In the backup power supply, there are portable power station and mobile power supplie, and people often choose between the two. But what’s the difference?
While they operate similarly, it’s easy to get confused. But there are clear and noticeable differences between them. Knowing the difference is critical when you need to power a device or run a home appliance. That way, you get the power you need when you need it most.
This guide will explain the difference between portable power stations and power banks and which one you should choose.
What is a portable power station?
A portable power station is essentially a rechargeable battery that allows you to charge it on the go. It allows you to provide backup power for electrical equipment, appliances, and more, providing vital energy for emergency outages and off-grid travel.
Traditional generators usually have a built-in electric motor and require fossil fuels to generate electricity. However, a portable power station unit stores electrical energy in its onboard battery so that it can be used when needed.
A portable power station consists of three main components: battery, inverter, and charge controller. The battery cells store energy. Newer stations are equipped with lithium batteries, which are lighter, more efficient, and can be safely discharged to lower voltages without damaging the battery.
Inverters convert DC battery power to the AC power used by most household appliances and electrical equipment. Finally, the charge controller protects the battery from overcharging.
Other common features you might find in a power station include a DC output, USB output, and built-in handles or wheels for added portability.
SOUOP Portable Power Station 1800W
Portable Power Station 1800W is one of the SOUOP portable power stations. This portable power station packs a huge punch thanks to its compact size. It’s the most powerful solution for camping, road trips, or home backup during a power outage.
Even more impressive, you can add portable solar panels to make the Portable Power Station 1800W a solar generator. That means more power, less dependence on the grid, and lower energy costs.
What is a power bank?
A power bank is a charging device that stores electrical energy to charge gadgets like smartphones, laptops, and tablets. It’s a reliable and affordable energy source that you can take with you wherever you go.
You may need to use a wall outlet to charge the device. Once the power bank is fully charged, you can connect your device to the power bank with the appropriate cable.
Power banks are available in a variety of capacities, usually between 1000 and 50,000 mAh. There are many designs available in the market to suit your needs.
The difference between the portable power station and mobile power
While portable power stations and power banks have similar features, there are some key differences.
First, the most notable difference between the two is size and weight. Take SOUOP Portable Power Station 600W as an example. It’s a bit larger in size than a stereo speaker and weighs 14 pounds.
In contrast, a power bank can weigh less than two pounds. It’s a lighter option if you want to keep some stuff in your backpack, but it offers far less charging capacity.
The main difference between these two pieces of equipment is their output. Portable power stations store more power and can even handle high-power appliances. For example, in keeping with the SOUOP Portable Power Station 600W, the output capacity can handle devices up to 600W. This allows you to use your refrigerator, projector, 50″ TV, blender, small Keurig, and more.
In contrast, power banks are typically used in smaller devices such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. They usually have a USB input for charging digital devices.
Portable power stations have larger batteries than power banks. The SOUOP portable power station has a capacity up to 595Wh.
At the same time, the capacity of power banks is small, usually between 2000-10,000mAh. It appears to be a high volume before converting it to Wh. A 10,000 mAh battery with 3.6V provides only 36Wh.
- Charging options
The SOUOP portable power station unit is also solar charging, which means you don’t need to plug it into an outlet to charge it. You can connect it to a SOUOP solar panel or buy them together and get free renewable energy.
There are many reasons to choose solar power. Once you buy the right equipment, it’s clean, renewable and free. The solar panels generate off-grid energy, which means you can pick it up on the road or use it as home backup power in case of a power outage.
Power banks rely on grid power for charging. That means higher charging costs and less grid freedom.
Should I buy a portable power station or a power bank?
Depending on your needs, you need to decide whether a portable power station or power bank is right for you. If you need a lightweight (and short-term) charging solution to keep in your backpack, a power bank can provide reliable energy for your small personal electronics. However, portable power stations are better suited for extended periods of off-grid activity, RV living, and emergency power outages. Below, we describe these scenarios in more depth.
