How to Choose a Battery Pack

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Have you ever asked wondered How long will this battery powerpack charge my BLANK (insert device name here). This article was created to answer that question!

Whether you’re camping, on a long flight, on a missionary trip or even on a day trip to the park, you’ll want to have peace of mind that your personal and portable electronic device will work when it’s needed. Today, portable electronic equipment, such as cell phone GPS-enabled units, digital cameras, mp3 players, satellite phones and a host of other electronics have become an integral part of our daily lives. Because most of these devices rely on a rechargeable internal battery for power, functionality is lost when the battery loses its charge. Fortunately, a growing selection of portable battery charges is now available to recharge your portable device when a wall outlet is not available or convenient.

Knowing how to select the right external battery to power your devices requires understanding your device input requirements, selecting the correct battery size and learning about recharging your rechargeable power source.

Step 1 : Know Your Device Input Requirements

The first thing you need to consider when selecting your external battery power is to choose a charger that delivers at least the same or greater output in volts. This is an important consideration because the wrong charger may actually drain your battery instead of charging it!

To determine the input requirement of your electronic device, look in the technical specifications section of your device’s owner manual. If you lost your manual, you can also locate the device’s voltage rating from the marking printed on the wall outlet AC power charger that came with your device.

The voltage will be expressed in volts (V) or milliAmps (mA). When purchasing your portable battery supply, make sure that the voltage delivered is at least the same as your device.

How it all works example:

I am going on a day camping trip (5 hours) and want to make sure I have enough power to run my Dell laptop without needing an outlet. Here is a picture of my Dell Laptop AC adapter. To efficiently power my laptop, the battery powerpack must supply at least 19.5Volts. This information is printed on every electronic device.

Dell-Specs1-150x150

Click picture to enlarge image

Step 2 : Select the Proper Battery Size

All things considered, the larger and heavier a battery power pack, the more storage capacity it has, which means it has increased capacity to provide multiple charges for your portable devices. Knowing the storage capacity of the device’s battery gives you a good estimate of how many recharges you can expect to receive from your power pack.

The storage capacity information of your portable device is located on the rechargeable battery inside your device. It will be expressed in either Amp hours (Ah) or milliAmp hours (mAh). You’ll need this number to compare to the Ah or mAh rating listed on the power pack battery, which will be stated in the technical specifications of the power pack.

How it all works example:

Dell-Battery-Specs-1-150x150

Click picture to enlarge image

The laptop battery has a 85 Wh (Watt-hour) capacity (see picture below). To convert Watt-Hours (Wh) to milliamp hours (mAh), you will need to simply divide the Watt-hours by the voltage. 85 Wh/11.1V = 7.66 AH or multiply by 1000 to get the mAh which is 7.66AH * 1,000 = 7,660 mAh .You’ll need this number to compare to the Ah or mAh rating listed on the power pack battery, which will be stated in the technical specifications of the power pack.

power-gorilla-specs1-150x150

Click picture to enlarge image

My Batterypack capacity is 21,000 mAh, my laptop battery capacity is 7,600 mAh. This means the battery powerpack will fully charge my laptop battery approx. 2.75 times (21,000/7,600). Since my laptop battery last about 3 hours with each fully charge, this battery powerpack is perfect for my camping trip.

The storage capacity is important because it determines not only how much of a charge the power pack can store, but how much it power it can send out before it also needs recharging. Keep in mind that the actual power sent out from a power pack may be affected by voltage fluctuations, discharge rate and temperature. Most power pack batteries have a minimum life of 500 charges, although 1,000 cycles isn’t uncommon.

Step 3 : Power Charge Type

Depending on the model, portable battery charges can be recharged in a number of ways, including solar, USB (computer), 12 volt DC power (vehicle), AC wall adapter, or AA replaceable battery.

Whether you choose a stand-alone solar charger, a solar charge with a power pack or a stand-alone power pack will depend on the use of your portable device, how often your device will need to be recharged and method of recharging. For instance, for longer trips, you might want to consider pairing your powerpack with a solar charger for multiple recharges.

Whatever your adventure, please remember to consider the following when choosing your portable battery source:

1. Know your device input requirements – What do you want to keep powered up (ex. Cell phone, laptop, cpap machine) and how much power does each device need?

2. Select the correct battery powerpack size – How much power will I need to power my electronic devices? Is this battery
capacity big enough to handle the job?

3. Choose the best battery powerpack recharge options type for the length and type of trip – Size (capacity) vs weight; can I recharge my battery with a solar charger?

We hope this article was helpful in dymysifing how to choose a portable battery powerpack to fit your needs.

About the Author

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old.

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