When it comes to buying solar panels, it is easy to get lost in all the scientific and technological jargon. Companies will throw any hyperbole at you to try and sell you their product, but what does it all mean - what should you look for in a good solar panel?
If you want to live a life off grid through using some eco worthy solar panels, then we have for you a run down of the best solar panels we could find. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, whittled down to the ones that match our criteria the most. Take a look, and see if the right 100 watt solar panel is there waiting for you.
What To Look For In A Solar Panel
Solar panels usual have a lot of features so it is easy for the most important ones to be drowned out in all the noise. Here are some of the features you should look for in the best 100 watt solar panel.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels VS Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Most solar panels are available in two forms: monocrystalline panels, and polycrystalline panels.
The different is quite easy to understand. Polycrystalline solar panels feature blue solar cells made from silicon crystals all across the entire panel, while monocrystalline solar panels feature black cells made of a single solid crystal structure.
A single polycrystalline solar panel will be more affordable than a single monocrystalline panel, but a monocrystalline panel are far more efficient when it comes to producing solar power.
We recommend you purchase a monocrystalline panel as they are far more efficient when it comes to getting the maximum power out of your solar panels.
Efficient Solar Cells
Living off grid often means leaving behind the benefits of electricity - but now thanks to solar power, you can harvest clean and renewable energy through the power of the sun.
However, solar panels often need to be left in direct sunlight for a long amount of time to produce enough energy to power electrical items, but some solar cells are more efficient than others.
The average solar cell has an efficiency rating between 15-18%, but more premium monocrystalline solar cells can have a rating of over 20%.
This could make a huge difference to your quality of off grid life, so to get the maximum power out of your solar panels, we recommend you get a solar panel that use highly efficient solar cells.
Some materials are more durable than others, and you should take this into account when looking for your very own 100 watt solar panel.
The average solar panel comes with an aluminum frame, which is ideal because aluminum is non corrosive so it won't rust while out in the rain. This makes your solar panel far more durable and longer lasting than it would us a frame made of other materials.
The aluminum frame often comes with pre drilled holes to make mountain and installing your solar panel easier, so this is a definite quality to look for in your own 100 watt solar panel.
A solar panel that utilizes strong materials like aluminum and high transparency tempered glass are often more protected against high winds and pressure from heavy snow fall so they can survive in all kinds of weather conditions.
So - what should you look for in a 100 watt solar panel?
You will want a monocrystalline solar panel that has highly efficient solar cells and is made from strong materials like aluminum and tempered glass.
Once you have a 100 watt solar panel that meets this criteria, you will have enough clean solar energy to power your off grid lifestyle.
With all that wrapped up, let's dive on in to find the best 100 watt solar panel for you.
OUR TOP PICK
If you are looking for a solar panel made by a trusted and well known brand, you will want to try out a Renogy solar panel. Renogy are one of the most well-known manufacturers of solar panels, and make all kinds with different levels of power output and frame sizes.
Their 100 watt solar panels are just as high quality as their other products. The monocrystalline panels are made from impact resistant, low iron tempered glass, for unyielding stiffness.
The corrosion resistant aluminum frame can withstand rainfall without getting ruined and rusty. Using these high quality materials means that your solar panels will last a very long time so they are a good investment.
These solar panels are also resilient in bad weather conditions, and can withstand winds as high as 2400 Pa and snow loads at 5400 Pa.
Also, the aluminum frame also features pre drilled holes that help make mounting your solar panels and installing them quick and easy, but unfortunately, there is no mounting hardware included in this solar kit.
This means that you will have to purchase your mourning hardware separately, costing you a little extra.
Despite that, using a Renogy solar panel is a great way to get renewable energy with a high power output while living off grid. They are reliable and durable, making them a solid choice for those who are environmentally-conscious.
- This favorite solar panel manufacturer makes their products using high quality materials such as a corrosion resistant aluminum frame.
- Comes with predrilled holes to make mounting and installation quick and easy.
- The impact resistant tempered glass helps this solar panel withstand high winds and heavy snow loads.
