Best Marine Solar Panels 2017 – Reviews,Ratings & Top Picks

 If you’re looking for the best marine solar panel out there, then allow us to shed some light through this review. Everything is factual, unbiased and a result of our long hours of heavy research.

marine solar panels reviews

If water is your second home, then we understand that power supply is one of your biggest concerns.

A battery here and a battery there may not be a long term solution. That is why marine solar panels are trending in the market today.

Our experts in the marine industry, have made it a point to help you out.

- Comparison of the Best Marine Solar Panels 2016 -

Let’s have a close look at the tabulated summary of our review.

Model

Bottom Line

Pros

Cons

Price

Renogy 2 Piece 100W

 Best of the Best 

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV review

One of the best selling and highly performing solar panels designed to surpass your expectations and to give you the best boating experience.

- High wattage and long lasting.

- Easy installation.

- Lightweight

- Prompt customer support

Expensive.



Check Price

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

 Best Budget Pick 

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger review

There can’t be a better choice than this panel for those on a budget, but still want to get the best out of it.

- Inexpensive

Weatherproof and lightweight.

-Maintenance free and easy installation.

- May be too soft for some

Check Price

Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel

Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel

Though not high-powered, sets your mind at ease while it takes charge of your 12V batteries.

- Economical

- LED lights to indicate functionality

- Rapid charging

- Variety of connectors

- Fails to withstand exposure to the direct, blazing sun

Renogy 50 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy 50 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel


The longest lasting, high quality solar panel available at 50W. Comes with many added benefits and would certainly cheer you up.

- High quality and efficient.

- Lightweight and easy set up.

- Durable and long lasting.

- No brackets included

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Instapark 30W Mono Crystalline Solar Panel with 12V solar charge controller

Instapark 30W Mono Crystalline Solar Panel with 12V solar charge controller


Once again a high quality, long lasting panel that would keep your deep cycle batteries topped up and bathe your boat in power.

- Lasts for more than 25 years.

- Solar charge controller is included.

- Easy installation and handling.

- Short cable





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Let’s have a close look at what we’ve got here.

- Best Marine Solar Panel - (Overall)

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module

  As long as Renogy PV Solar Panel is available, choosing the best solar panel out of all is a no-brainer. The quality is high, price is just right, generates power even on gloomy days, and definitely one of the wisest long-term investments you could ever make.

 Best of the Best 

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV

Rating : 4.9/5

Why is it Our Top Pick ?

Sophisticated, durable, convenient and efficient are some of the words that describe Renogy PV Solar Panel.

While our entire review is based on the best marine solar panels that would keep you longer on water, our top pick would keep you the longest.

You can not only charge your 12V batteries, but also set up Renogy PV to light up a great portion of your boat.

This means you can officially stop worrying about gas, or battery drains and set your mind free to enjoy your time on water.

  • Get the highest power from a small fortune - 2 pieces of Renogy PV with a maximum wattage of 100 each, can be used to charge deep cycle RV batteries easily. It costs a small fortune, but it’s not even closer to what you get to save.
  • Bad weather, but still wanna hit the waters? No problem, Renogy PV would give you enough power even if the clouds decide to snatch the sun away! What’s more, it can also stand high wind (2400 Pa) and snow loads (5400 Pa).
  • Want a panel to last nearly for a lifetime? Then this solar panel should be your choice. An efficiency breakdown of 95% for the first five years, 90% for the next 5 years and 80% up to 25 years - yes, it’s totally cool.
  • Sick of worrying about gas? Then put an end to your worries by using 2 pieces of these panels. Would help you light up your whole boat, keep your fish fresh in the deep freezer, and simply enjoy.

Specifications

Made up of advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet laminations, Renogy PV promises the highest efficiency and longest life.

Even though each panel has a capacity of 100W, if the optimum sunshine falls on it, the wattage may exceed 120W. Which also means that 100W on a normal sunny day is an easy record.

The maximum system voltage is 600V while the optimum operating Voltage and current are at 18.9V and 5.29A respectively.

