Portable Power Station vs. Home Battery: Which One Do I Need? – CNET

The first time you had to endure a power outage, you were probably unprepared: These events catch most people off guard, and few people plan for them ahead of time. What if the next time the lights go out, you could switch on a big battery that would keep your house — or at least your essential appliances — running until the grid comes back online?

That’s the promise of portable power stations and home batteries. These devices are an effective way to supply backup power to your home and protect yourself from future outages. But first, you’ll need to figure out which application is the right fit for your home and budget. 

“It really depends on what the end user is looking for,” said Buck Buchanan, marketing director with Geneverse, which makes portable and home battery systems.

Here’s how to decide between a portable power station and a home battery backup.

What is a portable power station?

A portable power station is a battery that can be charged up and used to power other electronics. These power stations can range in size, but are generally small enough to take with you on the go.  

You charge a portable power station by plugging it into a standard wall outlet or connecting it to smaller, portable solar panels. Once the power station is topped off, you can more or less bring it anywhere as a portable source of electricity for your gadgets.

Buchanan said the two most common uses for portable power stations are camping (usually for charging phones or powering a fan) and emergencies (like a power outage). But in the latter case, Buchanan said most customers don’t think about buying a portable power station for emergencies until they go through a power outage without one. “It’s something you don’t think about until it happens,” he said.

What is the energy storage capacity of a home battery?

The cost of home batteries typically depends on their energy storage capacity. Smaller home batteries can cost as little as $8,000, while bigger models can run up to $30,000.

Will a home battery power my whole house?

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