What Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Power? (Part 2 of Series)

What Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Power? Well, we have a good estimation guide for you below that should save you a lot of time if you’re trying to figure all this stuff out!

This is Part 2 of our Solar System Estimation Series – you can read Part 1 in ‘How Much Power Does A 100w Solar Panel Produce?‘.

Below we will show you how you can estimate what DC battery, and AC household items a 100 Watt solar panel can power.

We will also give you an idea of how you can calculate individual item loads.

Let’s jump into it…

 

What Can A 100 Watt Solar Panel Power?

To figure out what a 100 watt solar panel can power, you can make the following considerations and calculations:

 

1. Consider and estimate how much power you’ll be using

In part 1 of this series, we estimated that a 100 Watt panel, with 5 hours of direct sunlight available, will produce 400 Watts of power for us per day.

So, we have an estimate of how much daily power we will be producing.

But, now we need to find out how much power we will be using.

To do that, we need to look at each item we are using, and add up to total power load.

 

How to calculate how much power you will be using?

You can find out how much power each item uses in two main ways:

  1. Look on the product label and find the Wattage – that is how many watts the item will use per hour
  2. If you can’t find the Wattage, see if the label states how many amps and volts it is. You can multiply amps by volts to get watts e.g. a 1 Amp, 115 volt item will use roughly 115 Watts an hour

NOTE: if you can’t find this information on the item, visit the manufacturer’s website and find the product details/specifications – they should be available there.

Now, let’s say we have three items we want to run daily – 1 x 50 Watt TV, 1 x 48 Watt Laptop & 1 x 15 Watt LED Light.

50 + 48 + 15 = 113 Watts an hour we will be using for those three items.

Now you need to make an estimation of how long you will run those items per day (you can calculate each item separately or together – we calculated them together to make it simple)

If we say we will run those items together, all for 3 hours a day, we get 113 Watts x 3 hours = 339 Watts total power we will be using per day

 

2. Confirm your solar panel production is enough for your power usage

In part 1 of this series, we estimated that a 100 Watt panel, with 5 hours of direct sunlight available, will produce 400 Watts of power for us per day.

And, we just calculated that we will be using a TV, laptop and LED light 3 hours a day, creating a power load/usage of 339 Watts a day.

400 Watts power production is greater than 339 Watts power usage, so we should be OK.

 

3. Summary

So, that’s what a 100 watt solar panel can power…

  • Figure out the Wattage load per hour each item you want to use or charge will take up
  • Estimate how long you will use those items per day
  • Get a total power usage for all items
  • Confirm the power production of you 100 Watt solar panel is more than your power usage. If not, you’d consider additional 100 Watt panels

 

4. What To Do Next?

To calculate your whole solar system, next you’ll want to know

  • how long and often to charge your 12 volt deep cycle battery to keep your solar system charged

You can find out those things in Part 3 of our Solar System Estimation Series  – How Long To Charge A 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery With A 100 Watt Solar Panel? 

 

A few things to note and be aware of:

  • You can get 12, 24 and 48 volt solar systems. These estimates are based on a 12 volt system, because it’s the cheapest and it’s what a lot of people start with. If your battery bank changes to 24 or 48 volt – you’ll need additional panels, and suitably rated solar controllers and converters.
  • When using solar charge controllers (for DC charging) and/or solar inverters (for AC charging), make sure they are rated for the power and voltage you have running through your system
  • How your solar panels are wired or connected up i.e. whether they are stacked together, and/or if they are connected to individual or combined controllers, inverters and batteries effects charging setup
  • Always consult a professional, and the relevant authorities before installing and using a solar system. These guides are for estimation purposes only.

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