When should you get one of the best 100 watt solar panels?
Well, 100 Watts is a lot of power. However, it has its limits. For instance, you cannot use it to power all of your electronics and appliances at home in case there is a blackout.
You would need much more than that!
So, in what circumstances can you use the Renogy 100 watt solar panel? In addition, not only Renogy but other brand names as well.
Mostly, people use the best 100 watt solar panel kit for their off-the-grid camping adventures. For instance, you can use it for dry camping or boondocking. In addition, you can also use it for car camping, hiking, fishing, sailing and so on.
What To Consider When Buying 100 Watt Solar Panels
While we may classify them in the same category of 100 watts, it is just about all that they have in common. Therefore, it is best to consider a few important things to consider when buying your solar panel of 100 watts.
Where you will use the solar
This is the very first consideration that should cross your mind. You see, 100W solar panels come in two main categories.
First, we have straight, fixed solar panels. They are rigid in design and so you can only install them on a flat surface.
Second, we have slightly flexible solar panels that can bend ever so slightly to conform to the roof of your car or van. Therefore, when you are choosing one, consider these things. If you are looking for one for your car, you can get the flexible one. In the same line, if you will install it on the roof of your house, get a fixed type.
100 watts is a lot of power. Therefore, you can buy such a solar panel if you intend to use it on your car, RV, boat, at home or for camping purposes. However, if you intend to use a solar panel in a large boat, you might need a higher wattage.
On the other hand, we also have folding solar panels. These ones help a lot with transport and storage. Therefore, if you need a solar panel that you can take camping, hiking or fishing with you, try the foldable ones. In addition, they are perfect for backpacking, camping, Rving and so on.
Without a doubt, monocrystalline technology, or basically all crystalline technology is the king. However, “mono” is better because it is more efficient. In addition, by efficient, we mean that it has a high conversion rate.
The conversion rate of monocrystalline solar panels is between 18 and 25%. During their manufacture, they use a single crystal seed in molten silicon, and then it is drawn in a line. Therefore, the name monocrystalline originates from a single crystal. By color, these panels appear darkish.
On the other hand, we have the polycrystalline panels. In their manufacture, multiple crystals are dropped in molten silicon and then they are stretched to make multiple lines. From a glance, the polycrystalline solar panels are bluish in color.
Their conversion rate is a bit low at 17 to 20%.
Size and Weight
It might appear as if the size and weight of the solar panels are not important. However, that is not entirely right.
You see, too much weight on your RV could damage the roof. Therefore, you need your solar panel to be of moderate weight.
Besides, installing it on the roof is hard. Therefore, if it’s too heavy, it will be harder. On the same note, we can say that the weight should not exceed 10kg. However, you ought to know that flexible solar panels weigh much less. In fact, they hardly exceed 3kg.
About the size of the solar panels, if they have high efficiency, they will be small in size. Therefore, monocrystalline solar panels are smaller than polycrystalline ones.
On that note, look for a size that you can manage to install anywhere you want on your own.
Price and Warranty
This is the ultimate dealmaker or breaker. You see, some solar panels can be quite extravagantly priced and some can be really affordable.
However, do not just take the first solar panel that you come across. Consider its efficiency first. Secondly, consider its features. That way, when you pay the price, you will be sure that it will be worth it.
Also look for solar panels selling with a warranty of at least 12 months. Warranty is an indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in its product. Therefore, if you buy a 100-watt solar power system that lacks a warranty, if it breaks down after a month of use, you are alone.
If you get lucky, you can also look for panels that sell with a money-back guarantee, at least for 30 days. If you decide that you don’t like it for one reason or another, you can return it for a refund.
Design and Build Quality
This is also very important. For instance, an aluminum alloy frame and a solar panel of tempered glass is an indication of high quality.
In addition, some 100W solar panels come with stands. That way, you can prop them up at an angle so that they can capture more sunshine. On the other hand, others do not come with a stand. Therefore, it means you have to lay it on the ground to charge.
