BACK TO BASICS | WHAT IS A PORTABLE POWER STATION?

BACK TO BASICS | WHAT IS A PORTABLE POWER STATION?

Goal Zero’s legacy! Back in 2009, we launched an entirely new category of power – the portable power station. Since then, we’ve built out multiple options for every level of use, but if you’re brand new to Goal Zero, let’s get you up to speed.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A PORTABLE POWER STATION?

Though it’s true that portable power stations are mainly comprised of a large battery, the add-ons are what warrant the term “station.” Each feature multiple port options – like AC or wall outlets, USB plugins, and 12V ports, allowing versatility in what other devices they can charge. They store energy safely and deliver power efficiently, which often means fast charge times. Technology like digital screens show input and output, and our app allows for remote energy management and tracking.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOLAR GENERATORS AND PORTABLE POWER STATIONS?

Surprise – not much is different between the two outside of the name. Contrary to what the term “generator” indicates, solar generators do not create energy. Both solar generators and portable power stations simply store energy for you to use whenever needed and can connect to solar panels to recharge.

Goal Zero portable power station + solar panel (Solar Generator) and Airstream

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PORTABLE POWER STATIONS AND POWER BANKS?

The capacity of portable power stations and diversity of outlets set them apart from power banks that traditionally have smaller capacities. Devices that would typically charge from a wall or car outlet can be charged using portable power stations thanks to the enhanced capacity.

WHY SHOULD I BUY A PORTABLE POWER STATION INSTEAD OF A GAS GENERATOR?

Gas generators, though admittedly powerful, come with some serious drawbacks. For one, you cannot use them indoors, making them useless during winter months. Each year, over 50,000 people visit the emergency room for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Using gas generators indoors runs the risk of creating toxic fumes and potentially deadly accidents. They also create a ton of noise that’s only amplified in smaller spaces. There’s the added pain of regulating fuel levels or needing to winterize the generator in the colder months for it to function properly outdoors. Plus – gas generators can be just plain finnicky, difficult to start, and overall challenging to upkeep.

The intuitiveness of simply pressing a button for silent, gas-free power makes portable power stations far easier to use. In recent years, we’ve been able to develop power stations large enough to sustain high-energy equipment like power tools, air compressors, and large appliances. Because they can run indoors safely, they are ideal as a home backup solution, while also remaining portable for use outdoors. Rather than dealing with messy fuel, portable power stations also offer access to an unlimited, free power supply simply by hooking up to solar panels.

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station and work tools

WHAT SETS GZ PORTABLE POWER STATIONS APART?

Since being the first in the industry to develop, quite literally, this powerhouse of a product, we’ve continued to set industry standards with each evolving iteration. All our products are designed in the USA and subjected to rigorous trials before they are released on the market. Our team of ambassadors test our products in the harshest environments, and their feedback is incorporated into the design process.

We’re at Everest basecamp, and in Antarctica. We’re also in your neighbor’s RV, or perhaps hooked up to your coworker’s circuit breaker. The diversity in our product range ensures there’s an option for any combination of power needs.

Goal Zero Solar Panels on snowy mountain - mountain climbing

HOW TO CHOOSE A PORTABLE POWER STATION

There are a few key factors to consider when selecting the right portable power station for you.

CAPACITY:

The capacity of a portable power station indicates the amount of charge stored in the battery, measured in Watt Hours. Larger capacities are better equipped for heavy-duty jobs, like home backup, while smaller capacities – you guessed it! – are better for smaller charging needs. Looking to protect your home from blackouts, or building an off-grid cabin? Our Yeti power stations are expandable up to 4.8 kWh with our Expansion Kits to maximize capacity.

PORTABILITY:

Though technically all our power stations are portable, lugging around a 70-pound Yeti 3000X to charge just a laptop isn’t exactly ideal. If you know your power needs are minimal, like powering your drone or camera batteries over a weekend photography trip, opt for one of our small but mighty power stations, like the Yeti 500X. While 20% lighter than its predecessor, it delivers up to 20% more power.

SOLAR CHARGING:

One of the best features of portable power stations is the ability to recharge 100% from solar power. We’ve got an extensive range of solar panels that are both portable and mountable, so, whether you are a minimalist who likes easy campsite cleanup or a maximalist who wants solar panels mounted to your van roof, the setup can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Once you understand your power needs and the circumstances you will be using your portable power station most frequently, rest assured knowing we have options for a wide range of setups.

Infographic - Evolution of the Goal Zero Yeti - Portable Power Stations

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