10 Best 100 Watt Solar Panels

Solar energy is the best resource available for the average customer to have access to a reliable and yet sustainable source of energy, whether you choose to go off-grid or to stay connected to the grid.

Choosing among available brands, technologies and products may not be an easy task for the average homeowner since there are many available out there.

In this article, we will address this topic to show you 10 of the best available 100 Watt solar panels in the market. These products are ideal for the boondocker experience and for the families that have an RV or trailer and want to go camping over a week or a month if needed.

Here you will learn:

  • The different types of 100 Watt solar panels
  • The 10 best products in the market
  • How do solar systems work?
  • How to install your own 100 Watt solar panel?
  • What factors should you consider when choosing the module?
  • And much more!

With all this knowledge you will be able to take out your RV and get it ready for a new long trip experience with new 100 Watt solar panels and a new portable power source! 

Let’s get started with it!

Types of 100 Watt Solar Panels

Solar panels can be divided according to the technology and the mounting type.

Mounting Type

Fixed Solar Panels

The traditional solar panels are designed with an EVA film and a TPT back sheet cover that is fixed into a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame.  

These modules are the most common in the market and they are used for commercial, utility, and residential scale as well. Fixed mounted 100 W solar panels are generally used for RVs, boats or trailers with a flat rooftop.

Flexible Solar Panels

The flexible solar panels are the most valuable for the portable market. These modules can bend to 30° making them the best solution for curved surfaces in carports, trailers or in yachts. 

Moreover, flexible modules are lightweight and they are also ultra-thin. These features are extremely positive for the camper that wishes to hide its solar panels from thieves and that are looking for an easy installation. Flexible solar panels are only available for 100W or 50W options.

Technology

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline solar panels are the high efficient products of the market (18-25%). They can be easily recognized due to their homogenous dark black look and rounded edges. 

This technology is made through the Czochralski method where a single crystal seed is placed in molted silicon to be drawn until a solid crystal structure is created, known as a cylindrical ingot. Later, the crystal is sliced into silicon wafers which are then integrated into a solar cell.

This manufacturing method allows monocrystalline solar panels to have long lifespans between 25-35 years, which are also reflected in costs.

Polycrystalline

This technology offers a lower-cost but good quality option to the market. They were introduced in the market before than monocrystalline technology and the efficiency values are located between 17-20%.  

The manufacturing process is different between the monocrystalline modules and the polycrystalline ones since the latter is made from multiple crystals in square ingots which provides a heterogeneous blue look and is less expensive as well. The lifespan of these modules is located between 25 -28 years.

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10 Best Selling 100 Watt Solar Panels

1. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy is a remarkable top performance American brand in the solar panel industry that provides portable solutions for camping and RVs.

This monocrystalline solar panel has been designed with multiple layer sheet laminations. These integrate high-efficiency solar cells, an ethylene vinyl acetate films, and low iron-tempered glass resistant to hailstone impacts, wind and snow loads, with an additional anti-corrosion aluminum frame.   

Moreover, the module has an IP65 waterproof rated junction box ensuring maximum protection against dust and protection against water jets. MC4 connectors are also protected under IP67, providing protection against complete water immersion 3 feet under. 

This makes it the perfect portable option for RVs and camping, but also for boats as a marine solar panel.

2. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

ACOPOWER is an established American company based in Los Angeles that has experience in providing off-grid and portable power solutions to the market.

In this occasion, ACOPOWER offers a high module conversion efficiency with a monocrystalline technology and an aesthetically designed black frame. The panel is also suitable for an easy installation with pre-drilled holes and MC4 connectors included.

Moreover, the dimensions (40x26x1.4 inches) of the panel are perfect for RVs, trailers, and boats. A lightweight anodized aluminum frame and an anti-reflection coated glass offer portability while at the same time optimum solar energy harnessing.

Based on the experience of the brand and its properties, you can definitely select ACOPOWER for your camping adventure.

3. ACOPOWER 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

ACOPOWER 100W Solar Panel, All Black 100 Watt

ACOPOWER is an established American company based in Los Angeles that has experience in providing off-grid and portable power solutions to the market.

In this occasion, ACOPOWER offers a high module conversion efficiency with a monocrystalline technology and an aesthetically designed black frame. The panel is also suitable for an easy installation with pre-drilled holes and MC4 connectors included.

Moreover, the dimensions (40x26x1.4 inches) of the panel are perfect for RVs, trailers, and boats. A lightweight anodized aluminum frame and an anti-reflection coated glass offer portability while at the same time optimum solar energy harnessing.

Based on the experience of the brand and its properties, you can definitely select ACOPOWER for your camping adventure.

4. ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt Solar Panel 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

ECO-Worthy is a manufacturer and wholesaler of solar panels with almost 20 years of experience in the off-grid market.

