What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run vs 200 Watts? Full List (Solar Calculator)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | March 29, 2024

Man looking at a solar panel connected to a number of appliances and wonders what will a 100 watt solar panel run and how many amps does a 100 watt solar panel produce and how many batteries can a 100 watt solar panel charge?

When you consider the possibility of installing solar power or photovoltaic (PV) systems, you may want to start small and wonder what will a 100 watt solar panel run for you?

The answer can be quite interesting. One solar panel can make an impact in your energy consumption.

The following details explain what will a 100 watt solar panel run vs 200 watts.

But, it’s not as basic as it might seem. You have to consider the hours of daylight that the 100 watt panel will receive to understand how many kilowatt hours it can generate, as well as whether it is working directly or storing energy with batteries.

This guide breaks down a list of items that can be powered by the sun and a 100 watt solar panel with, or without storage capabilities.

What Can I Power With a 100 Watt Solar Panel?

Any electronic device that requires less than 100 watts of electricity to run can be powered by a 100 watt solar panel. This can power a selection of small electronics and devices.

Graphic showing various appliances connected to a 100 watt solar panel, showing what will a 100 watt solar panel run.

This is similar to different types of solar panels that deliver variable degrees of performance. This typically includes but is not limited to:

  • LED light bulbs/lamps
  • Phone charger
  • Tablet charger
  • Smartwatch charger
  • Laptop charger
  • Ceiling fan
  • Wi-Fi router

While your solar panel is in operation, you can run these devices simultaneously only if their collective wattage does not go over 100 watts per hour.

For instance, if you have 2 LED bulbs at 450 lumens or equivalent of 40 watts,1 you may only be able to run two of those bulbs through your 100 watt solar panel per hour.

Two solar panels which power the LED lights installed on the USACE Melvern Lake sign.

(Image: Diana McCoy, USACE HQ19)

On the other hand, if you hav6e a 45 watt laptop charger, you can pair it with one LED bulb.

What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run?

Typically, a 100 watt solar panel can provide you with approximately 100 watts of electricity per hour at its full efficiency,2 which makes it possible for you to power these devices through it actively.

Namely, the power is directly provided by a solar panel that is in full sunlight.

But, if your solar panel is connected to a battery, which is used to operate the device, the performance is slightly different.

By powering a 100Ah 12V battery with your 100 watt solar panel, you can run a 1,200 watt appliance for an hour.

But it is important to remember a 100 watt solar panel can only provide you with its full capacity if the PV system gets unobstructed sunlight. If your solar panel is operating in cloudy conditions, it may not produce enough energy to power your electronic devices, without having storage capabilities (batteries).

By learning the differences between 100 watt solar panel output on cloudy day, you can start using solar power for your household with more confidence.3

What Will a 200 Watt Solar Panel Run?

A 200 watt solar panel can easily power electronic devices and appliances that require less than 200 watts to run.

In addition to the electronic devices and appliances that a 100 watt solar panel can run, these devices include but are not limited to the following:

  • Gaming console
  • Large LED TV
  • Coffemaker
  • Toaster

When paired with a battery, your 200 watt solar panel can store energy for you to use in the evening or during cloudy days. Typically, a 200 watt solar panel at its full efficiency can charge a 300Ah battery.4

A child playing a game using a game console and large TV in the living room.

(Image: Vika_Glitter20)

This means that a 300Ah 12V battery can get you approximately 3600 watt of energy to use. You can then use several small devices or a single large device through this stored energy.

Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

A 100 watt solar panel cannot run a refrigerator on its own. It’s because most refrigerators require more than 100 watts to run in the first place.

Even energy efficient models consume 1-2 kWh of energy a day. This means that a typical fridge requires around 1000-2000 watts to run for a single day.

Whereas, some might need more than 3500 watts a day.5 As a result, a 100 watt solar panel is unable to fulfill this requirement.

Some methods such as increasing the number of 100 watt solar panels and storing the energy in a battery can help you run your fridge even after the sun has gone out. These purpose-built systems require you to calculate your household’s energy usage closely and install your solar panels according to your needs.

But when you put them together after thinking can a 100 watt solar panel run a refrigerator, they can fulfill your requirement without any issues.

What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run for My Office?

A 100 watt solar panel can run many light bulbs as well as small devices for your office. This means that you can light up your office space while also powering up your laptop, Wi-Fi router, and desk printer.18

However, you will not be able to turn on more demanding devices such as business printers.

If you want your workplace to become more sustainable, you will first need to analyze the most pressing needs of your office. From there, you can determine the wattage and energy consumption of the devices that you want to use on a normal workday.

This allows you to learn how many solar panels do I need for the office and lets you install your solar panel power system according to those figures.

What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run: Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Camper?

