Which Solar Panels Are Compatible With The EcoFlow River Power Stations?
EcoFlow is a popular brand that makes and sells both portable power stations/solar generators and solar panels.
Power stations are great for travelers looking for portable electricity, because they have built-in solar charge controllers so you can plug solar panels into them to recharge its battery.
Related Product: Check the efficiency of your solar panel with a Powerwerx Watt Meter (click to view on Amazon)
But which solar panels are compatible with an EcoFlow power station, and how do you know what to look for?
In this article, I am going to talk about some of the smaller solar generators made by EcoFlow, the River line-up.
Some of them include a so-called “Solar Charging Cable”, what is this and how do you use it? That’s some of the questions I want to answer today.
As always, feel free to leave a comment if something is unclear or if you have questions about a specific battery or solar panel.
River Power Stations Specifications Compared
Before we talk about specific solar panels, it’s a good idea to get a general understanding of what decides whether a panel is compatible or not.
Take a look at the “Input Specifications” in the table below, especially the ones of your River model. Then I’ll explain what these numbers mean after the table.
Under each input specification, we find essentially three different ratings. One is a voltage range (11-39V), one is an amperage (8A), and one is a wattage (100W max).
This is what the solar charge controller in the River Mini is rated for, which is what’s inside the power station.
A solar panel example
Now that we know what voltage the charge controller will accept, let’s take a look at a panel like the Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline solar panel (click to view on Amazon) and see if it’s compatible or not.
If we scroll down to its specifications, we see a list of words that talk about power, voltage, current, temperature, etc.
What we’re looking for in this list is the VOC, short for Open-circuit Voltage. The voltage is the most important rating to understand, so you don’t buy a panel that the charge controller won’t accept input from.
When you start looking at solar panel specifications, it might be hard to track down which is the VOC, but see which ratings sounds most like Open-Circuit Voltage.
The Renogy panel has a VOC rating of 24.3V. But the listing name mentioned 12V, right? Yes, but it doesn’t output 12V just because it’s a 12V panel. It simply means it’s made for a 12V system.
Alright, back to the River Mini input limits. It accepts voltages between 11 and 39, so the Renogy panel is compatible since it sits somewhere in the middle at 24.3V.
What about the amperage and the watts?
The River Mini still has the 8A and 100W max rating, but these numbers are not as important as the voltage.
If the charge controller accepts voltages between 11 and 39, it won’t charge at all with a panel outputting 42V.
But it will charge with a panel producing 10A, even though the limit is 8. It will simply regulate the amperage and use as much as it can to safely charge the battery. It can’t do the same with a voltage that is too high.
Connectors And Inputs
One last thing I want to cover before recommending panels is the connector used on solar panels, and the input used on EcoFlow power stations.
Not all solar panels use the same type of connector, but there is one that is more popular than all the others, and that is the MC4 connector.
There are two different MC4 connectors, one male and one female.
In the solar panel example above, I used the the Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline solar panel (click to view on Amazon).
Renogy uses MC4 connectors on its panels, even EcoFlow uses MC4 connectors on its panels.
But EcoFlow does not use MC4 inputs on its power stations, it uses XT60 connectors.
The power station models that include a solar charging cable (check the table above), includes an MC4 to XT60 adapter so you can connect either EcoFlow or compatible third-party panels.
If your power station did not include one of these adapters, EcoFlow sells them on Amazon (click to view).
One last thing, notice how the MC4 to XT60 adapter has one cable that is red and one black. The red one has an MC4 female connector, and the black an MC4 male connector.
This matters when you connect solar panels to it, because the market standard is that solar panels have a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector.
I mention it because you might find a similar adapter sold by a different vendor, but it’s important that you make sure the polarity (positive to positive, negative to negative) is correct.
The Renogy and EcoFlow panels are compatible with the EcoFlow adapter above.
Solar Panel Recommendations
If you’re still reading, I applaud you. Hopefully you don’t feel confused and discouraged, but if you do feel free to leave a comment if there is something you don’t understand.
Now we’re getting to the fun part, the solar panels that are compatible with River power stations.
