Best Solar Panels Compatible W/ Jackery Explorer 160/240/500

Recharge Your Jackery 160/240/500 Power Station With Solar Panels

Jackery is a very popular power station/solar generator brand that makes and sells portable batteries perfect for outdoors, camping, home emergencies, CPAP users, and wherever you find yourself needing portable power.

There are four popular power stations made by Jackery on the market right now, the Explorer 160, 240, 290, and 500. In the table below, I will compare them and list their inputs and limitations.

You can recharge a Jackery power station in three ways: with the included AC wall charger, in the car with a cigarette lighter port, and with solar panels. Today we’re focusing on how to do it with solar panels.

Related Posts: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Vs Jackery Explorer 500 / Suaoki G500 Vs Jackery Explorer 500

Unfortunately, solar generators usually don’t include solar panels, therefore I am going to help you find the perfect solar panel for you to recharge your Jackery power bank with.

As we’ll see below, Jackery makes its own solar panels that you can use, but there are lots of third-party panels that are compatible as well.

Let’s take a look at my solar panel recommendations first, then I will list each power station and its specifications. Then I will teach you how to connect these panels to your battery, and what you need to think about.

Best Solar Panels Compatible With Jackery Explorer 160/240/500 Power Stations

Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel Built-in Kickstand
Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Compact Design 42.2 X 19.6 X 1.38 in, High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500/1000 Power Station, Foldable US Solar Cell Solar Charger with USB Outputs for Phones (Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator / 8mm Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 240, Webetop Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
Watts
50W
60W
100W
100W
100W
100W
Connectors
MC4
USB, MC4 (8mm adapter included)
MC4
8mm
USB, MC4 (includes 8mm adapter)
USB, MC4 (DC adapters included)
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
3.6 lbs
5.39 lbs
16.5 lbs
12.4 lbs
11.65 lbs
10.8 lbs
Size
24 x 22 x 2 inches
17.4 x 12.4 x 2 inches
42.2 x 19.6 x 1.4 inches
21.8 x 26.8 x 1.8 inches
26 x 22.5 x 2.5 inches
64.5 x 20.5 x 1.2 inches
Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel Built-in Kickstand
Watts
50W
Connectors
MC4
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
3.6 lbs
Size
24 x 22 x 2 inches
Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
Watts
60W
Connectors
USB, MC4 (8mm adapter included)
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
5.39 lbs
Size
17.4 x 12.4 x 2 inches
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Compact Design 42.2 X 19.6 X 1.38 in, High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications
Watts
100W
Connectors
MC4
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
16.5 lbs
Size
42.2 x 19.6 x 1.4 inches
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Watts
100W
Connectors
8mm
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
12.4 lbs
Size
21.8 x 26.8 x 1.8 inches
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500/1000 Power Station, Foldable US Solar Cell Solar Charger with USB Outputs for Phones (Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
Product Link
Watts
100W
Connectors
USB, MC4 (includes 8mm adapter)
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
11.65 lbs
Size
26 x 22.5 x 2.5 inches
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator / 8mm Goal Zero Yeti Power Station/Jackery Explorer 240, Webetop Battery Pack/USB Devices, with 3 USB Ports
Watts
100W
Connectors
USB, MC4 (DC adapters included)
Requires Adapter
Foldable
Kickstand
Weight
10.8 lbs
Size
64.5 x 20.5 x 1.2 inches

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.

Jackery Power Stations Compared – Specifications And Limits

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Honda by Jackery HLS 290 Portable Lithium Battery Mobile Power Station, Emergency Power Pack and External Battery Charger, Gas-Free Generator Alternative, Honda Official Licensed Product by Jackery
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Watt-hours
167Wh
240Wh
292Wh
518Wh
Inverter Rating
100W/150W peak
200W/400W peak
200W/400W peak
500W/1000W peak
Max Input Rating
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
12V~30V
Max Solar Watts Input
42W
42W
42W
100W
8mm Input
Weight
3.84 lbs
6.61 lbs
6.6 lbs
13.32 lbs
Size
7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 inches
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 inches
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 inches
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 inches
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency
Watt-hours
167Wh
Inverter Rating
100W/150W peak
Max Input Rating
12V~30V
Max Solar Watts Input
42W
8mm Input
Weight
3.84 lbs
Size
7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 inches
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Watt-hours
240Wh
Inverter Rating
200W/400W peak
Max Input Rating
12V~30V
Max Solar Watts Input
42W
8mm Input
Weight
6.61 lbs
Size
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 inches
Honda by Jackery HLS 290 Portable Lithium Battery Mobile Power Station, Emergency Power Pack and External Battery Charger, Gas-Free Generator Alternative, Honda Official Licensed Product by Jackery
Watt-hours
292Wh
Inverter Rating
200W/400W peak
Max Input Rating
12V~30V
Max Solar Watts Input
42W
8mm Input
Weight
6.6 lbs
Size
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 inches
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Watt-hours
518Wh
Inverter Rating
500W/1000W peak
Max Input Rating
12V~30V
Max Solar Watts Input
100W
8mm Input
Weight
13.32 lbs
Size
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 inches

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.

Which Solar Panel Is The Best?

It depends on which Jackery power station you have and whether portability or charging speed is more important to you.

