1-300Wh Power Stations/Solar Generators With MPPT Charge Controllers
Portable power stations, also known as solar generators, have exploded in popularity in the past couple of years. It’s easy to understand why. The lightweight lithium batteries found in most newer models have become more affordable, and so has solar panels.
They’re great for camping outdoors, to keep at home for emergencies when the power goes out, or anyone that travels and needs to have access to power.
I have a portable power station, the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 (click to view on Amazon), and the biggest reason I bought it was that I would be able to charge it with solar panels since I travel fulltime in my RV and boondock/dry camp most of the time.
I have installed the MPPT charge controller on the Yeti, and I recommend everybody that is considering buying a portable power station to get one that has an MPPT charge controller. It improves the charging speed a considerable amount. I’ll talk more about the benefits of MPPT versus PWM in the FAQ at the bottom.
To help you out in the solar generator jungle, I am going to compare and review the best portable power stations out there that come with an MPPT charge controller.
Since there are so many different power stations/solar generators with different battery capacities, I have decided to split it up into three different posts. This first post will focus on power stations that have a battery capacity between 1 and 300 watt-hours. Click here to view the second post with power stations between 301-999Wh, or click here for power stations with a battery capacity of 1kWH and larger.
To help you out as much as possible, I will also recommend compatible solar panels for each of the power stations I review.
You can use the table of contents below to navigate the post.
Best 1-300Wh (Watt-hours) Power Stations With MPPT Charge Controller
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.
Overview And Review Of Each Power Station
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X is a portable power station with 187 watt-hour battery capacity and a modified sine wave inverter that can output up to 120W continuously, with a 200W peak.
A 120W outlet will power things like a laptop, a small TV, speakers, Nintendo Switch, tablets, and CPAPs. It will not power kitchen appliances or gaming consoles like the PS4/Xbox One.
Related Post: Goal Zero Yeti 200X Review
You can charge the Yeti 200X while using both the AC outlet and USB ports.
It has one grounded AC outlet, two USB A ports, and two USB Type C ports. One of them is a USB C PD port capable of inputting/outputting up to 60W, while the other one is a standard USB C (18W max).
Since the USB C PD is an input/output, the battery can also be recharged using a compatible USB C cable. It would take a little more than three hours to recharge it from empty.
There are four ways to charge the Yeti 200X. With the included wall charger, in the car (charger sold separately), solar panels, and the USB C PD port.
The USB A ports are rated at 5V 2.4A, or 12W, so you can charge phones and tablets at regular and fast speeds.
Related Post: 5 Ways To Charge A Goal Zero Yeti Faster
A screen on the front tells you the battery’s state of charge in a percentage, but it doesn’t show input/output watts.
Next to the USB ports, there are two DC outlets. One 6mm port, and one cigarette port. It is a regulated 12V output, so you can power sensitive 12V devices like a fridge/freezer. This was not possible with earlier Goal Zero Yeti power stations since the port was unregulated.
It’s relatively lightweight and portable at 5 pounds and measures 7.9 by 5.1 by 5.1 inches. The built-in handle on top makes it easy to carry.
Goal Zero offers a 12-month warranty.
Solar Charging Limitations And Recommendations
As with almost every other Goal Zero battery, there is an 8mm DC input on the Yeti 200X. You can use any solar panel with it as long as its VOC rating is below 22V.
The maximum input wattage is 100W, which means that you could possibly recharge the battery in less than two hours at maximum input.
Since a 100W solar panel generates about 60-80 watts at most, you would need more than that to max it out. What you could do is buy three Renogy 50W and connect them in parallel with an MC4 Y Branch adapters 3 to 1. Then use the SolarEnz adapter to connect them to the Yeti 200X.
Related Post: How To Combine Two Or More Goal Zero Solar Panels
Goal Zero doesn’t include an MC4 to 8mm adapter, and I recommend the SolarEnz adapter if you want to connect solar panels that don’t come with an 8mm output.
In The Box
A wall charger.
Conclusion And Review
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X has a couple of features that most of the other power stations are missing. The regulated 12V cigarette port, the screen that shows a percentage, and the USB C PD that lets you both charge and discharge the battery.
Its MPPT charge controller has a max input of 100W, which puts it at the top on today’s list. Being able to recharge the battery quickly is a big deal to me that likes to use the power station while it’s recharging.
Goal Zero doesn’t include a car charger or MC4 adapter, which is a bummer.
- 4 USB ports (two USB C)
- USB C PD is both an input and output (60W max)
- Regulated 12V cigarette port
- Common DC input
- State of charge shown as a percentage on screen
- 100W Max solar input watts
- Car charger, solar adapter sold separately
- Modified sine wave inverter
- The screen doesn’t show input/output watts
The Suaoki S200 is a portable power station with a 200 watt-hour battery capacity and a pure sine wave inverter that can output up to 120W continuously, with a 200W peak.
You can charge the Suaoki S200 while using both the AC outlet and USB ports.
The 120W outlet will power things like a laptop, a small TV, speakers, Nintendo Switch, tablets, and CPAPs. It will not power kitchen appliances or gaming consoles like the PS4/Xbox One.
It has one grounded AC outlet, three USB ports, and one DC output. One of the USB ports is a USB C PD port, which can output up to 45W. It’s not an in/out USB C PD so you can’t use it to charge the battery.
What you can do with a USB C PD port like this is charge newer MacBooks, iPads, Nintendo Switch, and other USB C PD compatible electronics.
Related Post: Jackery Explorer 500 Vs Suaoki G500
One of the USB ports is a QC 3.0 port that can output up to 18W to quickly charge compatible devices.
There are three ways to charge the Suaoki S200. With the included wall charger, in a car, or with solar panels.
The 12V DC port is not regulated, so if you want to use a cigarette plug device, you must use the included female cigarette adapter.
Suaoki has put a small LCD screen on this solar generator that shows battery status in bars with 20% increments, and input/output watts with DC and AC showed separately.
The Suaoki S200 weighs 5.9 pounds and measures 7.6 by 2.5 by 10 inches. A large handle on top makes it portable and easy to carry around. The compact and slim design comparable to the No products found. also makes it easier to carry than other power stations that have a box-like design.
Suaoki offers a 24-month warranty.
Solar Charging Limitations And Recommendations
The DC input is a 7.9×0.9mm port that can handle solar panels rated at 14-40V. That’s uncommon with a power station like this and means that you can wire two 12V 100W panels in series since the voltage would be below 40V in total.
There is, however, a 60W maximum input rating, which a 100W solar panel will easily max out around noon on a sunny day. If you wanted to be 100% certain it would max out, you could use a panel like the No products found.. That would be a better choice over a 100W panel if you want to mount it flat on an RV or van roof.
Related Post: Do Power Stations Come With Solar Panels?
If you max out the input at 60W, the S200 would charge from 0 to 100% in less than four hours.
Suaoki includes an MC4 to 7909 adapter cable so you can use third-party panels that have a positive MC4 male connector, and a negative MC4 female connector. The panels I recommend below are wired that way.
In The Box
AC wall charger, USB C cable, cigarette lighter adapter, DC power adapter, and MC4 to DC 7909 adapter.
Conclusion And Review
The Suaoki S200 is a very compact portable power station that is one of the easiest to carry around due to its slim design.
Its battery capacity impresses more than its 120W inverter rating, but it has a couple of things we don’t see on every other power station.
An example of that is the screen that tells you output watts for AC and DC separate. I wish the screen would also give you the state of charge in a percentage instead of just bars with 20% increments. At least it tells you input watts.
With a powerful MPPT charge controller like the one in the S200, I wish it would accept a 100W input instead of maxing out at 60W, but it’s still acceptable since you can charge it in less than four hours.
The USB C PD port is great to have, although it only supports output and no input. And the 12V output is not regulated.
Overall, the Suaoki S200/200Wh is not the best, not the worst, but somewhere in the middle in today’s comparison. The 60W maximum input, maximum voltage input, and the screen are three features that make it stick out.