Portable 100 watt monocrystalline solar panels might or might not come with USB charging ports. If it does, this can help you charge your devices. Also, some also come with adapters that can help you connect it with different solar generators.
Finally, you can check whether the solar panel that you want comes with a free charge controller. However, this is not always the case but hey; some manufacturers do give away charge controllers.
Frequently Asked Questions for 100 Watt Solar Panels
With millions of people joining the off-the-grid movement, there are still so many things that are not clear. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
How much power does a 100w solar panel produce?
Well, we can only give estimates because whatever power the solar panel produces depends on the brightness and how many hours it has charged the battery.
However, if it charges a battery for 5 hours of bright sunshine, it can produce up to 500 Watts. Therefore, a gadget or appliance that is rated for 50 Watts can run for 10 hours on that energy.
Another way to look at it is that in a year, a 100W solar panel can produce 141KWH. If you divide that by days, it comes to 0.38KWH per day.
How long will a 100 watt solar panel take to charge a 12v battery?
If you get average sunshine in your place, it will take one, 100W solar panel 3 days to fully charge a 12V battery. Alternatively, you can use three solar panels.
Can you overcharge a battery with the solar panel?
This is definitely possible but it would depend on the wattage of the solar panel. Therefore, if you have a 12V battery, you ought to get a 12V solar panel.
In addition, overcharging can only happen if you connect the solar panel directly to the battery. Therefore, ensure that you use a charge controller all the time.
100 Watts Solar Panel Reviews
After making the initial investment of buying the best 100 Watt solar panel kit, you will enjoy free energy from the sun. However, for that to happen, you need to order the best solar panel online. Here are 10 of the best ones:
1. Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel
Renogy is an American brand name. Therefore, if you are in the USA, you know that buying such a pricey investment from a local company is much better. For instance, shipping back for repairs or returning for replacement is easier.
Renogy is known for making some of the most efficient solar panels in the market. However, you can expect high efficiency from all monocrystalline panels. For instance, this one comes with 21% efficiency. What this means is that it converts 21% of the sunshine that lands on it.
We cannot fail to mention that this is a foldable solar panel. Therefore, it is in two pieces that spread out when you unfold to capture more sunshine. In addition, the foldable design makes the solar panels easy to travel with.
The build quality of this solar panel is impressive. For instance, it comes with a high-quality kickstand. Therefore, you can set it up at the best angle so that it can capture the most sunshine. Research shows that at an angle, panels can capture 25% more sunshine than when they are flat on the ground.
It seems that this Renogy 100-Watt solar panel has everything going for it. However, there is one disadvantage. For instance, this is not a flexible panel so you can only use it on a flat surface. Therefore, you can’t install it on the roof of your RV.
- It is weatherproof but does not direct strong jets of water
- Foldability makes it easy for traveling with
- Simple to use, just unfold and prop it up
- It has a built-in charge controller!
- There is no user manual for this solar panel. You have to get it
- It does not say the best battery to use with it
You know that you cannot go wrong with the Renogy brand name. Therefore, if you need a camping solar panel, you might want to try this one.
2. Newpowa 100 watt solar panels – 2 Piece (Budget Pick)
Just because we have been waxing lyrical about monocrystalline solar panels, it does not mean that you cannot use a polycrystalline one. Therefore, we bring you this pack of two solar panels from Newpowa and their features.
From this solar panel, you can expect an efficiency of 17 to 20%. This is just slightly lower than what you would get from a monocrystalline panel. However, to make up for the small difference, you will pay a lower price for crystalline panels.
Installing these solar panels should be easy. After all, they come with predrilled holes. In addition, you can handle them without worrying about safety. In addition, they have an anodized frame and the panel itself is going to withstand winds, snow and rain.
The package includes a solar charge controller. In addition, it comes with its lead cable of about 3 meters. Therefore, this gives you the flexibility to install the solar panel right where you want it.
Despite the good features of these polycrystalline solar panels, there are some disadvantages to watch out for. For instance, the Z-brackets for installation are a touch too costly.
