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I will be looking at Rich Solar’s 3 bestselling rigid solar panels. The 100w. and 20w Monocrystalline/Polycrystalline, and 200w 12V/24V.
Aimed at the off-grid market, Rich solar panels provide solar power solutions for;
- Recreational vehicles
- Van conversions
- Boats and Yachts
- DIY projects for cabins, sheds, or outbuildings.
You can jump to a solar panel using the quick jump menu if you have a particular watt output in mind.
|100 Watt 12V Mono & Polycrystalline.||$$|
|200 Watt 12V & 24V Monocrystalline.||$$$|
|20 Watt 12V Mono & Polycrystalline.||$|
Rich Solar Panels Review
Established in 2005, Rich Solar is an American company based in Ontario, CA. They distribute solar products for the off-grid market, including rigid and portable solar panels, batteries, generators, controllers, inverters, and accessories.
Most of their products are manufactured overseas, but some are American-made, including the 335w solar panel. At the time of writing, they have also started carrying Bluetti Solar Generators in their line.
They have a reputation for distributing quality products backed with excellent customer service. I think their orange product and website livery feel friendly too.
I contacted Rich Solar to ask them which was their best-selling rigid solar panel line. They said: “100-watt and 200-watt rigid panels are the leaders”
What is the difference between Monocrystalline & Polycrystalline Solar Panels?
Without going into technical details, Monocrystalline solar panels’ individual cells are made from single silicon cells. While Polycrystalline is made from multiple silicon cells. The single cell of Monocrystalline panels makes them more efficient.
There are a couple of ways you can tell the difference between them. By their color, mono panels are dark, almost black, and poly panels are blue. Because mono panels are more efficient, they are more expensive.
If you see a mono panel for sale on the cheap and it looks blue in color. It is probably a poly panel being passed off as mono. If you are unsure, look at the spec plate on the rear of the panel. If it doesn’t specify which type of solar panel it is, steer clear
Rich Solar Rigid Panel Construction
Rich Solar panels are constructed with an aluminum frame and high transmission, anti-reflective, tempered glass. To help with installation, they have pre-drilled holes compatible with Z-brackets, pole, ground, and tilt mounts.
They come fitted with an IP65 rated junction box with built-in by-pass diodes and IP67 positive male, negative female connectors.
If there are differences in individual solar panel construction, I will point them out.
Rich Solar 100 Watt 12V Monocrystalline & Polycrystalline Solar Panels
There are four 100- watt solar panels choices in the Rich Solar range, two mono, and two poly versions. The black poly panel is the same as the regular panel but has a black trim.
They can be used for installations on everything from an RV to a DIY home project. The mono panels are more extended and slimmer, while the poly panels are shorter and broader.
Single 100w panels are best used to re-charge 50Ah to 75Ah lead-acid and 50Ah Lithium batteries. However, they can be used to keep larger deep cycle batteries topped off.
100w solar panel power & amp output
Their power output depends on the seasons. You can expect 500wh to 700wh per day during high summer and an amp-hour output of 28Ah to 38Ah.
In the winter, early spring, and, late autumn power and amp output can be reduced by up to 60% or more. The output can be even less during December and January, so you need to consider this when sizing your installation.
If you want to re-charge higher amp-hour batteries with 100w solar panels. You would need at least two for a lead-acid and three for a Lithium 100Ah battery. For higher amp-hour batteries and banks, it would be worth investigating 200-watt solar panels
For use with a single 100w solar panel, a 10A solar charge controller is all you need. The panels can be strung together in series or parallel. You must choose the correct charge controller. For example, 2 x 100w solar panels strung together would require a 20A charge controller.
