In todays modern age we are starting to see a large portion of the population convert to solar energy. This is due to the fact that people are fed up with traditional avenues of generating electricity. Out of these people converting, a healthy percentage is doing their own DIY solar.
Since DIY solar is on a rise we have been receiving a common question of “What can I power with a 100 watt solar panel?” Down below we answer this question and point you to the right resources to help with your DIY solar project.
How Big Is A 100 Watt Solar Panel?
Lets first start off by saying that a 100 watt solar panel isn’t very big. These types of panels typically have an average size of 47 inches x 21.3 inches in order to fit on campers, RVs, boats, sheds, and cabins. Because of this their overall size and power output is much smaller than residential solar panels.
Most modern residential solar panels have a power output of around 250-300 watts each. In addition they typically have an average size of 65 inches x 39 inches. Meaning that residential solar panels are about 2-3 times larger than a 100 watt solar panel.
While a 100 watt solar panels is pretty small, it can still generate 100 watts of pure energy at any moment. The only problem with this is that the conditions must be perfect in order to generate this amount of energy. Factors such as clouds, dirt, rain, snow, temperature, and angle can all have an effect on the output of a solar panel.
In addition to this you’ll lose energy as the electricity flows through wires, inverters, fuses, and switches.
Luckily, aiding this inefficiency is pretty easy. You simply need to buy more solar panels and connect them together to produce more energy. Meaning if you have two 100 watt solar panels that they will generate around 200 watts of energy. You can continue to tie these solar panels together until you reach your desired power output.
Just keep in mind that when you add solar panels to a solar system that the other components must be able to handle the power output. If not then these components will overload, potentially killing the whole system. So be careful when adding solar panels and make sure you buy a solar kit that is expandable.
Practical Uses For A 100 Watt Solar Panel
Now that we know how big a 100 watt solar panel is, what can you power with it? The answer to this question can vary depending the multiple factors, but for this example we’ll assume the panel is producing the most power it can generate (100 watts).
To understand what this panel can power you need to understand the watt hours it produces. Watt hours is simply the amount of watts a panel produces times the number of hours the panel is running. So in one hour a 100W panel will equal 100 watt hours (100W x 1 hour = 100WH).
So in perfect conditions a solar panel that’s in direct sunlight for 10 hours will generate 1000 watt hours of power (100W x 10 hours = 1000WH).
While a 100W solar panel can generate this amount of energy, this does not mean it can power a 1000W device by itself. You need a battery large enough to store all that energy and output it at 1000W of electricity.
If you simply connect this 1000W device to a 100W solar panel, the panel won’t produce enough energy to power the device. The solar panel’s capacity is simply not high enough. So in perfect conditions a solar panel by itself can power devices with 100W or under (unless you have a battery system to store this energy).
With that being said what can a 100W solar panel actually power? The truth is they can’t power most larger appliances, but are can power low energy devices like laptops and smaller lights. Down below we have created a small list of things a 100W solar panel can power.
Appliances A 100W Solar Panel Can Power
|Night Light||5 Watts||Clock Radio||4 Watts|
|DVD Player||15 Watts||Electric Shaver||15 Watts|
|Satellite Dish||25 Watts||Nintendo Wii||18 Watts|
|Cable Box||30 Watts||PS2||30 Watts|
|Laptop||45 Watts||17" LCD Monitor||40 Watts|
|40" LED TV||70 Watts||Xbox||70 Watts|
|48" Ceiling Fan||75 Watts||Sewing Machine||75 Watts|
|Portable Humidifier||100 Watts||Table Light||100 Watts|
|Box Fan||100 Watts||Printer||100 Watts|
In the end 100 watt solar panels don’t generate enough energy to power most larger appliances. For this reason they are ideal for RVs, boats, and campers. Just keep in mind that they can easily power larger devices by adding more solar panels or by adding battery packs to the solar system.
There are currently a ton of solar kits online to help you with this. So if you’re looking to start or add to your current solar system then visit this page HERE. Also be sure to check out the rest of our website as it’s a great resource for all things related to solar.