Portable electric station and solar generator: what is the difference?

New privileged allies of adventure lovers in the wilderness, the portable solar generators allow today to have a relatively comfortable source of electricity. Also very useful as a relay solution, they present, in the current context of energy crisis, a strong interest for all the people concerned, at the same time of their ecological impact and their savings.

But what about portable power stations? Does this term, often used in the same context, designate the same type of devices as portable solar generators? Do some websites make an amalgam? Semantic deciphering and practical explanations in our article of the day!

What is a portable solar generator?

As its name indicates quite clearly, a portable generator is a device easy to move that serves as a source of energy for various electrical and/or electronic devices. For this, it has a built-in battery that serves to store electrical energy that will then be used according to the needs of the moment.

Unlike conventional generators, a portable solar generator is not itself powered by a fossil fuel source, such as gas, gas oil or gasoline. Therefore, it does not produce electrical energy per se, but rather serves to store the energy absorbed from a photovoltaic device.

In concrete terms, the solar panels to which it is connected capture solar energy using the silicon cells on their surface. This green energy is stored in the battery integrated in the device in order to be reused later on. To do this, the stored direct current is first transformed into alternating current by the inverter, which is also responsible for adapting the power output of the current.

Let us specify however, that in practice, more and more models of portable generators called solar proposed on the market today are also directly rechargeable via a mains plug or via the cigarette lighter socket of a vehicle. This is the case of the portable solar generator Bluetti EB70.

 What about the portable electrical station?

A portable power station can be defined as any device of reduced size whose role is to store energy in a battery integrated into its structure. This energy is then used to power various types of electronic and/or electrical devices.

This type of device is therefore a kind of large "Power Bank" that can be used as a one-time power source, anywhere and anytime, provided that it has been well recharged. In their initial definition, these devices do not create energy.

Their battery, which is their main component, can be recharged by various external sources of electrical energy; the most frequently used being that of domestic current, via a mains socket. 

However, like solar portable generators, many portable power stations now have XT60 ports that also allow them to be recharged using solar panels.

So what is the difference between portable power stations and solar generators?

So what is the difference between portable power stations and solar generators?

As you may have understood by reading these two definitions, the terms "portable power station" and "portable solar generator" refer to almost the same type of devices. The only element allowing to make a nuance being, the use of the qualifier "solar" to specify the compatibility with a system of supply by solar energy.

For the rest, solar generators and portable electric stations are both intended to offer a source of backup energy with low ecological impact.

Beyond the names, the most important thing is to choose the model that best suits your needs. For that, here are some practical tips.

How to choose the right solar generator or portable electric station?

In order to choose the most adequate portable energy device, start by evaluating your real needs in electrical consumption.

If, for example, you just need to charge a few smartphones and power a 300W connected speaker for a few hours, for an outdoor party, a small 600W portable power station might be just right.

On the other hand, if you plan to go camping and intend to use several other appliances like a kettle, you'll need a more powerful portable generator.

In addition to this parameter, there are several other important criteria to consider for an ideal choice:

  • Battery autonomy;
  • Battery life;
  • The number of current outputs;
  • The dimensions of the device;
  • Power sources;
  • Ease of use, etc.

However, rest assured! You don't need to be a pro to figure it out! Moreover, thanks to the expert opinions and tests available on our site, you can see more clearly and make the best choices.

What you should know

In short, portable electrical stations and solar generators are terms that designate devices that tend to be similar today. Beyond these names, the important thing is to make the right choices.


Eddy Campbell

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