/ 28 July 2023

Review: ACDC’s 150W portable power station is pricey but makes load-shedding easier

Portable Power Station
Dynamic: ACDC's portable power station is a welcome addition during load-shedding.

I was in panic mode this week when Eskom announced that it would take control of the City of Ekurhuleni’s load-shedding schedule.

The usual two hour load-shedding schedules turned into 14 hour outages, thanks to the unstable power supply in some areas on the East Rand. It gets worse in Springs, where I reside — an internal dispute about overtime pay at the energy department means that, if the power goes out after working hours, it isn’t coming back till the next morning. 

I have a toddler who is addicted to the TV and it is difficult to explain to him that there’s load-shedding without experiencing a small tantrum. 

Luckily, I had a 150 watt portable power station from ACDC Dynamics that kept my devices going through this tough spell. 

150W is not a lot of power but it will charge your phone and laptop, keep your wi-fi running and, if you have a TV smaller than 55 inches, it will run it with no problems. 

Of course, you only have two plug points, so you have to prioritise the devices you need to keep alive at the time.

Powered by a 45 000mAh lithium-ion battery, the power station will not even drop below 75% if you charge your phone through the night. In fact, an iPhone 14 uses about 20W to charge its battery, which means that you could get up to eight charges. 

However, bigger appliances, such as TVs, which generally use up to 90W depending on the size, might only give you just over an hour and a half while plugged into the portable power station. 

Power-Station-Leaflet_page-0001 (1)

You might want to save the luxury of watching TV for a more suitable time, such as when load-shedding has ended, but to keep your work essentials running, it’s a great product. 

The best part about small inverters or power stations with built-in batteries is that you avoid the hassle of recharging an external battery. When the power comes back on, you just take the entire portable power station and plug it into a socket. 

This one from ACDC Dynamics also comes with a car charger which helps if the power is out for longer than expected. It can also be charged using a solar panel. 

This portable power station is very light and easy to carry around. It can be thrown into a backpack and it might even feel lighter than carrying a lunchbox. That may be a slight exaggeration but it’s so light that you can take it with you if you are out and about at the weekend. And, because this is South Africa, you are going to meet load-shedding wherever you are. 

Thanks to this small device, I managed to stay online during working hours, write this review and even squeeze in a song or two from Moana for my toddler. 

Overall, it is a small and subtle gadget that can be very convenient in our dark times. However, 150W means that it is just for your work essentials and it will not be able to run luxury appliances for the entirety of load-shedding, so you will have to use your discretion. 

Possibly, the only fault of this product is the price. The ACDC Dynamics portable power station can be found nationwide and its recommended retail price is R4 332. Competitors offer 150W portable power stations around the R2 000 mark.