When it comes to power stations, there are many different types to choose from. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your energy needs before deciding which type of power station is best for you. In this article, we will discuss the best power stations and how to charge power stations.
The best power stations
Power stations are practical for the power supply in the garden when camping, on the go, or in an emergency at home (also as a UPS) – but are primarily intended for outdoor use. On the one hand, they can be charged via a normal household socket or a car charger or in some cases even via e-car charging stations and also via solar panels.
The latter is the reason why power stations are often referred to synonymously in this context as solar generators. This makes them an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional emergency generators or generators that require fossil fuels. In other words, one can also say that power stations are large power banks that are known for smartphone accessories.
Of course, power stations are anything but handy, but they offer much more in terms of connections and, of course, battery capacity. There are power stations with up to four household sockets (alternating current) and plenty of USB ports (direct current) for direct charging.
The output power of current models is up to 3600 watts, with battery capacities of up to 3600 watt hours. Such large power stations as our test winner can even be charged via e-car charging stations and the capacity can be expanded to up to 25 kWh with several additional batteries.
However, the larger such a set is, the less mobile and heavier it is of course. In combination with solar panels, which can also be combined and connected to charge the power stations, you can store your own electricity and use it to charge various devices or to operate the lighting or other consumers.
True to the motto: feed the battery with solar energy during the day and use your own renewable energy at night instead of having to pay expensively from the electricity provider. Power stations in a set with solar panels are therefore a first step towards a self-sufficient power supply and are therefore also conceivable for apartments in the city where there is not enough space for large solar systems.
The associated solar panels, which can be obtained either individually or as a set from the respective manufacturers of the power stations, are mobile. This means you can unfold them in the desired position, set them up and put them away again later – they are therefore ideal for use when camping, in the garden, or on the balcony at home.
It is important to mention that the specified battery capacity does not correspond to the real one. The reason for this is that the batteries must not go below a charge level specified by the manufacturer, as this is harmful to the batteries.
Most power stations can also be used as a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) by being connected between the consumer and the power supply and switching on immediately in the event of a power failure.
Other practical features include operation and control via apps and expansion with additional batteries for more capacity and endurance. The Scotland editors have compared the currently best power stations and clearly compared them with the current best prices.
How to charge power stations?
Power stations can be charged in different ways. For most models, this includes charging via the normal power connection, charging via the cigarette lighter in the car, and, of course, charging via solar panels.
Depending on the manufacturer, there are also charging options via e-car charging stations or via an optional additional battery. Depending on the charging variant and battery capacity, the charging time can be correspondingly long.
When does a power station pay off?
Here Golem.de has drawn up a very interesting calculation that shows that a set of power stations and solar panels only pays off after more than ten years. However, such power stations are not intended as a self-sufficient power supply, but as a mobile or emergency power supply.
In addition, such an operation is strongly dependent on the duration of sunshine, intensity, and the installation position.
Which functions are important in a power station?
Above all, a normal household socket connection is important, which is available at least once for all power stations. It is also practical to have USB ports for direct charging of smartphones or tablets. A UPS function is also practical so that you can keep the most important devices running in the event of a power failure.
The most important key figures for a power station are also the output power and the battery capacity. But weight can also be an important feature – especially when if you want to use the power station as a mobile power supply.
What is the difference between a power station and a power bank?
Power stations are basically large power banks with real AC sockets. In direct comparison, they offer much greater output power and battery capacities and can be charged in many different ways.
In addition, many models offer the option of expanding the power stations with additional batteries.
Can a power station be used as an emergency generator?
Yes! This is one of the uses of power stations. How long they can be used in the event of a power failure naturally depends on the battery capacity and the consumers connected.
However, the various manufacturers promise several days of running time for their top models with moderate use.
What devices can you connect to a power station?
All devices can be connected that can also be operated normally at the socket. The only factor to watch out for is the maximum output power.
As an example: If a power station has a maximum output power of 1000 watts, it cannot be used to operate a vacuum cleaner with 1500 watts. Even when connecting several devices at the same time, you should not ignore the maximum output power.
What are the dimensions of power stations and how heavy are they?
Dimensions and weight are completely dependent on the model. If you then have additional batteries, such a set can quickly weigh 50 kilos and more. However, smaller, handy versions can weigh less than five kilograms and are about the same size as a larger, mobile Bluetooth box.