- Unfortunately, there is no mounting hardware included in this solar kit, so extra materials require a separate purchase.
An alternative choice for a sturdy, conventional solar panel is Eco Worthy’s 100 watt solar panel featured in its solar panel kits.
This kit not only comes with a 100 watt monocrystalline solar panel, but with mounting brackets, a highly rated junction box, built in circuits, and cables for ease of installation.
The panels are also made using strong and sturdy aluminum materials for a durable frame that features pre drilled holes to make mounting and installation a breeze.
The aluminum frame is also built to last as it is corrosion resistant, and it helps the panels to withstand high winds and heavy snow load.
These solar panels are also incredibly efficient. The energy conversion efficiency is rated at 21% - a premium rating that is not often seen in traditional solar panels.
This means that these solar panels from Eco Worthy will give you plenty of solar power wherever you choose to install them.
These powerful and sturdy solar panels mean that they will sit comfortable on the roof of your house, car or motorhome and provide you with plenty of solar power for decades - if they arrive in one piece.
Many people have complained about the quality of Eco Worthy’s packaging as many panels have arrived at their new owner’s home broken and damaged. This is something to consider before you commit yourself to one of Eco Worthy solar panel kits.
- These panels are made using durable aluminum materials to make a frame with pre drilled holes for ease of use.
- They feature a high efficiency solar cells at 21% so you get the maximum amount of power possible.
- This solar panel kit offers a bunch of accessories with your panels, including a junction box and mounting hardware.
- The poor packaging used by the company often leads to damaged products.
Portable solar panels are a great way for those who live their lives off grid to still enjoy the benefits of electrical energy. They are also ideal for campers and those who travel a lot as portable solar panels are easy to pack up and take with you wherever you go.
This is what makes the Jackery SolarSaga 100 watt solar panel so great. It folds up neatly and can be brought with you everywhere, allowing you to fully explore the world around you.
It is easy to set up as it features two kickstands that just flip right into place. This means you can charge your phone at pretty much any time - depending on the weather, of course.
Unfortunately, this portable solar panel does not have the durability that comes with more heavier and sturdier solar panels. It does not have an aluminum frame, but is made from monocrystalline solar panels and silicone. It can soak up sunlight with its 23% energy efficiency rating, but not water.
Sure, it will survive a few splashes but you can’t leave this solar panel out in the rain or you will risk ruining it.
It’s a shame because this portable 100 watt solar panel knocks it out of the park in a few other areas as well. It is a highly efficient solar panel with added safety features such as a surge protection and short current protection.
- It is highly portable with two kickstands, making it easy to set up and ideal for those who are constantly on the go.
- It has high module conversion efficiency with a rate of 23%, much higher than other typical solar panels.
- Protected from surge and short currents, so it’s very safe to use.
- It is not waterproof so it will not last in the rain and can only be used during dry weather.
Another good option for a portable solar panel is Dokio’s foldable solar panel.
Unlike with the Jackery portable solar panel, this 100 watt solar panel is made using a foldable aluminum stand that is waterproof and corrosion resistant.
The frame was also made with ease and convenience in mind as it features a handle to make mobility easier and also features simple battery clips to connect to batteries without fuss.
However, some owners of this solar panel have complained that the legs are too flimsy and it will sometimes fall over - this can be a nightmare, especially as solar panels need to remain in direct sunlight for maximum power outage.
However, the monocrystalline solar cells are highly efficient and durable against high winds and heavy snowfall. This makes the Dokio foldable solar panel a solid choice for anyone needing a portable solar panel for some off grid power.
- This folding solar panel is easy to set up with battery clips for simple power connection and a handle to make it convenient to carry.
- It is made using a corrosion resistant aluminum stand so it can survive in the rain very well without damage.
- These solar panels are also durable even against high winds and snowfall despite being portable.
- Many complain about the flimsy legs as they sometimes fall over, meaning that the solar panel can sometimes fall into the shade and out of direct sunlight.
Solar panel technology has advanced incredibly over the years, and now, solar panel manufacturers are able to create flexible solar panels instead of the usual solar panels that are firm and stiff.
