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Which Solar Panels Are Compatible With The Jackery Explorer?

Charge Your Jackery Explorer Power Station With Compatible Solar Panels

The Jackery Explorer power station lineup currently consists of the Explorer 160, 240, 500, and 1000.

All of them can be charged in three ways, with the included wall or car charger, and solar panels.

Even though portable power stations like these are often called solar generators, they don’t include solar panels unless you purchase a kit.

Related Post: How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To The Jackery Explorer

So which solar panels are compatible with the Explorers? In this post, I will guide you through the solar, cable and adapter jungle and recommend compatible panels.

Jackery sells its own SolarSaga 60 and SolarSaga 100 that come with 8mm connectors, directly compatible with every Explorer model.

Let’s start by listing my solar panel recommendations and the limits of the Explorer power stations, then talk about what you need to know and think about, how to combine panels, and what extension cables you can use.

Solar Panel Recommendations

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
Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel Built-in Kickstand
ROCKPALS 80W Portable Solar Panel Charger, Parallel Foldable Solar Panel for ROCKPALS 250W/300W Portable Power Station, 8mm for Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 160/240
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition), Design
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
50W
80W
100W
100W
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
16-18V
22.4V
18V
21.5V
22.5V
21.6V
Connectors
DC, USB
MC4
DC, USB
MC4
MC4
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
4.9 lbs
3.6 lbs
5.3 lbs
14.3 lbs
4.2 lbs
12.8 lbs
Size
6 x 13.8 x 1.8 in (folded)
24 x 22 x 2 in
16.9 x 2.8 x 11.8 in
41.6 x 20.7 x 1.4 in
47.9 x 21 x 0.1 in
69.1 x 6.1 x 50.5 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
50W
Open Circuit Voltage
16-18V
Connectors
DC, USB
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
4.9 lbs
Size
6 x 13.8 x 1.8 in (folded)
Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel Built-in Kickstand
Watts
50W
Open Circuit Voltage
22.4V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
3.6 lbs
Size
24 x 22 x 2 in
ROCKPALS 80W Portable Solar Panel Charger, Parallel Foldable Solar Panel for ROCKPALS 250W/300W Portable Power Station, 8mm for Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 160/240
Watts
80W
Open Circuit Voltage
18V
Connectors
DC, USB
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
5.3 lbs
Size
16.9 x 2.8 x 11.8 in
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition), Design
Watts
100W
Open Circuit Voltage
21.5V
Connectors
MC4
Requires Additional Adapter
Foldable
Built-in Stand
Weight
14.3 lbs
Size
41.6 x 20.7 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 a lot more solar panels on the market that are compatible, but I can’t fit them all in one table.

Here are more compatible panels, clicking on any link below will take you to the product page on Amazon.com

Solar panels that require the adapter: 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: Paxcess 50W / Jackery SolarSaga 60 / Rockpals 60WRockpals 80W / Jackery SolarSaga 100 / Rockpals 100W

The Additional Adapter You Need

To connect the solar panels with a checkmark next to “Requires Additional Adapter” to the Jackery power stations, you need to use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

GRAYBULL Solar Panel Kits to 8mm Adapter Cable Compatible with MC4, DC 8mm Converter Connect for Explorer 160 240 500 1000 and GZ Portable Backup Power Station Solar Generator Heavy Duty Wire

Check Price at Amazon

Note that it has a positive female connector and a negative male connector. This makes it compatible with solar panels from companies like Renogy, HQST, Newpowa, Eco-Worthy, and WindyNation.

If you have the Jackery Explorer 1000 which has an Anderson Power Pole input next to the 8mm input, you can use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Unfortunately, the Explorer 1000 only accepts a charge through one port at the time, so you can’t use both the 8mm and the Anderson Power Pole at the same time.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Jackery Explorer Power Station Limitations And Max Watt Inputs

Since the specifications of the Explorers differ depending on the model, I set up this table so you can see what your specific power station can handle.

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 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
Watt-hours
167Wh
240Wh
518Wh
1002Wh
Inverter Rating
100W/150W peak
200W/400W peak
500W/1000W peak
1000W/2000W peak
Input Port
8mm
8mm
8mm
8mm, Anderson Power Pole
Max Solar Input
42W
42W
65W (Jackery advertises 100W)
175W (Jackery advertises 100W)
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
PWM
PWM
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
4 hours
6 hours
8 hours
6 hours
Weight
4 lbs
6.6 lbs
13.3 lbs
22 lbs
Size
7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 in
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 in
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 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
42W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
4 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
42W
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
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 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 (Jackery advertises 100W)
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
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
175W (Jackery advertises 100W)
Input Voltage Limits
12V~30V
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Charging Time At Max Solar Input
6 hours
Weight
22 lbs
Size
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in

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

What To Think About When Choosing Third-Party Solar Panels

Even though the power station might have a 42W max input, it’s safe to connect a 100W solar panel. What matters the most is the voltage of the panel.

