Best Portable Solar Panels & Power Stations For Prepping & Survival In 2020


Part 1 of 14 - Solar Powered Prepping Series - What You Can Maintain With Foldable Solar Panels & Solar Generators

SUAOKI & Rockpal Solar Panels plus Beaudens & Energizer Power Stations
This article is part 1 of 14 in our series that cumulatively includes details on the vast amount of battery powered capabilities a prepper can easily maintain after a Doomsday event.  

Overview - Best Foldable Solar Panels & Portable Power Stations

In this article, written from a prepper's viewpoint, we have researched and picked out the best portable solar panels & power stations (also called solar generators) and put them into categories for comparison.  Included are charts like the one pictured above where it is easy to make comparisons on key features and capacities, which we also explain in this article.  

Small Portable Solar Generators Like The Beaudens 166Wh & Energizer 160Wh Have 10 Year LiFePO4 Batteries And Are Great Choices For Preppers!

Small Portable Solar Generators Like The Beaudens & Energizer Are Great Choices For Preppers!

Keep reading to learn which solar panels & generators are best during Doomsday and which ones are right for you.  If you haven't read the main article called "Top 10 Best Uses Of Foldable Solar Panels & Generators!", you may want to read it first as it covers the vast amount of battery powered capabilities a prepper can maintain after a Doomsday event.  

Plus that article helps you determine what kind of solar powered prepping category that you fall into so that you'll know what size portable solar panels and power stations best fit your needs.  

Power Stations That Have LiFePO4 Batteries Will Last 3 Times Or More Longer Than Regular Lithium Ion Batteries

Energizer 160Wh Power Station Has The Latest LiFePO4 Battery Technology!

It's important to determine the category you fit into for using solar generators because you need to know how much power the solar panel(s) need to provide.  We recommend that every prepper have at least one Foldable Solar Panel and one Small Solar Generator that has LiFePO4 batteries.  That way they can maintain a vast array of battery powered devices and cordless power tools for perhaps a decade or longer with very small portable solar power.  

Even if you add another solar panel & power station for backups or go bigger with a 2nd set with larger solar panels & power stations, we still recommend a 60W to 120W solar panel and small LiFePO4 power station.  You can't beat the small size, portability, and lower cost for what you get in capability.

Suaoki 120W Solar Panel Charging Beaudens 166Wh Power Station - We Measured 19.8V - Open Circuit Voltage & 5.847A Short Circuit Current

Suaoki 120W Solar Panel Charging Beaudens 166Wh Power Station Via 13' 3-Piece Extension Cable

We currently have both the Energizer 160Wh and Beaudens 166Wh small power stations and charge them interchangeably with a Rockpals 60W solar panel and also a Suaoki 120W solar panel.  Both solar panels charge these small power stations just as fast in full sun in about 4 to 5 hours since the MPPT controllers in both power stations optimize the charge rate to approx. 42 Watts.  On a partially cloudy day, the 120W panel will charge the power stations faster when cloud cover starts reducing the charging amps.

The RockPals 60W Solar Panel Is A Perfect Match For Small Portable Solar Generators Like The Beaudens 166Wh & Energizer 160Wh

The RockPals 60W Solar Panel Is A Perfect Match For Small Portable Solar Generators

Why You Should Decide On Portable Solar Generator(s) Before You Buy Foldable Solar Panels

Before you pick out a good foldable solar panel (or more than one), it is best to first determine which solar generator(s) fit your needs.  You can decide what features you desire, what your basic use will be and what devices you want to support with solar power.  

Once you can pick a solar generator, you'll want to know what type of DC ports are on both the solar panel and solar generator.  It's nice if they have the same DC port, although if they are different, you just have to make sure that either comes with the right DC adapter or you can always obtain the correct DC adapter.  

Solar generators also have a maximum input voltage (for example 22V DC) and you wouldn't want the solar panel's open circuit voltage to exceed that.  Let us teach you what you need to know to first decide on which portable solar generator(s) fit your needs.  Then we will teach you about foldable solar panels. 

