If you are looking to build an off-grid or mobile solar system on your own, finding the right components is key. One important component, the solar panel harvests energy from the sun through its monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon chips.
A good solar panel has an efficiency exceeding 20%. Efficiency is the measure of the amount of solar energy falling on the panel surface that is converted into electricity.
You need more than just solar panels to generate electricity that you can use though. For an off-grid DIY solar panel system, a charge controller, a battery, an inverter, and materials to be able to mount and wire your system are needed. You might also need racks to arrange your batteries, some fuses and maybe extra cables.
It is an option to source and install each of these components separately. Although it might be a bit more expensive, it will allow you to have more control over the items that go into your system. Otherwise, you can utilize a solar power kit that has the solar panel and charge controller, and sometimes the battery and inverter, conveniently included in one kit.
If you intend to start building your solar panel system, read along as we look at 10 different solar panels or solar panel kits that produce power in the range of 100-300 watts. If you need more power, you can simply string different panels together.
Renogy 200-Watt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase, 200W Panel-20A Controller
Providing both convenience and dependability for off-grid applications, this portable solar panel is perfect for the adventurous you. The Renogy 200W Solar Suitcase comes with two 100W monocrystalline solar panels, a set of 15in wires with male and female solar panel connectors, and one protective soft case for increased portability.
As opposed to other items in the list that only feature a solar panel, the Renogy 200-Watt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase includes a negative-ground charge controller for compatibility with an RV, trailer, etc. This built-in 20A solar charge controller helps protect against overcharge, thereby ensuring safe operation and reducing any fire risk. The low-voltage system helps avoid electrical shock hazards as well.
With a heavy-duty handle and latches for longevity, the unit also has an adjustable, corrosion-resistant aluminum stand that is built to last long. A casing keeps it protected and allows for easy storage and transport.
The unit is compatible with a variety of battery systems such as gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries. It comes with an LCD that shows operating information to keep you informed at all times. For maintenance, it helps to occasionally wipe off the case with a damp cloth.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer
From a brand well known to provide outdoor green power solutions for explorers comes this 100W portable solar panel. Now you can build up your portable solar generator system together with the Jackery Solar Saga 100W panel.
The solar panel features a high conversion efficiency of up to 23%. This allows your system to generate more energy compared to conventional panels even in hot weather.
With a USB-C(5V,3A) output port and a USB-A output port, you can charge multiple smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets at the same time!
DOKIO 220 Watts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel with Charge Controller
This solar panel photovoltaic packs 220W of power yet is extremely lightweight and portable at only 0.9vinch (2.4cm) thick and 9vlb (4.1kg). It is also extremely portable, making it convenient to transport, and install.
Coming with a charge controller that helps regulate energy going into the batteries, the panel is well protected in a thick fabric that is pocket sewn so that you can use it even in harsh outdoor environments. It comes with a practical carrying handle for added portability. A 118inch (3M) cable length from panel to the controller allows you to use it for RVs, caravans, and homes wherever you may be.
Because it utilizes a monocrystalline solar cell, you can expect higher efficiency even though the panel is smaller compared to traditional models.
Its smart 4-Stage PWM charging increases battery life and improves the performance of the system. It also comes with an intelligent protection system against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuit, and reverse current so you can safely operate the unit. Integrated 5V 2A USB ports help directly charge USB devices.
WEIZE 200-Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
Producing 300-600Wh a day, the WEIZE 200-Watt 12-volt solar panel starter kit generates 5.3 amps of power and charges a 12-volt battery. It is perfect for RVs, cabins, remote locations, and other small power generation requirements.
The WEIZE solar panel is constructed with high-performance monocrystalline solar cells that offer higher efficiency of up to 21% in bright weather conditions compared to polycrystalline solar cells. It promises a long service life and requires very little maintenance.
Due to the anodized aluminum frames, tempered glass, and sealed junction box, the solar panel is corrosion-resistant and weatherproof for superior and durable outdoor performance.
