Best Solar Panel

There is a reason why investing in a sustainable energy source such as our top pick, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel, would be a great idea for your home. It makes you self-sufficient energy wise by helping you ease off the grid and even a small solar panel providing power to your home is a right step in easing the burden on the environment. Solar technology has come leagues from where it started decades ago and now it’s more cost and energy efficient than ever. In addition, you can now find a solar panel in just the right size to suit your needs, whether it is to heat up water, power up a house, or charge your mobile device.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Top Pick: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the time to end our reliance on fossil fuels have come. Whether the electricity to our homes come from hydropower or coal, there is some form of petroleum involved in the process of producing electricity at some point. Even it is not possible to completely cut ourselves off from the main electricity grid, finding an energy source which helps ease the burden even a little bit goes a long way.

This is where solar power comes in. Sunlight is something we get in abundance. Even in winter, there is at least some sun in most places. Which is why we present to you here the best solar panels you can buy so that your journey towards harvesting solar power can start.

Our top pick, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a superior solar panel which gives you a great power output. It is a single-crystalline or monocrystalline solar panel, made of high purity silicon. It comes to you with great reviews and ratings on Amazon and is highly recommended by both its buyers and industry experts.

If you are looking for more environmentally friendly power options, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a sure step in the right direction. Even though it is only one 100 watts panel, with the addition, of more panels, there is nothing you cannot power using our top pick.

Our runner up option, the
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel
isn’t just a solar panel, it is a solar panel kit. This means that when you buy the solar panel it comes with all the accruements you need to fix it and use it. What’s even more amazing is that the WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel has the capability to provide 350 Watt hours a day, giving you plenty of energy.

If what you are looking for is a basic solar panel, then we must warn that our step-up pick, the Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger, is not for you. Currently costing more around ten times of what our top pick, this is a solar panel designed for those who are serious about using solar energy and want to harvest the power of the sun on the go.

How do solar panels work?

If this is your first time into the world of solar power, it is best to know the basics of how solar panels work before you invest in one. Even a little understanding goes a long way because before you know it, you will be fixing up your solar panels on your own.
As you might have already figured (which is the reason why you want to invest in solar panels anyway), solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. At the most basic level of a solar panel, there are hundreds and hundreds of tiny solar cells called photovoltaic cells (meaning sunlight into electricity) which do the work. These cells are semiconductors which is why you might have learned about solar technology if you ever studied electronics in school.

These solar cells are made in such a way that there are two layers of negative and positive energy with an electric field in-between. The negative layer has more electrons and the positive layer has fewer electrons or more photons. When the sunlight hits the solar cell, the photons in the sunlight makes the negative layer release an electron. The more sunlight the cells get more electrons. These electrons flow through the solar panel, collected by metal conductive plates in the solar panel and then send them through to electrical wires as explained by Livescience article. It is this current which can be then used to power up your house, charge your devices or be stored in a battery.

Types of solar panels

Now that you have an understanding of basic solar panel works, we should now discuss the types of solar panels you find in the market. Depending on your needs, the type of solar panel you require might change. Therefore, it is always good to know what options you have before making a decision.

Because we are going to be bandying words like monocrystalline and polycrystalline, you need to know what they actually mean. Remember how we said that a solar cell is made with semiconductors? Usually, semiconductors are made with silicon. As explained by Energy Informative, some variant of silicon is used for the manufacturing of almost 90% world’s photovoltaics.

Depending on the purity of the silicon used in the manufacturing of the solar cell, it gets a name. A silicon molecule which is better aligned can convert more sunlight into electricity than the other. But it can be costly to purify silicon which would explain the price difference between difference solar panels.

Monocrystalline solar panels have high purity silicon. They have a uniform look about them and look nice when installed. They are also more energy efficient and work better than polycrystalline solar panels under low light conditions. They do, however, tend to be more expensive than their polycrystalline counterparts.

Polycrystalline solar panels use unpurified silicon which is melted, poured into molds and then cut into squares. The process is easier and it is reflected in the relatively low price.

There is also a variety of solar cells called thin-film solar cells which is a relative innovation.

How to pick a good solar panel

The features we looked at when picking solar panels on our list are the exact ones you need to be considering when deciding which solar panel to purchase.
As discussed in this Energy Matters article, the cost should not be the only deciding factor even though does play a crucial role. You should also take into consideration how much power you expect to draw from the solar panels (i.e. your energy requirements), the lighting conditions in your area and season, the size of the solar panels, and durability.

