People often confuse between a power generator and power stations. Even if they sound similar on the first go, they are not the same, and definitely perform different functions. A portable generator is a machine the converts different types of energies into electric energy, while a portable power station is a rechargeable battery-driven source of power that is big enough to power your house or a campsite.
Now, let’s look at both of them separately, and in detail.
What is a Power Station?
Portable power stations, also known as battery-powered inverter generators or gasless generators, are a rechargeable battery-driven source of electric power that is big enough to power your house or your RV on camping trips.
They have a combination of household AC outlets and USB outlets for connecting other devices to be powered. One of the main benefits of these power sources is that they provide high power along with portability. They usually provide energy till about 1000 W. However, there are variants that provide much higher power, but their portability is a lot less making them not xo.
The best portable power stations are extremely handy for usage in remote areas during power outages or on campsites as they are portable and easy to move. The downside, however, is that their maximum battery capacity is directly proportionate to their power in Watt Hours.
That is, a 1000 W battery power station will store 1000 Watt Hours and will provide its maximum battery power for one hour. Hence, they do not prove to be an effective tool for backup power during extended power outages.
What Is a Power Generator?
Portable gas generators are devices that convert different kinds of energies from different power sources into electric energy. These generators are driven by either water or a steam turbine, a diesel engine, and other supporting machinery to convert energy that can be generated by various sources including water flow, gas flow, fuel combustion, or even nuclear fission. This mechanical energy is transmitted to the inverter generator to be converted into electric energy, which makes them truly useful during an event like a power outage.
They can provide a wide range of output ranging from 1000 watts to more than 20,000 watts. Their maximum output is limited mainly because of the displacement of the engine. But the more the output, the bigger it will be, will consume more fuel, create more noise, and have far less portability. One of the most powerful portable generators that produce more than 10 kW energy is portable only for the sake of it and often requires wheeled carts to move around.
Key Differences Between Portable Generators and Portable Power Stations
Although portable generators and portable power stations have corresponding features, they can’t replace one another. This is because of the following key differences –
|Attribute||Portable Generator||Portable Power Station|
|Power Generation||Creates Electric Power||Stores Electric Power|
|Usage||Outdoor Only||Indoor and Outdoor|
|Runtime||Indefinite (if fuel is available)||Limited number of hours|
|Weight||Extremely Heavy||Relatively Lightweight|
|Appliances||Unsuitable for sensitive electronics, unless inverter supported||Suitable for all electronics|
1, The principle of power generator between the two is inconsistent.
Traditional generators use diesel, gasoline or natural gas as fuel to generate electricity through the high-speed motion of the engine, and then rectify and filter output. The portable power station is mainly lithium batteries to store power, just turn on the power-on control button. The use of traditional generators is relatively complicated and requires learning to master the correct method of use.
2, The use is different.
Traditional generators are mainly used in outdoor construction, field activities, and emergency power supply. However, the portable power station is mainly used by individuals, such as outdoor camping, outdoor leisure office, and outdoor emergency power supply. It is lighter than a traditional generator, people can work with it in different places, such as garden, outdoor camping, also power failure at home, do not need to stay at the office all the time as before.
3, The traditional generator mainly supplies power to the high-power machine
The traditional generator mainly supplies power to the high-power machine, while the lithium battery energy storage power supply has ac 100v to 240v output, DC 12V output, and USB 5V output, which can be used for mobile phones, notebooks, Ipad and various small household appliances. , mini-fans, car refrigerators, and even ventilators used by people with breathing difficulties. So it is very convenient for many outdoor enthusiasts, don’t worry about the sudden loss of electricity in the outdoor.
4, The traditional generator is relatively heavy and generally requires 2 people to move together; the portable lithium battery power supply weighs 1-5kg, which is very convenient to carry.
5, Traditional generators need to be carried together by preparing fuel.
The gas generated is not only polluting the environment, but most of the generators are mostly accompanied by noise. Taking outdoor camping will affect the relaxation of others. However, the lithium battery power source itself has battery power generation, and the lithium battery is certified by Rohs, which is not polluting to our environment, and there is no noise in trouble at the same time. Lithium battery energy storage power supply can support solar panel charging.
Advantages of a Power Generator
The control panel of a portable power generator has the capability of including several outlets and features including 15-, 20-, 30-, or 50-amp sockets. This is where they provide energy from.
And they do it by burning fuel stored in the fuel tank that can be refueled as the generator consumes the fuel. This allows your portable gas generator to work continuously without having to give any break to your power supply.
They are capable of providing enough power output to light up your homes and RVs including small appliances like a mini-fridge, mini cooler, car charger and other such electronics, although you might have to install additional connections.
Some generators also come with certain features that allow you to connect USB ports, CO detectors, digital panels, or even an app. Most portable generators provide at least one standard household outlet, while many also provide a 240 V output for certain appliances.
Advantages of a Power Station
Most portable power stations also feed their power through a control panel that usually features a range of outlets. They also have inlets in multiples giving the user a lot of useful options. The inlet is, however, provided to distinguish between the high amp and low amp charging.
They excel in safety parameters. Since they run on a battery and there is no machine or moving parts used, they are very quiet. They don’t use any kind of combustible fuel, which means that they don’t produce any Carbon Monoxide and there is no fire hazard either. They convert the battery’s DC current into AC current, and so, they are quite safe for all kinds of electronic equipment and appliances.
Disadvantages of a Power Generator
Portable generators are an efficient source of power, but they do have some limitations. While they provide AC current, it is rather risky to attach sensitive electronics like cell phones or laptops to them. This is not advisable unless your portable generator is an inverter generator or you have a transfer switch installed.
Secondly, most portable generators are powered by fuel, which means that are quite noisy, and require to you carefully handle combustible fuel in large quantities, which can be a fire hazard. The use of highly combustible fuels can be dangerous, especially if you are refilling the fuel tank while the generator is still working. In addition to that, the generator produces CO, which is a harmful gas if exposed for an extended period of time, or if the generator is used indoors.
Disadvantages of a Power Station
Even though portable power stations are quite efficient and produce enough power to provide electricity to a range of devices, they are not as powerful as portable generators.
So, if the battery runs dry, then you will need an alternate power source to recharge the battery for the power station to start again. This means that you cannot use them for too long in an area where there is no availability of a power grid.
Finding a power station that provides 240 V output can be a challenging task. So, you can use limited kinds of devices.
The generator is used to be an emergency tool for outdoor construction, field activities, and emergency blackout. The generator power supply uses diesel, gasoline or natural gas as fuel to generate electricity through the high-speed motion of the engine, and then rectify and filter output.
Especially in the absence of sudden power outages, many food and beverage outlets, or some public places such as hospitals, schools, outdoor construction sites, etc., will have a generator to generate electricity to power the equipment in need. However, such generators are not convenient for moving and carrying by personal.
Nowadays, as outdoor activities become more and more popular, more and more electronic devices cannot be used outdoors, and the charger cannot charge all electronic devices. Therefore, there are outdoor portable lithium battery generators, it is also named portable power station. It greatly facilitates people’s travel and solves the need for people to use electricity outdoors.
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