Thanks to the advancements in solar power technology in recent years, solar systems have become much more affordable and accessible, and the industry is booming. One of the most common brands you’ll see offering solar panels and kits is Renogy solar.
In this Renogy Solar review, we’ll take a closer look at the brand, discuss what to look for when buying their products, and review some of their best solar kits.
The best 100-watt Renogy solar panel kits
Renogy solar panels are available in a range of sizes, sets, as well as kits. These include complete kits that contain everything you need to set up your solar system, except a battery.
Although you could run a solar system without a battery and simply draw power directly from the panel when the sun is shining, a battery will allow you to get the most out of the sun’s energy: learn more about batteries in this post on solar battery basics.
Here are some of the best options containing 100-watt solar panels, ranging from 100-watt to 800-watt output, and a mix of stand-alone panels as well as partial and complete kits.
1. Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel
This 100-watt solar panel from Renogy Solar is ideal for a range of off-grid uses, such as on campers, boats or RVs. Providing 100 watts of power, you could use this panel on its own if you have relatively modest needs, or use it to expand your existing setup.
The monocrystalline panel is made from advanced encapsulation material for high energy efficiency. This is great because you’ll get the maximum amount of power for the minimum footprint, so you won’t need to sacrifice too much roof space.
The power supply is regulated with built-in bypass diodes, so you won’t suffer power drops when the panel moves into the shade by bypassing the underperforming cells and allowing the solar panel to continue working. This is especially useful for RVs and boats, as these moving vehicles may often suddenly pass into shade, such as when you drive under a tree or a bridge.
The single solar panel is sold on its own, but comes with simple connections, making it easy to install and connect to your charge controller and battery (note you’ll need to buy these separately).
The panel comes with pre-drilled holes for mounting, securing, and grounding, and is compatible with Z-brackets, pole mounts, and tilt mounts, though you’ll also need to buy the mounting accessories separately.
This makes this panel suitable for beginners, so you’ll be able to install it yourself, even if you don’t have any experience, as long as you have the correct equipment.
2. Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel (Compact Design)
This panel is very similar to the first Renogy solar panel on this list: it also gives up to 100 watts output, is made from highly efficient monocrystalline PV cells, and has built-in bypass diodes to avoid overheating and maximize output in partial shading.
Both panels also have a robust, corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, so will stand up to all kinds of weather, which is great because you can use the panel on your boat, RV, or camper for years or even decades without needing to replace it.
The key difference is the compact design: this panel is available in two sizes, 42.4 x 20 x 1.4 inches and 41.8 x 20.9 x 1.4 inches. This gives you maximum flexibility to choose the size that will best fit the space you have, so is perfect for tight spots such as boat and camper roofs.
Other than the size, the panels’ performance and specifications are identical.
One panel will produce 400-500 Watt-hours or 33-41 Amp-hours, depending on the amount of sun. This is generally sufficient to power a small 12-volt fridge and to charge one or two devices. It’s also more than enough to use as a backup power source for your vehicle or boat battery.
3. Renogy 2-Pack 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels & Solar Panel Connector Assembly Tool
This kit contains two 100-watt compact Renogy solar panels, each measuring 42.2 x 19.5 x 1.4 inches. Combined, the two panels offer 200 watts of power, giving you plenty of power to charge your appliances or devices as well as providing backup power for your vehicle engine.
This makes this set ideal for anyone who wants to go off-grid for extended periods or travel in remote areas, as you can be confident you’ll always have power when needed and in emergency situations.
The advantage of buying two 100-watt panels rather than a single, larger-output panel is that you have more flexibility to fit the panels to the space available. You can also spread the weight across the roof of your RV or boat.
This is useful because many vehicles can only support a certain amount of weight on each panel, and may only allow you to drill into the roof at certain points without compromising the structural integrity.
This kit includes two monocrystalline solar panels and a Renogy solar panel connector assembly tool, specifically designed for custom solar panel wires.
