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Portable solar generators or power stations are ideal for camping and outdoors, and they are light enough to carry. Even better is you can daisy chain solar generators to produce more power. If you are new to solar power, the steps given here are easy to follow.
Two solar generators can be joined together by a daisy chain cable, doubling its power. Solar power stations can also be connected to multiple solar panels by plugging the PV panel output cord into the station.
How to Daisy Chain Two Solar Generators
Solar generators are available in different styles, sizes and capacities. The following is a general guide, so your system may require a few more steps. If the generator supports daisy chaining, it will have a connection for the daisy chain cable. The Goal Yeti 1250 for example, will need the Goal Yeti 1250 Chaining Cable.
Step 1. Turn the generator around. There should be an Anderson connection somewhere there. In some systems you have to remove the cover to see the connection. If you are not certain, refer to the product manual.
Step 2. Plug the daisy chain cable into the generator. This cable may be included with the system, but in many cases it is a separate purchase. Make sure the cable is designed for your particular solar generator type and model. Be certain the cable is plugged in securely.
Step 3. Plug the other end of the cable to the other solar generator. Give it a light tug to ensure it is a secure.
Step 4. Turn on both generators. Plug in a load and it will operate like before. The only difference is if you check the capacity, the figures will be double what it was before.
Both power stations should run fine, the only difference being they are joined together. Can you connect more than two? It depends on the model design, but in most cases there is no harm in daisy chaining several solar generators together.
Solar Generator Alligator Clips and Adaptors
Your generator kit probably includes a couple of other connectors. A ring terminal adaptor is used for long and permanent installations. You can use the adaptor with a 12V battery to keep the generator perpetually charged.
Alligator clips on the other hand, are used to connect and disconnect the generator to 12V batteries. This is different from a terminal adaptor because that is permanent. An alligator clip can be put on and off, ideal for small batteries.
You are not limited to daisy chaining generators. You can use these other connectors to power up your system as required. The more power you require, the more these connected power stations will be beneficial.
How to Daisy Chain Solar Panels to a Solar Generator
Chaining two generators together is similar to a solar array, but the similarities do not end there. Most of these systems have a solar panel built in or at least have connectors available. If you want to charge the system with multiple solar panels, setting them up daisy chain style is easy.
Step 1. Prepare all the solar panels you want to connect to the generator.
Step 2. Take one of the panels and turn it around. You will see two cords, the short one is for the input and the longer one is for the output.
Step 3. Plug the long solar panel cord into the generator connector. It is at the back. You can use an extension cable if the cord is not long enough.
Step 4. Place another solar panel next to the one that is already plugged into the generator. Plug the longer cord on the second solar panel and connect it to the short cord on the first panel.
Repeat the steps above to connect as many solar panels as you want. There is no limit to the number of panels you can hook up.
By connecting two or more solar panels, charging the generator will be faster than before. If you have a 3000 watt portable solar generator, charging it with one 300 watt solar panel can take up to two days. Assuming the solar panel produces up to 300 watts an hour, it can generate 1500 watts a day with five sunlight hours available. But if two are connected together you can finish charging in a day.
Do You Need to Daisy Chain Solar Generators?
Solar power stations have come a long way. Nowadays you can find a powerful 3000 watt solar generator for camping, RV or as a backup power source. So do you even need to connect several of these together?
It depends on how much power you need and what you the generator for. A casual user will find a 1000 watt power station sufficient for their needs. But if you run power tools on solar for instance, you will require a more powerful system.
You can always buy another generator of course. But there is no need to alternate their use when you can connect them together. Imagine if you link two 3000 watt solar power stations together, that is 6000 watts of power available.
Refrigerators, air conditioners, pool pumps, heaters and motors consume a lot of power. You will need a lot of power to run them together. Even if you do not have power hungry appliances, these generators are ideal if you want a backup power source.
To determine if you need several solar generators, calculate your power usage. This will vary from case to case. Keep in mind that chaining the generators together limits their mobility. This is something to keep in mind if you are a camper.
If you have an RV this should not be a problem. You can keep the generators in the vehicle while you go trekking. And if you want to use these solar stations as a backup power source, link as many of them as you like.
Why are My Chained Solar Panels Not Producing Enough Power?
So you connected four 300W solar panels onto your generator, expecting to get 1200 watts an hour for charging. But the output is lower than that, sometimes falling down to 1000 watts. What is happening? Is there something wrong with the cables?
If the panels are charging, there is nothing wrong with the cable. It just means there is not enough sunlight available. All solar panels are dependent on the sun for power. So if the panel is not producing enough watts, it is not getting enough sunlight.
You can try and change its position to receive more sunlight. Also make sure there is nothing blocking the panels. No matter the size of the solar panel , it will need sunlight to charge your solar generator.
Tips For Chaining Solar Generators
Connecting multiple solar generators is straightforward, but you should still take some steps to ensure you get the best possible performance.
Follow the instructions. Your generator might require a few more steps, or you may have to unscrew a panel to access the Anderson connection. Follow the instructions in your manual.
Use only compatible cables. If you are using a Yeti 1250 power station for instance, use only the daisy chain cable built for it. This will ensure the cables are going to be compatible with the generators.
Solar panel sizes matter. If you want to charge the generator via PV modules, use a high capacity panel. The higher the watt output the faster it will charge your system. Of course it will all depend on the location and how much sunlight the panels receive.
Keep the generators fully charged. This is important if you want to use them as emergency backup power. Grid tied solar panels cannot be used during an outage, so a battery bank or generator is handy.
Get a high powered solar generator. Instead of linking several generators together -which can be unwieldy – you should get a high capacity power station. This will reduce the number of units you have to link up.
The only thing better than having a solar generator is having two of them. By daisy chaining two of these solar stations you get more power and options. And since many of them can be connected to solar panels, you get the best of both.
I am an advocate of solar power. Through portablesolarexpert.com I want to share with all of you what I have learned and cotinue to learn about renewable energy.