A 100 Watt Solar Panel: How Much Does It Cost, And What Will It Do?

Can a 100 watt solar panel help you tap into the benefits of solar power?

I’m not sure, I don’t know anything about you.

So why don’t I tell you about how much these panels cost and what kind of power they produce and you can decide for yourself if a 100 Watt solar module will suit your needs?

Before we get to those details, however, let’s take a look at where a 100W solar panel fits into the grand scheme of things in the solar panel family (we might also learn a little more about solar panels in the process).

100 watt solar panel

At the small end of the solar spectrum we have solar panels that produce under 2 Watts of power. One of these small solar panels is the SolarFlat 1.8 by Brunton. It is ideal for trickle charging a car battery and it will set you back about thirty bucks.

As we move further up the size scale, we find other affordable solar power options that come in the 5 to 30 Watt range.

These small to medium size panels come in the rigid variety as well as in foldable and rollable form (These portable panels are great for keeping your iPhone charged when you’re on a camping trip or hike).

Solar panels of 5 to 30 Watts are also great for use with electric fences, gate openers, laptops, and other electronic gadgets.

We’ll get to the 100 Watt solar panel information in a second, but first let’s take a look at the larger panels that fall in the 200 to 300 Watt range.

A rooftop solar installation usually consists of modules that are larger than a 100 Watt solar panel. In fact, the average wattage of a solar panel from one of the top ten solar panel companies is about double that of a 100 Watt module.

So the average solar panel wattage is about 200 Watts, but just how big can these panels get?

SunPower has produced a high efficiency solar panel that pumps out 315 Watts of juice. Schuco has a much less efficient amorphous silicon panel that boasts a power rating of 350 Watts. So it appears that some solar manufacturers definitely believe that bigger is better.

Now that we know the range of solar panel sizes available, let’s get back to our old friend the 100 Watt solar panel.

First off, how much does one of these solar panels cost?

As with most issues involving solar power cost, there is not a cut and dried answer. On top of that, there is an incredible range in prices for 100 Watt solar panels.

How incredible?

After a little internet research into the prices of various 100 Watt modules I found that the low end of the scale was $169.00 for the DuPont Apollo A2 Series and the high end of the scale was $1099.00 for the ICP Sunsei SE6000 (The SE6000 comes with connecting wires and mounting hardware, but that’s still quite a difference).

In between these two extremes were many other offerings, including the UL Solar STP100P-TS at $259.99, the Grape Solar GS-S-100-TS at $399.00, The Sunshine Solar 100 Watt panel at $455.00, and the Judy Solar 100 Watt panel at $575.

The difference in cost can be the result of numerous factors. One of these factors is solar panel efficiency. A monocrystalline solar panel is usually more efficient than a polycrystalline or thin film solar module and it also usually costs more.

Whether the efficiency of solar panels is a good reason to spend additional money depends on whether space is at a premium. More efficient panels can produce the same amount of power as less efficient panels while taking up a smaller amount of space.

If you’re interested in buying a 100 Watt module as part of a plug ‘n’ play solar kit with mounting hardware, wiring, connectors and charge controller, the price will be a little higher.

Now that you have an idea of how much a 100 watt solar panel costs, let’s take a look at what kind of work these panels can do.

The first thing to understand is that the amount of power your solar panel produces depends on how much sun it gets. If your area gets an average of 5 hours of direct sunlight, then your 100 Watt solar panel should produce 500 Watts of power per day.

This could power a 50 Watt laptop computer for 10 hours or a 15 Watt compact fluorescent lamp for over 33 hours. It could power a 100 Watt 42 inch LCD television for 5 hours or a 1000 Watt furnace fan for half an hour.

A 100 Watt solar module can also be a great way to charge a 12 volt battery, and some 100 Watt kits are designed specifically for this purpose.

That should get you started in your quest for a 100 Watt solar panel and hopefully before too long you’ll might be adding some more panels to your system.