Power stations with 230 V and an integrated solar generator enable electrical consumers to be supplied with power remotely and/or independently of the power grid. Thanks to decent performance and numerous connection options including a Schuko socket, the devices are ideal for hobbies, work and as an emergency power supply. Thanks to a wide range of charging options, they offer a high degree of flexibility and promise independence.
This time it’s about them Portable Powerstation Powerhouse 535 by anchor. The manufacturer is a well-known supplier of electronic accessories, which has repeatedly impressed us with its decent price-performance ratio in the past. This test shows whether the larger and stronger version of the Powerhouse 521 (test report) can convince.
design and scope of delivery
The design of the Powerhouse 521 and 535 is similar, but the variant we are testing is larger and offers more connections. With a capacity of 512 Wh, this power station is in a league with the Xmund XD-PS10 (test report) or Loskii LK-PS31 (test report). These devices are similar in size and weight to the Powerhouse 535, which measures around 29 x 18 x 25 cm and weighs 7.6 kg. Thanks to the carrying handle, this is also reasonably easy to carry, at least for short distances – but this power station tends to be less suitable for hiking or transporting it in a backpack suitable as the Anker 521. In addition to brief instructions, a car charger and the 230 V charger are also included in the scope of delivery.
Overall, the power station looks modern and tidy. The blue, rectangular plastic case with the carrying handle on top is robust and well made. The Powerhouse 535 is suitable for both outdoor use in the dry and as an accompaniment to trade fairs or other events. It’s a shame that only the 12 V car socket is protected against dirt by a protective cap and all other ports are open – we think protection is particularly useful for camping and other outdoor activities. The firmly integrated handle is practical, but we would prefer a folding version. The case is around five centimeters higher than necessary and you can’t put any larger objects on it. However, the 535 is not the first power station where we criticize these two points.
All power outlets, the status display and the emergency light are placed on the front. On the far left is the 12 V connection (car plug up to 10 A) with its own power button. The bright LED status display and the USB ports underneath (3x USB-A, 1x USB-C) are in the middle. The high-contrast display shows the remaining capacity, the current input and output power and the estimated remaining running time/remaining charging time. The remaining time display is a practical and noteworthy extra that we only know from the Ecoflow Delta (test report), Ecoflow River (test report) and Loskii PS10 (test report) except for the small powerhouse.
We like that Anker uses classic Schuko sockets. Many inexpensive no-name devices use universal sockets. Experience has shown that the plugs hold up much worse here than in what we consider to be the classic Schuko socket.
Photo gallery – Anker Powerhouse 535
Die Powerstation Anker Powerhouse 535.
The three USB-A ports each deliver 2.4 A, the USB-C slot creates 60 W, which is sufficient for many notebooks and at the same time serves as an additional charging option for the power station batteries. The display has its own power switch, but also activates itself automatically as soon as a consumer or input voltage is registered. The USB outputs are always active, resulting in minimal auto-discharge. However, the Powerhouse automatically switches off the outputs as soon as the connected device is fully charged and no more power is being drawn. Within a week, the 535 lost just under 2 percent capacity in the practical test, which we think is okay.
The two Schuko sockets with a maximum continuous load of 500 W (sine wave inverter) are installed on the right-hand side. This has its own power button and an additional eco switch. This is responsible for the energy saving function. If it is active, the 521 switches off the socket as soon as a connected device is full and is not drawing any power. If you don’t want that, for example to supply devices such as a camera or cool box with power all night, you can deactivate the function. The LED light placed below the connections also has an SOS flashing function in addition to the normal lighting function. The brightness doesn’t knock our socks off, but the lamp is definitely sufficient to illuminate the way home.
The open ventilation slots of the power station can be seen on the side panels. The connection for the included power pack (24V, 120 W) is located in the middle on the back of the case. If you don’t want an external power supply, you unfortunately don’t have much choice; almost all other manufacturers also rely on external and sometimes very bulky power supplies. Exceptions known to us are the manufacturers Ecoflow and Jackery. The complete charging technology is already integrated in the housing and only an additional cable is required.
