Power up your e-bike adventure!
As an e-bike rider, you are usually faced with several choices of e-bike related accessories like GPS navigation gadgets, carriers and racks and even a child seat, but choosing a portable power station for your battery may seem like an odd choice. However, these battery powerhouses are indeed a very efficient offering that can be used when you are far away from any electrical sockets or in cases where your bike’s battery is about to die on you.
What is a Portable Power Station?
Imagine a situation in which there is absolutely no electricity or any source that generates it for you. How many of the devices and tools would suddenly turn ineffective and worthless in that case? Many… and of course, your electric bike would be one of those- like it or not!
Probably, as an electric bike rider, you have experienced being in a situation where you desperately needed a power source to recharge your bike battery. Experienced off-road bikers would know what we’re talking about. But if you have not experienced it yet, soon or later you will!
The thing is once you are out of town and away from power sources, it can turn into a challenge to find the best way to recharge your e-bike. After all, you cannot keep getting in bars and road restaurants asking the owners if you can charge your battery there. Even if they are the nicest people to let you get your battery recharged, you will have to leave your bike battery plugged there for at least 3 to 4 hours for a full charge before it is ready to get back on your bike and serve you.
Some of you may even vote for a solar panel. Of course, if you’re looking for something with a bit more power behind it, you can check out solar generators. They tend to have larger capacities and can last you weeks instead of days on one charge. That being said, those are meant more for powering up large appliances like travel refrigerators and water heaters instead of smaller electronics like phones and tablets. So they can work the best for e-bikes too. But clearly, this can be the most expensive way of recharging a bike battery. Not to mention that you are not going to get enough sunlight any time you wish!
So what is the best way of recharging e-bike batteries while off-grid?
So let’s get down to the best, advisable and affordable way of getting electricity while being away from civilization! As the name suggests, a portable power station is a battery-based generator that can be carried around while providing your e-bike battery with as much backup electricity as needed (depending on the wattage that it supports).
Portable power stations are fast becoming a necessity for those e-bikers who spend time off-the-grid, whether that be Camping trips, road trips, off-road riding adventures or any similar situation in a remote location or even at times when there is a power outage. You got it right! With a power station that is fully charged and holds a good amount of wattage, you can get your home appliances to run when the power is out (of course the station needs to back up enough wattage). So overall, it is not only your e-bike that is going to benefit from this handy functional source of power, but you can count on it whenever and wherever you need electricity.
You can find all kinds of power stations in the market almost starting at 150W rising all the way up to 2500W – above that wattage is unlikely to be needed for an electric bike battery. Depending on the battery used on your e-bike, choose the one that will serve you the best. But if you need to know how long these power stations will keep you running, the average run time period of an electric bike portable power station is 7-10 days, depending on the charge condition of the battery.
Take a 500W power bank as an example. This one will keep you out of trouble for at least 3 to 4 full charges on your e-bike battery before you need to recharge the power bank itself.
The interesting part that makes these power banks so popular is that you can use them to charge not only your bike batteries but all your power tools, electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, camping gear like lamps, laptops, cameras and anything else that runs on electricity. They can even host a few devices at the same time.
How is a power station different from a regular generator?
A power station is basically much safer than a regular gas-fuelled generator as it does not emit carbon monoxide and you don’t need to take so many safety measures such as necessarily running them outdoors. Technically, we can say that these power stations are some kind of rechargeable batteries like the ones we use for our smartphones except that they are larger in size.
Compared to gas-fuelled generators, portable power stations are smaller- much smaller, lighter- so light that you can even carry them on your bike rack, easier to carry around and of course they give you peace and quiet in your camping adventure by zero noise which is one important upside of these power banks.
Battery power stations have a more sophisticated design than regular generators, though, one big advantage is that they are more convenient for you to operate. So there’s no question that a suitable power station can perfectly partner up with your electric bike to give you the best off-grid ride experience ever and if you must know… they are absolutely worth it!
Choosing the best power station for your e-bike
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to power stations, and not all of them are great. Choosing the right power station for your electric bike is not just about picking a shiny new gadget. It’s about knowing what you want and finding the best way to get there. You may also be tempted by price, but there are many other factors that can make or break your purchase decision.
The biggest thing you need to be looking for is a station that can handle your bike’s power input needs. Most bikes will take far less than the average power station can provide, but if you have an electric mountain bike or one that goes really fast, you need to make sure you don’t blow out your station!