|Specifications||100w 12V Mono||100w 12V Mono Black||100w 12V Poly||100w 12V Poly Black|
|Dimensions||46.7 x 20.1 x 1.4inch||45.5 x 20.5 x 1.4inch||39.6 x 26.2 x 1.4inch||39.6 x 26.2 x 1.4inch|
|Weight||16.5 lbs||15 lbs||16.5 lbs||16.5 lbs|
|Maximum Power Voltage(Vmp)||18.2V||18.4V||18.2V||18.2V|
|Maximum Power Current(Imp)||5.49A||5.43A||5.49A||5.49A|
|Open Circuit Voltage(Voc)||22.1V||22.6V||22.1V||22.1V|
|Short Circuit Current(Isc)||5.93A||5.72A||5.86A||5.86A|
|Maximum System Voltage(Vmax)||600V DC||1000V DC||600V DC||600V DC|
|IP65||IP 65 or IP 67||IP 65 or IP 67||IP 65 or IP 67||IP 65 or IP 67|
|Warranty||25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship||25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship||25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship|
1-year Materials Accessories
|25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship|
1-year Materials Accessories
The famous reseller has 958 ratings for the Rich Solar 100 watt panels with an overall 4.8 out of 5 stars. Many of the poorer reviews say they were damaged on arrival or sent the wrong panel. I often see this in reviews; sometimes, a third-party reseller’s pick, pack, and delivery aren’t the best.
Rich Solars website carries several reviews, all 5 stars
Rich Solar 100w V’s Renogy 100w
This is a video from Will Prowse reviewing and comparing 100-watt Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Renogy does not have a 100w poly solar panel. There is little difference between the mono panels. However, Rich Solar operates with a lower VMP 18.2 v’s 20.3. This means Rich solar has a higher amp-output 5.93A v’s 4.93.
The Renogy is 3 inches shorter 43.3 x 20.0 x 1.38inch v’s 46.7 x 20.1 x 1.4inch. This means the Rich Solar has a larger surface area, potentially able to gather slightly more sunlight. There is a 2lbs difference in weight in favor of Renogy. Both say their panels perform well in cloudy and low-light conditions.
They both have IP65 junction box ratings and a similar 25-year output warranty, but the Renogy is $10.00 cheaper. If you would like to take a look at the Renogy 100w, you can do so here.
- A choice of four 100w solar panels
- Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline
- 25-year out-put warranty
- IP65 rated junction box
- Excellent overall performance backed up with customer reviews
- Diverse applications
- Well made with a quality finish
- Polycrystalline not as efficient as the Monocrystalline versions
- A little more expensive than some other brands
- Some thought the leads supplied were a bit short
- Z-brackets not supplied
If you want the best performance from your solar panels, it is best to choose one of the 100 watt Mono versions. While the poly panels are cheaper, there is a reason why they are more affordable. 20 bucks per panel might seem like a good saving, but you need to remember that they will not perform as well. This is backed up in some of the customer reviews.
Rich Solar 200 Watt 12V & 24V Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The 200-watt rigid solar panel is shipped in 12V and 24V versions, but there isn’t a poly version. The 24V solar panels are helpful to string together in parallel to increase the amp-hour output in a 24V system.
Great for use in larger installations where you want more sunlight gathering power per square foot. Such as bigger campers, RVs, boats, and outbuilding roof installations with larger battery banks.
That isn’t to say a 200w solar panel can’t be used on its own to charge a single battery. Because, of course, it can.
Both 12V and 24V panels incorporate PERC solar cells and a 5 Bus bar solar cell configuration.
Power From Sunlight Say;
This higher number of busbars reduces the distance between the busbars, which decreases the internal resistance losses. Even if the higher quantity of busbars increases the shading of the solar photovoltaic cell, the overall performance of multi-busbar cells remains much better than that of conventional 2BB or 3BB cells. (Source; www.powerfromsunlight.com)
What size battery can the 200w Solar Charge
Many amp-hour and types of batteries can be charged by the 200-watt solar panel. But I am going to concentrate on one solar panel and one 100Ah battery. Follow this link if you want to know more about how many batteries a 200w solar panel can charge.
The 200w panel has an amp-hour output of 9.80Ah. This means during the height of the summer, it can produce a maximum of around 68.6Ah and 1.4kWh of power. I am basing this on 7 hours of continuous sunshine.
