How to Choose an Outdoor Power Station?

Foldable power station

What is an outdoor power station, and what is the difference between it and a power bank?
Outdoor power station is actually called outdoor mobile power station, and it is also portable charging station. The main feature is the configuration of various types of output ports:
USB, Type C, can charge general digital devices.
The car charger interface can charge the car battery or power other on-board equipment.
It supports 220V AC output, which is equivalent to using mains at home.

What is the difference between power bank and power bank?
1. Output power
The mobile phone charging treasure currently on the market has a larger output power of almost 22.5W. Power bank for laptops can reach 45-50W.
Outdoor power stations start at 200W, most brands are above 500W, and the maximum can be above 2000W.
High power means that high-power electrical appliances can be used.

2. Capacity
Before comparing the capacity, I have to introduce the unit to everyone.
The unit of the power bank is mAh, which is generally referred to as milliampere for short.
The unit of outdoor power station is Wh.

Why is the outdoor power station different from the power bank?
1. Because the output voltage of the power bank is relatively small, the output voltage of the mobile phone power bank is 3.6V, which is the same as the working voltage of the mobile phone.
It is also because of the voltage problem. If you want to use a power bank to charge your laptop (operating voltage 19V), you have to buy a laptop dedicated.

2. The Wh unit actually refers to power consumption or capacity, which you may not have seen before. But when I say this, everyone is somewhat impressed:
1000Wh = 1kWh = 1 kWh of electricity.
The conversion formula of these 2 units: W (work, unit Wh) = U (voltage, unit V) * Q (charge, unit Ah)
Therefore, a 20000mAh mobile phone power bank has a capacity of 3.6V * 20Ah = 72Wh.
Generally, the capacity of outdoor power station is at least 300Wh. This is the gap in capacity.
For example: (without considering loss)
The working voltage of the mobile phone battery is 3.6V, and the charge capacity is 4000mAh, then the capacity of the mobile phone battery = 3.6V * 4Ah = 14.4Wh.
If you charge this phone with a 20000mAh power bank, you can charge 72/14.4 ≈ 5 times.
A 300Wh outdoor power station can charge 300 /14.4 ≈ 20 times.

What can an outdoor power station do?
When you need electricity outdoors, outdoor power stations can help you. E.g:
1. Set up a street stall outdoors to supply power to the light bulbs.

2. Outdoor camping and self-driving tours, there are many places where electricity is used. Outdoor power stations can do whatever you want to use electricity. E.g:
Use projectors, boiling hot water, rice cookers for cooking (in some places, open flames may be prohibited, and outdoor power stations can let you use the rice cooker at ease), digital equipment charging (drones, mobile phones, computers)
, Use car refrigerator, etc.

3. If it is a RV, outdoor power station can be regarded as a must-have item when you are outdoors for a long time.

4. Mobile office, when there is no place for charging, it can guarantee the computer or mobile phone, and worry about the problem of electricity for a long time, which is much better than the battery life of the power bank.

5. For friends who are fishing in the wild, the outdoor power station can be used to charge the wild fishing light or directly use it as a fishing light.

6. For photographers, the more practical scenes of outdoor power station are:
It can replace the need to bring a lot of batteries to power the camera light.
Or it can be used as an LED light to fill light.

7. When working outdoors, outdoor power station is also a must for high-power equipment.

8. Emergency standby.
It is not only necessary to be outdoors to use an outdoor power station. The outdoor power station can be used as an emergency light when there is a power outage at home.
For example, in the various natural disasters that happened this year, the importance of outdoor power station is reflected when the power outage in the community has not come for a long time. Boiling hot water, charging mobile phones, etc.

What are the points to pay attention to when choosing an outdoor power station?
1. What is the use of wattage?
Every electric device has power usage. If the power of the battery is not up to the point, it will not be able to carry it.

2. The difference between mAh and Wh.
Although the above has been a little introduction, this is the most misleading point, let me explain.
One sentence summary: when you only look at mAh, you can't know what the real capacity is, because the power of electrical appliances is different.
mAh (milliampere) is a unit of electricity that represents the charge Q that the battery can hold or release.
The common thing is: we will say how many milliamps the capacity of a mobile phone battery or a power bank is.
Wh is a unit of power consumption, which represents the work that the battery can do.
Wh is pronounced as watt-hour, 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) = 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity.
Conversion between Wh and mAh: Wh*1000/Voltage = mAh.
Therefore, most of the mAh marked by the outdoor power station merchants are converted by the voltage of the mobile phone 3.6V, which shows a large capacity.
For example: 600Wh can be converted to 600 * 1000/3.6 = 166666mAh.
Summarize:
1. Outdoor power station with relatively small power (below 300W), more depends on mAh, because it is more concerned about how many times the electric equipment can be charged.

2. Outdoor power station (above 500W) with relatively large power depends more on Wh, because it can better calculate the power supply time for high-power electrical equipment.
For example, a 500W rice cooker + an outdoor power station with a 600Wh capacity can directly calculate the usable time: 600/500 = 1.2 hours. If it is expressed in mAh, it is more difficult to calculate.
If you still have no idea, you can slide to the end of the article. I have summarized some electrical equipment, its charging times or power supply time comparison chart.

3. Charging method
Mains electricity (charging at home), car charging, solar panel charging (outdoor), if you spend a long time outdoors, or if you spend a long time outdoors like a motorhome, solar panels are still necessary.

When buying an outdoor power station, different brands will have a set combination: outdoor power station + solar panel (the price will increase).

4. Scalability
Two outdoor power stations are connected in parallel to increase the power.
An outdoor power station+1~2 power packs.
The power pack can only be used as a battery, and it can be used with an outdoor power station, which has much less functions than an outdoor power station.

5. Output waveform
Only pure sine waves will not damage electrical appliances, especially digital equipment, so be careful when purchasing.


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