Charge Your Aimtom Solar Generator/Power Station With Solar Panels
Aimtom is a popular portable solar generator brand with batteries in different sizes in terms of battery capacity. These solar generators do not include solar panels with the purchase, but as the name implies, they’re capable of recharging with a solar panel.
In this post, I am going to help you figure out what solar panels are compatible with the Aimtom solar generators, and how you can connect any third-party panel. Popular brands like Renogy, HQST, Newpowa, and Rockpals are some that are compatible with the right adapters.
Before we look at solar panels, let’s list each of the Aimtom solar generators I am looking at to see what input ratings and ports they have.
Aimtom Solar Generators – Input Ratings And Max Wattages
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.
Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Aimtom Solar Generators
While there are some solar panels that are compatible with the Aimtom solar generators out of the box, most larger panels come with MC4 connectors and require an adapter. Note that the largest power station Aimtom makes, the SPS-500/PowerPal Raptor includes the MC4 adapter so you can connect third-party panels to it, but the three smaller batteries require the MC4 to DC adapter below.
The adapter above lets you connect solar panels with a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector coming out of it. Most panels have stickers or some kind of marking that tells you which is which.
Each of the panels down below is compatible, and the ones with MC4 connectors can only be connected one way, which is the right way.
Aimtom’s adapter is 6.6 feet long, two meters, so your solar panel can be sitting outside your vehicle or tent while the battery is charging. If you’re putting the solar generator outside next to the panel, put it behind the panel so the sun isn’t hitting the solar generator to prevent overheating.
Solar Panels Compatible With The Aimtom Solar Generators
Let’s take a look at a couple of solar panels that are compatible with the Aimtom solar generators. I’ll list which ones require the Aimtom adapter above and which ones are compatible straight out of the box without any additional adapters.
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.
Which Solar Panel Is Best For My Aimtom Battery?
It depends on what you’re looking for. It comes down to portability versus charging speed. With more portability you’ll get a slower charging speed, so you have to make a decision which one is more important.
All panels in the table except for the Renogy 100 Watt are easy to pack into a vehicle. Since the Renogy 100W is a so-called solid panel (not flexible), it’s more cumbersome to deal with. It is the panel that will be the most efficient out of them all though.
If portability is your main concern, the Kingsolar 40W, Aimtom SolarPal 60, and the Aimtom SolarPal 100 are three great choices. They’re portable, foldable, and lightweight. The kickstand on the Aimtom panel makes it a very versatile choice.
For home emergencies, I recommend the Renogy 100W Portable which is a good mix of portability and charging efficiency.
For RV or tent camping, I recommend the Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse. You can connect two of them together with a Signstek Y Branch MC4 and double the charging speed (if you have the Aimtom 280Wh or 540Wh).
With the Signstek adapter, you take each positive male MC4 connector from both panels and connect them to one of the adapters. Then you take the negative female MC4 connector from both panels and connect them together to the second adapter. Lastly, the Signstek adapters connect to the Aimtom adapter we looked at earlier. The positive and negative wires don’t connect to each other. This is called a parallel connection, which doubles the amps and not the voltage.
One solar panel I didn’t list above but would be compatible with the largest Aimtom 540Wh is the Renogy 160W. It can be plugged into the solar generator with the Aimtom MC4 To DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm adapter.
What To Think About When Choosing A Solar Panel
The most important thing to know when choosing a panel for the portable Aimtom solar generators is the maximum voltage input. It must be above 12V, and below 24V VOC.
What else you should think about is how you plan on using the panel. Like I mentioned above, it comes down to portability or charging efficiency.
Related Post: Can I Plug My RV Into A Solar Generator?
If you’re going to go camping and leave the panel outside all day so you can use the generated power in the evening, the charging efficiency might not matter much to you, and choosing a solar panel that is easier to pack is probably what you would prefer.
Consider how you’re going to use the solar panel now, and you won’t have to regret your choice later on.
How Long Will It Take To Recharge The Battery?
It depends on which solar generator and solar panel you’re pairing. Here are the sizes of the portable Aimtom products that I listed in the first table and how long they would take with a 50W or 100W panel (not all of them support 100W).Aimtom PowerPal X – 155Wh (25W max) – 6 hours with 50W panel Aimtom PowerPal Pro – 230Wh (24W max) – 9.5 hours with 50W panel Aimtom Powerpal Rocker – 280Wh (72W max) – 4 hours with 100W panel, 8 hours with 50W panel Aimtom PowerPal Raptor – 540Wh (96W max) – 6 hours with 160W panel, 8 hours with 100W panel, 16 hours with 50W panel
How To Improve Charging Efficiency When Using A Solar Panel
The easiest way to improve the charging efficiency with any solar panel is to angle it towards the sun. During the winter months, or in the morning and evening in the summer when the sun is low on the horizon, you’ll gain a lot by angling the panel directly towards the sun.
Another thing you should with most panels is to make sure it’s not shaded even a little bit. It can be tricky with the foldable solar panels that don’t have a kickstand built-in, but it’s worth the hassle.
Which Aimtom Solar Generator Is The Best?
The Aimtom PowerPal Raptor would be the best for my uses, but which one is the best for you depends on what you need it for. I prefer charging my solar generator fast with a 100W solar panel, but I travel in a travel trailer so while I have limited space I don’t need something portable enough to bring on a small hike.
If you only need to charge your phone, tablet, and a speaker in the evening, the very portable Aimtom PowerPal X will be more than good enough.
I also like the Aimtom PowerPal Pro for the USB C port capable of outputting 60W. That would be a great match with the latest USB C laptops and the Nintendo Switch. A great CPAP companion that can be charged up during the day and used in the evening.
For fulltime travelers that need to charge all their electronics and watch TV, use a CPAP, and other similar devices, the Aimtom PowerPal Raptor paired with one of the 100W panels above would be the ultimate setup. You could even plug the 540Wh model into a smaller camper with a Camco 15A to 30A, which would allow you to use the outlets in your camper (as long as you keep it below 500W total). Since it can be used while it’s charging, it could help charge up your 12V trailer batteries during the day.
How Long Will My Portable Solar Generator Last?
An easy way to calculate how long your specific device will last is by dividing the device’s running watts with the battery capacity in watt-hours. I listed the battery capacity of each power station in the question above about charging times.
If you have no idea how many watts your devices use, and it doesn’t tell you on the device, you can use a P3 Kill-A-Watt that will tell you exactly how many watts the device plugged into it is using.
We also need to consider how efficient the built-in inverter is at converting the 12V DC battery power to 120V AC power that powers the outlets on the power station. Aimtom advertises an 88% inverter efficiency.
For example, if we would be powering a 60W laptop with the 155Wh model, the calculation would be 155Wh/60W*0.88=2.27 hours.
The same calculation with the largest 540Wh model would be 540Wh/60W*0.88=7.92 hours.
Please leave a comment down below with any questions you might have.