What Solar Panels Are Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti 2020?

I live fulltime in an RV and travel the country. My nights are usually spent out in the boondocks, nowhere close to the power grid. I need electricity though since I work online and love binge-watching shows on the TV in my camper, no matter where I am. We had to decide if we wanted a loud generator or solar panels. We chose solar.

See Also: Review And Test Of The Rockpals 80W Portable Solar Panel

When my wife and I wanted to get into solar, we decided to purchase a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 for our RV. We’ve only had it for a couple of months, but so far it’s doing a great job and is how we get power in our travel trailer to charge our 12V RV batteries, watch TV, charge our laptops, cameras, phones, and other devices. We plug the travel trailer directly into the Yeti with a 15A to 30A adapter.

Since it’s a so-called “solar generator” that can’t generate power on its own in any way, we also had to buy some solar panels to go with it and were looking for high-quality, efficient alternatives to the Boulder panels. After seeing a deal online, we purchased two Renogy 100W foldable suitcases (click to view on Amazon) and two Renogy 100W that we’ve installed on top of our RV.

When looking for solar panels for the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium power stations, it’s easy to get confused about which solar panels are compatible and why so that’s what we’re clearing up today.

Let’s take a look at some great solar panels that are compatible with the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium power stations, and then we’ll talk about what makes them compatible and which ones are the best for what scenario.

Best Solar Panels to Charge Goal Zero Yeti Lithium

Preview
SUAOKI Solar Charger 100W Portable Solar Panel Foldable for Suaoki Portable Generator/Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/ROCKPALS Generator/Enkeeo/Webetop/Paxcess Battery Pack and Laptops,Smartphones
My RV Roof Choice
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition), Design
Flexible
ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Charger SunPower Solar Module with MC4 for RV, Boat, Cabin, Tent, Car, Trailer, 12v Battery or Any Other Irregular Surface
Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator / 8mm Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 240, Webetop Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
My Portable Choice
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-In Kickstand
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Monocrystalline
Monocrystalline
Monocrystalline
Monocrystalline
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
100W
100W
100W
100W
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
18V
21.1V
20V
16-18V
21.6V
22.5V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
18V
16.4V
18V
18V
18V
17.2V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
No info
6.1A
5.56A
5.4A
5.56A
5.81A
Weight
10.9 lbs
14.3 lbs
4.85 lbs
10.8 lbs
27.05 lbs
25.9 lbs
Dimensions
23 x 23 x 3 in
41.6 x 20.7 x 1.38 in
43 x 22 x 1.5 in
20.5 x 14.2 x 2.6 inches (folded)
19.9 x 27.2 x 2.8 inches (folded)
26.75 x 21.75 x 3.75 inches (folded) / 26.75 x 43.5 x 1.75 inches (unfolded)

Preview
SUAOKI Solar Charger 100W Portable Solar Panel Foldable for Suaoki Portable Generator/Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/ROCKPALS Generator/Enkeeo/Webetop/Paxcess Battery Pack and Laptops,Smartphones
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
18V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
18V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
No info
Weight
10.9 lbs
Dimensions
23 x 23 x 3 in

My RV Roof Choice

Preview
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition), Design
Product (Link)
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
21.1V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
16.4V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
6.1A
Weight
14.3 lbs
Dimensions
41.6 x 20.7 x 1.38 in

Flexible

Preview
ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Charger SunPower Solar Module with MC4 for RV, Boat, Cabin, Tent, Car, Trailer, 12v Battery or Any Other Irregular Surface
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
20V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
18V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
5.56A
Weight
4.85 lbs
Dimensions
43 x 22 x 1.5 in
Preview
Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator / 8mm Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 240, Webetop Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
16-18V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
18V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
5.4A
Weight
10.8 lbs
Dimensions
20.5 x 14.2 x 2.6 inches (folded)

My Portable Choice

Preview
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-In Kickstand
Product (Link)
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
21.6V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
18V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
5.56A
Weight
27.05 lbs
Dimensions
19.9 x 27.2 x 2.8 inches (folded)
Preview
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti
Requires Additional Adapter
Solar Panel Type
Monocrystalline
Watts
100W
Voltage at Open Circuit (Voc)
22.5V
Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)
17.2V
Maximum Power Current (Imp)
5.81A
Weight
25.9 lbs
Dimensions
26.75 x 21.75 x 3.75 inches (folded) / 26.75 x 43.5 x 1.75 inches (unfolded)

Note: Scroll left/right on tablets and phones

The Additional Adapter You Need

To use the solar panels above that has a checkmark by the “Requires Additional Adapter”, you need to use this adapter (click to view on Amazon) if you want to use the Anderson Power Pole input, or this adapter (click to view on Amazon) if you want to use the 8mm input.