Easy to move around as well because each panel weighs up to 16.5 pounds. It can also fit in to a space as small as 47 x 1.4 x 21.3 inches.

Features

The aluminium frame of the panel is strong enough to resist corrosion, and thus ensures a very long life. To be more specific, it would last for nearly 25 years and still work at 80% of its initial efficiency.

Another significant feature is that, though this is a solar panel, it can still function when the sun is not-so-bright. Nope, it’s not magic, the bypass diodes do that.

If you already have another Renogy panel, then fixing it up with Renogy PV is a breeze as this package comes with MC4 connectors.

Together you can multiply the electricity supply and light up an additional bulb or watch an additional hour of television while you cruise off your favourite water body.

Mounting the panel on your boat should be the least of your worries as well, for it has pre-drilled holes at the back. In the meantime, if you have any question with regards to the panel, contact customer support. They are waiting for your call.

Warranty

Even though the panel may last for a quarter of a century, the warranty lasts only for 5 years. Within this period, if you encounter material and manufacturer’s defects, you can claim on your warranty.

The Bottom Line

Let’s face it, Renogy 2 piece 100W PV solar panels are more expensive than our other picks. But remember that this is an investment worth for decades.

They are extremely efficient and made up of high quality material which would give you hardly any trouble.

Also remember that the power capacity is very high and sometimes could exceed what’s being advertised! All in all, there won’t be a better bang for your buck cause Renogy PV is simply amazing

Further Information

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module, 12V Battery Charging

- Best Budget Marine Solar Panel -

- Sunforce 50022 5-Watt
Solar Battery Trickle Charger
-

That’s okay if you couldn’t save enough to buy a solar panel because you can still manage to buy this one. Big time.

 Best Budget Pick 

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger





Rating : 4.5/5

As the name itself suggests, if you’re looking for an inexpensive solar panel that both charges and trickle charges your 12V batteries, then Sunforce 50022 5-Watt would fit in perfectly.

Small wattage, yet fast paced and you can have your batteries ever-ready to meet your unexpected journeys on water.

Specifications

Though the maximum power output is 5 Watts at 333 milliamperes, for the price, it is quite handy. It weighs just 2.5 pounds and measures 14″ x 0.75″ x 13″ (WxHxD) - which makes it easily portable.

The amorphous solar cells and quite recently added Aluminium frame ensures durability and stability while its weatherproof nature gives you no reason to worry if the wind gets tough or the rain pours down.

Features

Once you have the panel installed on your boat, with the 12V DC plug, Battery clamps, Mounting hardware that come as a part of the package, you can just forget about the panel - it will charge your batteries on its own and needs no maintenance. It would also work on gloomy days - which means you seem to get more than what you pay for!

Then there is this built in feature of overcharge and discharge protection that protects your battery from overcharging and damage. It also puts away the expense of buying yourself a regulator.

Though this is advertised as weatherproof, there have been complains about fractures due to long term exposure to the sun. Just to be on the safe side, avoid placing the panel right under the direct sunlight during mid summer.

Warranty

The warranty lasts for 5 years. However, only the warranty for power output lasts for 5 years whereas the manufacturer’s and material defects are covered by a warranty of 1 year.

The Bottom Line

Though Sunforce 50022 creates only 5 Watts, it is more than enough to charge and trickle charge your 12V batteries.

You can leave them on your boat or anywhere else for that matter, and come back to enjoy ready to action batteries that would promise you some long, jolly hours on any water body.

We won’t hesitate to recommend this solar panel to you.

Further Information

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

Reviews of Other
Top Marine Solar Panels 
-

If you’re on a budget, then buying Renogy 2 piece 100W PV solar panels may seem far fetched.

That is basically why we have some back-up models lined up just for you.

They may not have everything you want, but they do have some incredible features that didn’t go unnoticed to our keen eyes.

So check them out and see for yourself what they have to offer.

- Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel -

More like a battery maintainer than a charger, this inexpensive little solar panel would be a great buy for keeping your batteries topped up.

Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel





Rating : 4.3/5

Leaving your batteries to idle until you plan on having your next boating vacation doesn’t sound healthy. Self discharging of batteries is very common and it would eventually shorten the life span.

