Currently backup power is becoming a necessity for people everywhere. Gasoline and propane generators have been a mainstay in the backup power space for years and are readily available in various sizes, making them an easy solution for homeowners across the country. In the last several years, advancements in home batteries and portable power stations have made a mark on the power industry, giving a new option to those looking for power security at home. So, how do you choose for your backup power?
WHAT IS A PORTABLE Gasoline GENERATOR?
These generators are devices which turn fuel, gasoline into electrical power. They do so in a range of outputs from roughly 1,000 watts to over 20,000 watts (for most commonly available devices 1-10 kW). Their output is limited mainly by the displacement (volume) of their engine.
Naturally, any increase in a generator’s power output comes at the price of increased noise, fuel consumption, size, and weight -hence, at expense of their portability. The most powerful portable generators (>10kW) are essentially portable only in name and require the use of a (usually included) wheel kit to move around.
WHAT IS A PORTABLE POWER STATION?
Portable power stations (also called gasless generators or battery-powered inverter generators) are devices which can store electrical power in an internal battery for later use. In essence, they are giant power banks. Portable power stations usually provide electrical power of up to 1000 W, although there are exceptions and devices with much higher capacity can be encountered on the market. However, their portability is questionable.
Battery capacity of a portable power station is quite commonly limited to roughly the value of their power in watt-hours (Wh), e.g., a 1000 W generator stores 1000 Wh, which means that they can provide their maximum output for up to an hour at end.
Since most portable power stations aren’t necessarily large and run from a battery, they usually tend to be much lighter than units with combustion engines. Some of lightest units weight less than 10lbs.
RUNDOWN OF KEY DIFFERENCES
Portable generators and portable power stations have complementary characteristics. It follows that in most cases, they cannot be used interchangeably. For comprehension, we have created a table as a summary of the key points.
In summary, portable gasoline generators and portable power stations are both devices which can be used to power various appliances. However, they have complementary properties which make them suitable for different circumstances.
If you’re choosing between the two, rather than going by what’s greener or cheaper, carefully consider the specific scenarios which apply to you. Are you planning to use them to power devices indoors or outdoors? If you wish to go camping, are you doing so for long periods of time in remote areas, or on camping sites with noise restrictions? Are you willing to pay extra for solar panels? If not, will you have a power grid frequently available to recharge a power station? Etc.