Battery-powered outlets, also known as portable power stations, allow you to access power anywhere you go. They are very convenient for camping, traveling, or even during a power outage at home. In a nutshell, they use rechargeable batteries to provide energy to electronic devices. They work like power banks but can charge more devices simultaneously and have AC outlets instead of just USB ports. But when searching for the best battery powered outlet, you should keep a few things in mind.
Benefits of a Battery Powered Outlet
Portable power stations distribute their power via a control panel with multiple outlets. They also have various inlets, which gives users greater flexibility—they can charge more items at once and choose between high-amp or low-amp loads. Multiple high-power sources—such as household outlets or solar panels, for example—can charge such stations.
When it comes to security, they score extremely high. They are remarkably silent because they are battery-operated and make no use of machinery or moving parts. Since they don’t burn anything, they don’t contribute to air pollution (like carbon monoxide) and pose no fire risk. They invert the DC from a battery into AC, making them perfectly safe for use with any electrical devices. Some campers bring portable power stations to charge their CPAP machines (used to treat sleep apnea) and other electronic medical devices.
With so many more benefits, it’s no wonder the future of power stations looks bright. The technology behind them is advancing rapidly, becoming more efficient each year.
How to Choose a Battery-Powered Outlet
There are many different types of battery-powered outlets on the market today. Finding one suitable for your needs can be confusing, but we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the selection process.
The power capacity of a portable power station describes how much energy it can store. This capacity is expressed in watt-hours and represents the maximum wattage that can be operated for one hour or the number of hours a 1-watt gadget can be used.
For example, if a 60-watt TV were connected to a 600-watt portable power source, watching TV for 10 hours would completely drain the battery. Because of inefficiency, heat, and other factors, you shouldn’t expect a portable power source to last as long as the math predicts it would in an ideal environment.
A wall outlet, a solar panel, and a cigarette lighter or 12-volt accessory socket in a car are the three main ways to charge a portable power station. A wall outlet is a quickest and most common way to charge. A portable power station, for example, that charges quickly when connected to the grid at home, may take up to eight hours to charge in your car.
We looked at the exterior design of each portable power station and any additional features, such as wheels or grips. Handles are required to lift anything this heavy because you may need to move them frequently and use them outside.
Most portable power stations are too large and heavy for the average person to carry over long distances on foot. On the other hand, a weight restriction of around 50 pounds is reasonable for one or two strong people to carry. Anything more substantial may be challenging to load into and out of a car or move around a house during a power outage.
Although all portable power stations are theoretically portable, some are unquestionably more so. Batteries are lighter and more efficient these days. The power station should be portable, light, and simple to install on the vehicle.
Physically, portable power systems will always be large, leaving little room for innovation. Although some manufacturers can make their portable power units slightly smaller than others or design them to be lighter or easier to store, battery capacity and output should always take precedence over size. It doesn’t matter how small, lightweight, or portable a power station is if it can’t keep you going or power your devices.
Battery-Powered Vs. Gas-Powered
Power stations are battery-powered (with some being able to recharge using solar energy), whereas gas power sources are commonly referred to as generators. Gas generators are less expensive than solar panels and can provide power for longer, but they are noisy and must be used outdoors to keep carbon monoxide from seeping into your home. They are an excellent energy source during a power outage, but they can be challenging to transport and require fuel wherever you go.
Even though they are effective, there are some significant drawbacks to using a gas generator. One problem is that you can’t take them inside, rendering them useless during the colder months. There’s a risk of toxic fumes and fatal accidents if gas generators are used inside. As an added downside, their noise is greatly accentuated in enclosed areas. An outdoor generator requires careful attention to fuel levels and, in colder climates, may require winterization to ensure it continues to work. And gas generators can be fussy, hard to start, and a pain to maintain.
Pressing a button generates silent, gas-free power, making portable power stations a breeze to operate. Power tools, air compressors, and major appliances require massive power plants, which have only recently become feasible to build. Since they are risk-free to use indoors, they are perfect as a backup system for the home, and they are still easily transportable for use in the great outdoors. By connecting to solar panels, portable power stations can provide an unlimited, cost-free power supply, eliminating the need to deal with dirty fuel.
Care and Maintenance Tips
With the help of ongoing technological advancements, portable solar power stations have advanced significantly. The best portable power stations from top brands, such as EcoFlow and Bluetti, frequently have an 800-cycle life and 80% capacity, as well as the ability to run multiple heavy-duty appliances at once, such as refrigerators, TVs, and so on.
They are also lightweight and portable. As a result, to get the most out of a portable power station, you must maintain it. Here are some excellent pointers for you to consider. When not in use, keep your portable power station in a cool, dry place. Please keep it away from any space that may become hot or humid or be exposed to damp or rainy conditions. When traveling with your power station, keeping it in your car or RV is fine, but continuing to do so can shorten its lifespan.
We hope our post has helped you find the perfect solution, whether you’re an off-grid enthusiast looking for an ultra-lightweight power station or a homeowner looking for the most reliable power backup.