Plug A Zamp/SAE Solar Panel Into A Goal Zero Yeti
Zamp is an American brand that makes solar panels that come with SAE connectors. Goal Zero is another American brand that makes power stations/solar generators but uses 8mm and Anderson Power Pole inputs. Today I will help you connect the two, so you can charge your Goal Zero Yeti with a Zamp solar panel.
Note that you’re not going to be able to directly connect a Zamp panel with a built-in solar charge controller, since the Yeti power stations have solar charge controllers built-in as well. If you have one of those solar panel kits, you need to bypass the charge controller on the panel by splicing into the connection between the panel and the controller.
If you cut the wire and put MC4 connectors on both sides with an MC4 kit that includes a solar crimper and cable strippers, you can easily bypass it and connect the MC4 to 8mm adapter which will plug into your Yeti. I recommend using a multimeter to make sure you put a male MC4 connector on the positive wire coming from the panel, and a negative MC4 female connector.
That means that the positive wire from the charge controller will have an MC4 female connector and the negative will have an MC4 male connector.
Related Post: Plug A Zamp Solar Panel Into A Furrion Solar Port
Step 1: SAE to MC4
First, we need an adapter to turn the SAE connection into MC4 connectors. This adapter (click to view on Amazon) does exactly that.
The adapter includes a reverse polarity adapter that you might have to use depending on how your solar panel is wired. Zamp reverses the polarity on its solar panels and solar ports, so please make sure that the positive (red) wire from your panel is going to the positive (red) side of the adapter.
Step 2: MC4 to 8mm/APP
Second, we need an adapter to turn the MC4 connectors into either an 8mm or Anderson Power Pole (APP) connector. If you look at the input of your Yeti, you’ll know whether you have only an 8mm input, or both an 8mm and APP. The larger Yeti power stations have an APP input because it can handle more input. The 8mm input can only handle up to 120 watts of input on most Yeti power stations.
This adapter will turn the MC4 into an 8mm connector.
If your panel is larger than 150W, or you’d like to use the Anderson Power Pole because you can, the adapter you’ll need is this one.
Note that you might have to rearrange the Anderson Power Pole connector to fit the Yeti, but that is very easy to do.
The positive and negative connectors can be separated and turned to change the position. It’s important that you plug the positive (red) part of the connector into the positive (red) part of the input on the Yeti.
What You Need To Know When Connecting Solar Panels To A Goal Zero Yeti
The Yeti Lithium power stations can handle solar panels with up to 22V VOC. The VOC rating can usually be found on a sticker on the panel, or in the product’s specifications/manual.
If you want to connect two or more panels to a Yeti Lithium, you must connect the panels in parallel, more about that down below.
Since the Yeti power stations have a solar charge controller built-in, you also can’t connect a Zamp solar panel that has a built-in charge controller unless you bypass the controller and connect the Yeti directly to the solar panel.
Related Post: 5 Ways To Charge A Goal Zero Yeti Faster
If you have a non-lithium power station, like the Yeti 150 or 400, it can handle up to 29V VOC. The Yeti 1250 can handle up to 48V, which means you can connect two 12V panels in series.
You also need to make sure that the polarity is correct, which means that the positive wire from the solar panel is connecting to the positive 8mm/APP connector.
With the adapters above it’s easy to follow the circuit and make sure they’re connected correctly due to their color. Positive is red, and negative is black.
I recommend using MC4 extension cables if you want to store the Yeti further away from the solar panel. The WindyNation 12 Gauge MC4 extension cables (click to view on Amazon) come in different lengths depending on what you need.
How Many Solar Panels Can The Goal Zero Yeti Handle?
The 8mm input on most Yeti power stations can handle up to 120W of input, and the APP input can handle up to 360W. Therefore it’s not worth connecting more than 200W of solar panels to an 8mm input since 200W of panels will generate between 100-140W and max out the 8mm input.
How Do You Connect Two Or More Panels?
If you have a Yeti Lithium, you can connect two panels with an MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon).
This creates a parallel connection that doubles the amperage, but not the voltage, so as long as the VOC ratings of the 12V panels don’t exceed 22V, you’re safe to use them with the Yeti Lithium power stations.
Related Post: How To Combine Two Or More Goal Zero Solar Panels
How Do I Use Other Aftermarket Solar panels With A Goal Zero Yeti?
I have written a post that goes through this specifically, click here to view it.
My Solar Generator Has A Different Input, How Do I Connect The Zamp/SAE Solar Panel?
If your solar generator has neither an 8mm or APP input, leave a comment down below and let me know what solar generator you have, and I will help you out.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.
19 thoughts on “How To Connect A Zamp/SAE Solar Panel To A Goal Zero Yeti”
Hello! I own a 200W Zamp portable solar suitcase with a built in 15-Amp 5-Stage PWM Charge Controller.
I want to use my Zamp panels to charge my Goal Zero 1400 Lithium power station using anderson power pole connectors that connect to the GZ via their MPPT Solar charging optimization Module.
To accomplish this, I was told that I would need to first bypass the Zamp controller. If this is true, what type of connectors should I use to connect the wires that I cut before the controller and how do I keep the correct polarity on those new connectors.
If I don’t have to worry about bypassing the Zamp controller then I would just follow your advice above to use a SAE To MC4 connector?
Yes, you should bypass the Zamp controller.
I recommend using MC4 connectors, which will be easy to connect and disconnect when you want to charge your Yeti 1400. A kit like this (click to view on Amazon) comes with everything you would need. If you already have wire strippers there are other kits without one.