A 100 watt solar panel alone cannot run a camper at full functionality. With its usage of multiple light bulbs and appliances, a camper or RV requires more than 100 watts of power to be functional.

A brown and gray RV with solar panels installed on roof parked at a van cafe parking lot.

(Image: Shelby L. Bell 22)

Depending upon the weather conditions of your departure and destination points, the efficiency of your solar panels might be affected due to a lack of sunlight.

That is why, if you need your camper to be fully functional during your trip, you will need to install multiple solar panels for your requirements.

Additionally, you will need to consider the availability of sunlight across the areas you are traveling through. This ensures that you don’t repeatedly have to ask will a 100 watt solar panel run a camper from every solar energy expert you run into.

How Big Is a 100 Watt Solar Panel?

A 100 watt solar panel is typically 40 inches in height, 20 inches in width, and 3 inches in depth. However, the actual size of a 100 watt solar panel depends upon the manufacturer who makes the panel and the technology that they use during the process.12

Being mindful of these influences on the solar panel’s size, you should inquire about the dimensions of your solar panel installation from local providers. This helps you understand the answer to the question of how big is a 100 watt solar panel that comes from your local manufacturers.

How Many Batteries Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Charge?

Typically, a 100 watt solar panel at its maximum efficiency can charge a single 100Ah 12V battery in a day. This calls for at least 8 hours of sunlight with no obstructions in between the sun and your solar panel.

In some cases,8 your 100Ah 12V battery might need more than 10 hours to be charged fully via a 100 watt solar panel.

By using a 100Ah 12V battery, you can run a 100 watt electronic device for approximately 12 hours. If you run a 300 watt appliance, your battery can power it for 4 hours.

Similarly, if you use a 1200 watts appliance, your battery will run it for an hour alone. Learning about battery energy storage can further help you assess your usage and let you determine how many batteries can a 100 watt solar panel charge.9

A dishwasher can consume as much as 1200 watts when dryer feature is used.

(Image: Krystieyeo Yeo23)

On the other hand, 200 watt solar panels can power a 300Ah 12V battery in around the same time. This makes a 200 watt solar panel setup better for you if you have multiple small electronic devices or a couple of moderate to large electronic devices to run on your battery.

What Is a 100 Watt Solar Panel Output on Cloudy Day?

A 100 watt solar panel can only give you the full 100 watt output when the day is completely sunny with no obstructions between the panel and sunlight. On a cloudy day, the efficiency of solar panels can drop by more than 50 percent.10

In some cases, solar panels may only produce 10 percent of their total output.

Keeping this in mind, you might need to install multiple 100 watt solar panels along with batteries to store energy, which you can then use to power your RV.

By learning what will a 100 watt solar panel run for your RV, you can assess your energy needs in a better way and build a solar power system that works for you. You can also use a solar panel size chart for this purpose.

Where To Find a Cheap 100 Watt Solar Panel

You can find cheap 100 watt solar panel systems through many local providers. With that being said, you need to be careful about exchanging quality for affordability.

If you find solar panels at a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.

Due to this reason, you should look for a balance between accessibility and reliability when you purchase your solar panels after learning what will a 100 watt solar panel run for you. To achieve this feat, you can start by doing a market survey through local providers.

After getting cost estimates, you can check the reviews and testimonials of each provider to ensure that you are dealing with a credible entity. This lets you install your solar power system with the required peace of mind.

How Many Amps Does a 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce?

The equation to calculate amps is: amps x volts = watts5

If you want to calculate the amps of a 100 watt solar panel at 12 volts: amps x 12V = 100 watts.

This means that you would get around 8 amps from using a 100 watt solar panel at 12V.

However, similar to the answer to what will a 100 watt solar panel run for you, the actual figures depend on a variety of factors, such as the exposure to direct sunlight during the day as well as the solar cell type used in the solar panel. Some users deduce that their solar panels can deliver only a little over 2.80 amps per hour.6 Whereas, others find that they can get around 6 amps per hour from a 100 watt solar panel.7

In order to learn how many amps does a 100 watt solar panel produce, you need to get a personalized estimate from a local provider who specializes in installing solar power systems. These providers can give you more accurate statements according to the average sunlight in your area as well as the efficiency of their specific solar panels.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Solar Panels?

Solar panels are made of solar cells. When used within panels, these cells can absorb solar energy and help you use it to power up your lights and appliances.

A house in a residential neighborhood with solar panels mounted on its roof.

(Image: Robert So24)

There are three types of solar cells,11 namely polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film. Out of these, monocrystalline solar cells make for the most popular types of solar panels due to their overall efficiency.

You can ask your local solar power system providers if they have these types of solar cells available with them.

What Is the Size of Standard Solar Panel?

