With a power station, I don’t have to do without anything when camping or at festivals


Almost every one of you should own a power bank. Being able to send a little power to your smartphone or tablet when you’re on the go is also a very practical thing. That’s how it started for me too, but then it degenerated a little.

First, a power bank with an integrated solar panel joined the collection – not an experience that I can recommend, the PV cells integrated into the power bank are almost always too weak for proper recharging.

Then came a small solar mat with 21 watts, which did much better. However, that was hardly enough for more powerful devices than a mobile phone.

A power bank in large and with significantly more capacity and the option to benefit a little more from the free sunshine anyway, that would be something?

Is there and is called Powerstation, often with an integrated solar inverter for a self-sufficient power supply, even if there is no socket nearby for a long time. Not that that would give me any advantage as a self-confessed homebody, but you never know.

Power stations and mobile solar panels are a perfect combination.  And cats.  Cats are somehow part of it, I just don't know why yet.






Power stations and mobile solar panels are a perfect combination. And cats. Cats are somehow part of it, I just don’t know why yet.

Always enough power with you

Okay, sometimes I do get drawn outside. From time to time the beautiful landscape all around and the large garden with orchard also wants to be used. However, I am not one of those ascetics who have to be one with nature without any technology – apart from occasional live role-playing games anyway. The summer can also be used with a notebook in hand and a Bluetooth speaker.

Two power stations, one with a capacity of 500 watt hours and one with a capacity of 1,000 watt hours, have been supplying me with enough energy for some time now. These are basically only rechargeable batteries, such as those used in notebooks or electric cars.

An integrated inverter then ensures that the usual 220V power can be drawn from a standard Schuko plug. Most models also have USB ports, some with an output power of up to 100 watts. If you use devices such as coolers with a 12V cigarette lighter connection, you can usually plug them in.

Four mobile solar panels, each with 200 watts, ensure quick recharging - in 2 hours from 0 to 100 percent when the sun is shining.






Four mobile solar panels, each with 200 watts, ensure quick recharging – in 2 hours from 0 to 100 percent when the sun is shining.

In most cases, power stations can be charged not only with the enclosed or permanently installed power supply unit, but also with a solar panel. Some power stations can be charged with 800 and more watts per sun, which then ensures a high level of self-sufficiency when the weather is good.

power station? do i really need this?

If you are toying with the idea of ​​making a purchase, however, a needs analysis is required beforehand in order to avoid expensive bad buys.

I have two power stations here with very different performance: A small Bluetti AC50S with 500 watt-hours of capacity, which was available last winter for a bargain price of 199 euros and a Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro, which costs about five times as much and offers 1,000 watt-hours of capacity.

Only twice as much performance for five times the price? Doesn’t sound very enticing, but power stations aren’t just about capacity

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Four-digit euro prices for a bit of electricity?  Not a bargain and certainly not a spontaneous purchase to experiment with as described in the article.  For campers, however, the purchase can be worthwhile.






Four-digit euro prices for a bit of electricity? Not a bargain and certainly not a spontaneous purchase to experiment with as described in the article. For campers, however, the purchase can be worthwhile.

It’s also important what goes in and out. Only devices that consume a maximum of 300 watts can be operated with the Bluetti, and recharging takes a long time, since the included power supply only supplies 80 watts and can also be charged with a maximum of 100 watts via the solar module. It is also loud, both when charging and when discharging.

Thejackery, on the other hand, offers connected devices 1,000 watts permanently and 2,000 watts for a short period (for devices that require a lot of power when starting), it is recharged with up to 800 watts (mains/solar).

My mid-range PC with RX 6700, which consumes around 350 watts when gaming, is therefore not able to handle the Bluetti station when there is a load – it is not a problem for the Jackery.

Could it be that you only skimmed the last paragraph because your head is still thinking about the outrageously high prices of power stations?

In fact, a high-quality power station is no small purchase and I’ll be honest, most of you won’t need them. Anyone who now calculates whether the thing will eventually pay for itself with consistent solar use: tricky.

With electricity costs 40 cents per kilowatt hour, this should be a fight against time, even with very regular use, since technology just doesn’t last forever.

This fusion energy collector hangs around and collects up to 200 watts of solar energy.  On the upper part of the window there is another panel with a peak output of 100 watts.






