I recently tested the Newpowa and Renogy 100W solar panels side by side.
After 24 hours, the Newpowa panel had generated 490 watt hours, and the Renogy panel had generated 570 watt hours.
That means the Renogy panel generated an extra 80 watt hours, or 16% more, than the Newpowa panel. I was frankly shocked the difference was so big.
Based on my test, I’d easily recommend the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel over the Newpowa. It’s more expensive, yes, but I think it more than makes up for it with its power output.
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The best 100 watt solar panel
After 24 hours, my Renogy 100W solar panel had generated 570 watt hours, compared to 490 watt hours from my Newpowa 100W solar panel. Based on these results, I think the Renogy is worth the extra money. In my opinion, it’s the best 100 watt solar panel for most people.
The Newpowa 100 Watt Solar Panel is cheaper, and still outputs a fair amount of power for a 100 watt panel. It’s a decent budget monocrystalline panel, especially if price is a lot more important to you than power output.
Read on for my full comparison.
Video: Newpowa vs Renogy Solar Panels
Here’s a video I made of me testing the power output of the Renogy and Newpowa solar panels over a 24-hour period.
Around noon under a clear sky, I flipped the switch of my PV isolator box to ON, and soon the power from the solar panels started trickling in. The test was underway.
After 1 minute, both MPPT charge controllers had found the maximum power point and the solar panels were outputting full power. Right away the results were striking — the Renogy was outputting 82 watts while the Newpowa was outputting 72 watts. That’s a 10 watt difference, which is way more than I was expecting!
A solar panel’s temperature can have a big effect on its power output, so at first I wondered if the difference in power output could be explained by a difference in temperature. However, when I checked each panel’s temperature with a thermal camera, they were both sitting at around 110°F (43°C).
Over the course of the afternoon, I’d frequently check the power output from both panels. Every time I checked, the Renogy was consistently outputting 10-15 watts more than the Newpowa.
Note: The wire I used for the connections was the exact same length and gauge, and both panels were mounted at the exact same tilt and azimuth angle. In short, the only difference between the two setups was the solar panel.
But not to be immediately counted out, when I did a very scientific shading test by putting my hand over both panels, the Newpowa’s power dropped only 26% while the Renogy’s power dropped by 43%.
Perhaps, I wondered, the Newpowa panel would outperform the Renogy panel in shade and low-light conditions, such as at dawn and dusk, which might make up for its lackluster performance in full sun.
Around 4pm, as the shade from some nearby trees began to creep towards the panels and the sun started to sink in the sky, I checked the panels’ power output again. Both panels’ wattage had dropped, and — for the first time all day — the Newpowa was outputting more than the Renogy.
Was this just a momentary blip…or was I onto something? I wasn’t sure yet. What I did know was more testing was needed.
Early the next morning, I checked the panels once they were in full sun. The Newpowa panel was outputting 44 watts and the Renogy panel was outputting 50 watts.
Soon after, my test reached the 24-hour mark. I disconnected the solar panels, ending the test.
Here were my final results:
Over the course of my test, the Newpowa panel produced a grand total of 490 watt hours, and the Renogy panel produced 570 watt hours.
That’s a difference of 80 watt hours, which is enough energy to power 10 watt LED lights for an extra 8 hours, a portable 12V fridge for a few extra hours.
In other words, it’s a big difference!
And what about my theory that the Newpowa solar panel might perform better on cloudy days and in low-light conditions?
Well, let’s just say, after more testing in low-light conditions, my theory didn’t hold up. I won’t be doing any more very scientific shading tests anytime soon. 😅
After my power output test, I did a basic inspection of both panels to assess their build quality.
The cables and MC4 connectors on the Newpowa looked to be of good quality. I twisted the connectors to test for any looseness — a sign of a poorly crimped connector — but found none.
Then I popped open the junction box on the back of the panel, which has an IP65 waterproof rating. I tugged on the crimps and inspected the solder joints. Everything looked good.
All in all, the panel seemed sturdy and well-built.
The Renogy panel’s MC4 connectors are my favorite of all the 100 watt panels I’ve tested. I gave them a little tug test to test the crimps, and found no looseness.
I do think Renogy skimped a bit on their cables. This panel has 2-foot, 14 gauge (2.5mm2) cables, as opposed to the 3-foot, 12 gauge (4mm2) cables I’ve seen on other 100 watt panels. In practice these are negligible differences, though.
Everything else — from the panel glass to the junction box — looked solid.
The Newpowa panel has the standard number of mounting holes. There are two on either side of the frame, plus a small hole in the middle for grounding. The panel has a thinner 30mm (1.18 in) frame which makes it a tad more challenging to mount.
Of the five 100 watt panels I own, the Renogy is the easiest to mount out of the box. It has the most pre-drilled mounting holes of any panel I’ve tested, which gives you a bit more flexibility in how you mount it.
Plus, its frame is 35mm thick. Many 100 watt panels have thinner 30mm frames. 5mm doesn’t sound like much, but in practice it makes a panel easier to mount.
The new model has blue, rubbery corners which is a small tweak that I greatly appreciate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scratched a wall or floor a panel’s metal corners. This is the only panel I’ve seen with this feature so far, but I expect more brands to follow.
Renogy Solar Panel Review
After testing 5 of the best 100 watt solar panels side by side, I think the Renogy 100W 12V solar panel is the best 100 watt solar panel for most people. It has the best combination of size, build quality, and power output.
It’s well-suited for people who want a good monocrystalline solar panel or have space constraints, such as those mounting panels on a vehicle or small roof. If you have lots of space for mounting, you could consider a cheaper polycrystalline panel.
It is a bit pricier than most other 100 watt solar panels, but I think it’s worth it.
Full review: Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel Review
Newpowa Solar Panel Review
The Newpowa 100W 12V solar panel is an affordable monocrystalline solar panel. It’s small and lightweight relative to similarly priced 100W panels.
It lagged behind the Renogy in my power output test, but still output a respectable amount of power. Producing 500 watt hours in a 24-hour period is still good for a 100 watt panel, which tend to average around 300 to 500 watt hours per day. Overall, I think it’s a decent value.
Full review: Newpowa 100 Watt Solar Panel Review
The Bottom Line
Based on my power output test results, I’d definitely recommend the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel. I think it’s worth the extra money in this case, given how much more energy it produced in a day.
The Newpowa 100 Watt Solar Panel is cheaper and well-built. If you’re on a budget and power output isn’t a top priority, then it’s still worth considering.
A small ask: If you found this comparison helpful and are planning to buy one of these solar panels, please consider buying through one of my affiliate links below. I’ll get a small commission (at no extra cost to you) which will help fund more reviews like this one. Thank you! 🙏
- Renogy 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel: Amazon | Renogy
- Newpowa 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel: Amazon | Newpowa
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