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Best Solar Panels Reviews in 2017

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Best Solar Panels Reviews in 2017 September 13, 2017
Best Solar Panels Reviews in 2017
  • Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • Maximum power (Pmax): 100W
  • Dimensions: 47 X 21.3 X 1.4 In
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs
  • HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
  • Maximum power (Pmax): 100W
  • Dimensions: 39.7 X 26.7 X 1.4 In
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs
  • HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Off-Grid Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller
  • Maximum power (Pmax): 100W
  • Dimensions Unfolded (l x h x w): 40.0 x 27.3 x 1.5 in
  • Weight: 21.75 lbs
  • Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100 W RV Marine
  • Maximum power (Pmax): 100W
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 27.8 x 41.5 inches
  • Weight 19.7 lbs

Solar Panel Comparisons? How to choose and compare solar panels?

To compare solar panels or to even just evaluate a single solar panel, you need information about the solar panel. What does it do? How is it built? What quality can you expect? What charging capacity you can expect? What maintenance will you have to do? Will you have to spend extra to set it up? All of these factors and many other buying points are discussed, in detail below.

Build quality

The first and foremost feature that you have to look for when buying solar panels is build quality. Remember that a solar panel needs time to pay off as an investment. It won’t be any good if the panel malfunctions and is to be replaced in the near future, ruining your investment plans.

So, when buying a solar panel, the first thing you must look at it is the features that talk about its build quality. As a bare minimum, a solar panel should be wind resistant, snow resistant, hail resistant and water resistant. Do not buy any solar panel that doesn’t provide these basic protection features.

Wind and snow resistance are usually measures in Pascal. If you see a solar panel with a 5,400 Pa snow rating, it means that the panel can withstand the pressure of 2,000 lbs. on top of it. This is the bare minimum rating that solar panels need, to be sold to consumers. The higher the pascal rating, the more durable and resistant the solar panel is. If there was only one factor you had to assess in solar panels rating sites that you see online, it would be build quality and resistance measured in Pascal.

Resistance to water is also an important feature. If the area you live in experiences rain or snow, your panels are going to take quite a beating from water and they need to be resistant. Look for panels that come with an IP65 rating, a high standard when it comes to water resistance.

The best solar panels will also use low-iron tempered glass, to ensure longevity of the panels. Please look for this feature specifically and you will be rewarded with a panel that lasts for decades.

Another feature that you must look for is a sealed junction box. There are some solar panel companies that make amazing solar panels, but leave the junction box woefully exposed to the elements, causing many connection issues that ruin the whole setup’s purpose.

Lastly, when it comes to high quality solar panels, they must be made out of high-grade aluminum that will withstand corrosion.

Energy efficiency – The best solar panels are very energy efficient

Solar panels need to be extremely energy efficient. In case you did not know already, the process of converting solar energy into usable electricity is a largely inefficient process. This is a downside that is addressed with high quality solar panels that minimize inefficiency when it comes to conversion.

As a minimum, a solar panel should be anti-reflective and highly transparent. Panels that are not reflective and very transparent will be able to absorb the most amount of sunlight, making the most of the sunshine they capture.

Power Output warranty and material and workmanship warranty

This is another very important aspect that you must analyze, especially if you are trying to buy the best solar panels for home. The best solar panels will come with a 25 year power output warranty and a 5 year build and workmanship warranty.

Sometimes, the 25 year power output warranty will be further broken down into more specific terms. For example, a panel manufacturer might say that they will give you a 5 year warranty at 95% efficiency, another 10 years at 90% efficiency and the last 10 years at 80% efficiency. This is only an example. If you make some solar panel comparisons, you will notice that this can vary from brand to brand, with some being more generous or conservative than the others.

Never buy solar panels that do not come with the minimum warranty mentioned above but. It also helps to buy from a company that has been around for a while. After all, what good would it be to buy a panel with a warranty that you can’t use, when the company has disappeared after 20 years!?

ImageProduct nameStarsAmazon offerRead review
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel★★★★★
HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel★★★★★
HQST 100 Watt 12Volt Off Grid Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller★★★★★
Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V High Efficiency Module Rv Marine Boat Off Grid★★★★★

The best solar panels are very easy to install

It is a must that you buy solar panels that come with pre-drilled holes in them. The last thing you want to be doing is drilling into the panel to secure it on a surface, potentially cracking and damaging the whole panel, rendering all your plans useless.

The most popular solar panels for home use will come with pre-drilled holes that will allow you to mount it using multiple techniques, including a Z-bracket, tilted mounts and even pole mounts.

Voltage compatibility and Watt Hours per Day

Most solar panels can be used to charge 12 volt batteries. If you want to charge 24, 48 or higher voltage batteries, you will have to use additional panels and a minor add on connections to upgrade it to higher capacities.

You must also look at the maximum watt hours that a panel can provide. The benchmark for the best-selling solar panels is a maximum watt hours per day of 500 WH.

Other features

Other features you must consider when carrying out a comparison of solar panels is to see what sort of connectors they use. MC 4 connectors are the best, giving you out of the box connectivity with your grid. You must also look for some other details like cable length, whether or not the solar panel has pre-installed diodes and so on, as overlooking such buying factors can provide pesky little problems. Such problems can usually be overcome, but can also be certainly avoided if you buy the best solar panels for home.

