A Guide to Portable Power Station Capacity

A portable power station is an excellent source of backup power, whether you’re camping, living off the grid, or just being prepared for an emergency. But with a rapidly growing number of options on the market, how do you decide which size is right for you? Don’t worry. Here is a guide to portable power station capacity to help you figure out which size is most suitable for your backup power needs.


What is capacity?

Before buying a portable power station, the first thing you need to know is its capacity. Capacity indicates how much energy a power station can hold, typically indicated in watt-hours (Wh). One watt-hour is equivalent to using one watt of power for one hour. For reference, your home energy bill can tell you the monthly power consumption of your household in kilowatt-hours. You can also find this figure by measuring your home’s energy meter a few days or weeks apart.


How do you calculate a power station’s capacity?

  1. Choose what you want to power with your portable power station and for how long. For example, you might want to power your laptop for 2 hours.


  1. Find out how much energy each of your choices uses. That means you need to find out how many watts your devices need to run. This number is usually listed somewhere on the device itself or on its outer packaging. However, if you only see measurements in amps, you can multiply that number by the device’s voltage to convert it into watts. Then, multiply the number of hours you want to use it for by the wattage of your device. The result will be the total watt-hours required to power each device.


  1. Add all your watt-hours for each device together to get the total amount of watt-hours that you need the power station to provide. For example, let’s say you need 400 watt-hours to power your lights, 300 to charge your phone, and 300 to charge your laptop. Your total watt-hour requirement would be 1000Wh (400 + 300 + 300).


  1. Lastly, make sure you choose a portable power station with a higher watt-hour rating than the total watt-hour requirement you calculated in step 3.



Buying the right size of portable power station will ensure that you have an optimal source of power without paying more for it than you have to. That’s why we at Vanpowers offer portable power stations to meet a wide variety of power consumption needs while staying within your budget, ranging from 640Wh of capacity to as high as 2096Wh. If you’re looking for a portable power station that can handle specific power needs, be sure to check the watt-hour rating before buying.