- Three USB Ports (one Type C PD, one QC 3.0)
- A screen that shows battery input/output in DC and AC, and battery bars
- Portable, compact form factor
- 14-40V, 60W maximum input
- Pure sine wave inverter
- MC4 adapter included
- USB C PD doesn’t allow input
- Unregulated 12V output
- No cigarette port on the unit (requires the use of the adapter)
- No battery percentage on the screen
The Rockpals 300W is a portable solar generator with a 280 watt-hour battery capacity and a pure sine wave inverter that can output up to 300W continuously, with a 600W peak. That makes it the power station with the largest inverter and most battery capacity in today’s comparison.
You can charge the Rockpals 300W while using both the AC outlet and USB ports.
The 300W outlet will power things like gaming laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, tablets, CPAPs, and small car vacuums. It won’t power electronics like space heaters or kitchen appliances.
It has one grounded AC outlet, four USB ports, three 12V DC outputs, one 12V cigarette port, and one 24V DC output.
Related Post: Jackery HLS 290 Vs Rockpals 300W
Two of the USB ports are QC 3.0, while the other two are regular 5V 2.1A USB A ports. There is no USB C port on the Rockpals 300W.
The DC ports are not regulated and shouldn’t be used with sensitive 12V electronics like a 12V fridge/freezer.
There are three ways to charge the Rockpals 300W. With the included wall charger, in a car, or with solar panels.
Rockpals has put a large screen on the unit that shows what ports are being used, output watts, battery voltage, and battery status in bars. It does not tell you the state of charge in percentage, but the manual says that the voltage reads 12.6V when full, and around 9V when empty.
For some reason, the screen doesn’t show input watts from either solar or AC input, it just shows that it’s receiving a charge.
Rockpals has also put some lights on the front of this power station.
The Rockpals 300W is relatively lightweight and portable for its battery capacity at 7.5 pounds, and it measures 7.5 by 5.9 by 5.5 inches. There is a solid handle on top that makes it easy to carry, although it has a boxed design.
Rockpals offers an 18-month warranty.
Solar Charging Limitations And Recommendations
The DC input on the Rockpals 300W is an odd one called GX16 2 Pin connector. Fortunately, Rockpals includes an MC4 to GX16 adapter in the box, but I would’ve rather they put a 5.5×2.5/2.1mm input on the unit.
Rockpals uses a very powerful MPPT charge controller capable of inputting up to 80W with a compatible 14-24V solar panel. An 80W input limit means you could recharge it via solar in less than four hours.
In The Box
AC wall charger, car charger, MC4 adapter.
Conclusion And Review
The Rockpals 300W is the largest power station on today’s list with the most battery capacity and the largest inverter rating. If you need the 300W inverter rating in an MPPT power station of this size, it’s hard to beat the Rockpals.
It will power TVs, gaming consoles, gaming laptops, and CPAPs, but it’s not large enough to power kitchen appliances.
The MPPT solar charge controller is an impressive one with an 80W maximum input, but I wish the screen would show how many watts the solar panel/wall charger is inputting, and that the DC outputs were regulated.
Having four USB ports are great, but I wish there were a USB C PD port on this unit.
Overall, the Rockpals 300W is a great portable solar generator if you don’t need a regulated 12V output and don’t mind not being able to see how many watts your solar panel is generating.
The 80W max input, the battery capacity, and the inverter rating are what might make you think this is the best portable power station on the list today.
- 300W AC output, 600W peak
- 4 USB ports
- 5 DC outputs (1 cigarette, 3 12V, 1 24V)
- Includes MC4 adapter, car charger
- LED lights
- Battery voltage, active port indicator, output watts on the screen
- 80W max input
- Pure sine wave inverter
- Uncommon DC input
- Unregulated 12V
- No USB Type C
- The screen doesn’t show input watts
Conclusion And Recommendations
What will be the best MPPT solar generator to you depends mostly on how much battery capacity you need and how powerful of an inverter you need to power your devices.
If you only plan on charging a phone, a tablet, and a laptop, you won’t need more than a 100W inverter unless it’s a gaming laptop.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to run a TV and a gaming console like the Xbox One, you’re going to need a 300W inverter.
Here are my recommendations based on features. Again, if you absolutely need the larger inverter on the Rockpals, it’s obviously a better choice for you than the Yeti 200X.
The Suaoki 200Wh is a great solar generator that could possibly be the best choice for most people.
