Power stations have changed the way many people do things due to their capacity for providing rechargeable energy on the go. However, is there a limit to what you can power with a power station? The answer is yes, but that limit depends on the portable power station that you have. We will provide you with all the information you need to know to be sure you are covered and have power when it matters the most.
What Is A Portable Power Station?
A portable power station is similar to a power bank, but they are used on a much larger scale. With a power bank, people are usually limited on the types of devices that they can charge due to the outlets available. However, a power station is designed to provide you with a higher output of power, and it has more outlet options.
For instance, most power banks are designed to only power things using USB cords, but with a portable power station, you will find wall outlets that will allow you to power home appliances and electronics, which can be helpful in camping situations or as backup power during a power outage.
- SPEED UP YOUR RECHARGEABILITY: It takes only 2 hours to recharge 80% battery of the power station through the wall outlet and 60W PD USB-C port simultaneously. You can also recharge your power station with an AC adapator when at home, through the car outlet during a road trip or simply use a Jackery SolarSaga 100.
- SAFE & STEADY POWER SUPPLY: Armed with a 293Wh lithium-ion battery pack, the Explorer 300 features 2 Pure Sine Wave AC outlets that deliver stable and safe 300W power. The portable power station weighs only 7.1 pounds. You can simply rest assured in outdoor off-grid activities.
- POWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS: Featuring 2* AC outlet, 1* PD 60W USB-C port (input/output supported) , 1* fast charge 3.0 port, 1*USB-A port and 1* DC car port, the power station can recharge itself and charge (up to) 6 devices (e.g.Drones, Macbook, Cameras, etc.) at the same time to satisfy your outdoor needs.
- GREEN POWER SUPPLY: The power station is compatible with the Jackery SolarSaga 100 solar panel. The integrated MPPT controller enables the solar generator set to operate at its max power point, so that it speeds up the battery recharge, making them ideal portable power kits for tent camping, overland journey and etc.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 300 Portable Power Station , 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1* user guide
What Can You Run With A Portable Power Station?
The answer to this question is a long one. Several factors will make the difference in what sort of things you can run on your power station. The first and most important thing that you need to know is the power output of your power station. This will determine the size of appliances that you can plug into a power station to draw power from it.
Power stations will need to be recharged. Therefore, the amount of power that it provides and the appliances plugged into it will determine how long a power station will be able to power appliances.
If you have enough watts in your power station, the next most important thing you have to look at is the type of outlets that the power station has on it. After all, if it doesn’t have the correct outlet for your appliance, you will not be capable of powering it. It is possible to run devices like televisions, refrigerators, and heaters on a portable power bank. However, these devices tend to use a fair amount of wattage, which means your power station will need a substantial operational wattage to be effective.
If you want to power a television, it is best to have an LED television because they require less voltage than other types of television. However, depending on the size of your TV and your power station, you might only be able to power it for a short time. However, using a power station to keep your phone charged or to operate a small cooking appliance, the power station could last for a considerable amount of time.
How to Figure Out the Operational Wattage You Will Need
Many people like to have a portable power station for camping trips. This helps to keep their phones charged, provide cooking assistance, and add some luxuries that used to not be possible on a camping trip. However, how do you know that your power station will work for your needs?
The best way to ensure your portable power station for camping will be enough is to make a list of the gadgets that you want to have power during your trip. After you get the list completed, you will want to add up the different wattage requirements for each gadget. This will give you an estimate of the operational wattage your power station will need to provide to keep up with all of your needs.
With a portable power station, you can plug up a hot plate to keep food warm, keep your cell phone charged in case of emergencies, or use it to power an electronic bug zapper to keep insects away. There is a long list of appliances that you could take with you on your camping trip with a portable power station. Just make sure that your station has the proper outlets for the things you need to power.
How Do You Choose the Best Portable Power Station for Emergency Use?
Emergencies can arise at any time, and having a portable power station for emergency use can save lives or make an emergency easier on the people going through it. Several types of medical equipment require power to operate, but what happens to this equipment during a power outage? They become useless. If you are in a hospital, this isn’t much of a worry because they have backup generators to keep their machines going, but what about at home?
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea have to use a CPAP machine to help keep them breathing properly at night. Having a portable power station can allow them to sleep peacefully, knowing that, during a power outage, their machine can still function. This will also allow active people who enjoy camping and overnight trips where electricity is not available to continue doing what they love. Having a portable power station for CPAP machines is a good plan for practical situations and emergency ones.
Are There Portable Solar Power Stations and What Makes Them Different?
There are portable solar power stations that you can purchase, and they are special because they can help to provide power to things like an actual generator without having to constantly be recharged by an electrical source. These power stations store and harvest energy from the sun and then send that energy to power the devices that are plugged into them.
Solar power stations are a good source of energy for camping because they can be recharged during the day. So, if you are going on a longer camping trip, you will not have to worry as much about not being able to power your devices for the long haul. As stated before, portable solar power stations can also be used to provide power to traditional generators, as well, which can be useful when you need to power things in a pinch.