One more thing to consider is how long the charge will last on the station. You don’t want a short-term station if you’re going on a long ride and might need some extra juice midway through!
After that, it’s time to start thinking about the size and the weight of your power bank, If you need one with wheels so that it’s easy to move around and whether you want a locking system or not (if you live in an area with lots of bike thefts).
Next thing, decide how far and how long you plan on riding your bike before you get access to a stable power source. If it’s just a few blocks, then you don’t need a power station that can reach long distances. On the other hand, if your plans include cross-country biking with frequent recharging stops at campsites along the way, then you’ll want a more powerful station that can take you further without having to stop and recharge as often.
So, shop around and do your research before you commit to any specific electric bike charging station. Take into consideration how long the charge will last and what kind of security features you need before making a decision.
How does a portable power station work?
A portable battery-based power station is just what it sounds like: a power station that uses batteries as its primary source of energy.
Think about your own home for a second. You probably have an electrical panel, and some breakers. Now think about how many things in your house use electricity. The lights in every room, your television or computer, your coffee maker, your refrigerator… you get the idea.
Now imagine all of those things running on batteries – the same way they would if they were portable devices like laptops or cell phones. That’s basically what you’re looking at with this type of power station. It’s just a more complex version capable of powering multiple devices at once.
What makes portable power stations so great is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be used in any location where there is no access to a traditional power grid. Refreshing your memory on the upsides of using these power banks, we mentioned that their lightweight makes them easy to transport from one place to another, which will definitely be necessary if you are buying one to back up your e-bike. We also stated that unlike traditional generators – which are often loud – these stations are quiet!
Where can I buy a portable power station?
If you’re looking for a portable power station, you’re in luck. There are several trusted shops in Australia that sell them. Especially in Melbourne and Sydney where electric bikes’ popularity is on a surge, you can find shops offering large varieties of power stations suitable for e-bikes.
In fact, right here on our website, we have plenty of options to choose from. The Bluetti stations are among the great portable products that are popular by many e-bike riders and camping enthusiasts. They all can be easily moved from place to place giving you company on your adventure ride out of the city.
Charging a power station
We recommend charging your portable power station for 10 hours before using it to charge your devices. When you charge it for the first time, you’ll see an indicator- usually a red light (depending on the model design of your power station) that means the power station is charging. Once it’s fully charged – which usually takes about 10 hours – you’ll see a green light, which means it’s ready to go. If the power station you are using has a different design, read the user’s manual first to make sure of the lights and displays used on the casing and figure out what each one of them indicates.
But generally, to charge your portable power station, you will have to follow these steps:
- Plug the power adapter into the power input port on the unit.
- Plug the adapter into a standard electrical outlet.
- An indicator will show you that charging is in progress. When charging is complete, the power bank is ready for use.
The interesting part is that you can also charge it with a solar panel if you have one. Normally those riders who plan on relatively longer trips off-the-grid add solar panels to their camping equipment too. If you are OK with going through the cost, you’ll need a compatible panel and an adapter cable. However, this will make the charging process a little bit slower, but it’s still worth doing.
Anyways, whether you are using a regular wall outlet or a solar panel to recharge your station, always remember to remove any USB devices and adapters before charging. This is because the charging process can cause damage to those devices if you don’t!
How much does a power station cost?
While trying to find the best power station for your e-bike you may look for the cheapest but we suggest that you search for the one that suits your ride and adventure plans the best.
There are a lot of companies offering a wide range of portable power stations suitable for electric bikes. Some of these models might come with prices that are a bit on the high side. But there is definitely a reason for that.
Let’s get an example: a portable power station that costs moderately high ( around 2000 to 2500 AUD) most probably comes with high wattage (2000W or even higher), it may support simultaneous charging of multiple devices (10 devices or even more), it also can be equipped with wireless charging pads, smart fans or even a battery management system(BMS).
So as you see, you will certainly get value for money, but you need to consider which of these options will actually do good to you.
Clearly, cheaper stations come with fewer options and lower wattage. But Generally speaking, the more watts you want your device to output, the higher the cost of the battery. That’s because batteries with high wattage are bigger and heavier than batteries with low wattage. Additionally, they require more materials to make them, so they do cost more money.
