Portable Power Station Ultimate Guide in 2023

• About Portable Power Station

As a new technology product emerging in the market in recent years, portable power station has attracted the attention of many advanced users at the beginning of its launch. As a new type of off-grid energy equipment, it is lighter, smaller and easier to carry than traditional diesel generators. It can also be recycled and reused by charging. It saves the cost of use, realizes low-carbon environmental protection and clean energy, and reduces environmental pollution and fire hazards.

On the other hand, compared with the old small mobile power bank, it has the characteristics of large capacity and high power. It is often equipped with a variety of output ports which are easily compatible with various common small electrical appliances such as coffee machines, camping lights, small refrigerators, stereos, etc. and have greatly broadened the choice of supplies for outdoor travel. It can also provide valuable mobile backup power in emergencies, such as after disasters, to power emergency equipment such as aspirators, AEDs, etc. In addition, most of the portable power stations can be used together with solar panels to ensure the continuous energy supply in outdoor environments.

If we would like to give a simple and rough definition to a portable power station, we can say it is a large power bank with increased size and capacity, as well as a portable equipment to provide power whenever and wherever you need when you are off grid. In this article, we will explain and guide you in details how to choose your suitable portable power station.

• Benefit of Portable Power Station

With good performance in all aspects, many families choose to purchase a portable power station and put it at home, which can be used as a leisure item for travel or as a power backup for emergency. If you want to make a conclusion of its usage scenarios, it can be roughly divided into several categories such as outdoor travel, field camping, car driving, and family emergency.

Please recall whether the following situations have occurred in your life:

  • The car battery has no electricity, but unfortunately there is no way to ask for help
  • Being bored and having nothing to do on long car trips
  • Want more music, lights, and iced beer in outdoor camping
  • Sudden power blackout at home, loss of all light sources, and even affect individual life-sustaining equipment
  • Want to use the mobile phone leisurely in the living room, but no power outlet available nearby
  • The fuel is used up by the diesel generator, and the energy supply of the equipment cannot be maintained

If you answered “yes” to more than two of the above five items, then you don’t need to hesitate to purchase a portable power station which can perfectly solve all your problems.

• The Working Core

Battery cell is the core element of the portable power station, which is generally divided into two types: lithium ion battery and lithium iron phosphate battery.

The main features of the two can be briefly summarized as follows:

Lithium Ion Battery:

High energy density, it can achieve greater electrical energy capacity with smaller volume and weight.
High power bearing rate, it is widely used in various motorized equipment.
Strong temperature adaptability, and it can keep working under the environment between -30F and 130F degrees after fabrication processing.
Poor Safety, it can not discharge at large current, and it also has a potential safety concern of explosion.
A special protection circuit needs to be designed to prevent overcharge and over-discharge.
High production costs

LiFePO4 Battery:

Ultra-long service life, the life cycle can reach more than 2500 times under normal circumstances, and the service life is as long as 7~8 years
Strong safety, the lithium ion battery will catch fire in extreme cases such as puncturing, while the lithium iron phosphate battery will not.
Fast charging, the battery can be fully charged in a very short time with the right charging adapter. 
Lithium iron phosphate batteries have better performance at high temperatures than lithium ion batteries.
Relatively moderate performance in cold environments.
Relatively low power density. It will have larger size than lithium iron batteries at the same capacity

most of the low-end products use lithium-ion batteries to improve performance parameters, while high-end products will utilize the safer lithium iron phosphate batteries to avoid possible fire and explosion risks.

• Pros and Cons

In 1845, Faraday formulated that cornerstone of modern physics, the field theory of electromagnetism. As the story is usually told, the prime minister or some other senior politician was given a demonstration of induction by Faraday. When asked “What good is it?” Faraday replied: “What good is a newborn baby?”

As a newborn baby, the portable power station has many advantages brought by the cutting-edge technology, such as lightness, compactness, easy portability, and ease of use, reuse, and adaptation for various scenarios which have been mentioned before. However, with the increasing popularity of portable power station, many problems have gradually emerged, such as price and safety that many people are concerned about.

Lightweight, compact and easy to carryInsufficient energy power to fully replace outdoor generators and campfires
Clean and environmentally friendly, pollution-free and sustainableInferior batteries still have a certain explosion hazard
Low energy cost using electricityPowerful mobile energy storage products are often expensive and bulky
With the solar panels, it can achieve unlimited battery life outdoorsDifficult to achieve heating
No operation and use threshold, plug and play
Eliminate the risk of wildfires, suitable for camping sites where open flames are prohibited

• Compared to Traditional Methods

Undoubtedly, traditional outdoor energy acquisition methods, such as outdoor generators and campfires, are still the absolute mainstream of outdoor energy supply. Indeed, as far as the current development of battery technology is concerned, compared with new portable power station, diesel generators and campfires each have their main irreplaceable advantages.