So a single 100ah lead acid battery can be kept fully charged at 50% depth of discharge (DOD). A lithium battery could be re-charged from around 65% DOD.
You would have to limit a 100Ah batteries DOD for the rest of the year, especially during winter, early spring, and late autumn. If you would like to know more about the charge rate of a 200w solar panel per hour, follow this link.
Solar Charge Controller
A single 200w solar panel will need a 20A solar charge controller. A larger solar controller will be required when connecting the panels in series or parallel. For instance, 3 x 200-watt panels would need a 60A MPPT controller.
|Specifications||200w 12V Monocrystalline||200w 24V Monocrystalline|
|Dimensions||58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4inch||58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4inch|
|Weight||26.5 lbs||26.5 lb|
|Maximum Power Voltage(Vmp)||20.4V||37.6V|
|Maximum Power Current(Imp)||9.80A||5.36A|
|Open Circuit Voltage(Voc)||24.3V||45.4V|
|Short Circuit Current(Isc)||10.2A||5.83A|
|Maximum System Voltage(Vmax)||1000V DC||1000VDC|
|IP65 & IP67||Waterproof Junction Box & Solar Connectors||Waterproof Junction Box & Solar Connectors|
|Warranty||25 Year Limited Power Output||25 Year Limited Power Output|
200w 24V Customer Reviews
The 24V panel on the well-known reseller site has mixed reviews. There are 106 ratings at the time of writing and a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.
As usual, there were quite a few complaints about the third-party delivery. Tales of woe like the panels were broken or scratched, or the frames were damaged.
Tip; To avoid this kind of delivery problem buy direct from the manufacturer.
However, there were some complaints about the 200w 24V panel’s output.
Many people do not realize that because of weather, atmospheric conditions, the temperature, the season, the time of day, and the panel’s orientation towards the sun. 60% to 80% of the stated output will be achieved.
You may have noticed several manufacturers state the panel’s output as 200w STC. The full rating can be achieved but only if the standard test conditions are met.
Some customers also said that sometimes the 24V may have an issue producing more than the 37.6V stated max. This could result in a fried solar charge controller.
The overall majority of customers said the panel performed perfectly and they would consider buying again. There are 22 customer reviews on Rich Solars website Todd. C said;
200w 12V Customer Reviews
The well-known reseller site had 453 reviews showing 4.7 out of 5-stars at the time of writing. There were the same delivery complaints and several reviews about the 170w panel mixed in. This made it difficult to make head or tail of the 200-watt comments.
Unlike the 24V panel reviews, I could only find 4 complaining about the 12V panel’s output. And there were zero complaints about the 24V over-voltage issue. The overwhelming majority of customers were satisfied with the 200-watt 12V panel. Rich Solars’ website carries 59 reviews and typically says;
Rich Solar 200w V’s Renogy 200w
Renogy might be a larger company than Rich Solar, but their products are at a similar level in my estimation. Both are made abroad and provide similar performance, build, quality, and good value for money.
The Rich Solar has a 19.98% and the Renogy an 18.1% efficiency rating. Coupled with the difference in size, the Renogy is 5-inch inches longer, yet they are the same weight. Suggesting that overall the Rich Solar is of a superior build with a better performance.
The Renogy has a higher operating voltage and lower operating current 22.6V and 8.85A than the Rich Solar. They both have an IP65 rated junction box and a similar 25-year output warranty.
