4 Reasons You Need A Portable Power Station

A portable power station with a rechargeable battery provides handy off-the-grid electricity for a variety of needs. Here are four reasons why you need one:

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: J. Keeler Johnson

Traditionally, if a farmer needed an off-the-grid source of electricity, a portable gasoline generator was an obvious solution. But now there’s another choice: portable power stations.

A portable power station uses a rechargeable battery to provide electricity off the grid. Their output panels are typically stacked with useful options like regular household plugs, USB charging outlets and more.

Here are four reasons why you should consider getting a portable power station for your farm.

1. They provide electricity off the grid.

The most obvious benefit of portable power stations is their ability to deliver electricity off the grid, where regular electrical outlets can’t be found. Maybe you’re out in a farm field building a new fence line and need to recharge your electric drill batteries (hopefully you have more than one) as they run dry. Or maybe you’ve constructed an off-the-grid farm building and need a means to power indoor lights.

A portable power station can serve you well.

When choosing a portable power station, there are a couple of key numbers to consider. First off, how many watt-hours (Wh) does the battery hold? A 300Wh battery will power a 50-watt device for six hours. Secondly, how many watts can the portable power station output at once? If a high-power device runs at 400 watts, a portable power station that can output a maximum of 200 watts at a time is undersized for the job.

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2. They can be charged multiple ways.

There are several ways to charge portable power stations, providing flexibility for keeping the battery at full capacity. The simplest way is to plug the portable power station into a wall outlet. But this requires bringing the power station back on the grid.

For off-the-grid recharging, you may be able to employ solar panels or a car charger. Solar panels are especially appealing since energy from the sun is free, though it can be a slower means of charging (depending on how many panels you have) and you’ll need a bright sunny day for best results.

3. They’re quiet and simple compared to gasoline generators.

Gasoline generators work great, but they do have downsides. They’re noisy, even when you’re not actively drawing electricity. They put out exhaust fumes, so they can’t be used indoors. And their engines require regular maintenance (i.e. oil changes) to stay in working order.

In contrast, portable power stations are much quieter. Unless they’re running a cooling fan, they can be completely silent. They’re free of emissions, so they can be used safely indoors.

And since they don’t have engines, you don’t have to worry about maintenance.

Read more: Here’s everything you need to know about getting started with solar.

4. They provide emergency power in power outages.

This is a big benefit if you’re concerned about power outages. Even if a storm knocks out your local electrical grid, a portable power station can keep you going, allowing you to recharge your phone and power critical devices. Pair a high-capacity, high-output power station with an array of solar panels, and you can keep your farm running comfortably even during a power outage.

If you haven’t already purchased a portable power station, you may want to start shopping for one that fits your needs.

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