A portable power station makes it possible to capture and store electricity while camping, or away from grid electricity in general. People typically use portable power stations to recharge their smartphones, and power their camping fridge, camping shower, LED lights and 12v televisions.
Portable power stations consist of a battery, inside a durable case, that has a range of outputs that you can use to access the stored electricity. The outputs included on power stations typically include USB, Cigarette lighter plugs, 6mm LED light plugs, Anderson plug, and Engel posi-fit sockets.
The type of battery included in portable power stations has traditionally been a lead-acid-based battery, usually an AGM design. However, in recent years lithium portable power stations have become a lot more popular due to the lightweight and increased depth of discharge that lithium batteries provide.
Different portable power stations come with different charging options, but the most common way of charging is with a solar panel when you are off-grid or using a power supply to charge when you are home before you go camping.
Most power stations are designed to provide 12v DC power output, but some are built with inverters that allow you to plug in your 240v AC appliances as well.
Before you buy a portable power station it is good to do some homework to figure out how many appliances you will want to power from the power station, how much power they draw, how long you plan to be off-grid, and how much sunshine you might get in order to re-charge while you are away from home. These questions will help you determine what outputs you need on a portable power station and how big of a battery you need.
We have written a range of articles reviewing and comparing different portable power stations that you might find useful: