How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Jackery Explorer

Charge Your Jackery Explorer Power Station With Solar Panels

Jackery is an American company that makes power stations and solar panels. They have power stations, also known as solar generators, in a lot of different sizes, that let you stay powered while away from home. They’re great for camping, RV living, emergencies, and power outages.

There are three ways to charge a Jackery Explorer power station. With the included wall or car charger, and with solar panels.

Today I am going to help you connect third party panels from companies like Renogy, HQST, Newpowa, and Eco-Worthy to your Jackery Explorer.

Related Post: Best Portable Power Stations For Camping

These third-party panels come with MC4 connectors, while the Jackery Explorer power stations have 8mm and Anderson Power Pole inputs.

Let’s talk about how you connect panels, then we’ll take a look at how many watts each of the Jackery Explorers can handle and how long it will take to charge the batteries.

The reason I know how to do this is that I have done it myself, I connect a Renogy 100W Suitcase solar panel to my Jackery Explorer 500.

NOTE if you have an Explorer 1500 or 2000: There have been reports (thanks Shane) that the 8mm inputs on the new 1500 and 2000 are not the same as on the older Explorer models, and the MC4 to 8mm adapter doesn’t work. I haven’t gotten my hands on one of the newer Explorers so I can’t confirm it, but please be aware that these adapters might not work with the Explorer 1500 and 2000. That also means that third-party panels that include 8mm connectors might not work.

How To Connect Third-Party Panels To Jackery Explorer Power Stations/Solar Generators

Most large rigid solar panels have MC4 connectors. There are two parts to an MC4 connector, a male and a female part.

Solar panels from companies like Renogy and HQST have a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector.

To connect a Renogy panel, we need this adapter (click to view on Amazon).

NOTE if you have an Explorer 1500 or 2000: There have been reports (thanks Shane) that the 8mm inputs on the new 1500 and 2000 are not the same as on the older Explorer models, and the MC4 to 8mm adapter doesn’t work. I haven’t gotten my hands on one of the newer Explorers so I can’t confirm it, but please be aware that these adapters might not work with the Explorer 1500 and 2000. That also means that third-party panels that include 8mm connectors might not work.

SolarEnz Solar Connector to DC8mm Adapter Cable Perfectly Solar Connector Solar Generator Portable Power Station and Solar Panel 12AWG Heavy Duty Wire

Check Price at Amazon

As we can see in the image above, the MC4 female connector is positive, while the MC4 male connector is negative. This makes it directly compatible with the Renogy solar panels.

If you have the new Jackery Explorer 1000 which has an Anderson Power Pole input as well, you can use this adapter (click to view on Amazon).

Note that while the Explorer 1000 has two inputs, only one can be used at once. If you have the Explorer 1500 or 2000, both 8mm inputs can be used at the same time, but it doesn’t have an Anderson port so you need to use the 8mm connectors.

iGreely Connector Solar Panel Cable Kits for Goal Zero Yeti, Suaoki, Renogy Portable Solar Generator Power Station 10AWG 60cm/2ft

Check Price at Amazon

 

What To Think About When Connecting Solar Panels To A Jackery Explorer

The main thing you need to know is that the Jackery Explorers have built-in solar charge controllers. So you shouldn’t connect a panel with a charge controller.

Not every Jackery Explorer can handle the same amount of input watts with solar panels, so let’s take a look at what each one is capable of.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/300W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Blackout
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1500, 1534Wh Portable Generator with 3x110V/1800W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Overlanding, Emergency
Watt-hours
167Wh
240Wh
293Wh
518Wh
1002Wh
1488Wh
Inverter Rating
100W/150W peak
200W/400W peak
300W/500W peak
500W/1000W peak
1000W/2000W peak
1800W/3600W Surge
Input Port
8mm
8mm
8mm
8mm
8mm, Anderson Power Pole
8mm x2
Max Solar Input
38W
62W
62W
65W
126W
600W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
12-30V (Mixed info on this)
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
4.5 hours
6 hours
5.5 hours
8 hours
8 hours
3
Weight
4 lbs
6.6 lbs
9.6 lbs
13.3 lbs
22 lbs
33.1 lbs
Size
7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 in
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 in
9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 in
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in
14 x 10.4 x 12.7 in

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency
Watt-hours
167Wh
Inverter Rating
100W/150W peak
Input Port
8mm
Max Solar Input
38W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
4.5 hours
Weight
4 lbs
Size
7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Watt-hours
240Wh
Inverter Rating
200W/400W peak
Input Port
8mm
Max Solar Input
62W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
6 hours
Weight
6.6 lbs
Size
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/300W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Blackout
Watt-hours
293Wh
Inverter Rating
300W/500W peak
Input Port
8mm
Max Solar Input
62W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
5.5 hours
Weight
9.6 lbs
Size
9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Watt-hours
518Wh
Inverter Rating
500W/1000W peak
Input Port
8mm
Max Solar Input
65W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
8 hours
Weight
13.3 lbs
Size
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
Watt-hours
1002Wh
Inverter Rating
1000W/2000W peak
Input Port
8mm, Anderson Power Pole
Max Solar Input
126W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
8 hours
Weight
22 lbs
Size
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1500, 1534Wh Portable Generator with 3x110V/1800W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Overlanding, Emergency
Watt-hours
1488Wh
Inverter Rating
1800W/3600W Surge
Input Port
8mm x2
Max Solar Input
600W
Input Voltage Limits
12-30V (Mixed info on this)
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
3
Weight
33.1 lbs
Size
14 x 10.4 x 12.7 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

Notes: I have tested the Jackery Explorer 500 and 1000 and have seen different max input watts compared to what Jackery advertises.

