Best 100 Watt Solar Panels Reviewed For 2020 – TheEnergyFix

Best 100 Watt Solar Panels Reviewed For 2021

Over the last few years, portable solar panels in the 100-watt range have dominated the market. Solar panels have numerous applications in everyday life, from the outdoors to the interior of your home. They can save you money and put you on the path to assisting the grid in achieving 100% clean energy around the clock. Our solar experts have put together reviews of the best 100-watt solar panels, as well as information on what to look for when purchasing solar panels, FAQs, and much more in this definitive guide.

Best 100 Watt Solar Panels: Top 3 Expert Picks

1. Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel Monocrystalline Review

Renogy designs and manufactures high-quality solar panels that are dependable and come with lengthy warranties. They started out as a small company in Louisiana and have grown into a major player in the consumer solar panel industry. That they have been named to the top 500 fastest growing companies in Inc. 5000 is no small accomplishment.

The following are the most important characteristics:

  • Power output is warrantied for 25 years.
  • Warranty on materials and workmanship for five years.
  • Efficiency of 18.44 percent for the module
  • It is simple to install on the ground, a roof, a shed, an RV, or any other flat surface.
  • Compatible with both on-grid and off-grid energy conversion systems

Customer feedback on these Renogy panels has been overwhelmingly positive. A world-class warranty covering 25 years and up to 80% of the product’s power output demonstrates their commitment to their product. TheEnergyFix gives their highest recommendation for the Renogy panels.

Please keep in mind that Renogy also manufactures flexible solar panels if you have a need for flexibility in your application.

2. HQST 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel Review

Consumer applications are now being served by one of the most affordable 100W solar panels available on the market, thanks to HQST (High-Quality Solar Technology), a highly regarded solar panel manufacturer.

The characteristics are as follows:

  • Power output is warrantied for 25 years.
  • Warranty on materials and workmanship for five years.
  • Solar cells are covered with anti-reflective and tempered glass for protection and to maximize their production potential.
  • Backside of the panel has an electric junction box that is weatherproof.
  • Rooftop or ground mounting options are available – predrilled holes are included.
  • The following are the dimensions: 35.6 x 25.8 x 1.4 inches.
  • 16.5 pounds is the weight of this item.

Off-grid and on-grid applications for HQST 100W solar panels are both possible. RVs, camping, and small home appliances are among the most common applications. When compared to the Renogy, the HQST offers the same warranty and basic functions as the Renogy. The only difference is that the Renogy is monocrystalline, whereas the HQST is polycrystalline.

3. ACOPOWER 100W Solar Panel Review

This one-of-a-kind, aesthetically pleasing solar panel is made entirely of black materials. Solar panels are typically large and bulky, and they do not always look their best when mounted on a camper, RV, or even a rooftop. The ACOPOWER solar panel is not only visually appealing, but it also performs admirably.

The following are the most important characteristics:

  • Warranty on power output for 20 years
  • 5-year warranty on the workmanship
  • The company is based in California, United States.
  • Tempered glass that is anti-reflective and high-transparency provides excellent protection.
  • Solar cells made of monocrystalline crystals
  • 20.9 pounds is the weight of this item.
  • The following are the dimensions: 40.2 x 26.4 x 1.4 inches.

The ACOPOWER has a 5-year less power output warranty than the Renogy and HQST, which is the most significant difference between the three products. ACOPOWER provides a warranty that lasts for 20 years. If you want to buy locally, they are a good choice because they are a U.S.-based company with headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Keep in mind, however, that while the company may be based in Los Angeles, the solar cells are typically manufactured in China, not the United States. China is the world’s largest producer of solar cells, ensuring that these companies have the lowest possible cost of goods. The ACOPOWER is also significantly heavier, weighing 20.9 pounds as opposed to 16.5 pounds for the HQST.

If appearances are important to you, this panel is a great choice to choose from. If performance is important to you, the Renogy is the way to go.


Buying Guide for 100 Watt Solar Panels

When purchasing solar panels, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind.

1. Wattage Rating

The wattage rating will be the most important factor for all users to take into consideration. A product’s website, specification, or quote from an installer will specify the wattage that is the most ideal rating in the event that the sun shines perfectly throughout the day. In practice, the actual wattage will be less than this.

NOTE FROM AN EXPERT: The wattage (P) is determined by multiplying the optimum current (I) by the optimum voltage (V), resulting in the equation P = I * V. With a 300W solar panel, you can expect to generate approximately 900 Watt-hours (or 900 Wh) of energy over the course of three hours if the sun is shining.

To determine whether or not this is sufficient energy, add the power ratings of all of the appliances together. An LED lightbulb, for example, will consume 10 watts of electricity at any given time. If you decide to leave it on for 5 hours, it will use 50 watts of electricity. It takes 10 Watts and approximately 2 hours to charge an iPhone, for a total of 20 Wh. You can keep adding these up for typical appliances until you have a good understanding of whether the solar panel wattage in relation to the amount of energy it produces is sufficient for your appliances. If not, or if it is very close, you will require an additional panel.

2. Dimensions

Depending on your application, the solar panel’s dimensions are extremely important to take into consideration. Despite the fact that we all want the smallest possible footprint, the majority of solar panels in the 100W range will be in the standard range in size. This is because, if you look closely at a solar panel, you will notice that it is composed of a large number of “blocks,” which are also known as solar cells. Solar cells are manufactured in a specific size to generate a specific amount of power. So by connecting cells together in series, a panel with an inherent length and width dimension can be constructed.

