minutes (depending on sunlight conditions) to ensure that the battery cells are optimally balanced.

It is important to note that the Patriot Power Generator can be charged by both AC sources and DC sources at the same time for a faster charge.

Q: How do I know when my Patriot Power Generator is fully discharged?

A: The Patriot Power Generator has an LCD display that will show the voltage, the wattage being used and a battery gauge. These will let you know the status of your battery while charging or discharging. Do not attempt to over-discharge the Patriot Power Generator. It will cause damage to the unit and will void your warranty.

If you have a device (such as a laptop computer with AC 120V power cable) connected to the Patriot Power Generator while using the device, the battery drain will be more demanding. To prolong the usable life of your devices on the battery, turn the laptop computer off while charging it, and then drain the battery of the laptop computer before connecting to the Patriot Power Generator to recharge (again, while the device is turned off). Leaving the device on while charging may give the illusion of less energy used because the battery of your device will show full charge, but you are in fact using almost three times the energy that you would if you were to disconnect it from the Patriot Power Generator.

Q: I can't connect my solar panel to my Patriot Power Generator.

A: If a Patriot Power Generator solar panel was included in your order, the connectors are Anderson Power Pole Connectors specifically designed to fit in your Patriot Power Generator. There are two sets of these connectors to use with any 12V input. These connectors are small and rectangular with one side that is red and another side that is black. Always connect black to black and red to red.

While the ends of the connectors may appear flat and not able to connect to a similar connector, they are specially made to slide together. Simply match up the colors on the input side, and push them together gently to form a solid connection.

The solar panel connectors that fit your Patriot Power Generator are uniquely engineered only for Patriot Power Generator products. They look very similar and fit together easily. If you believe you have a solar panel with a different connector that will not fit your Patriot Power Generator, we will be happy to send you an adapter at no additional cost to you (once confirmation of a different connector is received).

If you did not buy your solar panel from us and would like an adapter made, please contact customer service for pricing.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator won't charge when I connect my solar panels to it.

A:Solar panels work best when pointed directly at the sun without obstruction. The solar panel will not produce an adequate charge if it is:

  • Not pointed toward the sun
  • Placed behind a window (30% to 70% less efficient depending on window type)
  • Used indoors
  • Positioned in shade
  • Not connected to the Patriot Power Generator directly or with an approved extension cable
  • Used with an unapproved or excessively long extension cable

Please make sure your key is inserted into the master power lock located on the back of the unit and turned to the ON position.

The optimum position of the solar panel is slightly angled to the south (if living in the Northern Hemisphere) at noon in an open area. The panel will produce less power at times further from noon, or angles that are not axially tangent to the relative path of the Sun.

Solar panels will produce little to no power if they are placed in a shaded area, behind a window, or next to a sun-obstructing object. Remember, shadows move, so an object that is next to the solar panel may not create a shadow during one time of the day, but may produce a shadow for some or all of the rest of the day.

Solar panels will produce little to no power if placed vertically or facing down.

Q: I can't connect all three of my solar panels to my Patriot Power Generator at the same time.

A: The Patriot Power Generator is designed to accommodate three solar panels with identical Anderson connectors. If using Anderson Power Pole Connectors (rectangular red and black connectors), there may be dust covers that need to be pulled back to connect the first panel directly to the unit. Using the daisy chain feature, you can add the panels inline by connecting them to the daisy chain adapter. If you have different connectors on the panels we have sent you, please contact customer service to have an adapter mailed to you.

Q: I left my solar panel connected to a battery (not a Patriot Power Generator) overnight and now it has less charge than the evening before.

A: Batteries will not gain any power from a solar panel at night. It may even deplete the battery if connected poorly, without a solar charge controller or to the wrong connections. Electricity is a two-way street and will flow to and from the source and to and from the destination depending on the current, charge, power draw, as well as a few other factors. Unless electricity is governed and controlled with technology such as a solar charge controller, you cannot be assured of the results when using solar panels, batteries or other electronic components.

Solar panels only produce electricity with the presence of sunlight. When in the absence of sunlight and connected to a battery without a solar charge controller, the electricity in the battery will flow back to the panel in the form of heat. The panels will become warm, just like an electric blanket (do not use solar panels as heat sources), and may drain the battery connected to it.

The other peril of ungoverned solar charging batteries is that you may super-charge and damage the battery. This is unsafe and will not give you more energy. In fact, it will most likely give you less charge because of the damage caused to the battery. The battery may swell and become warm. Do not use a swollen battery and carefully dispose of it in a legal and safe manner.

Disconnect your Patriot Power Generator from any charging source when it is not charging. Unlike lead-based batteries, the lithium-based Patriot Power Generator does not need to be kept on a trickle-charger, or have the charger plugged in constantly to retain a charge.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator's fans are on after I turned it off. Should I be worried?

A: No. The Patriot Power Generator may continue to run to cool the internal components to optimal temperatures after being turned off. When the unit is charging, the fans may turn on, even if the Patriot Power Generator is turned off.

Q: The Patriot Power Generator emits a burning odor while operating.