One of those manufacturers is Xinpuguang, a company that sells flexible solar panels as part of their solar panel system kits with two panels available! This makes Xinpuguang’s flexible solar panels a very affordable option for those who want to have green energy for little cost.
Not only that, but these solar panels also have a moderate cell efficiency of 19.8%, which outstrips most solar panels but is still a little behind the more premium options available.
Despite this, the flexibility and lightweight of these panels make up for the slightly lower efficiency as they can be installed on uneven surfaces. They are also resilient against snow loads and high wind pressure despite their flexibility.
While these solar panels seem to be almost ideal, there is one issue that they suffer from - discoloration.
It is not unusual for solar panels to start to turn white or yellow after many years of use, but these solar panels from Xinpuguang can start to discolor not even one year after use.
It’s a shame and probably due to the use of more affordable materials, but this can also depend on how often you use these panels so this issue is subjective.
- Xinpuguang’s flexible solar panels feature a moderate cell efficiency of 19.8%
- They are very lightweight, making them easy to move around and carry from place to place.
- Due to their flexibility, they are easily installed onto any uneven surface and yet remain durable against snow loads and high wind pressure.
- The solar panels discolor at a faster rate than usual solar panels.
And finally, we have Renogy’s flexible 100 watt solar panels. Even this solar panel giant decided to throw its hat into the ring when it came to making solar panels flexible - and they have blown most of their competition away.
Renogy’s own flexible solar panels is ultra lightweight and 70% thinner than regular solar panels, making them portable and easy to install onto all kinds of uneven surfaces. A lot of owners even use theirs for marine travel and have installed their flexible solar panel onto their yachts and vessels.
The waterproof qualities of Renogy’s flexible solar panels make it ideal for marine use, but it is also durable against other forms of extreme weather conditions, including 5400 Pa of snow load and winds of up to 2400 Pa.
This is in part thanks to the strong and high quality polymer materials Renogy uses for their monocrystalline solar panels, making them last longer than other competitors.
The only downside we can see for this amazing flexible panel is that Renogy has not given a cell efficiency specification. Although it works very well, it would be nice to know just how good the cell efficiency is on this solar panel.
Despite this, Renogy’s 100 watt flexible solar panels is a great choice for those who want a lightweight panel that can be used just about anywhere off grid!
- This solar panel is ultra lightweight and thin, making it easy to move around and install on any kind of uneven surface.
- It is waterproof and durable against all kinds of extreme weather conditions, including snow and high winds.
- Made from high quality materials that outperform other rivals.
- Unfortunately, Renogy does not give a clear cell efficiency specification, although this solar panel still works very well.
Best 100 Watt Solar Panel - FAQ's
How Much Power Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce?
A single 100 watt solar panel puts out 100 watts of power in around 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. This obviously is dependent on how much sunlight the solar panel has received so the actual watt output varies from day to day, depending on the weather and season.
Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Run A Refrigerator?
It can - if you have 4 attached together. This is because the average refrigerator uses about 100 watts per hour, but it takes a single 100 watt solar panel a whole 8 hours of direct sunlight to put out that kind of power. Therefore, you will need at least 4 solar panels together to power a refrigerator alone.
Is A 100 Watt Solar Panel Worth It?
It depends on what you plan on using it for. 100 watt solar panels are a great way to power laptops, fans, and lights while living off grid.
It can also be used to charge batteries, including your smartphone - just don’t expect them to power your whole house. While you can join multiple solar systems together, this is not a cost effective way to power your home. 100 watt solar panels are better at powering small motorhomes or used as a power source while camping.
So those were our best 100 watt solar panel picks!
As you can see, solar panels come in variety of different forms these days including portable and flexible. However, what makes a solar panel good stays the same - highly efficient solar cells and tough materials like aluminum or silicone combine together to make some amazing monocrystalline solar panels.
With all of these qualities together, you too can utilize 100 watt solar panels to enjoy green energy and live a life off grid, free of any guilt about the environmental state of our world.