Extremely valuable pieces of equipment for camping are the 100 watt solar panels by Renogy! If you haven’t really considered adding a portable solar panel to your camping checklist yet, or you’ve simply been straddling the fence, so to speak, you might want to take a quick look at this well built, quality product by the folks at Renogy.
This “suitcase” solar panel comes complete with the controller, cables (attached to Anderson connectors and large alligator clips) and a sturdy, quality built carrying case. It also comes completely assembled and ready to clip on and begin charging.
Some Great Facts About the Renogy 100 Watt
This year after purchasing this unit we ran our generator an average of 1 hour a day for coffee and curling iron in the mornings around 8 am to 9 am. At our 6th week our routine remained the same averaging between 3 ½ and 4 ½ hours a day of full sunlight.
For the first time we were able to run the lights and stereo as often and as long as we wanted to! Speaking of lights, this season we purchased some LED bulbs to replace many of our standard light bulbs. This decreased the energy we use on running the lights by a minimum of 75%! For more info on some great LED bulbs, just click here!
One of the neatest things about this unit is its capability to charge even in overcast weather or in the shade making it nice if we happened to be fishing when the sun changed, leaving the solar panel in the shade.
The controller also comes with battery backup capability and you can easily purchase the CR 1220 at a Radio Shack or Amazon is a lot cheaper if you want to buy multiple batteries and have a back up or two. I actually didn’t put a battery in ours until just a few days ago while shooting the video for this review.
Setting Up the Renogy 100 Watt
There are a few minimal settings to be made on the controller but the manual can walk you through them fairly easily and you’ll enjoy the ability to unpack this unit and have it connected and functioning in just a few moments.
The first thing that I set up in the controller was the time and date and the second items that I changed from default were the type of batteries attached to our trailer and the amp hours that our batteries produce.
The reason for changing this information is to allow the controller to have a more accurate idea as to the battery(ies) parameters that it’s charging.
The Anderson Connection and More
Renogy does sell accessories for this panel but at last glance still hadn’t included an extension using the Anderson connectors. But, I found the Anderson connectors on Amazon and the cable at Lowe’s and made a 30 foot extension for around $20 to $25.
By the way, I’m not an electrician and I actually know very little about this stuff which makes this Renogy portable solar panel even more desirable to own.
As I mentioned in the review video, when I put my extension cable together, I used 10 to 12 gauge cable and it shows when I’m connected using the extension in that it seems to steal around a half an amp or so.
If you want to create an extension be sure and use 6 to 8 gauge and nothing less. It seems like I recall some folks talking about this over at RV.net.
If You Would Like More Information…
Well hopefully between this quick overview and the video, I’ve given you some helpful information on the Renogy 100 Watt Suitcase Solar Panel. If you want to do some comparisons or reviews, just click here and get started on your search to make a well informed decision.
Thank you for checking out this product. If you need any help or more information, please just leave me a question in the comments area below or on my contact page!
By R.C. Stude