See Also: Connecting Third-Party Panels To Goal Zero Yeti, How It’s Done

Note that the only Yeti power stations with the Anderson input are Yeti 1000, 1250, 1400, and 3000. All models have at least one 8mm input.

There are also similar adapters available on eBay, click here to view the MC4 to Anderson Powerpole, or click here to view the MC4 to 8mm.

What Makes a Solar Panel Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti Lithium

On the Yeti Lithium stations, there is a sticker that says not to go over 22V input. Well, what voltage is that talking about? There has been some confusion online as to what the 22V limit means and what number in the spec sheet of a solar panel that is relevant. I have even seen mixed answers by Goal Zero themselves on their website and manual.

The latest information I have on hand is that this 22V limit is talking about the Vmp of a solar panel.

Vmp is the maximum operating voltage, and can often be found in the specs on a solar panel product page. It’s the voltage when the power output is at its highest. When you’re connected to a charge controller, this is the actual voltage you want to see.

Imp stands for Maximum Power Current and is the amps the solar panel can output at most. Amps is probably the most used word when testing how much power a solar panel can output.

Voc stands for open-circuit voltage and is the voltage a panel outputs without a load.

The solar panels on the table above are all great choices for a Goal Zero Yeti Lithium. However, I recommend a monocrystalline, non-flexible panel like the HQST and first Renogy model.

While flexible panels are very lightweight, easy to install without drilling any holes, and will generate power, they will also get hotter since air can’t circulate beneath them. I have seen flexible panels with holes in them because they’ve gotten so hot and burned through the plastic.

If you plan on putting your panels on an RV, van, or bus roof, the HQST and Renogy are great choices. However, if you want to be able to park in the shade and move your panels around, get a portable suitcase-style panel with a kickstand. Having portable panels quickly becomes a daily chore, but it lets you park in the shade in the summer and keep your camper cooler.

Goal Zero Yeti Non-lithium

If you have a non-lithium Yeti station, the max input voltage rating is different and depends on what model you own or purchase.

Goal Zero Yeti 150 – Has one 8mm port that supports 14-29V, up to 5A (60W max).

Goal Zero Yeti 400 – Has one 8mm port, supporting 14-29V up to 10A (120W max)

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 – Has one power pole charging port, supporting 16-48V, up to 20A (320W max), and one 8mm, supporting 16-48V, up to 10A (160W max)

Since the non-lithium Yetis have higher maximum voltages, you can use a panel like the Renogy 160W and Renogy 160W Flexible with a MC4 to 8mm cable adapter.

Connecting Two or More Panels

When connecting two or more solar panels to a Goal Zero Yeti, the Vmp rating is as vital as with just one panel. The most important thing to do is wiring your panels in parallel and NOT series. Parallel adds the amperage together, with the voltage remaining the same. If you wire panels in series, you’re going to exceed the 22V limit.

A connector like this (click here) will let you connect two panels in parallel. Plug each positive wire into the same connector. Then you take both negative wires, plug those into the negative (black) male on the adapter that you’ll plug into the Goal Zero.

If you want to connect three panels, this is the adapter you’ll need.

If you want to connect four panels, this is the adapter you’ll need.

All Yeti power stations come with a PWM charge controller, and the bigger ones come with an MPPT charge controller. You can also purchase the MPPT charge controller module to your Yeti if it doesn’t have one already.

The built-in PWM charge controller can handle up to 360 watts, and the MPPT can handle up to 325 watts.

The 8mm charging port on both the PWM and MPPT only likes up to 10A (150 watts) which is why I recommend using the Anderson Power Pole instead.

How to Connect Third-Party Solar Panels to Goal Zero Yeti?

I have written a post about how to connect third-party panels to a Goal Zero Yeti that you can find by clicking here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline?

