In the market for a 100 watt solar panel that is ideal for both camping and cabins? GreenCitizen helps you with a review list and a guide.
According to a 2017 American Camper Report, 74% of campers use a smartphone while camping. Furthermore, many people who use RVs, trailers, cabins and boats now require off-grid power to stay in touch with their loved ones.
But what happens when you run out of juice?
If you’re a camper or adventurer who’s looking to keep your devices powered up, a 100 watt solar panel kit may be the answer. Solar panels allow you to power your devices without relying on outlet power, so they’re perfect for true off-the-grid adventurers.
So, which one should you buy?
Here I look at the best 100 watt solar panel kits on the market.
The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Kit is a high-efficiency monocrystalline system running at around 21% efficiency.
I found that this is best used for RVs, trailers, sheds, cabins, and boats, since it comes with pre-drilled holes that make it easy to attach it to the roof of your RV, shed, or wherever else you might want to place this panel.
Aside from being quiet, what I like the most about this solar panel 100 watt system is it comes with all the accessories included, so there was little that I needed to purchase separately.
If you want a convenient, high-quality system at a good price, then this kit is the way to go.
Renogy New 100 Watt 12V Solar Premium Kit offers the same 21% efficiency like the previous one. Plus, it offers better performance in low-light conditions.
These solar panels are made from extra thick low iron-tempered glass that’s robust and impact-resistant so it can survive a lot of abuse and damage.
This makes it great for lugging around on your camping trips, or when you need to move around quickly during an emergency.
I also really liked that this system includes a Bluetooth module that can pair with an app on your smartphone so you can monitor charge progress in real-time.
This 9.1lb lightweight panel is also foldable and comes with a kickstand, so it’s good for taking on camping trips or using as backup power on a sunny day.
The solar charger even comes with two 5V USB slots, so you can charge your smartphone directly from the panels.
I really loved the inclusion of the kickstand and the foldability function — makes the panel ideal for camping trips.
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit is quiet and easy to set up, coming with corrosion-resistant aluminum frames that last for decades with the right care.
These 100 watts solar panels come with electronic protections for overcharging, overload, short circuits and reversed polarity — you’re unlikely to fry this battery if you make a rookie mistake.
The regulator doesn't always hold the cables securely though so you should take care when moving the regulator.
You must understand that RICH SOLAR 100 Watt panel is a polycrystalline panel, which will always be inferior to the monocrystalline panels. The only upside is the price — these are cheap!
This panel is designed to work well on cloudy days with limited sunlight.
However, some users have found that the output is more like 50-75 watts than 100 watts.
Nonetheless, the 14 pre-drilled mounting holes make it easy to stick this on top of your RV, trailer, or shed and get going.
It doesn't come with the 4 mounting brackets that's normally included in systems like this, which is very inconvenient really.
However, many users claim that they never get close to 100 watts with this thing, so it might not be as efficient as it seems.
You should only consider them if you're in a tight budget.
The Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase actually folds up like a briefcase, as the name suggests, so it’s easy to carry around a campsite with you.
It’s also very lightweight, which is handy if you’re a solo traveler.
While there is no doubt about the build quality and brand recognition, these 100W solar panels are quite expensive.
However, this product is NOT designed with other Goal Zero power stations in mind, so it’s not ideal if you’re not deep into the Goal Zero brand.
Honestly, I was quite baffled seeing the overly positive reviews of the Newpowa 100 Watts 12V polycrystalline solar panels. While the reviewers have showered the panels with positive reviews, I have some issues with it.
First, this is a polycrystalline panel — if someone says this is a high efficiency panel, they're lying or don't know much about solar panels.
Then comes the issue of the poor low-light performance.
If you get a shadow or a leaf over one of the 72 cells on these panels, the entire power output can be cut by 50%. In short, you must keep them directly facing the sun.
That’s quite an issue!
They’re made from iron-tempered glass and corrosion-resistant frames, complete with a waterproof junction box that makes them resilient in all types of weather.
However, these solar panels are packaged without foam and often arrive damaged, so prepare to cry if you’ve got heavy-handed delivery people.
It's a mediocre option. I'd be more comfortable with something from good brands like Renogy or Jackery.
My buddy uses a few of these WindyNation 100 watt solar panels for his cabin in the woods, and he says that they can produce up to 350 watt hours of power per day on a GOOD day.
However, most of the time it’s a lot less than that.
These panels come with a solar controller included but the overall construction feels a little cheap.
It’s also polycrystalline, though they don’t make that obvious when you buy it. A typical polycrystalline panel is blue however they use black panel image on the sales pages!
This is weird!
No, a 100 watt solar panel alone cannot run a standard US refrigerator.
You can hook up a 100 watt solar panel by connecting it to to a charge controller, a power inverter, and a deep cycle battery of some kind. Take note though that every system has different setups so you should check the user manual for your specific product(s).
A 100 watt solar panel will charge a 12V battery in around 14 hours under ideal conditions. However, most people are not dealing with ideal sunlight conditions so it could be much longer.
If you’re looking for a solar energy kit that will help to keep your RV, boat, trailer, or cabin going when sunlight is running low, I’d recommend the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Starter Kit for sure.
This quiet monocrystalline kit runs at an impressive 21% efficiency and comes with all the accessories you need, so you don’t need to spend money on anything else.
It’s also very good in rainy and bad weather, which is essential for true off-grid adventurers.
Whether you’re charging smartphone batteries or running an off-grid cabin, the Renogy 100 Watt 12V Starter Kit is more than enough to meet your needs.
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit
Our # 1 100-Watt Solar Panel Kit