Portable power stations can serve many purposes at home and on the go. Learn what to look for when buying one here.
Lately, power outages and blackouts have been common across the United States. Extreme weather conditions inspire people to run their HVAC units at full capacity day and night. Consequently, some states have experiencedBlackouts and other power issues. The grid system in the United States appears to be overworked and will likely get worse before it gets better.
Having a backup power source available to power your essential appliances is perhaps the smartest idea to offset these inconveniences. ONEportable power stationit can be a clean and safe solution to your energy related problems. Having one will not only keep you better equipped in case of an emergency, but it can also come in handy for work or play.
However, with the hundreds of alternatives available on the market today, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. So, to make your life easier and help you navigate the various power plant options you can find online, we've put together this comprehensive guide that covers all the basics. If you're ready to invest in a reliable portable battery power station, read on. You can be confident that by the end of this article you will be better prepared to make the right decision for your specific power supply needs.
What is a portable power station?
In short, a portable power station is a device with a built-in power inverter that can convert power from an internal battery into wide-range power. This lets you charge any external device you want, either individually or at the same time, provided it has adequate capacity and watt-hours to do so, of course.
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Portable power stations come in all shapes and sizes, but you'll find that most are no bigger than a toolbox or countertop microwave (although there are some exceptions). Most of these devices contain lithium power cells to provide stored electricity whenever and wherever you need it, whether it's on a camping trip, at a movie location, or in your own home.
People often confuse portable power stations with more traditional power generators or their smaller capacity sibling, the power bank. But portable power stations are none of the above. Although they are designed to serve a similar purpose, they have many different configurations that allow for a safer and more complete charging experience.
Portable power stations can offer some or all of these features:
- Numerous charging ports
- a control panel
- Un monitor LCD
- Different input and output alternatives
- Power security features
- Supply control settings
Furthermore, these devices are much cleaner and safer than other types of power generators, especially fuel-powered ones. They offer a more sustainable source of energy that won't endanger your home or loved ones. Electric power generators are also much quieter than those running on gas or diesel. This is because they don't have all the moving parts needed to burn the fuel.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Power Station
Portable power stations are not cheap. That's why, before you buy one, you might want to think a little bit about your final choice. Determining your emergency power supply goals and doing a little research will save you a lot of heartache down the road. This is what you must evaluate.
As mentioned above, portable power stations come in all sorts of sizes. You can find something as small as the Jackery Explorer 160-Watt Portable Power Station, which measures just 7.4 x 4.5 x 6.7 inches (18.8 x 11.4 x 17 cm). Alternatively, you may end up needing something larger, such as the EcoFlow Delta Pro 3600 Watt Portable Power Station, which measures 25 x 11.2 x 16.4 inches (63.5 x 28.4 x 42 cm).
Remember, the more capacity you need, the bigger your device can be. If you don't have enough storage space to accommodate bulky gear, consider sacrificing some capacity. Or you can invest in a few small portable power stations instead of buying a bigger one.
Is the power plant of your dreams portable? The biggest attraction of this type of electricity generator, in addition to allowing you to improve your appliances, is that it is transportable. Buying one that is too heavy for you to move around in comfortably defeats the whole purpose. Some potencies can weigh up to 110 pounds. (50 kg), and this can be a disadvantage. However, they tend to come equipped with wheels and a top handle to compensate for the high weight factor.
Again, your choice of plant weight depends entirely on your specific needs. If your portability requirements are limited to moving your power station around your own home, you can purchase one that is heavier. Alternatively, if being able to take your power station with you on the road or from location to location is your priority, you could benefit from getting one that's much lighter.
Consider purchasing one or two medium capacity plants if weight is a concern. These could be much easier to transport when needed.
Your portable power station can't do much for you if it doesn't have adequate power capacity to provide your devices with the energy they need to function.
Before making a purchase decision, you need to determine which electronic devices you'll need to charge and how long you want them to work. Some of the most common devices that can meet your power needs through your portable power station are:
- Cell phones
- smart clothes
- desktop computers
- game consoles
After deciding which appliances and devices need to be recharged, you will need to check how much energy they consume, that is, how many watts they need. You can find this information by reading the numbers on the AC adapter, manual, or box for your device. Some electronics, such as LCD TVs, microwaves, refrigerators and others, also have the wattage specified on a label on the back.
Portable power plants offer a more sustainable source of energy, run quieter and are generally safer than other power generators.
