Some of the best ways to power our homes is using green energy. Green energy is the energy that comes from renewable sources like the sun. Such renewable energy has many advantages, with the obvious one being that it does not pollute the environment.
Solar power is also free. However, to harness it, you need infrastructures like a 100 watt solar panel and solar generators. You can buy solar panels alone or as a complete solar panel kit.
This article will answer the question What can a 100 watt solar panel run?” We’ll also review the best 100 watt solar panels and look at the factors you should consider before purchasing a solar panel.
What Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?
A 100 watt solar panel ca mostly small electronical devices such as…
- Cell phones.
- Small kitchen appliances.
What Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Not Run?
A 100 watt solar panel cannot run bigger electrical items and household appliances such as…
- Air con unit.
- Washing Machines.
- Tumble Dryers
- Whole houses
See what a 400 watt inverter generator can run here.
Best 100 Watt Solar Panels
There are many solar panel producers. However, although they all produce 100-Watt solar panels (which is a solar photovoltaic module), these products are unique. They can vary in durability, price, technology, the included accessories, or battery type. Therefore, it is understandable why you may ask what the best 100W solar panels are and how much power can they produce. Below are the three best 100 watt solar panels:
- Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel (Monocrystalline)
- HQST 100 Watt 12V Solar Panel (Monocrystalline)
- Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase (Monocrystalline)
Renogy 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Our first 100 watt solar panel is the Renogy 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel . The solar panel has a top-notch encapsulation material with several sheet lamination layers that make it durable while enhancing cell performance. Therefore, reliability is assured when you purchase this solar panel.
To enhance durability, the 100-watt solar panel also has an output tolerance of 0-3%. Therefore, it can withstand about 5400Pa of snow loads and strong winds (2400Pa).
You can use the 100-watt solar panel for tailgates, RV, beach trips, or even power your home appliances. Either way, Renogy 100-Watt Solar Panel (12V Monocrystalline) is versatile enough and offers you the highest efficiency per space.
The solar panel is installation-ready. To allow fast mounting, the panel comes with pre-drilled holes in the back. The holes are compatible with various mounting systems, like pole mounts, tilt mounts, and z-brackets from Renogy. In addition, the solar panel has a warranty of 25 years on transferable electrical output and five years on craft and materials.
Renogy 12 Volt Solar Panel produces a maximum solar power of 100 Watts. They weigh 14.3 pounds and measure 42.4 x 20.0 x 1.38 inches, making them portable. Other specifications include:
- Operating Voltage (Optimum): 18.6V
- Short-Circuit Current: 5.86A
- Operating Current (Optimum): 5.38A
- System Voltage (Maximum): 600V DC
- Open-Circuit Voltage: 22.3V
- Operating Temperature:-40- 176F
- Lightweight and portable
- Bypass diodes prevent the solar cells from overheating
- Maximum power output not as high as others
- Poor customer service
HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
HQST is another leading brand in the world of solar panels. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a highly efficient, durable, and reliable 100 Watt solar panel. It uses monocrystalline solar cells and has a conversion efficiency of about 21%.
To ensure high performance in environments having low light, they also have bypass diodes. Therefore, it is the perfect choice for a variety of applications like 12V off-grid battery charging systems.
In addition, the top-notch encapsulation material and several layers of sheet lamination make the panel durable with enhanced cell performance.
Purchasing this Solar Panel guarantees you a 0-35 positive output tolerance. In addition, it can withstand strong winds (2400Pa) and about 5400Pa of snow loads. The solar panel also features tempered glass and aluminum (corrosion-resistant) durable for extended outdoor uses.
To allow for easy installation, it comes with MC4 connectors and a junction box. There are also pre-drilled holes in the back of the solar panel for fast securing and mounting. The holes are compatible with various mounting systems, including the z-brackets, tilt, and pole mounts.
