Charge Your Progeny 280W Power Station With Solar Panels
The Progeny 280W portable power station is a popular so-called solar generator, which doesn’t come with solar panels although it’s capable of recharging itself with the help of solar panels.
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Today I am going to help you find exactly what you need to take this power station outdoors and recharge it without being near a 12V cigarette lighter port or an AC outlet. As a solar addict, there is no better feeling than being outdoors and being able to use the sun to charge my lithium battery. I travel full-time in my travel trailer, so I rely on that power every day of the month, all year.
Now, let’s take a look at how you connect solar panels to the Progeny 280W.
The Adapter You Need To Connect Solar Panels To The Progeny 280W Power Station
Progeny has placed a DC input on the 280W model that can handle 15V and 4A. This tells us that it can handle a maximum of 60 watts of input (15*4)
The DC input is a 5.5*2.1 mm port. Some solar panels come with a connector like this, especially foldable portable choices like the Rockpals 60W solar panel. This Rockpals panel is compatible with the Progeny power station out of the box. But if you don’t necessarily need a foldable panel like that, there are other choices.
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Before I get into those choices, there are two things you need to know.
The first thing is that most solar panels come with MC4 connectors, these connectors are two wires coming out of the solar panel, where one is positive and one negative.
The second thing is that since you can’t plug these MC4 connectors into solar generators like the Progeny 280W, you need an adapter. An adapter like the Aimtom MC4 to DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm.
Solar Panels Compatible With The Progeny 280W
Progeny advertises that the Progeny 280W supports panels with a 15-18V VOC, up to 60W. This gives us a lot of choices. You could connect over 100 watts of solar panels, but it wouldn’t really be worth it since it can only input 60W at maximum. Therefore I won’t recommend any panels larger than 100W.
Renogy 50W Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel – Renogy makes durable, reliable, solid solar panels, and the 50W eclipse panel is no exception. You will need the Aimtom MC4 to DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm to connect it to the Progeny solar generator, but once you do, it will be an efficient panel that will recharge the battery during the day. You could expect it to generate about 35-40W on a sunny day, so it won’t be the fastest way to charge it, but it’s still a good choice.
Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel – The Rockpals 100W would max out the Progeny at 60W and charge the battery from empty to full in less than five hours. It’s a relatively portable option that consists of 4 25W panels that fold and becomes easy to carry with the built-in handle. It weighs over 10 pounds though, so it’s not a panel you bring with you on a hike. It comes with everything you need to plug it into the Progeny power station.
Renogy 100W Solar panel – This 100W Renogy panel is another way to quickly charge up the Progeny. During peak hours of the day, it will max the solar input and you’ll have a fully charged battery in less than five hours. You’ll need the Aimtom MC4 to DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm. You can either mount this panel to the roof of your home, vehicle, cabin, or RV, or you can move it around as you want during the day. I have two of these and I know that they’re not too large to deal with on a daily basis.
Kingsolar 40W – If charging quickly isn’t a necessity to you, maybe you just want to leave the solar panel out in the sun all day while you’re outdoors and come back to a fully charged battery? The Kingsolar 40W is a portable and foldable panel that has not only a DC output but a USB port as well so you can plug devices like phones and tablets directly into it. You don’t need an adapter for this one as it comes with everything you need to connect it to the Progeny 280W.
How Fast Will The Progeny 280W Recharge With A Solar Panel?
If you max out the Progeny at 60W input, it will be fully charged in 4.17 hours (250Wh/60W).
Note that a 60W panel doesn’t generate 60W since no solar panel is 100% efficient. A good quality 60W panel produces about 40-50W. That’s why I recommend a 100W panel with the Progeny if you want to charge it fast since that panel produces 55-70W and will max the input wattage that the solar charge controller can handle.
Can I Improve The Charging Efficiency Of My Solar Panel?
The most important thing you can do is to angle the panel towards the sun. This is especially important during the early and late hours of the day. Also during the wintertime when the sun is low on the horizon.
I have seen a big difference in how many watts my solar panels generate simply by angling them instead of laying them flat on the ground.
Another thing you should do is to make sure that the panels aren’t shaded, not even a little bit. I don’t have scientific numbers for it, but in my own experience, a solar panel that is 10% shaded can decrease its output by up to 50%. Take those numbers with a grain of salt, but I hope you get what I am saying. Don’t let the shade hit your panels!
Let me know down in the comment section if you have any questions.