But overall, while prices vary based on the specific brand, model, and features of the portable power station you choose, prices tend to range from $70 to $3000 AUD. If you want something that’s basic but effective and don’t mind if it lacks some of the advanced features, you may want to consider one that’s near the lower end of that range. If you’re looking for something that’s more powerful and has more ports and advanced features, consider one that’s priced towards the high end of that range.
How long do power stations last?
Now you must be wondering how much energy you can get out of a power station before needing to recharge it.
Power stations are so versatile and have a wide range of applications. As we mentioned, they come in all different shapes and sizes and they last just as long as the devices they’re powering.
While there are a number of factors that may impact the length of time your power station can last, most should last for at least 40 hours. If you’re not using it to charge devices other than your e-bike battery, like smart phones, lights etc., you’re likely to get much longer use out of your power bank.
The size of a portable power station is a good indication of how long it will last. Naturally, the smaller the battery, the shorter duration and larger batteries will hold their charge longer and can provide electricity for days on end.
Also, some small batteries are designed to be used for quick charging and can only hold their charge for a few hours. These batteries cannot be the perfect choice for off-grid riding especially if you’re planning to get way out of town for days.
So, to determine how long a portable power station can run your e-bike or other devices, you have to know how much energy it uses. You also need to know what percentage of the portable power bank’s battery has been charged in advance.
Then, you can use this formula:
RUNTIME = (Discharge Capacity x Charge Level) ÷ Device Output Power
Best portable power station in Australia
When you are off-grid and out in the wild, a power station can be your best friend. It’s not only about your electric bike, whether you need to charge your phone, keep your laptop going or light up a bulb, a portable power station is a must-have. To help you get the best deal, here we suggest 2 of the best portable lithium power stations in Australia.
Bluetti is the number one choice for those who want to be super prepared for anything. Some units of Bluetti can pack 2500 watts of power and have impressive run times of 14 hours with an inverter rating of 2000W. They can run everything from laptops and tablets to mini-fridges and of course electric bike batteries. They have USB ports to charge devices at the same time, they are capable of supporting charge to more than ten devices simultaneously, and the interesting part is that there are even wireless pads on some models. They are equipped with smart fans to protect your power bank from overheating, a perfect battery management system to prolong your power station life even better and a lot more impressive features that can strike the feeling of city life comfort even while out in nature.
Jackery is another brand that holds years of experience in providing standby power systems all around the world. Many Jackery units are great for car camping and emergency situations where you need more juice than regular generators can handle. What has made Jackery one of the popular names is the simple design making it handier to use and of course the fact that you can find power stations of almost every wattage and size in Jackery. Like Bluetti, Jackery also is equipped with Battery Management System that makes both brands two of the safest against overcurrent or short current, overcharge or over-discharge and of course, overheating.
Some power station words you need to know
While looking for the perfect battery power station from shop to shop or even browsing online, you will see some power station-related words that you might not be interested to know about. But once you realize that these features actually can make a power station cheap or expensive, you start wondering what they mean.
One important feature that makes a power station different from the other is “Watt hours”. It is a term that describes the amount of energy consumed over a period of time, measured in hours. It’s used to calculate the work that a power station does. A power station has a certain number of megawatts (MW) it can provide, and that’s measured as the output- how many watts it can supply for one hour. If you figure out how many watt-hours you need and then divide it by the output of your power station, you’ll have the number of hours you need to run the power station.
It’s important to know that watt-hours are not a way to measure the rate of energy use, like you would by using watts. The watt is used to measure instantaneous power. Watt-hours are also known as watt-hours and watt-hours. They can be abbreviated as Wh and W·h in your power station manual, description or on the casing.
Watts – Watt is a unit of measurement that is most commonly used in descriptions of products like power stations and it refers to the total electrical power available in them. Now in relation with watt-hours which was described above, we can say when you multiply the number of watts per hour by the number of hours you use your power bank, you get the total watt hours. For example, say your battery power station uses 500 watts of energy and you use it for 2 hours: 500 watts x 2 hours = 1000 watt hours.
These are the words you will most probably find in descriptions of just any lithium portable power station for sale in Australia. It is not that complicated to decide on the battery that fits your e-bike the best. Still, if you are not sure, the seller will definitely help you with that.
Overall, it’s a cool thing for an electric bike, so if you’ve got enough bucks and want the peace of mind that your bike will be charged and ready to go whenever you are then a portable power station might be the charger for you.