Is It Safe To Use The Outputs On Jackery Explorer Power Stations While It’s Charging?
Jackery makes some of the most popular portable power stations, also known as solar generators, on the market.
You can find models in all different sizes for different uses, and they’re great not only for travelers like RVers and vandwellers that need portable power but also homeowners that need backup power.
One question that often comes up when it comes to not only Jackery models but other power station models is: Can you use the power station while it’s charging?
Most of Jackery’s power stations can be used while they are charging, no matter how they’re being charged. If you have a model that can’t be used while it’s charging, you can still try without damaging anything.
If the battery is being charged at a higher rate than what is being used, the battery percentage will not be going down.
That’s why I keep my Itehil 100W solar panel (click to view on Amazon) plugged in when I am using my Explorers outside, it’s basically free electricity.
Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. So are there reasons not to use the AC, DC, and USB ports while the battery is charging?
Why Shouldn’t I Use My Jackery Explorer While It’s Charging?
Well, Jackery does not recommend using the battery while it’s charging. The reason they give in the manual is that it “will cause damage to battery life”.
That sentence can be interpreted in two ways.
The first is that it will permanently damage the battery and shorten its lifespan.
The second is that it will take longer to charge if you’re also discharging the battery at the same time.
But if we consider how batteries work, the first interpretation makes more sense even though the second one is also true.
As current flows either in our out of a battery, heat is generated. Batteries do not like heat, and the warmer it is the more damage it does.
Since heat is generated when a battery is being charged or discharged, doing both at the same time will increase the temperature of the battery even further.
How bad is it?
I don’t know enough about batteries to tell you exact how much it damages a battery and how much it’s going to matter to you.
But if you’re a full-time traveler charging and discharging a battery everyday, it might be worth it to keep this in mind.
If you have spent thousands of dollars on your batteries and use them a lot it’s going to matter more than to someone with a Jackery power station that they use every now and then.
What can I do?
If you need to and want to use the battery while it’s charging, do so.
You can still try to slow down the long term effects by making sure the battery stays cool in other ways.
Keep your Jackery in the shade, don’t leave it in a hot vehicle, and turn off ports when you don’t use them.
Charging the battery at a slower rate will also generate less heat. You can’t always control this, but if you’re using solar panels you can disconnect one to slow down the charge.
What if I keep the charger plugged in when it’s at 100%?
When the battery is fully charged the charger won’t charge the battery anymore and will stop generating heat.
If you start using the battery to where the charger notices it and starts charging again it will generate heat again.
If the Jackery is going to be sitting unused for a couple of weeks or months, keep it plugged in to the charger or plug it in every other week.
Can the Jackery be used as an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) and pass-through the electricity?
No, Jackery power stations do not work this way. You can not keep the charger plugged in and pass-through the electricity to the outlets on the Jackery.
This is because the charging inputs will only charge the battery, and the outlets can only be powered by the inverter which uses the battery power.
That said, if you are using less electricity than the charger is capable of inputting to the Jackery you can use it like an UPS.
But as we’ve learned above, this will degrade the battery over time.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or knowledge to add.