Monocrystalline cost more but are more efficient, both in terms of power output and space. Polycrystalline are cheaper to make but have lower heat tolerance which makes them less efficient in high temperatures. They also take up more space.

Monocrystalline panels are often 18-22% efficient, while polycrystalline panels are usually 14-16% efficient.

Can I Use a Solar Panel with a Built-In Charge Controller with the Goal Zero Yeti?

No, since the Goal Zero Yeti power stations have at least one charge controller built-in, you shouldn’t go through another charge controller before the power reaches the Yeti. You want panels to go straight into the Yeti.

How Fast Will a Solar Panel Charge Goal Zero Yeti?

There are different Yeti sizes, from 400 to 3000 watt-hours. I have the Yeti 1000. With both of my panels (200W total) plugged into it on a sunny day, I see around 160W an hour. 1000/160=6.25, so it would take about 6 hours and 15 minutes to charge my Yeti from 0 t0 100% in perfect sunny conditions.

So how fast your panels can charge your Yeti depends on how big the Yeti is, how many panels you have, and how the weather is.

How to Charge My Goal Zero Yeti Faster?

There are a couple of things you can do to charge your Yeti faster with solar panels. One of them is to purchase the MPPT charge controller (click to view on Amazon) that increases the charging efficiency. This charge controller is compatible with the Yeti 1000 and 1400.

I recommend checking out this post over on the Solar Addict: 5 ways to charge a Goal Zero Yeti faster.

Is There A Solar Panel That Will Recharge Both My 12V RV Batteries And Power Station?

I have written a post over on the Solar Addict about a panel that does this, click here to view it.

Let me know in the comments below if you have anything to add or any questions that haven’t been answered.

30 thoughts on “What Solar Panels Are Compatible with Goal Zero Yeti 2020?”

  1. Hi, I am trying to follow your set up for the Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase with a Yeti 1000 lithium battery, but when I look at the panels from your Amazon link, there is not enough technical information listed about the panel for me to know if it has the same specs you refer to in your article. I would like to follow your set up because I currently live in a California wildfire area where my electricity could be shut off and I’d like to have enough back-up power to keep a few things going.
    I will also be buying an RV in the next year or so and your set up sounds like the right thing to have. But I have a hard time understanding the amps, watts, and voltages information.
    Your web site is a great find for me. Thanks,

    Reply
    • Hello Nancy, sorry for the late answer to your comment.

      Regarding the panels, if the info isn’t available on Amazon I recommend checking Renogy’s website. The specific foldable panel I use and the specs about it can be found here: https://www.renogy.com/100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase-w-o-controller/

      That sounds awesome, I am excited for you! I do like and recommend my setup, especially for beginners that want a plug-and-play system. I plug my Yeti 1000 directly into my trailer and run everything except the A/C. It charges quickly during the day with my solar panels and is easy to use.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
      • Jesse, Thank you very, very much for the super helpful article. I purchased a Yeti 1000 for off-grid camping and to help out at home when we have power outages. You have a great way of explaining information in an easy to understand way. I really appreciate it. Trish

        Reply
          • Jesse, I see you review the Nomad 100 on another link. Would you go with the Renogy 100 (or another above) OR a Nomad 100? I’ll be using with with a Goal Zero Yeti 1000. Thank you! Trish

          • Hello Trish,

            Honestly, I would go with the Boulder 100 for its build, handle, stand, bag and straightforward connectivity without additional adapters. Sure, it’s not the cheapest panel out there, but after using a Renogy suitcase for a couple of months and comparing it to the Boulder 100, I think the Boulder 100 is worth its price.

            EDIT: I confused the names, changed my answer from Nomad 100 to Boulder 100.

  2. Hi,

    Thank you so much for this helpful article. To be sure that I understand it correctly, a solar panel of 24V is not compatible with the Goal Zero Yeti 1000?

    Reply
  3. hi campingnerd, got a question, hoping you can answer. I just purchased a new 26ft Class A and I had 2 solar panels installed on the roof to recharge the batteries. I am wondering if there is a way to recharge my goal zeros with those solar panels as well, I have a 1000w and a 1400w. I assume I have to find where they are connected to the battery. wondering if you have had any experience with that?

