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How To Connect Any Solar Panel To Jackery Explorer Pro/Plus

How To Connect Solar Panels To The New Jackery Explorer Pro And Plus Power Stations

I have written several articles about Jackery and how you can connect third party solar panels to its power stations. Click here for a list of them all.

In this article I am going to focus on the newer models, the Pro and Plus. They’re available in several sizes, from the smallest 100 Plus with 99Wh to 3000 Pro with 3024Wh.

input ports on the back of explorer 2000 pro
What solar panels can you connect to these inputs?

First I am going to list all these portable batteries and their specifications, so we can get a quick overview of what they’re capable of. Then I’ll talk about the most important things you need to know, before I share some solar panel recommendations.

As always, please leave a comment if something is unclear or you have a question. The more information you can share, the better and easier it will be for me to help.

Jackery Explorer Pro & Plus Power Stations – Specifications

The power stations below are the Pro and Plus models sold in the US currently (feb 2024). If you have a different version and believe the information in this article doesn’t apply to yours, let me know by leaving a comment.

Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Portable Power Station, 288Wh Backup LiFePO4...
Jackery Explorer 1000 Plus Portable Power Station,1264Wh Solar...
Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro Portable Power Station, Solar Generator with...
Jackery Explorer 2000 PRO Portable Power Station, 2160Wh Capacity with...
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 2000 Plus, Solar Generator...
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 3000 Pro, Solar Generator with...
Battery Capacity
288Wh
1264Wh
1512Wh
2160Wh
2042Wh
3024Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
300W (600W)
2000W (4000W)
1800W (3600W)
2200W (4400W)
3000W (6000W)
3000W (6000W)
Input Port
USB C (includes DC7909 to USB C adapter)
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
100W
800W
1400W
1400W
1400W
1400W
Input Voltage Limits
12-27V
12-60V
17.5-60V
17.5-60V
17.5-60V
17.5-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
MPPT
Cycle Life
3000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
4000% cycles to 70+ capacity
1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
4000 cycles to 70%+ capacity
2000 cycles to 70%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
DC7909 to USB C
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
LiFePO4
LiFePO4
Lithium-ion
Lithium-ion
LiFePO4
NMC
Weight
8.3 lbs (3.8 kg)
32 lbs (14.5 kg)
37.4 lbs (17 kg)
43 lbs (19.5 kg)
61.5 lbs (27.9 kg)
64 lbs (29 kg)
Size
6.6×6.1×9.1 in
11.2×10.2×14 in
15.1×10.6×12.1 in
15.1×10.5×12.1 in
14.7×18.6×14.1 in
18.6×14.1×14.7 in

Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Portable Power Station, 288Wh Backup LiFePO4...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
288Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
300W (600W)
Input Port
USB C (includes DC7909 to USB C adapter)
Max Solar Input
100W
Input Voltage Limits
12-27V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
3000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
DC7909 to USB C
Battery Cell Type
LiFePO4
Weight
8.3 lbs (3.8 kg)
Size
6.6×6.1×9.1 in
Jackery Explorer 1000 Plus Portable Power Station,1264Wh Solar...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
1264Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
2000W (4000W)
Input Port
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
800W
Input Voltage Limits
12-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
4000% cycles to 70+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
LiFePO4
Weight
32 lbs (14.5 kg)
Size
11.2×10.2×14 in
Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro Portable Power Station, Solar Generator with...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
1512Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
1800W (3600W)
Input Port
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
1400W
Input Voltage Limits
17.5-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
Lithium-ion
Weight
37.4 lbs (17 kg)
Size
15.1×10.6×12.1 in
Jackery Explorer 2000 PRO Portable Power Station, 2160Wh Capacity with...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
2160Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
2200W (4400W)
Input Port
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
1400W
Input Voltage Limits
17.5-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
Lithium-ion
Weight
43 lbs (19.5 kg)
Size
15.1×10.5×12.1 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 2000 Plus, Solar Generator...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
2042Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
3000W (6000W)
Input Port
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
1400W
Input Voltage Limits
17.5-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
4000 cycles to 70%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
LiFePO4
Weight
61.5 lbs (27.9 kg)
Size
14.7×18.6×14.1 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 3000 Pro, Solar Generator with...
Product Link
Battery Capacity
3024Wh
Output Power (Rated/Surge)
3000W (6000W)
Input Port
2 x 8mm (DC8020)
Max Solar Input
1400W
Input Voltage Limits
17.5-60V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Cycle Life
2000 cycles to 70%+ capacity
Adapter(s) included
2 x DC7909 to DC8020
Battery Cell Type
NMC
Weight
64 lbs (29 kg)
Size
18.6×14.1×14.7 in

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Explorer 100 Plus

I could only put six batteries on the table above, so I skipped the 100 Plus and 700 Plus. If you have the 100 Plus, here is a quick summary of things you need to know:

All of these also apply to the Explorer 300 Plus.