Our Top Pick: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Top Pick: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

In the field of harvesting solar energy, monocrystalline solar panels are gaining more popularity every day. They are easy to install, easy to set up off-grid and their power generating efficiency and output are unparalleled. All these reasons explain why our top pick, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a winner.
Because anyone who is interested in solar energy and how to install one, is inevitably interested in the specifications of the solar panel in question, let us first tell you why the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is such a great choice for you to invest in. For starters, it really is very cost efficient. It works so much better than even those solar panels which would cost twice as much. If you want to add more than one panel, there are also great deals for two, three, four, or six pieces on Amazon. The manufacturer states that the maximum power output is 100 Watts, however, we are now able to tell you that it’s even better than advertised. Because we wanted to give you an accurate picture of what you are about to procure, we tested this solar panel both in full sun and partial sun, because we know that sometimes even in sunny areas, lack of sunlight cannot simply be helped.
In full sun, our top pick produced slightly more than 100 watts, which is quite commendable. But here is the best part. Because it is made of monocrystalline silicon rather than polycrystalline, it produced 100 Watts even under partial sunny conditions. Thus, when it comes to energy generation, you simply cannot go wrong with the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel.
This solar panel also works under a maximum direct current voltage of 600V with an optimum operating voltage of 18.9V and an optimum operating current of 5.29A. It has also been made and tested so that even high winds and high loads of snow can be withstood in windy or snowy places and climes.
Many a happy customer who bought this solar panel, seem to keep on expanding their solar grid by adding more and more Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panels. For instance, if you are traveling in your RV or your camper van, you can completely live off the grid by just using two panels of our top pick.

Flaws but not deal breakers

In our eyes, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel cannot do bad. But if there’s any area, in which it could be improved, it would have to do with the MC4 connectors. MC4 connectors are connectors used for connecting solar panels. They are single-contact connectors which is where the problem stems from and we and some other customers had to shave/file the ends of the connectors to get them to pull apart.
This problem could easily be resolved by using screw in connectors instead. Therefore, we only deducted minor points for this flaw and did not consider it to be a deal breaker at all.

Our Runner-Up Pick: WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel

WindyNation 100 Watt 100W Solar Panel for 12 Volt Battery
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel

Our runner up option, the WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel and comes with a 100ah AGM battery as an upgrade. Considering all the parts which come with this and the ease with which it can be installed, we are sure you will find this quite a good deal.

The WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel completely kit (excepting the 100ah AMG battery) contains, one 100 Watt polycrystalline solar panel, 30 Amp solar charge controller with a temperature sensor, solar cable, MC4 connectors, mounting hardware, and an instruction manual. The solar charge controller also comes equipped with an LCD screen giving you all the vitals you need to operate the system.
The WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel is great for use at home, in an RV or practically any place which might require linking up for extra power. For example, many customers use to store additional charge for their batteries on RVs.

Last but not least, we were also quite impressed with the customer service of the manufacturer, a fact that other customers also seem to find very satisfactory.

Our Step-Up Pick: New Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger

NEW Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger
NEW Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger

When it came to our step-up pick, the New Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger here’s what got attention to start off with. It’s foldable. Which means that it’s portable. We like gadgets which are portable.

Notwithstanding the foldability, we wanted to make sure that it was worth the huge price tag attached to it. And after a bit of research and a little more of testing, we deemed it worthy. And here’s why.

Usually, when it comes to regular solar panels which use CGIS technology, if the solar panel has been in storage for a while, it needs to soak up some sun for some time before it can reach its optimum performance. As you can imagine, this can be a hindrance if you want your energy source up and running at once. With our step-up pick, all you need to do is set it up and connect it to your device which needs charging or a battery for power storage, and you are good to go. It’s the best of portable solar panels money can buy and the setup is so very easy that you will not even need to call for help.
The other feature we liked about the New Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger is that for you to charge a device, there is absolutely no need to go through all sorts of circuits and systems. All you have to is connect your device to the panel using a male 12V CLA and a female 12V CLA. If you want the exact specifications of our step-up pick, it has an operating voltage of 15.4 V and a wattage of 120W with a current of 7.2 Amps. What’s more, it only weighs 6.5 pounds and is only 14″ by 14″ when folded and can be easily transported wherever you need extra power.
The New Powerfilm Foldable 120 Watt Solar Charger has also been military tested, so you do not have to worry about its durability. Even if you were camping out in the wilderness where there was low light and needed to use this solar panel, you can do so because it works very well even in low light conditions. Last but not least, it can also be linked to additional units to generate more power.

Other Noteworthy Contenders

We did a bit of testing and have listed below some other solar panels we thought you might be interested in.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

This one is a slight upgrade from our top pick, in that it has more attachments, where the charge controller found in the top pick has now been upgraded to Renogy’s new 30A PWM Negative Ground Charge Controller.
It must be noted that the manufacturer specifically mentions that this solar panel is perfect for usage in off-grid applications such as RV’s and motor homes and even includes a diagram of how to set it up in an RV in the instruction manual. The Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit includes a solar panel, a charge controller, an adapter kit, a tray cable, and a set of Z brackets.

