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What's the Difference Between W and Wh?

February 23, 2022

What's the Difference Between W and Wh?

 

This is quite an important distinction and should be borne in mind when looking at the specifications of a portable power station.

 

W or Watts is the power or oomph which a portable power station can supply to a gadget or appliance. For instance, if your hair dryer runs at 1800W AC, it means you need a power supply capable of supplying at least 1800W (1.8kW) of alternating current (i.e., like a regular mains supply). Typically, it’s also worth having a bit of headroom above this value too – we would therefore recommend a 2000W battery pack for the above case.

 

On the other hand, Wh is shorthand for Watt Hours. This is a completely different unit and refers to how much storage or capacity the camping power pack has – i.e., how long will the power pack last from a fully charged state to empty whilst running an appliance. For instance, if you have a power station of 30Wh capacity this means that you could run or charge a 30 watt (W) gadget for 1 hour before the power pack is out of juice.

 

The larger power packs can have high capacity – for example the iFlowPower’s FP2000 has a whopping 2000Wh and can supply a maximum power of 2000W for 1 hour. This means that if you were running an 1800W hair dryer continuously using this power station, it would last ~2000/1800 = 1.11 hours or 66 minutes before it was empty. Not that long, but then again you would normally only use a hairdryer or kettle in short 2–3 minutes bursts.

 

 


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