Before each solar panel leaves the factory, manufacturers test and inspect it to ensure it is flawless. You get a solar panel, a 3-year warranty, and a user manual when you purchase an HQST 100 Watt Solar Panel. You can use the solar panel to charge a boat, a recreational vehicle, caravans, and other off-grid applications.
The solar panel weighs 12.1 pounds and measures 32.5 x 26.4 x 1.18 inches. The other specifications for the HQST 100W solar panel include:
- Series Fuse Rating (Maximum): 15A
- Maximum Solar Power: 100W
- Open-Circuit Voltage: 21.6V
- Operating Temperature: 104-176 ℉
- Operating Current (Optimum): 5.56A
- Short-Circuit Current:6.5A
- Operating Voltage (Optimum): 18.0V
- System Voltage (Maximum): 600VDC UL
- Maximum power output reported to be higher than stated amount
- Lightweight and portable
- Some charging issues detected
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
Last, we will look at the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase. Made by portable solar power innovators, this solar panel is engineered with precision and real-life use cases in mind.
Whether for household, travel, or other off-grid uses, this is among the best 100-watt solar panels. It is tested in various environments to ensure that you get seamless power regardless of where you are.
The solar panel works with power stations like goal zero Yeti 500X for tailgates, camping, off-grid events, worksites and can also provide backup power in your home during a power outage.
This solar panel is both dependable and durable. It combines two 50-Watt solar panels (monocrystalline) designed in a briefcase style to provide the ultimate portability.
To increase its durability, Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase is built of an anodized aluminum frame with a tempered glass cover and additional corner protection, making it weatherproof.
It also has built-in kickstands that allow its positioning to collect sunlight optimally and generate enough electrical power. To produce more solar battery capacity, you can chain several Boulder solar panels.
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase solar panel measures 26.75 x 40 x 1.75 inches and weighs 25.9 pounds. Other specifications include:
- Maximum rated power: 100 Watts
- Open circuit voltage: 21.5V
- Powerpoint voltage (Maximum): 17.2V
- The solar panel is rated 4.7/5 on Amazon
- Higher maximum power output than competitors
- Made with weather resistant aluminum frames and strong tempered glass
- Portable, briefcase style monocrystalline solar panels
- Built-in kickstand helps for easy set-up
100 Watt Solar Panel Will Run What?
Having looked at the three best 100 watt solar panels, how much energy can they produce and what can they power? 100W can power a good list of appliances. The power ratings of an appliance and the intensity of sunlight are the two key factors influencing what a 100-watt solar panel can power. A 100-Watt solar panel can power the following electrical gadgets:
- Compact Fluorescent: 25 Watt
- Halogen: 40 Watt
- Electric Shaver: 15 watts
- Incandescent: 50 Watt
- LCD TV: 70W
- Sound system: < 80W
- Laptop: 45W
- LED lights: 10W
- LED floodlights: 30-60W
A 100-watt solar panel can power any appliance that uses less than 90 watts. We factor the 10W to cater to the inverter losses.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
We all know that a solar panel converts solar power into electrical energy. However, many people do not understand what goes on in the process. This section will equip you with the knowledge of how a solar panel works. So how does a solar panel work?
Solar panels have many photovoltaic cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity and are made from semiconductor materials like silicon.
The semiconductor material conducts electricity and maintains the electrical imbalance necessary to create an electric field. When the light falls on the solar panel, the photons are absorbed, knocks off several electrons, and later freely drifts in the cell.
The solar cell comprises electrons and protons sandwiched to create an electric field. Drifting electrons are forced to flow towards several conductive metal plates that line solar cells by the electric field. The flow is called energy current. The strength of the energy current determines the amount of electricity produced by each cell.
Upon hitting the metal plate, the current is directed into wires into an inverter. The solar panel generates DC. However, most appliances need alternating current.
The inverter converts the DC into usable AC power and ensures you can use it for daily use. If there is any unused power, it is transferred into the grid via the utility meter. That is how solar panels produce electrical power from solar power.
