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100 watt solar panel charging a phone

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...
101 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...
1,824 Reviews
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh...
  • Founded in California in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers....
  • VERSATILE OUTDOOR POWER SUPPLY: featuring standard PURE SINE WAVE AC outlet this Jackery Explorer 500 portable...
  • PORTABLE POWER STATION RECHARGED ANYWHERE: can be quickly (1)recharged under the sun with Jackery SolarSaga...
  • ENJOY THE MOST OUT OF THE NATURE WITH ENDLESSLY POWER: perfect for (1) RV-ers, easily stored in RVs, trailers,...
  • SAFETY: (1)PURE SINE WAVE INVERTER ensures safely powering sensitive devices like laptops etc. without...
AIMTOM 540Wh Portable Power Station, Lithium...
165 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 2020-10-14 / 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

Bestseller No. 1
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger...
963 Reviews
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger...
  • MADE FOR SOLAR GENERATORS - Compatible with most solar generator on the market ( but not for Jackery 440 )....
  • 3-USB SMART CHARGING TECHNOLOGY - The build-in smart IC chip intelligently identifies your device, and...
  • HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY - Constructed of high-efficiency solar arrays,convert up to 21.5-23.5% of solar...
  • WATER-RESISTANT & DURABLE - Made from durable Oxford cloth. The solar panel is water resistant to endure all...
  • FORDABLE & PORTABLE - Foldable design, convenient to carry it wherever you go. Folded dimensions: 20.5 * 14.2...
Bestseller No. 2
TWELSEAVAN 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel...
35 Reviews
TWELSEAVAN 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel...
  • ✅【HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY】Constructed form high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells, with...
  • ✅【HIGH COMPATIBILITY】Includes 10 different size of DC connectors, compatible with most portable solar...
  • ✅【UPGRADE 4-PORT SMART CHARGING TECHNOLOGY】Equipped with 1*DC port(18V/6.6A max), 1*USB port(5V/2.1A),...
  • ✅【HIGH DURABILITY】Solar panel with industrial-strength PET polymer as the surface are sewn into an...
  • ✅【FOLDABLE AND PORTABLE】Ultra compact of size 20.5*14.4*1.6 inch(folded)/64.6*20.5 inch(opened), weighs...
Bestseller No. 3
ECO-Worthy Upgrade 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel...
155 Reviews
ECO-Worthy Upgrade 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel...
  • [Lightweight and portable]: The solar panel weighs only 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms), and the folded size is 21.5...
  • [Plug and play]: 10 in 1 DC adapter is suitable for most solar power generation on the market (compatible with...
  • [With bracket and grommets]: The portable solar panel is equipped with a foldable bracket. By adjusting the...
  • [20A solar charge controller]: dual USB output, each port maximum 5V / 2A, can charge mobile phones. It can...
  • [Waterproof and durable]: The splashproof surface is made of durable Oxford cloth, and the zipper bag can...
Bestseller No. 4
TP-solar 60 Watt Foldable Solar Panel Battery...
86 Reviews
TP-solar 60 Watt Foldable Solar Panel Battery...
  • Designed For Most Portable Generator: The DC 19V output for portable power station generator - Compatible with...
  • USB Smart Charging Technology: Dual USB Ports QC3.0 & 2.0 (5V/9V/12V 2A max), Made for smartphones and tablets...
  • Powerful High Conversion Efficiency: With high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater...
  • Foldable and Lightweight Easy to Carry: This solar panel weighs only 3.96lb (1.8kg), fold size 21*18*1.3 inch,...
  • Waterproof and Durable: The solar panel is fully laminated, made by advanced laminated technology and long...
Bestseller No. 5
Kingsolar Solar Charger 40W Portable Solar Panel...
154 Reviews
Kingsolar Solar Charger 40W Portable Solar Panel...
  • HIGH EFFICIENT:Constructed with 40 watts sunpower panel,the power conversion rate increases up to...
  • MOST COMPATIBLE:5V USB and 18V DC(Working Voltage) dual output are compatible for most electronic devices,like...
  • AUTOMATIC RESTART:Sometimes the charging is interrupted by the sudden shade,cloud or forest, this Solar...
  • Highly Portable:Ultra lightweight (2.8 Ib) and ultra compact (13.2x 6.9x 1.9in folded or 47.2x 13.2in...
  • Highly Durable:Industrial-strength PET polymer fabric to withstand rugged attrit for outdoor use.Exposure to...

Last update on 2020-10-14 / 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.