In these unpredictable times, we seek energy independence by avoiding reliance on large utility systems. There are several scenarios in our lives when we feel a dire need for a portable power solution. For example, we usually require a power source while camping or traveling, yet are often unable to find one. Due to the advancements in battery technology, such circumstances can now be handled without using large power systems. For such cases, a portable power station is a perfect solution, which will relieve you of all your worries.
Although there are numerous portable power stations in the market, choosing the best one might be challenging. To make things easier for you, we’ve come up with the most crucial factors to consider when buying a portable power solution.
What is a Portable Power Station?
A Portable Power Station is a rechargeable battery-powered system that provides electrical power output when needed, featuring a DC carport, an AC outlet, and USB charging ports. It serves as backup power during a power outage and helps to keep your electronic devices running, including smartphones, laptops, and mini coolers.
One of the best things that makes portable power stations stand out is that they do not produce carbon dioxide, making them safe for indoor use.
Factors to consider while choosing a Portable Power station
Over the last few years, portable power stations have grown in popularity. Currently, there are thousands of options available on the market. So, if you’re planning to purchase a portable power station, keep these following points in mind to make sure you get the finest one.
- Battery Capacity:
One of the most vital factors to look for when purchasing a portable power station is its battery capacity. A high-capacity battery can deliver significantly more power for a longer duration than a low-capacity battery. Thus, If you want your portable power station to last longer, go for one with a higher battery capacity.
To determine the optimal capacity of the power station, you first need to figure out what you want to use it for. For example, if you’re looking for something to take camping, a lightweight battery is a fantastic choice. However, if you’re looking for a backup power supply for your house, you must go for a heavy battery.
Watt-hours (Wh) is the unit used to express the battery capacity. Such as, a battery with a capacity of 500 Wh is capable of powering a 500 W electronic device for an hour. In other words, that’s the equivalent of running a 60 W electronic device for five hours.
Battery capacity varies based on your needs, but at least 200 Wh to 300 Wh is recommended.
2. Power Rating:
It can be challenging to decipher what the power ratings on a portable power station signify. However, if you understand the fundamentals, you will be able to make the right decision when selecting your new power station.
In a portable power station, the power rating refers to the highest power output that the battery can provide at any given time. Watts (W) is the unit of measurement for this power rating. The battery can run more electronic devices at once if it has a higher power rating. Lower power ratings are sufficient for charging smartphones and related electronic devices, but if you want to charge multiple devices simultaneously, you’ll need at least 100 W.
When selecting a power station, bear in mind the power rating, as you will not be able to draw more power than the one specified. Hence, If you wish to connect multiple devices at once, you should first look for a unit with a greater wattage rating.
The price is one of the cardinal factors to consider while buying a power station to determine whether it is worthwhile. You must determine how much money you are willing to spend on a portable power station before making your decision.
There are a variety of power stations on the market, with prices ranging from $150 for a small portable power station to $2000 for a robust fully equipped one.
4. Size and Weight:
The main purpose of a portable power station is to be portable and useful for various applications. In comparison to a generator, portable power stations come in a variety of sizes and are much lighter. A massive and heavy power station would be inconvenient if you were going on vacation or camping. For example, If you’re traveling, you’ll want the lightest choice possible. Hence, ensure that your device is easy to carry.
In reality, not all portable power stations are that portable. The vast majority are too heavy for most people to carry over long distances barefoot. However, a weight of up to 50 pounds is acceptable, which can be readily carried by one or two individuals. Any power station weighing more than 50 pounds would be difficult to carry on a trip or move around the home during a power outage.
5. USB Ports
USB ports in portable power stations are preferred by many of us. Fortunately, most of them include numerous USB ports, which may be of different types. For example, a USB-A port should be capable of charging at a rate of 2A or more. Anything less will cause your smartphone, laptop, and other electronic devices to charge slowly. Some USB-A ports also support quicker Quick Charge technology – a cherry on the top.
6. Wall Outlets:
Most portable power stations contain wall outlets where you may connect a variety of gadgets. The power station you select must have at least one AC wall outlet.
7. Pure sine-wave inverter:
The sine-wave inverter in a battery converts DC into alternating current, which is required to charge most devices. A pure sine wave (PSW) inverter generates electrical waves as smooth as AC power from any wall socket. Thus, make sure to look for this feature while choosing the portable power station of your choice.
A portable power station isn’t a device you’d use every day. Hence, make sure the company you’re buying from offers at least a one-year warranty. A one-year warranty guarantees that you will be able to leverage the device before it expires. Although no battery lasts forever and capacity normally declines within the first year, an excellent quality power station should continue to function long after the warranty has expired.