Review: iForway PS500N 500W Solar Power Station
Living in Southern California has forced residents to contemplate purchasing a generator because of the constant threats of wildfires and forced power-outages because of the ever powerful Santa Ana Winds. If you have a camping trailer you probably already have a generator but if you are like me you weren’t sure where to start. Do I buy a gas generator? If so, do I buy the Harbor Freight special with a 20% off coupon? Or do I buy the latest display at Costco? These are all questions I have battled with once a wildfire came within a half-mile of my house a couple of years ago. The next question is, what is my budget? If you’re looking at a sweet-spot of around $500, the iForway PS500N Portable Power Station with Solar Power compatibility is going to want your attention.
The PS500N is measures the length of a loaf of bread and is a little taller than one as well. It weighs just over 13 pounds and can be carried by it’s sturdy handle on the top. The iForway PS500N Solar Power Station can be purchased for $489.99 with free shipping: PS500N 500W Solar Power Station | iForway.
The PS500N has a ton of power output ports. On the front: 1-Type-C USB, 1-Type-A USB 3.0, and 2–5V/2.4A Type-A USB. The front also has the power button, battery charge indicator, 19V/5A power input for charging, flashlight power button, speaker, and speaker controls.
The 60W USB-C port not only fast-charges phones and tablets but can charge USB-C chargable Laptops! I love this feature, it allows me to ditch most of my power bricks when out camping or during a power outage. The other USB ports are also useful for the kids tablets.
On the back of the PS500N is the 12-volt car adapter (for charging), the 3-DC solar power panel inputs (120W max) and 2–110V/230V AC Outlets (500W, 800W surge). There is a power switch specifically for the AC outlets that should be turned off when not in use to save energy.
While I didn’t receive solar panels to test the solar power charging capacity, iForway offers 2 affordable options: 60W Foldable Solar Panel | Portable Solar Charger | iForway ($189.99)and the 100W Foldable Solar Panel | Best Solar Panel for Camping | iforway — iForway ($279.99).
In the real world, I wanted to push the limits of the iForway PS500N Solar Power Portable Power Station by powering some appliances around the house. Then I ran into some that pull a lot of power: heat presses. My wife runs an embroidery, t-shirt, mug, and many other items — business: Stitchesinthesun by STITCHESINTHESUN on Etsy. She had a 250W max mug heat press that in an emergency she may need to power even if the main power is off. I had charged the PS500N to full capacity, turned on the mug heat press to 350-degrees, and let it go until the iForway fully drained. Using my elite math skills, I divided the total watts by the supposed output of the heat press giving me 2 hours of power. But keep in mind the heat press keeps a certain temperature using a thermostat so it doesn’t always put out 250W of power to keep it at temperature. In the end, I was able to get 4 hours of power to the heat press. I check in and every so often the press needed to click on to keep the heat. But overall it was impressive. Even if she could get the 2 hours of use out of it, it would still save some of her business.
After fully discharged, I re-charged the iForway 500W Solar Power Portable Power Station via the 19V power charger in about 6 hours. iForway suggests keeping the PS500N fully charged every 3–6 months if put on a shelf for emergency use.
There are 2 bonus features on the PS500N that I really liked: the brightness torch aka a flashlight/lantern and the 10W Bluetooth Speaker. The lantern was surprisingly bright and according to iForway will last 85 hours. It has 2 levels of brightness and flasher emergency modes (slow/fast). The 10W speaker isn’t going to blow your hair back but it’s a nice touch that I found myself using more than I thought. Since it’s there I connected my phone and played some Spotify playlists through. In an emergency, having the ability to broadcast your “ham radio” app through while charging could be life saving.
So in the end, what do I love and what areas do I see for improvement on the iForway PS500N Solar Power Portable Power Bank? I love the ease of use and long battery life for under $500. Typically gas generators are costly and have lots of maintenance. And once I buy the solar panels to charge the PS500N, I could see myself being able to power phones and computers in a multiple day power outage. The lantern is very bright and can light a room in an emergency. My favorite feature has to be the inclusion of a USB-C port to charge laptops and newer phones that have ultra-high speed charging capabilities. The only thing that I think could be improved is the power brick. I can see myself losing the power brick over months and years. It would be nice if the PS500N had a built in power brick with a retractable power cable. If nothing else, a standard power cable would really helpful. But that is me looking for something that could be improved.
Check out the iForway PS500N Solar Power Portable Power Station: PS500N 500W Solar Power Station | iForway and make sure to also check out the foldable solar panels for additional charging options: 100W Foldable Solar Panel | Best Solar Panel for Camping | iforway — iForway. Follow them on Social Media:
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