A 100W panel outputs about 18V, and have a VOC rating around 22V. This is within the 12V~30V limit of the Explorer power stations.

Every panel I have linked to above is safe to use with every Jackery Explorer on the market right now.

How To Connect Two Panels

To connect two panels with MC4 connectors to one input, you need to use an MC4 Y branch. This will wire the panels together in parallel, which will double the amperage but not the volts. It’s safe to do with Jackery power stations.

Signstek Y Branch Parallel Solar Panel Cable Connectors Connector Adapter M/FF and F/MM (1)

Check Price at Amazon

After connecting the solar panels to the MC4 Y branch, you’ll connect the branch to the MC4 to 8mm adapter cable and plug the adapter into the Explorer.

There are portable foldable panels that support a parallel connection as well. Like the Rockpals 80W. This panel comes with a parallel cable and output, so if you buy two you can wire them together. They also include an 8mm adapter, so you don’t need to buy anything else to connect one or two to a Jackery Explorer.

ROCKPALS 80W Portable Solar Panel Charger, Parallel Foldable Solar Panel for ROCKPALS 250W/300W Portable Power Station, 8mm for Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 160/240

Check Price at Amazon

It’s not safe to connect two panels in series since that will double the voltage and most likely exceed the 30V maximum.

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 Graybull 20ft 8mm extension cable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take To Charge The Battery?

It depends on the battery capacity of the power station and the power output of the solar panel.

A 100W solar panel generates about 60-80W, but power stations have a max input wattage.

Here is how long it takes to charge each Jackery Explorer if you max its input:

Explorer 160 – 4 hours

Explorer 240 – 6 hours

Explorer 500 – 8 hours

Explorer 1000 – 6 hours

How Can I Improve The Charging Speed?

The easiest way to increase the charging speed (up to the maximum input) is to tilt the solar panel. Angle it so it faces the sun directly. Unless it’s noon on a summer day, the sun won’t be straight above you.

Tilting the panel to face the sun directly when the sun is low on the horizon, like in the morning and evening, will improve the wattage significantly. It will also help when it’s cloudy.

Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or corrections.

39 thoughts on “Which Solar Panels Are Compatible With The Jackery Explorer?”

  1. This info is amazing, but I’m new to all this so I still need help. I just ordered Jackery 500 (I want to use it to charge my wheelchair battery) and want to know if the DOKIO 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel with Controller Polycrystalline Module do the job? Do I need the mc4 adapter 8mm?
    I really appreciate your knowledge.
    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Thank you! This is very helpful.

    My question is that can I use two 100 W solar panels to charge one Jackery Explorer 500? How to connect these 2 panels, series or parallel? Which is the best way?

    Thank you again. I just ordered one Jackery Explorer 500.

    Reply
    • Hello Ming,

      You can use two 100W panels, but the Explorer 500 has a max solar input of around 72W, so it would be overkill to use two panels except for on cloudy days when it would be neccessary to reach the max 72W input.

      If it’s solar panels with MC4 connectors like the Renogy 100W, you’ll wire them in parallel with an MC4 Y branch, which will then be connected to the MC4 to 8mm adapter and plugged into the Jackery. The Explorer 500 has a 30V input limit, so wiring the two in series is not an option (18*2=36).

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Jesse

      Reply
      • Jesse,

        Thank you very much! This is very helpful.

        If I use Jackery Explorer 1000, will it be effective? Do you have any suggestion?

        Ming

        Reply
          • The adapter has an Anderson connector on one side and MC4 connectors on the other side. Solar panels like the Renogy 100W has MC4 connectors, or if you have two panels wired in parallel with an MC4 Y Branch the MC4 Y branch has two MC4 connectors that you will connect to the adapter. You don’t need to install any additional MC4 connectors on either side of the connection as long as your panels have MC4 connectors.

            Please let me know if I misunderstood your question.

            Jesse.

  3. Hi Jess,

    Great info on your site!

    I’m looking to use this panel Renogy panel that already has a charge controller with it (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NADR1CI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1) and the Jackery Explorer 1000 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083KBKJ8Q/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=AZF6YB7UVA7OU&psc=1).

    The panel is already wired to the charge controller. Is there an easy way to bypass the panel’s charge controller or do I have to unwire and wire to an adaptor to be used with the Jackery?

    Thanks!
    -P

    Reply
  4. Hi Jesse
    Great information, thank you. I have just bought a Jackery 1000 and am wondering about the optimum solar option. Given the 1000 can take 175W, I want to maximise that input and minimise bulk in my camper. Solar panels never seem to reach their maximum power rating, so I was wondering if over-compensating with a compact 200W or 300W folding panel from Dokio is a good option?

    Reply
  5. Jesse,

    Another question. I bought an Explorer 1000. It has an Anderson Power Pole input. Which one is positive (+)? Is the red input the positive (+)? In the Explorer 1000, there is no sign for + and -. Thank you again! Ming

    Reply
  6. Jesse, good morning – such helpful info. Quick question – there are sooo many solar options, I already have a Suaoki Solar Charger Portable Foldable Solar Panel TIR-C Technology for All USB Device (60W) – is this compatible with the Jackery Explorer 240?

    Reply
  7. So if I purchase the Jackery 1000, I can then add a cheaper more durable solar panel liek the Renogy 100W suitcase (without the controller) and attach it with the cable adapter? I’ve been debating buying this vs building my own more powerful unit. Mainly would be use for camping but also live in South Florida so a good set up would be nice for hurricanes. You cant beat the compact size and weight of the jackery it seems though. Do you know if you can replace the battery inside after a couple years?

    Reply
    • Hello Scott,

      Yes, you sure can! That is how I charge my Explorer 500, just make sure the adapter you get has a positive MC4 female connector like this one so it is compatible with the Renogy panel.

      Replacing the battery isn’t something that Jackery supports so I’m gonna have to say no, you can’t replace it, unfortunately.

      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Jesse

      Reply
      • Thanks for the help. I decided I’m going to sacrifice the portability to create my own. I think it will be a good project to learn. About solar power and how to utilize it in future i.e backup battery right now, but once I understand it then maybe I could power a tool shed entirely off solar. Should be a good learning experience

        Reply
        • Awesome! Yeah that’s definitely a fun way to go and a great way to learn. I suggest watching Will Prowse’s videos on YouTube to learn about diy solar power.

          Reply
    • Hello Erik,

      Correct! The Jackery 1000 has a solar charge controller built-in so it’s ready for solar panels. The only thing you might want in-between is an MC4 extension cable so you can put the panel further away since the panel and the adapter cables aren’t very long.

      Jesse

      Reply
  8. Hi Jesse, thanks for this great resource! I’m planning on using my Jackery 500 extensively during cloudy/rainy weather, and am therefore thinking of using a 175w renogy solar panel like the commenter above. Would that be too much for the 500 to handle? I’m not positive what the VOC would be.

    Reply
    • Hello Richard,

      If you’re talking about this Renogy 175W solar panel (I can’t see the comment above from here), then yes it is compatible with the Explorer 500. All you’d need is the MC4 to 8mm adapter.

      The thing is that the Explorer 500 can only handle up to 70W from a solar panel, so a lot of the power the 175W panel is generating will be wasted. It does have some benefits though, like being able to charge relatively fast even when it’s cloudy or when the sun is weaker, but it’s something to be aware of.

      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Jesse

      Reply
      • Yes, that’s the one I’m looking at!

        I’ve been using my explorer 500 for a while already, but with a different solar panel (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075YRKVMH). I find that it takes about 68 watts at most, but that really suffers if it’s a bit cloudy.

        The reason I was thinking of using the 175w panel is for the faster charging during cloudy weather. Do you think it would make much of a difference in that regard?

        Reply
        • Yeah, it would make a difference, but how much depends on how cloudy it is. If your 100W panel generates 10-20W on a cloudy day, a 175W panel will probably do about 25-30W. If it’s only a bit hazy so your 100W panel generates 40W, then you might see 68W with the 175W panel.

          It will also help in the morning/evening when the sun is weaker, which can be worth it on its own.

          Reply
  9. Thanks, Jesse!
    I was wondering if I can buy the same solar panel to use with the Jackery 500 and a Grey Wolf with a built in Furrion Solar Charge 10A? Thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Hello Summer,

      Sure, as long as you pick a panel that has a connector with an 8mm and 2P adapter available. You also need to have a quick-disconnect between the panel and the charge controller, since the Jackery already has a charge controller built-in, but you need one to charge the camper batteries.

      So what you need is a panel like this Acopower 100W which has a charge controller but also a way to bypass it to charge a power station like the Jackery.

