A generator is a machine that transforms energy into usable electric energy for either immediate or later use. Typically, a solar generator will have a solar energy collection device (i.e. solar panels) which also converts the sun’s energy into DC electric current. If that electricity is not needed right away it can be stored in the generator’s battery. From the battery, the electricity can either be used in its DC form, or it can be routed through the generator’s inverter for conversion to standard AC electricity. Generating AC power from DC power is the primary function that qualifies the term generator for this type of power supply.
A power station allows you to get everything that you need in order to generate power, from cables to an inverter to a charge controller and beyond. So, you won’t need to buy anything else in order to get this system up and running. The design comes with AC outlets and a couple of USB ports. It also features a handy LCD Battery Status display. Access up to 5000 watt peak and 2500 watt continuous with unit weighing less than135 pounds and it’s packed with power
Choosing a Portable Power Station
The key details that are very important in a portable solar generator are portability, component quality, battery storage capacity, balanced system design and solar PV input. Here are a few more details that can help in picking the best portable generators for home use:
The mobility factor must be given utmost importance. A portable generator will be a great energy solution for families who love camping or staying outdoors. These handy and small portable generators can be a great choice considering that they can function efficiently and yet they do not take up a lot of space. Get a portable generator that is designed like a briefcase which makes handling and moving a lot easier.
Solar PV Input
A Solar generators biggest advantage is to be able to recharge with Solar Panels. This adds to the portability as you will able to charge wherever you have access to sunlight and this includes the most remotest parts of the world.
Balanced system design
The important combination for a balanced design for the generator system should have the following factors: solid PV input, usable storage capacity and as well as an applicable inverter rating. The components of the solar generator must complement each other so it will function at its best level. Having a balanced system design will ensure that the generator will last for a good amount of time which will give you the best value for your money.
Quality and durability are 2 essential components that you should find in a portable solar generator. The generator must not only be handy but it should also pass all the set quality standards to ensure its efficacy and reliability.
Battery storage capacity
An effective portable generator must have ample battery storage which allows the owner to use it even during times of limited sunlight or at night.
Advantages of the Lithium Battery Power Station
Power Station can either come as Lead Acid or Lithium Powered. These batteries are referred to as rechargeable deep cycle batteries are used in most Solar Power Systems setups. However the new Lithium battery is becoming the battery of choice for many reasons and it is also why we have a biased towards lithium battery power stations:
When it comes to weight, the Lithium battery wins hands down. It is typically half to one third lighter than the original lead acid battery weight (for an equivalent run time/capacity lead acid battery bank).
Higher electrical efficiency.
The Lithium battery has a much higher electrical efficiency compared with lead acid batteries. LiFeTech lithium batteries are typically 98% charge efficient compared to between 70% and 85% with the lead acid batteries. They also have significantly faster charging times than lead acid batteries.
What this means is the Lithium battery will charge not only more efficiently, but more quickly than a lead acid battery. This can be particularly important in situations with limited charging methods available, such as from solar panels.
For example, camper van owners have reported that their LiFePO4 batteries are fully charged from solar panels by midday compared to 4 to 5pm using their old lead acid batteries.
Longer working life.
While good quality Lithium batteries such as C&C Power Supply batteries are far more expensive to buy and set up initially, the actual cost of ownership is considerably cheaper than lead acid batteries (calculated in terms of cents per charge cycle).
In a lead acid battery, voltage will continue to drop over time as the internal circuit within the battery will self discharge. This forces the connected electrical device to eventually shut down at its minimum operating voltage. In the Lithium battery, however, voltage tends not to drop under load until the battery is almost depleted. For example, an ignition coil in a motor vehicle will have a consistent spark due to the battery’s ability to delivery a consistent voltage. This means electrical equipment tends to run more efficiently as they are receiving constant voltage. Ultimately, using Lithium batteries gives electronic equipment a longer working life before failure than the lead acid battery option.
Expect to spend much less time recharging Lithium batteries than lead acid batteries.
Lithium batteries are the safest batteries for consumers and the environment. Internally, they do not contain corrosive sulfuric acid or any toxic heavy metals such as lead or cadmium which can be environmentally harmful if leaked.
If you are considering a portable solar generator the most important thing to determine first is the total amount of power you will require in order to run everything you intend to. Every electrical device requires a certain amount of watts in order to run. Calculating the size your generator needs to be starts with simply adding up all the wattage requirements of all the devices you intend to power.
To give you an idea, here are some typical household items and their approximate wattage requirements: cell phone – 5 watts, clock radio – 8 watts, laptop computer – 20 watts, table lamp – 40 watts, 18 cubic foot refrigerator – 120 watts, desktop computer – 200 watts, microwave oven – 1000 watts or more. As you can see, the size of device points you in the right direction in terms of wattage requirements most of the time, but some items need a surprisingly high amount of watts to run.
The other thing to keep in mind is how long your devices will run. During sunlight hours there shouldn’t be any problem as your generator will produce what is expected. However, when there is no sunlight you should be aware of how much time you’ll have with your devices if they are running off of solar battery power alone.