This fusion energy collector hangs around and collects up to 200 watts of solar energy. On the upper part of the window there is another panel with a peak output of 100 watts.

Many options in the home office

Personally, I use the power stations as an island solar system for the home office. This is located in the converted attic and has a large skylight, which is now equipped with two light camping solar modules instead of sun protection – they also keep the sun out and also produce up to 300 watts peak.

In reality it is more like 260 watts, but also that’s enough for work PC, monitor(s), NAS and everything else that is so important.

Since the power stations can simply conduct the sun’s electricity and recharge the battery from the surplus, it is often possible to work solar-powered during the day without additional electricity costs. At the same time, there is enough energy stored in the battery for the evening and night to buffer spontaneous oh crap tomorrow is the deadline for night shifts.

Incidentally, the power station can also be used as a UPS, as an uninterruptible power supply. The switching times from mains power to battery are so short that the PC simply continues to run in the event of a power failure.

Balcony solar (or here: garage roof solar) and power station with PV panels get along well - one conducts the electricity into the grid, the other forms an island to which devices have to be plugged directly.  However, the minimum limit of 600 watts does not apply to stand-alone systems.  Practical!






Balcony solar (or here: garage roof solar) and power station with PV panels get along well – one feeds the electricity into the grid, the other forms an island to which devices have to be plugged directly. However, the minimum limit of 600 watts does not apply to stand-alone systems. Practical!

Of course, this works worse in winter than in summer – when it gets really hot (and it gets really hot under the roof), the Jackery power station could also operate a mobile air conditioner with maximum solar support without additional electricity costs.

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As always, the biggest disadvantage is the price, especially of the mobile solar panels from the power station manufacturers: while classic roof or balcony solar panels have arrived at less than 150 euros for 400 watts/peak, mobile panels with this output cost up to 1,000 euros.

Well, the home office runs independently via the power station island system (which, by the way, does not even have to be registered because it is not fed in) from April at the latest. At the same time, the batteries are mobile enough to have fun outside.

The small but rigid panel shown here supplies up to 80 watts and is designed bifacially.  Means: The back also catches light to generate electricity, a reflector foil is even included.






The small but rigid panel shown here supplies up to 80 watts and is designed bifacially. Means: The back also catches light to generate electricity, a reflector foil is even included.

With the power station to the retro LAN

On the one hand there is of course the beginning of the festival season. admittedly I survived my first Wacken without much technique. But that was 1995 and no one knew how many exciting mobile devices there would be.

Enough electricity for a decent sound system for the circle of friends, a mobile phone shop, a kettle for coffee – why not? In view of the acquisition costs, the fear of thieves remains, but with mobile power you actually make a lot of new friends.

However, the primary purpose of power stations is camping. Higher capacity models keep campers powered even during prolonged rainy weather. When the sun comes out, it can be recharged.

So if you don’t go on a camping holiday with a firm desire for a technology detoxquickly benefits from the convenience of a power station.

The construction for old-school gaming begins - the power is already on, the first PC (Pentium 1000 with 2x Voodoo2) has already been set up.  The historically correct choice of monitor was generously dispensed with.






The construction for old-school gaming begins – the power is already on, the first PC (Pentium 1000 with 2x Voodoo2) has already been set up. The historically correct choice of monitor was generously dispensed with.

Since I’m not a die-hard camper, I have a tent in the garden that I actually bought for LARP: far enough away from the house and neighbors to have a little peace and quiet, but close enough to be able to catch a little WiFi from the office window. With a few tables and seating, this is the perfect venue for an outdoor LAN.

Since there is no socket there either, it became a retro LAN with technology from the times of Half-Life and Unreal, operated by the power stations. The old boxes are slower than the current ones, but the power consumption is actually a bit lower. At least as long as you do without tube monitors.

Lo and behold, it actually works. With the 1.5 kilowatt hours of energy in the two power stations, the PCs equipped with single-core CPUs and Stone Age graphics cards can continue to be used for a good five hours after sunset – the sunny May provided for solar self-sufficiency in the hours before.

Take that, Mom: That’s how it works Don’t sit in your room all the time, play outside too! in 2023!

Would a power station also be something for you? Are you perhaps even flirting with one of the two models presented here? Or does the quick calculation in your head give you the following result: That’s too expensive for me? As always, we look forward to your opinions and comments on the topic in the comments!

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