Zamp 100-watt solar panels are on the smaller side compared to most solar panels on the market. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less capable than their larger siblings.
Despite being both convenient for your household and good for the environment, getting into solar might seem daunting. It could also feel like a risky investment for those newcomers who are unfamiliar with sustainable energy.
This is why smaller solar systems such as the Zamp 100-Watt Solar Panel are great for those who are hesitant to invest in a full solar system installation.
The Perfect Entry-Level Solar System
When looking at solar energy and everything that it entails from the perspective of someone who hasn't had much exposure to it, it can seem a bit overwhelming to say the least.
With its uncomplicated setup and ease of use, the Zamp 100-Watt solar panel is the perfect solar system for newcomers to the sustainable energy game.
The Zamp solar panel is fairly straightforward when it comes to setting it up. This saves you from having to spend money on a professional for a full solar installation, which can cost from as much as $5,000 to $17,500.
If the task of setting it up does end up being a bit too complicated, especially for those who are new to solar energy, simply contact Zamp’s stellar customer service and they’ll gladly guide you along the installation process.
Ideal for Off-Grid Situations
The size and nature of its construction make transporting and installing the solar panels much simpler, and it is ideal for smaller solar projects and off-grid situations such as camping and RVing.
That said, the amount of energy required for going off-grid can vary from person to person.
The minimum watts required to power an RV is approximately 400 watts. Thanks to its shape and size, the Zamp 100-Watt solar panel is ideal because you will be able to mount multiple panels on the roof of your RV if the need arises.
With the appropriate cables and equipment at hand, you would also be able to place the panels at a distance separate from your RV if you prefer to be parked underneath the shade.
Features and Specifications
In terms of appearance, the panel has a sleek black design with a silver anodized aluminum frame.
At first glance, it's easy to tell that it’s made from top-notch materials. The manufacturers took the time to ensure their product was given a quality finish that not only maintains a high level of functionality but is also pleasing to the eye.
The Zamp 100-Watt solar panel is noticeably more compact compared to traditional solar panels. It’s made up of 39 AR-coated solar cells connected in series.
American-made in Bend, Oregon, this solar panel is about 30% lighter than traditional solar panels, while also maintaining a slightly higher level of efficiency than their weightier counterparts.
Their weight can be attributed to the materials used in its design, which features a lightweight polymer material as well as monocrystalline solar cells. A single panel weighs about 10 pounds while being 20 inches wide with a length of 42 inches.
These monocrystalline cells have become a staple of Zamp products, and can also be found in the Zamp 180-watt solar panels.
The monocrystalline solar cells are made up of only a single layer of silicone, as opposed to multiple layers of silicone which are melted together to form polycrystalline solar cells, which is a common feature in regular solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar cells are known to be more efficient than polycrystalline solar cells as they are able to produce more energy per square meter. The operating voltage of this solar panel sits at 20V.
When you take into account the materials used to manufacture them, it's understandable that these panels can be a bit pricey.
Monocrystalline solar cells are generally more valuable than the usual polycrystalline cells, and when combined with the materials and quality finish of this solar panel, it amounts to quite a valuable piece of equipment.
Although, as pricey as it can be, a single solar panel is still significantly easier on your wallet than a full solar system installation.
That's not to say you won't get what you pay for, though. The price of the Zamp 100-watt solar panel is well worth it if you're looking for a quality solar system that's likely to last a very long time.
Depending on your intended use, you may need to invest in some additional equipment to fully make use of the Zamp 100 Watt solar panel.
If you intend to use your 100-watt solar panel for a grid-tied home, then a solar battery won't be a necessity. If you plan to use it in off-grid situations, however, then a solar battery would likely be needed.
A solar battery stores any excess energy for later use, which is handy for when nighttime arrives and your solar panels are unable to produce any energy. It can be charged directly as well, which would take about 10 to 14 hours (depending on the weather conditions) if you’re only using a single 100-watt solar panel.
For context, you’ll be able to charge the batteries a little faster using something like the Zamp 140-watt solar panel, but the difference will mostly come down to weather conditions.
A charge controller is a device that keeps track of the current and voltage going from your solar panels to your solar battery.
Most solar batteries have a maximum storage capacity of 12 volts.
Equipping your solar system with a charge controller helps to ensure that your solar battery does not exceed its maximum voltage, which would end up damaging the battery in the long run.
There are two types of charge controllers. One variation is called a Pulse Width Modulation charge controller (PWM). This type is best used for solar panels that are 100 watts and lower.
You’ll find similar charge controllers in both the Zamp 45-watt solar panel and the 90-watt solar panels.
The other type is called the Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controller (MPPT). This charge controller is made to regulate higher voltages. If you own two or more Zamp 100-watt solar panels, this is the charge controller you’d need.
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