If you have tested either of them and have a different experience, please let me know by leaving a comment so I can update the table to be as accurate as possible.

One important thing to know is that while the Jackery Explorer 1000 has two inputs, only one can be used to charge the battery at a time.

The newer Jackery Explorer 1500 and 2000 have two 8mm inputs, and both can be used at the same time. This means that you can use solar panels to charge the battery while it’s also being charged with the included wall- or car-charger.

What Panels Do You Recommend For A Jackery?

Thanks to the voltage limit on these power stations, there are a lot of solar panels out there that are compatible.

To give you an easy overview of panels that are compatible and whether they need the adapter (click to view on Amazon) I mention at the beginning of this post, let’s put a couple of panels on the table.

Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (Compact Design)
PAXCESS Foldable 50W Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator/8mm Goal Zero Yeti 100/150/400 Power Station Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
ROCKPALS SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel for Jackery Explorer/Flashfish/BALDR/Goal Zero Portable Power Station Generator and USB Devices, Portable Solar Panel Charger with 3 USB Ports
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Compact Design 42.4 X 20.0 X 1.38 in, High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-In Kickstand
Watts
50W
60W
100W
100W
100W
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
20V
16-18V
16-18V
22.3V
22.5V
21.6V
Connectors
MC4
DC, USB
DC, USB
MC4
MC4
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
8.8 lbs
6.3 lbs
5.1 lbs
14.3 lbs
4.2 lbs
12.8 lbs
Size
23.7 x 19.6 x 1.2 in
49.6 x 16 x 0.2 in
20.5 x 14.2 x 2.6 in (folded)
42.4 x 20 x 1.4 in
47.9 x 21 x 0.1 in
69.1 x 6.1 x 50.5 in

Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (Compact Design)
Watts
50W
Open Circuit Voltage
20V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
8.8 lbs
Size
23.7 x 19.6 x 1.2 in
PAXCESS Foldable 50W Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator/8mm Goal Zero Yeti 100/150/400 Power Station Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
Watts
60W
Open Circuit Voltage
16-18V
Connectors
DC, USB
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
6.3 lbs
Size
49.6 x 16 x 0.2 in
ROCKPALS SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel for Jackery Explorer/Flashfish/BALDR/Goal Zero Portable Power Station Generator and USB Devices, Portable Solar Panel Charger with 3 USB Ports
Watts
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
16-18V
Connectors
DC, USB
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
5.1 lbs
Size
20.5 x 14.2 x 2.6 in (folded)
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Compact Design 42.4 X 20.0 X 1.38 in, High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications
Watts
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
22.3V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
14.3 lbs
Size
42.4 x 20 x 1.4 in
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Watts
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
22.5V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
4.2 lbs
Size
47.9 x 21 x 0.1 in
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-In Kickstand
Watts
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
21.6V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
12.8 lbs
Size
69.1 x 6.1 x 50.5 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

There are more panels on the market that are compatible with the Jackery power stations straight out of the box, but I can’t fit them all on the table.

Which panel will be the best for you depends on your situation. If you’re going to mount the solar panel on top of an RV, van, or car, I recommend a rigid 50W or 100W panel. The flexible panels are easier to mount since you can tape them down without screwing into the roof.

I have mounted two Renogy 100W panel on top of my roof that I can angle, and then I have two Renogy 100W suitcase panels that I move during the day to generate as much power as possible.

Can You Just Tell Me What Panel Works With What Adapter?

Solar panel: Renogy 50W / Renogy 100W / HQST 100W / Newpowa 100W / Eco-Worthy 100W / Allpowers 100W Flexible

Adapter: MC4 to 8mm with positive female

Solar panels that don’t require the adapter: Aidpek 60W / Jackery SolarSaga 60 / Rockpals 60W / Rockpals 100W / Jackery SolarSaga 100

Can You Combine Two Or More Panels?

You can combine two or more panels, but it’s very important that you know how many amps are going to sent through the wires and the connectors to make sure that the wire is thick enough to handle it safely.

If you want to combine two panels with MC4 connectors, you can do so using an MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon).

This will connect two panels in parallel by connecting the two positive wires together, and the two negative wires together. The positive wires will be separate from the negative. You’ll still need the MC4 to 8mm adapter with a positive MC4 female connector.

Since the Explorer 160 and 240 can only handle 42W input, I wouldn’t connect more than a total of 100W of solar panels to it. To max out the 42W input, you could connect two 50W panels though.

For the Explorer 500, I recommend a single 100W panel as well, or two 100W panels to be able to generate more electricity during cloudy days.

For the new Explorer 1000, I recommend two 100W panels wired in parallel. You could even connect three 100W panels to max out the 126W input. To do this, you’ll need an MC4 Y branch. Make sure to use 12 gauge wire or lower when connecting several panels like this.

Then all you need to do is connect the two remaining MC4 connectors (one from each panel) to the MC4 to 8mm adapter.

So how do we know whether it’s safe to wire a specific panel in series or not? Well, if we take a look at the specifications of the Renogy 100W solar panel, the Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc) is 22.3V.

