Best Solar Panel Kits - 100 Watts, 200 Watts, 400 Watts Kits
Solar panel kits are great solution for powering hungry electric and electronic devices in various off-the-grid situations like camping, taking fishing trips, or simply when having issues with mains power.
Solar panel kits consists of one or more solar panels, power/charge controller and one or more deep cycle batteries for storing electric energy and are usually combination of solar panel/power (charge) controller/battery or solar panel/power station.
Published: March 23, 2020.
Solar Panel, Power (Charge) Controller, Deep Cycle Battery Kits
Solar panel kits consisting of solar panel, power (charge) controller and deep cycle battery (or batteries) are kits intended for permanent and semi-permanent installations. These kits usually feature one solar panel, but the charge controller has an option to accept more solar panels later, allowing the user to scale up the system, if required.
Deep cycle battery is required for storing the electric energy for later use. If required, more batteries may be added later in order to increase the capacity of the battery bank.
Solar Panel, Power Station Kits
Solar panel kits consisting of solar panel and solar power station are usually portable solar panel installations. Since solar power station consists of charge controller and the battery, total energy stored in these systems is rather limited, unless the power station has an option of using both external and internal battery.
Solar power station simplifies the solar panel kit setup since the solar power station also features various output ports for charging USB units and powering AC devices - almost plug'n'play system.
Here is the list of several very popular solar panel kits with their short reviews.
Note: there are many other kits available on the market, and since most of them can be combined with other components to achieve desired performances, options are practically endless. Also, whatever you do, be sure to read the manual/instructions thoroughly in order to get accustomed to your new gear. And if you are unsure, ask for some professional for help - most of the electronics these days come with the set of safety features, but one never knows.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel is very popular portable solar panel, featuring 100 W peak power, 18V voltage and 5.55 Amps current. Short circuit current is ~6 Amps.
Although the solar panel is not waterproof, it is mechanically rather sturdy and it even bends slightly, before breaking - don't try, of course.
Cell efficiency is ~23% which is very good, allowing the solar panel to be relatively compact, considering the output power.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel features two 5V/2A USB-A outputs (20 watts max) for direct charging of tablets and smartphones.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel is primarily designed for charging Jackery Explorer 160/240/500 power stations.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel may be used for charging other solar power stations and Jackery Explorer 160/240/500 may be charged using other solar panels, but generally it is always better to combine components from the same brand, designed for each other.
Main features of Jackery Explorer 160/240/500 power stations are given in the following chart:
|Model||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500|
|Stored Energy||167 Wh||240 Wh||518 Wh|
|AC (110V) Outlet Max||100 W||200 W||500 W|
|AC Outlet Peak||150 W||400 W||1000 W|
|USB-A Port||5V 2.4A (x2)||5V 2.4A (x2)||5V 2.4A (x3)|
|USB-C Port||5V 3A||-||-|
|DC 12V||7A||10 A||7 A (x2, 120W total)|
|Physical Dimensions||7.4 x 4.59 x 6.73 inches
18.8 x 11.7 x 17.1 cm
|9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches
23 x 13.3 x 20 cm
| 11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches
30.1 x 19.3 x 23.4
|Weight||3.97 pounds (~1.8 kg)||6.6 pounds (~3 kg)||13.32 pounds (~6 kg)|
|Amazon Link||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240||Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500|
Note: Amazon links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 perhaps features too small energy capacity for the Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel, but that is supported combination.
However, if Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 is more than large enough for your needs, instead of Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel, perhaps you should consider smaller and cheaper Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel (Amazon link, link opens in the new window).
Of course, if you already have Jackery SolarSaga 60W solar panel and Jackery Explorer 240 fits your needs, there is no need to purchase larger/stronger solar panel - depending on the location and weather, Jackery SolarSaga 60W can fully charge Jackery Explorer 240 within 6-8 hours.
However, if you need something like Jackery Explorer 500, go for 100W solar panel - in this case, Jackery SolarSaga 100W is recommended model.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kits
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kits come in several versions, consisting of 100W solar panel, mounting kit and charge controller - they require additional deep cycle battery to be purchased.
Main difference among these models are their charge controllers.
Note: all three kits feature negative ground (common negative!)
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer 10A Charger Controller
Kit includes 100 W panel, 10A PWM Wanderer charge controller, a pair of 20 feet 12 AWG adaptor kit, and one set of mounting Z brackets.
Renogy Starter Kit with Wanderer 10A Charge Controller specifications:
- Maximum Power: 100W
- Optimum Operating Voltage (Vmp): 17.8V
- Optimum Operating Current (Imp): 5.62A
- Maximum System Voltage: 600V DC (UL)
- Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc): 22.4V
- Short-Circuit Current (Isc): 5.92A
- Waterproof level: IP65
- Dimensions: 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.38 inches (~107.2 x 49.8 x 3.5 cm)
- Weight: 14.3 lbs (~6.5 kg)
10A PWM Wanderer Charge Controller features two integrated 5V 2A USB charging ports, nominal voltage of 12/24V (auto recognition), and smart 4 stage (Bulk, Boost, Float, Equalization) PWM charger with temperature compensation.
Also, 10A PWM Wanderer Charge Controller features several safety features, including overcharging, overload, short-circuit and reversed polarity.
Recommended deep cycle battery for system like this depends on the system use - some systems may have days of sunlight to charge semi-discharged battery, while other systems may have half a day of sunlight to charge almost fully discharged SLA AGM/Gel battery.
