The 45 watt solar panel is like the tween of the solar power world. It’s past the 15 watt toddler stage but it hasn’t yet reached the adolescent level of the larger panels. Despite being on the small side, however, a 45 watt panel has a lot to offer and deserves a closer look.
We’re going to do just that and answer the following questions:
- How much power does one of these panels produce?
- What can a 45 watt solar panel run?
- What types of these panels are there?
- How much does a 45 watt panel cost?
By then you should know if one of these panels is the right choice for you. First, however, let’s find out where a 45 Watt solar module fits into the grand scheme of things as far as solar panel sizes are concerned.
Is A 45 Watt Panel A Good Fit?
Although a 45 Watt panel is on the smaller side, it is not the smallest panel available by a long shot. In fact, a 45 watt panel offers 45 times more power than a 1 watt maintainer panel!
On the large side of the spectrum, many solar companies offer 450 watt panels that can help power your home. This is 10 times the power of a 45 watt panel! So our 45 watt friend definitely isn’t in the ‘large panel’ category.
A 45 watt panel is not the smallest panel around and it is certainly not the biggest. If we had to categorize this panel, we would say it is in the middle of the ‘small panel’ category. Now let’s look at some things you should consider when choosing a solar panel size.
Choosing a Solar Panel Size
The amount of solar panel wattage that is right for you will depend on different factors. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Knowing how much power you need is half the battle. For instance, a 300 Watt panel is too much panel for charging an iPhone but could be perfect as part of a system powering your whole home.
- Will you be taking your solar panel on camping trips and hikes? This will determine if you need a flexible or folding panel that can be put in a backpack.
- Thankfully solar panels are much cheaper than they used to be. Cost is still a consideration, however, and there is still quite a range.
Now let’s take a look at how much power we can expect from a 45 watt panel.
How Much Power Will a 45 Watt Panel Provide?
Knowing how much power your 45 watt solar panel will produce will help you determine how long it will take to charge your devices and batteries. Be aware, however, that solar panel results will vary depending on the following factors:
- Intensity of sunlight
- Charge controller quality
- Solar panel efficiency
- Battery age and type
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s figure out what kind of power you should expect from your solar panel. To do this we need to do some math (we’ll keep it simple!).
To figure out how much electric current a 45 watt panel will produce, we simply divide the power (watts) by the voltage (volts). This will vary slightly for different 45 watt solar panels due to different ratings for maximum power output (Pmax) and voltage at maximum power (Vmp). A good rule of thumb is that your 45W panel should provide about 2.5 amps of current in full sunlight.
Then we need to determine the number of ‘amp hours’ (Ah) that are in our battery or device. For instance, an iPhone 13 Pro has a battery capacity of about 3 amp hours.
Now we just divide the amp hours in the battery by the amps our solar panel produces:
3 amp hours = 1.2 hours
So, without taking into account all of the factors we mentioned above, it will take a little over an hour to fully charge your iPhone with a 45 watt solar panel. This calculation should also allow you to get an approximate charging time for other gadgets and power banks.
What Will A 45 Watt Solar Panel Run?
Now that we know what kind of power we can expect from a 45 watt panel, let’s take a look at some of the uses for this panel:
- Off-grid charging for small to medium capacity batteries
- Remote power for laptops, satellite phones, cell phones, and GPS units
- Marine solar panel to keep a boat battery charged
- Emergency communication system power
- RV battery charger
- Shed power for lights and lawn mower batteries
Just don’t forget this solar power truth: A solar panel itself will only provide you with power when the sun is shining! This is why we recommend pairing your solar panel with a charge controller and a 12 volt battery. Your panel will charge the battery and you can use the battery to charge your devices (even when the sun isn’t shining!).
Now we’ll take a quick look at the different kind of 45 watt panels that are available.
Types of 45 Watt Solar Panels
If you’ve decided that a 45 watt panel is right for you, here are a couple of options you will have:
- Rigid vs Roll-Up vs Folding
- Amorphous Panel vs Crystalline
- Monocrystalline solar panels offer the highest efficiency available
- Polycrystalline panels are less efficient but are also usually less expensive
- Amorphous solar panels are thin-film panels that are lightweight and operate effectively in all daylight conditions (even on cloudy days)
How Much Does A 45 Watt Solar Panel Cost?
The following options will give you a general idea of the prices you can expect for a 45 watt panel (these prices are subject to change):
- The Solarland SLP045-12 45 Watt Solar Panel is a rigid solar panel that retails for $137.03. This panel is ideal for battery systems and keeping backup communications systems charged in remote locations.
- The Arc 45W Solar Panel from Voltaic Systems is available for $199.00. This folding panel is designed to keep laptops and other devices charged. It is designed for portable use.
- The 45W Semi Flexible ETFE Solar Panel is now selling for $140.00. This flexible panel is another great lightweight option that is designed for portable applications.
This information should give you a good idea of what you can expect from a 45 Watt solar panel. If you want to learn about other solar panel sizes, check out the following pages: