Elecaenta reached out to me to test their 120W foldable solar panel. Since I could test it with my Rockpals Rockpower 500 power station, I decided to give it a go.
|High-powered (main connection + USBs)||Won’t fit into a standard backpack when folded|
|Comes with several connectors||Not easy to mount due to length (5.5 ft)|
|Kickstand, grommets, IPX5 water-resistant||On the heavier side (11.24 lb)|
The Elecaenta 120W portable solar panel folds into a compact 20.5 x 14.2 x 2.2 inches. It comes with a 45W USB-C PD port, 24W USB-A QC3.0 port, and over ten connectors for portable power stations. The panel can be placed in optimal sunlight with its kickstand, metal grommets, and 10-foot cable.
The Elecaenta is best for activities such as camping, boondocking, and any other area where a boost of off-grid power is useful or necessary.
Specifications of the Elecaenta 120W Solar Panel
|Maximum Power||18V, 6.6A (open-circuit voltage: 24~25V, short-circuit current: 7.2A)|
|Cell Type||Monocrystalline Silicon|
|USB-A QC 3.0 Output||5V⎓3.4A, 9V⎓2.5A, 12V⎓2A (24W max)|
|USB-C PD Output||5V⎓4.5A, 9V⎓3A, 12V⎓3A, 15V⎓3A (45W max)|
|Folded Size||20.47 x 14.17 x 2.17 in|
|Expanded Size||65.35 x 20.47 x 0.98 in|
|Net Weight||11.24 lb|
Testing the Output of the Elecaenta Solar Panel
I tested both the main connection as well as the two USB ports on the solar panel to see if they work according to their specifications.
Here’s what I uncovered.
Testing the Main Connection
I tested the solar panel in three separate sunlight conditions:
|Weather Condition||Output Wattage|
Cloudy Conditions Testing
The solar panel output was around 22-28W when in cloudy conditions.
The clouds outside were not very thick, but they completely covered the sun.
Partly Cloudy Conditions Testing
On a partly cloudy day, the cloud cover during my testing consisted of a thin layer that blanketed the sun.
I got a maximum reading of 84W coming from the solar panel. This comes out to a 70% efficiency after dividing 84W by the 120W nominal capacity.
This, to me, is above average for a solar panel of this size, especially considering the weather conditions I tested in.
Full Sunlight Conditions Testing
In full sunlight, the maximum output was 97-98W. This is equivalent to about 81% efficiency, bringing it to the peak of solar panel efficiency.
In my experience, the best solar panels (rigid or portable) typically reach 80% of their said wattage.
That being said, it is safe to say that the Elecaenta performed phenomenally.
USB-C Port Testing
With or without a USB cord plugged into the Elecaenta, the red LED indicator light turns on to signal power running to its ports.
When testing the USB-C port in good sunlight, the output was actually higher than the listed specification.
My Sherpa 100AC power bank (which can read the wattage coming into it) read a consistent 52-56 watts from the panel.
This was surprising to me, as I was hoping to get between 40-45 watts of power out of this port.
Now, this was me using only the USB-C port with the solar panel.
I then grabbed the main power cord from the solar panel to plug into my Rockpals power station.
I didn’t check the wattage reading on the Rockpals, but on my power bank, the reading was between 20-22 watts coming into it.
USB-A Port Testing
When testing the USB-A, I received a 13W maximum when using it alone and when it was connected with my Rockpals power station.
The QC3.0 USB port has a maximum output of 24W, so this was either an overstatement from Elecaenta, or my cable and/or Sherpa power bank would not allow more than 13W.
Regardless, 13W is a considerable amount of power from a USB-A port.
What Will a 120-Watt Solar Panel Run?
A 120-watt solar panel will run power to most battery-powered devices including portable power stations, power banks, smartphones, drones, digital cameras, and laptops. In good sunlight, it can deliver anywhere from 75-96W of power to these devices.
Many solar panels have IC chips or charge controllers which regulate the amount of power going into any device.
The Elecaenta solar panel has an IC chip, which protects devices from overloading and overcharging.
How Many Volts Does a 120-Watt Solar Panel Produce?
A 120-watt solar panel produces between 18-35 volts at max power (Vmp) with an open-circuit voltage (Voc) between 21-45 volts. Solar panels are typically labeled as either “12V” or “24V”. Ones with a 12V setup typically have a Vmp of 18V whereas a 24V setup ranges between 34-36V.
|Solar Panel Model||Voltage at Max Power (Vmp)||Open Circuit Voltage (Voc)|
|ELECAENTA Portable Solar Panel 120W||18V||24-25V|
|ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel||18V||21.6V|
|Giosolar 120 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel||18V||21.2V|
|BLUETTI SP120 120W Solar Panel||19.8V||23.7V|
|NEWPOWA 120W 24V Monocrystalline Solar Panel||34V||40.46V|
|Solarland SLP120-24U Solar Panel 120W 24V||34.4V||43.2V|
|Ameresco Solar 24 Volt 120 Watt Solar Panel||36.1V||44.7V|
The Elecaenta solar panel is technically used for 12V systems. This means that it is used to charge small devices as well as 12V batteries.
