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.
6 thoughts on “Can You Use A Jackery Explorer While It’s Charging?”
Hi. I don’t know what the cigarette lighter plug and socket are for. I guess if you plug the lighter in your car, you could charge the Jack. with it while driving, after nighttime use. But what’s the plan for the “car port” socket in the Jack and the OTHER end of the cord? Charge one battery from the other??
I asked the Jack. people and someone answered it’s used with the power plug in the car….. duh
Is there any way to charge the car battery using the Jackery?
Completely separate, I have a Camry hybrid. Is there any way to access the large battery to charge anything? It seems weird you can’t charge the starter car battery from the massive engine battery. Thanks!
Yes. You can access the Prius’ traction battery to charge other devices — Put the vehicle in READY mode (ready to drive) and turn off all accessories (lights a/c etc).
At this point the power for the cars 12v system is coming from the main traction battery (if full) and when the main battery is depleted to a certain point the engine will kick on and recharge the big battery and once it’s full the engine will turn back off. You can plug your Jackery into the car port and now it will be a gasoline-generated electricity storage device.
This is how folks camp in the Prius and use the automatic climate controls to keep cool or warm depending on the season (obviously with the A/C and heat on in this case). The car cycles the gasoline engine on and off as necessary to fill the main traction battery as the climate controls drain it.
> It seems weird you can’t charge the starter car battery from the massive engine battery
Yes. It’s frustrating in the Prius as well.
The key is though you CAN charge it from
the main battery, you just have to get the car to start (which it won’t do without a 12V power source) so get one of those little jump starter lithium-ion/iron jump starter packs. Once started it will charge from the main battery.
I figure it’s a safety measure not to let the main battery direct connect to the 12V system so if there’s a drain on the 12v it won’t be deplete the traction battery and do really expensive damage.
no the jackery will not charge a large car battery, the outlet is for car pumps etc.
my new jackery 1500 pro I noticed had a problem after it set for about a month I pulled it out and looked at it and it was down 10% in charge ended up sending it back getting a replacement, and that one is down 1% after charging it up 2 days ago I would assume this is not normal am I correct
No, that’s not normal and that’s very unfortunate. I haven’t heard of a widespread problem like this with the Explorer 1500 Pro, but it would make me consider buying a different brand.