Max continuous current per port using a PowerPort charger as a power supply?

USB chargers like the Anker PowerPort range are popular not just for charging but also as power supplies for devices like Raspberry Pis.

Some people build little mini-clusters of Pis and other single board computers, using a multi-port USB charger to supply continuous power to two or more devices. When running at full power these 5V devices tend to max out at 2A.

The PowerPort product pages don’t state a max current per port if you’re maxing out all the ports - you’re left to deduce this from figures like “USB Output: 5V / 12A (total)”. So:

  • The PowerPort 10 is rated at 5V/12A so I guess it can deliver a maximum of 1.2A per port if all ports are equally loaded?
  • The PowerPort 6 is also rated at 5V/12A so I guess it can deliver almost double the current per port, i.e. 2A?
  • The PowerPort+ 6 just says “up to 2.4 amps per port” so it’s not entirely clear that you can run all 6 ports continuously at 5V/2.4A?
  • The PowerPort Speed 5 doesn’t say anything about total or per port current but I assume the “Speed” in the name implies a bit more than e.g. 1A per port?

Can anyone comment on this or point to clearer specs to determine the maximum current one can safely expect per port when each port has an equal load and you’re running the devices on every port continuously?

Thanks for your help - looking forward to powering my project with an Anker PowerPort charger :slight_smile:

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You are under 3 main limitations:

  • The per port maximum
  • The total Ampage of the Powerport
  • Cables/connectors

Most Anker devices have some kind of compromise of total Ampage relative to their ports because it is hard for all of the devices connected to consume the per-port maximum all concurrently. An exception so this is the Powerport2 which is 2x2.4A per port and 2x2.4Ax5V = 24W = the Powerport2’s max output.

More typical example of a compromise is the Powerport5 is is 2.4A max per port but if all ports were running at 2.4A you’d need 5x2.5Ax5V= 60W but its 40W. And so on through their products like Powerport4 (4x2.4x5=48W but its actually a 40W limit).

You then have losses in cables and ports. This is the hidden killer, you cannot easily tell, you’re left to buy specialist hardware to test cables and test throughput. Anker Voltageboost pushes through bad cables and bad connectors but then you’re wasting.

So in the most part you are right to be concerned, I could use not all the ports and keep well below the maximums of the Watts of the device.

Finally, the more power you pull through, the more wear and shortening of life of the Powerport. Whilst I’m sure Anker would honour the warranty you’re still talking shortening the life so it will die earlier if you load earlier (say it lasts 2 years instead of say 4 years).

For devices which matter, like a Raspberry Pi I use a dedicated USB output device and run well below maximum.

Powerport (above the 2 port) are well balanced for more real world situations like a phone+tablet+Powercore+ low powe like recharing Bluetooth. Example is my Powerport5 USB I use to charge a mobile (which rarely takes more than 1.5A) a tablet (usually 2A) and a Powercore 2A input plus a BT headset (usually 0.5A) so 1.5+2+2+0,5=6A and its max output is 8A so we’re fine even allowing for the odd cable/port issue.

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