Portable Generator Power when off grid or emergencies

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What Can A 100-Watt Solar Panel Charge?

If you’ve been on the hunt for solar panels lately or have just been considering what solar options you have, chances are you’ve come across a bunch of different panels with different wattages.

The wattage of a solar panel is also called their power rating, and it’s simply a description of the panel’s ability to produce power. On average, the standard solar panels that most people install in their homes have a power rating between 250W-350W, but recently, the 100W panel has been growing in popularity.

What can a 100 watt solar panel charge? Despite the lower power rating, these panels can actually handle a lot of the basic electronic devices we have at home, especially when paired with a good battery. Phones and emergency GPS are perfect items to be charged from a 100 watt solar panel.

In this article, we take a close look at these solar panels, what they can do, the advantages of getting one, along with a quick look at some other low-power solar panels.

For more wattages and sizes to read up on click here to see our complete buyers guide for portable solar panels.

What Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Charge?

On a daily basis, these solar panels can handle a lot of the smaller devices we have at home. However, it should be noted that a couple of things factor in when it comes to the capabilities of a solar panel.

For starters, the type of charge controller being used plays a part in what the panel can power. A charge controller is basically a limiter for the electrical current that is added or drawn to a battery.

These can protect batteries from being overcharged and sustaining damage and loss of power in the long run. Another factor to consider is the actual battery that’s being used by the panel, as this can also affect how much power the panel produces.

100-Watt Solar Panel
Foldable 100 watt solar panel charging a phone whilst camping

But normally, with a standard charge controller and a decent battery, these panels can handle devices such as phones, Lights, laptops, and Portable heaters, and much more.

Figuring out the wattage of your devices can help you a lot in determining if a 100-watt solar panel can charge it. These panels can also easily charge a phone, however, how well and how fast it charges your phone will also depend on the type of battery your phone has and the type of charger you’re using.

If you want to learn more about the wattage of some of the devices and appliances you have at home, you can always do a quick search online or check out an appliance energy calculator such as the one of Energy.gov.

Are These Panels Hard To Setup?

Normally, these panels are designed to be portable. That’s one of the reasons they have grown so much in popularity. Since they’re designed to be moved around, it should come as no surprise that the setup and installation of these panels are relatively easy.

We like and recommend the Rockpals 100 Watt Foldable panel over on Amazon

In fact, there are a lot of panels out there that are foldable, so they can be easily stored somewhere to be taken out and used when needed. The key to a proper installation of one of these panels has to be where they are placed.

As they need light from the sun to convert into electrical energy, you have to make sure you put it in a place where they can receive the most sunlight possible. That way, the panel will surely be powered and ready whenever needed.

Do They Work When It’s Cloudy?

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are just getting into solar panels are have just started considering more sustainable sources of energy.

While it would make sense to assume that these panels won’t work when it’s cloudy, that assumption is very wrong. On a cloudy day, solar panels can still produce 10-25% of their average output.

Now, this is significantly less than when in contact with direct sunlight, but it’s definitely something.

In fact, constantly being exposed to direct sunlight could actually damage the solar panels. When exposed to high temperatures, solar panels tend to degrade, which is why it’s ideal to keep them in places that stay below 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius.

Since these panels produce much less power on cloudy days and a 100-watt solar panel is already on the lower end of the power scale, you can expect a large drop in power on a cloudy day.

But rest assured that these panels are still converting light energy into electrical energy, just at a much lower rate.

Alternative Power on cloudy days

When the sun isn’t shining and you still need power you could consider taking with you a large power bank or power stations as the larger ones are often referred to as.

In simple terms these are large powerful rechargable batteries that can power even large items like TV’s, Lights and Even portable heaters.

We have a complete review on the most popular models here. But for a quick look at some of the most popular ones purchased from Amazon see the list below.

Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power...
117 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power...
  • 1045Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (96,800mAh at 10.8V/290,400mAh at...
  • Continuous 1500W, 3000W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.4A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
  • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Provides power for small appliances, TVs,...
  • Recharges from AC or pair with a solar panel (sold separately). Yeti 1000 is also sold as a solar kit with a...
  • Gas generator alternative with no noise, no fumes, no gasoline, no maintenance
Sale
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh...
5,459 Reviews
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh...
  • LONG LASTING ENDURANCE: The Explorer 500 portable power station is built with the lithium-ion battery pack, in...
  • THE PERFECT CAPACITY: With a 518 watt-hour (24Ah, 21.6V) capacity, it is ready to power many appliances - mini...
  • SUPPORT PASS-THROUGH CHARGING: This power station features 1* AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W Peak), 3*USB-A ports,...
  • DESIGNED FOR PORTABILITY: Same size as a basketball, this Explorer 500 is easy to carry with its solid handle,...
  • WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station (518Wh Power Station), 1*AC adapter, 1* car...
AIMTOM 540Wh Portable Power Station, Lithium...
813 Reviews
AIMTOM 540Wh Portable Power Station, Lithium...
  • GET A RELIABLE LITHIUM BATTERY POWERED GENERATOR & set off camping, backpacking, hiking, fishing and enjoying...
  • A KILLER CAPACITY PORTABLE POWER STATION: With a full 540Wh capacity, this travel-friendly lithium battery...
  • 9 CONVENIENT OUTPUTS ALL IN ONE POLLUTION-FREE BATTERY: Power up to 9 devices at the same time, including 2*...
  • RECHARGE YOUR AIMTOM SOLAR GENERATOR IN A BREEZE: Easily recharged with AIMTOM 60W or 100W solar panels (SOLD...
  • SAFETY & ADVANTAGES: Advanced BMS safeguards your battery and devices with full protection against...

Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Advantages Of A 100-Watt Solar Panel

The biggest advantage of having a smaller solar panel like these ones is the portability and convenience of it all. You can bring these panels with you on road trips, camping trips, and even outdoor barbecues to power a couple of things to make things a bit more convenient.

Since they’re easy to set-up, these panels are ideal to be brought around so you can power some basic necessities wherever the road takes you.

Aside from that, they are much less expensive than other panels, so if you plan on just getting one solar panel for basic needs, then you’ll definitely cut costs by getting a 100-watt one.

Use our Online wattage calculator here!

What Other Solar Panels Are Out There With Low Power Ratings?

There are a lot of solar panels with a wattage below 100W out there, and they are even more portable than the 100W ones. In fact, there are models that are designed to be strapped to your bag while hiking so that you charge the panels while doing physical activity.

While these panels are more portable and can actually fit in your bag, there is a significant trade-off when it comes to power. These panels are usually somewhere between 20 and 50 watts, which can easily charge your phone, or a camera, or a Bluetooth speaker, but they won’t really power anything much more than that.

But considering the fact that these were designed to be used while outdoors and on the move, the capabilities of these portable solar charging panels are nothing but fitting.

Here is a selection of Solar Panels

SaleBestseller No. 1
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid...
1,578 Reviews
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid...
  • Adjustable, Corrosion-Resistant aluminum stand as well as a heavy duty handle and latches for longevity....
  • Compatible with gel, sealed, Lithium, and flooded batteries. Charge controller with LCD display for displaying...
  • 20A built-in 5-stage Solar charge controller provides overcharge protection, reducing Fire risk.Operating...
  • Negative-ground charge controller for compatibility with your RV, boat, trailer, etc.
  • The low-voltage system avoids electric shock hazards
SaleBestseller No. 2
DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit...
434 Reviews
DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit...
  • 【FOLDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT EASY TO CARRY】-- This solar panel photovoltaic packs 220W of power yet is only...
  • 【PERFECT CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR AND EMERGENCY LIFE】-- 9.85ft (3m) cable length from panel to controller, For...
  • 【AFFORDABLE AND HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY】-- With high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will...
  • 【A Full and Ready to Go Kit】--Smart 4-Stage PWM charging (Bulk, Boost, Float, and Equalization) increases...
  • 【WELL PACKAGED, QUICK DELIVERY】-- Amazon US warehouse shipping, Receive goods in time,any questions you...
Bestseller No. 3
100W ETFE Portable Solar Panels, BigBlue Folding...
275 Reviews
100W ETFE Portable Solar Panels, BigBlue Folding...
  • 👍 Durable & Longer Life-span ETFE: BigBlue 100W solar panel combines high quality ETFE, UV-resistant EVA...
  • 👍 Fast Charge USB and 60W Type-C: BigBlue folding solar panel charger equipped with 1*USB port, 1*QC3.0...
  • 👍 Foldable and Ultra-thin: BigBlue 100W solar panel can be folded into a briefcase and with a rubber...
  • 👍 Smart Charging & Wide Compatibility: BigBlue camping solar panel charger highlights a smart chip...
  • 👍 Waterproof Camping Solar Panel: Featured with IP65 waterproof and self-cleaning ETFE material, it is...
Bestseller No. 4
DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit...
460 Reviews
DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit...
  • 【LIGHTWEIGHT AND ULTRA-THIN FOR EASIER MOVING】-- This solar panel packs 110W of power yet is only 0.5inch...
  • 【PERFECT CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR AND EMERGENCY LIFE】-- 9.85ft (3m) cable length from panel to controller, For...
  • 【COMPLETE KIT,WORKS OUT OF THE BOX 】-- Smart PWM charging Intelligent protection against reverse...
  • 【AFFORDABLE AND HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY】-- With high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will...
  • 【WELL PACKAGED, QUICK DELIVERY】-- Amazon US warehouse shipping, Receive goods in time,any questions you...
Bestseller No. 5
Keshoyal Foldable Solar Panel – 60W Portable...
74 Reviews
Keshoyal Foldable Solar Panel – 60W Portable...
  • ✅PORTABLE AND LIGHT WEIGHT EASY TO CARRY:Keshoyal specializes in providing green power solutions for...
  • ✅MULTI-PURPOSE USAGE:Foldable solar charger60W with USB output, equipped with 2* USB output port, can...
  • ✅HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY:Our 60W monocrystalline solar cell has a high conversion efficiency of 23.5%,...
  • ✅WATERPROOF AND DURABLE: Waterproof, corrosion-resistant, high-temperature resistant, very suitable for...
  • ✅INCLUDE WHAT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE:we carefully selected accessories, including 1 * 1.5M/DC male to male...

Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Wrapping up

Alternative sources of energy are a great way to reduce your own carbon footprint and could also result in some savings. Solar energy is a great choice because of how developed the technology is, and how accessible solar panels have become.

There is a whole range of options for solar panels that you can install in your own home, and a 100-watt one is a great, simple, inexpensive, and portable source of energy.

So now that you know the ins and outs of a 100-watt solar panel, it’s up to you to decide if it would be ideal for you and your family to get one!

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All the article on Oofgrid offer help and practical advice for using and purchasing a portable generator. However, We are enthusiasts and not qualified electricians. Always seek professional advice when working with electrical or Petrol appliances.