Both panels score well with customer reviews on the famous reseller website;
- Rich Solar 200w – 4.7 out of 5 stars
- Renogy – 4.6 out of 5 stars
But in reality, it is hard to tell because there are reviews for other size panels included in both scores. Having said that, there is $50.00 to be saved with the Rich Solar $259.99 v’s Renogy $299.99. You can take a look at the 200w Renogy here
- Choice of 12V or 24V
- 12V has a good output performance in overcast conditions
- Sturdy and well made
- Easy to handle and install
- Great customer service
- 25-year output warranty
- Great for larger installations including RV’s, larger campers, boats, cabins, lodges, tiny houses, and outbuildings
- IP65 & IP67 Rating
- 24V may have some power output issues
- 24V may have an issue sometimes producing more than the 37.6V stated max
Rich Solar 20 Watt 12V Monocrystalline & Polycrystalline Solar Panels
The 20-watt panel can be used to trickle vehicle or house batteries and DIY solar applications such as;
- A small greenhouse
- Small pumps for a garden water feature
- Residential external lighting and surveillance systems
- Electric fences & gates
|Specifications||20w 12V Monocrystalline (Black)||20w 12V Polycrystalline|
|Dimensions||17.5 x 14.2 x 1.0inch||17.5 x 14.2 x 1.0inch|
|Weight||4.2 lbs||4.2 lbs|
|Maximum Power Voltage(Vmp)||18.2V||18.1V|
|Maximum Power Current(Imp)||1.10A||1.10A|
|Open Circuit Voltage(Voc)||22.2V||22.1V|
|Short Circuit Current(Isc)||1.25A||1.22A|
|Maximum System Voltage(Vmax)||600V DC||600VDC|
|IP65||Waterproof Junction Box & Solar Connectors||Waterproof Junction Box|
|Warranty||25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship|
1-year Materials Accessories
|25 Years 80% Output5 Years Materials & Workmanship|
1-year Materials Accessories
There is little physical difference in the make-up of the mono and poly 20w panels. Despite how the specifications read, the poly panel will be less efficient than the mono.
There is evidence out there that the poly panel will perform better in very hot climates.
Looking at the customer reviews, the famous reseller site has the black mono panel rated at 4.3. The poly doesn’t appear to be sold on that site. There are two 5 star reviews on the Rich Solar website for the mono and one for the poly;
Rich Solar 20w V’s HQST 20w
Having looked at the HQST 20 watt compared to the Rich Solar Mono, the HQST is a pound heavier. A lower VMP will push out slightly higher amps per hour at 1.25A, and it is a couple of inches longer.
They both have similar customer reviews on their websites and have a 25-year output warranty. But the HQST is a couple of dollars cheaper.
What power output can I expect from the20w solar panel?
During the summer, anything between 80Wh and 140Wh per day and between 20Wh and 60wh in the winter.
How many amp-hours (Ah) can I expect from the 20w solar panel?
During the summer, you can expect up to 1.10Ah and during the winter between 0.44Ah and 0.77Ah.
What size battery would the 20w panel be able to recharge?
A 10Ah lead-acid battery because it shouldn’t be discharged below 50% of its capacity. Or a 7Ah Lithium battery because it can be discharged to 80% of its capacity.
Does the 20w panel need a solar charge controller?
Yes, it does, do not use it without one; you will end up overcharging your battery. For use with a single panel, a 5A controller is fine. A couple of panels wired in series or parallel use a 10A MPPT or PWM controller.
Can Multiple 20w solar panels be connected together?
Yes, the panels can be connected together in series or parallel. Y branch connectors are available on the website for parallel connection.
If you want to string more than 2 x 20w together. I would make sure your 10A controller can handle the input voltage based on its VMP, not its 12V rating. For example, 4 x 20w panels connected in series would have a total VMP of 72.8V (18.2 x 4 = 72.8). This means a 10A charge controller wouldn’t be able to handle that many volts.
- Great for trickle charging any battery
- Can be used for small gardening DIY projects
- Great for lighting and security around the home, electric fencing and powering gates
- It’s lightweight and waterproof
- Good price
- 25-year output warranty
- It’s only a small solar panel not suitable for recharging large batteries
If you’re not too bothered about the efficiency difference between the mono and poly. There is a $3.00 saving to be had going with the poly version.
My Closing Thoughts
Rich Solars 3 best solar panels are capable of powering most off-grid applications. From small projects to larger installations and stand-up to other more well-known brands. The pricing is competitive, and their construction is of the highest quality, backed up with a great warranty.
If you have a solar panel size in mind and want to retake a look at it. You can go back to the quick jump menu here.
I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about Rich Solar’s 3 best-selling solar panels. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.