Electricity can be accessed anywhere with the help of battery-operated outlets, also known as portable power stations. They are instrumental when camping, traveling, or even during a power outage at home. In a nutshell, they power electronic devices with rechargeable batteries. They function similarly to power banks but can charge multiple devices simultaneously and have AC outlets rather than just USB ports. The best portable battery powered outlet can be found only after carefully considering a few factors.
Advantages of a Battery-Powered Outlet
The advantages of a portable battery-powered outlet can be summed up in two words: versatility and convenience. They are beneficial when traveling since they are lightweight and portable.
Power distribution panels for portable power stations have multiple outlets to distribute their energy and numerous inlets, which allow users to charge several items at once—even ones that draw high or low amounts of current. High-power sources, such as household outlets or solar panels, can power such stations.
They have a very high level of security. They are quiet because they do not contain moving parts (as opposed to their wind-up counterparts). And, unlike fossil fuel-powered generators that contribute to air pollution by emitting carbon monoxide and other toxins, solar generators produce no harmful fumes or gasses.
Is a Power Station Equivalent to a Power Bank?
Both yes and no. Both are batteries with connections for connecting your devices. Power banks commonly charge phones, tablets, and even laptop computers. They typically contain simple USB ports, but some have recognizable AC ports that can power tiny gadgets. However, a power bank is usually limited to a minimal capacity of 100 watt hours or less due to fire dangers, which is the biggest you may legally bring on a plane. A power station typically features AC plugs that can accommodate everything from power tools to appliances and range in size from small 250-watt hours to large 3,000-watt hours weighing 70 pounds or more.
Is It Preferable to Use a Power Station Instead of a Gas Generator?
Each has advantages and disadvantages based on how you intend to utilize the device and your needs. A gas generator must be utilized outdoors in a well-ventilated location and, if not used appropriately, can be lethal owing to carbon monoxide output and fire concerns. While there are exceptions, gas generators are significantly louder.
The advantage of a gas generator is its capacity to continuously create energy as long as fuel is available. Gasoline, propane, and natural gas are all very energy dense, and a normal 2,200-watt inverter generator may match a 20,000-watt-hour power station storage with only five gallons of gasoline. Gas generators are also far less expensive.
The power station’s advantages stem from its ability to run within your home without fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s a significant bonus for anyone who lives in an apartment, condo, or other building with no exterior space to safely run a generator.
The gas generator will prevail in terms of stored capacity, but access to fuel and safe storage of that fuel may become a concern. This is especially true if you’re going on a long trip or during a power outage, in which case solar panel arrays are a superior option. A power station also benefits from little maintenance and a short learning curve.
Choosing a Battery-Powered Outlet
There are numerous types of battery-powered outlets available on the market today. Finding one right for you can be difficult, but we’ve put together this guide to help you through the process.
We examined the exterior design of each portable power station and any extra features, such as wheels or grips. Handles are required when lifting anything this heavy because they may need to be moved frequently and used outside.
Most portable power stations are too large and heavy for the average person to walk long distances. On the other hand, a weight limit of about 50 pounds is manageable for two strong people to carry. During a power outage, anything more substantial may be challenging to load into and out of a car or move around the house.
Capacity of Electricity
A portable power station’s capacity describes how much energy it can store. This capacity, expressed in watt-hours, is equal to the maximum wattage used continuously for one hour or the total number of hours a one-watt device can use.
If you have a 60-watt TV plugged into a 600-watt portable power source and you watch TV for 10 hours, the battery will be completely dead. Due to inefficiency, heat, and other factors, the lifespan of a portable power source is unlikely to match the theoretical maximum.
All portable power stations are indeed mobile in concept, but some are more efficient than others while doing their job. Batteries are certainly getting lighter and more efficient. The charging station must be lightweight, compact, and straightforward to install in the car.
A portable power station can be charged in several ways: from an electrical outlet, a solar panel, a cigarette lighter, or a 12-volt accessory socket in a vehicle. A wall outlet is the quickest and most common method of charging. For example, a portable power station that charges quickly when connected to the grid at home may take up to eight hours to charge in your car.
Portable power systems will always be large, leaving little room for innovation. Although some manufacturers can make their portable power units slightly smaller, lighter, or easier to store than others, battery capacity and output should always precede size. It makes no difference how small, lightweight, or portable a power station is if it cannot power you or your devices.
What Size Power Station Do You Need?
To choose the right size power station, you must first identify what you intend to plug into it. Many manufacturers include a chart with estimated power requirements for common appliances and devices to assist in calculating what is needed. You can also compute the figure by tallying and adding the power usage of various gadgets. Watts are calculated by multiplying the voltage (often 120 volts) by the current (amps) (usually found on a tag attached to the appliance). Follow this procedure for everything that will use the generator for power.
Battery-operated outlets serve various purposes due to their ease of usage in delivering power in off-the-grid locations. They can be used for camping, traveling, or even during a power outage at home. The noise output of fully electric battery systems is typically inaudible, and they produce no toxic byproducts, allowing them to be used indoors. They are very convenient to use and are a great option for anyone who needs portable power.