The 4 DC Connector Sizes Below Will Cumulatively Fit The Majority Of Solar Generators / Power Stations 

ROCKPALS Foldable 60W Solar Panel Is Compatible With Many Devices!

Recommended Portable Solar Generators / Power Stations For Preppers

There are plenty of good manufacturers of quality Solar Generators.  We can recommend, in no particular order:  Energizer, Beaudens, Bluetti, ECOFLOW, TITAN, Jackery, Rockpals & AIMTOM. The following charts are our recommendations for Solar Generators and are categorized (Small, Medium, Medium/Large, and Large) with a comparison of key features noted in each chart.  

First, just look over the charts to get a feel for the range of different capacities and features that exist.  We will also provide some links where you can check current prices.  Prices seem to continuously change and sale prices pop up and end frequently.  Availability is hit or miss as portable solar power is in high demand.

The Amazing ECOFlow Delta 1300 Power Station May Not Be The Best For Doomsday But Is A Great Choice For The Weekend Partier / Camper

The Amazing ECOFlow Delta 1300 Power Station!


After the charts (for both solar generators and solar panels) we will explain each of the key features and capabilities in more detail to help you decide which solar power stations & solar panels fit your needs. Just because a power station has some "red" areas of concern, those red areas may not be important features for you.  They could be a huge deal to someone else.  You need to learn what features are important to you and then refer back to the charts.

Note for viewing charts below:  If you are viewing this page with a smartphone, for best viewing, click the charts once and turn your phone horizontal and then click your back button to return when finished. Also, to the best of our knowledge, the data in the charts is correct.  If you purchase any of these power stations, be sure to do your own validation of features before you buy. 

Small Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Small Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Energizer 150W / 160Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

2. Beaudens 150W / 166Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. Jackery Explorer 160
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

4. AIMTOM PowerPal X (155Wh)
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

5. Bluetti AC20 200Wh/120W
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Bluetti website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Bluetti Solar Power Station Price Check

Medium Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Medium Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Energizer 200W / 240Wh
     a.  Amazon
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

2. Beaudens 150W / 240Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. Jackery Explorer 240
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

4. AIMTOM PowerPal Pro (230Wh)
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

5. Rockpals 250W / 240Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Rockpals website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Check Price & Availability at Northern Tool

Medium/Large Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Medium/Large Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Rockpals 300W / 280Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Rockpals website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Check Price & Availability at Northern Tool

2. Beaudens 300W / 380Wh
     a.  Amazon
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. Bluetti AC50 300W / 500Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
b.  Bluetti website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Bluetti Solar Power Station Price Check

4. Jackery Explorer 500
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

5. Rockpals 500W / 540Wh
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Rockpals website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Check Price & Availability at Northern Tool

Large Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Large Solar Power Station Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Jackery Explorer 1000
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

2. ECOFlow Delta 1300
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  ECOFlow website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
ECOFLOW Portable Solar Power Station Price Check

3. Bluetti EB150
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Bluetti website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Bluetti Solar Power Station Price Check

4. Bluetti EB240
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Bluetti website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Bluetti Solar Power Station Price Check

5. TITAN
     a.  TITAN website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
TITAN Portable Solar Power Station Price Check
    

Recommended Foldable Solar Panels For Preppers

Once you decide on a solar generator, you need to pick out a compatible solar panel.  In sticking with this article's theme on portability, we are only listing quality foldable solar panels.  You may prefer less portable rigid solar panels if you want to mount them permanently.

For most of the solar generators listed in the Small through Medium/Large categories, you can charge them adequately with just a single solar panel.  For those solar generators in the Large category, you are most likely going to want more than one solar panel connected in parallel (with MC4 branch connectors) to take advantage of faster charging.  That makes the Large solar generators less portable than the smaller power stations.  See our next article called Top 10 Solar Panel Diagnostic, Testing & Wiring Tools For Preppers In 2020! for more details on connecting solar panels in parallel.