Alternatively, you can look up the amperage value and calculate the watts yourself with this simple formula:
Volts X Amperes = Watts
Once you've determined your required power usage, you need to decide how many hours you'll need to run your devices on your power station. Then, multiplying the sum of your devices' watt usage by the expected hours of operation will find the total watt hours you'll get. These calculations will give you the most accurate value for deciding the best capacity for you.
Battery life and battery type
The battery life of your power station will depend on three main factors:
- frequency of use
- Battery Type
Most power plants use Lithium or LifePo4 batteries to keep everything running smoothly. The latter tend to be heavier but are more stable in chemistry. This feature makes them less likely to burn or explode.
However, Li-Ion batteries have a higher C-rate, which means they can charge faster and have a higher discharge. However, LifePo4 batteries have approximately twice as many recharge cycles as other chemical batteries.
Each cycle is the use a battery has from full charge to zero charge. However, regardless of your power station's battery type, using it less frequently can help it last much longer than using it several times a week.
Solar panel support and solar charging
One good thing about portable power stations is that most offer multiple ways to charge them. For example, you can use a typical AC outlet or even run your car's system for emergency power.
Solar power is another great option for keeping your power plant alive when you need it most. It's a lifesaver when you're out in the wild with no power sources to keep the battery going. Most portable power stations have a built-in charge controller for compatibility with solar panels. Although some brands sell their own collapsible panels, you can use just about anything available on the market.
If there are no clouds or obstacles to block your solar panels, you can get as close to your plant's rated capacity as possible. However, on cloudy days, you can get almost nothing when trying to charge your device. So your decision to use solar panels to power your portable station will depend a lot on the area you are in.
If you live in California, for example, you will be able to charge your solar generators without any problems all year round. However, if you call home in Seattle or New York, you'll have far fewer days of proper charging conditions and end up with longer charging times.
Most electronic devices have AC adapters that allow you to plug them into wall outlets. These consist of, at a minimum, two metal contact leads designed to match those connected to a power supply via an electrical outlet. If your power station doesn't have this type of connector, it can be difficult to keep your appliances working.
Depending on how you use your portable power station, you will need more or less AC outlets. If not, you may need to purchase additional power adapters or accessories.
Make sure your power station has temperature regulation sensors, can detect voltage spikes, and comes with at least a limited warranty to get the most out of your purchase.
Please note that both AC plugs and outlets comply with the electrical codes of the country of origin. If you're buying your power station overseas, make sure the AC outlets match the connectors you use at home.
The standard US AC plug operates at 15 amps at 125 volts and consists of two parallel 0.625 x 0.25 in. (1.6 cm x 6.35 mm). Some may also include a third cylindrical tip.
Part of what sets a power station apart from a power bank is the wide range of output options it offers. Buying one that has at least two alternatives is essential for versatility and convenience. If you want to keep smartphones and other devices charged, a power station with USB ports can come in handy.
Universal Serial Bus ports allow you to supply electrical power to a wide variety of devices via one cable. In some cases, it may even support wireless charging.
There are several types of USB ports with different charging capabilities, including:
- USB 1.0:1,5Mbps
- USB 1.1:12Mbps
- USB 2.0:480Mbps
- USB 3.0:5 Gbps
- USB 3.1:5 Gbps
- USB 3.2:10 GB/s
ideal operating temperature
Temperature can affect battery capacity in most devices, and portable power stations are no exception. As the temperature drops, battery capacity decreases. On the other hand, higher temperatures increase the number of ampere-hours a battery can handle. Unlike battery capacity, battery life is reduced at high temperatures.
Batteries have so much mass that they change their internal temperature much more slowly than the temperature of the air around them. That's why you need to make sure your portable power station of choice has temperature sensors and the right insulation to regulate the heating elements. If your plant is exposed to constant temperature variations, having load control and temperature compensation will also be helpful.
A warranty is the manufacturer's way of saying you're in good hands. Indicates that your product must meet all industry standards for quality, performance and capability, otherwise you have certain rights. These privileges may vary depending on your warranty terms and conditions.
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When purchasing a new portable power station, make sure it has at least a limited warranty. Some sellers also allow you to purchase an extended policy for an additional cost if you feel you need additional protection if your product is defective.
Many power plant manufacturers have very strong warranties to protect their customers. For example, Goal Zero offers a 2-year limited warranty on all of its products. They also have a six-month Open Box product warranty.