So please, when picking up battery for such charging systems, do your math yourself according to your own needs and assumed system use.
For more about this solar starter kit, feel free to check Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer 10A Charger Controller Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with 20A Rover MPPT Charge Controller
This Renogy solar panel kit consists of Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Renogy Rover 20A Li MPPT Charge Controller, mounting Z brackets and required cables.
Main advantage of MPPT charge controllers over PWM controllers is some 30% better efficiency.
Also, Renogy Rover 20A Li MPPT Charge Controller allows the user to expand system from 100W to 200W (12V) or 400W (24V) and to charge both AGM, Gel and Flooded/Wet lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries.
Renogy Rover 20A Li MPPT Charge Controller features many safety features including protection from overcharging, over-discharging, overload, short circuit, and reverse protection.
Also, it features RS-232 port, which allows the Renogy Rover 20A to communicate with the BT-1 Bluetooth module, supporting the use of Renogy BT smartphone App.
If you are starting with the solar power, and you expects that your need will go beyond one 100W solar panel, consider this or next starter kit - in the future, just add additional solar panels to achieve required solar panel power.
For more about this solar starter kit, feel free to check Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with 20A Rover MPPT Charge Controller Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with 40A Rover MPPT Charge Controller
Renogy 100W solar starter kit with 40A Rover MPPT Charge Controller is very similar to previous model, except that this kit comes with stronger charge controller, also offering high-efficiency, wide temperature range and support for charging both lead-acid and lithium batteries.
40A Rover MPPT Charge Controller allows the user to expand the system up to 400W (12V) or 800W (24V).
Renogy Rover 40A Li MPPT Charge Controller also features many safety features just like 20A model. These safety features include protection from overcharging, over-discharging, overload, short circuit and reverse protection.
It also features RS-232 port, which allows the Renogy Rover 40A to communicate with the BT-1 Bluetooth module, supporting the use of Renogy BT smartphone App.
Renogy 100W solar panel kit with 40A Li MPPT charge controller is model that is often used on the RV vehicles, boats, yachts, off-the-grid systems and similar.
For more about this solar starter kit, feel free to check Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with 40A Rover MPPT Charge Controller Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
WindyNation 100 Watt Complete Off-the-Grid Solar Panel Kit
WindyNation 100 Watt Complete Off-the-Grid Solar Panel Kit offers the user everything one may need for starting with solar power.
This solar panel kit includes:
- 100 Watt WindyNation Solar Panel,
- 30 Amp WindyNation P30L LCD Display Solar Charge Controller with Battery Temperature Sensor,
- 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable,
- all necessary mounting hardware,
- 100 Ah Group 27 AGM Deep Cycle 12 Volt WindyNation BattaMax Battery.
100 watts WindyNation solar panel features maximum power of 100 watts, open circuit voltage of 21.60 volts, short circuit current of 6.32 Amps, maximum power voltage of 17.4 volts and maximum power current of 5.75 Amps.
Solar panel dimensions are 40 x 26.4 x 1.2 inches (~101.5 x 67 x 3 cm) and it weighs 17.6 pounds (~8 kg).
30 Amp WindyNation P30L PWM Solar Charge Controller has user adjustable settings, LCD display that shows system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature and DC load draw and supports up to 4 solar panels in 12V systems (400 watts) and up to 8 solar panels in 24V system (800 watts).
Also, it allows more batteries to be added later.
This is very configurable solar panel kit, intended for RVs, boats, off-the-grid homes, backup systems etc.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check WindyNation 100 Watt Complete Off-the-Grid Solar Panel Kit Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
SUAOKI Foldable 100W Portable Solar Panel/Charger
SUAOKI Foldable 100W Portable Solar Panel/Charger is simple to use solar panel intended for direct charging of most common electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, GPS units, digital cameras etc) and for charging solar power stations - it is compatible with the most solar power stations/generators on the market.
- 100W foldable dual-port solar panel/charger (folds into the easy-to-carry bag),
- DC-to-DC cables,
- DC-to-Anderson cable,
- user manual.
100W solar panel/charge includes 3 different output ports: Quick Charge 3.0 port, DC (18V/5A) and USB port (5V/2A).
SUAOKI Foldable 100W Portable Solar Panel/Charger supports charging of:
- all SUAOKI portable solar power stations/generators,
- Jackery Explorer 160 / 240 Portable Generator,
- Goal Zero Yeti 150 / 400 Power Station,
- Rockpals 250W Portable Generator,
- Webetop Portable Generator,
- ENKEEO 155Wh/222Wh Portable Power Station, etc.
If you have some other solar power station, check its features and verify if it can be charged with SUAOKI's 100W solar panel/charger.
SUAOKI Foldable 100W Portable Solar Panel/Charger is suitable for camping, hiking, fishing trips and in emergencies - it folds within seconds and allows the user to charge/power small electronic devices and/or to charge the the solar power station.
Also, it is possible to connect one or more SUAOKI Foldable 100W Portable Solar Panel/Chargers with external charge controller (PWM or MPPT) and to charge one or more batteries.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check SUAOKI 100W Portable Solar Charger Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Long Story Short: If you are looking for the best solar panel kit, first write down your actual needs and wishes. Also, writing down your budget is a good idea.
Number of solar panel brands, their charge controllers, deep cycle battery manufacturers etc is quite long and many of them offer rather good equipment.
These several examples are some of the most popular solar panel kits in their own categories. If they fit your needs, feel free to consider them - they have been tried and tested by many users and have proved themselves in real life situations.
And whatever you do, read the manuals and stay safe!