The Suaoki 120W Foldable Solar Panel Is One Of The Very Few Foldable Solar Panels That Has A Built In MPPT Controller That Can Safely Directly Charge a 12V Car Battery

SUAOKI Foldable 120W Solar Panel Can Charge Your Car Batteries


There are plenty of good manufacturers of quality Foldable Solar Panels.  We can recommend, in no particular order:  Rockpals, Suaoki, Beaudens, TWELSEAVAN, FIVKLEMNZ, & COOCHEER. The following charts are recommended foldable solar panels by wattage (60W, 100W, and 120W) and are our recommendations with a comparison of key features noted in the charts.  

Note for viewing charts below:  If you are viewing this page with a smartphone, for best viewing, click the charts once and turn your phone horizontal and then click your back button to return when finished. Also, to the best of our knowledge, the data in the charts is correct.  If you purchase any of these solar panels, be sure to do your own validation of features before you buy. 

60W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

60W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Rockpals 60W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Rockpals website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Check Price & Availability at Northern Tool

2. TWELSEAVAN 60W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. FIVKLEMNZ 60W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

100W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

100W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
     b.  Rockpals website (look for coupon codes right on the web page)
Check Price & Availability at Northern Tool

2. BEAUDENS 100W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. TWELSEAVAN 100W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

120W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

120W Foldable Solar Panel Comparison Chart

Check Current Prices & Availability:

1. Suaoki 120W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon
    
2. TWELSEAVAN 120W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

3. COOCHEER 120W Foldable Solar Panel
     a.  Amazon 
Check Availability & Price At Amazon

What We Currently Use For Solar Generators / Power Stations

As mentioned earlier, we currently have both the Energizer 160Wh and Beaudens 166Wh small power stations and charge them interchangeably with a Rockpals 60W solar panel and also a Suaoki 120W solar panel.  

Both solar panels charge these small power stations just as fast in full sun in about 4 to 5 hours since the MPPT controllers in both power stations optimize the charge rate to approx. 42 Watts.  On a partially cloudy day, the 120W panel will charge the power stations faster when cloud cover starts reducing the charging amps.

We use the smaller power stations because they will last 10 years or more with 2000 cycles each and still have 80% of their original capacity and those two will power everything that we need as a "Basic Prepper".  As long as you are not trying to power electric heaters, mini fridges, and electric stoves (things that heat and and cool), then the small solar generators are capable.

 SUAOKI 120W & Rockpals 60W Foldable Solar Panels plus Beaudens & Energizer 150W Portable Power Stations

We also believe in the military principal "two is one, one is none", meaning if you don't have a backup for something and it breaks, then you have none.  Thus, why we have two solar panels & two power stations as our minimum.  

The Rockpals 60W is plenty powerful to charge the two small power stations, but we wanted a higher wattage solar panel (Suaoki 120W) for partly cloudy day charging, plus it will be ready to charge our next likely higher wattage power station that we purchase in the next several years.

The paragraphs below explain why the 120W Suaoki is not too powerful for the Energizer 160Wh and Beaudens 166Wh when the Energizer 160Wh states to use a 60W solar panel, and Beaudens recommends their 100W solar panel for all of their power stations.  

Just an observation that these two power stations seem to behave exactly the same with respect to 110V AC Adapter charging time and discharging times are virtually the same with the same device loads when both are fully charged.  They possibly share a lot of the same components.

"Two Is One, One Is None" Military Principal In Action As We Have More Than One Small Battery Charger

Beaudens 150W Power Station Powering 4 Battery Chargers Simultaneously

The Energizer 160Wh states "as long as the solar panel's open circuit voltage is less than 22V, it can be used" and also mentions it can accept up to 8A on the DC input.  The Beauden's states it can accept solar panel inputs between 13V & 22V.  Both the Rockpals 60W solar panel and the Suaoki 120W solar panel indicate that their maximum open circuit voltage is less than 22V. 