Jackery also offers an extended 24 month warranty from the original purchase. However, they require the original receipt as documentary proof to establish the warranty start date.
Whichever brand you choose for your emergency power supply purchases, be sure to read and understand their warranty first. This can save you some money on repairs and even give you access to product replacements if your power station breaks down or malfunctions too soon.
You will also need to check what is the maximum charging current your portable power station can supply. Note that no power supply can deliver more current than its rated power output unless there is a short circuit or other failure.
Make sure your power station can detect power surges to protect your devices from overcurrent. A good portable power station should be able to regulate momentary power surges and shut down in case of imminent danger or damage.
To allow your power station to provide enough power for your electronic devices, it must operate below its maximum output rating.
As mentioned above, portable power stations are generally not cheap. Prices vary from brand to brand depending on the power plant specs you are looking for. It's good practice to compare and contrast prices before zeroing in on a specific model.
What can power a portable power station?
A practical power plant can power all kinds of devices, including:
This type of equipment includes plasma televisions, computers, microwave ovens or any other device that is not considered robust. As a good power station has the ability to protect electronic devices from power surges or any other electrical failure, it provides a safe way to power them on.
Portable power stations are incredibly versatile. As long as you buy one with the proper production capacity, it will be able to power the appliances that require the most electricity, including electric grills.
Portable power stations are so reliable and safe that they are a reliable source of power for medical devices. These power supplies can keep delicate and expensive electronics running smoothly with little or no risk.
The benefits of having a backup battery
In today's scenario of uncertain power supply, having a backup battery is no longer a luxury. You need to be prepared to prevent power outages and other issues from interrupting your daily activities indoors and outdoors. A portable power station makes a great backup battery. Some of the main advantages it offers are:
- Peace and tranquility:A power plant will never be as noisy as a fuel generator. In fact, the noise he can make can even go unnoticed, even if you're right next to him.
- Clean energy:Portable plants do not emit toxic hydrocarbons such as nitrous oxide,carbon monoxideand particulate matter. The absence of hazardous emissions makes these power sources a cleaner, safer option for the environment and you.
- Continuous Power:Generators can take a while to start during a power outage. Your portable power station can be turned on instantly, allowing you to catch up on what you were doing before the blackout in a matter of seconds.
- Reliability:As long as you keep your power station charged, it will offer youa solid backup of electricitywhen necessary
- Substantial savings:Unlike power generators, a portable power station will not require you to buy fuel, gas or diesel. Also, if you use solar panels, you can have all the electricity you need for free in any power plant emergencies.
- Energy independence:Once you have a power plant, you no longer need to rely on the grid. An emergency backup will allow you to produce and store your own electricity.
Notable brands of mills
Now that you know the ins and outs of portable power stations, it's time to find the right manufacturer. If you're wondering, "Where can I buy a portable power station?", here are three of the most reputable brands on the market.
This company was founded in 2017 to help the world transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future in terms of energy sources. They offer solar technology and other energy solutions to keep the homes of thousands of Americans powered, come what may.
Portable Energy Jackery
Founded in the Golden State, this company has been providing American homes with alternative sources of energy supply since 2012. Jackery is a well-established name in the US solar generator industry and a global energy leader. Its aim is to help fight climate change through a green spin on the energy supply as we know it. Jackery solar generators have numerous certifications and awards that support their reputation.
This brand emerged with a commitment to generating cleaner energy that benefits everyone, everywhere. Its portable solar energy solutions aim to offset extreme poverty and help build a better future. This company strives to create award-winning power generators that allow customers to meet their power supply needs whenever they need them, without relying on what have been deemed "energy villains".
Find the best power station for continuous production
Electricity is something we cannot live without. Unfortunately, there are numerous situations where accessing this powerful resource is difficult or nearly impossible. Furthermore, the insufficient power supply system in our country causes us to experience more blackouts than ever before. That's why having a backup power source is essential.
A portable emergency power station is a great tool to stay connected, come rain or shine. It provides a reliable, green power source to keep things running smoothly in the event of a power emergency. The guide above will help you understand what's behind buying a smart power plant. Now you can go ahead and type "buy portable power station" into your browser. If you want to know more about the new and best plants on the market,visit our partner site and check out our reviews.
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DealNews may be remunerated by the companies mentioned in this article. Please note that while prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals referenced in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise noted).