Charge Your Enginstar 298Wh Portable Power Station With Solar Panels
The Enginstar 298Wh is a portable power station, also known as a solar generator, that is perfect for camping and boondocking when you don’t have access to electricity. It runs electronics that require up to 300W, like CPAPs, tablets, TVs, coolers, speakers, lights, drones, fans, and laptops.
With a 298 watt-hour battery, a cigarette port, USB ports, and two AC outlets capable of outputting up to 300W, it’s exactly what a lot of people are looking for in a portable power station.
Enginstar includes a wall charger with the 298Wh model, but you can also charge the battery with portable solar panels. Today I am going to help you find compatible solar panels, and show you how you can use panels that aren’t compatible straight out of the box with the help of an adapter.
Compatible Solar Panels
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.
The solar panels that don’t have a green checkmark next to the “Requires Additional Adapter” are compatible with the Enginstar 298Wh directly out of the box. If the plug doesn’t look right, you will have to use one of the DC adapters that come with the panel.
It’s easy to connect either of the panels even for non-techies.
The Additional Adapter You Might Need
If the solar panel you’re considering has MC4 connectors and don’t include DC adapters, you’re going to need this adapter (click to view on Amazon).
This adapter is for a solar panel that has a positive MC4 male connector, and a negative MC4 female connector. On the other side of it, there is a 5.5 x 2.1mm DC plug, just like the one on the Enginstar 298Wh power station.
The Limitations Of The Enginstar 298Wh
The Enginstar 298Wh has a 5.5 x 2.1mm input that supports inputs rated between 12V-25V. I listed the open-circuit voltage of each panel in the table above, and they’re all compatible with the Enginstar.
It’s unclear how many watts of input the Enginstar can handle, but similar power stations often max out between 30-60W. This doesn’t mean you can’t use a 100W solar panel with the power station, but that the solar charge controller inside will be maxed out and charge the battery as fast as possible.
Related Post: Best 1-300Wh Power Stations With MPPT
Even though the solar generator can’t generate the 70W a 100W panel might be generating, a larger panel is still a good choice since it will be able to max out the input even when the conditions are bad. Like in the early morning/evening hours and when it’s cloudy outside.
Enginstar doesn’t advertise what type of charge controller is used inside the 298Wh. That usually means it’s a PWM charge controller.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Improve The Charging Efficiency?
The easiest way to improve the charging efficiency when using solar panels is to tilt the panel so it’s angled directly towards the sun.
This will especially have an impact in the morning/evening, wintertime, and when it’s cloudy.
How Long Will It Take To Charge The Battery?
It’s hard to say exactly how long it will take to charge the Enginstar since we don’t know the max input.
Enginstar advertises that it takes 10-15 hours with a 50W+ solar panel. In their worst-case scenario (15 hours) they assume a 20W input and best case 30W input.
It takes 10-15 hours with a car charger, and 5-7 hours with the included AC outlet.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.