Power outages are both disturbing and costly. Important work or entertainment may be interrupted. Expensive food supplies may go bad and waste in the fridge and even worse, you might be left in the dark.
Let’s say none of that happens. You still need power when you are out camping or in any other form of activity away from civilization. For a long time, gas-powered generators have been the answer. They have a high energy density and are easy to operate. On the other side, they are loud, have high maintenance costs and are bad for the environment.
Until now! Enter, lithium-powered, power stations. These are silent, high energy, solar/AC-rechargeable power banks that offer an equally sufficient power supply. Only cleaner and sustainable. In this article, we have rounded up three of the best-in-class, forward-thinking, power station with WiFi and Bluetooth for easy control with your smartphone. Let’s dive in.
For those of you that may already be familiar with Goal Zero, you know that they offered power banks without wifi before, so these are the updated models. This is great. In a power outage, you’d normally have to use data, which we all know if you don’t have access to a good plan, can be very costly. It also means you can access your Yeti or ALLPOWER (or whatever power bank with wifi you may choose) remotely.
Weighing in at a modest 68 pounds, this 3000 watt-hour power station from yeti packs a ton of features. The build quality is on point with the minimalistic box design that is easy to carry. Unlike gas generators, this unit is silent and can be recharged from a wall socket supply or by solar. The power-to-weight ratio allows for this compact power bank to support up to 10 devices simultaneously.
You have multiple input ports, allowing more charging options. You also need not worry about power efficiency as only about 60W of charging power is required. In good weather, a 100W solar panel will suffice, thanks to the integration of a solar charging optimization module. This allows for an increase in charging rates by 40%.
There are multiple DC (direct current) output ports. 2 standard USB, 2 USB C, a 12V cigarette receptacle and two 12V ports. You also get 2, 120V AC (alternating Current) ports capable of powering most high power devices and home appliances for hours. For instance, the rated uptime for a standard refrigerator running on this thing is up to 50 hours! Laptops can be recharged up to 50 times while a 12V LED light can be powered for upwards of 1,000 hours.
A notable update from the previous variants of power stations from Goal Zero is the integration of Wi-Fi connectivity. Now, you can remotely access, monitor and control the battery via the Goal Zero connect app. Power usage, charging rate, stored capacity and active turn on/off of output ports are some of the utilities available straight from the app interface. Important firmware updates that enhance the functionality of the power bank are also installed from the app.
A nice backlit display is integrated on the dash. Essential power information such as charge level and power consumption are summarized here. The data can be in volts/watts/amperes.
The long term cost of ownership is less than half of a similar-rated gasoline generator. There’s little to no maintenance and the equipment runs silently.
With a cutting-edge battery management system that prevents overcharging, over-current and short-circuiting, safety is assured.
You can control this power bank with your phone through an app. You can control ports and monitor power usage plus the internal temperature. It also has surge protection and is compatible with a wide range of devices and appliances. You can power your laptop and phone to your fridge or power tools. This is the heaviest and most expensive of the power banks, but also the most powerful (it can power 10 devices at once)!
This is a smaller version of the Yeti 3000 with just as compelling features. The build quality is excellent as it can hold its 1425-watthour charge for 10-12 months. It spots two conveniently located carriage handles to ease portability. It’s well adapted to a wide range of temperatures to allow for maximum efficiency and longevity in all weather. Recharging time with an AC wall charger is 25 hours and 30 hours on solar. There are multiple input ports for both AC and DC power.
With two standard USB ports and 2 USB C ports, all your portable devices can be accommodated. One of the USB C ports has an ultra-high 60W output for powering larger devices like modern PCs and Macs. Two 120V AC standard outlets are also available for appliances and extension plugs. A 12V cigarette receptacle output is also onboard.
Based on the power sufficiency and faster processing chips, this power station uses wifi instead of Bluetooth for its wireless connectivity. It’s easy to pair your phone with the GoalZero app which unlocks new possibilities. First off, there are fewer buttons, allowing for a cleaner face. Secondly, you can now interact with the station in more ways than you could ever before.
If you left your tablet plugged in for example, and you are not sure if it is charging, a quick toggle on the user interface will turn on the port from wherever you are. More information like level of power in/out, software updates and anticipated battery life are quickly summarized on the app.
