EcoFlow Solar Panel Review | 110w And 160w

EcoFlow Solar Panel Review

Welcome to my EcoFlow Solar Panel Review. Have you bought or are you thinking about buying an EcoFlow Portable Power Station? You don’t want to go trawling the internet for a solar panel to charge your power station. 

You want to know if EcoFlows’ solar panels are up to the job and can they charge other power station makes? What are their pros and cons and how do they compare to similar solar panels? 

So I have decided to take a look at the 110w and 160w solar panels providing further information about them in my review.

EcoFlow Solar Panel Review

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EcoFlow Solar Panel Review-Setup

Product: EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel

Price: $399.99 (There are often price reductions)
Website Link:
ecoflow.com/products/110w-solar-panel
Dimensions Folded:
16.5 × 20.2 × 1.0 inch
Dimensions Unfolded: 62.5 x 20.2 x 1.0inch
Weight: 13.2 lb (Solar Panel 8.8lb)

Product: EcoFlow 160w Solar Panel

Price: $449.00 (There are often price reductions)
Website Link:
ecoflow.com/products/ecoflow-160w-solar-panel
Dimensions Folded:
16.5 × 26.8 × 1.0inch
Dimensions Unfolded: 61.8 x 26.8 x 1.0inch
Weight: 15.4 lbs (Solar Panel 11 lbs)

Warranty: 12 Months

What Is An EcoFlow Solar Panel?

“The panel is a portable, foldable solar panel that comes in two sizes 110w and 160w. Their solar cells are monocrystalline and they both have a 12-volt rating. Ideal solar charging power for EcoFlows Delta and River solar power station ranges. Although specifically designed to charge the companies power stations. The solar panels can be used to charge any power station with the supplied MC4 connectors”

Who Are EcoFlow Tech Ltd?

EcoFlow Tech Ltd burst on the scene in 2017 and is a U.S-Chinese company. Their U.S headquarters are in San Fransisco California with production in Shenzhen China.

Fast becoming one of the leading portable power station manufacturers. They have recently expanded their range with the launch of the Delta Max. A 2016Wh power station that can be expanded up to 6048Wh.

How Do The Solar Panels Work?

EcoFlow Solar Panel Connection Tutorial

Let’s take a look at the 110w and 160w specifications;

Specifications EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel EcoFlow 160w Solar Panel
Solar CellMonocrystallineMonocrystalline
Number of Folded Panels 4 x 27.5w4 x 40w
Wattage110w160w
Voltage12V12V
Efficiency21% to 22%21% to 22%
Dimensions Folded16.5 × 20.2 × 1.0 inch16.5 × 26.8 × 1.0inch
Dimensions Unfolded62.5 x 20.2 x 1.0inch61.8 x 26.8 x 1.0inch
Weight13.2 lb (Solar Panel 8.8lb)15.4 lbs (Solar Panel 11 lbs)
Maximum Operating Voltage (Vmp)18.5V18.2V
Maximum Operating Current (Imp)6.0A8.8A
Open-Circuit Voltage 21.7V21,4V
Short-Circuit Current6.3A9.6A
Connector MC4YesYes
IP67 RatingWaterproofWaterproof
Solar Panel BagYesYes
Warranty 12 Months12 Months
List Price$399.99$449.00
Construction

The quality of construction and workmanship is second to none rivaling Jackery, Bluetti, and Goal Zero.

The solar panels are made from four 27.5 watts (110w) and four 40w (160w) 12V monocrystalline panels. The four individual panels make up the final wattage. The panels unfold in a concertina fashion and fold down to the size of a suitcase.

Unlike metal and glass manufactured solar suitcases, the EcoFlow panels are made from industrial polymers. This makes them much lighter than their metal and glass counterparts

Construction 4 x Monocrystalline panels

For example, the ACOPower PLK 100 Watt Solar Briefcase weighs 14lbs without its protective bag. While the EcoFlow 110 watt solar panel weighs 8.8lbs without its bag that’s a full 5.2lbs lighter. This makes it much easier to transport and deploy especially if you find carrying weight a problem.

They are finished with an ETFE film that makes the unit very durable, long-lasting, and waterproof.

How Efficient Are The Solar Panels?

The solar panel efficiency is rated at 21% to 22%. This means that the panels will absorb that percentage of sunlight under standard test conditions (STC). Ecoflow says the panels were tested under these standard test conditions:1000W/m2, AM1.5, 25°C.

What Is Their Amp Output?

The amp output per hour produced under STC for each panel is;

  • 110w = 5.95A
  • 160w = 8.79A

This differs slightly from the figures produced in the table above 6A and 8.8A respectively. But I think EcoFlow has just rounded the figures up. 

Using the EcoFlow RIVER Max Portable Power Station (576Wh Capacity) as an example. We can take a look at how quickly each panel will take to recharge it using STC parameters. I converted the 576Wh capacity to amp hours which are 48Ah. 