Typical average sizes are as follows as a function of the wattage (W) rating:

Power Rating (W) # of Cells Length Width Height
100W 36 47 inches 21 inches 1.4 inches
200W 62 inches 32 inches 1.4 inches
250W 60 64 inches 38 inches 1.85 inches
300W 60 77 inches 39 inches 1.97 inches
400W 79 inches 40 inches 2 inches

Overall, you will notice that as the wattage increases, the length and width will increase as well. This is due to the fact that, as previously stated, higher wattage typically translates to either a greater number of solar cells in total or larger solar cells in terms of size. The height is determined by the manufacturer’s choice of how to design their electrical wiring and the metal mount that holds the cells in place during manufacturing. The height varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. When installing solar panels, it is generally assumed that the height will not be an issue because the panels must be placed in an open area with nothing on top of them in order to capture the sun’s energy. However, this is not always the case.

The manufacturer’s specifications for the dimensions and number of cells are extremely diverse (check out this article on 60 vs 72 solar panels). To get exact dimensions of the solar panel you are purchasing, always refer to the specification sheet that came with the panel you purchased rather than this chart.

3. Weight

In a similar vein to the dimensions, the weight of the mount will be primarily determined by the type of materials used in its construction, as well as the number of cells. A single solar cell is relatively light in weight. Wind and rain-resistant solar panels that can be mounted on roofs or other suitable locations are required. Solar panels must also be lightweight and durable. The greater the weight, the more stable the system as a whole.

Check out the table below for typical weight ranges:

Power Rating (W) Weight
100W 14.3-16.5 pounds
200W 29 pounds
250W 40 pounds
300W 50 pounds
400W 69 pounds

It is clear from the table that the higher the wattage rating, the heavier the device. Due to the fact that the number of solar cells used increases significantly from 100W to 400W, more mounting metal is required to hold everything together during the transition.

If your application necessitates the constant movement of the panel, weight is critical (e.g., camping, hiking). However, if you plan to mount it on your RV, home, car, or other vehicle, this may not be a significant consideration. Everything is dependent on the application!

4. Efficiency

The majority of solar panels have an efficiency of 20-25 percent. In general, the higher the efficiency of solar technology, the more proprietary the technology is, and thus the higher the cost (again, in general). Your company will save money if you can get away with operating at the “average” efficiency of the market. We recommend that you stay in the 20-22 percent efficiency range (in 2020) in order to get the most value for your money from your solar panel.

Overall, solar efficiency is a measure of how well a solar energy system converts the sun’s energy into usable watts of electricity. As a result, if your solar panels have a 20% efficiency, for example, 20% of the solar energy that hits them is converted into usable energy for your application. Researchers from all over the world are constantly attempting to improve the efficiency of solar panels. While some have been able to achieve high efficiency (i.e., 44.5 percent), this does not imply that it is always the most cost-effective to produce in large quantities for everyday use.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory tracks the most novel advancements of solar cell efficiency improvements

We can all hope that one day the market will be able to provide a good balance of high efficiency, high quality, and lower-cost solar panels to consumers.

5. Cost of Solar Panels

The price takes into consideration all aspects, including wattage rating, efficiency, dimensions, weight, and so on. The cost of a solar panel is determined by the market price of solar energy expressed in dollars per watt. As a result, the more expensive the panel, the higher the wattage rating.

It may be more cost-effective to purchase two 200W solar panels with higher efficiency ratings rather than one 400W solar panel with a lower efficiency rating in some situations. Because the pricing is calculated on a per-watt basis, the pricing may be roughly the same, but the higher efficiency will result in more energy being produced overall.


FAQs about Solar Panels

What voltage do I need?

Most, if not all, solar panels generate direct current (DC) at 12V or 24V, which is ideal for connecting directly to devices, chargers, and other electronic devices to be powered. If you want to use your solar panels to power large appliances (such as a microwave, air conditioner, or water heater), you’ll need alternating current (AC). A DC to AC converter must be connected to the panel in order for this to work.

How many 100W panels can I install together?

You can have as many as you want. Panels are configured so that they can be connected in series and parallel to increase the current and voltage ratings of the system. The amount of wattage produced increases in proportion to the amount of current or voltage produced.

To be safe, make sure that your auxiliary equipment (such as your solar inverter and wiring) is capable of handling the increased current, voltage, and wattage ratings.

Are solar panels safe?

Yes. They are, in the majority of cases. However, you should proceed with the same caution that you would with any other electrical appliance.


Verdict

We looked at the top-rated 100-watt solar panels available on the market. Several knock-off brands claim to be using world-class solar cells, but their products are inferior. Typically, such businesses do not offer warranties, and they are banking on the fact that if you use the solar panel for a year or two and it fails, you will not bother filing a claim. The panels discussed above have been tried and tested by experts in the industry. They are a good investment. The companies are legitimate in that they manufacture high-quality products.

The Renogy 100W solar panel is the most highly recommended by TheEnergyFix experts out of the three options. It outperforms the competition in terms of performance and is adaptable to a wide range of applications, whether on or off the grid.