That is when Go Power! GP-SF-5 comes in to the picture. It ensures your 12V battery is always topped up and ever-ready to be used anytime and anywhere. What’s more, you can also use it to charge your electronic devices while you put your feet up and have your time on water.

Specifications

14 x 13.2 x 0.5 inches small in size and 3 pounds light in weight, Go Power! GP-SF-5 has a maximum power capacity of 5 Watts. At 260mA it could be easily used to charge and retain the charge of 12V batteries.

Though the chances of bringing back to life a completely dead battery is slim, it’s not impossible. But still, it would be better if you could at least semi charge your battery before you plug in this panel.

Features

Carry your deep cycle marine batteries and other electronic devices hours away from land and worry the least with Go Power! GP-SF-5. Even if you don’t have a voltmeter, you can still check whether the panel is working through the LED which goes on as the current starts flowing.

The panel also has adaptors to charge your life’s necessities: like your mobile phone and your laptop.

But mind you, don’t even think of connecting it directly without a regulator. So use it only to charge 12V batteries and then to the devices via the battery.

The biggest con reported with regards to the panel is that the plastic parts on it cannot resist the charms of the blazing sun- it can melt! So avoid placing it under the mid summer direct sunlight. However, it is surprisingly weatherproof and can hold out against strong winds, snowfall, heavy rains and sleet.

Warranty

Like most solar panels, Go Power! GP-SF-5 too, has a 5-year limited warranty from the date of purchase. Make sure to thoroughly check your warranty conditions before you use the panel so that you can claim easily on manufacturer’s and material defects.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an off-grid user or an environmentalist, or simply a mariner looking for means of saving gas, Go Power! GP-SF-5 would be ideal. While the power is pretty low at 5 Watts and not durable enough to last for decades, it is well worth a buy when compared to its price.

Further Information

Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel

- Renogy 50 Watts 12 Volts
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
-

Renogy is popular for its quality, and it stays that way.

Renogy 50 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel





Rating : 4.4/5

Fuel or gas must be your biggest concern when you hit the waters for hours. Especially if you decide to spend some family time. Comfort of your loved ones becomes your priority and with gas being a scarce resource and all, you might not be able to give them what they deserve without a back up power source.

If that is the case, then Renogy 50 Watts solar panel could be your solution.

Specifications

This is the junior version of Renogy 100W PV solar panel. Weighs only 9.9 lbs and 24.8 x 21.3 x 1.2 inches in size, which make it easy to accompany you anywhere you want. It is made up of a mono-crystalline cell and a weatherproof aluminium frame to ensure durability and high efficiency. It can last for a time period as long as 25 years.

Features

Here’s some good news. Renogy solar panels are well known to surpass customer expectations. The performance is usually way ahead of what’s being advertised which means that if you get enough sunshine, you can literally forget your gas.

It works great even on days with dull sunlight, and would be ideal to have your 12V marine batteries topped up in winter.

Another added advantage is that, just like its senior version, it’s equipped with MC4 connectors. As a result, you can connect 4 Renogy solar panels and set it up to draw in more power. Or in other words, you can live on water as comfortably as you live on land!

If further detailed information is needed, head straight to Amazon and see it for yourself. You can also drop questions and get first hand customer answers.

Warranty

Let us tell you, Renogy 50W solar panel’s warranty is a dream. The company has got you covered for a transferable power output warranty for 25 years! Wait, there’s more.

You will be also given a 5-year warranty against material and manufacturer’s defects. Plus a one year material warranty on accessories.

The Bottom Line

This is another highly recommended solar panel, if purchased would have most of your power-needs covered. It is also a very long term investment and you get way more than what you spend for. Certainly worth a buy!

Further Information

Renogy 50 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel​

- Instapark 30W Mono Crystalline Solar Panel with 12V solar charge controller -

Need more power, longevity, a regulator- all under $100? Get it right here!

Instapark 30W Mono Crystalline Solar Panel with 12V solar charge controller



Rating : 4.4/5

We’ve chosen Instapark 30W Solar Panel as one of our top picks because we understand how highly useful it could be for a mariner like you.

