Power stations are essential energy sources that provide electricity during emergencies or outdoor activities. Portable power stations allow you to go for adventures or camping trips without worrying about running out of power, as they keep your devices and appliances operational. They are also essential for emergency purposes at home, especially if your locality is prone to power outages.
Portable power stations are preferred over fossil fuel-powered generators because they’re eco-friendly and don’t emit fumes and pollutants.
See Also: Things to Consider While Buying a Laptop
How to Choose Best Portable Power Station in 2022
A portable power station is a solution to a lot of power-related problems but how do you choose the best portable power station that’s right for you? When selecting a power station, you’ll have to consider several factors, such as the types available, your power requirements, warranty, and charging options. If you’re overwhelmed with choosing the ideal power station, the following guide can help.
1. Charging Options
Plugging numerous portable power stations into sockets allows you to charge them simultaneously. It is a convenient solution to keep your battery charged during a power outage. Thus, choosing a rechargeable power station is smart, as alternatives use non-rechargeable batteries, necessitating frequent battery replacement.
Additionally, if you’re an adventurer who loves camping, outdoor adventures, or RV lifestyle, consider settling for portable solar panels that can charge using solar energy. Although solar panels are an additional cost, they’ll ensure your devices and appliances are operational when camping off the grid. Likewise, solar panels can also help lower your monthly energy bills as you won’t frequently plug your portable power station into your wall socket at home when you have the solar panels for a power station.
Furthermore, other portable power stations come with adapters that allow you to recharge the device from your car. Therefore, when choosing a power station, it’s best to choose one with multiple charging options for convenience.
While considering charging options, it might also be better to consider the charging time. The charging time of portable power stations varies depending on the charging method used. As stated, some models can be charged with a regular AC outlet, while others have a DC port for charging with solar panels or cars.
In addition, they can also be charged via a USB port. Typically, the fastest charging option is charging in an AC outlet which takes a few hours. However, the time required to charge via a DC or USB connector varies depending on the station’s model.
Another essential thing to consider when choosing a power station is the power capacity. Output capacity is generally measured in watt-hours (Wh) and refers to the amount of energy a power station can supply. Therefore, consider what devices you’ll need to power during a camping trip or when the power goes off and determine their wattage requirements to calculate the watt-hour capacity you’ll require from the station.
For instance, a power station with a 512Wh capacity can power 10W LED lights for about 50 hours, a 45W small fridge for about 10 hours, or both for about 8 hours of uninterrupted use. If you need to charge your phone and run a lamp, you’ll need about 150Wh in a power station.
Another essential factor to consider is the station’s AC output, measured in watts and refers to the maximum energy load the station can handle. For instance, a 512Wh can only handle devices with 500W to 700W, while a power station with 1229Wh can handle devices with up to 1500Wh. So, choosing a power station with the appropriate power capacity would be advisable depending on the number of your devices and their energy requirements.
Portability is an important factor to consider while selecting the ideal power station. You want to invest in a power station that can be moved without causing any complications. Fortunately, there are numerous types of portable power stations on the market, each of which comes in a wide range of sizes and weights.
The good thing is, brands are also coming up with compact, easy-to-lift designs for the portable power station which makes things a lot easier. That said, it is essential to do some window shopping to ensure that you get a power station that is easily transportable, lifts, and doesn’t occupy much space.
See Also: Best Portable Monitor for Macbook
4. Battery Type
Power stations are generally batteries wrapped with smart casings and charging technology. Most stations are either equipped with lithium-ion batteries or lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. It would help if you could do a quick comparison to determine the best type of battery for your power station.
In terms of energy levels, lithium-ion batteries offer the highest energy density of 150 to 200 watt-hours per kilogram, while lithium iron phosphate provides about 90 to 120 watt-hours per kilogram. Therefore, if your devices and electronics require high energy levels, choose stations with lithium-ion batteries.
With regards to the life cycle, lithium-ion batteries are slightly unstable when used in high-temperature areas. They have life cycles of between 500 to 1,000 cycles which are quite low compared to 1,000 to 10,000 cycles of lithium iron phosphate batteries. This makes lithium-iron phosphate batteries ideal for devices that need to run for long hours without replacement.
Regarding safety, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are the best option because they have better chemical and thermal stability. They operate effectively without experiencing thermal runaway, meaning they stay cool when in use.
However, this isn’t the case for lithium-ion batteries, as they have high energy density making them heat up faster when used in fluctuating temperatures. In addition, regarding their weight, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are heavier than lithium-ion batteries. And now that you know the difference between lithium-ion and lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, it’s up to you to choose the ideal battery type for your needs.
See Also: How to Choose Best Gaming Keyboard
Finally, when choosing a power station, it’s essential to know it will last. Therefore, before settling for one, take time to consider the warranty clauses of each. A warranty acts as an insurance policy. It covers the defects and damage that may occur to the power station for a certain period. Most power stations come with a 2-year warranty, while the most improved models may have a 5-year warranty.
How to Choose Best Portable Power Station: Final Words
That’s it. Those are the important things you should consider when choosing the best portable power station. A power station is a much better choice than a fuel-powered generator as it’s eco-friendly and offers more flexibility in an emergency.
For the best experience and convenience, make sure you buy a portable power station that fulfills your requirements. The above-mentioned points would be a great help if you are buying it for the first time and also helpful to those who had a bad experience before. Therefore, follow the above tips to choose a power station that suits your needs.