Since wiring two of them together doubles the voltage, we’ll do the math and 22.3*2=44.6V.

44.6V is less than 50V, so it’s safe to connect to the Explorer 1500 and 2000.

Feel free to leave a comment if you’re still not sure about a specific panel or setup and I’ll do my best to help you.

Extension Cables

You can use either MC4 extension cables or an 8mm.

For MC4, I recommend the WindyNation 12AWG extension cables.

For 8mm, I recommend the iGreely 10ft 8mm extension cable. Don’t use this cable if you have more than a total of 200W of solar panels.

You need to make sure that the cable is thick enough to handle the total amperage.

Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or anything to add.

by Jesse
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?

113 thoughts on “How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Jackery Explorer”

  1. Thanks for the informative page!
    I have a question. I’m getting a jackery 1000 as soon as they’re replenished. I have already ordered two of the Aimtom 100W solar panels which have the mc4 connectors. Will I need to get both the MC4 Y branch and the MC4 to 8mm to hook both of them up?
    Is there a difference in using the Anderson vs the 8mm on the jackery, as it has both.
    Thank you so much for any info!

    Reply
    • Hey, yes you’ll need both! There is no difference between the inputs except the way the ports look. But you can’t use both at the same time.

      Reply
    • You say you would use 2 100watt panels on the Jackery 500 on a cloudy day. What about full sun 2 100watt panels on the 500? Would that be to much?

      Reply
      • No, it wouldn’t be too much, but unnecessary since the Explorer 500 can only input 60-70W when using solar panels. On a sunny day, a 100W panel can easily reach that 70W limit, but on a cloudy day, you might need two 100W panels to reach the limit.

        If you plan on draining the battery every day, I would go with two 100W panels so you can keep it charged even when the weather is bad.

        Reply
        • I’m in the same situation as CHRIS where I want to have 2 100w renogy solar panels connected to a Jackery 500. Will I overcharge the battery if I just hook them up. Should I get a solar controller??

          Reply
          • Hi,
            No, it won’t overcharge with two 100W panels. You do not need a charge controller, since the Explorer 500 has one built-in.

            To connect it all you’re going to need an MC4 Y branch (click to view on Amazon), and the MC4 to 8mm adapter.

            Grab the positive Mc4 male connectors (one from each panel) and connect them to the Mc4 Y branch that has two Mc4 female connectors on one end and an Mc4 male on the other. Then you grab the second branch and connect the negative wires.

            Then connect it to the MC4 to 8mm adapter, it only goes one way. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. Great site, great information! MY new Jackery 1000 was delivered yesterday. I plan to par it with my Renogy 100 watt Voyager Solar suitcase and have already purchased the Graybull solar adapter cable. The Voyager allows 7 different battery type selections, and I’m not sure if I should choose the Lithium-ion or the LiFePO4 setting when I solar charge the Jackery, the last thing I want to do is ruin my new investment. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hey Mark, the Jackery 1000 has a built-in charge controller, so don’t plug your suitcase into it. You don’t want to use two charge controllers, so you should connect a solar panel directly to it. If you already have the suitcase, you can bypass the controller by cutting the cable between the solar panel and charge controller and install MC4 connectors on both sides of the wires you cut.

      Reply
      • Jesse,

        I just bought the Jackery 240 and planning on hooking up a Coleman 100w panel. Are you saying I shouldn’t used the el cheapo charge controller that came with the panel and go directly into the Jackery?

        Reply
        • Hello Tom,

          Correct. Since the Jackery already has a built-in charge controller the panel should be connected directly to the input port on the Explorer.

          Jesse

          Reply
    • I’m basically doing the same thing except using a aimtom solar panel with a jackery 500 but the rest of the setup should be pretty similar. Anyways if you figure it out or find out anymore info. Please lmk. I’m super knew to this and just getting ready for winter/covid just incase something happens where I would have to depend on my setup!!

      Reply
  3. Wow. VERY interesting post. I have purchased the 500 and the Saga… is there a way to connect either another Saga or a third party panel so I’ve got two panels on the 500? I saw the split cable but it appears that only works with two of the no-Jackery panels… any way to combine the Jackery Saga and something else? Looking to create a setup for cloudy days. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Hello Mark,

      I can’t say for certain because I haven’t tried these adapters myself, but you should be able to connect two SolarSaga panels by using an 8mm to Anderson combiner and then an Anderson to 8mm adapter that you plug into the Jackery. If you had a third-party panel with MC4 connectors, you’d also need an MC4 to 8mm adapter.

      Note that the Explorer 500 can only handle up to about 65-72W of solar input no matter how many panels you plug in. I have tried with an 80W, a 100W, and 200W panels but it won’t go over 65-72W. On a cloudy day, a 200W setup is, of course, better than a 100W setup though since it will be able to reach the limit easier.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Jesse

      Reply
      • Hey Jesse — thanks for the answer, I found a couple of things that you might find interesting. First, I have charged a 240 with an 18 18v 120 watt panel four times and in each case found that the 240 reported receiving 65 watts for long periods of time, so maybe I’ve got a newer 240 or something. Second, I got the four-way you pointed to and found that while it works fine with the 120 watt panel (I just tested it with only the 120w panel connected, notthing in the other three connectors), it fails with the Saga cable altogether. A bit of inspection seemed to show that the center conductor on the Saga’s male 8 mm connector is just a bit shorter than that found on other panels, rendering the four wan (AND the Gz 30 foot 8mm extension cable) useless.

