Which Solar Panels Are The Best For Rockpals Power Station/Solar Generators?
Rockpals is a popular brand that makes not only power stations but solar panels as well. They specialize in very portable products and their solar panels are popular because they can fold.
But you can actually use other solar panels with a Rockpals solar generator as well, and that’s what I am going to help you with today. I’ll also share my top recommendations when it comes to solar panels that you can use with a Rockpals battery.
The reason you might consider a third-party panel from a brand like Renogy, HQST, Newpowa, or Richsolar is that they make solid panels that are more durable and easier to mount on vehicles like an RV, van, or car.
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I have two 100W Renogy panels mounted on top of my travel trailer that I pair with my power station, and I wouldn’t be able to do this if I had foldable panels like the Rockpals ones.
First, let’s take a look at what Rockpals power stations I am looking at and what their ratings and ports are.
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.
How To Connect Any Solar Panel To A Rockpals Solar Generator
As we can see in the table above, the DC inputs are different on each power station.
The adapter you need if you have the Rockpals 250W is the Aimtom MC4 to DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm. This is compatible with solar panels that come with MC4 connectors where the male MC4 connection is positive, and the negative female. All the solar panels I will recommend down below are made this way and will be compatible with the Rockpals solar generators.
Note that you’re not going to need this adapter with all of the solar panel recommendations down below.
If you have the Rockpals 300W or plan on purchasing it, you don’t need an adapter because it comes with an MC4 to DC in the box. That adapter has a positive MC4 female connector and a negative MC4 male connector, which makes it compatible with the panels below.
It’s the same story with the Rockpals 500W, it comes with an MC4 to DC adapter to use with solar panels.
Best Solar Panels For Rockpals Batteries
Here are the best solar panels to use with a Rockpals power station.Rockpals 60W Foldable Solar Panel – This is Rockpals own foldable portable solar panel. They have two models, a 60W, and a 100W. These are portable, durable, efficient monocrystalline solar panels. Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel – This is the 100W option of the panel above. Rockpals 80W Portable Solar Panel With Kickstand – One of the best portable choices when it comes to solar panels with a kickstand is Rockpals 80W model. This panel can be used with all of Rockpals solar generators and will efficiently recharge the battery during the sunny hours of the day. It has efficient monocrystalline panels, and the kickstands let you take full advantage of the sun since you can tilt it during the morning and the evening, or day in the wintertime, and angle it directly towards the sun. It beats Renogy’s suitcase since it’s so much more lightweight and travel-friendly. Renogy 100W Solar Panel – If you want to mount a solar panel on top of your RV, van, car, or cabin roof, this is the kind of panel you want. I have two of these mounted on top of my travel trailer roof, and they’re incredible. Compatible with all three Rockpals solar generators, but requires the purchase of the adapter to use with the 250W. Renogy 100W Suitcase without solar charge controller – I own two of these as well that I move around as needed during the day. The kickstand makes it very easy to angle the solar panel towards the sun to improve the charging efficiency, and they’re waterproof so you can leave it out even though the weather is bad. Compatible with the 300W/500W out of the box but the 250Wh requires the adapter. Renogy 50W Solar Panel – If you would rather have a small durable panel that you can take out and charge your battery with when needed, this 50W panel from Renogy is a good choice. It’s an efficient monocrystalline panel that will generate between 30-40 watts in good sun. I recommend tilting during the wintertime or in the morning/evening so it’s angled towards the sun. Compatible with the 300W/500W straight out of the box with the included adapters, if you have the Rockpals 250Wh you’ll need to purchase the adapter.
How Can I Improve The Charging Efficiency Of My Solar Panel?
The easiest way to improve the charging efficiency of a solar panel is to tilt it towards the sun. It matters a lot when the sun isn’t right above you. During the morning and evening hours, a solar panel lying on the ground might not generate any watts at all, but if you tilt it and angle it directly towards the sun you might generate a couple of watts. If you go camping in the wintertime, you’re going to have to angle the solar panel all the time to not let a lot of electricity go to waste.
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Another important thing is to make sure there is no shade on the panel. Just a little bit of shade can reduce the output amps significantly
How Long Will It Take To Recharge The Rockpals Battery With Solar Panels?
The Rockpals power stations I listed in the table have 240Wh, 280Wh, and 540Wh. It was hard to find any information about the max input wattage, and the ones in the table are estimates based on what I have found.
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If we assume an input of at least 50W, here is how long it would take to recharge each:Rockpals 240Wh = 4.8 hours Rockpals 280Wh = 5.6 hours Rockpals 540Wh = 10.8 hours
I know for a fact that the largest Rockpals 540Wh can handle up to 80-90W, so if we assume it can input 80W with a 100W panel, it would take 6.75 hours to charge it from empty to full.
Which Rockpals Power Station Is the Best?
Which Rockpals solar generator is the best depends on what you need. If you only need to power phones, tablets, a TV, speakers, and a laptop, I think the Rockpals 250-Watt Portable Generator (click to view on Amazon) is a really good power station. With 240 watt-hours of battery capacity, a 250W pure sine wave inverter, and an MPPT solar charge controller that increases the solar charging efficiency significantly in the morning, evening, winter, and cloudy days, it’s a very powerful and portable choice.
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It’s a power station that is hard to beat because it has so many of the things campers are looking for in a portable power station, all in under six pounds. The only negative thing I can think of is that it doesn’t have a regulated 12V output, so I wouldn’t use it with 12V fridges/freezers since they won’t run properly when the battery is low. If that’s a necessity to you, I recommend the Jackery Explorer 240.
Pair it with the Rockpals 80W solar panel and you could be out camping forever.
Let me know down below if you have any questions.