If purchased, this is going to be one of the long term investments you will ever make and never regret. Ultimately, it would also extend your time spent on water.

You can not only charge, but also maintain your 12V batteries without a care in the world - for the regulator would manage everything on its own.

Specifications

Being 21 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 1 1/8 inches in size and 7.2 pounds in weight, Instapark 30W Solar Panel is pretty easy to install and move around.

The mono-crystalline silicon used in manufacturing ensures longevity, high efficiency and durability.

It can generate a maximum power voltage of 17.5V and a maximum power current of 1.68A. Hence ensures rapid charging of your 12V batteries - sunny or not.

Furthermore, it includes a charge controller, unlike in Renogy panels. However, the quality of it not topping.

But then again, for the price, we are even surprised that it has a regulator in the first place. But the overall quality is really high.

Features

Just like we’ve mentioned already, Instapark 30W Solar Panel could be used continuously for long years and would still work at 80% of its capacity even after 25 years.

It can sustain any weather conditions from heavy downpours to snowfalls and strong winds. So having it mounted to your speeding boat would not be an issue.

It would work smoothly even on shady days, by dropping only a little of its maximum performance. There’s also an LED to indicate whether or not the panel has set to work.

Warranty

The warranty is good as far as it goes. You can claim on manufacturer’s defects within the first 2 years after the purchase.

The Bottom Line

Charge and have your 12V batteries topped up during the day, and enjoy them when the night falls.

Or simply, save your gas by cutting down expenditure and extend your stay on water by using the Instapark 30W Solar Panel. Though not covered by a satisfactory warranty certificate, it is still well worth a buy.

Further Information

Instapark 30W Mono Crystalline Solar Panel with 12V solar charge controller

- Review Summary & Conclusion -

Marine solar panels are trending and selling like hot cakes. We are glad that anglers have finally understood how useful that could be when compared to gas and fuel.

If you’ve been wandering the wasteland trying to find a marine solar panel, then we hope our review would’ve given you what you wanted.

Here is a quick overview of our hard work.

1. Renogy 100W PV : Our overall best pick with the highest output, longest life and highest quality that would lengthen your stay on water.

2. Sunforce 50022 : If you don’t see the sun much, and aren’t willing to spend a lot but still need a solar panel that works great, then this is for you.

3. Go Power! GP-SF-5 : A solar panel with less output yet very efficient in trickle charging

4. Renogy 50W : Very much similar to our top pick, but lesser in power supply and price.

5. Instapark 30W : Comes with a solar charge controller and overall, very economical.

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module

The Best of the Best Marine Solar Panel - 2016

 Best of the Best 

 Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV

Rating : 4.9/5

- Buying Guide: How to Choose the
Best Marine Solar Panel - 

The ‘Best’ marine solar panel could vary from person to person. What is best for us may not be the best pick for you because individual needs are usually worlds apart.

That is why we’ve pulled off a list and not just one top pick. You can leisurely go through this list before you make your choice.

But prior to going through our review list and opting, don’t forget that you have some homework to do. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the best or the ideal marine solar panel is a choice of your own.

We cannot make it on your behalf but we can certainly help you out. And that’s exactly what we are gonna do through our buying guide.

Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter - not every one of us is an electrician or an engineer. All the tech terms could be really confusing, not to mention the different brands, sizes and prices.

So allow us to break them down and make it crystal clear for you.

Power

First and foremost, you need to get this right. Different panels advertise different capacities of power. In our review the maximum was 100 watts and the minimum was 5 watts. 50W and 30W were in between.

If your boat is bigger and needs more power, you will obviously need to choose a solar panel with a high wattage.

However, at times, multiple solar panels with small wattages could be cheaper and far more efficient than that with a high wattage.

So you not only need to compare and contrast the maximum power capacities, but also the watt hours pay day.

Voltage

The rate at which current flows through the solar panel is directly linked with the time taken to charge your 12V battery. Every second counts and higher the voltage, the better.