        BTW, I’ve got a few panels that I’m playing with and the 120 — a sort of no-name Chinese panel — has offered the most satisfaction, and at $210 it’s not a bad deal. I found it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0817V8N5P?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_dt_b_product_details . Iam talking with Jackery now about the issue with the Saga and they seem to want to help so I’ll drop you a line if I get the Saga connector issue resolved. Thanks again for the great post and help.

        Reply
        • Hello Mark,

          That is interesting, I wonder if Jackery either lists the wrong number or if it has been updated. I looked at the 240 manual and it doesn’t mention what volts/amps it’s rated for like the 500 manual. I need to get my hands on a 160 and 240.

          Sorry about the connection issues, that is frustrating.

          That Twelseavan panel is one I have been looking at for a while, glad to hear it’s a good one!

          Thank you very much for stopping by again and sharing all of this, it helps a bunch!

          Jesse

          Reply
          • Will two of those Twelseavan 120W panels work with a Jackery 1000? Amazon has them on sale for Prime Day today.

          • It should technically work with the 8mm parallel adapter that is included with the Explorer 1000. You have to use the adapter since the 1000 only allows input from one port at a time. The question is, based on my experience, how snug the 8mm connectors will be in the adapter.

            I have mixed panels and adapters from different brands that use 8mm connectors, and sometimes it’s not a very snug connection so I have to make a loose knot with the wiring so it stays in place.

            So yes, it should work if you use the 8mm connectors included with the Twelseavan panels and the parallel adapter included with the Explorer, but I can’t promise anything.

        • Hey Amy,

          As long as it’s a 12V panel with a VOC below 30V, then yes! Let me know the specific panel model if you’d like me to look it up.

          Jesse

          Reply
  4. Was planning to be getting the explorer 500 with a solar panel that is 210W, it that going to be too much? Also, do you still use the MC4 cord to connect just one solar panel in my conversion van?

    Reply
    • Hello Ashley,

      It would work and be safe, but it is a bit overkill since the Explorer 500 can only handle around 72W solar input. I wouldn’t use a panel larger than 150W to save on space and weight.

      Yes, as long as your solar panel has MC4 connectors you’re going to need the MC4 to 8mm adapter. You dont need the MC4 Y Branch though if it is only one panel.

      Jesse

      Reply
  5. Hi , Very interesting post, I just got a Jackery Explorer 1000 and was planning to get a Renogy 175 W panel, will there be any problem with the watts ? I live in AZ so there is no lack of sunlight but was hoping to keep the van ready for any state and hence prefer a 175w panel to 100w. Also, does the 175w or 160w panel come with cables and MC4 connectors to be able to hook it up or will I need additional cables and connectors for it ? The distance between the panel and the jackery 1000 would be about 8 ft max.
    Thank you
    Jay

    Reply
  6. Hi Jesse,

    Good job putting the Jackery1000 through its paces! Have you tried plugging in two solar panels from different manufacturers into the parallel adapter cable that comes with it? I wanted to get a Rockpals 100W foldable solar panel and pair it with a SolarSaga 100W panel so I got the two of them charging my Jackery1000 in parallel:

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FH85FW9
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q71LX84

    What do you think? Specs look close enough, same voltage and just .1Amps difference in the current.

    Reply
    • Hello Joe,
      I haven’t tried that but it should work, it is not as efficient as using two panels with the same ratings but it will still charge the Explorer faster.
      Jesse

      Reply
  7. Hi Jesse,
    Was wondering if there’s a way to keep a Jackery 500 hooked to a 100 watt Renegy flexible panel and plugged into my van power port at the same time. Port is only hot when the van is running. Even if I just needed to throw a switch from van to solar before hitting the road depending on sunlight
    Thanks George

    Reply
  8. Hi Jesse,

    Thank you for this super useful post. I have a question regarding the Jackery bypass system. I have a Jackery 500 with 2x100W newpowa solar panels in parallel. I noticed 2 interesting things :
    1- The max input displayed is 56W when plugged on solar (vs 85W when plugged on a wall)
    2- Once I reach 100% charge, no matter how many devices I plug (up to 150W output), when plugged to my solar panels the Jackery stays at 100% charge as long as there is sun even if the output wattage is higher than the input displayed (56W)

    which raise 2 questions :
    1- Does the jackery has a bypass system ? meaning that when fully charge the power from input goes directly to the output
    2- If yes does this bypass system transfer more that the 56W input limit ?

    The customer service has been unable to answer my question
    Thanks for your help

    Reply
      • Great post Jesse. I have a 500 on the way after trying out the 240. Combining that with the 100w Renogy suit case solution. Very interested in your feedback on Mehdi’s question above.

        Thanks for your informative post!

        Reply
    • Hello again Mehdi, sorry for the late reply.

      I did some tests with my Explorer 500. I could replicate what you said about 56W input with a 150W output and the battery staying at 100%. I saw it fluctuating between 99 and 100% though, so I think the battery is at a lower percentage even though it says 100%. I believe this is due to how it’s wired and how the battery percentage is calculated based on the voltage that fluctuates.

