Connect Two Jackery Solar Panels Together For A Quicker Charge
The popular Jackery SolarSaga 60W and SolarSaga 100W/100X solar panels are great for travelers that are looking for portable panels to charge their power stations.
Combined with one of the Explorer power stations, the SolarSaga panel makes it possible to be out and about far from the grid while still being able to keep your devices powered and charged.
But sometimes the electricity produced by one panel isn’t quite enough, which is when it could be time to consider a second panel.
Related Product: Brighten up camp with: the Jackery Camping Lights (click to view on Amazon)
If you’re traveling or living in an area that sees a lot of cloudy days, a second panel could cut the charging time in half.
But how do you connect two Jackery solar panels together? That’s what this article is going to answer.
The Explorer Power Stations – Input Wattage Limitations
First I want you to be aware of the limitations of the Explorer power stations. The table below will tell you how many watts the solar charge controller in your specific Explorer can use to charge the battery.
Even though the Explorer 160 maxes out at 42W, it’s safe to connect a 100W panel. In fact, the only way to maximize the solar input rating is to connect a panel larger than the input limit, since solar panels aren’t 100% efficient.
Last update on 2023-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
I’d connect at least two 60W panels to every Explorer model, but I’d only connect two 100W panels to the Explorer 300 and larger. I don’t work for Jackery, so this is just my personal opinion after testing these panels and power stations for years.
But how many panels you should use depends. If you live in a place that sees more clouds than sun, you should have more panels.
Or if you have a 30 feet extension cable, which will cause voltage loss and decrease the output, you should have more panels.
Now that we have an idea of how many watts our specific model can use to charge the battery, let’s talk about the adapter you need.
The Adapter That Lets You Connect Two SolarSaga Panels Together
The output on the Jackery solar panels is what’s called an 8mm connector, more precisely a 7909 connector.
All the Explorer power stations from 1000 and smaller have a 7909 input, while the larger and newer Explorer 1500 and 2000 have a slightly different connector. It’s also referred to as an 8mm connector even though it’s DC8020 and not DC7909.
To connect two SolarSaga panels together for an Explorer 1000 or smaller, be it the 60W or 100W, you need an adapter like the SolarEnz DC8mm. Y branch parallel adapter (click to view on Amazon).
Note that the Explorer 1000 should’ve included a parallel adapter already for connecting two panels together. But the smaller Explorer 500, 300, 240, and 160 does not.
The larger Explorer 1500 and 2000 should’ve also included a parallel adapter, but if yours didn’t or you’ve lost it, you need an adapter like the SolarEnz Parallel adapter combiner with a DC7909 to DC8020 adapter (click to view on Amazon).
My solar panel has MC4 or SAE connectors
If your panel(s) use MC4 connectors I suggest reading this post, or if it has SAE connectors read this post.
Jackery does not currently sell 8mm extension cables, but there are third-party options like these by SolarEnz (click to view on Amazon).
They are available in different lengths and can handle up to 30A.
The longer the cable and the more connections, the higher the voltage loss. So while using extension cables you might notice a decrease in input watts.
This is totally normal and the only thing you can do about it is try to buy as short of an extension cable as possible, and buy the thickest cable (the lowest gauge) available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I want to combine three panels together?
If you feel the need for three or more panels I recommend buying panels with MC4 connectors so you can use an MC4 Y branch to connect panels in parallel.
MC4 Y branches come in different sizes depending on the number of panels you have.
The more panels you connect, the higher the total amperage will be when connecting panels in parallel, so make sure all of the wires and adapters you use can handle the total amperage.
Exceeding the amperage rating of a specific gauge is dangerous since it can lead to overheating and fires.
Can I combine two different panels with a combiner adapter?
Yes you can, but if the two panels have different voltages the panel with the higher voltage is going to be crippled. It’s fine though.
I have two Goal Zero panels, do they work with the Jackery Explorer power station?
Yes, as long as the 8mm connector fits the adapter it will charge the Jackery.