About 2 million residents in the United States have gone solar. That’s not to mention the thousands of van lifers and RVers who use solar panels on their moving homes to power their system.
If you’ve been wondering “what can a 100 watt solar panel power,” whether for a recreational vehicle or just a portable one, we have answers for you!
What Is Wattage?
Simply put, a watt is a unit of power. When talking about 100 watts of solar power, that is how much power the solar panel will give to other systems.
For instance, a Keurig uses about 1,500 watts of power at its peak power while an LED lightbulb pulls anywhere from 60 to 150 watts.
A lot of how much wattage an item pulls depends on the amount of time being used as well. But for simplicity purposes, we’ll keep it to watts.
What Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Power?
With reading the above, you may not think that your 100 watt solar panel can power a lot of things, but that’s not true! A lot of the wattage usage has to do with the amount of hours the solar panel is getting in sunlight, how long you are using an appliance, etc.
Here are a few things that a 100 watt solar panel can power:
- LED lightbulbs
- Tablet and phone charging
- Cable box
- Ceiling fan
From there you have to take into account how much wattage each device pulls per hour. Since a laptop pulls about 60 watts/hour, you are good to charge it. However, you only have about 40 watts of power left that hour.
Knowing what you can plug in at the same time versus what should be charged or plugged in at a different time is crucial to not overrun the system.
While the 100 watts can power these items, there is no way that it can power a refrigerator since that runs all day and requires more wattage than just 100 watts. You would need several solar panels for that.
If this seems like it is doable and right for you, you can learn more.
Solar Panel Advice For Going Off-Grid
Living in an RV or campervan completely off-grid most likely will require more than 100 watts of solar power. After reading the above parts of this solar panel guide, you may realize that you want to power more things like a microwave, a Keurig, a blender, or maybe even a blow dryer.
100 watts will give you the most basic of electric items. If you want to go off-grid without worrying, adding more solar panels is your best bet.
Use These Solar Panel Tips
Calculating and figuring out solar power can be a tricky task, but now you have the answer to your question, “what can a 100 watt solar panel power?”
From there, you can determine your solar panel needs, your electric needs, and the amount of time you can and should use each item.
Check out other solar tips on our blog.