Portable Power Station Buying Guide: Bring the Electricity with you
11:10

Portable Power Station Buying Guide: Bring the Electricity with you

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: We've come a long way. Since this was a high capacity portable battery pack. These are high capacity, portable battery packs. They're called power stations. Some folks call 'em generators. And shouldn't, I'll explain why as I show you how to decide which ones the best for you and how you might use it. These are not generators. These don't generate anything. These are [00:00:30] power stations. They're essentially big batteries with charging inputs and lots of ways to get the power out. What's great about these is they're a cleaner, often easier to live with way to power. A lot of things for a long time. Speaker 1: This of course is a generator. One of the venerable little red Hondas that litter the landscape of every crafts, fair street, corner band, racetrack paddock, and south 40 all over this country. [00:01:00] They're really easy to use use. If you find them easy to use a lot of people don't you gotta screw with the choke. You gotta vent the gas cab. Make sure you got the eco throttles set in the right place. Then enable the engine and then pull the cord easy enough when the things already warmed up like mine, three or four of those poles, and sometimes people can get pretty demoralized by running one of these as a result, those power stations that are pure battery, pure [00:01:30] electric, have a lot going for them. Speaker 1: Now, as soon as you tell folks about these replacing generators, the question you get as well, how much power do these have compared to a generator? It's kind of like asking about an electric car's range compared to a gas engine car. It's a little bit of apples and oranges. We don't think about range on a gas engine car, cuz it's so easy to refill it and keep going. These do have a concept of range because they're harder to refill. I've asked about [00:02:00] what hours that's the best overall metric. When you want to know how much power do these have? This one has 777 wat hours. This is the anchor powerhouse two 800. This is the Jacky Explorer, 1500. Again, the name refers to the fact that it's got 1,530 wat hours. This is roughly twice the size of this. And they're designed for different purposes. As we'll see in a moment 777 wat hours means you can run a one wa load, a device for 777 [00:02:30] hours or any combination that leads up to the same total. This one can run one wat for 1,530 hours. Now there's almost nothing you own that draws one wat. Speaker 1: So forget all the conversion math. What does that mean in the real world that TV over there probably draws. Let's say 150 Watts when it's running. Uh, this can give you roughly four and a half to five hours of run time of that TV. This one about double that nine hours or so. Um, laptop [00:03:00] charger. This let's say I've got a really Branny one draws, maybe a hundred Watts. That's a pretty good size laptop charger, 7.7 hours here. The math is pretty easy. 15.3 hours here, by the way, take all these numbers and look at 85% of them for real world. Uh, a light bulb today, we use L E D bulbs in almost everything, right? This might be a 10 wat bulb, probably even less. Let's say it's 10 Watts delivering 90 Watts of equivalent power. [00:03:30] Well, again, the math is easy. That's 77 hours over here on this guy or 153 hours on the Jack. Speaker 1: Or you can run an L E D light for a long, long time. These both have lots of really good modern USB ports. So don't even worry about how much you can run your USB charger. Just know that you've got USB in here. That'll charge your phone so many times you'll lose track in terms of the quick charge technology the Jacky is using. Qualcomm's quick charge technology over here, which is, is [00:04:00] best compatible with some phones. This anchor over here is using IQ technology and both of them are fully compatible with any standard USB device. Of course, there's nothing proprietary here about standard charging, Speaker 1: But you're not buying one of these to charge your phone. That's insanity. You're buying to do that and a lot more. And that's where the outlets come in. The household outlets. That's why these are interesting notice here on the Jacky 1500, you've got three household outlets, [00:04:30] three prong grounded, and notice this, see that little T-shaped outlet there, how the neutral has an extra little flag tooth on it. That means that these are 20 amps stock outlets. They don't deliver 20 amps. The maximum, I think is 16.4 amps, but that's a lot. Your common household outlet is only a 15 amp outlet. This can deliver a little more than most household outlets over here on the anchor. It's a different story. By open here, you see you've got a common two [00:05:00] blade outlet. This is a lighter weight AC outlet that can do four and a half amps max. Here's what that means. You can run big stuff off of this, like a refrigerator, a toaster. You can only run smaller electrics off of this, a mini blender, a mini fridge, things like that. It depends what you need. It's not a matter of better or, or worse. It's a matter of more or more. And so you want a size price and choose these for what you're really going to use because you also want [00:05:30] to have portability and affordability. Speaker 1: So let's talk about charging. How do you put a charge back into one of these after you've used it up? The easiest and most efficient way is to plug it into the wall, which is great. If you've got wall power, they both come with a pretty stout charger. I mean, look at the size of this one. Look at the size of this one. These are