Take the diesel generator as an example, although it is bulky and big, and requires additional fuel that is flammable and explosive, it can support some real large-scale equipment. If you want a luxurious open-air concerts, then the diesel generator will be your only option.

On the other hand, the campfire, as a classic and retro option, has always been in a dominant position. It has an irreplaceable effect in creating an outdoor atmosphere. There is nothing like a group of friends gathering around a campfire and grilling together. Singing is more like camping. And in terms of efficiency, as long as the camping site you go allows open flames and even provides firewood, it must be the best companion for your outdoor cooking (but please also pay attention to the risk of wildfires, remember to put out the fire properly before leaving).

Group of friends sitting at a campfire, talking and drinking tea

However, if you are just a light gamer and just want to do some leisurely outdoor activities, such as fishing, reading, or just lying lazily under your sky, then the portable power station will be your best choice. For this kind of light activity, it is obviously too exaggerated to carry an outdoor generator. If you do not pursue the atmosphere of a campfire, then a portable power station will be enough to support the power supply of your entire camp, including lighting , easy cooking, and charging of all your essential electronic devices, etc. In addition, outside the camping scope, portable power station is also a better choice for post-disaster emergencies. After a hurricane, it is always very difficult to find fuel to support your diesel generator, but owning a portable power station and a solar panel will definitely be something different.

• Find Your Own Unit

So, how to choose a portable power station that best suits you? First of all, you should understand your needs and conditions, think about these questions:

  • What kind of scenario do I need it?
  • What is the maximum output power of my electrical equipment?
  • What is my transport method? (On foot? Camping cart? Or driving directly to the destination)
  • What is my budget?
  • Do I care about the product design?

Unless you want to use a microwave or even an electric oven in the wild, you may need a large portable power station of more than 1500W output power. This level of product is very huge and bulky. If you really feel that there is such a need, you’d better find a store to test its weight.

Generally speaking, a portable power station with an output power around 600W is enough to cover most of the usage requirements. It is enough to provide almost unlimited lighting and mobile phone/tablet charging for your camp. It can also support some small cooking appliances. The most important thing is that the price point of this portable power station tends not to come more than $1,000, which is acceptable for a home appliance.

1000-2000W100-200W100W or lower
Rice cookerTelevisionLaptop
Electric ovenProjectorNintendo Switch
Air fryerBlenderCamera
Hair dryerIce makerDrone
Coffee machineMini fridgeWatch
Micro-wave ovenCamp lights
Reference Table of Output Power for Common Outdoor Electrical Appliances

• Suitable Accessories

There are several products that are naturally perfect partners for portable power station, which can be said to be tailor-made for it, and almost everyone will consider choosing one or two of them to buy together.

The solar panel is particularly recommended among all the accessories. A solar panel not only increases the battery life of your portable power station, but also brings you the ability to obtain the continuous outdoor energy without consumption. This is a breakthrough from 0 to 1, which allows you to completely say goodbye to the embarrassment caused by lack of the fuel. It even has an irreplaceable role in emergency situations. As a clean energy with zero risk of wildfire, the solar panel has the best environmental protection and sustainability, which can be said to be the perfect camping companion for a portable power station.

Secondly, an exquisite camping lamp is also a very good choice. No matter for what reason you are in an off-grid environment, the light source is always the number one problem that needs to be solved. A handy, compact, sustainable and easy-to-place camping lamp can solve your lighting needs in most situations.

Finally, people still have to solve the food supply problem in the wild. A small kettle will make your outdoor cooking a lot easier. It can be competent for many heating tasks like cooking instant noodles. However, if you prefer a barbecue party, looking for a campground that allows open flames will be your best fit.

• Conclusion

As long as you are not a person who has no connection with outdoor life, the portable power station will definitely bring new changes to your life. As a more modern, simple, fashionable, clean and environmentally friendly way of off-grid energy supply, electricity has begun to gradually popularize and replace traditional fuel and campfires, becoming the new mainstream option. When choosing and purchasing your portable power station products, you must understand your own needs and determine what level of outdoor activities you need. Be sure not to go too far when purchasing, and finally buy a large-scale energy storage device that far exceeds your actual equipment needs.

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