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What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?

Due to the increasing cost of fuel and electricity, more and more people are showing interest in solar energy technology. With its variety of applications, whether it is for homes or for outdoor activities like camping off-grid, solar power has already proven its efficiency and advantages.

Using a 100w solar panel is one good idea to start with and go for DIY installation you want. But what can a 100w solar panel do? What can it run?

To get to know the answers, in this article we will first see how much power a 100w solar panel can produce and get down to what devices can be run using these power outputs.

We will also take into consideration some other related questions like how many watts you need to power a particular device, does the type of battery influence the performance of the 100w solar panel, and the best battery for a 100w solar panel.

How Much Power Can a 100W Solar Panel Produce?  

Solar panels are a great way to produce renewable energy and save on your power bill. But how much power do solar panels actually produce?

The amount of power that solar panels can produce depends on a few different factors, including the solar panel sizes, the efficiency of the panel, the angle at which the panel is installed, and the climate in your place or the amount of sunlight that the panel receives.  

For this case, we are talking about a 100W solar panel. A 100 watt solar panel will produce about 100 watts of power in full sunlight. But if the panel is installed in a direction or at an angle that doesn’t receive full sunlight, or in the worst cases, the panel is covered in dust or snow, the power output will be reduced.  

Solar panels are usually rated by their power output in watts. But the actual amount of power that they produce will depend on the factors mentioned.

To calculate the solar panel’s power output, just multiply the wattage by the number of hours of sunlight you get. For this example calculation, let’s say the temperature outside your home’s location is high and you get 8 hours of straight sunshine.

Solar panel watts x average hours of sunlight = daily watt-hours

100W X 8 hours = 800W

As a result, you get 800W of power available to run your devices.

Next is to know the wattage of the device you want to power. To calculate the power or the number of watts needed for your device to work, simply multiply the voltage by the number of amperes, but do not worry, take a look at the label of the appliance.

Most electrical products have the wattage stated on their label along with their power rating, brand, and models. 

How Many Watts Do I Need?

The watts required for a device to work is calculated by a simple formula:

P = IV  P = power (in watts)  I = current (in amps)  V = voltage (in volts)

P(watts) = I(in amps) x V (in volts) 

It is important to understand the power consumption per device to balance what can be run and for how long.

What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?

The following are some of the common examples of appliances at hand that can be run using a 100W solar panel at the optimum condition:

  • Ceiling Fan 35W 
  • Computer – Desktop PC 75W
  • Computer – Notebook PC 25W
  • Sterio System 33W
  • Aquarium Equipment 24W
  • LED bulbs 5 W
  • Lamps 50W
  • Cell phone charger 6W
  • Laptop 60W
  • Router 6W

As for our example, since we already have 800W of power available. Then we can use the ceiling fan all throughout the day or 2 fans for approximately 11 hours. You could also run a laptop the next day for a lot, like 13 hours, or 2 laptops for 6 hours.

For the appliances not listed, you should check out Energy.gov’s Appliance Energy Calculator to get the figures for power consumption. Please note in mind that the figure stated in the example is an estimate only and may be different from your actual requirement. 

Large size appliances, for example, an air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave, plasma tv, and portable heaters can not be run by a single 100-watt solar panel. You will need more of the panel or module and other accessories such as large-capacity battery storage, and inverters to complete a solar system unit that can sustain your energy needs.

Does the Type of Battery Influence the Performance of Your 100-Watt Solar Panel Kit?

Yes, it does. While charging the battery bank is dependent on the solar panels, much of the speed and efficiency of this process is dependent on the types of batteries being charged.

Fortunately, you do have a measure of control over this variable, as several types of dead-cycle batteries exist. These batteries range from lithium-iron-phosphate batteries to nickel-cadmium and durable, lead-acid batteries.

  • Lead-Acid(Pb-Acid) Batteries –  most affordable but has poor battery depth of discharge.
  • Lithium-Ion( Li-ion) Batteries – more reliable but expensive.
  • Nickel-Cadmium(Ni-Cd) Batteries – very durable but most toxic.
  • Flow Batteries – excellent battery depth of discharge but are pricey and bulky.

What’s the Best Battery for a 100-Watt Solar Panel?

Lithium-ion batteries are the best option for a 100-watt solar panel.

While these deep-cycle batteries fall on the higher end of the price spectrum, they make up for this with the durability and reliability they offer.

A 100-watt lithium iron phosphate battery may cost more than a 100Ah lead-acid deep-cycle battery. But the more expensive battery offers you less maintenance and replacement responsibilities.

If you’re planning to take an extended trip with your RV, the lightweight and compact design of a lithium 100-amp hour battery should fit your plans.

For more details on the types of batteries suited for 100W solar panels check this related article/blog:

How Many Batteries Can a 100-Watt Solar Panel Charge?

Conclusion

A 100W solar panel is indeed a good way to start when you are new to using solar panels. It can serve a small home during a power outage or a camper that uses a small set of appliances. 

100W solar panels performance is based on other factors like your location and what battery is used. Lithium-ion batteries are the best option for a 100-watt solar panel. However, a 100w solar panel kit is a bit more ideal and has more incentives as it does not require complex installation.

In addition, these kits already have all the things that you need including 100 watt solar panels, used to convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity, an inverter, used to convert DC electricity into alternating current (AC), as well as a charge controller, used to regulate the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the batteries and may also include batteries, used to store electricity for use when the sun is not shining, and other accessories like cables, and brackets.

Whether you want to start with a 100W solar panel or a 100W solar panel kit, we got the best recommendation for you. To check product specifications and prices, hit the link below:

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

Renogy Solar Starter Kit

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