Near the bottom of this article there is a "HoboTech" YouTube video review of the Beaudens 166Wh Power Station that shows during field testing that it can actually accept up to 26V and still charge at a flat rate of approx. 42 watts as regulated by the MPPT controller as long as the voltage is between 15V & 26V.  Over 26V and the Beaudens 166Wh Power Station protects itself with over-voltage protection and just shuts off as shown in the video.

Both the Rockpals & Suaoki are creating less than 22V (open circuit voltage) and we actually measured that on a sunny day with our AstroAI DM6000AR Multimeter.  The Suaoki 120W solar panel states it can output up to 6.6A max.  Both Power Station's MPPT panels are optimizing/reducing the current to charge at a set wattage.  So far so good, as both power stations and solar panels seem to work very well together. 

"Two Is One, One Is None" Military Principal In Action Again As We Have Three Early Warning System Motion Detector Receivers Plus More Sensors (More Than Shown) For Backups

Beaudens 150W Power Station Powering - Charging BlueBits Motion Detector Components Simultaneously

We would like to purchase another LiFePO4 power station now, such as the Beaudens 380Wh with Pure Sine Wave, but our current two power stations are less than 1 year old, and we want to rotate in new power stations every 3 or 4 years. 

Portable Solar Generators / Power Stations - Key Features & Capacities

Here are definitions of some of the key features & capacities of solar generators:

1. Battery Type
    a.  (Good) - Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
    b.  (Slightly Better Than Li-ion) - Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
    c.  (Easily The Best) - Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4

NOTE:  LiFePO4 batteries are the best but are considerably heavier.  In Small & Medium sized power stations this is not a big deal, but in larger power stations LiFePO4 can be an issue in portability.  The only currently "Large" LiFePO4 power station is the Suaoki G1000 (1183 Wh).  It is not included in our Large category chart but would still be a good but heavy choice at 48.5 lbs.  

ECOFlow will also have their new ECOFlow R600 Pro (768Wh LiFePO4) model available in the fall of 2020.

2.  Battery Cycles - how many times the battery can be fully discharged/recharged before the battery capacity is reduced to 80%.  The power station will still work, but as an example, a 1000 Wh LiFePO4 battery will gradually degrade after about 2000 cycles to a 800 Wh battery.

LiFePO4 vs Li-ion

3. Battery Standby Time - also, called Idle time, this is the maximum recommended time between charging the battery to maximize battery health.

4. Battery Capacity (Watt Hours - Wh) - Manufacturers always seem to overstate usable Wh capacity.  If a battery's rated Wh capacity is 500 Wh, that means theoretically you could run a 100W device for 5 hours or a 20W device for 25 hours.  However, this does not take into account the efficiency (effective or operating power) of the battery.  

Most Li-ion & LiPO batteries are 85% efficient for AC Power.   Most LiFePO4 batteries have 90% efficiency.  A rated 500Wh power station will have effective AC power of 500Wh x 0.85 = 425Wh (for Li-ion & LiPO) vs. 500Wh x 0.9 = 450Wh (for LiFEPO4).  Typically DC & USB power are no less than 95% efficient even for Li-ion.

5. Passthrough Charging - the ability to charge your power station simultaneously while it is charging other device(s).   This might be really important to a lot of people, but not to us.  

Passthrough charging is more of a "nice to have" if you have more than one solar generator like we do, so it is less important to us as typically we would only need to charge a single solar generator on any given day while we are using another one.  

Passthrough Charging Is Essentially The Same As A UPS


If we only had one solar generator, passthrough charging would be more important, because what if we needed to charge a device at the same time our solar generator needs charging.  Without passthrough charging, that device would not be available until after we were finished charging it.  

On some power stations, when passthrough charging, the maximum continuous power is reduced, and on others we have read where passthrough charging in some cases can reduce battery life.

Word to the wise.  Always have all of your spare batteries (AAs, cordless power tool batteries, small battery banks to charge your smartphones, etc.) fully charged or in line to be charged by your Solar Generator, so that you never get in a situation where passthrough charging is a critical last second feature that you are depending on for survival.   

