Renogy 160-Watt 12-Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Review
Monocrystalline solar panels are great in the aspects of efficiency and compactness, and the Renogy 160-watt 12-volt panel is a perfect example of the this. With a guaranteed positive output tolerance, multi-layered laminated sheets, toughened glass, and a weather-proof design, it gets everything right. We will discuss further about all the above areas and more in this Renogy 160-watt 12-volt monocrystalline solar panel review.
The panel could have been more durable and portable with a strengthened frame and a mounting stand, but besides that it is a delightful product to have. There is also a flexible version of this model which is far lighter and compact, if these are important criteria for you. There are similar products at slightly lower costs, but Renogy’s product feels more reliable in almost all aspects.
This solar panel which comes with an optimum operating voltage of about 20V. This makes it suitable for most 12V devices. Moreover, the MC4 connectors make it a universally compatible module for connecting with other modules or charge controllers/inverters. It is a perfect fit with Renogy’s line of power stations such as the Phoenix and Lycan.
This could have been a wonderfully portable panel, if it came with the features of smaller eclipse models, such as corner protection and integrated kickstand for quick mounting. Nevertheless, Renogy has got the basics perfectly right. It offers a non-corrosive aluminum frame and low-iron tempered glass. Its back-sheet quality feels great and the cell strings look neatly connected in series. The junction box is tough plastic and comes with a water-proof rating for short circuit protection.
Ease Of Use
This 160W, 12V monocrystalline panel has sufficiently long cables and MC4 connectors, making connecting and disconnecting easy and safe. There are pre-drilled mounting holes, saving the hassle of measurement and drilling on your own. Renogy offers sets of Z brackets which makes it simple to mount the panel on a variety of flat surfaces. Besides the setting up, handling of the panel is also relatively easy, thanks to a manageable weight of 22 pounds.
This solar panel may not claim any segment first features, but it does not lack any of the essential ones. It has an anti-reflective, tempered glass that absorbs maximum sunlight and also resists wind and snow loads to a good extent. The frame has a snug fit and looks long-lasting. Its aluminum build makes it light and durable. The panel is water-proof and can stand most levels of harsh weather. On the performance front, the cells are EL tested and devoid of any hot-spots that could deteriorate the cells over years.
Besides the darker and octagonal-shaped cells that announce their monocrystalline nature, this is quite an ordinary looking panel. It has the usual grey frame and white back-sheet. The frame comes with holes for mounting or grounding. It would have been great to see some tweaks in colors, but Renogy keeps it a practical unit focused only on performance. We have also reviewed the flexible design version of this product, the Renogy 160 watt 12 volt flexible monocrystalline solar panel.
What We Like
The market of solar panels is booming every day with newer entries and even monocrystalline panels are becoming more common, thanks to their efficiencies. Renogy has placed a perfect product in the mid-sized capacity of solar panels by offering the 160W, 12V panel. It may not look unique but it certainly does not disappoint in power generation and build-quality. For a few days of camping or a permanently mounted battery charging power generation for most sizes of battery packs, this is a great product.
- Superior build-quality
- EL tested cells without hotspots
- Bypass diodes
- No mounting equipment