Also Read: Best Solar Generators 
Pros and Cons
- Reduction in electricity bills
Among the most well-known advantages of using a solar panel is that it reduces the cost of electricity bills. By producing your power using solar panels, you reduce the expenses of buying electricity from the grid. The money saved can cater to other things. In addition, solar power is both free and renewable. Therefore, you will not incur any additional costs producing it.
- Solar energy is renewable
Solar power is an example of green energy. You can use energy repeatedly without getting used up. The sun produces a vast amount of energy daily. Solar panels help you harness a portion of that energy for your uses without ever being depleted.
Therefore, anyone can use solar power with the help of a solar panel. With a solid budget, you can shift to solar power and never pay for electricity bills again. Solar power is also clean. Hence, you can use it without worrying about pollution or the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Low cost of maintenance
With daily improvements in solar technology, it is becoming easier to maintain solar panels. Long-time warranties on the panels and workmanships are also included, easing the maintenance of solar panels on your end. You only have to call the vendor, and they will handle the maintenance for you.
The other routine maintenance is wiping and removing the dust from the solar panel. It ensures that the conversion rate remains high throughout.
- Selling the surplus to the grid
The other advantage of solar panels is that they can produce surplus energy you can sell on the grid. Therefore, solar panels can make you some extra cash. Besides the money, you give your community renewable and clean solar power.
The government offers tax incentives and tariffs for the excess energy they produce. While these tariffs vary depending on the state, the two main ones are fixed-rate tariffs and time-varying tariffs. You get paid based on the Kilowatts, enabling you to see the return on investments on your solar panels.
- High initial cost
The initial cost of purchasing and installing solar panels is high. Therefore, some homeowners may not afford it.
- Dependence on weather
As we have already seen above, solar panels turn sunlight into electrical power. It means that if the light intensity is affected by your location, rain, or cloudy skies, you will not have enough power.
- Low conversion rates
Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical power at low rates. However, the most advanced solar panels convert only 20-25% of solar energy into electrical energy. It means that there still is room for improvement in solar panel technology to harness the full power of solar energy.
- You cannot use it in areas that receive low sunlight and at night
The efficiency of solar panels in converting solar power into electrical energy also depends on the light intensity. Therefore, they cannot harness the power at night or in places that experience low light from the sun.
Buyer’s Guide: What To Know
Power is the whole reason you are investing in a solar panel. Therefore, you must consider how much power it produces. Can you connect two or more solar panels to generate more power?
Many 100W solar panels feature an MC4 power output. It means the average watt-hours would be at least 420Wh per day. It is the amount of power that you get that determines what appliances the solar panel can power.
The other thing to consider is the runtime. How long does the solar panel take to power your appliances? How long does it take to charge the solar battery?
On average, a 100-watt solar panel produces 8.33amps for every peak sun hour. Therefore, to charge a 100Ah solar battery, for instance, the solar panel may take 13 hours.
However, factors like the rate of discharge on the appliance, temperature, and weather can affect a 100-watt solar panel’s runtime. So buy a solar panel that can run electrical appliances such as your air conditioner for a longer time.
The next thing to consider is the compatibility of our 100W solar panel with batteries. Batteries are essential because they store surplus power. The higher the battery capacity, the more you can store energy. However, the battery should not be too big compared to the solar panel.
A bigger battery requires a larger solar panel in terms of power. Otherwise, charging the battery might take too long. The power input should roughly match the power output.
For one 100W solar panel, a 100Ah 12V battery may be enough. You can use a lead-acid battery or a lithium-ion battery (that we recommend).
What will you be powering with your 100W solar panel? One 100W solar panel can run several small devices. These include a ceiling fan, lamps, smartphones, and any other device whose power rating is below 90W. A 100W solar panel cannot run your air conditioner continuously.
Before you buy a 100W solar panel, it is critical to calculating the total power requirements of your appliance. It will help you decide whether to buy one or two 100W solar panels.
