Recharge Your Picowe Power Station With Solar Panels
The Picowe 250Wh is a popular little portable power station that can be charged in several ways. At home through the wall outlet, in the car, and with solar panels.
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Today we’re going to focus on how you can recharge your Picowe battery with solar panels. I’ll talk about the best options you have, and also how you can connect third-party panels from companies like Renogy.
What We Know About The Picowe Power Station
To charge a power station with solar panels, you need to know what kind of input it has, and also what polarity that port has.
The port we’ll use for a solar panel is the DC input, and Picowe advertises that this port is a 5.5*2.1mm port. So we can either choose a solar panel that has a 5.5*2.1mm DC output or use an adapter.
We also need to think about the limitations that this port has. We don’t want to plug-in solar panels that aren’t compatible that can hurt the power station.
Picowe has told us that the input rating for the DC port is for a solar panel rated between 13-22V VOC. The 15V 4A limit implies that it can handle up to 60W input. This gives us a lot of choices when it comes to picking a compatible solar panel.
The last thing is the polarity, and this is about how the port is wired. You want to connect positive to positive, and negative to negative. By looking at the Picowe Foldable 60W Solar Panel I can see that they include an MC4 to DC adapter.
This is the kind of adapter we would use to connect third-party panels. The thing is that the adapter in the picture is not the standard, as it has a positive male connector instead of a positive female connector which is more common.
Unfortunately, this will make it harder to pair it with third-party solar panels since most solar panels have a positive male connector.
How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels
Even though the DC port is set up the way it is, we can connect third-party panels to it with an adapter. One adapter that is set up the way the Picowe adapter is the Sunway Solar MC4 To DC (click to view on Amazon).
This adapter has a positive male connector and a negative female connector, which makes the outer collar positive and the inner center negative.
Since most solar panels don’t come like this, if you would like to use a panel from a company like Renogy, HQST, Newpowa, or Richsolar, we would need to switch the MC4 connectors on the adapter.
So you either buy some MC4 connectors and put a female MC4 on the positive wire, and a male MC4 on the negative wire or you find a panel with a positive female connector.
Note that this info is based on my observations. What I have learned over the years with companies that make power stations like these is that they themselves sometimes don’t know the difference, since they’ve bought them from a supplier and slapped their name on it.
Solar Panels Compatible With The Picowe Solar Generator
Due to the issues explained above, it’s harder to find a panel that is compatible out of the box.
Picowe 60W Solar Panel – If you want to be absolutely sure that the panel will work with the Picowe 250Wh, the Picowe 60W solar panel is your only option. It comes with several different connectors and has USB ports so you can charge other electronics while your battery is recharging.
Best Alternatives To The Picowe 250Wh
If everything above was confusing to you, it’s because it is confusing. So I figured I should recommend a different setup very similar to the Picowe 250Wh that I know has a DC port that is the more common type.
Rockpals 250W – This power station from Rockpals is very similar to the Picowe. It’s better at charging with solar panels though since it has an MPPT charge controller which is up to 40% more efficient. This is compatible with solar panels like the Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel.
Let me know down below if you have any questions.