Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for free, in exchange for a review. We were not paid by Itehil to do this review but we did receive it for free. All opinions expressed in this post are based on our personal views and experiences.
The Itehil 100W Portable Solar Panel
Just like with solar generators, portable solar panels have become more and more popular in the past couple of years. There are more options than ever, and it can be hard to navigate in the solar panel jungle to decide which panel to get.
One of the newer companies that make and sell both power stations and solar panels is Itehil. They don’t have a lot of products on the market yet, but one that was just released is the Itehil 100W solar panel.
Itehil reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in doing a review and since we have a lot of experience with power stations and solar panels we said yes.
This article is going to be our full review, with our own pictures and test results. We have tested the panel with power stations from the most popular companies out there to make sure it holds up against the competition.
Who Is The Itehil 100W Solar Panel For?
Not all solar panels are made with the same user in mind. Sure, they are all made to generate electricity for a battery to store said electricity, but there are different types of panels and designs targeted at different customers.
The Itehil panel is targeted towards people with power stations and smaller devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and lights.
It’s not meant to charge 12V house batteries on an RV, and there are better products out there if that’s what you’re looking for. I suggest reading this post where I go through different options for charging 12V RV and camper batteries.
There are a couple of reasons that this is more suitable for travelers or homeowners with power stations. The first reason is the connectors included with the panel.
The second reason is that it’s more portable than the rigid panels because of how it’s made, which also means that it’s not supposed to be left outdoors 24/7.
I’ll dive deeper into its features down below where I’ll also talk about the portability and why a foldable panel can be both a pro and a con – depending on how and where you plan to use it.
We try to write reviews that are easy to read and follow. First, we go over the features, then we talk about what we like and don’t like. We always finish the post with a FAQ section that answers the most frequently asked questions about the product we’re reviewing.
If you have any questions about the panel or Itehil’s products, please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer them.
High Efficient Solar Panels
The panel is made with four 25W panels. These are monocrystalline panels with an efficiency rate of up to 21.5%.
That number might not mean much to you, but to compare polycrystalline panels usually have an efficiency rate between 13-16%.
Portable & Foldable – The main selling point of the Itehil 100W panel is its portability. It folds together and becomes a very compact and easy-to-carry panel. This makes it a great panel for the traveler with space and weight limits.
It weighs 11 pounds (5 kg) and measures 20.5 by 1.4 by 2 inches when folded together. It’s easy to store in an RV, van, or even a car due to how compact and thin it becomes when folded together.
There are three ports on the junction box found behind the panel: two USB A ports, and one DC port.
One of the USB ports can output up to 15W, and the second one can do up to 10W.
To take advantage of the full 100W, you need to use the DC port. This is where the included 5.5×2.1mm cable can be plugged in and connect to a wide variety of devices on the other end of the cable. Itehil includes several DC adapters that connect to the 5.5×2.1mm cable.
The DC port is rated at 18V @ 5.5A, which means it can output up to 99W in perfect conditions.
You can use more than one port at a time, so you can charge a phone, a tablet, and a power station at the same time by using all of the ports.
The pocket on the back of the panel where the junction box is located is large enough to fit small electronics like a phone, an AirPod case, etc.
Connectors, Cables & Accessories Included
Itehil includes 11 different DC connectors. For example, a USB C connector, an 8mm connector, and a 5.5×2.5mm connector.
The 8mm and 5.5×2.5mm connectors are often found on portable power stations (also known as solar generators) which means that it’s compatible with a lot of batteries on the market right out of the box.
Jackery and Goal Zero use the 8mm connector, while a lot of other brands use the 5.5×2.1mm or the 5.5×2.5mm. Simply test the different connectors with your specific power station to find the correct one. If it’s the correct one, it fits without force.
Itehil also includes four carabiners that can be used to hang the panel with a rope on a tree, camper, chair, or vehicle.
Built-in Stand & Handle
The built-in stand makes it possible to angle the panel directly towards the sun, which will increase efficiency and generate more electricity. This is especially useful when the sun is low on the horizon in the morning or evening.
When folded together, the handle makes it easy to carry the panel.
IPX4 Water-resistant Fabric
While the panel and the junction box are not waterproof, the fabric used around the panel is water-resistant, which means that it can handle light splashes from any direction.
It should not be left out in heavy rain, but a light sprinkle won’t hurt it as long as the connectors and the junction box are covered.
What I Like
While the size, weight, and overall design matter, what’s more important are the outputs. What and how can you connect devices and how well does the panel perform?
In my tests, the panel performed great, even when the skies are cloudy. Of course, it’s going to depend on what you connect the panel to.
An old PWM charge controller will struggle when it’s cloudy, but most power stations nowadays include MPPT charge controllers which can utilize the voltage and increase the overall efficiency.