A backlit, larger LCD comes standard as well. Similar power data like battery charge levels are indicated in volts/amperes/watts.
Although the battery is smaller than in the yeti 3000, the performance is satisfactory. A standard fridge can be powered for 23 hours, a 32” LCD TV for 14 hours, an LED light for 465 hours, etc. You get the drift. Whether you are experiencing power outages or you are out camping, this bank can provide all the electricity you need.
• Has an option for solar panel input
• Has a cigarette lighter adapter
• Can plug into a wall socket
• Has 3 USB ports
• Has an bluetooth enabled app
This budget 375watt-hour Power Station is arguably the lightest and smallest in the market. There are three ways to recharge this bank: from your 12V DC car output, a 120V wall AC supply or on solar via the MC4 Anderson Connector Cable. Once it’s fully charged up, you can access the power from 2 120V/60Hz AC outlets, 3 standard USB ports, 1 60W USB-C port, 12V DC cigarette receptacle output, 1.5V/2A wireless charging pad or a 12V/5A DC output port. At only 8.7pounds, this product can power a lot of gadgets and appliances simultaneously and for a long time. You can recharge your smartphone 5W 20 times, a 60W laptop 7 times, a 30W bulb for 80 hours and so on.
It integrates a convenient carrying handle that feels well planted.
Smartphone Airpower app connectivity via Bluetooth allows easier operations of the power station. It has a decent range and operates without glitches. From the app, you can view power information such as charge level, standby time, etc. You can also remotely control USB ports.
Safety is key in this station. With a pure sine wave output, it can sufficiently operate the most sensitive electronics.
The battery Management control system takes into account and rectifies over voltages, short circuits and overheating to ensure complete protection.
This product would be perfect for both indoor and outdoor use: power outage alternative, fishing, camping, office use, etc.
Things to Consider
Of course, like with any other major purchase, there are many things to consider when thinking about what power station to buy. These are the major points I would consider. There’s:
• Price/Your budget
This may seem obvious, but you should consider, can I afford this? Or should I look at cheaper models that will still do what I need it to do? Or am I looking to make an investment to save money (or a life) in the long run?
This also might seem like a no brainer. but you’ll want to consider how it’ll fit into your lifestyle.
• Are you looking to go off grid?
• Do you want a backup source of power for if/when the power goes out?
• Or do you love camping?
• Do you have lots of devices?
• Do you or any of your family members have medical equipment that’s vital to keep running?
The power station all have wifi connectivity and the option of connecting a solar power in common, but vary widely in price, weight and power capability. They all appear to be high quality products, but all the information can make it daunting to choose, which is why I mentioned features instead of mentioning technical specifications. Of course. I added the links if that does interest you.
If I was looking for a less expensive power station with wifi (under $300) that was light and easy to bring with me camping. I would choose the ALLPOWERS power station . It’s the lightest, least expensive and 3 USB ports and 372w is enough to power your devices and even a mini fridge.
It would also do if you live in an area that doesn’t have frequent or long power outages, but you’d like to have the security of a backup power source. I also like the wireless charging feature and that it has the option of solar power. Like with the other 2 power station, you would need to have or buy your own panels.
If I was looking to go off grid or if I lived in an area with long, frequent power outages. I would probably invest in the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 since it’s the most powerful. This also makes it very expensive, but it might save you money in the long run. depending on your situation. It can power a large freezer or a full sized fridge for 24 hours on a charge and even longer if you have or purchase solar panels. This is priced in the middle of the other 2 power station at just under $2,000.
The most expensive and heaviest power station here is the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 at 68 pounds and just under $3,000. To be fair, it does have wheels and a handle. It also has the capability of running 10 devices at once, so this is the one you would want as a serious investment towards going off grid, or perhaps if you have medical equipment that’s vital to keep running.
I would personally choose the ALLPOWERS power station because I don’t camp. I’m not really looking to go off grid, don’t have a lot of devices and it would realistically fit into my budget/price point. Of course this is just my opinion and situation. The purpose of this comparison wasn’t to tell you which power station to buy or which is the best. It’s to help give you a starting point, so you can make the best choice for you and your situation.
Battery-powered power station with WiFi and Bluetooth offer reliable, clean back up, portable power supply for several utilities. To get an ideal unit, consider the frequency of utility, the approximate power requirement and budget to get the best value for your money.