How to Connect a Solar Panel to the NECESPOW 161 Watt Portable Power Station
NECESPOW is a company that makes small portable power stations, solar panels, and a few other electronics.
Its 161 watt portable power station/solar generator is the one I’ll be recommending solar panels for in this post.
The power station is a 161 watt lithium battery with a built in inverter and solar charge controller.
Related Post: Jackery Explorer 160 Vs Explorer 240, How They Compare
If you don’t already have some solar panels there is a set sold by NECESPOW (click to view on Amazon) that is the power station and a compatible 100W portable solar panel.
If the included solar panel isn’t exactly what you’re looking for you can see more options later in this post.
I’ll also go over how to connect other kinds of solar panels to it in case you already have one you want to use to charge it.
NECESPOW Portable Power Station Quick Overview
Solar Panels Compatible with NECESPOW Portable Power Stations
The NECESPOW portable power station has both a USB C and 3.5×1.35 mm input. Here’s a look at some portable solar panels that are compatible right out of the box.
Most of these solar panels come with a bunch of DC adapters to fit all kinds of portable power stations.
They all include a 3.5×1.35 mm which is what makes them compatible with the NECESPOW portable power station.
Since the input wattage is only 32 watts you don’t need a large solar panel to charge this small portable power station.
No solar panel is 100% efficient, the final watts going into the power station will be lower than the overall watt rating of the panel.
Related Post: Best High-Quality 100 Watt Solar Panels Compared
That means you want a panel that’s at least 40 watts but you won’t need anything over 100 watts.
A larger solar panel will bring in more watts in low light situations like cloudy days, so it’s not a total waste to get a 60 or 100 watt panel for the NECESPOW.
If charging at the full 32 watts it will take 5 hours to charge from 0%, but it’s recommened to not let it go below a 20% charge to protect the lithium battery.
How to Connect Solar Panels with MC4 Connectors
Many solar panels only come with MC4 connectors. If you have one of these you will need to use an adapter to charge the NECESPOW portable power station.
Because of the connector used, we first need to find an adapter to turn the MC4 connectors into SAE. If you can find a MC4 to 3.5×1.35mm, that’s going to be your best option, but I couldn’t find one.
The MC4 to SAE (click to view on Amazon) would be the first adapter.
Then you need an SAE to 3.5x1.35mm, like this adapter on Amazon.
Then you would simply connect the solar panel to the first adapter, then use the SAE connectors to connect the two adapters.
Finally, you just need to connect the 3.5×1.35mm adapter on the second adapter and plug it into the power station.
Make sure the polarity (positive is going to positive, and negative is going to negative) is correct before you plug it all in.
Most solar panels with MC4 connectors like the Renogy 100W (click to view on Amazon) has a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector, which makes it easy to setup with the adapters above.
If the polarity is incorrect, you can use the SAE reverse polarity adapter included with the first adapter.
A few things to watch out for if you’re connecting a solar panel with MC4 is to make sure there isn’t a solar charge controller already on the solar panel.
The power station already has a solar charge controller and it can’t be paired with another one.
Most solar panels with charge controllers have a way to bypass the controller to make them compatible with power stations/solar generators.
Also, make sure the solar panel is compatible with 12 volt power since you are charging a 12 volt battery.
The adapter is rated for solar panels that are 100 watts max, so don’t use anything bigger if you get this adapter.
You won’t need a larger solar panel for this small portable power station anyways since the max solar input is only 32 watts.
It’s unclear what the voltage limit of the solar charge controller can handle, but I don’t recommend a panel larger than 100W for this reason as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About The NECESPOW
Does the NECESPOW 161W portable power station come with a solar panel?
The standard package does not come with a solar panel.
But NECESPOW does sell a set that includes both a power station and a 100 watt solar panel you can check out here (click to view on Amazon).
How fast will a solar panel charge the NECESPOW portable power station?
Since it can store up to 161 watt hours and the max solar input is 32 watts it will only take a solar panel that’s between 40-100 watts 5-7 hours to charge the NECESPOW with full sunlight.
How fast will the USB C PD input charge the NECESPOW?
If you use the USB C PD port with a high output wall charger like this one (click to view on Amazon) the max input is 65 watts, which means it can be fully charged in about 3 hours.
Can I Use a 24V Solar Panel?
No, this is a pretty small portable power station with a very limited solar input.
A 24 volt panel output voltage will be too high for the charge controller.
Can the NECESPOW be charged by a 12V car outlet?
Yes, there is even a 12 volt charger included.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or something to add.