Solar Panel Reviews – 4 Best Solar Panels Available at Amazon!

 

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

  • Maximum Power: 100 Watts
  • Maximum System Voltage: 600 V
  • Connectors: MC4
  • Power Output Warranty: 5 Years 95%, 10 years 90% and last 10 years at 80%
  • Material and Workmanship Warranty: 5 Years
  • Footprint: 47-1/16″ X 21-5/16″ x 1-7/8″

With almost a 5 star rating after 700+ reviews, this Renogy 100 watts solar panel is a go-to product for the DIY solar project enthusiast. At a very competitive price, you receive a very high quality solar panel that will charge your 12 volt battery setup.

It features pre-installed diodes and very generous 31 inch cables and easy MC 4 connectors, allowing you to set up these popular solar panels in minutes.

Wind resistance comes in at 2,400 Pa and snow resistance comes in at 5,400 Pa. This will ensure that you panels survives nature’s elements for many, many years. In fact, it should ideally and easily last you about 3 decades!

The panel is made with monocrystalline cells which allow the panel to squeeze in the most number of energy converting cells into a constrained space. The frame is made out of high quality rust-proof aluminum. With an IP-65 rating that will protect against rain, melting snow and other water exposure like garden hose sprays, this is a panel built to last.

Read more: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel Review



Reviewers Rating
Design
Functionality
Affordability

 



Reviewers Rating
Design
Functionality
Affordability

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel. One of the best solar panels for home

  • Maximum Power: 100 Watts
  • Maximum System Voltage: 600 V
  • Connectors: MC4
  • Power Output Warranty: 25 Years
  • Material and Workmanship Warranty: 5 Years
  • Footprint: 39.7 X 26.7 X 1.4 In

This is another very popular and cheap best solar panels for the home or for small DIY projects. The junction box is nicely sealed away and comes with an IP 65 water resistant rating that can protect the box against even low pressure water jets.

Wind resistance comes in at 2,400 Pa and snow resistance comes in at 5,400 Pa. it uses anti-reflective, low iron tempered glass and high transparency panels for maximum energy capture and durability.

Conveniently located pre-drilled holes allow for Z-bracket mounting, pole mounts or even tilt based mounts. This solar panel features a special engineering benefit in the sense that they have bypass diodes that are capable of reducing loss of energy efficiency when the panel comes under shade or less than ideal sunlight.

Read more: HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel Review

 

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Off-Grid Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller

  • Maximum Power: 100 Watts
  • Maximum System Voltage: 600 V
  • Connectors: N/A
  • Power Output Warranty: Not known
  • Material and Workmanship Warranty: Not known
  • Footprint: 40.0 x 27.3 x 1.5 in Unfolded
  • Footprint: 20.0 x 27.3 x 3.1 in Folded

If you are reading through solar panel reviews looking for foldable or portable solar panels, it is not going to get a lot better than the HQST portable and foldable solar suitcase. This portable and foldable panel also comes with a HQST 20A PWM controller and 10 feet of wiring, adding to the value of the product.

What’s special about these panels is that it comes with a sensor that tracks temperature, to then use temperature readings to provide a more efficient temperature influenced charging process, leading to faster and more efficient charging. This is a particularly important feature if you live in a location with dramatic temperature changes during the day. People usually buy an additional accessory to account for wild temperature changes that will affect charging efficiency but this panel comes with that feature in built, saving you a few bucks on an upgrade.

The accompanying 20 A controller can be used with both 12 Volt and 24 Volt battery setups. The LCD display is easy to read and well laid out, in terms of the information statistics it provides.

This is a fantastic panel to buy if you are going to use it on the move. For example, you can use it on the top of your RV while you drive to your destination and you can remove it and use it at your camp site, once you have found a place to camp. Since the suitcase almost folds into half, carrying it around is never an issue. It is also fairly light!

Read more: HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Off-Grid Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller Review



Reviewers Rating
Design
Functionality
Affordability

 



Reviewers Rating
Design
Functionality
Affordability

Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100 W RV Marine. Best solar panels for RV and marine use

  • B00L6LZRXM
  • Maximum Power: 100 Watts
  • Maximum System Voltage: 600 V
  • Connectors: MC 4
  • Power Output Warranty: 25 Year (Transferable)
  • Material and Workmanship Warranty: N/A
  • Footprint: 41.8 x 1.2 x 26.6 inches

This is one of the best solar panels for light RV or marine use. It is very cost effective and great for gadgets or electrical items that don’t need a lot of power, but are difficult to charge when out travelling or camping.

The panels come with pre-installed diodes and very generous 3 feet cables with MC 4 connectors. They also come in 2 piece options, should you need more power.

Read more: Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100 W RV Marine Review

Summary

So, there you have it. A quick round up on how to buy the best solar panels and the best solar panel reviews in 2017. You can’t go wrong buying any of the products briefly reviewed above. If the suggested products don’t match your needs, we highly recommend that you still read through the buying tips to know what sort of solar panel you must buy, if you want it to serve you well and for very long.
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