The Zendure 400W solar panel is a portable panel that consists of four foldable parts. It’s light enough to carry and the four included stands make it easy to set up, even on uneven surfaces. Although it is not completely waterproof, it can withstand light rain. What we love about the panel is that it’s all one-piece, meaning you don’t have to fiddle with accessories other than adapters (not included) to connect it to your power station. However, you can store extra cables in the included pouch that also includes the built-in 3 ft (1 m) MC4 connector.
- 400W Rated Power
- Monocrystalline silicon cells with 22+% efficiency
- Portable with built-in stands
- IP54 rating
- Brand: Send duration
- Type: Foldable and portable
- Current: 400 Watt
- Tension: 40V
- Mate: 39.37 x 88.19 x 0.98 in (100 x 224 x 2.5 cm)
- Weight: 31 pounds (14 kg)
- Ingress Protection Rating: IP54
- Price per Watt: ~$1.75 (Kickstarter deal) or ~$3.25 (retail price)
- Maximum current: 10 A
- Connector type: MC4 (3ft/1m built-in cable)
- efficiency: ≥22%
- Solar panels: monocrystalline
- Size (folded): 39.37 x 21.54 x 2.24 in (100 x 55 x 2.5 cm)
- Operating Temperature: 14°F to 149°F (-10°C to 65°C)
- VOC: 49.4V
- monocrystalline cells
- Compact and lightweight
- Foldable and portable
- Easy to set up
- Not completely waterproof
- Pricey, if not purchased as part of the SuperBase V Kickstarter campaign
With the rising energy prices it is good to have alternatives. After all, the sun provides us with 173,000 terawatts of free solar energy every day of the year. If you’re stuck in an apartment building or want to generate your own electricity on your next outdoor adventure, a portable solar panel could be the answer.
We reviewed Zendure’s new 400W solar panel to find out if it’s everything it appears to be. Let’s see if this is the right choice for you.
What’s included and first impressions
The Zendure 400W solar panel comes in one piece with no added accessories. You will receive a panel consisting of four folding elements, each with an integrated stand. A pocket attached to one of the outer elements contains the built-in MC4 connector. Buckles and a handle make the whole unit portable.
The panel makes a good first impression. It is easy to set up, the stands provide good support and the grommets and stitching along the edges of the panel appear to be of good quality.
The panel quickly picked up dust while we were testing it, but a quick wipe with a wet cloth got it looking like new again. The material that wraps the back of the solar panel appears to be waterproof, as does the zipper for the pouch that covers the built-in MC4 connector.
Although the panel is foldable and portable, it weighs 29.1 lbs (13.2 kg), which is not light. If you need to transport several panels and a power station, bring a helper or a dolly.
How to set up and pack the Zendure 400W solar panel?
Once you have carried the panel to a place where you can fully expose it to direct sunlight, place it on the floor, unfasten the buckles and unfold it.
- Option 1: Lay it flat on the floor to unfold it. You want the bottoms of the stands to face the sun. When you’re done, the solar cells will face up.
- Option 2: Unfold it while standing.
Both options will work, but I would recommend the latter if your soil is not dry and clean, or if you have a bad back.
While holding or lifting the panel, you can…
- Option 1: Unfold it completely, pull out the two center stands and then, once the panel is fully supported in the center, extend the outer stands.
- Option 2: Unfold half of the panel and lean it on two of the stands while unfolding the other half.
When you’re done, the panel should already be facing the sun, as turning it around isn’t easy unless you have help or want to partially fold it back up.
To harvest the solar energy, open the attached bag and connect the panel to your power plant. Note that the panel delivers 400W at 40V and 10A which could burn a smaller battery. You will need to provide an adapter to go from MC4 to your power station input port, such as Anderson, DC or XT90.
Since this panel is only IP54 rated, you cannot leave it sitting in heavy rain. Although it can withstand water jets from all directions, it allows limited ingress of dust and water. If you need something that is weatherproof, look for a product with an IP65+ rating.
When it’s time to pack the panel, you can easily refer to the back cover, in case you’ve forgotten how it was originally folded. Basically, fold it in half, then fold it in half again and let the buckles meet at the top.
How to wire solar panels in series or parallel
If you have more than one Zendure 400W solar panel, you can connect them in series or parallel. Wiring panels in series adds up their total output voltage while maintaining maximum current. By wiring them in parallel, the voltage stays the same, but the current increases.
The Zendure 400W solar panel manual provides wiring diagrams for wiring in series (left) and a combination of wiring in series and parallel (right).
To wire panels in series, connect the + terminal of the MC4 connector of one panel to the — terminal of the MC4 connector of the adjacent panel. Plug the remaining terminals (a + and a -) at the beginning and end of the series into the adapter that connects the series of panels to your power plant. If your power plant does not have a built-in MPPT charge controller, connect one to increase the efficiency of your installation. If you are going to use the Zendure 400W solar panel with Zendure’s SuperBase V, you can wire up to seven panels in series without exceeding the maximum input voltage.
To wire panels in parallel, make one chain with all positive terminals and a second with all negative terminals. This method allows the panels to work independently of each other, making it ideal when you cannot guarantee full sun exposure for all panels. Parallel wiring is also an alternative if you need to use a PWM instead of an MPPT charge controller.
Should you buy the Zendure 400W solar panel?
At this time, you can only purchase the Zendure 400W solar panel bundled with the Zendure SuperBase V home energy storage system (review to follow) in Zendure’s Kickstarter campaign. However, if you return the Kickstarter, bundling with the solar panel makes sense. At the Super Early Bird prices, adding the 400W panel costs $699, bringing the cost of the panel to $1.75 per watt, which is cheaper than the EcoFlow 400W solar panel (about $3.43 per watt). ).
This panel is great for when you have space, so probably not the best solution for your balcony. We even struggled to test it on our porch because of its size. Moreover, it is not completely weatherproof, so not suitable for a permanent outdoor installation.
For ease of installation and stability, we preferred the Zendure 400W solar panel stands over the EcoFlow solution, where the carrying case doubles as a stand. On the other hand, the Zendure’s stands didn’t offer much room for adjustment, limiting how far we could tilt it back.
While we don’t mind the lack of a carrying case, the panel is only IP54 rated, meaning you should be ready to pack quickly if the weather turns sour. On the plus side, the solar cells themselves are IP65 rated, and the zipper of the bag that holds the MC4 connector has a waterproof design, meaning the panel should be fairly secure once packed.
Zendure’s SuperBase V Kickstarter campaign, where you can bundle their 400W solar panel at a massive 46% discount, runs through November 11. After that, the panel will eventually be available directly from Zendure, at which point you can pay $1,299. .
Q: Can you link multiple Zendure 400W solar panels together?
Yes. If you want to connect the Zendure 400W solar panels to Zendure’s SuperBase V power station, which requires up to 3,000W of solar power, you can pair up to seven panels and connect them to the power station’s XT90 port.
Q: Can you permanently mount the Zendure 400W solar panel outdoors?
No. The Zendure 400W solar panel is IP54 rated, which means it can withstand light rain, but is not waterproof. Therefore, you cannot permanently mount it on your roof, RV, van or anywhere outside where it will be exposed to the elements. The panel is foldable and portable, so you can easily set it up for temporary outdoor use.
Q: Are the cells of the Zendure 400W solar panel connected in series or parallel?
The Zendure 400W solar panel actually consists of four 100W elements. The cells in each element are connected in series. The four elements are connected in parallel.