Whether for camping, hiking, emergencies, or just general usage, having a power station handy can make a world of difference. Portable power stations have been around for quite a bit, but only recently has there been an emergence of many brands competing in this power source space, and for good reasons. Power stations are slowly overtaking regular gas generators because of how simple they are to use; they don’t require upkeep, and best of all, you can use them indoors as there’s no exhaust from them.
To add to the value of power stations and make them fully reliable, using solar panels to recharge them is a way to go off the grid. Solar panels come in varying sizes and wattage output; you also have to consider the max solar input for your power station, so you’re not overpaying for the solar panel you buy.
So let’s delve into more details about what a portable power station has to offer and the different features that it can have.
Power Station Capacity and Wattage Output
Of course, since portable power stations don’t use gas, they use batteries, and you can imagine a power station being many power banks put together into one. One of the best parts of modern power stations is that you have a wide range to choose from, which means you can get a lower capacity 100Wh power station or even a 2000Wh one. Depending on your needs and budget, you have to choose what works for you, but the selection has grown exponentially in recent years.
TogoPower Mini Power Stations
So with higher capacities, you get a longer usage time, but that depends on the max output of the power station you’re using. For example, if a power station has a 100Wh capacity and a 200W max output, if you’re using 100W of output, then you can use it for 1 hour, and if you’re using 50W, the unit can last about 2 hours. You must divide the Watt Hour capacity by the wattage you use to estimate how long a power station will last.
If you want a specific example of a low-capacity power station, look at the TogoPower Power Advance 240, which has a 200W max output and a 231Wh capacity, or the TogoPower Advance 350, which has a 330W max output and a 346Wh capacity.
These lower-capacity mini power stations are dependable in case your power goes out and you need a light source and a way to charge your phone and other devices. No, these mini power stations won’t power your home or higher-wattage appliances, but they are convenient to have, mainly because they’re smaller and lightweight; you can take them hiking or camping.
The TogoPower Advance 240 and Advance 350 have what you can expect from a mini power station, such as a single AC outlet, charging ports that include a 60W USB-C Power Delivery port, two DC barrel ports, and a cigarette lighter port. So these types of power stations are reliable for road trips, camping, hiking, and just momentary power outages; best of all, these TogoPower power stations are more affordable than higher-capacity ones.
Lower-capacity power stations are mainly meant for powering low-wattage appliances such as light sources, smaller TV, and possibly a mini heater if the wattage is capable of supplying the right amount of power.
TogoPower High Capacity Power Stations
On the other hand, a 2000Wh power station is in a different ball game because these types usually have much higher max outputs, such as a 2000W max output. Higher capacity power stations are meant for powering larger appliances such as heaters, full-sized refrigerators, deep fryers, power tools, and anything else you can think of. Even with these higher-wattage appliances, you can expect a high-capacity power station to last a couple of hours. If you’re powering lower-wattage appliances within the 50W range, you can expect a 2000Wh power station to last for days.
Also coming from TogoPower are the Advance 550 and the Advance 1550 power stations. The Advance 550 power station is more of a mid-level unit with a 520Wh capacity and a 500W max output. With this higher capacity and higher power output, you can power higher-wattage appliances. In addition, the Advance 550 has two AC outlets and four charging ports to power two appliances.
On the other than, the Advance 1550 from TogoPower is their most powerful power station. This unit has a 1512Wh capacity and a 1500W max output. So you can potentially power nearly any appliance in your home with this Advance 1550 power station, including heaters, a full-sized refrigerator, and many other appliances. This type of power station can last for days with its 1512Wh capacity. The Advance 1550 power station also has three AC outlets so that you can power three appliances simultaneously; you also get four charging ports, which include two USB-A Quick Charge ports and two USB-C Power Delivery ports. This a power station that goes all out.
Solar Panel Compatability
Another reason to get a power station is how it can be paired with a portable solar panel to be recharged. You can use solar recharging gas generators.
When purchasing a solar panel, it’s best to get one bundled with a power station if possible; this way, you can use solar to recharge your power station when needed. TogoPower has solar solution bundles that include power stations and solar panels. TogoPower solar panels can output 120W to recharge their power stations and any other power station.
Solar panels are similar to a power station because the higher the price, the higher the wattage. With a 100W solar panel, you can recharge your power stations at a relatively fast speed, with enough sunlight hitting the panels. This all comes at a pretty low cost, too.
Another thing I wanted to mention about power stations is their design quality. Design quality means their screen feature and how you can use the power station. For the TogoPower power stations, I have to say that their design quality is superb because the screens on them show the wattage output, input, battery capacity remaining, and even the estimated runtime. Estimated runtime on a power station screen isn’t very common, but TogoPower units have it. You can do so when activating certain parts of the power station with just a button.
Will Gas Generators be Phased Out?
I think gas generators will become less common over time. Currently, power stations are just getting started, and they have gone lower in price and continue to drop as time progresses. Gas generators may be more affordable, but you have to consider the noise, the CO2 emissions, and the maintenance that comes with them. People want to start using their devices and not worry about upkeep or safety when breathing in toxic fumes; portable power stations solve that. Best of all, you choose which best suits your needs, as TogoPower power stations have shown.
Since 2016, Usman has flourished as an independent tech journalist, reveling in the evaluation of diverse tech gadgets, with a particular fondness for charging technology to ascertain product performance. Besides his journalistic endeavors, he helms the Charger Harbor YouTube channel, where he extends his tech insights to a broader audience.