Renogy is a well-known solar brand among DIY, RV, Boating, and Off-Grid consumers, and Renogy benefits from good branding and consistently made well-performing equipment and solar panels. Renogy also targets applications that need a compact panel, like RVs, boats, etc.; this is one of the most compact panels since it targets these types of mobile users.
This article reviews the popular 100 Watt (Compact Design) solar panel and provides the pros and cons so that you can make a more informed decision.
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Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Snapshot
Renogy’s well-made solar panel is popular among the RV, Boating, and DIY crowd due to its size, weight, and price. Of course, there are pros and cons (read further), but this panel is one of the best for these applications. Renogy makes a solid panel that is durable, efficient, and consistently performs.
- Well constructed with a quality appearance
- Lightweight and compact
- Plenty of mounting holes compared to other comparable panels
- Poor customer service – unresponsive
- No mounting hardware
- Lack of consistency and quality control
Renogy Solar Panel Specifications
- Rated Power: 100W
- Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 22.3V
- Short Circuit Current (Isc): 5.86A
- Working Current (Iop): 5.38A
- Output Tolerance: ±3%
- Temperature Range: -40F to 176F
- Size: 42.4*20.0*1.4inch
- Weight: 14.3lbs
Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel – Competitors
Renogy has several good competitors, and while Renogy has a well-known reputation, these are worth looking at before you make a purchase. Quality is comparable in some cases, and they all have frequent sales of their panels and equipment.
Renogy Solar Panel Review – Materials & Construction
Word of caution, this panel DOES NOT COME WITH MOUNTING HARDWARE. This is a common complaint since they used to provide mounting hardware.
You will only get the panel.
This video provides direction on the basic components you will need. You can also check out the Q&A section below.
Like many other solar panels, Renogy’s frame is made from corrosion-resistant aluminum, and the back of the frame has numerous pre-drilled holes providing options when mounting the panel. The number of holes exceeds those of most of its competitors.
The frame on the renogy panel is one of the most well-constructed in its class. The panel is a high-quality, thick build that withstands hard use and extreme weather. This is especially beneficial to RV or mobile uses and is expected since Renogy has always targeted that market.
The junction box is IP65 rated, making it dust and water-resistant.
Bypass diodes are standard on many solar panels, and Renogy includes them. Many manufacturers will tell you they are used to reduce power drops in shady situations, but this is subjective since other factors, like temperature, location, and time in the shade, also affect the power.
The real benefit of these diodes is that even without a charge controller, your panels should not discharge your batteries.
The 14 AWG cables with the panels are only two feet long, so you will need to purchase additional cables when you purchase the panels. Deciding on the correct length and gauge wire is essential for safety and performance, and this should be part of your planning before purchasing your solar panels.
The cables have IP67-rated waterproof connectors.
The panels use anti-reflective, tempered glass and are impact resistant. Most panels now use this type of glass, but combined with Renogy’s well-made frames, these are some of the most durable panels available.
These panels are made to withstand heavy winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa).
Renogy Solar Panel Review – Performance
Renogy panels are noted for their performance and efficiency; generally, the output can be as high as 75%. You will only get 100% from a fixed solar panel during ideal conditions, which occurs about one hour each day. An efficiency rating in the mid-70s is very good, and Renogy is one of the highest-ranking panels in its category.
Ideally, you should test your panel as soon as you receive it since there are often time limits on the warranty. You can check your panel by getting power readings from a solar charge controller or using a digital multi-meter.
Review this tutorial on measuring the power output of your panels.
Renogy Solar Panel Review – Service & Warranty
Service is where Renogy has fallen short in the past. Although service has improved in recent years, you will see reviews with complaints from customers periodically. There have been reports that customer service is hard to reach, and it can take too long to get a response to inquiries.
Renogy does have a more transparent Returns and Warranty policy than other manufacturers.
Renogy offers a “30-Day No-Hassle Returns” policy on their website, but I don’t know what this means since they offer no additional information. I will give them the benefit and take this literally. I’ve yet to return any equipment.
Unlike many competitors, Renogy offers an easy-to-locate Warranty on their website that is easily downloaded.
The warranty offers standard protection. I’ve listed some highlights for the 100W solar panel.
- 25 Year Power Output – 5/10/25 Years = 95%/85%/80%
- 5 Year Materials and Workmanship
- If the warrantor’s technical team determines “substantial defects,” they will repair or replace them with a new or refurbished PV module.
- You have 30 days to file a claim from the time of receipt for damages or missing parts.
- All purchases over $200 require a signature.
- Original purchasing documentation is required – receipt
- If the panel was purchased from a distributor in the US, and the panel has to be shipped out of the US for repairs, the purchaser is responsible for additional shipping costs.
- Warranty requests must be in writing and include the original invoice and written description of the issue.
- You will be provided an RMA number and must return the panel or part within 15 days of receipt of the RMA number.
Renogy Solar Panel Reminders
- Open your panel(s) as soon as you receive them and make sure they are not damaged and have all parts. You have 30 days to do this.
- NO mounting hardware is included with the Renogy 100W (Compact Design Panel).
Renogy Solar Panel Review – Final Thoughts
Renogy has many competitors, but for the budget-minded or DIY consumer, Renogy’s compact solar panel is one of the most popular panels in its group. This is a solar panel to consider if you are looking for a well-made compact, efficient solar panel.
Time to charge = (Battery Voltage x Battery Ah )/ Solar Panel Watts
Theoretically, if you have a 100 AH battery with the sun shining directly on your panels, it will take (12×100)/100 hrs = 12hrs.
Because the sun is not always directly overhead, and due to other inefficiencies, multiply the result by 2 or 2.5. This means it will take about 24 – 30 hrs of direct sunlight to charge a fully depleted 100Ah battery completely. If we estimate 5 – 6 hours of sunlight in a day, we can expect this solar panel to charge your 100Ah battery in 5 – 6 days. Therefore, you will need 4 of these panels to charge your 100AH battery in one day.
Extension cables, Solar Charge Controller, MC4 Removal Tool, Mounting Hardware – It depends on how you use your panels, but these are the basics. You may also consider an inverter, battery, etc.
These panels have several uses, and their smaller size and weight make them ideal for tight spaces – Off-grid rooftops, Ground-mounted residential, RVs, Trailers, Boats, etc.
This depends on where you live, but I usually say as needed or when anything is blocking the panels from direct sunlight. I clean mine once a year.