As we have already seen, the weather is a critical determinant of the amount of power produced by a solar panel. Consider the weather of your area before purchasing a 100W solar panel. It will help you calculate the KWh and decide whether to add another solar panel. A solar power calculator can help you decide.
If the area experiences less sunlight, you may have to rely partly on the power from the grid. If the solar panel is for a tailgate or camping in areas that do not receive enough sunlight, you can charge the battery and carry it fully charged.
Does the solar panel have any safety implementations? Regardless of the source, electrical power is dangerous. Therefore, the solar panel should have a solar charge controller that protects the appliances from overcharge, short-circuiting, and undercharge. In addition, it protects you and your electrical devices from any harm.
The panel cables should be insulated. It also should come with pre-drilled holes for safe fastening on the roof of your RV or house. The power station that you buy should also feature a solar charge controller.
The other thing to consider before buying a 100W solar panel is its price. 100 Watt Solar panel price can start above $100 for a 100 Watt solar panel. These are usually sold individually or in packages of 2 panels. If you do not have a solar power station (AKA Solar power generator) for your panels, consider adding one to your cart before checkout to ensure you have both the power generator and the solar panels. The power generator can start in the mid $200-300s and up for a 100W small portable solar power generator.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you power a home with 100W solar panels?
Yes, you can run home with 100W solar panels. However, it is not a wise financial decision. A home consumes much energy and needs a system that can generate between 5,000-10,000 Watts. To make such a system using 100W solar panels, you may have to connect between 50-100 such solar panels.
Installing such many solar panels means that you have a complicated system because of additional framing, fasteners, and raking. Such many solar panels mean that you have more electrical connections, making the system unreliable. You get less watt/dollar in such a setup. So is it worth it to use 100W solar panels to power a home? It is not. Consider a home standby generator as a backup source to power the whole house.
What size inverter do I need for a 100 watt solar panel?
An inverter is a device that converts the DC power generated by the solar panel into AC power your appliances can use. The first step in determining the size of the inverter that you need is to understand how they are rated.
Inverters are rated in terms of continuous watts, input voltage rating, and peak/surge watts. Then calculate the amps and the watts on the appliances that you need to run.
You require an inverter that is 20% higher than the power output of the 100W solar panel. So, a 200-Watt 12V DC to 220V AC inverter can work well with your 100W solar panel in running your appliances.
How many amps does a 100W solar panel produce?
The number of amps produced by a 100W solar panel depends on the solar intensity of a day. On average, a 100W solar panel will produce 6amps when the sun is at its peak hour. It translates to about 30Ah daily.
Which companies make 100-watt solar panels?
Various manufacturers specialize in making portable and small solar panels rated at 100-Watts. Among them, Renogy is the most popular company. It forms the standards in which many other companies operate. Renogy is regarded as an industry leader in the making of portable solar panels.
Other notable companies include Coleman, HQST, Newpowa, Richsolar, Eco-Worthy, and WindyNation.
Should I pair a 100-watt solar panel with a battery?
A battery is essential in any portable or static solar system. It is used to store the surplus power for later use. So, should you pair the 100W solar panel with a battery? Absolutely yes. Remember, direct sunlight is only there for a few hours of a day.
Connect a battery to your solar panel to store the excess power to continue enjoying free power. A battery can have multiple outlets that you can use to power your appliances.
What Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?
A 100 watt solar panel ca mostly small electronical devices such as…
- Cell phones.
- Small kitchen appliances.
So, what else can a 100 watt solar panel run? This kit can be a good fit for your RV when camping or on a tailgate.
However, if you want a solar panel to power domestic needs at home, this may not be the right choice for the reasons we have elaborated above. 100-watt solar panels can power electrical devices that do not use much power.
Are you a camper or planning a tailgate? Consider the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase solar panel or a Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel. However, the HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels are the most affordable option. Just be sure the wattage of your panels and power generator suffice for your power needs.
I’ve always been a lover of Mechanics and the engineering that goes on behind it. Naturally had a knack for fixing things and i’ve had lots of adventures that generators are second nature to me.