- Affordable price for two panels each rated for 100 Watts
- Versatile in installation – poles, ground, roof and so on
- Has by-pass diodes that prevent power drops
- The heavy-duty TPT back sheet ensures high performance by dissipating heat
- The charger controller is plastic
- Buying installation brackets is too costly
These solar panels are going to charge your 12V batteries and keep your camping site lit even when there is minimal sunshine. In addition, they are so affordable for a pack of 2.
3. Goal Zero 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Goal ZERO is no stranger when it comes to outdoor solar lighting solutions. Remember, they are also the owners of the YETI portable power stations. Therefore, you can be sure that their products pass the test of time and durability.
First, this solar panel folds nicely into a briefcase. Therefore, portability is not an issue at all. In addition, if you have been looking for the smallest 100 watt solar panel, these briefcase types might fit in that category.
These solar panels are going to stay intact for a long time. For instance, the manufacturer uses anodized aluminum to make the frame. In addition, the corners are rounded off beautifully to protect them from damage. On the same note, the solar panel itself is tempered glass. This quality is truly hard to match.
You can pair the Boulder Briefcase with any YETI power station to make the power more accessible. In addition, you can also chain it with other Boulder solar panels to harvest more energy.
Lastly, the foldable solar panels also come with an integrated kickstand. Therefore, you can set it at an angle so that it can get the most sunshine.
There is a disadvantage though. For example, other 100W solar panels work with almost all power stations. However, this one is designed to work with Goal Zero solar panels, so it might force you to buy one.
- Good, waterproof design
- Simple to set up and use
- Has USB charging ports for your devices
- The foldable stand is a good idea
- Comes with a 24-month warranty
- The cost for the solar panels is steep
This briefcase solar panel will cost more than most others, but it has many admirable features. In addition, it can serve you for a long time and the 24-month warranty is quite assuring.
4. ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit for RV
Well, you know that if it is referred to as portable, then it must be foldable and indeed, this one is. In addition, ALLPOWERS is the one-stop center for power stations. They also have solar panel/station components to help you leverage your solar power harvesting.
By design, this is a portable solar panel. Therefore, you can fold it up and tuck it in its briefcase for easier storage and transport. In addition, the entire solar panels in the set up are 15. Collectively, these panels will charge your solar generator to give you the power that you need to ruin camp.
The solar panel also integrates a solar charge controller. Therefore, when you are charging any of your devices, they have protection against overload, surge and short circuit. Of course, safety is one of the most important considerations to bear in mind when choosing a solar panel.
Since this is a monocrystalline solar, you can expect high efficiency. For instance, with a conversion rate of 23.5 percent, your station charges fast. In addition, this means that the panel converts 23.5 percent of all sunshine falling on it.
There is one disadvantage that you should be aware of. For instance, the solar panel charges minimally when there are clouds. In addition, some people say that it discharges the power leftover in the battery.
- Power peaks at about 75W in several hours of sunshine
- Simple to set up and use since it comes with all accessories
- Good for home use, camping or other outdoor adventure
- Easy portability thanks to the foldable design
- Works with many solar stations
- Power output depends on how bright a day is
These portable solar panels 12V 100W from ALLPOWERS make good companions for outdoor adventures. Even for one traveler, this should be easy to carry.
5. FF FLASHFISH 100 Watt Portable Solar Panel
FlashFish brings you this portable 100 Watt solar panel with a maximum output of 100 Watts. If you are a dry camping enthusiast, you might want to try this solar panel. It is durable and it will give you good value for money.
Since this is a portable panel by design, you need to know that you won’t be hauling too much weight. After all, it is only 3.01kg. In addition, it also folds down to a small size of 21.5 by 20.7 by 2.2 inches. That is not big and you can carry or store it easily.
If you already have a solar power station, you must be looking for a panel that is compatible with it. On the same note, the SP100 is compatible with many generators. These include Suaoki, Jackery, Goal Zero and Rockpals to name but just a few of them. Therefore, you don’t have to buy a new generator.
