This is my hands-on review of the Rich Solar 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel.
I tested it with a multimeter, inspected its build quality and measured its power output on a sunny day alongside four other 100 watt panels.
After all that, I think the Rich Solar 100W Poly panel is the best 100 watt solar panel for those on a budget. It’s well built and has good power output. And according to an Amazon price tracker, it has the lowest average price of all the 100 watt panels I tested.
It’s a bit bigger than most other 100 watt panels. But as long as you don’t have mounting space constraints, it’s a great option.
Full review: Best 100 Watt Solar Panels
Rich Solar 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel
The best budget 100 watt solar panel
According to an Amazon price tracker, the Rich Solar 100W Poly has the lowest average price of all the 100 watt panels I tested. Its price combined with its build quality and power output make it my favorite 100 watt solar panel for those on a budget.
|Solar cell type:||Polycrystalline||Max power (Pmax):||100W|
|Max power voltage (Vmp):||18.5V||Max power current (Imp):||5.41A|
|Open circuit voltage (Voc):||22.6V||Short circuit current (Isc):||5.86A|
|Dimensions:||39.6″ x 26.4″ x 1.4″
(1006mm x 671mm x 36mm)
|Weight:||15.7 lbs (7.1 kg) weighed
17.5 lbs (7.9 kg) listed
Rich Solar Panel Review
Unboxing & First Impressions
The Rich Solar Poly arrived in good condition with lots of protective packaging.
It’s a polycrystalline panel, so right away I noticed it was bigger than the 100 watt monocrystalline solar panels I own, as expected. It also has the characteristic blue solar cells of a poly panel.
After a quick inspection, I removed all the packaging and took it outside for some testing.
I took the panel and my multimeter outside on a sunny day in December.
Multimeter testing is a quick way to make sure a panel is in good working order. You can take some quick measurements and compare them to those listed on the back of the panel.
Related: How to Test Solar Panels
First, I measured the panel’s open circuit voltage (Voc).
I measured a Voc of 22.3V. The panel’s label lists a Voc of 22.6V at STC.
Next, I measured the panel’s short circuit current (Isc).
I measured an Isc of 5.85A. The panel’s label lists an Isc of 5.86A at STC.
The multimeter results I got were in line with the specs listed on the panel. The Voc I measured was a 0.3 volts less than the listed Voc, but that’s fine. I just look for results that are close to the claimed specs.
Installation & Mounting
Of the five 100 watt solar panels I own, the Rich Solar Poly is the second easiest to mount out of the box.
It has the second most pre-drilled mounting holes, second only to the Renogy Mono, my top pick. Extra mounting holes gives you greater flexibility when mounting your panel.
And the Rich Solar panel has a 35mm thick frame. A lot of 100 watt panels only have a 30mm frame. I’ve found that an extra 5mm makes it easier to get bolts and tools inside the panel’s frame for mounting.
Power Output Testing
I tested the Rich Solar Poly’s power output alongside four other 100 watt panels.
I connected a 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery to an MPPT charge controller, then connected the solar panels one at a time to the charge controller. I measured power output with an inline watt meter and an app on my phone that connected to the charge controller.
Here are the results:
Note: I tested the panels at 33.7° latitude in early December.
Next I inspected the build quality of each part of the panel.
It has 3-foot cables, which I like. Some 100W panels only have 2-foot cables. I also tugged and twisted the MC4 connectors looking for loose crimps, but found none.
I looked at the panel’s frame for any dents or deformities, and inspected the panel glass for scratches. I didn’t find any.
Finally, I popped open the junction box and inspected the inside. It looked well made, not sloppily attached like you see on some panels. The panel also has two diodes. Some panels only have one.
Overall the build quality seemed sound. The panel also held up fine during my testing.
Size & Weight
Here’s how the Rich Solar panel’s size compares to the other 100 watt panels I tested:
And here’s how its weight compares:
It’s the second biggest and second heaviest panel I tested. It is a polycrystalline panel, after all. Polycrystalline panels aren’t as light and compact as monocrystalline panels.
- Solar cell type: Polycrystalline
- Max power (Pmax): 100W
- Max power voltage (Vmp): 18.5V
- Max power current (Imp): 5.41A
- Open circuit voltage (Voc): 22.6V
- Short circuit current (Isc): 5.86A
- Dimensions: 39.6″ x 26.4″ x 1.4″ (1006mm x 671mm x 36mm)
- Weight: 15.7 lbs (7.1 kg) weighed, 17.5 lbs (7.9 kg) listed
What I Like
- It’s a great 100 watt solar panel for those on a budget. According to an Amazon price tracker, it’s on average the cheapest 100W panel of those tested. Taking into account its quality, that makes it my favorite budget panel.
- It’s well built. I inspected the panel’s frame, glass, cables, connectors, and junction box. All seemed sturdy. The panel also held up well during testing.
What I Don’t Like
- It’s bigger than most 100W panels. It was the second biggest solar panel I tested, and the second heaviest.
- It placed third in my power output test. That put it right in the middle of the pack in terms of output — neither a great nor terrible showing.
Who This Solar Panel Is for
- You want a good, cheap 100 watt solar panel. This panel earned my budget pick in my review of the best 100 watt solar panels.
- You have lots of mounting space. Its size makes it a good option if you have lots of mounting space, such as if you have a big roof, are ground mounting your panels, or are only installing a couple panels.
Who This Solar Panel Isn’t for
- You have limited mounting space. In that case, I’d recommend a monocrystalline panel, such as the Renogy Mono or Newpowa Mono. They’re much more compact, making them well suited for small roofs — such as those on vans, boats, and RVs.
- You want the all-around best 100W solar panel. The Renogy Mono was my favorite of the five 100 watt panels I tested.
- You want the most power output. The WindyNation Poly placed first in my power output test. The Rich Solar Poly placed third.
- WindyNation 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel. The WindyNation Poly placed first in my power output test, outputting a max of 72.7 watts. It’s also a great value if you buy directly from WindyNation. It’s slightly bigger and heavier than the Rich Solar panel, but if you’re considering a poly panel then you probably don’t care much about size. Read my full WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Review.
- Newpowa 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel. This is the best 100 watt monocrystalline panel for those on a budget. According to an Amazon price tracker, it’s only just slightly more expensive on average than the Rich Solar Poly. And, because it’s a mono panel, it’s much more compact. Read my full Newpowa 100 Watt Solar Panel Review.
- Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel. This is the panel to get if you want the best all-around option. It was my favorite after testing five different 100W panels. I liked its combination of size, build quality and power output. Read my full Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel Review.
The Bottom Line
The Rich Solar 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel is the best 100 watt panel for those on a budget. It’s cheap relative to other options, and performs almost as well as panels that cost $20 more.
If you’re buying lots of panels, those savings can quickly add up to the cost of an extra solar panel.
Or if you just need one panel to power a small-scale solar project, it’s a great option that won’t break the bank. It’s well-built and outputs as much power as I’d expect from a 100 watt panel.
It’s a polycrystalline panel, so it’s bigger and heavier than monocrystalline panels. That makes it best if you have lots of mounting space. If your space is limited, I’d recommend looking at a more compact mono panel.
A small ask: If you found my Rich Solar panel review helpful and are planning to buy one, please consider buying through one of my affiliate links below — I’ll get a small commission which will help fund more reviews like this one. Thank you! 🙏