Portable power stations come in handy when you are in desperate need of a source of light. It is important to always have it around in case you might have an urgent need for it. This is why we have decided to discuss the benefits of portable power stations as well as their benefits.
What is a Portable Power Station?
Portable power stations are ideal and portable (emergency) power suppliers for in and around your home or outside during outdoor activities so that you can continue to use your electrical appliances at any time. The unique properties of a portable power station are the different outputs, from USB-(C), 12V to 230V AC, and the possibility to charge a power station in several ways. You can charge a portable power station in combination with a 230V mains adapter, car charger, or solar panels.
Though the battery is the main part of a portable power station, there are also a number of components and technologies that send stored energy safely and efficiently to your appliances. They have tech that makes them recharge faster, screens that show input and output, and even apps for remote energy management.
How does a portable power station work?
A portable power station is a device that stores energy and can be used to power electronic devices. Most portable power stations use lithium-ion batteries, which are the same type of batteries used in laptops and cell phones.
When the power goes out, a portable power station can be used to charge phones, run a small fan or lamp, or even power a TV. Portable power stations come in different sizes, with some able to provide enough power for several days.
what’s the Difference Between Solar Generators AND Portable Power Stations?
Surprise – not much is different between the two outside of the name. Contrary to what the term “generator” indicates, solar generators do not create energy. Both solar generators and portable power stations simply store energy for you to use whenever needed and can connect to solar panels to recharge.
Benefits of portable power stations
Lightweight and Portable
One of the biggest problems of other types of solar power generators is that they are too large and bulky to carry around. This makes them difficult to transport and use at any location where you need power, rather than your home or business. The beauty of portable generator stations is their compact size – they can easily be carried along for camping trips, road trips, or even to events where power is needed.
Solar-powered generators can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you need to charge your phone, or laptop, or run appliances in an emergency, these generators have you covered. Some even come with built-in fans and lights to make them more versatile and useful in a wider range of situations.
Portable solar power stations are not only much more efficient and versatile than other solar generators but also much more affordable. You can find quality portable generators for as little as $200 – which is a fraction of the cost of other solar power generators on the market today.
What’s more, they’re also much more cost-efficient in the long run. Unlike generators, solar generators don’t require any additional costs or maintenance. In addition, the solar generator will provide free electricity as long as you own it.
Safe to Use
Solar generators are some of the safest generators on the market. Unlike conventional generators, solar-powered generators do not produce any harmful fumes or sparks. These make them perfect for various situations, including indoors and around children and pets.
The main benefit of using a portable solar power station is that you’ll never have to pay for electricity again. Once the generator has been paid off, it’s free energy from then on! This makes them play an active role in emergencies when there might be an extended loss of power.
Solar generators require very little maintenance – making them one of the most low-maintenance power sources on the market today. There is nothing to maintain over time besides keeping your equipment clean! This means you’ll never have to worry about costly repairs or replacement parts.
Solar power stations make very little noise as they operate. Some models are completely silent – making them ideal for both indoors and outdoors. Having a quiet solar generator on standby is necessary during emergencies if you want to keep peace of mind without being drawn to attention by other noise around you.
One of the biggest problems with traditional power sources is that they are not environmentally friendly. However, solar generators do not require any harmful chemicals or fossil fuels to function, which means you won’t negatively impact the environment when you use your generator.
Uses of a Portable Power Station
Emergency Backup Power
This is probably one of the most obvious reasons you’re interested in a portable power station: backup power.
If you live in a residential area that’s prone to frequent blackouts, a region that’s especially vulnerable to storms, or if you just want peace of mind for emergencies, then a portable power station is a wise investment for your home.
The higher capacity you choose, the more power you’ll have on reserve. Portable power stations offer enough juice to charge your phone and laptop continuously for dozens of hours, making it perfect for short-term use.
Convenience on Camping Trips
Camping is a wonderful opportunity to unplug and unwind from our daily routines – but it’s also nice to bring some of the comforts of modern living with us.
The ability to stay connected at all times to our careers or online life can be a luxury or a burden, depending on how you look at it. One thing is for certain: having reliable access to power anywhere on Earth is a present-day miracle for convenience.
No longer do we need to return home in order to fully access our technology. In fact, with the benefits of a portable power station, you’ll likely want to extend your camping trip for even more time spent in nature.
Source of Renewable, Clean Energy
Not to sound overly dramatic, but the future of our planet is dependent on us turning away from fossil fuels and embracing renewable sources of energy. You can do your part in this movement (and save money!) by utilizing solar panels to recharge your portable power station.
With most portable power stations, you can efficiently capture the sun’s rays at an optimal angle throughout the entire day, delivering renewable energy to your PowerHouse’s battery through its USB-C port.