heavy duty wall chargers that plug into these power outlets. You see here, these round DC connectors, they also can be charged [00:06:00] off of solar panels that you can optionally purchase to go with these, that either plug into one or both of these ports here on the Zachery or that can plug into these Anderson power poles, these red and black over here on the anchor, both great ways to connect them the way that you wanna think about out. That is what power are you gonna have available to you? Speaker 1: Is this for camping and going off the grid on a planned basis, in which case you're gonna charge off the wall. It's easy. And it's quick is this for emergencies though, where you may not have power for a long time. Then you gotta think [00:06:30] about solar and getting a set of panels hooked up. So you can charge these during the day, run them all day and all night. That's a, a very good scenario for those that are trying to have backup as opposed to planned off the grid use. The other idea is to charge this off of a car. You can charge both of these off of a cigarette lighter. It's very slow compared to other methods, which you can do it. So solar charging's intriguing. If you get one of the Jacky, solar panels will charge this guy in 15 and a half hours. If [00:07:00] you use a pair of them, it comes down to about nine hours. And if you get four of them, you're down to four or five hours. So obviously it's a matter of how much solar panel do you wanna lug. If you're going out to the site, carrying four panels is kind of a drag on the other hand, keeping four panels around the house for outages, that kind of a no-brainer to me, Speaker 1: Of course, both of these have a car socket. We used to call a cigarette lighter outlet, and that allows you to plug in anything that you would normally plug into [00:07:30] your car without having to buy some other adapter, very handy. Speaker 1: Each one's got a display that will tell you you, depending on the mode, you're in what your draw is, what your capacity is remaining, how you're doing on your charge, state, and all of that great displays. Very easy to read just about everything. These days have a little L E D flashlight built into it. I don't find these terribly useful, but you've got one here on the anchor that is, uh, let's see what we got here. Standard blinker off over here on the Jacky. You've also got a light that'll [00:08:00] go on flash or off. Those are common. I don't find them terribly interesting. This is more interesting though. The anchor has a unique feature where you have an ambient light with three different levels, low, medium, and high. What a great light to have in a tent or a camping situation, or if you're station wagon, camping, to give you a really nice light of a good in quality to read by sit by. That's a nice little extra touch depending on what you plan to use this for. Speaker 1: Now, the [00:08:30] last question I get about these a lot is how long do they last in terms of number of charges before they start to poop out? We know that our portable electronics don't have endless number of charges about 500 charges is an industry standard because they're all using lithium ion batteries. And that's a lithium ion thing. More or less, I don't know of a way that you can replace the batteries in either of these yourself. It's not officially supported. There's definitely gonna be YouTube videos out there that show you how to do it. On the other hand, the question is, [00:09:00] will you ever need to charge this more than 500 times? I really doubt it. These have such huge capacity in long run times, you will have worn 'em out or broken them in some other way, probably before the 500 charged lifetime becomes an issue. Pricing about a dollar per wa hour is roughly where the industry is. This one is 777 wat hours list price $700. So it's about 90 cents a wat hour. This one is 1,530 wat hours and costs $1,600. [00:09:30] So it's a little more than a dollar a wa hour, but that's roughly where they are shop based on that. You wanna buy capacity as a commodity because it is Speaker 1: So summation. What's your checklist for buying a power station? Number one, how many wa hours does it have? Will it run what you want long enough? Number two, how many Watts can it deliver at a given moment? They can't deliver the same amount of power, never mind how long they can deliver it. So know what the peak watage is, know that they've [00:10:00] both got different peak power. That is how much can they stand when a motor starts up and has a huge spike just for a moment, if they can't handle the spike, they can't run the device. An internal circuit breaker will trip and you'll never get the fridge running. For example, if it exceeds the maximum spike of wattage that these can handle, it's very important to know that. And finally price. I told you, these are commodity in that respect. That's just the way batteries are and then buy one. It's the right size. Don't over buy, [00:10:30] cuz you'll stop lugging it around this. One's pretty heavy, but if you need this, it's a great thing. This guy's fairly light. You can see pulling out of the closet and using it more often without it becoming a big deal, lugging it around Speaker 1: Power stations are great. And they're especially ideal for those that never got generators too heavy, too greasy, too much fuel, too much oil, too much screwing around with all this they're kind of old school in a way. This is the new cleaner future, [00:11:00] but know that they're more like an electric car than a gas engine car. You've gotta think about their capacity, run time and charging differently like you do with an EV.

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