When choosing an outdoor portable power station, one important factor to consider is the lifespan. How long can this power station use? and what are its life cycles? This blog will introduce the lifespan or life cycles of the power station and how to properly care for and store it for a longer lifespan.
DOES THE OUTDOOR POWER STATION HAVE A LIFESPAN?
Battery performance is a key factor in outdoor power station lifespan. Firstly, let’s take a look at the lithium-ion batteries used in outdoor power stations.
FEATURES OF “LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES” USED IN OUTDOOR POWER STATIONS
The outdoor power station has a built-in battery pack to store power. Lithium-ion batteries are the mainstream battery material. The lithium-ion battery is a battery in which a lithium-containing metal oxide is used for the positive electrode, a carbon material such as graphite is used for the negative electrode, and an organic electrolyte is filled.
Lithium-ion batteries are common batteries and are also used in smartphones, mobile batteries, and laptops. Compared with other batteries, it has relatively low manufacturing cost, durability and high energy density, so it is lightweight and compact. In addition, despite its small size, it has a large storage capacity, so once charged, it can be used for a long time, and it is a durable battery that can be repeatedly charged and discharged.
One of the characteristics of lithium-ion batteries is their long service life, but they also age with use. Tips on how to use and store batteries to prevent them from aging and prolonged use are covered later in this blog.
Types of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used battery materials for outdoor power stations. Strictly speaking, they can be divided into the following three types.
- Lithium-Ion Battery
- lithium-polymer battery
- Lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4)
Lithium polymer batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries are also a type of lithium-ion batteries. However, to improve specifications and safety, some materials and processing differ from those used in lithium-ion batteries.
For example, the lithium polymer battery uses a non-flammable, highly stable gel-like polymer material as the electrolyte, and is treated by wrapping it with a protective agent, the filled electrolyte is not easy to leak, and the yield is high.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are batteries with phosphoric acid as the positive electrode. Compared with lithium-containing metal oxides used in general lithium-ion batteries, thermal runaway is less likely to occur, so it has excellent stability and safety.
Outdoor power station life (number of cycles) is 500 to 2500 cycles. The typical lifetime of a portable outdoor power station is about 500 to 2500 cycles.
The number of cycles is a unit used to indicate the life of the outdoor power station, and charging + discharging counts as one cycle. That is to say, if an outdoor power station has a lifespan of 800 times, then the lifespan is about 800 times when the battery is charged from 0% to 100% to 0% used up.
The life of a portable power station is expressed in cycles, as the standard life of the same model varies depending on usage conditions and environments.
Take OXTECO Sirius Series Power Stations as an example.
The OXTECO Sirius 1200W and Sirius 2500W power stations use Lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePO4), which have about 2000+ lifecycles to 80% capacity.
The number of cycles that can be used as a life indicator is “more than 2000 times”.
If you use Sirius 1200W once a week at camp, the estimated lifespan is about 38 years. (2000 times ÷ 52 times a year = about 15 years), that indicates it will last a long use time
Estimated life is approximate only and will vary depending on the usage environment.
And the OXTECO Sirius 500W and Sirius 600W power stations use a lithium-polymer battery that has about 800+ lifecycles to 80% capacity.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE OUTDOOR POWER STATION IS BROKEN?
Portable outdoor power stations have a limited lifespan due to the aging of the built-in lithium-ion battery, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely unusable once it reaches its end of life. However, when the number of cycles of the life index is reached, the storable capacity decreases and the charging time becomes longer. As a result, when it reaches its end of life, its performance degrades, and in many cases, it becomes difficult to use.
THE HAZARDS OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES AND HOW TO CHOOSE A SAFE PORTABLE OUTDOOR POWER STATION
Lithium-ion batteries built into portable power sources can explode if overcharged, overheated, over-discharged, machine malfunctions, or mishandled.
Therefore, when choosing an outdoor power station, it is important to focus on whether it is safe to use. Specifically, choose products with multiple protection features.
One of them is BMS (Battery Management System). A BMS is a system designed to safely monitor and adjust battery cells to protect them from overvoltage, overcurrent, overheating, and more.
Other protection functions include overvoltage protection, overload protection, overheat protection, short circuit protection, low-temperature protection, and overcurrent protection.
