Disclaimer: BougeRV sent this product to us for free for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product. In this article, we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.
The BougeRV 100W Solar Panel Offers Portability Without Compromises
Today I’ll be reviewing the portable BougeRV 100W solar panel. This specific model folds together and has a built-in handle that makes it easy to transport.
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It also has an IP67 rating which means that it’s waterproof, at least waterproof enough to be left out in the rain.
Let’s start with my first impressions, before we dive into the specifications, test results, and my overall thoughts on this product.
My first impressions were positive, and I was surprised by how lightweight the panel was.
It weighs 10.1 pounds (4.59 kg), so it’s not the lightest portable panel on the market. It’s very compact though, which is what I think added to that impression.
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Unfolding the panel is easy since it’s held together with magnets. I noticed that it does want to close itself once it’s open, and I think that’s because of the materials used. That’s something that might change as the time goes by and it’s opened more.
The legs that fold out are sturdy and somewhat adjustable. BougeRV advertise a 0 to 45 degree adjustability, which is correct, but not enough when the sun is low on the horizon.
A pocket on the back stores the cables, which use MC4 connectors. One positive and one negative.
The panel I received did not include any other cables to connect the panel to a power station, so that’s something I would have to buy extra.
When you’re going to connect a solar panel to a solar charge controller or a power station, you need to make sure it outputs a voltage that the charge controller can handle, here are the ratings for the panel:
- Power Voltage: 19.8V
- Power Current: 5.05A
- Open Circuit Voltage: 23.7V
- Short Circuit Current: 5.33A
- Operating Temperature Range: -40 to 85°C (-40 to 185°F)
Since the panel use MC4 connectors you might need an MC4 to DC adapter to connect it to a power station. A lot of power stations nowadays include these adapters so then all you need to do is make sure the power station can handle the voltages listed above.
It has a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector, so you would need an MC4 to DC adapter with a positive MC4 female connector and a positive MC4 female connector to make the correct connection.
The handle is built into the panel so it’s very rigid and easy to hold. The magnets that hold the panels together when folded are placed underneath the panel.
As you can see in the image above and below, there are holes in the corners of the panel that make it possible to hang the panel. No accessories are included for this, but if you use carabiners or rope you should be able to figure it out relatively easily.
The panel consists of multiple layers, from the wear-resistant fiber cloth on the back to the ETFE coating on top which makes it waterproof.
Thanks do the IP67 rating, I wasn’t worried about testing the panel outside in the snow where I knew it was going to get wet. Of course, I wasn’t sticking the MC4 connectors in the snow, but I know that MC4 connectors are IP67 rated as well and can handle water as long as it’s connected properly.
When folded, it measures 25.8 by 21.2 inches, and unfolded 25.8 by 42.6 inches. As I mentioned earlier, it weighs a little over 10 pounds.
I have to preface this by mentioning that my tests were done during a sunny day, but in the middle of the winter in Sweden. The sun is not very high here in the middle of the winter, and the panel should perform a lot better in better conditions.
As soon as spring comes around, I will be doing some more tests and come back and update this review.
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The highest input I saw on a power station with an MPPT solar charge controller was 41W. The panel was cold since it was below freezing outside, and would definitely perform better if it was warmer.
Compared to a similar model by a different company that I know is capable of 80+ watts on a sunny summer day, the BougeRV performed slightly better. That’s why I figured I should write this review now anyway, since it shows that the low wattage is simply due to the terrible conditions.
I couldn’t do as many tests as I wanted to with this panel this time because of the snowy conditions where I am located right now, but I can still give an honest opinion.
The BougeRV 100W solar panel is a solid choice and a panel I can recommend.
I do wish the MC4 cables were a bit longer, and that it included a couple of adapters to connect it to the most common power stations, but that’s not a deal breaker since a lot of power stations include that anyway.
I would’ve also liked to see more adjustable legs, but I understand that’s hard to accomplish on a compact panel like this.
Last but not least, it doesn’t come with a carrying case.
Do you see where I am getting at? This panel has a lot of positives, but there are some negatives. Whether it’s a dealbreaker or not depends on you though, since not all of the things I list as a negative matters to everybody.
Overall, I like how compact the panel is and I am fine with it not coming with a case. It’s very easy to unfold and set up, and is appears to be durable enough to last a long time.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.