The 100-watt monocrystalline solar panel is a 12V module suitable for charging 12V batteries or even 24V battery banks if two solar panels are wired together.

As typical solar panels, the diodes are pre-installed in a junction box with a pair of 35 inches cables and MC4 connectors. The module has a beautiful black appearance and has an IP65 junction box protection with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame and also has a very good price when compared with its monocrystalline competitors.

5. Newpowa 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V

The polycrystalline choice of Newpowa, a recently created American company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that performs manufacturing in China, Vietnam or Mexico and that focuses on providing portable and small size solar panel solutions.

The 36-cells marine solar panel of Newpowa is suitable for 12V battery charging integrating it with a charge controller and a power inverter for AC loads. The module only weighs 19.62 lbs and has a 3 feet MC4 cable with a 25-year power output warranty.

These solar cells have an EVA encapsulating material and a tedlar-polyester-tedlar (TPT) back sheet for rear side protection. As with polycrystalline modules, the company offers a low-budget option for those who want to have off-grid power available for their boats.

6. Mighty Max Battery 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Mighty Max Battery 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Mighty Max Battery is a company focused on offering batteries and its accessories mainly related to deep cycle batteries for off-grid purposes.

Since portable charging solutions demand portable sources of energy, Mighty Max has also got involved in the solar panel manufacturing. One of the top solutions of the brands is this 100W monocrystalline solar panel to charge most 12V batteries of Mighty Max.

This module has an output tolerance of 1-3% (normally is 0-3%) representing a good feature and can be suitable for simple camping or even RV purposes.

7. Richsolar 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Richsolar 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Richsolar is a wholesaler and manufacturer of solar panel products.

Involved in the portable solar market, Richsolar offers this 100-watt monocrystalline module that has a 0-5W guaranteed positive power output tolerance.  

The panel is built with a strong tempered glass and aluminum frame that is certified to withstand the most challenging weather conditions as strong winds, heavy snowfall, and hailstorms. 

The module is also rated with IP 65 and IP 67 protection for its junction box and MC4 connectors respectively. Moreover, the warranty of the product is 5 years with a 25-year performance warranty over 80% of output power.

Easy installation for RVs or residential purposes is offered thanks to its pre-drilled holes as well.

8. WindyNation 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

WindyNation 100 Watt 100W Solar Panel for 12 Volt

Another popular brand for the portable and off-grid solar market. WindyNation is mainly a wholesaler of multiple solar products such as modules, charge controllers, accessories and solar kits.

This time we have another great option for 12V battery charging with nearly 300-600 Wh of daily energy production according to sunlight conditions. The traditional panel is built with it’s an anodized aluminum frame, a 5-year warranty on parts and labor and a 25-year power warranty. 

The structure of the module consists of tempered glass, an EVA film, a polymer coated back sheet and high-efficiency cells for maximum electrical production.

9. ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel

ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Charger

Along with SunPower and Renogy, Allpowers is a top quality portable solar power products manufacturer that has over 10 years of experience in this industry.

In this case, we examine one of the unique jewels of the industry. An allegiance between SunPower and Allpowers to promote this SunPower’s top efficiency flexible and monocrystalline solar panel. 

This product offers a solution to a market that previous models cannot offer, installation in curved surfaces (RVs, trailers, solar carports or boats). Moreover, the efficiency value of this module has no competitor in the industry with up to 23.5%. 

Since it is extremely thin, the module can easily hide on sight when placed above the RV and can be easily installed by using suction cups attached to the corners of the module. Finally, another great feature is its lightweight, since you will obtain more power from your solar panel, but with a much lower weight, only 2kg.

Truly the most valuable portable solar panel asset in the industry.

10. Instapark SP Series 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Instapark SP Series Mono-crystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel

Beautifully aesthetically design solution from Instapark to provide a valuable power source for off-grid cases. The brand has over 11 years in the American market and focuses on designing solar power charge controllers, voltage transformer converters and solar panels.

This module is made of high-efficiency monocrystalline cells integrated with an EVA encapsulating material and a TPT cover for protection. Suitable for 12-Volt battery charging for boats, RVs and camping experiences.

These Instapark solar panels have a 5-year limited product warranty that guarantees a minimum of 80% in peak power production.

100 Watt Solar Panels Buyer’s Guide

How Do Solar Systems Work?

PV systems are based on a light-electricity conversion principle that is done at the molecular level inside the solar cells. 

Subatomic sunlight particles are known as photons, constantly reach the surface of the module with intrinsic kinetic energy. When they hit the silicon wafer, they release electrons which make electricity flow through the solar cells.