      When I increased the load to +200W, the percentage started going down steadily.

      I also noticed that the screen shows about 10-20% more output watts than my Kill-A-Watt, so you might not be using as many watts as you think.

      There is no true pass-through charging in the Explorer or a bypass. The DC power from your panels must first go to the 12V battery, then be changed to 120V AC power via the inverter.

      These are just my thoughts and guesses, someone with more knowledge will have a better explanation. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to help.

      Jesse

      Reply
  9. Hi, thanks for the helpful review.
    I have a question: I plan to purchase the Jackery 1000. Could i plug in safely two 150W solar panels to it? (this kind of panel: https://bit.ly/33f39T7) or does it have to be two max. 100W solar panels?
    Thanks!!

    LW

    Reply
    • Hello LW,

      Yes, you could plug two of those into a Jackery Explorer 1000 as long as you wire them in parallel with an MC4 Y branch. It’s ok to do since the total voltage will be less than 30V as long as you don’t wire them in series. I’m not sure about the polarity (which one is positive and negative) so I recommend checking it with a multimeter to make sure that they have a positive MC4 male connector before plugging in the MC4 to Anderson adapter I recommend in the post.

      Jesse

      Reply
  10. Wow, great post, thanks! I’m new to all this, so I’d be grateful for any direction you could give me.

    – I’ve been thinking of getting the Jackery 1000. Will this panel and cord work with it?
    200W Panel: https://amzn.to/2ReCGzL
    8mm Adapter: https://amzn.to/35zzS8q
    Extension: https://amzn.to/3inpXXm

    – Seems like many opt for 2 x 100W panels, is there an advantage to two 100W panels vs. one 200W panel?

    – Can the Jackery be used while it is being charged?

    Much appreciated!
    Chris

    Reply
    • Hello Chris,

      1. Yes, that setup should work great with the Explorer 1000. I have heard some people having issues with the Goal Zero extension cable and third-party 8mm connectors not fitting snug, but I haven’t tested those two exact adapters and cables together so I can’t say whether they’ll fit snug or not. If possible, I would suggest going with these MC4 Extension cables instead which has a lower gauge (10 vs 16) and MC4 connectors. Not as nice as a single cable, but you can tape them together with electrical tape.

      You could also just try ordering the 8mm adapter and extension cable and see whether they fit or not, but a lower gauge cable will be better in terms of voltage loss, which turns into fewer input watts.

      2. It depends on who you ask, but in terms of performance, no. A 200W panel might even perform better than two 100W panels since you don’t have to add an MC4 Y branch (the more connections, the more total voltage loss).

      One/two 100W panels are easier to handle, and if one of the panels breaks when you’re in the middle of nowhere you’ll still have another one to generate some electricity. Other than that, I can’t think of any direct advantages.

      3. Yes, you can use the Jackery while it’s charging.

      Jesse

      Reply
  11. Thank you for very straightforward and informative info about portable power stations and solar panels. I’m just about to purchase a Jackery 1000 with two solar panels, recommended adapters and extension cable for emergency power and maybe a bit of camping.
    I did see the Renergy 100 waterproof panels https://amzn.to/3c7s1R1
    when looking for the ones from this article. They are listed on Amazon as a newer model. they worth it? They are quite a bit more expensive. I haven’t found a comparison online so I thought I’d ask your opinion before I buy.
    Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Hello Leisa,

      Based on what I have seen and read, the Eclipse panels are about 1-2% more efficient than the other ones. Personally, I don’t think that’s worth the extra cost, but if you think so, make sure you get the ones without the built-in charge controller, like this one.

      These are the ones I have and am still using every day. They’re excellent panels.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Jesse

      Reply
      • Thank you, Jesse! It’s been a slog figuring out what to use since I’m new to the portable solar power idea. You’re website has been very helpful!
        Leisa

        Reply
      • Thank you for this post and all your assistance. I will keep reading these questions to see if my answer is here, but wanted to ask with your link available before trying to find this reply again if I don’t find my answer.
        You use the renogy 100’s, so I think I’m correct after reading everything in needing SolarEnz Solar Connector to DC8mm, BougeRV Solar Connectors Y Branch Parallel Adapter Cable, and WindyNation 10 Gauge 10 AWG to adapt 2 100’s to the explorer 1000?

        Thank you!

        Reply
  12. Hi,
    I have a zamp 100 w suitcase solar panel.
    I purchased a 8 mm to sae cable and an sae reverse polarity adapter ( zamp reverses)
    I tried to charge the Jackery 500 with the zamp panel, but did not work?
    Is it because the zamp panel has a charge controller? So I need to bypass the controller on the panel??
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Deb,

      Yes, unfortunately, that is why.

      You’re going to have to splice into the connection between the panels and the charge controller to install some quick-disconnect connectors. I would get an MC4 kit and install MC4 connectors, then get an MC4 to 8mm adapter to connect the panels to the Jackery. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Jesse

      Reply
      • Jesse,
        I also have a Zamp suitcase solar panel (180 W model USP1003). I am looking to purchase the Jackery Explorer 240 Solar Generator (https://www.amazon.com/Jackery-Explorer-Generator-Outdoors-Emergency/dp/B08LDBSGM5). I am not experience with this but it sounds like with the proper directions, a handy person like me could make this work. I assume I will need the same parts you referenced above. My concerns are related to the Zamp reverse polarity mentioned above and the maximum solar input of the Jackery 240. If at all possible can you provide step by step instructions?

