• Definition and uses
  • Evaluation and comparisons
  • charging and storage

What is a portable power station?

Sometimes known as a “gasless generator” or “battery-powered inverter generator”, a portable power station is a rechargeable, mobile source of electrical power. Portable power stations are usually more powerful than power banks but less powerful than generators. They range in size from 100 to 2,000 watts. Generally, the larger, heavier portable power stations have more capacity, which is measured in watts (power) and energy (watt-hours). Portable power stations usually have a combination of different types of input and output ports, including
110 v AC wall outlets and DC ports, such as USB-A, USB-C, CLA, Anderson or various round types.

What are common uses for portable power stations?

Common uses for portable power stations include emergency home backup during a short-term power outage, camping, and remote work. Depending on the capacity of the specific model, power stations can be used to power a range of electrical devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, fans, lights, wifi routers and modems, TVs, drones, and game consoles.

What devices can a portable power station run?

Duracell portable power stations are designed to power devices that use low to medium wattage. This includes laptops, phones, tablets, fans, speakers, power TVs, drones, game consoles, wifi routers and modems, mini coolers, and lights. Duracell portable power stations were not designed for high-heat devices like microwaves, toasters, tea kettles, coffee machines, and blow dryers. For more information about commonly powered devices and power charging durations by device, see our website.

Can a portable power station run a refrigerator? 

It depends on your refrigerator and the particular portable power station. Bigger and older refrigerators need more energy and may not work. Check the information for your refrigerator to see the energy needed for it to run and to determine which portable power station you need to be able to power your refrigerator. For example, the Power 500 has 500 watts of power, but has built-in surge protection that allows the unit to power 1000 watts when the motor starts. This is enough to power most newer and small-to-mid-size refrigerators. 

Can a portable power station run a TV?

All Duracell portable power stations can power a TV. Generally, power stations with 300 watts and higher can power a TV. For details on duration, please see the product page for the unit you’re considering purchasing.

What is the difference between portable power station models? How do I evaluate a portable power station?

The most important metrics are watts and watt-hours. Watts are a measure of power (what the unit will run). Watt-hours are a measure of energy (how long it will run). Cycle life will tell you how many times the unit can be recharged. There are also different types of battery chemistries. NCM (or NMC) models are lighter and smaller and are optimal for portable power stations. LFP (Lithium-Ion Phosphate) models tend to be larger and heavier but have a longer cycle life.

What is the difference between a power bank and a power station?

Power banks are generally smaller (<100 watts) and provide only DC power. Portable power stations are larger (>150 watts) and provide both AC and DC power.

What is the difference between a power station and a generator?

Generators create and distribute power by burning fossil fuel. The do not store energy. Power stations store energy generator elsewhere, usually from the grid or solar panels. Generators tend to be much larger, heavier, noisier, and more expensive. They also give off fumes and can be a fire hazard. Generators must be kept outdoors. Conversely, portable power stations are smaller, lighter-weight, quieter, and less expensive. They can be used both indoors and outdoors.

How are portable power stations charged?

Many models can be powered using solar panels or car ports in addition to the more common, faster method of charging, using a wall outlet.

Can you leave a portable power station plugged in all the time?

People often ask if they can leave their Duracell Power Station continuously plugged in so it’s always at 100% and ready to go. The answer is yes, but we don't recommend it. The unit is equipped with all the safety measures, so it’s safe, but keeping the unit continuously plugged in can affect the long-term battery health. We recommend you charge up the unit, then store it unplugged and recharge it every 3-6 months. The self-discharge rate is only about 1% per week. 

How should I store a portable power station?

Like most electronics, it’s best to keep it in a cool, dry environment. Heat will make the battery drain faster during storage.

What is the best way to recharge a portable power station? 

The easiest and fastest way to recharge a portable power station is to use a wall outlet. You don’t need to wait for the unit to drain down to 0% before recharging it. It’s okay to “top it off” anytime. If a wall outlet is not available, you can recharge it using your car’s cigarette lighter, which is a low-power, DC output, so charging takes longer. Duracell portable power stations can also be charged using the AC and DC simultaneously, which will reduce the charging time. You can also use a solar panel. Recharging using the solar panel is easy. Just plug the solar panel into the port and the unit will start charging. For best results, make sure the panel is clean and aligned with the sun. Be careful to secure the solar panels on windy days as they can blow over.

Can I use my portable power station while it’s charging?

You can use the power station while charging, but as power is flowing out, it will extend the recharge time.

How long will a portable power station last?

The product lifespan is measured in cycle life, which is defined as a full charge (0 to 100%). Duracell portable power stations are guaranteed to last 1,000 cycles, although the unit will likely last much longer. Duracell has a 2-year product warranty. Register your power station here

Are portable power stations safe? 

Yes, portable power stations are safe to use, both indoors and outdoors. Please note they are not waterproof.