6. Battery Charge Time - It is important to have lower charge times to recharge the power station.  On smaller portable power stations, typically only one solar panel will be required.  For larger power stations that means typically more than one solar panel may have to be used in series or parallel to increase the DC Input power (while staying under DC Input power limits) to lower the charge time. 

Saving time will be critical in a Doomsday scenario, and some days the sun is out for less available time or not at all.

7. Controller type - MPPT controllers are better than PWM controllers in that MPPT controller can maximize the amount of solar power charging the power station for approx. 30% faster charging times.  

Why MPPT Controllers Are Superior To PWM Controllers

MPPT vs. PWM Controllers Explained


8.  AC Sine wave - It is a fact that Pure sine wave is better than Modified sine wave in that pure sine wave matches the same curved sine wave as commercial AC power.  Modified sine wave is more of square pulsed wave.  This might be an issue on sensitive medical or electronic equipment or appliances that have AC motors (like refrigerators, microwaves, and compressors). 

We have had no issues with our power station AC Outlets (with Modified sine wave) powering cordless power tool chargers, charging laptops, AA battery chargers, lights, fans, soldering irons & more on Modified sine wave.  For TVs, we have seen where they run fine but sometimes the audio is slightly choppy.  

Modified Sine Wave vs Pure Sine Wave

If you have expensive electronic equipment or CPAP machines that you do not want to chance damaging with modified sine wave, it would be safer to use Pure sine wave.  Here is a good article with more details on this issue:  Can a Modified Sine Wave Inverter Damage Electronics?

9.  AC Continuous Watts - The maximum continuous watts being supplied by the power station without shutting down.  

10.  AC Max Watts - the short term "power surge" maximum (initial surge watts when a device is typically powered on) that the power station can handle without shutting down.

11. DC Regulated ports - if the DC ports are regulated that means they will remain at a constant voltage the entire time a device is being powered until the moment the power station has drained down and then it shuts off.  If the DC ports are not regulated, then the DC voltage will gradually be reduced while the battery is draining.  

If the fully charged power station (with unregulated DC) started at 13 Volts DC, and drained down gradually as an example to 9V DC before it normally shut off, some devices (like perhaps some mini fridges and some CPAP machines) cannot handle that and need regulated voltage.  For other devices it is less of an issue.  

Typically the device will shut itself down the moment the supplied DC voltage drops below the device's allowable voltage range.  

LiFePO4 vs Lithium Ion Battery Voltage Discharge Curve

LiFePO4 vs Lithium Ion Battery Voltage Discharge Curve

For Li-ion batteries (with unregulated DC ports), they likely will reach a lower allowable DC voltage range rather quickly (say it is 11V minimum for a device) and that device is going to shut off much sooner. 

LiFePO4 batteries have a much flatter voltage rate than Li-ion batteries, but at perhaps approx. 20% battery capacity the voltage drop for a LiFePO4 battery might start causing issues for some DC powered devices.  

The Beaudens 380Wh power station (which is LiFePO4 but does not have regulated DC) states "For sensitive devices, such as CPAP, this power generator will protect them by producing clean and stable electricity with the pure sine wave inverter."  

A lot of people who have CPAPs historically just buy the Jackery Power Stations for Pure Sine Wave + Regulated DC voltage.  There are also quite a few power stations in our charts that have Pure Sine Wave and are DC regulated.  The Rockpals power stations state to use the AC Outlet and purchase their DC converter to run CPAPs.  As always read the descriptions and customer feedback to help you decide.  

12.  USB QC 3.0 Ports - these are important for faster charging smartphones.  

13.  Type C PD (Power Delivery) Ports - can charge some of the newer laptops and other devices (that have Type C PD ports) faster and without using their AC charger.   When you buy laptops or tablets in the future, look for those that have Type C PD ports.  