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

This HQST solar panel is polycrystalline. It is a good option if you live in a snowy or a windy area or if your winters are especially hard as it can withstand high winds up to 2400Pa and snow loads up to 5400Pa. It also performs well in low light conditions.
If you do end up buying this solar panel, the moment you lay your eyes on it, you will know without a doubt that it is made of good quality material. The panel is expertly made and it can safely be said that there is at least a 90% energy conversion when using the solar panel.

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel
HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel

This HQST solar panel is the monocrystalline equivalent to the polycrystalline one we just talked about. You might also like to know that it is a flexible solar panel which means that you can install it on basically any surface. There are predrilled holes on the panels so that mounting them is a piece of cake. And what’s more, they can be affixed to a surface using anything such as Velcro, zip ties, grommets or even adhesive, which means that it is perfect for a rental home or anyplace where structural changes are difficult. They are also great to installed in motorhomes, boats and yachts and campers and can be later removed into storage once you return home from your trip.
The 100W version of this HQST monocrystalline flexible solar panel. The 50W version which is a perfect choice for smaller applications such as topping up batteries.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit

Renogy has made themselves quite a name when it comes to solar energy and this it is no surprise that we have another one of theirs in our list. This particular one is also a monocrystalline solar panel which comes as part of a bundle and can currently be bought from Amazon. Because this one features negative grounding, you don’t have to worry about safety anymore and can be used safely even in an RV. It can also be extended up to 400W with the addition of other panels.
This solar bundle kit includes one monocrystalline solar panel, 9 inch MC4 adapter kit, a 30A PWM charge controller. However, if you want to install the charge controller away from the solar panel you might need to purchase extra cables separately. If you are looking for an off-grid solar kit, this is the one to start with.

WindyNation 100 Watt 100W Solar Panel for 12 Volt Battery

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel
WindyNation 100 Watt 100W Solar Panel for 12 Volt Battery

Here’s another gem by the manufacturers of our runner-up pick, Windy Nation. This is a polycrystalline solar panel. It can be guaranteed that this solar panel works extremely well, even in the winter sun and can withstand heavy snowfalls and high winds as well. Windy Nation is also known to have great customer service and if you have any queries they usually resolve them rather promptly.

Grape Solar GS-S-160-Fab8 Monocrystalline PV Panel

Grape Solar GS-S-160-Fab8 Monocrystalline PV Panel
Grape Solar GS-S-160-Fab8 Monocrystalline PV Panel

This monocrystalline solar panel by Grape is a 160W one of which the current price on Amazon is 229.99. It works for both on-grid and off-grid solar power stations. It also comes to you with all the MC4 connectors you need.
It should also be noted that this solar panel has been made for the 12V system. You will find that you can keep your batteries topped up even on days with low sunlight with this very efficient and reliable solar panel. The manufacturer also provides great customer service and is very knowledgeable that if you have questions pertaining to your unique situation, they will listen to you and suggest a solution.

Aleko SP20W12V Solar Panel Monocrystalline 20W

ALEKO SP20W12V Solar Panel Monocrystalline 20W
Aleko SP20W12V Solar Panel Monocrystalline 20W

The Aleko SP20W12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a great one for smaller applications as it only provides you with a wattage of 20W under 12V output voltage. It, however, comes with an operating voltage of 175V, an open circuit voltage of 220V, and an operating current of 114A. Lots of customers have used this solar panels for applications such as operating an automatic gate opener, powering small fans for a limited amount of time or powering a small cooler. The price of the Aleko SP20W12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel reflects its smaller size and limited usability.

In Conclusion

Maybe you are thinking it is the time you went completely off the grid when it comes to electricity. Maybe you want to lessen the burden on your wallet at least a little. Maybe you want to reduce your environmental footprint and help restore nature to its balance. Whatever the reason maybe, many people are now turning to alternative and sustainable power sources for energy. And there is no other power source more sustainable and non-depletable than sunlight. Sunlight is the best kind of renewable energy there is. Letting all the sunlight which falls on us go to waste seems very futile and now with the help of science and innovation, we can easily harvest sunlight for daily use in our homes.

Thus, if you have decided to take the leap and install solar panels to harvest sunlight, one solar panel which stands above others is our top pick, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel. It gives you great power output and is extremely easy to be linked to other Renogy solar panels if you decide to enlarge your solar grid. Practically everyone who installed this solar panel ended up being happy customers and only had great things to say about it. We also know for a fact that it is a great solar panel to install even in part sun and in snowy climes.
Help ease the burden on nature. Take a step in the right direction in helping mother nature bounce back from all our energy leaching. Invest in solar energy harvesting.

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