Can You Take BLUETTI Solar Generators On An Airplane?

(Please note that this article should be used for informational purposes only. You should always consult your airline before traveling with any potentially hazardous items.)

Every day, roughly 100,000 airplanes take off and land around the globe. That's around 500,000 people up in the air at any given moment.

Back in 1954, there were 40 fatal airplane crashes for every one million flights in the United States. 

Today, that number has decreased to less than two fatal plane accidents for every million flights.

There is no denying that air travel has become the safest form of travel you can do. Part of the reason for this is the industry-wide safety protocols that must be strictly adhered to. 

All of you reading this have no doubt been a passenger on an airplane before. Do you remember when the flight attendant asked you to "please switch off your phone and prepare for takeoff"?

Have you ever asked yourself why they ask that? 

If you do, you are not alone. In fact, there are many safety protocols that passengers must adhere to. One such protocol involves traveling with batteries. 

Can I Take A BLUETTI Solar Generator On An Airplane?

solar-generator-on-airplane

This is a hot topic, one many people ask themselves. For example, what if you just bought a solar generator whilst on holiday but now want to bring it back to your home country? How do you do that? Can you bring your solar generator with you on your airplane flight? 

Emirates has this to say about their battery policy: 

"Batteries spare/or loose, including lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, for portable electronic devices must be carried in carry-on baggage only. Articles whose primary purpose is as a power source, e.g., power banks, are considered spare batteries. These batteries must be individually protected to avoid short-circuit. Each passenger is limited to a maximum of 20 spare batteries."

Ok, so what does this mean exactly, as a solar generator is not many individual batteries but rather one larger battery. 

According to KLM's restricted and prohibited items policy, solar generators with an energy capacity of up to 100 Wh may be taken onboard the aircraft in your checked-in luggage. These devices will need to be completely turned off and appropriately secured. 

If you want to bring a device with an energy capacity between 100 Wh - 160 Wh, you will need special permission to do so. 

However, batteries measuring anything over 160 Wh are strictly forbidden and never allowed onboard a passenger flight. 

This is KLM's policy. Let's see what Turkish Airlines has to say. They say that a device up to 100 Wh can be carried in the cabin and checked baggage as long as the batteries are inside the device. They also state, however, that batteries equaling more than 160 Wh may not be carried at all. 

Based on all the research we have done, airlines will allow Bluetti solar generators up to 160 Wh onboard. Whether or not that must be hand or checked-in luggage needs to be consulted with the airline itself. Some airlines may require special permission for solar generators with more than 100 Wh energy capacity. 

BLUETTI U.S. does not currently sell any solar generators that are rated between 100 - 160 Wh. The smallest solar generator we currently sell is our EB3A rated at 268 Wh.  

Why Is It An Issue To Fly With Solar Generators?

Well, for one, lithium-ion batteries are a known safety hazard. Ever seen those videos where a cellphone just bursts into flames? Well, imagine those phones were 10 times the size. It would be a pretty large explosion. 

In fact, the FAA has already banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from U.S. flights after many reports of explosions.

Generally, the main cause for battery malfunctions is that the membranes that separate the charge in the battery are ruptured. When this occurs, a short circuit ensues, generating a sudden intense burst of energy.

This burst of energy can reach a heat of up to 1000°F. 

Now granted, BLUETTI solar generators are built using LiFePO4 battery technology, which is known to be much safer than standard lithium-ion chemistry. 

Nevertheless, airlines are not willing to take any risks, as they shouldn't be. 

If you are interested in learning more about battery safety and flight regulations, we recommend giving this page from the FAA a read.

What Items Are not Allowed On An Airplane? 

Flammable items

Paints, fuels, gasoline, lighter fluid, lithium batteries over 160 Wh.  

Chemicals

Chlorine, bleach, fertilizers, spray paint

Explosive items

Fireworks, Christmas crackers

Alcohol (over 70%)

Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof, such as grain alcohol.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, at this stage, if you have bought a solar generator rated above 160 Wh and need to transport it across see by air, you will need to leave it behind. 

Shipping your solar generator on cargo-only airplanes has been known to have slightly fewer imposing restrictions. 

If you are interested to learn more about how you can transport your solar generator, we recommend you give this resource a read. 

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