Either let your portable power station recharge outside during downtime, or charge it next to you while in use for a constant source of power. With the right planning and setup, you could realistically stay charged all day and also remain completely free from the fuel-burning power grid.
Less Reliance on the Power Grid
Speaking of the power grid: most people would all love to become less dependent on it, particularly for financial reasons.
Some power companies will charge higher rates for energy usage depending on the time of day. Peak hours typically fall between 8 am–10 pm, when the power grid is more burdened and therefore more expensive to use. If it’s feasible, you could offset some of this cost by choosing when you’re connected to the grid.
Plug into your portable power station during the day when electricity is at peak hours, then switch back to the power grid at night for cheaper usage. Though the monetary benefit may be relatively small, the satisfaction of circumventing the power grid might make the adjustment worth it to you.
Better Alternative to Gas Generators
Gas generators certainly have their uses and benefits—but they come with some serious drawbacks, due to the obnoxious sound and noxious fumes they emit. Not to mention their big, bulky design makes them a pain to lug around.
Alternatively, portable power stations can offer enough power for many of your home appliances – and without the need to stockpile gasoline to keep them running. Better still, you can use them indoors for much easier access to your essential devices. Gas generators, meanwhile, are outdoors only.
Expandable Power for RVs
While many of today’s RVs feature multiple AC outlets, they do not have an unlimited supply of power.
Whenever you have lots of appliances plugged in at once, you run the risk of blowing a fuse. To prevent this, give your RV’s battery a break by transferring some of those devices to a portable power station.
This energy-saving use is reason enough to have one for your mobile lifestyle, particularly on hot summer days with the air conditioner blasting.
Peacekeeper on Family Road Trips
When you’ve had enough of staring out the window our phones, tablets, and laptops are there to keep our sanity on long car rides. As such, everyone’s going to be fighting over the limited (if any) outlets available to keep their chosen device powered.
Thankfully, a lightweight portable power station is there to keep the peace! Just set it somewhere in the middle of the car for easy access, and everyone’s devices will stay charged long enough for even the most prolonged family road trip.
What should I look for when choosing a portable power station?
Portability, capacity, lifespan, and features are what make certain models right for some and not others. The type of battery used will have a big impact on the first three.
Battery chemistries have moved away from the lead-acid ones found in cars, and as a result, are now much lighter and more efficient. We’re still not at the point where your house can run off of a battery the size of your phone, but we’re getting a lot closer. There are plenty of things you can use with today’s portable power stations that you couldn’t have done feasibly a few years ago.
The tradeoff between weight and capacity has reached the point where you can pick up a battery that can power a TV for 24 hours. Smaller sizes you can take on a hiking trip may be able to power small appliances for a few hours. If lifting it up isn’t necessary, bigger ones usually have wheels and can power large appliances and power tools for several hours.
How much electricity a portable power station can store is measured in watt-hours (Wh), which is one watt of electricity being used for (you guessed it!) one hour. If you turn on a 50W bulb for 10 hours, it uses 500Wh of energy.
So, let’s say you’re throwing an outdoor summer party for 3 hours and plan to bring:
- Iceless cooler (50 watts)
- Set of lights (25 watts)
- Slow cooker (75 watts)
All of the devices above add up to 150 watts, and for 3 hours would use 450Wh. A 450Wh portable power station wouldn’t cut it though. With about 10-20% of the battery lost when powering devices, it would take a 500Wh-560Wh portable power station to make this party happen. That’s if you use it from 100% down to 0%, which is a no-no for battery health. If you plan to keep it in the 80%-20% sweet spot for maximum lifespan, you’d want a portable power station with around 800Wh-900Wh.
Seeing a battery as an investment is sort of a new concept. One of the things to compare is the cycle of life. It’s will be stated as something like 500 cycles to 80% capacity.
- 500 cycles – All rechargeable battery subtly loses capacity over their lifetime, and part of this is due to their charge/discharge cycles. A full cycle is when the battery has been used a total of 100% – if you use 30% today, 50% tomorrow, and 20% the next day, that’s one cycle. That’s regardless of if/how much you recharged it these days.
- 80% capacity – After the 500 cycles, then what? Your battery isn’t at the end of its life, it’s only at 80% of its original health. A battery that could once power a light for 100 hours, would only be able to power it for 80 hours. When comparing lifespans between portable power stations, it’s important the health percentage is the same: a battery that’s 500 cycles to 80% capacity is better than a battery that’s 500 cycles to 50% capacity.
At the very minimum, portable power stations should have USB and AC outlets. From there, the bells and whistles you may come across are a variety of outlets, various ways to charge, app functionality, expandable capacity (i.e., adding battery packs), and other available accessories (e.g., home integration kits and smart generators).
To conclude, after reading through all the benefits of portable power stations, it is a safe choice to acquire one for yourself and your family. You never know when you might need them.