Renogy 100-Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase Review
- High efficiency monocrystalline cells with back-contacts
- Integrated charge controller
- Anti-reflective, tempered glass
- Corner protected aluminum frame
- Pre-drilled mounting holes
Portable solar panels, especially foldable models, are not everybody’s cup of tea. They cost more and are sometimes heavier than traditional panels. But for regular campers and boondockers, the Renogy 100W Eclipse solar suitcase is an excellent travel companion. With its sunpower high-efficiency cells, it is amazingly compact and performs exceptionally well in almost all sorts of sunlight.
The corner protection, kickstands and integrated charge controller make it an ultra-portable unit. It is compatible with an array of batteries. The canvas case fits snugly and cannot be better. Its MC4 connectors and alligator clips make connections simple, even with minimal knowledge of wiring. Let us have a more detailed look at the product in this Renogy 100 watt Eclipse solar suitcase review.
Though foldable and portable, at the core this is a standard solar panel with solar cells and positive and negative terminals coming out of it. It has a voltage rating that makes it an ideal panel to connect to any 12V device. This includes but is not limited to gel batteries, sealed and flooded batteries. The MC4 connectors make connecting and disconnecting a breeze. The charge controller produces wires that have traditional alligator clips at the end. These make it possible to connect nearly any 12V battery without any hassle.
Thanks to the protected corners and a toughened glass, the panel can be transported without much of a worry. The aluminum frame is non-corrosive and light at the same time. The mounting kickstand could have been stronger than it is, but it is not a serious limitation. The back-sheet on the rear side feels heavy-duty and won’t be easily scratched. Waterproof junction box, connectors, and charge controllers make rains and splashes ineffective. However, we aren’t sure if an accidental immersion would be harmless for the charge controller unit. Overall, the panel is sufficiently durable.
Ease Of Use
Open the case, unfold the panels, unfold the legs, and the panel is up and running. Despite having a considerable amount of mechanical complexity, the solar panel is fairly easy to set up. The hinges are precision-fitted and good quality, helping quick set-up or packing. The MC4 connectors and alligator clips, as mentioned before, are simple as well as safe to connect and disconnect. The canvas case is easy to put on and the handle position and shape are ergonomically designed for ease of lifting and carrying.
Renogy’s 100W Eclipse solar suitcase is one solar product which has an interesting list of features. First is the use of the German-made mono-Si cells that are among the most efficient cells ever. Then comes the nicely integrated 20A charge controller which causes minimum wire-tangling or space inconvenience. The charge controller also ensures an optimized power supply to the battery and protects it from overcharging and consequent fire risks. Add to this the protected corners and the black anodized aluminum frame, and it becomes a complete package. Whether you are using it for charging your RV battery or multiple devices in your tents, this product suits well.
The design of this foldable product immediately announces that it is not just another solar unit. Its cells with back-contacts sport a plain-black look, thanks to no-grid lines running on their top surface. The frame is a premium looking black, while the corner protectors on the frame are also black. The handle and latches are black, while the back-sheet is regular white. Renogy seems to have gotten everything right in the design department, whether it is material selection or choice of colors. However, we think the signature sky blue on the corner protectors like the 50W eclipse would have been a treat to the eyes.
What We Like
We like the fact that instead of lacing with one or two tiny features related to portability, Renogy has chosen to build a true-blue portable panel. The integrated charge controller and adjustable kickstand make it a complete unit, while the super-efficient cells make it compact and light. If you are someone that has a few outings every month away from the grid, the Renogy 100 watt Eclipse suitcase will take care of all your needs while being a delight to transport and handle.
- Highest efficiency mono-Si cells
- Compact, foldable design
- Integrated charge controller for optimum power and safety
- Corner protected, durable frame
- Mounting kickstand for quick and easy mounting
- Higher cost