The Cost of 100w Solar Panels
There is no simple answer to this question. 100w solar panels tend to also be 12v, and they are smaller than most conventional models. This is because of their common uses on things like boats and motorhomes. However, this does not mean you should expect a 100w solar panel to be cheap.
The prices actually vary quite a lot, with some of the lowest priced models starting at around £250, and the highest priced models ranging all the way up to over £1100. It all depends on where you go and the kind of quality you are expecting. Usually, you will get a lot more for your money when you spend a little extra. Often, the higher priced models will come with connecting cables and mounting equipment amongst other accessories.
Of course, we also have to ask why it costs so much. A lot of this usually has to do with the materials used to make the panel, and therefore the overall efficiency. Solar panels that are made from monocrystalline tend to be more expensive. This is the best quality material and the most efficient of the three main types. Polycrystalline is the second most expensive, but could also be considered mid-range overall.
The cheapest is thin film. The great thing about these is that they are incredibly flexible, which can make them great hiking and camping companions. However, they are also the least efficient of the three. You tend to find thin film solar cells in calculators. Stay updated on thin film solar cells, however, they are sure to be the future of solar energy.
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Common Uses for a 100w Solar Panel
Most commonly, you will find a 100w solar panel being used in motorhomes, caravans, and boats. They aren’t very big compared to most panels, and they aren’t really considered the type of panel that you would use for your home. So they make the ideal travelling companion. They can also be used when you go on holiday to ski lodges, chalets, or even a cabin out in the woods. As long as it gets some sunlight, you can take it just about anywhere.
They are actually pretty handy panels to have, especially due to their portable nature. An important thing to remember is that you should always bring a mount with you. This is so that you can angle it in a way that it is always in direct sunlight. Solar panels work best when they have direct light, and so for maximum efficiency you should always make sure this is the case.
If you are using it during the winter months, then this is an even more essential factor if you want power. If the panel is mounted on the roof of your caravan or motorhome, make sure you try and park in the sunlight as much as possible, giving your panel the best chance to generate the required amount of electricity.
What Can It Power?
A frequently asked question is “what can a 100w solar panel actually power?” The simple answer is that it can power quite a few things. You would be amazed at what a 100w solar panel can do, and in this section we will look at a few of these things.
Some 100w solar panels are designed specifically to charge 12v batteries. These store the solar energy so that it can be used later in the day or during the evening for a little extra power. Of course, energy does get lost during the day, and you can expect to lose around 20% of the total energy stored. Practically all 100w solar panels are able to charge 12v batteries, but it is always a good idea to purchase those that have been made specifically for this purpose.
A 100w solar panel can also be used to charge a laptop for between two and ten hours each day, depending on the wattage of the laptop in question and your overall power consumption. It can also power a lamp for up to 33 hours, and an LCD television for around five hours without any difficulty.
It is possible for a 100w solar panel to power a radio and lights at the same time for around three hours, giving you more than enough time to relax and recharge. You can even use a coffee machine or kettle at the same time without lowering the amount of time the energy would last. If you are feeling cold, you could also power a furnace fan for around half an hour.
Of course, a lot of this can depend on your daily requirements as well as the type of panel that you have purchased. However, hopefully this has acted as a good rough guide to what a 100w solar panel can power and for how long.
Want to Know More?
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