- Small electronic products
If you only need to charge one or two devices, a power bank can be a reliable solution for backup energy. Whether it’s commuting to school, work, or flying, it’s easy to take with you.
That said, portable power stations can also charge your electronics—and more. SOUOP products can charge multiple devices at the same time, while the SOUOP S5 portable power station has up to 16 outlets. Your whole family can charge their smartphones, laptops and more. You probably won’t be able to take it with you on the plane.
Outdoor off-grid use is where portable power station units shine, especially for campers and adventurers looking to enjoy nature while using modern technology. They can power all the necessary equipment in your tent, boat, RV, or other off-grid locations.
The portable power station for camping allows you to simultaneously generate power for night lights, electronics, coffee makers, stoves, and other appliances. Add the right solar panels and you can generate all the energy you need wherever you go.
When you find a campsite or RV park, you’ll want to research whether you have access to an internet connection, cell phone reception, and other necessities like drinking water. RVs spend a lot of time on the road, and a portable power station can reduce your vehicle’s gas consumption.
Using a car alternator will just make you run out of fuel fast. But with a portable power station and solar panel setup, you don’t need to worry about the fuel efficiency and cost of powering your RV appliances and equipment.
- Home use
Power banks are great for home use, especially when using office equipment like a phone, tablet, or laptop without an outlet in sight. You can even use your electronics while charging.
However, portable power stations offer a more reliable and powerful solution, better suited for appliances like microwaves, electric grills, mini coolers, pressure cookers, and coffee makers. Larger capacity portable power station units will run refrigerators, space heaters, etc.
Plus, you can use the portable charging station for home outdoor use, such as in your backyard or shed, especially if you don’t have an outlet.
Of course, a portable power station will also give you more power and storage capacity in case you need it. Power outages can last a long time—the more capacity you can use, the better. The portable power station even runs while your devices are charging, ensuring you have smooth, uninterrupted power.
We are a manufacturer of portable power stations. We have many years of experience in this industry. We are also looking for our partners around the world to promote our products to all over the world. If you still have doubts about portable power stations, the following items hope to help you make a better choice.
5 Things to Know About Portable Power Stations
Our experts share some of the pros and cons of using a portable power station. See how the most popular models perform in our ratings, and check out our generator buying guide to compare portable power stations with other types of generators.
- They cannot provide nearly as much power as gas generators
Like its gasoline-fueled counterparts, portable power stations require a transfer switch if you wish to power your stove, overhead lights, or anything else hardwired into your home.
But while a recreational inverter generator might keep the TV and a few lights on for 8 to 13 hours with a tank of gas, you’d see 3 to 9 hours in the same situation with a portable power station. electricity.
And you won’t be able to run, for example, your power-hungry well pump.
- They take a while to recharge
In our tests, most of these models required several hours of charging (usually overnight) to give you a fully charged battery and maximum runtime.
So — assuming you fully charge your battery ahead of a predicted weather event — a portable power station could give you hours of power to run your fridge or other basic appliances.
But brands will point out that once the battery dies, there’s no way to charge it if you’re out of power and have little sunlight.
- Charging with solar panels can be time-consuming and laborious
If you’re dealing with a blackout or are otherwise off the grid, charging your power station via solar panels is your only option — provided you have plenty of sunlight and no obstructions.
In our testing, we found that a solar panel can increase run time, but for larger units, this might only add an hour or two of power.
- They’re not that portable
Portable power stations are about the size of a typical microwave, but they’re pretty heavy—most were over 80 pounds in our tests.
That means you may need an extra pair of hands to lift it into the trunk of your car. Some models have wheels, but not all of them are very large, which makes them difficult to roll on the lawn.
- They’re not cheap
Our portable power stations cost between $300 and $3,000.
Before buying one of these power stations, consider whether you might be better served by a portable generator. In the event of a power outage, you can keep adding fuel, and portable generators often provide enough power to keep larger equipment running. Check out our generator buying guide to see which type fits your needs.