- VERSATILE OUTLETS CHARGE UP TO 6 DEVICES AT THE SAME TIME: Pushing 150 Rated and 300 Peak Watts Through (2) 120V Household Outlets, (1) USB Port, (1) Quick Charge USB Port, (1) USB-C Port, (1) 6mm 9-12V DC Outlet, (1) 12V Cigerette Lighter Outlet - Strong Enough To Easily Power 50″ LED TV, Humidifer, or Refrigerator
- HOURS and HOURS OF POWER ON A SINGLE CHARGE: 194 Watt-Hours of Li-Ion Battery Capacity - Provides Long-Lasting Power That Charges Smartphones Up to 21 Times, DSLR Cameras Up to 20 Times, Bluetooth Speakers Up to 13 Times – Delivers Hours of Power to a Nintendo Switch, Drones, and Food Warmers/Heated Lunchboxes
- LIGHTER THAN BLUETOOTH SPEAKER: At 4.03 lb Lighter than JBL Xtreme Wireless Speaker, Smaller Than a Lunchbox - Backpack Ready Mini Generator With a Convenient Carrying Handle and Built-in Tri-Mode Flashlight - Perfect Compact Charging Station for Camping and Other Outdoor Activities
- CHARGES AT HOME, ON THE GO, OR IN THE FIELD: Charge to 80 percent in Less Than 4 Hours Using a Household Outlet or Less Than 5 Hours in the Car or With a Solar Panel (Panel Not Included)
- ECO-FRIENDLY, POWER GENERATOR: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint for More Sustainable Lifestyle - No Obnoxious Fumes, No Messy Maintenance, No Noise Pollution - Whisper Quiet Indoor and Outdoor Generator
How Do Portable Power Stations Work?
Portable power stations run off of rechargeable batteries that can transfer power to gadgets or appliances. Solar power stations can recharge while on the go, but other portable power stations will need to be recharged after being used to ensure the best outcome from use to use.
What Should Be Considered When Purchasing a Portable Power Station?
When looking for a new portable power station, it is important to consider four main aspects: lifespan, capacity, portability, and features. When looking at power stations, you will see two types of batteries that are usually used: an NCM battery or an LFP battery.
Each of these battery types has its usefulness, but if you want a power station that can last longer, you will want to go with a station with an LFP battery because they have a longer lifespan. However, if you need portability, you will first want to look for a power station with an NCM battery because they are made lighter.
Figuring out the lifespan of a portable power station can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Most manufacturers refer to the lifespan of a station as its cycle life. So, when looking at a model, you might see something like 600 cycles to 80%, but what does this mean?
Whenever you are looking at a rechargeable battery, you have to understand that the battery will lose capacity over its lifetime, and a full cycle is when the battery has used 100% of its charge. So, it doesn’t mean how many times you use the battery but how long it takes for it to drain from 100% to 0% power. If you use it on different days of the week and you use 70% one day, 10% on day two, and 20% on day three, at the end of day three, when the battery is drained, that classifies as one cycle.
Does this mean that, after 600 cycles, the battery is done? Not exactly. It means that the battery is now only at 80% of its original health. So, if a power station could power something for 200 hours at 100%, it would now only power things for 160 hours. Therefore, when looking for lifespan, you will always want to go with the higher percentage. So, if one has a lifespan of 600 cycles to 80% or 600 cycles to 50%, you would want to go with the 80% one to get the better of the two.
Next, you want to consider the capacity of the portable power station. The capacity of a power station is measured in watt-hours, which is represented by Wh. When you look at the capacity, you will want to go for a power station that has more Wh than you will require. Remember earlier when we mentioned making a list of gadgets that you will need to power? This is where that comes in handy.
If you’re going camping and carrying a cell phone, a slow cooker, and an iceless cooler, you’ll need to know the watts that each of those devices takes. Here is an example:
- Cell Phone: 60 watts
- Slow cooker: 75 watts
- Iceless cooler: 50 watts
Using these numbers, you will be using a total of 185 watts. If you allot yourself 2 hours a day to use these items, you are looking at 370Wh. You would need at least a 500Wh portable power station just to run these things. However, that would run the battery from 100% to 0%, and that is bad for the health of the battery. To get the most out of the battery, you would want a portable power station with at least an 800Wh capacity for the best result.
One of the biggest things that allows a power station to be considered portable is the station needs to be lightweight. A lot of this comes from the changes in batteries over the years. In the past, battery chemistry was lead-acid, and these types of batteries were heavy.
For instance, think about your car battery and how much it weighs. Many power stations are light enough to carry and can power small appliances for a few hours, like on a hiking or camping trip, but some larger power stations are considered to be portable due to having wheels to make them easier to move without being carried. Some of these stations are capable of powering larger appliances for more hours.
There are different bells and whistles that you can find for portable power stations, but the most important features that you should look for are the types of outlets that it has. You should make sure that the power station you choose has at least USB and AC outlets to ensure the maximum use you could get out of it.
Insights and Takeaways
Portable power stations have come a long way over the past few years. They are capable of powering small and large appliances, depending on the model, which makes them excellent for camping, hiking, emergencies, or backup power situations. You can run almost anything on the right portable power station. You just need to make sure that the one you choose can run your gadgets or appliances.