Digital Trends has featured the Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station as the “Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors” by Digital Trends.
The Portable Power Station is a multi-functional power supply with a built-in lithium-ion battery, which can reserve electrical energy, also known as a portable energy storage power supply. The Portable Power Station is equivalent to a small portable charging station, with lightweight, high capacity, high power, long life, and high stability. It can also output DC and AC power and other common power interfaces and can supply power to laptops, drones, camera lights, projectors, rice cookers, electric fans, kettles, cars, and other equipment; and is suitable for outdoor camping, outdoor live broadcast, outdoor construction, location shooting, family emergency power and other scenes with high power consumption.
In this article, we will explain in detail the working principle of the Portable Power Station, the use of scenarios, the key points of selecting products, etc.
What is the difference between Portable Power Station and mobile power?
There is a big difference in the output of Portable Power Station and cell phone mobile power.
Mobile power can provide about 10,000 to 30,000 mAh of power through a type-c cable and other connections to a smartphone.
Portable Power Station AC output from household outlets can support appliances with power consumption up to kilowatts, while mobile power cannot power large appliances. Portable Power Station has a wide range of applications, not only for home use but also for various outdoor scenarios where it can be connected to high-power appliances such as electric grills, fans, mobile refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.
What is the difference between Portable Power Station and a generator?
There are many differences between generators and Portable Power Station supplies in terms of fuel, electricity, noise, etc. It looks like the same equipment for the power supply, but it is an entirely different device; let’s take a closer look at the differences between them.
First, the Portable Power Station is powered by the electrical energy stored in the electric core, while generators usually use gasoline to generate electricity. Solar energy can charge Portable Power Station for the built-in lithium battery, while the generator does not have a charging function.
Second, the generator power is relatively large. In general, generators tend to be larger than Portable Power stations. However, because specifications vary from product to product, the high-performance Portable Power Station can provide as much power as the generator.
Third, the Portable Power Station is less noisy. Due to the structure of the Portable Power Station, there is no great noise during charging and power supply, while the noise of the generator is quite loud.
Fourth, with a Portable Power Station, you can rest assured that the operation does not have to worry about the surrounding environment because the operation process does not emit exhaust gas, so whether indoors or outdoors can be used safely. And generators with gasoline as fuel, power generation will emit emissions not suitable for indoor use.
The fifth, Portable Power Station supply, is easier to preserve maintenance. For energy storage power, it is recommended to charge every six months; the power is kept at 60% to 80%, placed in a well-ventilated place, away from heat and humidity. In the case of generators, if they are not used for more than 30 days, all gasoline needs to be removed. If gasoline is left in them, they may clog due to fuel deterioration.
The working principle of the Portable Power Station
The Portable Power Station supply consists of the control board, battery pack, inverter, and BMS system, which can convert direct (DC) to alternating (AC) for other electrical appliances through the inverter and supports multiple interfaces of DC output to charge various electrical devices.
Portable Power Station use scenarios
Portable Power stations can be used in various indoor and outdoor situations, and we will introduce some typical usage scenarios for reference.
1. Electricity can be used in RVs
If you put Portable Power Station inside your RV, you can use most household appliances in the car—for example, a rice cooker or electric kettle.
By connecting to an outlet in the car, you can store electricity in the Portable Power Station source that can run for a long time.
2. In the camping and outdoor use of electricity.
Many people encounter the problem of running out of electricity while camping or outdoor activities. Using Portable Power Station, you can use your electrical appliances without worry.
For example, in camping/outdoor scenes, you can use it this way: charge your cell phone, cook with a rice cooker, play music with audio equipment, etc.; you can connect an electric oven, electric fan, mobile refrigerator, mobile air conditioner, outdoor photography; adventure lovers wilderness electricity, you can connect SLR, lighting, drone, etc.; outdoor stall lighting electricity, you can connect flashlight, electric lamp, etc.; outdoor live electricity, you can connect cameras, audio, microphones, etc.; outdoor construction electricity, such as mines, oil fields, geological exploration, geological disaster rescue and emergency electricity for field maintenance in the telecommunications sector, etc.
3. when the power outage becomes an emergency power
Storing electricity in the Portable Power Station can be used as an emergency power source in the event of a power outage.
For example, in the event of a power outage in winter, you can use the Portable Power Station source to continue using lights for lighting or electric blankets for heating. In the summer, a power outage can also be used to cool off with a fan or air conditioner. You can also use an electric kettle to boil water and a microwave oven to heat ingredients, and you can still use electricity normally in an emergency.
4. Can be used in combination with solar panels to save electricity
By connecting the Portable Power Station and the solar panel, the electricity generated by solar power can be stored in the Portable Power Station. The storage power supply is used to power the appliances, and the solar panel is used to power the Portable Power Station.
The lifespan of Portable Power Station
The typical lifetime of a Portable Power Station is approximately 500 to 2500 cycles.
The number of cycles is the unit used to express the life span of a Portable Power Station, with charge + discharge counting as one cycle. That is, if a Portable Power Station has a life span of 800 cycles, then the life span is approximately 800 cycles from 0% charged to 100% charged to 0% used up.
The life of the energy storage power supply is shown by the number of cycles because the standard life of the same model varies depending on the conditions of use and the environment.
If you use it 5 days a week for work, the estimated life expectancy is about 1.4 years. (800 uses per year ÷ 260 = approx. 1.4 years)
The estimated life is only an approximation and will vary depending on the environment in which it is used.
How to choose the Portable Power Station
With the increase in consumer demand, various businesses have introduced Portable Power stations with different specifications. When buying a Portable Power Station supply, you must consider the battery capacity and output port type. The following will explain how to choose the ideal Portable Power Station.
1. according to the use of battery capacity selection
The battery capacity of the Portable Power Station is expressed in Wh (watt-hour).
Wh is the amount of power consumed per hour, and you can tell that the larger the Wh, the larger the battery capacity. The larger the capacity, the larger the battery size tends to be. You can choose the battery capacity depending on the intended use.
Here is a simple table summarizing what kind of usage and how much Wh is needed.
Usage Wh Guide
Outdoor telecommuting: 350Wh or more
Outdoor camping: 500Wh or more
Operation of small refrigerators, rice cookers, etc.: 600Wh or more
Emergency power in case of a power outage: 1,000Wh or more
2. select the output waveform as the sine wave
Portable Power stations provide power in two types: sine wave and rectangular wave. We recommend choosing the sine wave model.
The sine waveform is similar to the waveform of a household outlet and can power a wide variety of power-using devices. On the other hand, Square waves are unsuitable for powering sophisticated machines such as game consoles and personal computers.
3. choose by output port type
The type and number of output ports also vary from product to product.
If you want to use the power supply in a wide range of scenarios, having the following three types will be much easier.
AC AC output port (outlet port) Use for General electrical equipment;
Type-C, USB, etc. port Charging Use for smartphones, laptops, etc.
Port for car charger, DC output, etc. Use for automotive electrical equipment.
The Portable Power Station is equipped with a high-capacity lithium battery that can power various power-using devices. It has a larger capacity and higher output than mobile power. It can be connected to solar panels and charged with solar power.