The size of a solar panel depends upon the wattage that it has and the technology that it uses. Typically, a 250 watt solar panel can be the size of 17.5 square feet.13

But these dimensions are not necessarily true for all types of solar panels of the same wattage. Many providers might give you larger or smaller size options.

This makes it important for you to discuss your requirements regarding the size of standard solar panel with a local solar power system installation expert. Besides allowing you to get a personalized installation design according to your property’s structure, this also gives you the latest solar panel sizing options that you have available in your area.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My Home?

Typically, a home may require around 25 panels, with each solar panel producing around 320 watts.16 But this estimate is not set in stone.

Depending upon your overall requirements, you may need a higher or a lower amount of solar panels. The number of solar panels that you need is also influenced by the area that you live in and how much sunlight you get on an average day.

This means that if you are trying to install solar panels at your home, you need to go through your home’s energy usage requirements.

You may do so by going through your utility bills that date back at least a year.17 From there, you can show your solar panel provider your needs and get an accurate estimate from them as a result.

How Much Solar Panel Cost?

Since a solar panel alone does not cover your energy needs and requires other system components to become functional, you need to consider the total costs of a solar power system installation instead.

On an average basis, solar panel system installation for U.S. households ranges from $14,000-$20,000.14 This cost includes federal tax incentives.

After you type in your online search box what watt solar panel do I need for my budget, you need to remember that the cost to install solar panels may vary from area to area.

As a result, you can only get an accurate estimate by reaching out to local providers and getting a personalized quote for your energy needs. This helps you learn how much do solar panels cost in your specific state.

How To Calculate My Carbon Footprint: Solar Panels vs Conventional Power Sources

Solar energy is a renewable energy source that does not emit any carbon or GHGs during the operation of its equipment. This makes it a clean source of energy that is highly effective for sustainability, especially when compared to traditional power sources such as coal.

With that being said, the equipment that is used to create solar panels and PV systems does require a significant amount of energy, which is often derived from non-renewable sources.

Metals and glass are crucial materials for solar panels and PV systems. But they also require a lot of energy to be made, while their production processes significantly contribute to GHG emissions.

This means that the carbon footprint solar panels derive from their manufacturing processes is certainly noticeable.

However, solar panels and PV systems’ ability to produce clean energy does work in their favor. Research estimates that solar power systems cut down enough GHG emissions as compared to conventional energy sources that they become carbon neutral in 1-4 years of their operation.15

Since PV systems can continue working for up to three decades, the energy they save after the initial few years of their operation marks a significant difference for the planet. This helps you learn how much solar panels cost the environment as compared to conventional energy sources.

Regardless of the footprint of solar energy, everyone has a personal carbon ecological footprint and can measure it using a calculator.

What Watt Solar Panel Do I Need?

Determining what watt solar panels you need completely depends upon your household’s or workplace’s requirements. It is crucial that you take a good look at your total number of light bulbs, appliances, devices, and their power consumption statistics.

After you have these figures, you can calculate an estimate yourself or reach out to a solar power system provider to make these calculations for you.

Due to the efficiency of monocrystalline solar cells, you may want to prefer panels that are made from this technology. You can also look for other evolving technologies that could provide you with a better output.

Monocrystalline solar panels mounted on steel frame in a ranch.

(Image: USDA NRCS Montana21)

But you need to be careful in trying out newer innovations that have little to no data to back their claims.

100 Watt Solar Panels vs 200 Watt Solar Panels: Solar Calculator

The easiest way to differ between 100 watt solar panels and 200 watt solar panels is their output.

A 200 watt solar panel can produce double the energy of a 100 watt solar panel. This also gives a 200 watt solar panel the ability to charge bigger batteries.

You can use the following calculator to see what will a 100 watt solar panel run for you as compared to a 200 watt solar panel.

After learning what can I power with a 100 watt solar panel vs a 200 watt solar panel, you can make an informed decision regarding your PV system.

Learning these details gives you an idea of how you can start with your own solar power or PV systems to benefit from renewable energy.

By using the information regarding what will a 100 watt solar panel run and what can you do by increasing your solar panel capacity, you can take the necessary steps that let you do your part in preserving the planet and its resources.

Read More About What Will a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run


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19Solar energy at USACE Melvern Lake Photo by Diana McCoy, USACE HQ / Public Domain Mark 1.0. Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/usacehq/7825431864>

20Photo by Vika_Glitter. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/computer-games-game-console-baby-6578102/>

21Solar Panel Photo by USDA NRCS Montana / Public Domain Mark 1.0. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/160831427@N06/52635476084/sizes/c/>

22RV at Rocky Mountain Westy Photo by Shelby L. Bell (vwcampin) / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/vwcampin/50071780583>

23Photo by Krystieyeo Yeo. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-526358/>

24Photo by Robert So. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-house-with-solar-panel-on-the-roof-12243093/>