        Thanks in advance

        Julie

        Reply
        • Yes you could do it with an MC4 kit (click to view on Amazon). I have written a post about how I did it with my Renogy panel, and it would be a similar modification with your Zamp panel. Just make sure the wire you splice into is the one between the panel and the charge controller, and that the positive wire coming from the panel gets an MC4 male connector, and the negative an MC4 female connector (then the opposite on the wires from the charge controller). I’d use a multimeter to get the polarity. This will void any warranty on the panel.

          When you’ve added the Mc4 connectors, you just need to plug them into the MC4 to 8mm adapter, and plug it into the Explorer.

          Reply
  13. Hi Jackery says the panels are not water proof. I live in the tropics it rains any time you never know. what good are panels you set out and take a nap and have to run into the rain to recover? or it ruins them and you are stuck in the sticks with no power. thanks for info. Joe

    Reply
  14. Hi Jesse,

    I have the Explorer 1000 and a 175W flexible Renogy panel. My question is, how many of these panels in parallel can I have going into the Jackery? You referenced that the max input is 175W, & recommend 200W of solar input.

    I use the Jackery in the area of the 60th parallel in Canada, & need the most solar input that the Explorer 1000 will take.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hello Roy,

      I recently got my hands on an Explorer 1000 and have done several tests and I can’t get it to go above 115-125W no matter how much solar I plug into it (I even tried 400W). Apparently it can’t go above 126W with 12V solar panels, so my source was incorrect. I have updated the post to reflect that.

      Therefore, if you’re already seeing close to 120W of solar from your 175W panel, I wouldn’t purchase another one. If you’re seeing a lot less than 100W of input, I would consider connecting two in parallel. 350W of solar into something that can only use 126W of it is obviously overkill, but it depends on how bad the conditions are.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Jesse

      Reply
      • It looks like the car port is rated 12V at 10a (120W), which isn’t far off the 126W you got. It may be that they’re trying to preserve the life of the battery by not charging it too quickly…

        I don’t think 350W would really be overkill. On cloudy/rainy days, you’d come closer to maxing out the charging capability, also earlier and later on sunny days without changing the orientation of the panels.

        Reply
  15. Hi Jesse,

    I have Renogy 200 Watt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase, 200W Panel-20A Controller.
    What would I need to do to make it work with the Jackery 1000 Portable Power Station ?

    Thanks Dean

    Reply
  16. I have the Jackery Explorer 500 and a Dokio 300w Solar Panel. My hope is that the charge controller built into the 500 would regulate the amount of power coming from the Panel, and no allow my panel to hurt the Jackery.

    Do you see any harm in marrying the two?

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      The charge controller should be able to handle it, but I recommend contacting Jackery to make sure you’re not going to lose your warranty by connecting a panel that big. I regularly connect 200W of solar to my Explorer 500 without issues.

      Jesse

      Reply
  17. Hi Jesse, I have the Jackery 1000 and was wondering if the “Renogy Solar Panel 160 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline, 160W Compact Design” is a good match for it? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Steven,

      No, that would be a waste of money in my opinion since the Explorer 500 can only use around 65W at most which you should be getting from your 100W panel.

      Jesse

      Reply
  18. I have two Paxcess Rockman Solar 120W Solar panels. I am considering getting a Jackery 1000 or a KYNG 2000Wh generator. My questions is the Paxcess solar panels only have one output cable (of a couple different sizes. How would I go about hooking up two of the paxcess panels in parallel for either the Jackery or KYNG? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Hey Paul,

      If these are your panels, one of the connectors that came with them is an 8mm which is what you’ll find on the Jackery. For that reason, I would recommend the Jackery Explorer 1000, because it comes with a parallel adapter that takes two 8mm connectors and turns it into one Anderson connector, and plugs into the Explorer 1000.

      I want you to be aware that the Explorer 1000 can only use about 126W at most when using 12V solar panels, so even though you’ll be connecting 240W of solar, don’t expect it to go above 126W. That’s at least my experience with the Explorer 1000. It’s still fine to connect that much solar though, and it can be beneficial to do so when the sun is weaker.

      The Kyng would be trickier to do the connection with, and you would probably have to make your adapters.

      Jesse

      Reply
  19. After reading through this .. it seems the limits are on the Jackery 1000’s MPPT charger itself?

    I’ve got two of these that I was just about to set up in series ~200w / 24v / 5.8 amps, 34.0V@pmax and 40.46V voc

    [https://www.newpowa.com/collections/rigid-solar-panels/products/newpowa-200w-24v-monocrystalline-high-efficiency-solar-panel]

    I’m setting up a low use solar system at a remote cabin, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I could use the Jackery 1000 as a short term solution and buy my battery bank as the budget fits.

    Do you think the controller on the 1000 would be fine?

    Reply
    • Hey Steven,

      Unfortunately, I believe even one of those is too much for the charge controller in the Explorer 1000 since it can only handle up to 30 volts (open-circuit voltage, according to Jackery).

      Jesse

      Reply
      • Hey Jesse! Great info btw!
        Just to chime in on this convo, would this also be too much for the Jackery 1000?
        https://amzn.to/3a757tY
        I plan on using two of these until I saw the 18-23v Open Circuit Voltage. I’ve read before that up to 30v is okay, so I just want to make sure! Thanks

        Reply
        • Hey Mikhail,

          Looks like that panel uses Anderson connectors, so you would have to find a way to combine the two in parallel.