  • It charges through USB C
  • Maxes out at 100W input
  • It supports solar panels with a working voltage between 18-27V
  • It includes a DC8020 to USB C adapter, for use with SolarSaga panels
  • If a third party solar panel has a USB C PD port, it can charge this power station

The 700 Plus is more like the larger models, with two DC8020 input ports, 12-60V input rating range, up to 400W input. It also includes two DC7909 to DC8020 adapters.

a DC7909 and a dc8020 connector
The small difference between a DC7909 (left) and a DC8020 (right) connector.

The Do’s & Don’ts – Connecting Solar Panels To An Explorer Pro/Plus Power Station

Before I list solar panel recommendations, here is a summary of the things you need to know. Make sure you read through both the do’s and don’ts.

If anything is unclear, please leave a comment and I’ll try to explain it better.

Do

  • Use the DC7909 to DC8020 adapters if you have already purchased a non-Jackery panel that came with an 8mm connector.
  • Use the SolarEnz MC4 to DC adapter (click to view on Amazon) + the DC7909 to DC8020 included with the Explorer (or the SolarEnz one) to connect compatible third party panels that use MC4 connectors. Like panels by Renogy, Eco-Worthy, 9BB, Newpowa, and AcoPower.
  • Bypass the solar charge controller on your solar panel, if you have already bought one with a charge controller.
  • Make sure the total working voltage (VMP) of your panel(s) is within the support input voltage range before you connect anything to the input port.
  • Also make sure every adapter and connector you use can handle the total working voltage and amperages if you use several panels or a single large panel.
  • Use an DC8020 Y branch if you want to connect two SolarSaga 100/200 together in series. Casimy makes an adapter for this (click to view on Amazon)
  • Check the polarity (positive to positive, negative to negative) of your panels and adapters to make sure it’s correct before connecting anything to the Jackery power station. A multimeter like this one by AstroAI (click to view on Amazon) is an easy-to-use helpful tool for this.
  • Use the Jackery Series Connector adapter (click to view on Amazon) if you want to connect three SolarSaga 100/200. Use two adapters to connect six panels.
two DC adapters
The two DC7909 to DC8020 included with every Explorer Pro & Plus, 700 and larger.

Don’t

  • Don’t buy a solar panel with a charge controller, since the Jackery power stations have these built-in already. You can’t use two charge controllers.
  • Connect a DC7909 connector to the DC8020 input on the Jackery, it won’t work. If you have purchased a third party panel that came with an 8mm connector, you must use the adapter included by Jackery.
  • Mix solar panels with different voltages and amperage ratings. It’s OK if you’re only using one input port, but not recommended.
  • Charge an Explorer Pro or Plus with solar and the car charger at the same time.
  • Connect different sized panels to the Jackery Explorers that have two 8mm inputs. If both inputs are used, they must receive the same working voltage. See the illustration from one of the manuals below.
  • Don’t exceed the upper voltage limit. This is most likely to happen when wiring too many panels in series, or using 24V panels.
Screenshot from Jackery Explorer manual
Screenshot from the manuals of Explorer Pro/Plus. Explains what you shouldn’t do.

The Jackery SolarSaga Panels

Most of you might be here because you want to connect third party panels, but here is a list of the different SolarSaga panels, what they include, and how you can use them to charge the Explorer Pro and Plus models.

  • SolarSaga 80 – Uses a DC8020 connector. Includes a 6 feet extension cable with a DC8020 to DC7909 on the end of it. Compatible with both old and new Explorer power stations. You can combine several of these, but remember that the voltage must match if you use both inputs on the battery. Has a parallel port for easy connection to a second panel.
  • SolarSaga 100 & SolarSaga 100X – These use the DC7909 connector. Compatible with both old and new models (with the DC7909 to DC8020 adapter). You can combine several of these, but remember that the voltage must match if you use both inputs on the battery.
  • SolarSaga 200 – Uses the DC7909 connector but comes with a cable that has a DC7909 to DC8020 adapter on the end of it. The cable is detachable from the panel.
Connection port on SolarSaga 200
The SolarSaga 200W has a detachable cable.

