PlugOut v4.1 vs Power Station Comparison
The Plug-Out and hybrid/plugin car combo makes a phenomenal power source. Think about it. The hybrid or plugin (e-car) is already a great DC generator with motor and generator keeping the hybrid battery full. The Plug-Out Inverter adds high quality, pure sine wave, AC/DC power output from the hybrid's battery. The same AC power/stored energy capabilities can be had, at smaller power, from a 12v inverter using the e-car’s 12v system.
Now, consider a new product category; portable power stations. These packs provide a battery and charger to store energy from the grid, and inverter with sockets to turn battery power into AC power for appliances. There are smaller portable stations offering quite limited energy storage and inverter power. The larger wheeled carts offer larger luggable inverters-batteries with solar options.
The idea of using an inverter with a hybrid/plug-in car offers an alternative design for mobile power that has many advantages over the battery power packs for the same uses. Hybrids/plugins have huge energy storage reservoirs already paid for. Inverters can be sized to suite the need.
A full car tank offers 10-100x energy storage vs portable power stations.
Inverters on the car can be more powerful and need no external battery
for lower weight, size, and cost.
Camping pushes the limited capacity of a power station battery, but requires only a small fraction of a car’s capacity. Camping requirements can vary from: Needs Wants
a few lights and accessory charging, 500w 1kw
to adding food prep and/or entertainment devices, 1kw 2kw
to adding cooking ability. 3kw 5kw
Emergency power at home is more like the last category, and is beyond the capacity of most battery power stations, except for light and short term use. The hybrid/plugin car however has much larger capabilities in power and stored energy and can be quite useful for emergency situations.
We’ll compare the Power Stations vs an e-car + inverter design. The e-car inverters are offered in two ways: a 1000w 12v inverter for a low power option, and a PlugOut 3kw and 5kw for higher power options. Note the 12v inverter is not supplied by PlugOut Power, but it can be bought from many 3rd party sources. The Power Stations and prices are from GoalZero, Jackery amd Generark websites,
Small Systems <= 1kw: Cost approx Power [watts] Storage [wh] Weight [lbs] Space [ft3]
Yeti 500 Power Stn $700. 300 500 13 .4
Jackery 500 $450 500 500 13 .5
Jackery 1000 $1000 1000 1000 22 .75
Generarc 1 $1100 1000 1000 22? .75
12v Inverter 1000 $250 1000 70,000 5 .25
If you have an e-car [hybrid or plug-in], there is a HUGE Advantage to using just an inverter.
Larger Systems > 1kw: Cost approx Power [watts] Storage [wh] Weight [lbs] Space [ft3]
Yeti 1500 $2000 2000 1500 45 1.1
Generarc 2 $2200 2000? 2000 44? 1.5
PlugOut 3kv4.1 +pigtail $2500 3200 70,000 50 .9
Jackery 2000 $2100 2200 2000 43 1.3
Generarc 1 $3300 3000 3000 66? 2.2
Yeti 3000 $3200 2000 3000 70 1.4
Yeti 6000 $5000 2000 6000 107 1.6
PlugOut 5kv4.1 +pigtail $3000 5200 70,000 55 1.5
Adding solar options to the Battery Power Stations adds some storage potential, but adds still more cost, bulk, weight and setup requirements.
The car has so much energy storage already that solar is not necessary with PlugOut for mobile uses.
If you have an e-car, there is a Big advantage to using the PlugOut inverter, energy storage over 10x better, inverters are about 1/2 the weight and bulk. Setup is easier and quicker.
No matter the use, more energy storage means less distraction from energy sufficiency. More power means less concern over what appliances to use. Having enough power to replace open fire reduces health and site-damage risks and increases the number of places where you can camp [ex: shady areas, dry zones, desert].
PlugOut inverters can be mounted on a camper, 5th wheel, RV, mobile home, or cabin, even combined with solar panels and solar battery for longer camping/vacation.
Using the car to recharge solar batteries adds a whole new dimension to remote/off-grid energy use!