Video Of Suaoki 100W Solar Panel Simultaneously Charging Laptop With 60W Type C PD Port, Smartphone with QC3.0 Port and Power Station With DC Port

Suaoki 100W Solar Panel Powers Laptop With Type C PD Power Delivery Port


A Type C PD port is more important as an Output port on the Power Station, than it is an Input Port to charge the Power Station, as typically the DC Input Port on the power station is charged the fastest by the AC charger or by solar panel.

Hopefully, you now have enough information to help you decide what power station(s) to purchase assuming you desire to purchase one.

Foldable Solar Panels - Key Features & Capacities

Here are definitions of some of the key features & capacities of solar panels:

1. MPPT controller in solar panel - almost all foldable solar panels do not have a built in controller.  Instead the solar generator / power station has a built in MPPT or PWM controller.  The Suaoki 120W Solar panel is an exception.  

Having the controller in both the solar panel and solar generator is overkill, but with one exception.  The MPPT controller in the solar panel can safely charge a 12V automotive battery as noted by Suaoki.  

For almost all other solar panels (those without controllers), you would need to hook up an external controller between the solar panel and the car battery to make sure the charging voltage does not exceed approximately 14.4 volts.  A typical 12-volt lead-acid battery must be taken to approximately 14.2-14.4 VDC before it is fully charged.  

If you were stranded and had a dead car battery and were charging it with just a solar panel putting out 18V, you would have to carefully monitor the 12V car battery's voltage (with a multi-meter, volt meter, or battery tester - see our next article) as it increases while charging.  

Once the car battery's voltage gets to about 14 volts you would need to disconnect the solar panel as it will want to continue to charge the car battery to 18 volts and it will damage/destroy the battery and almost certainly soon cause a safety hazard above 14.4 volts.

The Suaoki 120W Foldable Solar Panel Is A Beast!

The Suaoki 120W Foldable Solar Panel Is A Beast!

2. Included DC Cable Length - this is the included cable length from the solar panel to the solar generator.  If this is less than 5' the best you can do is put the solar generator right beside the solar panel.  Perhaps a 5' to 10' cable length is adequate without obtaining or making an extension cable.

3. Easy To Add Extension Cable - This is a convenience matter if you want to extend the power station further away from the solar panel as many people may want to do, such as having your solar panel just outdoors and your solar generator sitting just inside a door or window inside.

If the solar panel has an MC4 cable hardwired to it with an MC4 to DC adapter cable (and if needed an appropriate sized DC adapter), then it is super easy to just order an MC4 to MC4 extension cable and install it (as long as all cabling and the power station are still within allowable voltage and current ratings). There may be other situations where you can just order and install an Anderson to Anderson extension cable.

There will be situations where both the solar panel and the solar generator both have for example, female DC ports, such as they both might have 5.5mm x 2.1mm female ports (such as the setup pictured above). Since they do not seem to make 5.5mm x 2.1mm male to male extension cables you end up having to make your own cables, and you may even have to make short cables to reverse the polarity.

Suaoki 120W Solar Panel Charging Energizer 160Wh Power Station With 13' Three Piece Extension Cable (Center Cables Reverse/Fix The Polarity)

Suaoki 120W Solar Panel Charging Beaudens 166Wh Power Station With 13' Three Piece Extension Cable (Center Cables Reverse/Fix The Polarity)


That's exactly what we did as pictured above - the two MC4 to MC4 (red & black U-shaped) cables that are heavier gauge are actually one male-to-male (black) and one female-to-female (red) cable that correct the negative polarity that we created by using two 5.5.mm x 2.1mm to MC4 cables that they connect to.

It's not that hard to do as explained in our next article "Top 10 Solar Panel Diagnostic, Testing & Wiring Tools For Preppers In 2020!", but it is just a lot more convenient to not have to make your own cables.

However, if you find the perfect solar panel, better than other solar panels, but you have to make some of your own cables, then sometimes that will be well worth the trouble. So read our next article for more details.

4. Can Be Wired In Parallel - similar to making an extension cord, is it easy to just order MC4 branch connectors or cables and install them without making your own cables? Or does it appear you will have to order and/or make MC4 to a specific DC connector and possible make short cables to reverse the polarity?