This industrial-standard solar panel is 36.4″ x 26.8″ x 1.2″ in size and comes with a 2.6 ft cable with connectors. Installation is fairly easy since many accessories are already included, such as a 30A charger controller, a pair of 20 ft extension cables, a pair of 8 ft battery tray cable, and one set of mount brackets and screws. You will just need to procure the battery and inverter.
Finally, the WEIZE 200W solar panel starter kit is backed by exceptional customer service should you require to speak with someone regarding any issue.
AIMTOM SolarPal 100W Portable Solar Panel for Power Station
You can finally harness the endless energy of the sun to power all your devices. With the AIMTOM 100W solar panel, you can recharge your solar generator for all outdoor adventures and enjoy your outdoor adventure without the inconvenience of no electricity.
The hand-made solar panel comes from 100% original SunPower solar cells, which offer you Ture High-Efficiency conversion rate of 22.7% and unmatched performance.
This system is ideal for recharging your smartphone, laptop, tablet, iPad, or even car battery. It features 2 USB ports, one DC port including DC-to-DC cable, MC-4 cable, DC-to-Clamp cable, and 10-in-1 DC connector kits.
Boasting of a dramatically better solar cell, this solar panel delivers unmatched reliability so you can enjoy time outdoors with no worry.
PAXCESS RV Solar Panel, 120W 18V Portable Folding Solar Panel
Are you thinking of building a solar generator system? Perhaps you can look into the upgraded Paxcess 120W portable solar panel because it features one of the highest charging efficiencies on the market at 23%. This way, you can make the most out of the sun and convert its sunlight into usable clean energy. You can power your larger lithium power stations with the 120W Solar Panel.
It is perfect for camping and for use in your RV as you travel across the country. Purchase includes 4 different sizes of connectors. Ideally suited for outdoor life and unexpected power outages, the PAXCESS unit ensures that you have an endless power supply to keep going even when you are off the grid. It is the perfect companion for most portable solar generators on the market.
A foldable kickstand renders the PAXCESS solar panel portable. You can even get up to 25% more sunlight by simply adjusting the angle with the kickstand, as opposed to laying it flat on the ground. The lightweight design has portability in mind so that you can neatly store it in a bag when you need to travel. It comes with USB QC 3.0 and Type C outputs and provides two times faster charging speed for your electronic devices.
It is finally time to build that solar generator system with the PAXCESS solar panel. You can even find a compatible generator with the PAXCESS ROCKMAN 200W/300W solar generator and other inverters on-the-go.
Togo Power 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger
This foldable solar panel is designed to complete the most portable generator power station on the market. In fact, it is compatible with the Baldr, Jackery, Goal Zero, Paxcess brands. If you have your own adapter, you can even use this with NexPow, ROCKPALS, SUAOKI, FlashFish brands as well. It is perfectly suited for the outdoors and unexpected power outages.
Using a 120-watt monocrystalline cell, this solar panel features a high and unmatched conversion efficiency of up to 23%. This simply means that you can generate more energy and perform better as compared to conventional panels. Especially in low light conditions, it performs better than similarly rated polycrystalline solar panels and much higher than the market average level.
It utilizes a USB Smart Charging Technology through its Dual USB Ports QC 3.0 & USB-C (15V 3A max). Made for smartphones and tablets, the USB built-in smart IC chip intelligently identifies your device. It then maximizes its charging speed while protecting your devices from overcharging and overloading. An 18V DC output keeps your DC devices juiced up without having to rely on a wall outlet or a power bank.
The solar panel is ECTFE laminated, ultra-light, and very easy to take with you anywhere. Since it only weighs 10.25 lb (4.65 kg) and with a folding dimension of 20.47*14.57*2.17 inches (52*37*5.5 cm), it is easy to install, remove, and transport. The solar panel is also water-resistant making it ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities.
Included in the purchase are one TogoPOWER TSP-120F 120W Solar Panel, one 1.5m 30A cable, one 3m 30A to DC cable, one 3m 30A to Solar Y Branch connectors, two aluminum strip brackets, and a user manual. Coming with a 12-month product warranty, it is backed with friendly customer service that is available 24 hours daily.