      Then you need the Anderson to 2P Furrion adapter which will connect to the Anderson connector coming out of the charge controller, and an MC4 to 8mm adapter which will be connected to the MC4 connectors coming out of the panel and to the Jackery. There are both Anderson and MC4 extension cables available if you want to extend the connection to be able to put the panel further away.

      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Jesse

      Reply
  10. Hi there!
    Getting ready to purchase a couple of Jackery 240 units. Can you let me know why I wouldn’t just choose to use the solar panel they sell? Is it just a cost thing (i.e. I’d be paying a premium for their branding on a standard technology) or are their panels inferior? And just for home backup use (modem, phone charging, etc. when our power goes out), what would you recommend? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Laura,

      They’re not inferior when it comes to generating electricity, but they cost more than some of the alternatives. I want people to be aware that there are more affordable ways to recharge the Jackery batteries with solar, and that there are compatible solid panels that can be installed on vehicles, etc.

      For your needs, the SolarSaga panels will perform great and they’re probably the better option due to their lightweight and foldable design. They won’t stay up in heavy winds, like the Renogy 100W solar panel with kickstand will, but if it’s about to get windy you can just lay the Jackery panels flat on the ground. Also, they’re not waterproof so watch out for rain! Other than that, they’re excellent panels in my eyes.

      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Jesse

      Reply
  11. Hello! Thanks for the super informative piece on solar panels. I’m going to get the Jackery 500, and was looking at solar panels like these 2x100W panels: (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018BP22LA?pf_rd_r=S12P9AYGEMF2GHN255F1&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee) would the two panels recharging the jackery laid flat on a roof rack be better than a same brand 150W tiltable panel: (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MZP5W8J?pf_rd_r=S12P9AYGEMF2GHN255F1&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee&th=1) I could probably take off and turn towards the sun? I don’t really know the loss in efficiency and if you did. Thanks! – Colby

    Reply
    • Hello Colby,
      It’s hard to say, but I’d go the way that is going to be the easiest to deal with, which is probably the 200W on the roof. The Explorer 500 can’t use all of the electricity of a single 100W panel though since it limits the input to around 68W, but having two 100W panels would be better than one when it’s cloudy. Now, if you want to charge the battery in the morning and evening and not just between 10am-4pm, a tiltable or a portable panel is going to be the better option. If you need to be able to work all day on a laptop, it’ll take more work to keep the battery charged (tilting/moving panels), so it all depends on your power needs.

      Either way, I recommend getting a monocrystalline panel and not a polycrystalline, like this 100W panel from HQST.

      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Jesse

      Reply
  12. Thank you for a great article! I’m just starting van life, and am thinking about the Jackery 500. It seems to power the basics (laptop, phone, light, possible cooler chest, plus a blender, lol.) What solar panel would be best for those needs that would be a significant price reduction from what Jackery offers? PS. I stay mostly in the northeast, where sun is mild in comparison. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Hello CeeGee,

      If you want to mount a panel on top of your van I would go with two Renogy 100W panels wired in parallel. If you want a portable and lightweight one I would go with the foldable Twelseavan 120W panel.

      The charge controller in the Explorer 500 can only use around 65W of the wattage the solar panels generate, so a single 100W panel like the Renogy one would be alright too, but you’re not going to see it generate 65W in the morning/evening. The reason I would go with two instead of a single 100W panel is to increase the input watts when the sun is weaker. It will take around 8 hours of good sunshine to fully recharge the Explorer 500.

      Jesse

      Reply
  13. Hello Jesse,

    Thanks for all the great information. I recently purchased a 100W 12 Volts Solar starter kit from Renogy. I attempted to connect it to the Explorer 500 using the MC4 to 8mm adapter you recommended without using the supplied controller. The Explorer 500 display showed it was charging but the input watts were 0. I moved the panel to a different location and tried unplugging it from the 8mm input. Still no input watts.

    Could there be a firmware issue with my Explorer 500? I would appreciate any guidance you can offer. Thanks.

    Reply
      • The Jackery was fully charged so I let it run down a bit. Same result. It was early morning but I would have expected some sort of reading on the input watts. Do you agree?

        Thanks.

        Ty

        Reply
        • It depends on how early in the morning it was. The PWM charge controller in the Explorer 500 is pretty weak and I usually don’t see any input watts until 9-10 am depending on location and time of the year. I would drain the battery a bit and try again around noon. If you don’t see 50-60W at that point there is definitely something else going on.

          Jesse

          Reply

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