How To Connect A Solar Panel To Westinghouse Portable Power Stations
Westinghouse is a company mostly known for their gas generators, but recently they released a couple of portable power stations that can be charged with solar panels.
Portable power stations usually mean that there is a lithium battery, an inverter (DC to AC), and a solar charge controller inside.
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Today I am going to show you how you can connect solar panels to these power stations, and recommend a couple of panels that will connect directly to the input on these Westinghouse batteries.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the three models currently available, the iGen160s, iGen200s, iGen300s. They’re not all the same, so pay attention to the differences depending on which one you have/you’re planning to buy.
Westinghouse Portable Power Stations Compared
The information about each of these models is directly from the manuals found on Westinghouse’s website.
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.
Solar Panels Compatible With Westinghouse Power Stations
Alright, now that we know the inputs and what each power station can handle, let’s take a look at some solar panels that have these connectors.
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.
If it’s a solar panel that comes with several different DC adapters and connectors, you just need to put on the right one and plug it into the power station.
If Your Solar Panel Has MC4 Connectors
If you have a solar panel with MC4 connectors, you can use an adapter to connect it to your specific power station.
There are two things you need to know when doing this.
- It can’t be a solar panel with a built-in charge controller, since the power stations already have a controller built-in.
- It has to be a 12V solar panel, and it shouldn’t be larger than 100W. Preferably between 50-80W, since the Westinghouse power stations can only handle 2 and 3 amps of input at most (around 36W with the iGen160s and 54W with the iGen200s and iGen300s).
Connect an MC4 solar panel to iGen160s
Since the iGen160s has a 5.5×2.1mm input port, you’ll need this adapter (click to view on Amazon). It has a positive MC4 female connector, and a negative MC4 male connector, so you need to make sure your panel is wired with a positive MC4 connector. The panels I recommend down below do.
Connect an MC4 solar panel to iGen200s/iGen300s
The larger Westinghouse power stations have an 8mm input, so to make the connection you need the MC4 to 8mm adapter (click to view on Amazon). It has a positive MC4 female connector, so you need to make sure your panel has a positive MC4 male connector. The panels I recommend down below do.
Which Panels I Recommend
All three of these panels use MC4 connectors, so you need one of the adapters above. Which one depends on which iGen model you have.
The Renogy 50W – A good little solid panel that will generate about 25-40W in good sunshine. Has mounting holes so you can screw it down.
The Renogy Flexible 50W – A flexible 50W panel that is lighter than the solid panels. Has mounting holes.
The Renogy 100W – I wouldn’t go larger than a 100W panel with the Westinghouse power stations. This is a 100W panel from Renogy, and I own a couple of these so I know that they’re great. Will max out the input of the larger Westinghouse batteries most hours of the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Westinghouse Include Solar Panels?
How Fast Will A Solar Panel Charge The Westinghouse Power Stations?
At max amperage, the iGen160s can handle about 36W (2A @ 18V). The two larger ones can do 3A, or about 54W (3A @ 18V).
Based on those numbers (take them with a grain of salt), the iGen160s can be charged in less than 5-6 hours. The iGen200s can be charged in 4-5 hours, and the iGen300s can be charged in 6-7 hours.
Can I Use a 24V Solar Panel?
No, a 24V panel outputs a voltage too high for the charge controllers in these power stations.
Can I Connect Two Panels?
You could connect two panels with MC4 connectors with an MC4 Y branch. Still, I don’t recommend going over 100W total watts, so you could do 50W x 2.
You need to connect the panels in parallel (not series) to not double the voltage and go over the limit of these power stations.
Just connect both positive wires from the solar panels to one of the adapters, then do the same with the negatives. Finally, connect the adapters to the MC4 to 8mm adapter (click to view on Amazon), and you’re good to connect them to the power stations.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or something to add.
10 thoughts on “Best Solar Panels For Westinghouse Portable Power Stations (iGen160s, iGen200s, iGen300s)”
Does the Renogy solar panel come with the MC4 connector to 8mm? I might as well be honest. All this sounds like Greek to me. I have the Westinghouse iGEN2oos and only want to make one trip to get my set up right. Thank you for any help you can give me.
Sorry about that, I’ll try to make the article more clear.
If you choose one of the panels in the table, you don’t need anything else.
If you choose one of the Renogy panels, you need to buy the MC4 to 8mm adapter. The Renogy panels do not come with any adapters.
Jesse this is by far the best information presented in a clear concise manor. Im like Mary clueless but I don’t feel bad because I have been researching this for 3 month including asking all the men I know (they know nothing)
Westinghouse has the worst customer service in the world. I called 3 times, was on hold 15-20 minutes and was systematically disconnected all 3 times I sent 2 emails to customer service with no replies.
Renogy on the other hand was terrific that is why I want to buy their solar panels. Unfortunately they could not tell me if the Igen300s and their solar panel was compatible.
So if I am reading all your excellent info I think I need the Renogy 100W solar panel + the MC4 8mm adapter.
Hope I’m right thanks Senior Prepper. I’d love if you would confirm my purchase You are a life saver
Hi Mae, thanks for your comment.
Yes, if you buy a Renogy panel, the only thing you’ll need is the MC4 to 8mm adapter.
It should work because the Renogy panel outputs a voltage below 19V (which is the limit of the input on the power station), and the input on the iGen300s is an 8mm connector.
The 100W panel should recharge the iGen300s in about 6-8 hours.
Please let me know if it doesn’t work or if you have any questions.
I want to buy the Westinghouse portable igen1000 solar generator – what kind of solar panel would I need?
It depends on if you want portable panels or panels that can be mounted and handle all types of weather.
You could buy any 12V or 24V solar panel with MC4 connectors, then use an MC4 to XT60 adapter to connect it to the iGen.
You could also hook several panels together in series as long as the total voltage is below 65V.
To get the most bang for your buck I’d go with the Allpowers 140W (click to view on Amazon).
A rigid panel like the Renogy 100W would also work, but is obviously not as portable.
To extend the wiring you can use Renogy MC4 extension cables.
I have a westinghouse igen1000s,this came with a 3.5m charge cable(mc4 to xt60 input) I have been looking at a harbor freight 100 watt panel to charge this. I am an old retired guy and new to the solar power scene, could you please advise!! Thank you!
Looks like the 100W panels from Harbor Freight use SAE connectors, so what you need is an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon). Then you can connect the solar panel directly to the adapter without using the cable Westinghouse included.
You could get this adapter instead if you want to use the adapter you already have, but more connections equal a higher voltage loss. Still, if the cable you have is 3.5 meters it can be worth using to extend the distance between the panel and the power station.
If you plug it in and it doesn’t work, try using the SAE reverse polarity adapter (included with both adapters above).
I have a 200 watt solar panel “Dokio” if I blocked out two of the four panels would it be ok to charge a Westinghouse iGen 300?
Sure, you could try but it’s hard to say whether it would let the iGen charge at all since it depends on how the cells on the panel is wired. I also can’t say whether it would void the warranty of the power station or not.