How much power does a 100 watt solar panel produce?

A solar panel rated 100 watt/12V  on average only produces about 70-80 Watts (70-80%) of its rated power during daily use.

This is because the rated power is generated under specific conditions of lighting and temperature found in the testing centers but is unlikely to be found consistently at the places of installation.

To make up for this shortfall in actual power produced, solar panels are oversized.

For example, if your appliances need 100W of power, plan for about 100/0.7 = 142W of solar panels to guarantee it.

The amount of energy produced by the panel during the day depends on the daily number of sunshine hours received by the panel.

Is a 100-watt solar panel 100 watts per hour?

No. 100-watt solar panel is the peak power that the panel can generate in an instant. This is the measure of power.

Over a period of 1 hour, the solar panel would generate 100W x 1 hour = 100wh of energy.

Energy produced by a 100W solar panel

A 100W solar panel produces about 100Wh of energy in an hour. The daily energy produced by this panel is 400 Wh calculated from:

the energy produced in an hour x the assumed 4 number of sunshine hours for the location.

Amps produced by a 100W solar panel

A typical 100W/12V solar panel produces a peak voltage of 17.1V and a current of 6.1A.

A 100W/12V solar panel has an area of about 800-1,000 sq inches depending on the solar cell efficiency.

The size of a 100W solar panel

The actual size of the 100W solar panel depends on factors like solar cell efficiency, materials used for manufacture.  

For example, a solar panel with 21% efficient solar cells is smaller in footprint compared to that with 17% efficiency.

Examples of 100W/12V 60 cell solar panel sizes on the market are:

  • 36.1 x 26.5 x 1.3/956
  • 42.2 X 19.6 X 1.38 in and many others.

But don’t take my word for it, check with the manufacturer first for the actual dimensions of the solar panel you plan to use before buying.

What appliances can you power a 100W solar panel with

A 100W solar panel can be used to charge a battery bank to provide power for a laptop, LED lighting, cell phones, light electronics like a radio but is probably too small to power a refrigerator and desktop computer.

The solar panel should be used to charge a battery bank and appliances connected to the battery bank using an inverter or a converter to:

  • Provide safe and stable power for the appliance(s) unlike the power straight from the solar panels that varies with light intensity and temperature.
  • Provide backup power to the appliances during the night when there is no sun.

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