This process is repeated across the day, millions of times inside every cell. The accumulated effect of all minimum currents flowing from one side to the other in multiple cells is what makes the solar energy conversion attractive at the commercial level. 

Solar panels merely generate DC electricity, they do not store it. The electric current flows through the PV wires towards the inverter where the electricity is converted from DC to AC. Many loads work with AC, which is why it is many times necessary to have an inverter component in the PV system.

For off-grid purposes, the other two devices are necessary. The charge controller and the battery. The charge controller is connected to the output of the solar panels and is used to stabilize the voltage and electric current values to accurately and safely charge the battery.

The energy storage component in every PV system is the battery. For off-grid purposes, lead-acid type batteries are generally used.

Using 100W solar panels you can install your kit to have a reliable and independent source of energy in the outdoors.

How To Install My 100 Watt Solar Panels And My PV System?

Organize

The first step that you must take into account before installing is organizing the space available for the modules. If you are going to install these 100 Watt modules in the rooftop of an RV (regular case), then you need first to go to the roof and picture how you are going to distribute the panels across the available space. 

This is something you should do even before purchasing the solar panels, but at the moment of installation is also a good idea to do it. Make your drawings or use the boxes of the modules as a reference.

Install Mounting Brackets

Then, you must install the mounting brackets in the solar panels while they are still on the ground. Any additional labor that you save before going to the roof will be appreciated.

Install Other Components

Once you have your charge controller and battery setup inside the cabin of the RV, you must imagine the shortest path to take the wires from the rooftop of the RV to the place where the charge controller is located. If you choose longer distances, voltage drops will be higher and power losses will increase as well.

Drilling and Mounting

Once you’ve made your choice, start drilling a hole through your roof to pass the AWG wires (generally 12 or 10 AWG). Remember to install DC breakers before the wires reach the charge controller and install fuses between the charge controller and the batteries.

Install the waterproof cable entry plate on the rooftop which will be connected to the series or parallel connection of the solar panels.

Finally, drill the four holes needed to secure the modules on the roof and install each panel on its predetermined position. Use screws and bolts to get the job done. The mounting frame of every module should have pre-drilled holes that you can use to secure them to the roof. 

If you have flexible solar panels, they have steel rounded holes in the corners that can be used to attach the module to the surface of the RV or boat by simply using suction cups.

Which Factors Should I Take Into Account When Selecting 100 Watt Solar Panels?

If you are looking for 100 Watt solar panels, then it means you are probably looking for portable solutions.

Here, the following factors are very important:

Weight

The weight of the solar panel dictates how portable it can be. If you are going to install them on the roof of a trailer, it is also an advantage if carrying the solar panel is easier. 

Here, flexible solar panels have no competitor since they only weigh nearly 2kg when compared to others that weigh 7kg-10kg. Additional weight on your roof is also something to consider when you are passing through hailstorms or snowfalls. The additional weight of wind, snow, hailstone impacts and the module, could have an important effect on your roof.

Dimensions

This is another fact to take into account. 

100 Watt solar panels should have similar dimensions since the power output should be the same. However, solar panels with higher efficiency values could be smaller and fit in spaces where other low-budget solar panels with low-efficiency values could not fit.

Evaluate the datasheet of the module to check if the amount of solar panels that you need fits in the surface.

Price

As with any other product that you purchase, the price is an important factor. Choosing a low budget solar panel could sound attractive, but when you think that your module should last around 25years, looking for the cheap option might not be the best idea.

Of course, not all prices are suitable for all budgets, but trying to choose a reliable brand such as Renogy, Allpowers, Suoaki, or SunPower is always good insurance to know that your investment will be worth it over time.

Efficiency

Finally, efficiency. In portable solar applications, this is something where you cannot save money.

Considering the limited space available, every inch counts in power generation. Besides, the power generated by the module degrades over time, therefore, choosing a low-efficiency module to barely reach the power that you need in year 1 of operation, is not a good investment decision.

Choosing the highest possible efficiency that can be adjusted to your budget is the best thing that you can do to ensure that you will have enough power for your appliances over time.

Conclusions

We have examined some of the top 100 Watt solar panels available in the market to fit multiple purposes such as camping, trailers, or marine applications.

Among the top brands exposed, Allpowers, Renogy, WindyNation, and Acopower, are the best choices for the outdoor market.

In any case, whatever choice you make, remember that weight, dimension, price, efficiency and we could also add the brand, are remarkable factors that you must take into account when making your decision on which panels should you buy.

And whatever choice you take, make sure that if you are going to purchase two, three or four 100 watt solar panels, that they are all the same model.

Do not ever mix a 100-watt solar panel from one brand with another one from another brand. They may have the same power output, but the electrical parameters are different and the performance of one lower quality module could affect the performance of the other.