Put an MC4 male connector on the positive wire coming from the solar panel, and an MC4 female connector on the negative wire. Then put an MC4 female connector on the positive wire coming from the charge controller, and an MC4 male connector on the negative wire.
Then you’ll be able to connect this MC4 to Anderson Powerpole adapter to your Yeti. The adapter has a positive female, which is why it’s important that the positive wire directly from the panel is a positive male.
For extension cords, I recommend these Windynation MC4 extension cables.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks Jesse! I do have a couple of additional questions;
1. How can I tell which one of the wires coming from the Zamp solar panel is the positive one?
2. Each 100 W panel has a separate set of wires that then connect to the charge controller. So I will end up with 2 pairs of wires with MC4 connectors on each. Then those 2 MC4 connectors will hook up to 2 Anderson Power pole adaptors.
Since I have only 1 Anderson Power Pole Charging Port (input): 15-22V on the GZ MPPT optimization module, I will need an adaptor to combine both of those 2 APP leads into just one, correct?
1. You can either use a multimeter or look at where the wires are connected to the charge controller. The charge controller inputs should have clear + (positive) and – (negative) markings.
2. Hmm, that’s an interesting way to wire a suitcase. What you can do is add MC4 connectors on all wires, then use an MC4 Y Branch to connect the two panels together in parallel, so you only have to use one MC4 to Anderson adapter.
You’ll take the positive male MC4 connectors from both panels and connect them to the MC4 Y branch with two MC4 female connectors, then do the same with the negative wires to the second adapter. This will keep the positive and negative wires separate from each other and create a parallel connection, which is safe for the Yeti.
I have a Zamp solar panel with its own controller and a Yeti 1250 with an internal controller: charging will not take place unless one of the controllers are bypassed. Since the Zamp controller is external it would be easier to bypass their controller. How do I safely do this and wire it to be compatible with the Yeti? Please keep it simple, I am just a dumb chemist!
Hello Rachel, sorry for the late reply.
The absolute easiest thing to do would be to install MC4 connectors. A kit like this (click to view on Amazon) includes everything you’ll need.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks Again Jesse!
Followed instructions herein to hook up a yeti 500x to a Zamp 180 system. Zamp Zs-15 controller shows a low battery voltage code – b-01. No charging happens. Ideas?
Sorry, that’s my fault for not making it very clear in the article that this is for Zamp panels that don’t include charge controllers. I have updated the post to make this more clear.
It’s because the Yeti 500X already has a built-in charge controller, and you can’t go through two. Therefore, you need to bypass the controller on the Zamp solar kit. I would put MC4 connectors with an MC4 kit on the wires between the panel and the controller, then connect the MC4 to 8mm adapter when you want to charge your Yeti. That way, you can connect the panel to the controller again as needed.
Hi, I have the reverse issue: I want to use a Goal Zero either Boulder briefcase to plug into a 2018 Basecamp which has an external Zamp connector built in, and Zamp panels on the rooftop. Can I use these MC4 adaptors and /or 8mm adapter to plug GZ panels to the Basecamp through a Zamp plug?
You would have to add a small charge controller between the panel and the Zamp port.
I can’t promise that it’s going to work, but I would buy these three things:
Goal Zero 8mm to SAE adapter – This will be connected to the Goal Zero Boulder 100 briefcase, and the charge controller.
Zeallife SAE charge controller – This can handle up to 130W/22V Voc, so make sure the Boulder panel doesn’t output more than 22V. Connect the Boulder to the solar panel side, and the battery side to the Zamp port. Make sure you’re connecting positive to postive, and negative to negative.
Sunway SAE polarity adapters – If the polarity is incorrect, you’ll use these to change it to make sure positive goes to positive, and negative to negative.
Again, I haven’t done this myself and don’t take any responsibility if it doesn’t work. Let me know if you have any questions.
When bypassing Zamp controller, are you saying to cut wires from panel to controller then put MC4 connector on both sets of cut wires so that panels can be reconnected to Zamp controller as needed? I need the Zamp SAE connection and controller to charge rv battery but also want to switch panels to charge Goal zero. Any pics?
Correct, I have written this article where I share how I did it with a similar panel. Let me know if you have any questions.
Nice write-up Jesse. Did you mean Vmp instead of Voc? Vmp is the max power voltage output of the panel, whereas Voc is open circuit voltage.
Hi thanks for your comment, yes you’re correct! I need to update this article.
I own the Zamp 140W suitcase (This: https://www.zampsolar.com/products/140-watt-portable-solar-kit). I use the alligator clips to charge a lithium ion battery hooked up to my teardrop trailer. I want to buy a solar generator/power station to supplement this power. Using one of these I can hook it up to my trailer and then I can use the 110v plugs as if it was plugged into shore power.
Is there a power station I can purchase that is compatible with my Zamp panels and won’t force me to splice wires? I have very limited electrical knowledge.
Since the Zamp solar panel comes with a solar charge controller you have to start with disconnecting the charge controller. After a quick look at the panel I think you need one of these, and one of these.
When that’s done you’re going to have a lot of power stations to choose from. What do you want to be able to power? Smaller devices like a laptop, or large kitchen appliances like a microwave?
ok so with both of those adaptors I can just disconnect the controller? I don’t have to cut anything? I still want to be able to use the controller to charge my regular battery on my RV. I’m just trying to get a power station that will run my starlink dish and my trailer fan. There are no major appliances.
You might want to make sure with Zamp, but based on the photos of the panel that should work.
Ok, since the Starlink Dish uses almost 100W I recommend getting a power station like the River Pro (click to view on Amazon). It should be able to power the Starlink for at least 5-6 hours.
Your panel will plug into the River Pro with an EcoFlow MC4 to XT60 adapter.