EcoFlow River 600 Max

If you want to convert the watt-hours of a solar power station to amp hours. You simply divide the station’s watt-hour capacity by its voltage rating; 576Wh ÷ 12 = 48Ah. If you can’t be bothered with the math. You can use this conversion calculator provided by learningmetrics.com

The table below shows the River Max at different depths of discharge (DOD). And how long it might approximately take each solar panel to recharge it.

In case you don’t know what DOD is. It’s the number of amp-hours of the power station capacity used (discharged).

Depth Of Discharge (DOD) Of The River Max Approximate Time The 110 Watt Solar Panel Might Take To Charge The River Max Approximate Time The 160 Watt Solar Panel Might Take To Charge The River Max
25% DOD = 12Ah2hrs 15mins1hr 25mins
50% DOD = 24Ah4hrs 25 mins2hrs 45mins
75% DOD = 35Ah6hrs 5 mins4hrs 10mins
100% DOD = 48Ah8hrs 5mins5hrs 30mins
Standard Test Conditions

Remember these recharging times could be achieved under standard test conditions. It is very rare in the real world these conditions are regularly met. So when evaluating the performance of the solar panels you need to factor in;

  • The weather
  • The ambient temperature
  • The season
  • The time of day
  • The solar panel’s position relative to the sun
  • The angle of the panel relative to the sun
  • Irradiance
  • Shade
  • Are they clean?

Near standard test, conditions can be achieved around noon. The panels should be pointed and at an angle to the sun with a clear sky. 

Can The Panels Be Strung Together For A Greater Power Output?
Can The Panels Be Strung Together For A Greater Power Output?

Yes, they can be strung together in parallel this will increase their amp output. The more power you have the faster the panels will charge a power station. But you will need to check the individual power stations’ allowable wattage input. 

For instance, the River Max has a maximum wattage input of 200 watts.

Do The Panels Have A Kickstand?

The carry bag doubles as a kickstand which is adjustable to between 60° and 90°. This means you will be able to find the perfect position and angle to harvest the best available sunlight.

Which Power Stations Will the EcoFlow 110w and 160w Solar Panels Charge?

The panels will charge any kind of power station that attaches via an MC4 to XT60 connector. If the station has a different PV input socket you can buy a separate adapter cable.

But they are best used to charge EcoFlow Portable Power Stations.

  • Delta Pro
  • Delta Max
  • Delta
  • Delta Mini
  • River Pro
  • River Max
  • River
  • River Mini

You Can Take A Look At The EcoFlow Power Station Range Here

What’s In The Box

The EcoFlow 110w or 160w Solar Panel
The Solar Panel Bag/Kickstand
The Manual

What’s Good About The Solar Panels?

21% to 22% Efficient

The efficiency rating should ensure you get the best possible performance from the panels. This as I mentioned earlier depends on the weather conditions and the panel’s orientation to the sun. 

Long-Lasting

These solar panels are virtually indestructible due to them being made from industrial polymers. The ETFE coating on the front of the panels makes them waterproof. And ensures the delicate solar cells can’t be damaged by environmental hazards. 

Portability
The panels are easy to move around due to their light weight

The panels are easier to move around due to their lighter weight compared to glass and metal suitcases. If you have a bad back or physical impairment you will find them easier to carry and transport.

They are not too big when folded so you shouldn’t have a great problem fitting them into a car, camper, van, or trailer.

What’s Not So Good About The Solar Panels?

Wind Can Cause A Problem

While the panels’ weight is great if you find carrying heavy loads difficult. It can pose a problem if it is windy and high winds can blow the panels over. So you might have to think carefully about where you position the panels if it’s blowing a gale. 

Some Reviews Say The Panels Don’t Hit Their Stated Power Rating

Many more reviews say that the panels perform well than don’t 88% vs 12%. If you look across the web at solar panel reviews there are always reviews that say; “These panels don’t work as per the published specifications.” 

Addressing The Elephant In The Room

Most solar panels produce 20% to 35% less than the specified output. This is because the results published by manufacturers are achieved under ideal conditions. 

The rating of a solar panel is based on 1000w of sunlight per m². This is the assumed amount of watts that fall on the earth at sea level per hour. This will fluctuate because of atmospheric, seasonal, time of day, temperature, and other conditions. 

1000w of sunlight per square meter

The temperature of the solar panel will affect its efficiency and performance. This is because it starts to drop if the solar panels’ temperature gets above 95°F. 

A solar panel’s output will also be affected by its orientation towards the sun. If it isn’t right the panels’ performance will be less than it should be. So all in all it’s very difficult to reproduce the same conditions as the panel was tested under.

