Portable power stations are just big rechargeable batteries, much like the ones you might carry in a purse or computer bag to charge up your phone when you are on the go. (Mango Power/TNS)
Portable power stations are just big rechargeable batteries, much like the ones you might carry in a purse or computer bag to charge up your phone when you are on the go. (Mango Power/TNS) Led Emergency Module
After 20 years of reviewing gadgets, favorite categories emerge.
I find I really like reviewing cell phones, drones and portable power stations.
Portable power stations are just big rechargeable batteries, much like the ones you might carry in a purse or computer bag to charge up your phone when you are on the go. But some are bigger than others — much bigger.
As battery technology has evolved, power station capacity has increased, and the time it takes to recharge them has decreased.
Some are so large, they are stretching the definition of the word “portable.”
Today I’m reviewing the Mango Power E Home Backup and Portable Power Station ($3,999, but watch for holiday sales at mangopower.com), which is one of the larger (and heavier) portable power stations I’ve reviewed.
Let’s talk about the physical size and power capacity of the Mango Power E Portable power stations.
The unit weighs in at exactly 100 pounds, which makes it a challenge for one person to pick up and carry. Luckily the Power E has a pair of wheels and a telescoping handle, like a suitcase.
The unit measures 17.8 inches by 13.6 inches by 19.4 inches.
The Power E has lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells inside. LFP batteries charge faster and have a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. LFP cells are popular with electric vehicle manufacturers.
Mango Power says the batteries in the Power E can take continuous use for five years and still perform like they did when they were new.
The Power E has a battery capacity of 3,500 watt-hours and an inverter capable of providing 3,000 watts of power, which means it can power pretty much anything you can plug into it.
Speaking of powering things, the Power E has 16 outlets for charging various things, and yes, they can all be used at the same time, if you have the need.
It has four 20-amp AC outlets, one 30-amp AC RV outlet, six USB-A quick charge ports (providing up to 27W), one 65W USB-C power delivery port and one 100W USB-C power deliver port, two 12V DC5521 ports, and one 12V/10A car outlet port.
Actually, the 30-amp RV plug can provide 3,000W, while the regular 20-amp AC outlets provide up to 2,400W.
The Power E has an impressive operating temperature range from -22 to 140 degrees. That may not seem like an important feature, but just to compare, Jackery’s new 2000W power station operates from 14 to 104 degrees. Being able to operate in the heat of summer, even in direct sunlight, can be very helpful.
The Power E has a 4.3-inch touch screen to show exactly how much power is going in and out and which ports are in use. You turn on the banks of ports (AC or DC) through the touch screen.
The Power E can charge your cell phone 270 times or your laptop up to 50 times. It can power a CPAP machine for 75 hours and a full-size refrigerator for up to 48 hours. It will power the average TV for up to 27 hours.
Heat sources are what will drain a power station fastest. The Power E can power a hair dryer for 1.8 hours and an electric skillet for two hours.
Charging the Power E can be done from a household AC outlet, solar panels or even an EV charging station (with an adapter). The wall outlet can charge the Power E to 80 percent in just 60 minutes and to 100 percent in 90 minutes. Solar recharging time will depend on the number of panels used. The Power E can accept up to 2,000 watts of solar input.
A nice feature of the Power E is the ability to expand its capacity.
Mango Power sells an expansion battery pack that doubles the capacity to 7,000 watt-hours. The expansion battery weighs 73 pounds and sits on top of the Power E. You’ll probably not want to move it once you add the extra battery. The Power E with expansion battery retails for $6,798, but again, look for holiday sale pricing on their website.
You can also connect two of the expanded Power E units together for a maximum capacity of 14,000 watt-hours and a whopping 6,000 hours of inverter capacity.
Two Power E units can be wired together with an optional electrical panel to provide 240V split-phase power for heavy duty appliances like your home’s heater, clothes dryer or water pump.
It can also be wired into your home’s electrical system to provide your whole house with power if your electricity goes out.
That kind of power backup security isn’t cheap. Two expanded Power Es with the panel to tie it into your home’s fuse box will set you back just under $14,000.
Mango Power has an app to let you see the input/output status of the ports, turn ports on or off and control the Power E from anywhere. The Power E has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in. The app also lets the user change the charging speed and schedule charging times, (perhaps to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates at night).
The Mango Power E is an impressive portable power station. It has a huge capacity and inverter, with expansion options. It uses the latest LFP battery cells that charge very fast and last for thousands of recharge cycles.
It has wheels to help move it around.
This is the perfect power station for your home or RV. It’ll also do a great job on a jobsite or campsite.
Power Inverter It isn’t cheap, but I believe it has all the features you could want in a portable power station, so it is worth the cost.