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panel Charger
Compatible with most solar generators on the market, this solar panel charger comes with a solar panel with high-efficiency solar arrays. This means the unit can convert up to 21.5-23.5% of solar power into free energy.
The kit also comes with different-sized connectors and a built-in smart IC which intelligently identifies your device. This allows the charging speed to be increased while protecting your device from overcharging and overloading. The charging current of the USB ports automatically adjusts according to sunlight level.
Made from durable Oxford cloth, the solar panel can endure all weather conditions because it is water-resistant. It is ideal for most outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. Just note that the junction box is not waterproof. With a foldable design, the panel is convenient to carry this unit around. And for its price, this is definitely a sweet deal.
TISHI HERY 120W Portable Solar Panel Foldable
With its 4-port smart charging technology, this TISHI HERY 120W solar panel is made for simultaneous charging. It is equipped with DC, USB, QC3.0, and TYPE-C ports to charge your electronic devices. Its 18V/6.7A total output allows simultaneous charging with no issue.
For the solar panel, TISHI HERY has developed advanced high-purity monocrystalline solar cells that achieve 23% high efficiency. Relative to conventional panels, this can generate more energy and allow your devices to be quickly charged. In terms of its construction, only high-grade materials are used for durability so it can withstand many weather conditions.
TISHI HERY 120W foldable solar panel comes with a built-in intelligence chip that can detect the type of device plugged in and automatically optimizes its performance to ensure safe and fast charging. Your devices are protected from overcharging and overloading even without using a solar charge controller.
Finally, the solar panel is extremely portable. It is foldable and can simply be zipped up in a case about 20.2*14*0.78 inch/8.8lb. It is easy to transport as well due to its easy-carry handle. Whether you are camping, hiking, or doing any other outdoor activities, this inexpensive solar panel will not disappoint.
DOKIO 160 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel Kit
Last on this list is a solar panel that packs a solid 160W of power yet is only 0.9 inches thick and weighs only 9 lbs. As such, it is easy to transport, hang, and remove. It is well protected in a thick fabric that is pocket sewn and features a practical carrying handle that makes it ideal to use for camping, hiking, picnic, or charging your car battery.
You can save some money as it comes readily equipped with a PWM controller to regulate current. Utilizing a high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is relatively smaller than most traditional models. It maximizes system output by reducing mismatch loss.
Output can range from 40 watts all the way up to 200 watts. When buying a solar panel, it is important to choose one based on your usage and purpose. How much power does your home need? This can be easily determined by the breakdown in your power bill. If your solar panel system is not meant to be a main source of power and is only for home back-up or occasional outdoor use, less than 300 watts is ideal.
Solar panels come in two types, polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels are a newer technology that generates higher power and are more efficient. They also generally work better in low-light and cloudy weather. Polycrystalline solar panels are the traditional technology that produces less power and is usually less expensive.
Insolation pertains to the amount of direct sunshine that falls on a square meter per day and is rated in kilowatts. It will help you determine how much power you can expect your PV array to produce.
Can solar panels be permanently installed outdoors?
Most solar panels are waterproof. However, they are not designed for permanent installation or prolonged weather exposure. If possible, take them out during bad weather.
How many solar panels do I need?
The power output of your whole solar system matters more than the number of your solar panels. You will require fewer panels if each of your panel’s nominal power rating is higher.
Are solar panels expensive?
Solar panels and associated systems have become cheaper in the past years. If you have plenty of roof space and are looking to save money, it might be more economical to buy cheaper and lower output panels with lower efficiency and just combine them together for your desired wattage.
Do I need a battery for my solar panel?
Having a battery allows you to store the electricity generated by your solar panels so that you can use them at night or during a cloudy day. Systems such as the Tesla Powerwall already incorporate battery storage into their system. to use at night or on a cloudy day, although for most homes today, this won’t make economic sense just yet.
What is the largest solar panel on the market today?
The largest solar panel that you can buy on the market today is only around 400 watts. Although due to the constant evolution of the solar industry, there might higher output in the foreseeable future.