Consider Using A Larger Solar Panel Than You Think You Need

But manufacturers have to have a standard test to produce specifications their panels can be marketed under. Think of it as a level playing field otherwise, they would be able to claim wild figures for their products. This would lead to many more unhappy customers and reviews. 

My advice is to use a larger solar panel than you need. For instance, if you think you need a 100w solar panel. consider one 30% to 50% more powerful. Or think about two 100w solar panels in parallel to achieve the same thing. Doing this may help avoid disappointment and frustration.

Check Out The Latest 110w And 160w Solar Panel Prices From EcoFlow

EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel V’s Bluetti PV120 120w Solar Panel

Specifications EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel Bluetti PV120 120w Solar Panel
Solar CellMonocrystallineMonocrystalline
Number of Folded Panels 4 x 27.5w4 x 30w
Wattage110w120w
Voltage12V12V
Efficiency21% to 22%Up to 23.4%
Dimensions Folded16.5 × 20.2 × 1.0 inch21 x 18inch
Dimensions Unfolded62.5 x 20.2 x 1.0inch21 x 65inch
Weight13.2 lb (Solar Panel 8.8lb)12.57lbs
Maximum Operating Voltage (Vmp)18.5V19.6V
Maximum Operating Current (Imp)6.0A6.1A
Open-Circuit Voltage 21.7V24.4V
Short-Circuit Current6.3A6.43A
Connector MC4YesYes
IP67 RatingWaterproofWater-Resistant
Solar Panel BagYesYes
Warranty 12 Months24 Months
List Price$399.99$399.00
The Differences between the EcoFlow And Bluetti Solar Panels

Both panels are made from 4 individual folding solar panels finished with ETFE. The Bluetti claims a higher wattage and efficiency rating but they are both physically about the same size. 

It would seem the Bluetti is heavier but in reality, this isn’t the case because it doesn’t need a carrier bag. The EcoFlow is slightly heavier than the Bluetti when it is inside its carrier.

The extra 10w power rating gives the Bluetti a slightly higher amp output of 6.1A v’s 5.95A. There is a difference when it comes to the IP67 rating. Bluetti says their panel is water-resistant and EcoFlow waterproof. If you are a boat owner this will be important to you.

The warranty both companies offer is not as comprehensive as other portable solar panel manufacturers. For instance, ACOPower offers an 18-month product and 25 years 85% output warranty. It might be something to consider. 

EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel V’s Bluetti PV120 120w Solar Panel
Series V Parallel Wiring

The main difference between these two solar panels is in the way the 4 panels are wired together. The Bluetti is wired in parallel while the EcoFlow is wired in series. This means the Bluettii has an advantage if any part of the panel becomes shaded. 

Panels wired together in series can be severely affected by shade which can stop energy production completely.. They use by-pass diodes to help combat the problem. Think of it as a way to send energy around the shaded areas.

Whereas panels wired in parallel work around the shaded parts continuing to produce from the unshaded parts. In other words, if one of the four 30w panels that make up the Bluetti becomes shaded. The other three will keep producing energy to continue charging your power station.

Overall

There isn’t that much difference between the two solar panels they are even the same price. The Bluetti has a slightly higher wattage and power output and the kickstand might be a little easier to use. The parallel wiring does give it an advantage if it becomes shaded.

The EcoFlow is lighter out of its protective bag and is waterproof. But if you have an Ecoflow solar generator you would probably choose an EcoFlow solar panel. And a Bluetti generator a Bluetti solar panel.

I am not sure you would choose either of these panels to charge another manufacturer’s power station. Having said that, they might suit if carrying and handling weight is a problem for you.

Neither of the panels has a solar charge controller because they are designed to charge generators. So a bit of DIY would be required to be able to charge boat and vehicle house batteries as well. 

Check Out The Latest 110w Solar Panel Price From EcoFlow
Check Out The Latest 120w Solar Panel Price From Bluetti

My Closing Thoughts

Yes, let’s just say it. “Both solar panels are expensive” but fortunately they are often on sale on the EcoFlow website.

Overall I think that the 110w and 160w Solar Panels are up to the job of charging EcoFlows own power stations. But where EcoFlow recommends a 110w solar panel if the generator can handle 220w plus of PV input. I would consider chaining panels together in parallel to achieve the quickest charge rates. 

The specs on the website are a little confusing when it comes to charging the River Max. They say its maximum inputs are  200W, 10-25V DC, and 12A. Yet under the estimated charging times section, it says the River Max can handle 2 x 110w solar panels. 

This is a bit confusing because 2 x 110w panels in parallel would produce a total of 220w of PV input. It’s a shame that so many manufacturers’ specifications and recommendations are not clear. 

So based on the ambiguity I would go for a single 160w solar panel to charge the River Max. Which under standard test conditions charges it in 5hrs 30mins from a 100% discharged capacity. 

I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about the EcoFlow 110w and 160w Solar Panels. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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