Solar Panel Education

Solar Panel Education

Combining a Goal Zero power station with solar panels gives you a clean, renewable energy source for home backup, camping trips, and off-grid adventures. Chaining multiple solar panels together gives you more solar power, which helps you charge your power station faster.   

The new Yeti PRO 4000 power station is capable of handling dramatically more solar input than previous generation power stations. To take advantage of this ability, you’ll need to know more about safely and effectively combining multiple solar panels.  

There are two options for combining your solar panels: chaining in series or chaining in parallel. 

What is chaining in series? 

When chaining in series you should use identical panels. Voltage multiplies with each panel added. Current (which is measured in Amps) stays the same. 

What is chaining in parallel? 

When chaining in parallel, current doubles with each panel added. The voltage will remain the same.  

Should I chain panels in series or parallel? 

The best configuration of panels depends on the capabilities of your power station and which panels you have available.  

When to chain in series: 

  • If you want to input more than 600 W of solar into a Yeti PRO 4000 power station 
  • If you have 2-4 panels with the same watt rating (for example two 200 W Goal Zero solar panels) 
    • NOTE: The total watts for any solar input setup will be capped by your Yeti power station’s max abilities. (3,000 W for Yeti PRO, 600 W for Yeti X line) 

Solar Panel Configuration Diagram

When to chain in parallel: 

  • When you are using a combination of panels that adds up to 600 W or less. (This is best for Yeti X line power stations) 
    • You can combine up to four Goal Zero solar panels of any wattage (50 W and up) using the 4-1 Parallel Combiner (SKU 98061) 
  • When you have a mixture of panels that are different sizes. 

Solar Panel Configuration Diagram

You can maximize your solar input using a mixture of series and parallel configurations 

  • For example, four 100 W panels connected to one series combiner and four 200 W panels connected to another series combiner. You then use a 3-1 Parallel combiner (SKU 70030) to connect the series combiners and plug it into the Yeti PRO. 
  • NOTE: You must have the same number of panels plugged into each series combiner. 

Solar Panel Configuration Diagram

Additional tips for using solar panels 

  • If you are only using one solar panel you do not need to use a combiner. Just plug the panel directly into the corresponding Yeti Input port (8 mm, HPP/HPP+, etc.).  
  • You may need to use solar extension cables depending on the number of panels you’re using, where the panels are located, and where your power station is set up. Extension cables should have a female end that matches the male end of the cable coming out of the back of the solar panel (8mm, HPP, HPP+, etc.). If you have an HPP extension, it can plug into the HPP+ port on the back of the Yeti PRO 4000.  
  • When chaining in series:  
    • All panels connected to one Series Combiner Cable must have the same wattage. (For example, you can connect two Nomad 100 panels and two Boulder 100 panels to one Series Combiner Cable.)    
    • When you’re using a 3-1 parallel combiner, all Series Combiner Cables must have the same number of panels connected. (For example, if you have three panels connected to one Series Combiner Cable, the other Series Combiner Cables must also have three panels connected.)   
    • You can chain a max of 12 panels when using with your Yeti power station (4 panels per Series Combiner Cable, max of combining 3 series into one 3-1 parallel Solar Combiner) 
  • When chaining in parallel 
    • Only use one parallel combiner cable per Yeti power station.  
  • We recommend using Goal Zero solar panels for the best results and easiest setup. If you choose to use third-party solar panels, contact a professional to help with the arrangement.  
    • Be sure not to exceed 40 A/150 V on any string and make sure all voltages from strings into the parallel combiner box are the same.   
  • If using MC4/4 mm solar connectors, you will need to use the 4 mm solar connector to HPP adapter. 
  • When possible, set your panels up in a south facing area with full sun exposure  
  • Reposition your panels throughout the day as the sun moves  
  • Use your kickstand (included with Goal Zero solar panels) to adjust the panel angle for optimum sun exposure.  
  • Remember you can still use panels when it’s cloudy or overcast—while efficiency may be reduced, you’ll still be able to collect energy and charge your power station.   

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