I have done some research and found a couple of panels that I recommend. These are compatible with all of the River models.
If you’re considering a different panel, just make sure it uses either MC4 connectors or has an XT60 connector.
After the table, I’ll talk a little bit about how to connect two panels together.
To conclude a little bit about the panels, all of the panels in the table above are compatible with the current River models.
All of the River models except the standard River Mini include the MC4 to XT60 adapter (click to view on Amazon), so you can plug any of the panels above into an EcoFlow River power station.
Connect Two Panels Together
You can also combine two panels to charge the battery faster. The limitation here will still be the max amperage the charge controller will use.
To combine two panels that use MC4 connectors you can do either a parallel or a series connection.
Because of the limitations of the solar charge controller in the River power stations, you have to do a parallel connection, but I am going to explain why a series connection won’t work.
A parallel connection is done with an MC4 Y branch (click to view on Amazon).
With a pair of MC4 Y branches, you’re going to connect the two positive wires (one from each panel) to one of the Y branches. Then do the same with the negative wires.
What you end up with is a combined positive wire and a combined negative, but positive is separate from negative. Then you connect the Y branch to the MC4 to XT60 adapter before plugging it into the River power station.
A parallel connection combines the amperage, but keeps the voltage the same as if only one panel was connected.
The reason you can’t do a series connection is that a series connection will combine the voltages but keep the amperage the same as from one panel.
Remember how I talked about the importance of knowing the voltage of a panel (or in this case two panels added together), since a charge controller in a power station will only accept voltages within a certain range?
For example, two Renogy 100W panels will output 48.6V, which is more than the 11-39 or 10-25V these power stations can handle. Therefore, we have to stick to a parallel connection.
I recommend using MC4 extension cables.
The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire, and a thicker wire will be more efficient with less voltage loss, which is what we want.
I recommend the Geosiry Twin Wire MC4 Solar extension cable (click to view on Amazon) as MC4 extension cables.
Any cable, adapter, or extension cable should be able to handle the amperage the panel is going to produce. A 10 gauge wire is safe to use with all of the panels I have recommended in this article.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.
14 thoughts on “Solar Panels Compatible With EcoFlow River Power Stations”
i am trying to calculate compatibility of Dokio 300W and Ecoflow River Pro.
want to buy more powerful panels, which will not produce max performance due to not the best location, but in any case it will be more performant than to buy lower wattage of solar panels.
Maximum Power Voltage(Vmp):18.00V
Maximum Power Current (Imp):16.67A
Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc): 22.50V
Short-Circuit Current (Isc):16.92A
Ecoflow solar input limits:
200W 10-25Vdc 12A Max
and you wrote:
> The River Mini still has the 8A and 100W max rating, but these numbers are not as important as the voltage.
> If the charge controller accepts voltages between 11 and 39, it won’t charge at all with a panel outputting 42V.
> But it will charge with a panel producing 10A, even though the limit is 8. It will simply regulate the amperage and use as much as it can to safely charge the battery. It can’t do the same with a voltage that is too high.
but Ecoflow writes:
> Do EcoFlow power stations work with third-party solar panels?
> Yes, if the solar panel (1) has the same solar connectors and (2) has an output amperage, voltage, and wattage that the EcoFlow portable power station can support.
where is the truth?
The truth is that both EcoFlow and I are correct, the problem is that EcoFlow doesn’t advertise that its charge controllers can support the amperage even if it’s more than the maximum.
The Dokio 300W panel is a great choice for the River Pro, just remember to connect the panel directly to the power station without the included charge controller.
Big thanks, Jesse!
during searching found on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/solar/comments/tua6ib/using_a_panel_that_exceeds_maximum_amps_on_mppt/):
EDIT: I just got an official reply from ECO FLOW.
” Thank you for contacting EcoFlow support.
If the current of the solar panel exceeds the solar input of River Pro(12A), it will not damage the unit, but the maximum current the unit can get is 12A. Charging the RIVER Pro with an 18V 16 amp solar panel will have the same effect as using an 18V 12A solar panel. Please note that the actual solar charging time depends on many elements such as sunlight brightness, panel angle, shade, etc. So you may not get its maximum wattage all the time.”