It's not that hard to do as explained in our next article "Top 10 Solar Panel Diagnostic, Testing & Wiring Tools For Preppers In 2020!".

To Build Your Own Solar Panel To Solar Generator Extension or Parallel Cables You'll Need Either MC4 or Anderson Connectors And A Crimping Tool Kit

MC4 Solar Connectors & Crimping Tool Kit

5. Grommets For Hanging - sometimes you might want to hang the solar panel using grommet holes in the solar panels. You can't do that if there are no grommet holes or loops. If there are just grommet holes on one end, you can only hang the solar panel vertically. If you have 4 grommet holes (two on each end) then you can hang the solar panel horizontally or vertically which gives you more options.

The High Quality Fivklemnz 60W Solar Panel Has Grommets For Vertical Or Horizontal Hanging

The Fivklemnz 60W Solar Panel Has Grommets For Vertical Or Horizontal Hanging


6. Integrated Kick Stand - you can generally capture sunlight more efficiently, and depending on the location of the sun, you might capture up to 25% -30% more sunlight than lying flat. You can always be inventive and brace your solar panel (that has no kickstand) against something to improve the angle of the solar panel to an angle more perpendicular to the sun to increase the power provided by the solar panel.

An example would be using PVC Pipe, elbows, and tees to make a brace that you can take apart or glue together. Just create a custom size that your foldable solar panel can lay against and secure with nylon zip ties and/or velcro straps.

DIY Portable Solar Panel Stand for $10

7. Open Circuit Voltage - this is the maximum voltage of the solar panel when measuring across the positive and negative cables when nothing is connected to the solar panel. The open circuit voltage of the solar panel cannot exceed the allowable maximum DC input (charging voltage) of the solar generator / power station.

Search in the seller's descriptions for both the solar panel and solar generator to learn the solar panel's output voltage range and/or it's open circuit voltage and then compare that to what the solar generator allows.

Rockpals 60W Solar Panel Measuring 21.46V (Open Circuit Voltage) & 3.265A (Short Circuit Current) Through Three-Piece 29' Extension Cable

Rockpals 60W Solar Panel Measuring 21.46V & 3.265A Through 29' Extension Cable

8. USB-A 5V Ports - these are your standard slow charging USB ports if you were going to slowly charge your smartphone or laptop directly from your solar panel without a solar generator.

USB QC3.0 & Type C Power Delivery Ports Are Desirable On Both Solar Panels & Generators

USB QC3.0 & Type C Power Delivery Ports Are Desirable On Solar Panels & Generators

9. USB QC 3.0 Ports - these are your standard quick charging USB ports if you want to more quickly charge your smartphone directly from your solar panel without a solar generator. When choosing foldable solar panels & portable battery power stations the best port connections for charging Smartphones are fast charging Quick Charge "QC" USB ports.

The latest versions of Quick Charge are QC 3.0, QC 4.0, and QC 4+. The higher the number the faster the charging. However, the current solar panels and power stations seem to only have QC 3.0, so at least look for one QC 3.0 charging port. If you can find solar panels and power stations with QC 4.0 or QC 4+ choose those as all QC ports are backwards compatible.

QC 3.0 USB ports charge with 5V/18W DC power and charge your smartphones much faster than standard non QC USB ports.

10. Type C PD (Power Delivery) Ports - can charge some of the newer laptops and other devices (that have Type C PD ports) faster and directly from the solar panel without using their AC charger.   The best port connections for charging laptops are Power Delivery PD Type C 45W DC ports or PD Type C 60W DC ports.  

If you buy solar panels and power stations that have PD Type C 45W or PD Type C 60W ports, you will be future proofing your purchase.  

Most older and many current laptops do not support PD charging, but you can still charge them using the AC Outlet on your power station.  When purchasing new laptops in the future, try and buy laptops that accept PD Type C charging.  