A: The Patriot Power Generator should not have any odor while functioning or stored. Dust, dirt, or debris should not be allowed to enter the Patriot Power Generator, but if it does, it may emita very light odor similar to a clothes dryer when functioning. Use electronics-safe compressed canned air to clear the vents of your unit (only while the unit is turned off). If you notice an odor that persists, is strong, or smoky, stop use immediately and do not attempt to remove anything from the interior of the Patriot Power Generator. Do not use the Patriot Power Generator again, and contact customer service for repair or replacement.

Q: The Patriot Power Generator will not run my microwave after I used it to watch TV.

A: The Patriot Power Generator has a battery capacity of 600Wh. After a device has used 500Wh of the battery, another device will not have 600Wh to use, but 100Wh. Remember to calculate the power consumption of the devices you use and ration the time you plan to use your unit accordingly. The LCD display will help you with these calculations because it shows the wattage used by any appliance plugged in.

To ensure you are able to enjoy the Patriot Power Generator's full battery charge after being used, charge it fully and turn the power off.

To extend the battery life, connect the Patriot Power Generator to solar panels while in use.

Q: My fully discharged Patriot Power Generator's LCD battery gauge looks like it is fully charged almost immediately after I start charging it. Is it fully charged?

A: No. Lithium batteries are known for their durability and long life. When active for charging or discharging, you may notice fluctuations or spikes in voltage because the chemical components of the battery easily and immediately accept charge or discharge. The LCD battery gauge uses the battery voltage to gauge the charge left. This method is effective at rest, but should only be used as an estimate, not as an accurate gauge while in use.

The best way to know when your Patriot Power Generator is charged is to know how much energy is going in from the source you are using and rely on the battery charge status display on the LCD to know how much time you have left until the Patriot Power Generator is fully charged. Refer to question above for a simple equation to help gauge use.

Be sure to give your Patriot Power Generator at least 3.5–4.5 hours of charge time while connected to a steady AC 120V source. When using a DC 12V 100W solar panel, a full day of unobstructed sunlight will charge your Patriot Power Generator. Use two of these panels to charge your unit even faster.

Q: The AC 120V outlet turns off when I use two electronic devices at the same time.

A: The Patriot Power Generator has a number of safety features built in to prevent injury to you or the unit. One of these safety features is an automatic cutoff for devices that use more than 1500W (˜15 Amps) continuously. When the current passes 1500W or 15A, power will be cut off from both AC 120V output ports and you will need to turn off the switch next to the AC ports, wait for 5 seconds and then switch it back on to begin using again.

For example, most hair dryers use 1500 Watts when used on the high setting. Use a lower setting on your hair dyer if using multiple hair dryers. The same lower setting suggestion applies to toasters, microwaves, or electric power tools.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator stops working when I turn up the power on my space heater while using it to power my TV.

A: The Patriot Power Generator will accommodate all power draws going out of the AC 120V output up to 1500 Watts. Most space heaters draw more than 1500 Watts at the higher settings. Experiment to find the optimal balance between energy conservation and heat output while enjoying your entertainment.

See prior question for additional information.

Q: My Patriot Power Generator got wet and now will not turn on.

A: It is possible to damage the Patriot Power Generator when used improperly or in harsh conditions. If your Patriot Power Generator is submerged in water, do not turn it on or touch it. The Patriot Power Generator contains a powerful battery and when it comes into contact with water, or any other conducting equivalent, will create an unsafe environment, void the warranty, and may cause serious injury or death.

Additionally, the Patriot Power Generator is not rated for dropping at any height.

Q: Can I daisy chain my Patriot Power Generator in series or parallel with other Patriot Power Generator units or batteries for a specific application?

A: The Patriot Power Generator is designed for use as a stand- alone power unit. It should not be connected to other batteries in series or parallel in a battery bank. It may be recharged by a suitable external power source and may charge a suitable external device, but it is not to be used as a normal battery in a battery bank, charging/discharging array, or any other combination of multiple connected batteries. Doing so will void your warranty, damage the unit, and may expose the battery to unsafe charging and discharging conditions, which may lead to serious injury or death.

Q: The Patriot Power Generator will not function after I charged it with two solar panels, a windmill, and the AC 120V charger simultaneously.

A: The Patriot Power Generator is a versatile and adaptable product and is able to take a charge from most modern sources. We have designed your Patriot Power Generator to accept all charges possible up to 15A @ 12V through the DC input and 4A through the AC input. If more current is available than the specified limit, the Patriot Power Generator will reject the source as a whole. If you knowingly attempt to over-charge the battery, it may damage it, voiding the warranty, and creating an unsafe environment with possible serious injury or death.

The number of charging sources does not matter as much as the amount of charge being put in. If you could theoretically connect 100 Solar panels that have an output of 4 Amps @ 12V each to the Patriot Power Generator, it would only accept 15A @ 12V of that 400 Amps @ 12V. Attempting to concentrate 400 Amps @ 12V into an insufficient cable diameter, such as those found in the Patriot Power Generator, will result in a severe risk of electrical shock and possibly death. The Patriot Power Generator can, however, accept all of the charge from three 4 Amp @ 12V solar panels.

Always be aware of what you are putting in and taking out of the Patriot Power Generator. This is a sure way to know you are treating your Patriot Power Generator in a way that will prolong the battery life, stay in warranty, and give you many years of extensive use.

Should you encounter further trouble please contact our customer service department. You can also download the latest version of the Patriot Power Generator Instruction Manual by clicking here.