Third Party Solar Panel Recommendations

Since there are so many different type of panels, I am going to divide them into two categories: portable and rigid panels.

Portable panels

Usually foldable and great for people on the go that need to be able to easily and quickly put away the panels. These are sometimes but not always water-resistant because of the materials they’re made with.

A big pro with portable panels is that they’re often lighter than rigid panels.

Jenni unfolding a portable foldable solar panel
Portable foldable panels are not only easy to store, but also to set up.

A downside with them being light is that they can blow over, I have had it happen multiple times.

Below are some of my recommendations, all of these are compatible voltage- and amperage-wise with the Jackery Explorer power stations. They do require the use of the DC7909 to DC8020 adapter, unless stated otherwise.

The links below lead to the product page on Amazon.

  • Enofolo 30W Foldable Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909. Also has a USB port, to charge devices directly. Available in different sizes.
  • Lumopal 60W Folding Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909. Also has two USB A ports, one USB C, to charge devices directly.
  • Itehil 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909. Also has two USB A ports, to charge devices directly. Available in different sizes.
  • Dokio 110W Foldable Solar Panel Kit – Includes a solar charge controller that can be bypassed. Use the charge controller if you want to charge a 12V battery like in an RV, but don’t use it with power stations like the Jackery Explorer. Just connect the panel directly to the Jackery with the included 8mm adapter. Available in different sizes.
  • Allpowers SP029 140W Portable Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909. Also has two USB A ports, one USB C, to charge devices directly. Has a parallel port, so you can combine two of the same panels together for a faster charge.
  • Sunsul 160W Foldable Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909. Available in different sizes.
  • Allpowers SP033 200W Portable Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC7909.
  • Elecaenta 300W Portable Solar Panel – Includes several connectors, one being the DC8020 (according to the description). Available in different sizes.

Note: Sometimes a DC7909 connector is too short or long for the DC8020 connector. If any of the panels above are not compatible with the Jackery DC8020 adapter, please let me know. It will be very helpful to make sure this article has accurate information.

DC connectors included with the Xtar solar panel
Most portable foldable solar panels come with a lot of different DC connectors.

Rigid panels

Great for more permanent installations, like on top of a cabin or RV roof. Heavier, but more durable in my experience. Often IP67 waterproof rating which means they can be left out in the rain.

A downside with them not being foldable is that they take up a lot of space when stored, which is why portable panels are what I prefer to travel with. I do have rigid panels on top of my camper though.

three solar panels on rv roof
Three rigid 100W panels mounted on the roof of my RV.

Below are some of my recommendations, all of these are compatible voltage- and amperage-wise with the Jackery Explorer power stations. Some are thin, flexible panels that are often used in permanent installations where you don’t want to add too much weight. They’re also great for stealthy setups.

All of them use MC4 connectors, which means you must also purchase the Solarenz MC4 to DC adapter (click to view on Amazon), unless stated otherwise. According to the description, it comes with a DC7909 to DC8020 adapter as well.

  • SunPower 50W Flexible – A lightweight and waterproof little panel.
  • Newpowa 75W – An efficient rigid 75W panel.
  • Lensunsolar 80W Flexible – This company makes panels in a lot of different sizes. This 80W panel is a lightweight and waterproof option.
  • Newpowa 100W Flexible – A popular 100W flexible panel, lightweight and waterproof.
  • Renogy 100W – Possibly the most popular 100W panel there is. I have four of these on top of my camper. Reliable, waterproof, and easy to mount.
  • Newpowa 9BB 120W 24V – A 24V panel that is available in different sizes. Don’t connect two of these in series, but parallel is fine. Great choice if you want two panels connected in parallel. You could even have four of them, two pairs of two, and use both input ports. Not compatible with the 100 or 300 Plus.
  • Renogy 175W Flexible – A high-quality flexible 175W panel, great for stealthy setups that require a lot of power.
  • Renogy 200W – A large rigid 200W panel by Renogy. Great if you’re looking to maximize the input. Three of these in series connected to both input ports would be 1200W total.
  • Eco-Baeerss 300W – A massive panel from a relatively new brand. It’s a 12V panel, so you should be able to connect up to three in series.

Combining Panels

Combining two or more panels is a great way to increase the charging speed.

