What is a “Portable Power Bank” and why should I have one?
Portable power banks are basically an external battery that allows you to charge your electricity powered devices if they lose power in a location that is miles away from electricity socket. This is great if you are in the Sahara desert where there is no power and you find that your smart phone or laptop has ran out of juice, which is very bad news as you are in the middle of the Sahara desert where it could be helpful to have access to a phone.
Why should you then carry a Portable Power Bank if they are only good when you are no where near an electricity supply (which is rare)? Well the quick answer is that if used properly they can save you money.
If you think of your laptop as a Portable Power Bank, your laptop will likely remain operational for around 7 to 10 hours when fully charged. As laptops are rated at around 100 watts means you are basically getting 1kWh of battery power from the laptop battery.
Now if you look at our early blog you know that you can charge your portable devices for free from various locations. So charging your laptop fully could save you around 20p per day. If you do this in a smart way you could possibly save between £20 to £100 per year simply using your laptop as a Portable Power Bank.
The great thing about a laptop is that they have USB ports which allow you to plug in anything that can use a USB charger such as smart phone, blue tooth head sets etc. So laptops are good Portable Power Banks but they are not really that portable. You wouldn’t for example carry around your laptop just encase your smart phone ran out of charge would you?
So what is a good Portable Power Bank?
A good Portable Power Bank is a battery that is small enough to be portable yet powerful enough to store a decent amount of power. To give you an idea of power, an AA battery will provide 2500mAh of power and most small devices (such as a TV remote) will use 2 x AA batteries. A Portable Power Bankthat is rated at 5000mAh would be able to recharge 2 x AA batteries fully.
Now the power usage depends on both the mAh rating and the voltage (basic physics). The higher the voltage then the greater the power rating of a device. So devices that use mains electricity (240v) will deplete a Portable Power Bank very quickly (not a good application). However, portable devices or devices that naturally use DC electricity are generally good contenders for using Portable Power Bank i.e. laptops, smart phones, tablets, camera and any other battery operated device you can think of.
To maximise the benefit of a portable power banks you should consider in what ways you can best use the energy stored in the portable power bank on a daily basis. For example you could attached your portable power bank to a battery charger that can use a USB connection. This way you can charge other standard batteries with your Portable Power Bank allowing you to operate devices that don’t have USB ports and which only use standard AA batteries. Using the power from the Portable Power Bank which you have gather for FREE is what will save you money. How much money you save depends on the size of Portable Power Bank.
So what size of battery bank should you get? Well the simple answer is “go as big as possible” BUT you should consider cost based on pence per mAh. Don’t just go out there and buy the biggest but rather go and buy the lowest cost pence per mAh. The cheapest we can find is 6.5pence per mAh but you may be able to find cheaper by using the links in this blog.
The more you charge your Portable Power Bank using the FREE energy that is out there and the more you adapt how you use this energy in your home, the greater the savings you will make. How much you can save is completely up to how you use your Portable Power Bank(s).
The one thing that is for sure is that if you do find yourself out of juice in the middle of the Sahara you will have been glad you read this blog and now have a Portable Power Bank in you bag that you can use – might just be a life saver (as well as a money saver).