As you might imagine, the more watts a device requires, the shorter it will run on battery. If we take an 1,800 watt power station as an example, then the above 40 watt table lamp could run for about 10 hours if it was the only thing drawing energy from the battery. Likewise, the desktop computer could only run for about an hour and a half. And remember, that’s just by itself, with nothing else drawing from the battery. So of course this must also be taken into consideration when comparing generators. You will probably want a more powerful generator than you would normally
expect to use if much of your use will be during non-sunlight hours.
|Black & Decker PPRH5B Professional Power Station||500W 120V AC and 12V DC||High-tech design||20 pounds||1 year|
|Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source||400W 120V AC and 12V DC||Robotic design||24 pounds||1 year|
|Duracell DRPP600 Power pack 600 Jump Starter and Emergency Power Source||400W 120V AC and 12V DC||Compact design||22 pounds||1 year|
Black & Decker PPRH5B Professional Power Station
The Black & Decker is a well-known multinational brand in the field of electronics and home appliances. It has launched a power station, which renders multi-purpose use for extended period. It is the best product from their side that integrates AC and DC household power supply with Jump-starter and 120 PSI air compressor, means you can run AC and DC appliances simultaneously. Due to its immense power, it is best known as power station. The Black & Decker packages includes two electrical household outlets, 12-Volt outlet and a USB port.
- Internal charging system
- 2 AC, 1 DC and 1USB port
- Onboard cable and clamp storage
- Keyless On/Off switch
- Visual and audio reverse polarity alarms for identifying wrong battery connections
- Black & Decker PPRH5B is a complete power package that provides ample energy to jump-start a car or charge its battery. It provides 450 Amperes instant power to start your vehicle.
- It has a 500-watt power inverter with two electric outlets. You can switch on your small TV during power outage and turn on an electric grill to cook food while camping.
- It can charge almost all smart phones and laptops with ease.
- The 120-PSI compressor can be used to inflate the tires of your vehicle.
- It has powerful LED light that can illuminate an average room for 15 hours.
- This product is vigorously tested and approved by independent testing labs and is certified by ETL for its safety and reliability.
- It cannot hold the charge for longer period of time.
- It is heavy and big in size and requires extra space to put in any place.
- Compressor quality is not very high.
Warranty and Support:
Device comes with 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
This power station is a power giant that provides ultimate power solutions to almost all the recent electronic devices. It is an inverter with having 120-PSI compressor to inflate tires, powerful battery to jump-start your car and charges smart phones and laptops. It can work on 100% efficiency rate if used as instructed in the manual.
Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source
The Schumacher XP2260 instant power source is the state of the art quality product that fulfills all your power related needs. It is equally compatible with 12V devices and run your 120V AC appliances conveniently. The jump-start function is possible with its high power maintenance free battery. And, it can inflate the tires of the vehicle or motorbike through its built-in 150-PSI compressor. In short, a complete solution to power outages and 12V battery malfunction issues of the vehicle.
- Impressive and stylish design
- Jump-start mode with On/Off switch
- Internal battery with built-in charger
- Sure-grip clamps for secure handling
- Maintenance free lead-acid battery
- LED indicators
- The Schumacher XP2260 overall look is impressive and stylish.
- This power source has an ultra-power sealed lead acid AGM battery, which provides charging and jump-start facility for your vehicle.
- It has built-in high pressure compressor to inflate tires.
- It also serves as 400-Watt power inverter and provides 120V household power.
- It charges you mobiles, laptops and other 12V portable devices conveniently.
- The digital display meter shows the exact battery status.
- The built-in LED flashlight is a handy feature for emergency use.
- It is one of the most economical portable power source.
- It is a heavy unit and not very stable, so requires extra care while carrying.
- The compressor is compatible only with small vehicles.
Warranty and Support:
1-year warranty of device & parts from the manufacturer
The Schumacher portable power source is an innovative product that efficiently charges the car battery and provides jump-start when required. It also serves as a power inverter and supply 120V DC power for considerable time.
Duracell DRPP600 PowerPack 600 Jump Starter and Emergency Power Source
Duracell is a world-renowned company which has already launched variety of products from battery cells to ultra power emergency power sources and more. And, the DRPP600 power pack is one of its high standard products. It serves you as multi-purpose power source and supplies constant AC and DC power to run household appliances and charge your smart phones and laptops without any hassle.
- 2 built-in USB ports
- LED with bright light
- High quality jumper cables
- 3 AC and 1 DC outlets
- The Duracell DRPP600 Power bank is compact and one of the quickest car jump-starter of the recent times.
- The powerful zero-maintenance integrated battery can charge your smart phones and provides AC output to run your household appliances as well.
- The safety and emergency features makes it more reliable product.
- It has AGM sealed Acid-Lead battery for longer life and fast charging.
- This device requires just 4 hours to completely charge and it can be charged during travel.
- It has 2 built-in USB ports which can charge 2 different kinds of devices simultaneously, such as smartphones and digital cameras at the same time.
- It has bulky appearance due to its large handle and requires huge space.
- It has no built in compressor, which is available in most of the recent power stations.
- LED and meter are not very high quality standards.
- It is not only big in size, but in cost as well.
Warranty and Support:
1 year manufacturer’s warranty
The Duracell powerpack600 jump-start battery is highly efficient product and it is rated as a top quality product overall. It provides constant AC and DC supplies. The powerful and high capacity battery can Jump-start your vehicle with more ease.
All the above power stations come with almost same features and warranty tag of 1 year but the efficiency or quality may differ slightly. The Black & Decker power station can jump-start your vehicle and charge its battery. Moreover, it can inflate the tires of vehicles with it’s built in 140-PSI compressor. It can charge almost all smart phones and laptops and provides household AC power to run your appliances. The Schumacher is the power supplier that has both AC and DC power options. It can jump-start your vehicle and inflate its tires with its 150-PSI compressor to keep you on the road. And, it is very affordable as well. Last but not the least, The Duracell DRPP600 emergency power source also provides 120V AC and 12V DC outputs to run household appliances such as fans, PC’s, lights and to charge your laptop, smart phones and other DC compliant devices. The integrated battery of this power source can jump-start your vehicle within seconds. As far its price is concerned, it is expansive comparing with other portable power stations in the market