          It’s fine to connect two panels to the Explorer 1000 as long as you do it in parallel. If the panels have MC4 connectors it’s done with an MC4 Y Branch. Since the panel you link to has Anderson connectors, you’d have to solve it in a different way. It’s possible that two of these adapters would do it if you also used the 8mm combiner included with the Explorer 1000, but I can’t say for certain since I haven’t tried this adapter myself.

          Doing so will add the amperages together but not the voltage, and output a voltage that the Explorer 1000 can handle. The Y branch connects the positives together, separate from the negatives.

          The wrong way to connect two panels to a Jackery would be to do a series connection, which is where you take the positive connector from the first panel and connect it to the negative connector on the second panel. This would add the voltages together and exceed 30V.

          Let me know if you have any questions.

          Jesse

          Reply
  20. Hello,

    Just curious, is there a way to charge a power-station (if you know a brand that can) through a car’s dc charger while also solar panels are connected via MPPT controller. Like a one plug and play portable power-station on Toyota Land-cruiser with single cord power by both cigarette charger and solar panel step to maximize charging speed on any scenario. Thank you for your time and kind consideration. I am a newbie.

    Reply
    • Hey Victor,

      The older Yeti (non-X) power stations can take input from more than one source at a time. With the newer Yetis, like the new Yeti 1500X, you have to buy the MPPT charge controller to be able to use two inputs.

      Also (and I haven’t tried this myself) you could probably use an 8mm Combiner which turns 4 8mm females into an Anderson connector. Then you could use the Yeti 12V car charger while also using compatible solar panels with either an 8mm connector or an MC4 to 8mm adapter. This is only compatible with the Goal Zero Yeti power stations that have an Anderson output.

      Since I haven’t done any of the things above myself, I recommend contacting Goal Zero before you purchase anything to make sure it’s going to work.

      Let me know if you have any questions, sorry if my answer made it even more confusing!

      Jesse

      Reply
  21. Hey Jesse,

    I have two Renogy 100 watt rigid panels, and a Jackery 1000. Per your recommendation I bought 2 MC4 Y connectors, the MC4 extension cables, and the iGreely MC4 to Anderson Power Pole adapter in order to connect it all. However, now that I’ve plugged it all together, it isn’t working. There’s no power going into my Jackery, it just says 0 watts input. I don’t know much about this stuff, that’s why I went with the solar power station. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I bought everything from the links directly in this article. Any help you can offer?
    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
    • Hey Mike,

      Sounds like you’re doing it correctly, and that’s the exact same setup I use with my Explorer 1000. There must be a faulty connection somewhere.

      I suggest testing each connection to try to figure out where the problem is. If you connect one of the panels to the MC4 to Anderson adapter and it still doesn’t show any input, it’s probably the adapter. Make sure that red is going to red, and black to black.

      Let me know if I can help you further in any way.

      Jesse

      Reply
  22. Thank you for this very informative post. I have the Jackery 1000 and I have two 175 watts flexible renogy solar panel on my camper. Can i use these solar panel to charge my Jackery 1000? I will use the connectors you suggested on your article. I understand that i should connect directly to the solar panel. Thank you

    Reply
  23. Thanks for the great review. I’m thinking about buying the jackery 1000 for a second, portable battery station for our travel trailer. I have a 190W solar panel feeding a controller (Go power) that charges our house battery. I’m trying to figure out the best way to charge the jackery using this same panel. I can’t use the second out of the Go power controller according to your responses above. So that leaves me with a few ideas.
    1. wire a switch next to my controller that either runs the solar panel to my controller and house battery, or to the jackery1000. I’d have to manually decide which battery gets the charge.

    2. Install a D/C car style (cigarette) plug that runs off my house 12V system and charge the Jackery off that. The solar panel would charge house system, the jackery would draw off that constantly if left plugged in.

    Any other options? I want to use the jackery for things like computers, boot dryers, and other AC devices. Could even plug the trailer directly into the jackery to run our microwave. It would be nice to keep it charged after use via our solar panels somehow.

    Thanks,
    Aaron

    Reply
    • Hey Aaron,

      Yeah, that’s a tricky one. While the 2nd idea will be less efficient (charging a battery with a battery) it’s probably what I would do, unless you have easy access to the charge controller and can install a quick disconnect.

      Honestly, depending on usage I would just get a portable 100-200W panel to use with the Jackery.

      I’d also check the wattage on your RV microwave if you want to be sure that it can power it before buying. My microwave is a 700W output model that requires about 1000-1000W input so while it does work with the Explorer 1000, I have to plug the microwave directly into the power station.

      Sorry if it wasn’t much help, it all depends on how much and how often you need to use the power station and how important it’s going to be to be able to charge it daily. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  24. Now with the 1500 model, which I just purchased today as it was released, could you recommend me the perfect cable set up with the right adapters, width of cable, and something long maybe 30-4 ft that I won’t lose power with. I plan on purchasing x2 195W Eco-Worthy 12 V monoCrystaline panels.

    Thank you. Any help is a lifesaver!