This is a monocrystalline solar panel. Therefore, it has a high conversion rate of up to 23.5%. Therefore, it will charge a 12V battery or a solar generator faster than a polycrystalline panel. A high conversion rate is very important when you need to take advantage of a few hours of bright sunshine.
The one disadvantage that this solar charger comes with is that it takes longer to charge a battery. There have been complaints that sometimes, it can take up to a week.
- Has 2 USB ports for charging your devices
- It has converter cables for different charging needs
- The back of the panels is a strong fabric
- Light in weight for easy transport
- Output depends on the day’s brightness
- The plastic film used on solar is too sticky to remove
This foldable and portable solar charging unit meets the needs of many camping, hiking, backpacking and sailing enthusiasts. In addition, you can also charge lights at home to use if there is a blackout.
6. ROCKPALS 100 Watt Foldable Solar Panel
While this foldable 100 Watt solar panel looks like many others in the same price category, it has more features to offer. Therefore, keep reading to see some of them.
The first thing that you will notice is that these solar panels come with cables and adapters that will enable you to charge devices. For example, you can charge laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices directly from the solar. Additionally, don’t worry about safety because the adapters only allow the right amount of power to charge the devices’ batteries.
These are four panels combined together into a foldable package. When you fold it down, it measures 18 x 16 x 2.5 inches. In addition, it weighs a manageable 4.7kg. Therefore, you can tuck it inside your backpack for your backpacking adventure.
This combination of four panels also comes with a kickstand. Therefore, you can prop them at a 45-degree angle facing the sunshine. On the same note, when propped they capture more energy than when laying flat on the ground.
The only disadvantage that this solar panel package presents is that its junction box is not completely waterproof. Therefore, you will have to cover it up.
- Very efficient with the high conversion rate
- Simple to pack and travel with
- Folds into a small size that fits nicely in your backpack
- Can charge multiple devices simultaneously
- Compatible with many solar generators
- Will not charge a 12V battery fully if there is not enough sunshine
This foldable set of panels from Rockpals is easily one of the most accommodating packages for outdoor solar lighting. It is efficient and works as advertised. Therefore, it will give you good value for money.
7. Dokio 100 Watt Solar Panel
DOKIO makes portable solar panels of different sizes. For instance, this one is a two-piece design that folds into a simple pack. At the same time, these panels are easy to pack in the trunk of your car when you are going camping or taking a road trip that will take you through unpopulated places. But first, the features …
First, this is a monocrystalline solar panel. In that case, it captures more sunshine and has higher efficiency of up to 23 percent. Therefore, if you are using solar panels for charging your devices, they will do a nice job of the same.
Second, this is a complete package, hence the manufacturer calling it a kit. Therefore, you will get different DC adapters to work with solar stations and 12V batteries. In addition, it also comes with a charge controller so you will not have to buy one.
Third, the solar panel comes with built-in ports so that as it charges the battery, it is also going to charge your devices. In addition, these are two high-speed USB ports so you can charge two devices simultaneously.
In spite of the good features and the affordable price, this company should improve some things. For instance, the charge controller seems to have quality issues. Therefore, don’t be surprised to open it up and find some wires not soldered properly.
- Waterproof design but do not expose it too much to rain
- Good for different outdoor adventures
- You can use it with a power station or with batteries
- A zippered pouch for the wires and the controller
- Will not have the advertised output of 100 watts, no solar panel ever gets to maximum
This suitcase solar panel comes with everything you need to power your devices. In addition, it is light in weight making it quite portable.
8. AIMTOM 100 Watt Solar Panel
Having portable power is the same as giving you the freedom that you need to go anywhere you wish. Therefore, you might want to invest in the AIMTOM SolarPal system. In addition, for camping, the 100 Watts output from this solar panel will meet your needs.
The first thing that you will notice with this portable 100W solar panel is portability. For instance, it folds into a small size of 22 by 21.3 inches. Therefore, it becomes easy to pack in your car’s trunk. In addition, even alone travelers will find it easy to carry since it weighs 2.7kg only.