Hi I have an eco flow 600 and have purchased a solar blanket. The blanket has the anderson plug on it so I purchaes a cable that can connect to the MC4 clips and then to the anderson plug. Unfortunately I cannot find anything about the actual blanket havi g the anderson plug. Most seem to say its to connect MC4 from the solar balnket or panel and the anderson bit goe to a controller. Can I use this in reverse and not dmage the eco flow> very confused!
Can you link to the solar blanket you bought or tell me the exact model number? Thanks
Hi the solar blanket is made by XTM
the PLU is 563064.
Mono Crystaline solar cells
max power voltage18V
max power current 6.67A
open circuit voltage 21.24V
short circuit current 7.33A
power tollerance +3%
Hope this is the info you need.
It is manufactured in China but sold through the Australian and NZ Super Cheap stores
There is a video online but the specs the guy mentions dont mean anything to me as i am a complete novice.
Ok, based on what I could find out I think you need an Anderson to XT60 adapter. I assume you’re located in Australia, so I found this one on eBay Australia (click to view). Choose XT60 as connector size, and female as connector gender.
Then you should be able to connect the solar blanket directly to the adapter, then to the EcoFlow input. Do not use the charge controller included with the solar blanket, since the EcoFlow power station already has one built-in.
The only problem now could be the polarity of the connection, but you should be able to tell and make sure that positive is going to positive and negative to negative by looking at the cables. Red is positive, and black is negative.
Hi I am in NZ but close! I have already purchased a cable and am hoping this will be ok.https://www.dicksmith.co.nz/dn/buy/blue-bar-industries-12-volt-50-amp-anderson-plug-to-solar-plug-connection-adaptor-1023098/?verification=9539f-b9d3e1b8e1f3541c2aaa6df9e82b9fdae506a483&utm_source=dse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=postsaleorderconfirm&activated=t
Its got the anderson plug one end and the solar plugs the other but the male and femal plug have been reversed so the black wire stays clipped to black and red clipped to red. I didnt even think about the type you said. The blanket comes with a huge long cable with anderson plugs each end but i am not going to use this. Just my eco flow cable and the new adapter cable. Hope this is Ok with power flow etc? Still a total dummy! LOL
Ah gotcha, yes that should work!
This is a really helpful article, thanks. I’m looking at the Renogy 100w portable solar panel for use with an EcoFlow River 2 and I see in the User Manual it says ‘Use only sealed lead-acid, flooded, or gel batteries which must be deep cycle.’ But the River 2 has a lithium battery, which I don’t think is any of the supported types listed? I’m a novice so not sure, does this mean that the panel isn’t compatible with the River 2? I see that the Renogy 100w portable solar panel is in your list of solar panel recommendations, it’s the only one that has an ‘x’ in the ‘Compatible with every River model’ box and I wonder if what I’ve mentioned above might be why? I’d be grateful for your thoughts!
The portable Renogy 100W is compatible with the River 2, but only the version that does not include a solar charge controller. The one that comes with a charge controller is only compatible with the battery types listed, but that is a limitation of the charge controller and not the panel itself.
Since the EcoFlow power stations have built-in charge controllers you don’t need to connect another one between the panel and the power station input.
The X in the table was a mistake by me and I have changed it, thank you for pointing that out!
Thanks for your reply, that’s so helpful and answered my question and more!
I just purchased an EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max. It does not come with any type of cable to attach to a solar panel. I already have a Towerwin DAS-FO-100-002 that came with an Energizer power station. Would that solar panel be compatible with the EcoFlow and what cable/adaptors would I need to make it work? The Towerwin panel does have some types of adaptors but not what would be needed to attach to the EcoFlow.
Yes, it is a shame that EcoFlow doesn’t include solar adapters with its latest models.
What you need is a DC5521 female to XT60 adapter, and it has to be able to handle at least 10A.
This one by Yeebline (click to view on Amazon) is a DC5525, but if you use the DC5521 to DC5525 adapter included with your panel it should theoretically work. Since they are adapters from different brands I can’t promise the adapter is going to fit though, but it can be worth a try.