    Reply
    • Hello Kevin,

      I can think of two ways to do it.

      This is most likely what the setup looks like right now: Solar panels -> solar charge controller -> batteries. Since the Yeti stations come with a solar charge controller built-in, you’ll have to create a connection directly between the solar panels and your Yetis. You don’t want to go through two solar charge controllers.

      If you can access the solar charge controller, you can get a pack of MC4 connectors. I’d then install a pair of those connectors on the wire between the solar charge controller and the solar panels, so you can create the connection that is already there while having the choice to get a direct connection to your panels. You could then use a MC4 to APP adapter and plug the panels into one of your Yetis when they need a charge.

      You would have to make sure that your panels are compatible with the Yeti. Their Vmp rating can’t exceed 22 volts, and the panels must be wired in parallel, meaning that the positive ends from both panels meet, separate from negative wires.

      The second way you can do it is much more costly, but I believe the Yeti Car Link expansion module with a Female EC8 to Ring Terminal would allow you to charge the Yetis from your 12V batteries with a quick connection. This way, the panels would charge your batteries, and the battery would charge your Yetis.

      Someone else might have a better way to do it, but that’s what I can come up with for now.

      Reply
    • I just realized I got the names confused above, I was talking about the Boulder, not the Nomad, sorry about that. To clarify, I would choose the Boulder 100 over the Renogy 100W suitcase.

      In terms of the Nomad: The Nomad 100 is more portable than the Boulder panels since it folds and stores easier. It’s also much lighter at 11 lbs vs. 26 lbs.

      The Boulder is more sturdy, has a stand built-in, and a great choice if you have space for it. So you either choose one that’s easy to pack (Nomad), or one that’s easy to handle and move when set up (Boulder). The Boulder is also easier to tilt thanks to its stand, which is very useful during the winter.

      EDIT: I wrote a post comparing the two that you can find by clicking here.

      Reply
  4. I hooked up an Allpower 12v 100watt panel to the Goal Zero “Y” adapter and plug it into the Input terminal. The light above the Input plugin did not light up and zero watts were registering on the display screen. The battery is at 100 % full. My multimeter indicates I am getting amps through the wires. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Hello Steve,
      It must be because the battery is already at 100%. Use one of the AC outlets for a minute, then plug in the solar panel again and see if it starts charging.

      Reply
  5. Not sure if it’s just on my end but I clicked on the adapter for three panels and it didn’t work. Trying to decide on 2 100w or 3 100 w to power my goal zero 1000.

    Reply
    • Hello C,

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I have updated the link with a product that’s available.
      I recommend three if you have space for it, that would let you recharge the Yeti 1000 from 0-100% in about 5 hours versus 7.5 hours with two panels. But it depends on how much power you think you’re going to need.

      I have 100×4 connected to my Yeti but still wish I had more some days. That is because I use my coffeemaker twice a day, run my microwave, and charge two laptops for about 8 hours a day.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the fast reply. May I double check with you to see if I have everything right before I buy? I was going to do 2, but I think 3 is a better idea, like you said.
        (This is for my Goal Zero 1000.)

        I’ll be getting 3 Renology 12v 100w monochrystalline panels (compact design)

        Signstek Y branch adapter cable

        MPPT charging module

        Windynation 12 gauge 12AWG 15 feet black and red extension cable (maybe I should go with 5 feet though, as it’s for my e-150 van..)

        Linksolar double entry gland (for the mc4 ext)

        INSTABOOST 10AWG cable

        I would plug the three panels in parallel, then plug into the red and black extension cable (and pass through roof) then connect to INSTABOOST, then connect to MPPT to the goal zero unit. Hopefully I got that right, getting anxious about putting it all together.
        I really appreciate your guide here AND your additional answers to all my questions.

        Reply
        • The problem I am seeing is that the Linksolar entry plate holes are only large enough for wire 2-6/6-12mm, and not MC4 connectors. So what you would have to do is get a pair of BougeRV Solar Panel wires with bare wire on one end instead of the Windynation extension cables. These come with a pair of MC4 connectors that you’ll install to the wire inside your van after pulling the wire through the entry plate and the roof.

          Check out this video on YouTube that shows how to wire the solar cable through the plate and install it on the roof.