Modern lithium iron phosphate batteries, LFP or LiFePO4 for short, also work in the larger power station from Anker. These have a significantly longer service life than classic Li-Ion batteries and the manufacturer promises a residual capacity of 80 percent or more after 3000 charging cycles. Other manufacturers only give 1500 to 2000 charging cycles – but even those are great values. Classic lithium-ion batteries only last around 500 charging cycles before capacity noticeably decreases. The long-lasting LiFePO4 batteries have so far been an exception in power stations and can currently only be found in some models such as the Bluetti EB70 (test report).
There is a special feature when loading the Powerhouse series. If you charge the device via USB-C with 60 W or with a power supply/solar with a maximum of 120 W, you need between four and a half and eight and a half hours to charge the battery from 0 to 100 percent. If you are in a hurry, you can use the power adapter and USB-C to charge at the same time and then use a total of 180 W. Then charging to 80 percent takes just under two and a half hours.
Operating and using the power station is easy and intuitive thanks to the always-on USB slots and clear labelling. To activate or deactivate the various connections, a short press on the respective power button is enough. Remaining capacity including remaining runtime, input and output power can be easily seen on the display and help, for example, with the optimal alignment of the solar panel. Which outputs are currently switched on is also displayed here.
The power station is only three-quarters full when delivered, so we first charge it with the mobile solar panel Solar-Saga 100, which we have from the test of the Jackery Explorer 1000 (test report) in the editorial office. Here, Anker relies on the identical 8 mm plug, which is also used in this form in the Bluetti Poweroak EB70 (test report). Most no-name suppliers from Chinese online shops instead use various circular connectors with a significantly smaller diameter.
About a second after plugging in the solar panel, the Anker 535’s display will light up and show the incoming charging power. A maximum of 120 W is possible here – the 100 W panel achieved values between 65 and 90 W during the tests and the remaining 30 percent capacity is charged in just under two and a half hours. The fan of the Powerhouse 535 remains silent when charging via photovoltaics as well as with the mains adapter and the device (in the shade!) only gets lukewarm. Once fully charged, our stress and capacity tests begin.
First we check whether the specified 500 W is possible, for which we connect a whole battery of consumers. The Powerhouse creates the 495 W that is now present. Only when we plug in an additional consumer with almost 20 W does the powerhouse switch off its 230 V outputs. Our gaming PC including monitor, 3D printer, our ice cube machine or our impact drill also work without any problems. However, the ceramic hob, toaster, table grill or kettle are then too much for the power station. If you want to connect such consumers with more than 1800 W, you need a premium-class power station, the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro (test report) or Bluetti AC200 Max (test report).
We then check the actual endurance of the integrated 512 Wh battery. To do this, we fully charge the battery and measure how many Wh we can draw. In the test, the power station supplies our PC workstation with a Macbook Pro, two additional 24-inch monitors, a telephone and various USB consumers for almost four hours and emits 434 Wh in the process. Compared to the nominal capacity, this corresponds to a loss of almost 15 percent – a standard value and comparable to other power stations. In subsequent measurements, the values are between 11 and 16 percent loss – depending on the consumers used. The different values are related to the different losses in the provision of direct and alternating current as well as different power levels. The highest losses occur when using low-power AC consumers. The least losses are when using 12 volt direct current. Accordingly, the values of the Anker 521 are comparable with devices from other manufacturers. As a rule, one speaks of a usable capacity of around 85 percent.
The Portable Powerstation 535 from Anker costs 699 euros at the time of testing. The price is reasonable in terms of capacity and performance, but especially with regard to the expected service life.
The Anker Powerhouse 535 leaves a positive impression. Significantly more powerful and with more capacity than the small Powerhouse 521, this power station is also suitable for more demanding tasks. In addition to the high-quality workmanship, we particularly like the easy-to-read and informative status display, the quick charge function and the use of LiFePO4 batteries.
We also like the combination with a solar panel – nice that up to 120 W is possible here. The 60 W of the small powerhouse unnecessarily lengthened the charging time via photovoltaic.
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