Portable Power Sources for Homestead Projects (Olin’s top picks)
Leigh asked me to research all types of portable power and find a few that I feel comfortable recommending because there are SO MANY CHOICES. Not only are there a lot of makes and models, but some power stations might be better suited for certain types of activities when compared with others. So here are my top picks of portable power sources for homestead projects.
Below, I’ll be talking about some basic tips you can keep in mind when picking the perfect portable power station, and then we’ll get into what I feel are the best options available.
Tips for Choosing Your Portable Power Station
Portable power is handy for many things around the home, farm, when you’re out camping, and more. It’s a way to get power to areas that otherwise might not have it. These power sources can be fantastic for various projects around your homestead. First, though, you need to make sure you understand some of the different options on the market.
Generator and Inverter
While a lot of people may opt for generators, they might not realize the benefits that choosing an inverter can provide. Inverters are good at cleaning up electrical power, which makes them better suited for sensitive electronics. Inverters are going to have higher fuel efficiency, too. With the cost of gas today, that’s something you certainly want to consider.
Inverters tend to be on the small side, too, with many of them weighing between 40 and 50 lbs. Some could weigh even less.
When you are choosing an inverter for your power source, you have to consider how and where you might want to use it. This will determine the strength and type you should be choosing.
A small 1,000W option might allow you to run one or two small appliances at the same time. A 2,000W inverter could let you run multiple appliances at the same time. For those who need more power for helping to run their travel trailers or campers, a 3,000W option would be the best choice.
Solar is great because you can typically count on the sun to provide you with some charge for the unit. Of course, the sun isn’t always out, so it’s nice that you can also plug in these units to charge them up.
Not only will you not have to worry about gas, but you will find that these power sources tend to be very quiet, even when compared to inverter generators (which are quiet in their own right). The solar and battery-powered options tend not to require much in the way of maintenance, and you can use them indoors without worry.
You can size the solar and battery-powered power sources in much the same way as an inverter. Consider how and where you will be using it and how much energy it needs to put out to meet your needs. Then, choose the option that can supply you with that wattage. Very important considerations for choosing portable power sources for homestead projects!
What’s the Verdict? Check Out the Best Portable Power Source Options for Homestead Projects
Below, we’ll be looking at the culmination of my research efforts, so you can find the one that’s right for your property.
Honda Has a Lot to Offer for Those Who Want a Gas-Powered Option
The best brand of generator and inverter generator I have found is Honda. This is a well-known company, so it’s nice to know they have the quality to back up their brand name. Honda makes a range of small portable power generators and inverter generators, and what I feel is the best option currently is the Honda EU2200i. This is a small inverter generator that is lightweight but still manages to provide a lot of power. It currently costs $1,299.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons to consider this generator. It is extremely quiet, which makes it good for camping or for any activity where you need to keep things down. The generator only weighs 47 lbs., which means it’s easy to move around and take with you wherever you might need to go.
You’ll also appreciate that it’s fuel-efficient. It can run for about eight hours on less than a gallon of fuel. It can connect to the My Generator smartphone app from Honda, so you can monitor the generator. The EU220i is a good option for many different sorts of appliances including small AC units, hair dryers, microwaves, and more. It’s a nice choice for job sites, around the home, your workshop, while camping, and more.
Jackery and Bluetti Solar Power Stations Could Be a Good Option
Today, many power stations are solar-powered and can be recharged by plugging them into your house power or your vehicle. When compared to other options, these tend to be a little on the costly side but recharging with solar power can help to keep the cost of using the power station down.
Some of the brands that are making what I feel are high-quality power stations include Jackery and Bluetti. Let’s look at comparable models from each of these brands so you can see which one is the best portable power source option for homestead projects.
The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro Solar Power Station retails for $2,299. It features a 2160Wh lithium NMC battery and 1,200W solar charging speeds, and it should be able to charge fully in just a couple of hours. The unit also has a long carrying handle to make it easy to transport, which is made easier since it only weighs about 43 lbs. It can work well for all off-grid power needs and can run all manner of appliances from power tools to refrigerators.
The Bluetti AC200P Solar Power Station is another good option. One of the first things you’ll notice is that it’s markedly cheaper than the Jackery. This unit costs around $1,599. It has a 2000Wh Life PO4 battery back, expandable battery modules, 17 charging outlets, and a smart LCD. However, this doesn’t charge quite as quickly as the Jackery. It’s also heavier at 60 lbs., so it’s not quite as easy to transport.
What’s Right for You?
These are top of the list for me, and they really can make camping and projects around your homestead a lot easier. Which of these portable power sources for homestead projects might be best for you?
Want to learn more about how to accomplish homestead projects with a variety of tools and resources? Sign up for our one-day, jammed-packed, Sustainable Farm Conference on Saturday, October 1st, 2022 to see our simple homestead in person and learn the many common-sense tactics that have helped us over the years.