With a pure sine wave inverter, 60W maximum input watts, a screen with lots of useful information, and a USB C PD port, it’s a feature-packed power station that I recommend for all kinds of uses. Bring it outdoors camping, use it at home for emergencies, or use it as a UPS.
It was hard to choose between the Suaoki 200Wh and the Rockpals 300, but since the maximum input wattage is important to me, the Rockpals is the winner.
It doesn’t have a USB C port, a common DC input, a regulated 12V port, or a great screen, but it has a pure sine wave inverter, a lot of DC and USB ports, and a high maximum input at 80W.
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X is the newest product out of the ones I have reviewed and compared today, and it shows. It has a USB C PD port that supports input and output, it has a regulated 12V port, a screen that tells us the battery percentage, and several USB ports in a lightweight portable package.
Its inverter is not a pure sine wave, but most devices that use less than 120W will not have any problems due to this. It won’t cause any issues with a phone, tablet, laptop, Nintendo Switch, or TV.
Last but not least, it supports up to 100W input, so you can recharge it within two hours with a solar panel, and that’s one of the biggest reasons it wins in today’s comparison. It wins because of its versatile functionality, not because of one single feature.
Frequently Asked Questions About Power Stations
Why MPPT Solar Charge Controller Over PWM?
An MPPT charge controller is more efficient and generates more electricity than a PWM charge controller, especially when the panels are cold. The increase when using an MPPT charge controller can be 30-40% in the winter, and 10-20% in the summer.
An MPPT solar charge controller is basically better at turning the solar panel voltage into more amperage to charge the battery. The reason for that is that a PWM charge controller limits the voltage to the battery’s voltage, while the MPPT charge controller maximizes the voltage from the panel, then converts it to a voltage that is safe for the battery.
Related Post: 5 Ways To Get Started With Solar Panels
The downside with MPPT controllers is that they’re larger because they’re more complex and use more electronics. They’re also less affordable.
What Is A Wh (Watt-hour)?
A watt-hour is the power consumption of one watt for one hour. If you have a device with a power brick that says 60W, that means that it will at most use 60 watt-hours in one hour.
A 187 watt-hour battery would run a 187W device for one hour (if we disregard efficiency rates).
When it comes to power stations, it’s good to know that you should take the advertised watt-hours with a grain of salt.
It might be the exact amount of battery capacity in the box, but the power station might not use all of that power since most of them shut off before they’re completely empty to protect the battery.
What Do PWM And MPPT Stand For?
PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation, MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking.
How To Calculate How Long A Power Station Will Run A Device?
To figure out how long a power station will run a specific device, you can use the battery capacity in watt-hours and how many watts the device requires.
If you have the Yeti 200X with 187 watt-hours and want to power a 60W laptop, you can calculate it this way: 187Wh/60=3.12 hours.
The inverter in a power station is not 100% efficient, so if you’re powering the device with the AC outlet you should expect about an 85-90% efficiency.
With the example above, that means multiplying 3.12 by 0.85, 3.12*0.85=2.65 hours.
If you use a USB or DC port to charge the device, the efficiency will be higher than 90%.
Expect your calculations to be slightly off from actual usage, and get to know your power station and how long it lasts before you rely on it.
What Is A Regulated 12V Output? Does It Matter?
A regulated 12V output will deliver a constant voltage to the 12V port. An unregulated port will deliver a voltage that is based on how charged the battery is (the voltage it’s at).
What this means in the real world is that a 12V LED light might not shine as bright when the battery is at 40% versus 100%.
A light not shining fully might not be much of a problem, but some 12V electronics like a fridge/freezer often have a low voltage cutoff built-in, which would turn the appliance off as soon as the voltage drops too low.
How fun would it be to have a 12V fridge that shuts off as soon as the power station battery reaches 50% for example?
Do Power Stations Need Ventilation?
Yes, they do. They should not be put in a closed storage compartment. Since they’re batteries with inverters and charge controllers, there will be spinning fans that will turn on as soon as either of these parts gets warm.
Most power stations have safety features that will turn the input and outputs off if it senses that either the battery, charge controller or inverter is getting too hot.
Please leave a comment down below if you have anything to add or a question.