You should only combine two of the same panels. It’s possible to combine different sized panels for one of the input ports, but it’s not recommended because it will not be efficient.

There are two main ways to combine two or more panels, with a parallel and a series connection.

Parallel

A parallel connection adds the amperages together but keeps the voltage the same, a series connection does the opposite, meaning it adds the voltages together but keeps the amperage the same.

Because of the 60V, 12A max input rating per port on most if not all Pro and Plus power stations, you should combine parallel and series if you have four panels or more.

Combining two panels in parallel is done with a MC4 Y branch, like this one by Linkpal (click to view on Amazon). It’s for combining two panels that use MC4 connectors.

You can find larger Y branch adapters for combining three or four panels as well, but the 12A max input will be reached by two 100W panels, and it’s not worth exceeding that unless your parents aren’t close to the 12A limit.

There are adapters that are made for combining 8mm connectors, like this one by Paekq (click to view on Amazon), but I haven’t used it myself so I don’t know how reliable they are. If you have two panels that are the same I would connect them separately to the two input ports instead. Depending on your setup, you might want to try the 8mm splitter though.

Series

A series connection does usually not require any extra adapters, since you just need to grab the positive connector from one panel and connect it to the negative connector on the second panel.

It’s easy and straightforward to do with solar panels that use MC4 connectors. You just need to remember that doing this is going to increase the total working voltage, and you need to stay within the 17-60V range.

One 100W 12V panel will have a working voltage of around 18-20V, so you shouldn’t connect more than three of those in series.

Check the specifications of your specific panel and combine the working voltage of all of them to make sure it ends up being below 60V.

Remember that if both inputs are used, the total working voltage has to be the same on both sides.

Extension Cables

If your panels have MC4 connectors, I recommend the Geosiry MC4 extension cables (click to view on Amazon). They come in different lengths and sizes. I recommend 10 AWG because it can handle more amps than 12 AWG. This one can handle at least 30A.

Geosiry Twin Wire Solar Panel Extension Cable - 20Ft 10AWG(6mm²)...

Check Price at Amazon

It’s a bit trickier to find an 8mm extension cable that can handle a high amperage. If your panel isn’t larger than 200W, I recommend this iGreely 8mm extension cable (click to view on Amazon).

It comes in different lengths and includes an adapter to make it compatible with Jackery power stations. I think you still need to use the DC7909 to DC8020 Jackery provides.

A 14 AWG cable can handle up to 15A, which is why it shouldn’t be used for setups larger than 200W. According to Greeley, the cable can handle up to 300V so you can technically connect two 200W panels in series and use the iGreely extension cable. The amperage will then be below 15A, while the voltage doubles.

How Do I Reach 1400W Solar Input?

To get to the advertised 1400W max solar input, you must have 12A at 60V going into both input ports, since 24*60=1440.

With two pairs of three 200W panels, you should get to 1200W input, as seen in the illustration below from the Explorer Pro and Plus manuals.

illustration of six panels connected to an explorer 2000 plus

What can I do to improve the charging speed further?

If you have bought as many solar panels as you have space for, it’s going to be all about giving them the best possible conditions.

This means making sure that there is not even a little bit of shade on them and that they’re clean.

dirty solar panels
If your solar panels look like this, it’s time to clean them.

But the biggest difference you can make is to make sure they’re angled directly towards the sun. That can increase their output significantly. This is especially important when the sun is low on the horizon, like during winter months or in the morning and the evening.

What are some useful accessories for connecting panels to power stations?

I think a multimeter like this one by AstroAI (click to view on Amazon) is really helpful. It makes it easy to check the voltage and amperage of connections. Great for checking polarity. It also helps you understand how solar panels react to sunshine and shade. Last but not least it’s a great way to troubleshoot connections.

I also use a high precision watt meter, like this one by Yunsailing (click to view on Amazon). It comes with bare wires, so I have connected MC4 connectors to mine. Here is an MC4 kit by BougeRV if you would like to do the same. Installing MC4 connectors on wire is relatively easy, and there are some great YouTube videos on how it’s done.

I connect it between the solar panel and the power station, and it shows both the current voltage, amperage, and watts. Just like the multimeter, it’s a great way to see what your panels are doing and if there is a problem.

Does connecting third party panels void the warranty for my power station?

That’s something I can’t answer, and I recommend reaching out to Jackery to get an answer to that.

Please leave a comment if you have questions.

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?

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