Solar cell

There are different types of solar cells being used in manufacturing marine solar cells. But the most common cells are namely amorphous cells and mono-crystalline cells.

Amorphous cells usually produce only a low output but they are relatively cheaper than mono-crystalline cells.

On the other hand it is less efficient and short lasting. So if you have decades in mind, and a deep pocket, a mono-crystalline solar panel would fit in perfectly.

But then again, if your boat is small and has a low weight capacity, an amorphous solar cell would be better as it is lightweight.

Size

Size matters, as always. To determine it, you need to first decide where you will be mounting your solar panel - whether on your boat or on any other place. Next, get your measuring tape and set to work. Don’t settle for any approximate measurements, measure it right. Only then will you be able to get a panel with the right size.

Durability

Durability is often ensured by the materials used to manufacture the solar panels. If it consists an aluminium frame, then it is way durable than plastic frames because plastics have reportedly melted under the direct, blazing sun!

Apart from that, if the panel is weatherproof, then you should totally consider buying it. The ability to withhold extreme weather conditions would not make you rush after it if a storm decides to hit unexpectedly.

Warranty

Warranty is as important as other points we’ve listed here. But unfortunately, most customers don’t give it much thought. Some solar panels have a really long life, perhaps even more than 25 years. In such instance, a 1-year or 2-year warranty seems hilarious.

The conditions of the warranty is as equally important as the period of time. Certain manufacturers do not accept any manufacturing or material defects if the product is at least used once.

So a thorough inspection is a must. Our expert suggestion is to request a copy of a warranty and have a close look before you make a buy.

Budget

In most cases, the quality of your choice depends on the depth of your pocket. If you ain’t gonna spend more, you should be ready to accept less.

However, if you inspect well, you will be surprised to find marine solar panels that are greater in value than the price.

Our top picks here are such panels. So you can be confident in purchasing any of them.

Longevity

For how long do you expect to reap benefits from a marine solar panel? If angling is your profession or your life-long hobby, then a long-lasting solar panel would do.

But from a logical standpoint, this actually depends on your budget.

Then again, there are low powered solar panels that last longer than high powered ones. So do your math and make your choice.

Performance

Performance is a key indicator of quality. A high ampere per hour, low charging time, good ratings are all part this.

All the marine solar panels listed in our review are the most highly performing ones available on the market today.

Choosing any of them according to your needs would undoubtedly be a big score.

Apart from these, there can be many more points that you’ll want to consider. Suppose you live in a shadier part of the country and don’t see much sun but still want to have your 12V batteries topped up and ready-to-action?

No problem, any of our best picks here would do. Some better than others, but still would work impressively with lesser amount of sunlight.

Just like that, you might have many more points to consider. But they are for homework, and we’ve mentioned the general points here.

However, the best part of our buying guide is that, if you follow the steps you won’t go wrong. So have a list of your expectations prepared and tick them off one by one as you leaf through our review. Finally, you can choose the one with the most ticks. Simple as that.

- Benefits of Marine Solar Panels -

Marine solar panels are generally known as ‘gas-savers’. Right, but how else could they benefit you? Here is a simple list.

 Not doing a good job at fishing? Stop taking all the blame, your generator or engine could be a reason too. Marine solar panels give you one of the best solutions by being less noisier and more environmentally friendly.

 Cuts costs - At a time when fuel is becoming increasingly scarce and pricier, solar panels act as a great alternative. They are durable too, which means you spend once and for all.

 Is your boat too small? This could’ve been a problem if you’ve been using a generator which is quite heavy. But with solar panels being lightweight, you can easily overcome this problem.

 Have your battery always ready to hit the water - A solar panel would do its duty and keep your 12V batteries topped up even when you’re not around.

And much, much more.

Our responsibility as expert reviewers is now complete. Now it’s your turn to take charge. Compare and contrast, clear all your doubts, and finally head straight to Amazon and place your order!

References

1. Amazon

2. Sunforce Products

3. Skingco

4. 500px (image credits)​

Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module

The Best of the Best Marine Solar Panel - 2016

 Best of the Best 

 Renogy 2 Piece 100W Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV

Rating : 4.9/5

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