Some laptops that have Type C connectors may have Type C ports that only accept charging, only accept data transfers, or are a combo port that can be used for charging & data transfer.  Make sure your new laptops have Type C ports that allow PD Type C charging.

YouTube Videos:

Below are some good YouTube Video reviews of the most of the recommended Portable Power Stations & Foldable Solar Panels.

- The following YouTube video is a short Energizer "Commercial" Showing The Portability & Versatility Of Small Power Stations 

Energizer 240Wh Portable Power Station For All of Your Charging Needs



- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Beaudens 166 Wh Power Station.

Micro LiFePO4 SOLAR GENERATOR With MPPT!


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Bluetti EB240 Power Station.

EASIEST Off Grid Power Solution | Bluetti 2400WH Solar Generator


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the ECOFlow Delta 1300 Power Station from an RVer's perspective.

All In One RV Solar Setup Delta 1300 Review


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station.

Lightest 1000 Watt Power Station & Solar Generator - Jackery Explorer 1000


- The following YouTube video is a good introductory video of the Titan Power Station.

Introducing the new Titan solar generator


- The following YouTube video is a thorough review of of the Titan Power Station.

Complete Titan Solar Generator Production Model Review


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Rockpals 60W Solar Panel & Rockpals 300W Power Station.

Review of Rockpals 60W Solar Panel & Rockpals 300W Power Station


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Rockpals 100W Solar Panel.

Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel Review


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Beaudens 100W Solar Panel.

Beaudens 100 Watt Portable Folding Solar Panel Review


- The following YouTube video is a good review of the Suaoki 100W Solar Panel (Note:  This is a smaller version of the Suaoki 120W Solar Panel)

SUAOKI 100 Watt Portable Folding Solar Panel Review


If You Need Solar Above & Beyond This Article - Save Thousands With GoGreenSolar DIY Solar Kits!

Save Thousands With GoGreenSolar DIY Solar Kits

Caution & Warning

Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web site is for information only. TopSurvivalPreps.com and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including Solar Panels, Solar Generators / Power Stations or any other devices, and that also includes making solar MC4 or Anderson cables or connections, charging or over charging any batteries with solar or electrical power.

If You Liked This Article - Please Share It & Keep Reading Our - Solar Powered Prepping Series - What You Can Maintain With Foldable Solar Panels & Solar Generators

Each of the following articles cumulatively include details and recommendations on the vast amount of capabilities a prepper can maintain during Doomsday! 

Solar Powered Prepping Series:

The following web pages are in progress!  They will be created throughout 2020 and the links will be added below as they are created.


Part 1 (This Article):  Best Foldable Solar Panels & Portable Power Stations In 2020

Part 3:  Top 10 Expert Survival, Bushcraft & Self Defense Videos In 2020

Part 4:  Best AA, AAA, C, D, 9V & CR123A Battery Chargers & Batteries In 2020

Part 5:  Top 15 Devices That Use Rechargeable AA, AAA, C, D, 9V & CR123A Batteries In 2020

Part 6:  Top 10 High Tech Motion Detection, Camera & Lighting - Early Warning Systems In 2020

Part 8:  Top 10 Direct 110V AC, DC & USB Powered Devices In 2020

Part 9:  Top 10 Communication Devices For Preppers In 2020

Part 10:  Top 10 Drones & Tactical Uses For Surveillance, Reconnaissance & More In 2020

Part 11:  Top 5 GPS Navigation Systems For Preppers In 2020

Part 12:  Top 10 NightVision / InfraRed Imaging Optics:  Cameras, Binoculars, Riflescopes & Trail Cams In 2020

Part 13: Top 10 Solar Powered Entertainment Solutions In 2020


The above 15 related web pages will be included in our TopSurvivalPrep's Prepper Gold Mine which is our best "How To" & "Top 10" Learning Series To Prepare For Doomsday

Also check out Our Top 10 Favorite Portable Solar Panels & Solar-Powered Products For Doomsday Preppers for other top solar devices.