    Reply
    • I haven’t gotten my hands on the Explorer 1500 yet, but based on what I have read you can connect two 12V panels in series as long as you don’t exceed 50V. Check the manual or ask Jackery to be sure before connecting anything.

      You connect the panels in series by taking the positive connector from the first panel and connecting it to the negative connector on the second panel. Then you connect the positive MC4 male connector to the female side of the red extension cable, and the male side of the negative to the negative MC4 connector on the second panel. You’ll end up with one extension cable connected to one panel and the second extension cable connected to the second panel.

      I would use Windynation 8 gauge wire. Then you just connect the extension cables to the MC4 to 8mm adapter.

      Reply
      • Hello Jesse,
        I have this exact MC4 to 8mm adapter, and I can assure you that it doesn’t work with the Explorer 1500. The input charging port on the 1500 requires a different cable/adapter evidenced by those supplied with the 1500. I have learned that Jackery offers an adapter with the new Solar Saga panel which enables to connect one panel directly to the 1500. Thanks!

        Reply
  25. Hi Jesse
    I have ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel and I want to buy the Jackery 1000
    Is this enough panel to charge this continuously ? I need at least 30ft extension and a 8mm adapter I am assuming. Would that panel have the correct polarity because I have heard that using certain extension cables with certain panels they are opposite and either won’t work or they won’t charge the 1000 properly?
    This is for a small 12×16 Bunkie to run whatever I need

    Reply
    • Yes, that panel works with the Jackery. It’ll charge the Jackery at about 70-80W, which means that it would take about 13-15 hours to fully recharge the Explorer. Whether it’s enough or not depends on how much electricity you’re going to use.

      When it comes to extension cables just make sure you connect the positive to positive and negative to negative. The Windynation cables are red (positive) and black (negative), so you need to connect the MC4 male connector from the panel to the MC4 female connector on the red cable. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
      • Just a quick update… had to order everything in and the last two items, Jackery 1000 and the panel will arrive this week, finally! All from Amazon CA
        I am thinking …… while I have been waiting for the items to arrive is how to set up a semipermanent Jackery with solar charge and add a Blue Sea Systems ST Blade ATO/ATC Fuse Block 50 Amp Circuit Breaker with Manual Reset Rocker Switch Panel – with Fuse DC 12V/24V Digital Voltage Display Dual USB Slot and a Heavy-Duty Bold 16AWG / 1.5 Square 15A Male Plug Cigarette Lighter Adapter Power Supply Cable connected to the fuse block 😀 It’s a weekender getaway place and a summer weeks away and the easy setup for just to set at base camp to start . What are your thoughts for the above addition to power low 12v led lights and I am looking into a dc cooler/fridge
        Cheers!

        Reply
        • Nice, hope it’ll all work out for you!

          Hmm, that’s a little bit beyond my knowledge. If you mean that you want to connect it all to the Jackery, you need to remember the 10A output limit of the 12V port on the Jackery.

          But I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be possible for some lights and a DC fridge. Sounds like a great setup!

          Reply
  26. I have a Jackery 1000, I found a panel on Amazon that is a 210w single panel. Is this too much, or will it work? I only have room to mount 1 panel not 2 separate 100w panels on my tear drop.

    Reply
  27. So I’m looking to get the Explorer 160, however, I do want powerful charging capabilities. Just to be clear, can I use either a Renogy 50W or a 100W and it will work perfectly fine with the 160? Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Hey Jesse
    Just looking at doing the same thing for the new, for me in Canada 🙂 Jackery Explorer 1500 not the 1000
    Does the MC4 to 8mm adapter still work with this one to do the solar panels from another company?
    Or is the 8mm inputs on the new 1500 not the same?
    C

    Reply
  29. I just bought the BougeRV 180w for my Jackery 1000, I purchased the igreely 10WAG anderson connector cable

    First of all will that work? I’m only seeing Renogy compatibility on this site, should I return the BougeRV and buy a renogy panel? Thanks….also If this cable does work, looks like it will be pretty short, how do I extend the cable? Thanks in advance!!

    Reply
  30. How do you run these cables from roof into van? I don’t see how you can drill hole and use a gland unless you cut the connectors off cables and re-attach? Am I missing something?

    Reply
  31. Hey Jesse
    Thanks so much for sharing this info
    If I have 4 HQST 100w panels that I wanted to connect to my Jackery 1500, would you recommend wiring them in parallel series?

    Thank you so much again

    Reply
    • Hi,
      Yes, it appears that the Explorer 1500 prefers a high voltage, so making two pairs of series and connecting each pair to one input each should be the best solution.

      The problem is that I don’t know which MC4 to 8mm adapter works, so I can’t tell you which adapter to get.

      Reply
  32. Hi…..I just purchased the Explorer 1000 and can’t wait to start using it. I already happen to have a GioSolar 480 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kit (4 panels at 120W ea and includes MC4 cables and y branch connectors). Can I hook all of those up in parallel and connect to my 1000?

    Reply
    • Hi Grant,

      While possible, I don’t recommend exceeding the amperage limit by that much. I would stick to two panels since that should be enough to reach the 126W max input. In the winter or during cloudy days, a third (or fourth) panel might be necessary to reach 126W.

      It’s likely that the charge controller can handle all four panels but Jackery does not recommend exceeding 200W. And while I personally have used up to 300W with my Explorer 1000, I doubt the warranty will cover a burned charge controller.

      Reply

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