Who wants to know how many Kwh does a 100 watt solar panel produce? The use of solar panels is becoming more widespread as the cost of fossil-fuels increase. The concerns about global warming and the determination of governments around the world. Is making solar the go-to alternative energy source.
The 100 watt solar panel is probably the most popular size because of its lightweight and versatility. Particularly within the camping and recreational vehicle and boating sector. This is because they are easily transported or installed. Bringing free, clean, safe electricity to those who enjoy the great outdoors.
But how powerful is a 100 watt solar panel? Because it is really an undersized panel which isn’t really suitable for installation in the average home. How many Kwh will it actually produce?
How Many Kwh Does A 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce?
“ Here is the rub. For a 100 watt solar panel to produce a Kwh of power it would take 10 continuous sun hours. This is because a KWh is 1000 watts therefore 100 x 10 = 1Kwh. The average household uses nearly 3Kwh per day. I think you will now be able to see why a 100 watt solar panel is more suited to mobile off grid applications.”
For those of you into the exact terminology.. Kwh is a term that describes the number of watts multiplied by time, in this case an hour. A kilowatt is 1000 watts and time would be represented by the number of sun hours (H).
So really the question should be rephrased;
How long does a 100 watt solar panel take to produce a kilowatt (Kw)?
100 watts x 10H (sun hours) = 1000 watts (1Kw)
This is why larger solar panels are required for use in home installations. And 100 watt panels are meant for portable use.
Here is what The Environmental Magazine has to say about portable solar panels;
Solar panels help the planet by using renewable energy sources. They can also power your home more efficiently. However, when you’re traveling, you need a way to charge your devices. This is where portable solar panels can come in handy (Source: The Environmental Magazine)
How Many Watts Does A 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce Per Day?
That depends on the amount of available sunlight on any given day. This is connected to the seasons. There is more sunlight between the end of Spring and the beginning of the Fall. And less between the end of the Fall and the beginning of Spring.
So during the height of the summer you can expect 8 hours of sunlight per day equal to 800 watts produced.
During the depths of winter you can expect 2 hours of sunlight per day equal to 200 watts produced.
If you want to take the average over the year. In the northern hemisphere it is about 5 hours of sunlight per day equal to 500 watts. But remember if you live very far north the average may come down to 4 hours or less.
Even at the height of summer a 100 watt panel will not produce a Kwh but multiple panels will. I have produced a table below to help you gauge how quickly multiple 100 watt panels will produce 1 Kwh.
|Number Of 100 Watt Solar Panels||Total Watts produced||Number of Sun Hours to produce 1 Kwh|
|2 x 100 watt||200w||5Hrs|
|3 x 100 watt||300w||3.33Hhrs|
|4 x 100 Watt||400w||2.5Hhrs|
|5 x 100 Watt||500w||2Hrs|
|6 x 100 Watt||600w||1.66Hrs|
So taking the power producing characteristics of a 100 watt solar panel. What are they best used for?
Which 100 Watt Solar Panels Are Best For Use With A Tent?
Camping using a tent can be a great way to experience outdoor adventures in the wilderness. Producing electricity can be a problem because you are without access to electrical power points. You might want to charge mobile electronics and provide lighting for the camp and a few home comforts.
The ideal solution is a 100 watt portable solar panel. Because it is lightweight and easily transported, carrying it to your final campsite will not be a problem. The amount of power it produces will be ok as well. Because you are unlikely to take the family camping in the depths of winter.
There are two types of 100 watt solar panels you can use for this.
- A soft foldable
- A suitcase/Briefcase
The difference between the two is quite marked but both will get the job done.
Soft Foldable 100 Watt Portable Solar Panel
These types of solar panels are very lightweight because they are usually constructed from Polyester or Nylon. They have multiple smaller solar panels sewn into them making up their final wattage.
For optimal placement to capture the most sunlight they are best hung from your tent or a tree facing southward. Laying them flat on the ground will limit sunlight collection. Because it will require the sun to be directly overhead for optimum performance.
Suitcase/Briefcase 100 Watt Solar Panels.
Solar suitcases or briefcases are usually constructed from metal and glass. But manufacturers sometimes describe soft foldables in this way. Usually the suitcase types are heavier than their man made fibre equivalent.
Manufactured from two solar panels in the case of a 100 watt it would be 2 x 50 watt. They fold in the middle like a paste table on metal hinges. The panels come equipped with a kickstand and guide rails. This enables them to be adjusted to the current pitch of the sun for maximum sunlight harvesting.
Because of the materials they are manufactured from they are more expensive than the soft foldable type. But overall they are more hardwearing and should last as long as 20 years plus.
They are best used in conjunction with a portable solar power station. This combination is often referred to as a solar generator for tent camping.
Which 100 Watt Solar Panels Are Best For Use With A Vehicle, Boat or Yacht?
The main uses for 100 watt solar panels with a vehicle, boat or yacht are to install them. There are two types of panels you can use to achieve this;
100 Watt Rigid Solar Panels
Usually there are multiple 100 watt rigid solar panels fitted to vehicles or boats. This is because there are lots of appliances to power. With house and starter batteries needing to be charged more than 100 watts will be required.
They can either be installed flat on a vehicle roof or boat deck. Or fitted into a foldable frame to stand them up at an angle. The angel is a better option where possible because more sunlight will be captured throughout the day. As I mentioned earlier. When installed flat the best sunlight will only be captured when the sun is directly overhead.
100 Watt Flexible Solar Panels
Many vehicles and boats have curved surfaces and fitting rigid solar panels can prove to be challenging. This is where the 100 watt flexible solar panel comes into its own. Because they can be bent by 30° or more they can be used to cover curved surfaces.
This is especially useful for boat installations where the hull or wheelhouse are of a contoured design. They also have a weight advantage over rigid panels but their life expectancy isn’t as long.
You can expect to have to replace flexible panels within 15 years of installation. And there are reports that they are not as efficient or as durable as rigid panels.
Portable 100 Watt Solar Panels
Installing 100 watt solar panels to smaller vehicles or boats might not suit everybody. Or the owner doesn’t want to install panels to a larger vehicle or boat. Portable 100 watt suitcases can be used to charge batteries in these instances.
The big advantage of this is less drag and weight when the vehicle or boat is in motion saving fuel.. There is also the problem of shade. If a vehicle fitted with solar panels becomes shaded it will have to be moved. Whereas if a portable panel or two become shaded the panels can just be moved.
The panels can also be moved around to follow the sun all day this makes for better solar collection. And if it is a very hot day the vehicle can be parked in the shade while the panels are left out in the sun.
My Closing Thoughts
Producing a Kwh of power using a 100 watt solar panel is going to take more than one day. This means that this solar panel wattage is not suited for use with larger batteries. Unless multiple 100 watt panels are deployed.
They are fine for use with smaller vehicle batteries and portable solar power stations where lower power output is required. For example charging small electronics like smartphones, laptops, music devices and tablets. A single 100 watt panel will keep a 50Ah lead acid battery charged.
But anything larger than that a solo 100 watt panel should be used just to keep the battery topped off.
Still 100w solar panels remain very popular and if you would like to know more. Take a look at the 100 watt solar panel reviews I have written here:
I hope you enjoyed this post and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about what Kwh a 100 Watt solar panel produces?. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.