What will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?
As solar power continues to grow in popularity, an increasing number of people are investing in solar equipment they can use to make their lives easier. Given their affordability and adaptability, one of the most popular pieces of solar equipment is the 100 watt solar panel.
Like any type of solar panel, 100 watt solar panels work by absorbing sunlight and converting that energy into useable electricity. These panels come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a backcountry camper that is looking for a highly portable source of electricity, or you are more interested in a permanent source of environmentally-friendly electricity for your home or business, you can find a 100 watt solar panel that will fulfill your needs.
How Can We Help?
While the popularity of 100 watt solar panels clearly points to their practicality and usefulness, many people still wonder what they are actually capable of powering. This is where we can help!
We are going to go over everything you need to know about 100 watt solar panels. We will explain some of the many advantages of choosing a 100 watt solar panel, as well as explain what sort of energy they are actually capable of producing. Once you are familiar with what you can use 100 watt solar panels for, we will even point you in the direction of some high-quality options you can use to satisfy your solar energy needs!
So, How Much Energy Does a 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce?
As the name suggests, a 100 watt solar panel is a solar photovoltaic module that has a power rating of 100 watts. As you would expect, this means the panel has a power output of up to 100 watts of DC power in a single hour when it is operating under ideal conditions.
The fact that the power ratings of solar panels are assessed based on optimal conditions is an important caveat. Solar panel output is entirely dependent on the amount of sunlight the particular panel is exposed to. This means a solar panel with any power rating needs to be installed correctly, meaning at the appropriate angle and direction to absorb sunlight. They must also be facing this direction during peak sunlight hours.
Other factors, such as clouds, shade from objects overhead, and the geographic location where the panels are being used can all impact the overall performance of a solar panel.
What if the 100 Watt Solar Panel is Not Operating in Optimal Conditions?
The reality is your solar panels will spend most of their lifespan working in sub-optimal conditions. For starters, most of the day is not peak sunshine hours. Morning and late afternoon hours receive far less direct sunlight than the hours surrounding noon. Then, of course, everywhere has its cloudy days and the winter months offer less daylight than those during the summer.
Basically, what all this means is your 100 watt solar panel will produce differing amounts of electricity depending on when and where it is being used. However, it is important to understand that a solar panel that is not operating at its full power potential can still generate useful electricity.
Solar Electricity Generated in a Full Day:
In the United States, the average watt-hours, or Wh, produced by a 100 watt solar panel in a day ranges from 280Wh to 480Wh. This mostly depends on where the solar panel is being used. States that receive huge amounts of sunlight in a typical day, like Arizona and New Mexico, are much higher on the average watt-hours scale than less sunny states, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
As you can see, even in areas that receive relatively little direct sunlight, even just a single 100 watt solar panel can still generate a significant amount of electricity on an average day.
Even if your solar panel is only operating at 60 percent of its potential, that is still a fairly significant amount of free and environmentally-friendly electricity that you can access from anywhere that the sun is shining. By pairing your solar panel with a solar battery, or a portable solar generator, you can even store that electricity and use it at your convenience.
What Can a Single 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?
Now that you understand a little bit more about the amount of electricity a 100 watt solar panel can produce in a typical day, we can take a look at what they can be used to reliably power.
While there are more factors you will need to take into consideration, such as the efficiency of your charge controller, power inverter, and what sort of battery bank you are pairing with your solar panel, we can still take a look at the power demands of popular electronics to give you an idea of how well a 100 watt solar panel can handle those varying demands.
Assuming your 100 watt solar panel is properly connected to a deep cycle solar battery, that stored solar electricity will be able to meet the power demands of the following devices:
- A standard laptop requires between 50 and 100 watt-hours
- A typical smartphone draws roughly 5 watt-hours while charging
- A string of LED camp lights will draw between 10 and 14 watt-hours
- A small LED television will have a power rating between 60 and 150 watt-hours
- A portable Bluetooth speaker will draw 20 to 50 watt-hours while charging
As you can see, even in sub-optimal conditions, a 100 watt solar panel can generate enough power to be a practical source of electricity for a variety of electronic devices. This explains why they are so popular with people that spend time off-grid. Even a single 100 watt panel and solar generator can be enough to reliably power a smartphone or a portable GPS device.
Since a solar panel is only useful on its own while the sun is shining, many people choose to connect them to solar generators. Essentially, a solar generator acts as an all-in-one solar power station. They use a built-in high-capacity battery, efficient power inverter, integrated charge controller, and a variety of power output ports to store and supply solar electricity to any connected electronic device.
Best of all, most models are extremely portable and feature durable exteriors. This is why they are favored as backup power supplies for emergency situations, portable power solutions for off-grid travels, and convenient power storage devices for anyone that wants to store and use solar electricity at their own conveniences.
The Titan 3,000W Portable Solar Power Station is one of the best options on the market today. Its expandable 2,000Wh lithium battery, 3,000 watt power inverter, and built-in MPPT charge controller make this powerful unit the ultimate solar generator.
For those with lower power needs, the EcoFlow Delta 1,800W Portable Solar Generator is a more affordable option that comes equipped with everything you need to access clean solar electricity from wherever your next adventure takes you. By pairing the unit with a 100 watt solar panel, you can reliably charge and run electronic devices of your choosing.
100 Watt Solar Panels:
While 100 watt solar panels are available in a variety of styles, including foldable solar panels for camping and flexible RV solar panels, one of the best ways to get started is by choosing a straightforward, high-quality monocrystalline solar panel. Not only are these types of solar panels affordable and reliable, they tend to be much more durable than other styles.
For a basic option that will get the job done, we recommend this 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel. It features a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, a sealed and waterproof exterior, and pre-drilled mounting holes for a quick and easy installation. Whether you are looking for a portable option for your RV and camping trips, or you want to permanently mount it at your home or remote cabin, this is a highly efficient option that will work perfectly.
It also pairs with just about any type of solar battery bank, as well as either of the portable solar generators highlighted above.
Consider checking: 100 Watt Solar Panel How Many AMPs
Other Affordable Solar Products:
If you are looking to build any sort of solar power system on a budget, you will want to familiarize yourself with the Renogy brand. They have a well-earned reputation for offering high-quality solar equipment at reasonable prices.
Whether you are looking for a specific type of solar panel, an efficient power inverter, a high-capacity solar battery, or a reliable and safe charge controller, you can find exactly what you need by shopping our Complete Renogy Solar Collection.
When paired with the correct pieces of equipment, even just a single 100 watt solar panel can be an effective way to access solar electricity from anywhere the sun is shining.
As described above, a properly positioned 100 watt solar panel can generate a significant amount of solar electricity if that power is stored in an appropriate battery or generator.
While portable and handheld solar chargers are popular, they have much lower efficiency and power ratings than traditional solar panels. Before you consider choosing a portable solar charger over a solar power system that uses a 100 watt solar panel, read our Patriot Power Cell Review and Portable Solar Charger Buying Guide
As always, if you have any questions about 100 watt solar panels, or any other questions relating to solar power, do not hesitate to reach out to us!