Jackery and solar panels

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by toolbelt99, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. toolbelt99

    toolbelt99 Monkey

    I recently picked up a Jackery 500:
    Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station

    I also picked up a cheapo solar panel off of amazon. The reason I bought this solar panel is that it was half the price of the Jackery solar panel and it was also waterproof.

    However, I attached the solar panel to the Jackery and it barely charged it at all. After a couple hours it went from 46 percent to 47 percent charged. So I returned the solar panel.

    Now I'm wondering if I purchased a Jackery Solar panel, would it be equally inefficient?
    Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

    My goal is to have a solar panel that I can put out on a cloudy day in the morning and have the Jackery completely charged by the time the sun goes down.

    Does anyone here know what kind of set up I'd need to achieve this goal? Do I need a bunch of solar panels?
  2. Out in the woods

    Out in the woods off-grid in-the-forest beekeeper

    We are discussing a 100w panel. It is going to take many days to fully charge with such a small panel.

    I have 4400 watts of panels to charge up my batteries.

    You need to get you some power.
    nkawtg and TnAndy like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    100 watts at peak insolation to charge a 500 wh battery? You will certainly need another charging scheme besides solar.
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Dc input jack - 25.2volts @ 3.5 amps...battery is 24ah @ 21.6vdc
    ...also says to plug it in and fully charge it...
    RTFM ;)
    Chinese junk, imho. See a lot of that.
    Solar doesn't charge well on a cloudy day...unrealistic goal.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    TnAndy likes this.
  5. toolbelt99

    toolbelt99 Monkey

    Sorry, I'm new to all this. You're saying I should return the Jackery? What would I purchase in place of it? What kind of system should I buy to achieve the goal? Do I need to purchase larger solar panels?
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    All "solar generators" are basically marketing gimmicks sold to folks that have little knowledge of what it takes to really generate much in the way of power. Yes.....return it, or buy a 1,000w Honda generator and a big tank of gasoline.

    "My goal is to have a solar panel that I can put out on a cloudy day in the morning and have the Jackery completely charged by the time the sun goes down."

    Well friend, that is just flat not going to happen. Solar output is very low on cloudy days, just how it works.

    IF you want some advice on what you need, start by listing what your power requirements are.....what is it you are trying to power and for HOW long.
    Merkun likes this.
  7. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey++

    I have a Jackery 240. Love it. It will run a small tv, and lots of small stuff. Even used it to jump start my ATV. I recharge it with a 12 volt battery. I charge the battery with either a 30 watt or a 100 watt solar panel. Works well for me.
  8. toolbelt99

    toolbelt99 Monkey

    I was hoping to be able to run a small electric space heater in the back of my truck all night long off of the Jackery. Not sure how much juice that would use up from the Jackery.

    I might also need to jump start a dead vehicle from it like BlueDuck seems to suggest it works for.
  9. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    The heater will have a watt rating on it, but I can tell you it's a no go right off the bat. Say a 500w heater (and that's a small one....most little portable space heaters are 1200-1500 watts) that runs 1/2 of any given hour, that uses 500watt/hrs per hour, or 4,000watt hrs in an 8hr night.

    Looks like the "jackery" comes in various watt hour ratings, but the largest one I see in a quick glance is 1,000 watt/hr......so you'd get 2 hrs out of a 500watt heater IF it runs for 1/2 hr out of each hour (no idea what your heat loss is in the truck, or how cold it is, etc....so that is purely a guess)

    The other 6 hours are gonna be chilly...... :D
    damoc likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You'll forgive a bit of a snotty analogy, but you are trying to drive a railroad spike with a tack hammer. Keep the jackery if you have an alternate use for it, but you're best bet at this very minute is a Honda inverter gennie. They are quiet, efficient, and worth having on hand regardless. I think Blue Duck is using it for it's designed purpose, nothing more. (I personally would not rely on small solar panels to recharge it.)
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  11. toolbelt99

    toolbelt99 Monkey

    I'm starting to understand why Texas lost power last week. Not much torque in these solar panels. I guess we can't throw out our gas engines quite yet.
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    If you are at al handy, you can roll your own

    (whole home system)

    all kinds of DIY systems out there.
  13. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    They work fine in the sun and if you have enough of them My primary array is 16,000 watts.

    Secondary is 6,000
    Yard Dart likes this.
  14. JediWoodsman

    JediWoodsman Insomnia Monkey Site Supporter+

    I follow OH8STN on youtube, he did a home made 12v version of one of these with close stats, I've linked the playlist below, he charges them with portable solar panels.
    He uses them for Ham Radio deployments, but there might be some helpful info in there for you, or at least get you on the right track.

    DKR likes this.
  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have a 240 and a 500 Jackery and they work well and are handy as hell but the guys are correct about charging them via that itty-bitty solar panel they offer...worthless.

    I am considering putting is a large solar array this Spring/Summer but 'how large' has yet to be decided but it's needed and bigger is better so we'll see.

    EDIT: I live in North Idaho so losing power in the winter is not uncommon and these are handy to have in order to do simply things in a hurry if one doesn't feel the outage is serious enough or hasn't been long enough to start a generator or etc. For example, living in the country our cell phone service sucks so we need a Cell Phone Booster (an amplifier) which draws very little power but allows our mobile phones to work in case of an emergency. The Jackery 240 works nicely for this, light weight and will run it probably most of a day (never tested it in that manner as use it then unplug it). Also, our internet access is via satellite which needs power for the LNB etc...normally this wouldn't be an necessity but one never knows, so we can throw the Jackery 500 on there, it's quiet, no fumes, and we are online. Anyway, they are indeed handy. And, yes, we have invertor generator also plus large gens so these are just another tool in the tool box.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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