This not only makes it easy to install the panels, but also break connections, which is great when you need to replace your panels or move them to another location.
4. Renogy 300 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit
This complete Renogy kit contains three monocrystalline Renogy solar panels with a combined maximum output of 300 watts, a 30A PWM LCD charge controller, adaptor kit, and all the connectors, cables, mounting brackets, and housing you’ll need to install the system.
With three 100-watt panels, this kit offers the same flexibility as the 200-watt set above with even more power. This makes it suitable for a range of uses, such as powering all the appliances in larger RVs, maintaining boat batteries, or off-grid structures such as campsites.
Being a complete kit, it’s excellent for anyone who wants to set up a completely new solar system. As all equipment is from Renogy, you can be confident that each component is well-made, durable, and compatible with the rest of the system.
5. Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ MPPT Charge Controller
This is another complete kit, this time with four 100-watt Renogy solar panels, delivering up to 1600Wh of output for power-hungry RVs, boats, and off-grid structures. Like the kit above, it also comes with a charge controller, adaptor kit, cables, connectors, and four sets of Z-mounting brackets, so you’ll have everything you need to set up your system (except for the battery).
The kit is compatible with lithium, lead-acid, or gel batteries, making it suitable for a range of setups. This is handy if you already have a battery that you want to use with your solar system, or have a particular preference.
Other than the additional panel to deliver 100 extra watts of output, the main difference to the 300-watt kit is the charge controller. This set comes with a 40-amp MPPT solar charge controller to handle the high power output, ensure optimum energy conversion, and protect the battery from discharge, short circuit, overcharge, or overvoltage.
The panels are made of high-efficient monocrystalline PV cells, are highly robust, and is easy to install, like the other products on this list, making this versatile kit ideal for a range of outdoor and off-grid uses.
6. Renogy 800W 12V/24V Monocrystalline Solar Premium Kit
This mammoth Renogy solar kit comes with eight 100-watt monocrystalline panels, making it a good choice for anyone who needs a lot of power. Depending on your power needs, you could use this set to power an off-grid cabin, run a large RV set-up, or maintain a large boat battery, as well as onboard appliances.
Of course, you’ll need enough space to mount eight solar panels, each measuring 41.8 x 20.9 x 1.4 inches, so it’s best suited to large rigs, larger boats, or permanent structures with weight-bearing roofs.
This complete kit includes eight 100-watt solar panels, a Rover60 charge controller, BT1 Bluetooth module, eight sets of Z-mounting brackets, solar branch connectors, cables, and two different types of fuses.
The powerful charge controller is rated for 60 amps of charging current to safeguard your system and the battery. Another feature that sets this kit apart is the Bluetooth module, which you can use to control the solar system from your phone from up to 82 feet away, making it easy to monitor your power usage.
This is very handy for troubleshooting any issues, as well as making sure you don’t discharge the battery too deeply, which can permanently damage the equipment and severely reduce its capacity.
Renogy solar buying guide
Now we’ve reviewed the best Renogy solar kits with 100-watt panels, let’s take a closer look at the brand, and what you need to know before buying their products.
Is Renogy solar any good?
Renogy is a reputable brand that offers well-made, robust and efficient solar panels with a number of features that you’ll struggle to find in cheaper models. Their charge controllers, adapters, and other solar equipment are also high-quality, with a range of products covering different amp rates, connections, and uses.
What we like:
- High solar cell efficiency: their monocrystalline PV cells boast 22% efficiency, and the polycrystalline 18%, higher than most solar panels available today, meaning you’ll get maximum power output for the footprint.
- Durable: Renogy solar panels come with multi-layered laminate coating and corrosion-resistant aluminum frames and can withstand winds up to 2400PA and snow loads of up to 5400PA, which is great because you can use them outdoors and they’ll last for years, even in extreme conditions.
- No hot spots: The panels are guaranteed tested for no hot-spotting, which avoids overheating and extends the life of the panels, meaning they’ll perform better for longer.
