Camping is a fantastic activity that allows you to connect with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, if you’re not planning on going power free you may want to bring some creature comforts such as a portable fridge, laptop, phone, camera, shower, coffee machine, and more. These devices necessitate a power source which is where Portable Power stations come in. These power banks have allowed campers to upgrade and in most cases significantly extend the duration of their camping experience. In this article, we’ll explore how to calculate how long you can run camping devices on a portable power station.
Step 1: Determine the Power Consumption of Your Device
The first step in calculating how long you can run a camping device on a portable power station is to determine the power consumption of your device. This is measured in watts, and you can usually find this information in the product manual or on the device itself.
For example, let’s say you have a camp LED floodlight that has a power consumption of 10 watts. This means that the floodlight will use 10 watts of power per hour.
Step 2: Determine the Capacity of Your Portable Power Station
The second step is to determine the capacity of your portable power station. This is measured in watt-hours (Wh) and can usually be found in the product specifications.
For example, let’s say you have a portable power station with a capacity of 500Wh.
Step 3: Calculate the Run Time
Now that you know the power consumption of your device and the capacity of your portable power station, you can calculate how long you can run your device on the power station.
To do this, simply divide the capacity of the power station by the power consumption of your device. In our example, the calculation would be:
500Wh / 10W = 50 hours
Battery Capacity (Wh) ÷ Device Wattage (W) = Hours of Use
This means that you can run your portable fridge for approximately 50 hours on a fully charged 500Wh power station.
It’s important to note that this is an estimate, and the actual run time may vary depending on various factors, such as the age and condition of your device and the power consumption of other devices connected to the power station.
Cheat sheet for a 500W Portable Power Station:
Below we’ve written a rough reference guide on how much run time/recharges you can expect from a 500W Portable Power Station. *These numbers are based on estimates. We recommend double checking your devices power requirements and selecting your portable power station based on your devices power needs.
Other Factors to Consider
When calculating the run time of camping devices on a portable power station, there are a few other factors to consider.
The temperature can affect the performance of both your device and the portable power station. For example, if you’re camping in hot temperatures, your fridge may need to work harder to keep your food cool, which can increase its power consumption. This is a duty cycle factor and is why most portable fridges despite being very power-hungry won’t actually be on all the time. For example, based on the calculation above you might expect a fridge to only be able to run for 8-9 hours. However if you factor in the duty cycle of the fridge (this changes on the model) and how also how cold you’ve set the fridge then you may be able to get up to 48 hours of power from the fridge. Similarly, high temperatures can affect the performance of your power station and reduce its run time.
The settings of your device can also affect its power consumption. For example, if you have your coffee machine set to a high temperature, it may use more power than if it were set to a lower temperature.
The charging time of your portable power station can also affect its run time. If you’re unable to fully charge the power station before using it, its run time will be shorter than if it were fully charged.
Top Portable Power Station Brands
When it comes to choosing a portable power station for camping, there are several top brands to consider. Here are three of the most popular brands:
Jackery is a well-known brand that has been in the portable power station industry for a long while. Their portable power stations have a lot of options depending on your power needs and they offer solar panel support to increase your capacity further.
EcoFlow is a relatively new name in the portable power station industry, but they focus on their power stations’ ability to charge devices faster and also help sustain home power during a blackout. They still have plenty of great options for camping and even offer options for tradies to charge their tools on the go.
Bluetti is another established brand similar to Jackery that provides great options for home and outdoor usage. They come with a range of options including Bluetooth control of your battery and the ability to extend the battery capacity through solar panels. Our most popular model is the Bluetti EB70.