The USB ports are useful when charging phones, tablets, headlamps, and similar small devices. But since the USB 3.0 port can only output 15W and it’s not a USB C PD port, you shouldn’t use it with any larger devices than that.
15 or 10 watts is enough to quickly charge phones, tablets, and devices with similar battery capacity.
I was not able to charge my MacBook Pro via USB C since it requires a PD port, but it did charge my Nintendo Switch.
Even though I would’ve liked an MC4 cable instead of the 5.5×2.1mm, I like that Itehil included so many different DC connectors.
It can be hard to find the correct connector and adapter for your specific power station or device, so it’s a great idea to include connectors for the most popular power station brands.
So how do you know whether it works with your device or not? Well, in most cases you can find out online which connector type is used, but you can also leave a comment here and I’ll let you know which connector your device (or power station) uses.
I like the design for several reasons.
When the panel is folded together for storage, the panels are protected, so it doesn’t feel fragile or like I can hurt it by putting it in the storage compartment in my RV.
Speaking of folding, the panel folds in four sections which makes it more portable than most portable 100W panels. It’s a little more cumbersome to unfold than a panel that only folds once, so it’s both a pro and a con.
The legs are sturdy and the weight of the panel makes sure that it won’t get knocked over unless there are very heavy winds.
Having access to the storage compartment when the panel is folded is great since it lets you get the cable and adapters you need before unfolding the panel.
Keeping the junction box in the storage pocket also helps keep dust and dirt out of the ports. I have had portable panels with exposed ports that have quit working due to moisture and dirt.
The fact that the fabric used is waterproof means that you can not only leave it out in light rain but also during the winter. It does not have any issues performing in freezing temperatures.
What I Don’t Like
No USB C Port
There are two USB A ports, and you can connect a USB C connector via the DC output, but I would’ve liked a USB C port on the junction box since so many of my devices use USB C now. As of now, there is no way to charge my MacBook directly with the panel.
No MC4 Cable/Connectors
If you had the option to use an MC4 cable, you would be able to connect a charge controller and an external 12V battery (like an RV battery). Unfortunately, while possible it requires extra purchases with the Itehil panel.
It’s fine since it’s not what this panel is made for, but I have seen other similar panels that include an MC4 cable.
The Itehil 100W panel performs great and has been a reliable solar panel for the several months that I have had it.
We have had several windy days where my other 100W panels (like my SolarSaga 100) have fallen over, but the Itehil panel hasn’t.
So for somebody like me, that lives in an RV and leaves the panel out during the day, the extra weight has been as useful as I expected.
It’s not the end of the world if it would eventually fall over from the wind, but it could scratch the panel which might decrease the power output over time.
It’s a solid panel choice for power stations, and I wouldn’t buy it unless you plan on using the DC output.
The big question for a lot of you is – is it better than the alternatives? It depends. Is it the cost, the portability, or the overall size of the panel that matters the most to you? You get a lot of value for the money with the Itehil panel in a portable package, but it’s not as small when unfolded as some of the panels from its competitors.
It’s a great panel that performs as expected with lots of adapters that make it compatible with a lot of portable power stations on the market, and it’s a panel I recommend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Itehil solar panel waterproof?
No, it’s not waterproof. Its fabric is water-resistant which means that it can handle some light rain and snow, but it should not be left out in heavy rain or submerged in water.
The junction box, ports, cables, and adapters are not waterproof.
Can I connect two panels in parallel?
While possible, it would require extra wiring and I don’t recommend doing this.
Can I use more than one port at a time?
Does the solar panel store electricity?
No, the panel only generates electricity and unless you have connected a device or solar generator to one of the ports the electricity will be wasted.
Is the panel safe to use with my power station?
The Itehil panel outputs 5.5 amps at 18V. Whether it’s safe to use with your power station or not depends on which power station you have.
Some brands use charge controllers that require a higher than 18 volts to work, while most can handle 18V without any issues. If you’re not sure, please leave a comment and let me know which brand and model you have and I will help you figure it out.
Does it work with Jackery/Goal Zero/Bluetti?
If your Jackery, Goal Zero, or Bluetti power station has an 8mm port, it should work and it did work with my Jackery Explorer 500, 1000, Goal Zero Yeti 1000, and Bluetti AC50.
I have been told that the latest Explorer 1500 and 2000 have slightly different 8mm ports, so it might not work with these newer models.
Is there a USB C PD port?
No, and the DC cable with the USB C adapter might not work with your device.
Do I need a charge controller?
This kind of panel is made to be used with power stations and small electronics. Power stations have built-in charge controllers, so you should not connect another charge controller.
The USB ports are regulated and output a voltage that is safe for your electronics.
If you would like to connect this panel to a 12V battery, like a car or RV battery, you would have to connect a charge controller.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.