- Perform well in low light: The built-in bypass diodes in Renogy solar panels automatically skip underperforming cells, allowing the panel to deliver the maximum amount of power in partial shade, which is great for RVs, boats, and permanent structures that are exposed for part of the day.
- Easy installation: Their panels come with pre-drilled holes on the back to allow for secure and quick mounting. Many of the kits come with all the accessories you’ll need for installation – great for beginners who may not have installed a solar system before.
- Excellent warranty: Renogy offers a five to 10-year material and workmanship warranty, depending on the product, so you can be confident that their products are built to last and you’ll be compensated in the unlikely event that you do have any issues.
What we don’t like:
- Low power output: Although Renogy offers a range of solar panels in different sizes, many of their solar panel kits come with 100-watt panels, meaning you’ll need a larger kit to meet typical power use in a large RV, boat, or cabin, and are not generally sufficient for household use.
- Not all kits are complete: Many of the starter kits don’t include everything you need to set up your solar system, so it’s important to check this and consider the additional costs involved.
Although not really designed to power an entire home, Renogy’s solar kits are an excellent mid-range choice for RVs, boats, and other off-grid uses. These are not premium products, nor are they the cheapest panels and solar equipment you’ll find on the market, but they offer a solid level of quality and an excellent number of features for the price.
Is a Renogy kit sufficient to power my home?
Most Renogy solar kits are designed for RVs, boats, camping, or small off-grid structures like cabins. Unless you have a tiny home, you’re unlikely to be able to completely meet your household energy needs with even the largest Renogy kit.
However, being comprehensive and easy to install, you could invest in a Renogy kit as an introduction to solar power, to complement the electricity your house uses from the grid. You could also use a Renogy kit to power dedicated devices or a section of your home, such as an outdoor area or deck.
However, the number of solar panels and power output your home needs can vary greatly depending on your needs, consumption, and how efficient your home is.
To learn about how to calculate your power needs and work out how many solar panels you need, take a look at our guide to solar panel energy output.
What to look for when buying a Renogy solar kit
Renogy offers a wide range of solar kits, with the main differentiators being the wattage (power output) and what is included with the kit.
If you’re trying to decide which kit is right for you, you first need to determine how much power you’ll need. If you only want backup power for your vehicle battery, or to charge a couple of devices, one or two 100-watt solar panels should suffice.
However, if you want to be able to power a number of different appliances or run your boat battery on solar, you’ll likely need between 400 and 800 watts of solar panels.
It’s also important to consider how much space you have available that is suitable to install solar panels. There’s no point buying a kit with three, four, or eight panels if your RV, boat, or cabin doesn’t have enough spots that can accommodate and take the weight of these panels.
Finally, be sure to check what is included in the kit: some kits come with the solar panels only, or a limited number of accessories, while others include everything you need to set your system, such as a charge controller, adaptor kit, connectors, cables, and mounting brackets.
It’s important to factor this in, as you may need to buy additional equipment before you can install your solar panels, and this will also affect your budget. Keep in mind that no Renogy kits include batteries, so you’ll always need to buy this separately.
Final thoughts on Renogy Solar review
Renogy is a well-known brand that produces well-made solar panels, and equipment for solar systems, and kits at a relatively affordable price point. This brand’s products are not the most premium option on the market, nor are they the cheapest: rather, they are a solid offering that represents good value for money.
With quality features like built-in bypass diodes and hot spot prevention, as well as multi-layered laminate coating and corrosion-resistant aluminum frames, you can be confident that the panels will perform well for years, if not decades. The manufacturer’s generous warranty also offers peace of mind in case anything does go awry.
These kits come in a diverse range of sizes and range from the panels only to complete kits. When buying a Renogy solar kit, it’s important to consider your power needs, the space you have available to mount your panels, and whether you need the panels only or a complete kit, in order to choose the best option for you.
For more on how to install a solar system in your home, RV, or boat, take a look at our guides to boat solar panels, flexible solar panels, and solar panel wiring.