You can use the AIMTOM SolarPal to charge your devices directly. For this, the panel has a built-in charge controller. Therefore, your devices have protection against surge, overload and short circuits. In addition, the panel comes with USB and DC ports to charge different devices.
One thing that we all care about when camping is efficiency. Therefore, you need a monocrystalline panel such as this one. It has a high conversion rate, which enables you to take full advantage of short hours of sunshine.
One disadvantage of this solar panel is that the backing is made of fabric. Therefore, UV rays might affect it after a year or so, making the color fade.
- Has its own stand for propping it up
- Works with other battery brands
- Light in weight so it is easy to carry even when you are hiking
- It will turn off automatically to prevent overcharge
- The price is high
- The elastic bands may not last long enough
The ease of transportation, high efficiency and reliability make this solar panel worth investing your money on. With good care, it might last a long time.
9. SUNGOLDPOWER 100-Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
This is without doubt one of the most affordable solar panels on offer. In addition, you can also find the SUNGOLDFLOWER 200 Watt panel at a good price. Although these are polycrystalline panels, they are still efficient.
There is no denying that this is one of the sturdiest solar panels that you can find. For instance, it has a durable aluminum frame. In addition, this frame is sealed so that water will never get inside the panel. Therefore, you can use this product in all weather conditions.
Included in the package is a 20A charge controller. Therefore, if the maximum voltage of the battery that you are charging is reached, it will stop charging automatically. In addition, it protects the battery from overcharging, overloading and surge. Likewise, you can charge your mobile devices in confidence because they are protected.
Installation is so easy. After all, the panel comes with predrilled holes for easy installation. Therefore, installing it on your boat, van, RV, roof or other place is simple. On the same note, when you install it on the roof of your RV, you need not remove it anytime because it is weatherproof.
Despite so many features and benefits, this solar charger has one main disadvantage. For instance, it might refuse to charge without batteries.
- 2 USB ports for charging your mobile devices
- The waterproof rating of IP67 makes this panel worth buying
- Charges enough even on overcast days to run a few things
- Easy installation thanks to the predrilled holes
- No information on the warranty
This is a polycrystalline panel that comes with cables, charge controllers and installs easily. Therefore, you can use it for outdoor adventure or for your home backup.
10. TISHI HERY 120W Solar Panel
This is not exactly a 100 Watt solar panel but at 120W, it is not too far off. Besides, since most panels only get to the quoted rating in laboratory tests only, this one is most likely going to max out at 100 Watts. Keep reading to see its features.
While this is not the HQST 100 watt 12v monocrystalline lightweight solar panel, it still comes with admirable features. For instance, it is monocrystalline technology solar, which means it has a high conversion rate of up to 23%.
This is a foldable solar panel. Therefore, when you fold it, the size reduces considerably to 20.2 by 14 by 0.78 inches. In addition, it has a net weight of 4.0kg.
This panel has enough USB port outlets for charging. Therefore, you can charge your devices easily while the solar panel charges the solar generator. In addition, it also has 1 DC port, 1 USB, 1QC3 and 1 Type C port. On the same note, this panel can charge many power stations, of course with an exception here and there.
Since the solar panel has a high waterproof rating, you can install it outside and leave it on throughout the year. It will resist frost, rainwater and it is windproof.
Of course, like many other products, this one too has its dark side. For instance, it comes with a fixed stand, so you cannot adjust the angle.
- Has a corrosion-resistant stand for propping it up
- Made with high-quality material for durability
- Foldable design with a carry handle
- Charges devices fast thanks to intelligent IC chip
- No information regarding warranty
Conclusion and Recommendation
If you have been looking for the best 100 Watt solar panels, we hope you can use one of the many that we have brought here.
You will also realize that we have not reviewed any flexible solar panels. However, it does not mean that they are not good enough because they are.
For instance, some of the most popular ones include DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel, ALLPOWERS 100W Foldable Solar Panel and Renogy 12-Volt Extremely Flexible Solar Panel.
For now, our recommendation is the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel. The monocrystalline technology ensures that it charges fast. In addition, it is foldable so it is easy to travel with it.