          After you’ve pulled the BougeRV MC4 cables through the entry plate housing as shown in the video, you can install MC4 connectors on the bare wire end, and then connect those to the Instaboost MC4 to APP adapter. Make sure positive goes to positive.

          Installing MC4 connectors isn’t hard, I recommend following this step-by-step guide on Instructables.com. A solar crimping tool makes it easier.

          I also recommend buying longer wire than you think you need (unless you have measured exactly how much you need), and also get a wire stripper so you can shorten the cable when you know exactly how much you need, and strip the wire to install the MC4 connectors.

          The alternative to doing everything above would be to skip the Linksolar entry and cut a larger hole in the roof that fits MC4 connectors. Then use a lot of dicor to create a waterproof seal.

          Other than that, it sounds right! I’m sorry to add more anxiety to the install, I know the feeling!

          Reply
          • I have some leftover Dicor from the maxxfan so maybe I’ll just that route. Thank you!

            Also, went to buy the goal zero 1000 at Costco (sale price $1000) and it’s no longer for sale there. I must have missed it by a day. Do you know any other places selling it for less than the original $1200 price? I can’t believe I missed it by literally a day.

  6. Hi Jesse,
    I have a YETI 400 non lithium battery, I am looking to connect a Maxray 160w 12 v solar blanket. I am unsure about the connections. The blanket has a MPPT reg. with an USB connection. It also has Anderson connections.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Kevin.

    Reply
    • Hello Kevin,

      Looks like the Maxray solar panel uses Anderson Multi-pole connectors, so what you’re looking for is an Anderson SB to MC4 adapter (not the more common MC4 to Anderson Power Pole) with the correct polarity, so you can use the MC4 to 8mm adapter with your Yeti.

      If you can’t find an adapter like that, what I would do is cut the Anderson connectors coming from the solar panel off and install some MC4 connectors. But then you won’t be able to use the USB charge controller to charge other 12V batteries.

      You will need a pair of MC4 connectors, a crimping tool, wire strippers, and wire cutters to set it up. The most important part is making sure you install a male MC4 connector on the positive (red) wire coming from the solar panel, so the polarity will be correct when you connect it to the MC4 to 8mm adapter.

      Also, the Yeti 400 has a charge controller built-in, so you won’t need to use the charge controller that came with the panel.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  7. Plugging two 100 watt renology into the yeti 1000:

    Just wondering which connector goes into each extension cable color, since both have female and male ends on them. On the connectors I have a male positive and I have a female negative. Which one goes to which color and is it the female or male on the extension cable? If that makes sense?

    Once I have that hooked up then I run the extension cable to the Anderson cable to the MPPT to the yeti correct?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hello C,

      If you’re using the MC4 Y Branch, you’ll have a positive male MC4 connector and a negative MC4 female connector that needs to be connected to the extension cables.

      The positive MC4 connector from the MC4 Y Branch will go to the MC4 female connector on the red extension cord, which will have an MC4 male connector that will plug into the positive MC4 female connector on the MC4 to Anderson connector. Then you’ll use the second black extension cord and plug it in the only way possible.

      The MC4 to Anderson adapter is what is plugged into the Yeti, yes.

      Let me know if I didn’t understand your question correctly or if you have other questions.

      Reply
  8. Hey!

    So I just called Goal Zero and spoke with one of their associates and asked them what the 22V input maximum mean (I was unsure due to the fact that some of the suggested panels seemed to have Voc of 22.5V). The rep at Goal Zero told me that the 22V is in reference to the Vmp, and NOT the Voc. I asked him about the Voc and said that you had reached out to them as well, and he told me that you might have been given the wrong answer.

    Worth double checking and updating your post if so – it does make sense that it looks at Vmp and not Voc (since Voc is the voltage that the panel has when it is not plugged in). Vmp is the maximum voltage that is present when it is in operation.

    Let me know if you end up finding the same.

    Thanks,
    Samson

    Reply
    • Hello Samson,

      Thank you for leaving a comment and letting me/us know. I’ve been confused by it too due to how the voltages work. Especially since their own Boulder 100 has a 22.5V VOC rating as you mention.

      I’ll be updating the post, it’s unfortunate that Goal Zero has a different answer each time the question is asked.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share the info.

      Jesse

      Reply

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