Since every Explorer except the 500 has a 42W max input rating with solar panels, it can be seen as unnecessary to have a panel larger than 60W. And while that’s partly true, it will help to have a 100W panel instead of a 60W panel when charging the smaller models in the morning, evening, or when it’s cloudy.

A 60W panel doesn’t generate exactly 60W, but more like 40-45W (or less when the sun is weak), so to make sure you max out the 42W rating, it’s more worth it to use a 100W panel.

If portability is the most important factor for you, the Renogy 50W Eclipse, Jackery SolarSaga 60W, and the Rockpals 100W are the best.

Related Post: Goal Zero Yeti 200X Vs Jackery Explorer 240

For RVers, vandwellers, or car travelers that are looking to mount a solar panel on the roof for a more permanent installation, the Renogy 100 Watt is the best. If you want to set it up when you get to your campsite and leave it out day and night, the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase is a rigid heavy-duty choice.

The Jackery panels are good choices as well since they’re a mix of portable and efficient. I like that they have a built-in kickstand that makes it easy to angle the panel. The stand is not as robust as the Goal Zero or Renogy, but it will still be very helpful as long as it’s not windy.

I think it’s great that Jackery has put USB C and USB A ports on their panels in addition to the Anderson Power Pole output. This lets you charge several devices all at once.

Rockpals panel is popular due to its versatility, portability, and efficiency. It’s a little bit too large to hang on a backpack while hiking, but you can hang it on a vehicle, in a tree, or put it on a table.

Even though I didn’t list it in the table, you should also know that the Explorer 500 is compatible with a solar panel like the Renogy 160W flexible panel. This is a panel that is easier to mount on top of a vehicle like an RV, van or car. You can connect it to the Jackery with the SolarEnz MC4 To 8mm Adapter.

What Adapter Do You Need For Solar Panels With MC4 Connectors?

Since the Jackery power stations have an 8mm DC input, we need to use an adapter with panels that only have MC4 connectors.

One compatible adapter that does this with the panels I listed above is the SolarEnz MC4 To 8mm Adapter.

SolarEnz MC4 To 8mm Adapter

SolarEnz Solar Connector to DC8mm Adapter Cable Perfectly Solar Connector Solar Generator Portable Power Station and Solar Panel 12AWG Heavy Duty Wire

Check Price at Amazon

This adapter will take a solar panel with a positive male MC4 connector and a negative female MC4 connector and turn it into an 8mm connection, which is what the Jackery Explorers use.

What To Think About When Choosing A Solar Panel

The main thing you must know is that the Jackery Explorer power stations have solar charge controllers built-in, so you shouldn’t buy a solar panel that has a charge controller.

Another thing to know is the 12V~30V input rating, this is talking about the VOC rating of a solar panel which usually can be found in the specifications of a panel. This is more important to know about than the max watt input.

You can connect a 100W solar panel to a Jackery Explorer with a 42W max solar input, but you shouldn’t connect a 40V panel to a power station with a 30V maximum input voltage. The panels I recommend above are all within safe voltages, and won’t hurt the charge controller in the Explorers.

Can I Combine Several Panels?

Sure, if you want to combine two panels I recommend using the same kind of panel.

If the panel has MC4 connectors, you can combine two panels with a Signstek MC4 Y Branch.

If the panels have Anderson Power Pole connectors, you can combine them with a Goal Zero Anderson to Anderson Combiner, then use a No products found. to plug it into the Jackery Explorer power station.

If the panels have 8mm connectors, two or more can be combined with a Goal Zero 8mm to Anderson Combiner, then plugged into the Jackery Explorer with a No products found..

Can I Take My Jackery Explorer On An Airplane?

I have written a post about this subject, click here to read it.

How Can I Improve The Charging Efficiency When Charging My Jackery With Solar Panels?

The easiest thing you can do is to angle the solar panel towards the sun. A panel laying flat on the ground when the sun is just coming up in the morning, or going down in the evening, won’t generate very much if anything at all.

Related Post: Jackery HLS 290 Vs Rockpals 300

For the best efficiency, you’ll have to adjust the panel throughout the day to face the sun.

Another thing is to make sure there is no shade on the panel, not even a little bit. With some panels, a shadow that covers 10% of the panel can decrease the power output by 50% (not scientific numbers, but to give you an idea).

Are There 8mm Extension Cables?

Goal Zero makes 8mm extension cables, in 15ft and 30ft. Note that there will be a power loss with longer cables.

What About Jackery Power Banks?

You can recharge the Jackery Power Banks with the solar panels above that have USB ports.

Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.

4 thoughts on “Best Solar Panels Compatible W/ Jackery Explorer 160/240/500”

  1. Hi,
    First Thank you for taking your time in reading this email, hope for myself I can get some clarification. I have the Jackery 500W. I’m wondering what 100Watt solar panel is safe to charge the power station with besides the Jackery Panel? A solar panel that is a good rating panel and also that has kickstands on it?

    Reply
  2. I am looking to Jackery Explorer 160 Power Station. Will this Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (Compact Design) work with it ?
    When I search Renogy, I saw different Solar Panels with different price points (Some more expensive than Jackery Explorer 160 Power) so I am confused.

    Reply

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