Whether you need on-site power at an off-grid location or a backup power source for emergencies, portable power stations can come in extremely handy, and could even be a literal lifesaver in the event of a power outage. Preparing for a camping or hunting trip, putting together emergency preparedness kits, or just stocking a car trunk for a day trip are all very good reasons to consider picking up one or more portable power stations, because being able to recharge or run personal electronics, power tools, medical equipment, or a portable fridge when you need to can offer a lot of peace of mind.
The team at Grecell recently sent me three of their portable power station models — the 300W, 1000W, and 2000W — to test out and review, and after putting them all through their paces, I’m happy to report that all of them performed as designed, and I’d recommend taking a good look at them if you’re in the market for one, especially at the special pricing found below.
First up is the Grecell T-300, a 300W model, which is the smallest of the three, weighing in at under 10 pounds and measuring just 6.7″L x 9.6″W x 6.9″H. This unit is compact enough to take with you just about anywhere (ok, maybe not on a backpacking trip or day-hike, but certainly anywhere you’d bring a vehicle to), and light enough for pretty much anyone to carry. A fold-flat handle makes packing and stacking easy, and rubber bumpers on all 8 corners help keep the unit protected from bumps and drops.
It has 288 Wh of battery capacity, an output of 330W (600W surge), and has 8 output ports — a 12V car lighter charging port, 3 USB-A 18W ports, one USB-C PD 60W port, 2 DC 12V/10A ports, and because it has an onboard inverter, there is one AC outlet that supplies pure sine wave power for sensitive electronics. The unit can be charged via a 12V car outlet, a home AC outlet, or a solar panel (I did not test this function, but the company says it has a built-in Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) control system to extract “the maximum power from the solar panel”).
It also has a built-in LED task light, which is another handy feature that many portable power stations now include. The front display panel shows the state of charge of the battery, the total outputs for both DC and AC and for the USB ports, and the total input when charging. One button turns the whole unit on, and then separate buttons turn each different section on (DC, AC, USB).
Priced at just $216.99, the Grecell T-300 is an excellent entry-level model for those new to portable power stations or those looking for a compact option. CleanTechnica readers can use the 10% discount code 2535MMCM (through 10/16/22), plus the $50 coupon available on the product page, to purchase the T-300 for just $147.99.
Next up is the Grecell T-1000, a 1000W (2000W surge) portable power station with 999Wh of capacity weighing in at 17 pounds and measuring 11.6″W x 7.9″L x 7.9″H. It’s got a very handy wireless charging station on top, which I’ve really come to enjoy for the ease of keeping my smartphone charged up without having to sit near an outlet, as well as the same type of fold-flat handle as the T-300. It also has rubber bumpers on all 8 corners help protect the unit from bumps and drops, and because it’s not that much bigger than the T-300 and not that much heavier considering it’s got triple the capacity, this unit is a great size for those looking for a unit that will handle a fair bit more than its smaller cousin.
The T-1000 can be charged via a 12V car outlet, a conventional AC outlet, or solar panels, just as the T-300 can. For charging and powering gadgets and devices, it includes a standard 12V car outlet, two DC 12V/10A outputs, one USB-C PD 60W output, 3 USB-A QC3.0 18W outputs, a wireless charger on top, and two standard AC outlets. For those keeping score at home, that’s 10 total charging/power options that could potentially be used at the same time (however, it’s also pretty doubtful that anyone could utilize all 10 while staying under the 1000W rating, but you never know).
The T-1000 also includes an LED task light on the side of it, and the same handy display on the front for monitoring its state of charge and tracking power in and power out of the unit. As with the T-300, the T-1000 has one button to turn the whole unit on, and then separate buttons turn each different section on (DC, AC, USB).
The Grecell T-1000 retails for $789.99, which is a decent price for a mid-sized portable power station like this, which could easily become one of the most essential items to pack with you tailgating or on a camping, hunting, or road trip, considering the number of gadgets many of us schlep around with us every day. CleanTechnica readers can use the 5% discount code EG9GAA9K (through 10/16/22), and the on-page $300 coupon, to pay just $459.99 for this portable power station.
Last up we have the largest of the units, the Grecell 2000W portable power station, which looks to be a great choice for an emergency backup power source — or for keeping a whole crew of people charged up when out glamping or at the beach, or tailgating. What I discovered just recently is how handy it can be when you need to plug in a power tool or three far from the end of an extension cord. It has virtually replaced my gasoline-powered 3500W generator for a myriad of farm and ranch tasks around my place.
Before I get to the good stuff, the Grecell 2000W unit had one tiny drawback in my book, and that is the handles on top. They aren’t foldable (though they look like they could be removed if desired), which means that packing or stacking the unit can be a little more challenging than the smaller models. That may be a no-duh statement, as the 2000W unit weighs in at 48 pounds and measures 15.43″W x 10.98″L x 12.72″H, so it isn’t exactly a lightweight item you’d want to move around all the time by hand. It’s doable by one person, but carrying almost 50 pounds of battery storage around by the top handles for any distance isn’t exactly comfortable (although two people can carry it easily, and a foldable two-wheeler/dolly can be a great accessory for car-camping or events).
The good news is that the Grecell 2000W portable power station can handle up to 4000W peak (surge), and has 1997Wh of capacity, which means that in an emergency or power outage, it can handle keeping a fridge or other essential household appliances running, as well as a number of smaller personal electronics. While it does not have a wireless charger like the T-1000 does, it does have 16 power outlet options, including 6 110V AC outlets, two 12V/3A DC outputs, two 5V/2.4A USB outputs, two 18W USB QC 3.0 outlets, two 5-20V/5.0A PD 100W Type C outlets, one 12V/10A XT-60 output, and one 12V/10A car outlet.
It also includes a bright LED task light on the front, and a higher quality display helps users keep tabs on the state of charge and the amount of electricity currently being delivered to attached devices. As with the other Grecell units, the 2000W model has one button to turn the whole unit on, and then separate buttons turn each different section on (DC, AC, USB).
It can be charged in just two hours using a standard 110V AC outlet, or can be charged with solar panels (recharge time is dependent on the size of the panels and how clear and sunny it is, but the company states that it takes about 4.5 hours to fully recharge it with 500W of panels).
The 2000W unit has pass-through charging, so it can power or charge attached devices while the unit itself is being charged, and the unit’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) feature could be a lifesaver for applications where a “blackout, voltage sag, or voltage surge” might really cause an issue with sensitive electronics or medical devices. It doesn’t have the same rubber corner bumpers as the smaller units, but the enclosure itself feels rugged (and perhaps it isn’t designed to be hauled around or thrown around quite as much as the smaller units might be).
The Grecell 2000W portable power station retails for $1,599, which to me makes it less of an impulse buy than a considered decision, but considering the capacity and number of power outlet options, not to mention the UPS feature, it’s not really that much money at all to pay for some peace of mind in an emergency — or for the convenience of off-grid electricity. CleanTechnica readers can use the the discount code ITT5JXJT (through 10/23/22) for $150 off, plus an on-page coupon for another $250 off, to bring the price down to just $1199.
All of these Grecell portable power stations include an “upgraded” battery management system (BMS) which is designed to not only stop charging attached devices when they are full, but also to “offer short-circuit and power-surge protection” for plugged-in electronics, as well as to help protect the unit itself when being charged by solar panels. In addition, all three units have built-in cooling fans to keep them from overheating. While not exactly “silent,” the fans are quiet enough to not be a bother most of the time (buyer beware, as some folks are very light sleepers and may take issue with even a quiet fan running).
Disclaimer: Grecell provided these portable power stations to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
All images by Derek Markham, CleanTechnica
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.