How to Charge the Anker Portable Power Stations with Solar Panels
Anker is a company that makes a lot of portable battery banks, solar panel chargers, and more.
Its products are made well and if you’re looking at one of the many Anker power station options there are a few things to know about solar panel compatibility.
Most Popular Anker Power Station: Anker PowerHouse 200 (click to view on Amazon)
In this post, I’ll go over the current models of Anker portable power stations that can be charged with solar power.
I’ll also give my recommendations for the best compatible solar panels for the different kinds of solar inputs Anker uses.
Solar Compatible Anker Power Stations
Best Solar Panels For Anker PowerHouse 200
All but one of the Anker solar panels use an 8 mm DC input to charge with solar panels.
The Anker PowerHouse 200 is the smallest of the portable power stations and it uses a smaller input that’s 5.5 x 2.1mm.
The solar input rating is only 39 watts which means solar panels between 50 and 60 watts are going to be perfect for rechareging this little solar generator.
The max volage is a little low on this specific model. It maxes out at 22 volts.
Some small solar panels have a high voltage, you don’t want to use anything that outputs more than 22 volts.
Below are some of the best small portable solar panels that come with a 5.5 x 2.1 connector.
Any of these will be able to charge the Anker PowerHouse 200 right out of the box.
Best Solar Panels For All Other Anker Power Stations
All the other portable power stations Anker makes use an 8mm (7.9×0.1) input.
Both of the solar panels that are compatible with the small Anker PowerHouse 200 come with 8mm adapters as well.
So you could use one of those for any of the other power stations.
The medium sized power stations that are around 250-400 watts can draw up to 65 watts of power from a solar panel.
For those I recommend the panels that are 100 watts, anything larger will just waste energy.
The reason I don’t recommend a 60 watt panel is that no solar panel is 100% efficient.
There are always some watts lost, so a 100 watt solar panel will usually output 90 watts during the strongest sunlight hours.
On cloudy days or winter, it may only make around 60 watts of power.
For the larger two Anker portable power stations that are around 500-800 watts, the solar input is rated for 120 watts.
That means you will want a solar panel that’s at least 120 watts but something around 160-200 will be even better.
Below are some of the best 100 to 150 watt solar panels that come with an 8 mm adapter so they can connect to the Anker power stations right out of the box.
How to Connect Solar Panels with MC4 Connectors
In order to connect the Anker portable power stations to MC4 connectors, you will need to use adapters.
Note that there are lots of different MC4 adapters for different sizes of solar inputs.
One thing you need to check is that the positive and negative are wired in a compatible way for your solar panel.
Most solar panels have a MC4 male positive, which means you will need to find an adapter with a female positive so it will work correctly.
Below are adapters that have a positive female MC4 connector to work with most standard solar panels.
For the smaller Anker Powerhouse 200 that uses a 5.5×2.1 mm DC input for solar, you will need this MC4 to 5.5x2.1 mm adapter (click to view on Amazon).
All of the other Anker portable power stations use an 8 mm solar input, you will need this MC4 to 8mm (click to view on Amazon).
More on Connecting Anker Power Stations to Solar Panels
If you have a solar panel with a charge controller you will need to bypass it when charging the Anker power stations.
The reason for this is that a power station already has a solar charge controller built into it. That means it’s not compatible with other solar charge controllers.
Many solar panels with solar charge controllers have the ability to bypass it, or you can rewire it yourself to make it work.
Any solar panel you use needs to be made for charging 12 volt batteries.
Also, make sure you don’t go over on the voltage rating for each power station.
If you use solar panels that are less than 100 watts over the solar input rating of the power station you’re normally ok with the voltage, but using huge solar panels, or panels connected in series with small power stations can cause issues.
The smallest Anker Powerhouse 200 has a voltage input rating of 5-22 volts. The other Anker power stations have a voltage input rating of 11-28 volts.
Anker Power Station FAQ
Do the Anker portable power stations come with solar panels?
No, none of the solar generator/power stations by Anker come with solar panels.
Anker does make a few solar panels that are meant for charging small electronics but none of them are included with the power stations.
How fast will a solar panel charge Anker power stations?
The max solar input rating is different on the Anker power stations.
So depending on the model you buy the amount of time it takes for a solar panel to charge will differ.
The Anker PowerHouse 200 has a max solar input of 39 watts. That means an 60-80 watt solar panel could charge it in 6-7 hours.
The Anker Powerhouse 521 and Powerhouse II have a max solar input rating of 65 watts.
That means an 80-100 watt solar panel could charge the smaller 521 with 256Wh in 5-6 hours and the larger PowerHouse II with 388Wh in 7-8 hours.
The Anker Powerhouse 512Wh and 778Wh both have a solar input rating of 120 watts.
That means an 140-200 watt solar panel could charge the 512Wh version in 5-6 hours and the 788Wh version in 7-8 hours.
Can I use a Goal Zero or Jackery solar panel with Anker portable generators
Theoretically yes, since all of the Anker generators except the smallest 200 have an 8mm input.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or something to add.