PRECAUTIONS FOR PROLONGED USE OF PORTABLE POWER SOURCES
Outdoor power stations, while limited in life, really depend on usage conditions and environment, so they can be extended by designing how they are used and stored.
HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR USING OUTDOOR POWER FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME.
Do not place in hot or humid places or places where the temperature is too low.
The first tip is to avoid use and storage in hot, humid places and places where the temperature is too low. Lithium-ion batteries used in outdoor power stations are susceptible to heat and cold. In particular, the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries are heated to accelerate aging, so please avoid using and storing them in direct sunlight, or leaving them in the car in midsummer. Moisture can also cause problems caused by corrosion. Care must be taken when using and storing the product in dew condensation windows or wet storage rooms. In addition, in places where the temperature is too low, the internal resistance and overvoltage of lithium-ion batteries will increase, resulting in reduced performance and shortened battery life. If you want to use the outdoor power station for a long time, please avoid the hot and humid environment and use it in a cool and ventilated environment.
Do not use it while charging
Charging while using refers to charging the outdoor power station while outputting electricity from the outdoor power station to run the appliance. The lithium-ion battery built into the outdoor power station can be charged and discharged at the same time. However, charging and discharging at the same time places a burden on the Li-ion battery and causes the battery to age faster. If you use it while charging, the power station is easy to heat up.
Bring the battery to 60-80% before storing
For extended use of outdoor power, the remaining battery power during storage is also important. Avoid fully charging the battery or storing it at 0% as this reduces the performance of the power station and accelerates the aging of the Li-Ion battery. Especially if the battery is left at 0% for a long time, it may not be able to recharge. Typically, the preferred battery level to prevent Li-ion battery aging is around 40%, however, since power is also naturally released during storage, storing with 40% remaining power may cause the battery to become 0% and cannot be used in an emergency. When storing an outdoor power station, the power released naturally in half a year is about 20%. Therefore, for long-term storage, it is recommended to keep the battery power at 60-80%. In addition, when the battery level reaches 40% to 60% after half a year, check whether the battery level is appropriate and check that the operation is safe. The above is just a recommendation for a general outdoor power station, for our products when the remaining battery power is about 30% to 60%, it can be stored in the best condition for a long time. We also recommend checking the operation every three months so you can use it in an emergency.
Store in a cool, well-ventilated place
As mentioned above, it’s also important to store in a cool, well-ventilated place, avoiding places that are hot and humid and places that are too cold. The optimal temperature for storing outdoor power stations is around 25°C. But be careful when storing in dusty places as it can erode the product. Whether it’s in the living room, front or back, or in the hallway, it’s just the right storage location. However, temperature and humidity may change seasonally, so please change the storage location as needed. Especially in winter in cold regions, one way is to store it in packaging materials and avoid direct storage in low-temperature environments. Also, if you are using an outdoor power station from OXTECO, we recommend that you press and hold the main power button on the front to turn off the entire power station while storing.
Is charging related to extending the life of an outdoor power source?
One might wonder if charging from an outdoor power source for extended periods of time is a good idea. In reality, charging doesn’t shorten battery life. It is recommended that you charge it when you can and when you need it, and use it comfortably without being distracted by how to charge it.
RECOMMENDED OXTECO OUTDOOR POWER STATION FOR LONG-TERM USE
Here, we will recommend the OXTECO outdoor power station from meeting the needs of long-term use. If you are considering buying a portable outdoor power station, you can refer to it. OXTECO Sirius 1200W is one of OXTECO’s representative portable outdoor power stations. The battery is equipped with BMS (Battery Management System), which can automatically adjust to prevent overvoltage, overcurrent, and overheating, and the battery life cycle is about 2000 times or more. It weighs about 14 kg, has a large capacity of 1050 Wh, and is equipped with 3 AC power sockets for a total power of 1200W, which can power various appliances. In addition, it is also equipped with the fast charging function of OXTECO’s exclusive patented V+ CHARGE technology, which can be fully charged in just 2.5 hours and supports solar charging.
Portable Power Station,Sirius1200W,1040Wh
The lithium-ion battery built into outdoor power stations has a limited lifespan because it ages over time. The number of life cycles of outdoor power stations varies from product to product but is generally about 500 to 2500 times or about 6 to 11 years. However, there may be differences depending on how it is used and where it is stored. If you’re considering purchasing a long-lasting outdoor power station, check out OXTECO’s line of outdoor power stations.