A 24V solar panel is typically used along with several other panels for residential use or RV installation.
How Portable Is the Elecaenta 120W Solar Panel?
When folded, the Elecaenta 120W solar panel measures out at 20.47 x 14.17 x 2.17 inches. While its folded and expanded width stays the same, its folded length is 4.6 times shorter than its expanded length (14.17 vs. 65.35 in). However, when folded, it will not fit into most backpacks.
- Folded Size: 20.47 x 14.17 x 2.17 in
- Expanded Size: 65.35 x 20.47 x 0.98 in
Even though it won’t fit into the standard backpack, its rubber carrying handle makes it easy to carry place-to-place.
Even though it weighs a little over ten pounds, I didn’t find it heavy when carrying it around.
The panel also has an attached accessories bag to hold the connectors, carabiners, and 10-foot cable.
The bag is big enough to fit a couple of smartphones as well if need be.
Overall, the Elecaenta is portable for a solar panel over 100 watts, but since it can’t fit into most normal backpacks, it is not something you’d want to carry long distances.
Usability – How Versatile Is the Elecaenta 120W Panel?
This section dives into the features of the solar panel. I want to make a fair assessment of how it would be used “in the field” so to speak.
With two folding legs, the Elecaenta stood up easily when testing it out. I used it on an uneven surface in my backyard and I had no issues with it whatsoever.
Both legs have a velcro piece to attach to the back of the panel when being stored, and they also have a strap connecting the solar panel to the middle of each leg to keep them in place.
The angle of the panel seemed to be close to 45-degrees when viewing it from the side. This angle is optimal for catching the most sunlight.
2. Grommets + Carabiners
The Elecaenta comes with four carabiners to attach to the four metal grommets on the corners of the panel.
Although this was a nice add-on from the company, I personally think I would use zip ties instead of the carabiners to mount the panel more easily.
The carabiners open up enough to clamp onto small objects like fences and external poles on a tent, but if you wanted to tie it to the roof rack on your car or something similar in size, zip ties would work best.
3. Cable Length
The main cable extending from the solar panel is three meters long, which is 9.84 feet.
I found this to be very useful as I could charge my portable power station without any hassle or adjusting.
This makes me think of people using this while camping, and it can be of great benefit to be able to place the solar panel in the direct sun while keeping the power station in the shade to keep it cool while it’s charging.
4. Included Connection Types
The following connectors are included with the solar panel:
- 8 mm DC adapter (7.9*5.5*0.8 mm)
- 7.4*5.0*0.6 mm
- 6.3*3.0 mm
- 6.0*4.2*1.4 mm
- 5.5*2.5 mm
- 5.5*2.1 mm
- 5.5*1.7 mm
- 4.8*1.7 mm
- 4.0*1.7 mm
- 3.5*1.35 mm
- DC5521-Anderson/Aviation plug
The DC5521-Anderson/Aviation plug is the main cable that is connected to the panel once you open the package up. These cables are connected to a single cable that disconnects.
Once this is disconnected, you then can install the other connectors.
I believe these connectors are meant to be used both with laptops and portable power stations from several different brands.
5. IPX5 Water-Resistant
The IPX5 rating means that the solar panel (front and back) can withstand low-pressure water jet spray.
What this means for you is that you can use it in the rain if you need to.
With a solar panel as large as the 120W Elecaenta, you should still get some power from the panel in these conditions depending on the cloud cover – but I wouldn’t expect to get more than 25 watts.
Are Folding Solar Panels Waterproof?
Folding solar panels are not waterproof, however, there are several that are water-resistant. This means that they can withstand water exposure for a limited amount of time. For example, solar panels with an IPX4 rating can withstand water splashes from all directions for at least five minutes.
The storage bag on the Elecaenta panel carries the same IPX5 water-resistance rating as the rest of the panel.
As long as the storage bag is zipped closed, it will be easy to avoid getting the cables and your devices wet when in rainy weather.
How Long Do Folding Solar Panels Last?
Folding solar panels last between 15-30 years depending on how well they are maintained. Since folding solar panels are typically used on the go for activities like camping, they can develop more wear and tear and degrade faster than a stationary rigid solar panel.
The Elecaenta panel is constructed from mostly oxford cloth, which is both water-resistant as well as durable.
It is soft, yet tough.
What You Should Look For When Buying a Portable Solar Panel
When buying a portable solar panel, you should look for its total power output, additional USB ports (for device charging), its IP rating (for water protection), whether it has a kickstand, and its dimensions. Then, compare it to similar solar panels to get the best price.
Its total power output will likely be 60-80% of the stated wattage. The dimensions are important in case you need the panel to fit into your backpack.
Small portable solar panels like the Goal Zero Nomad 10 can fit onto the back of your backpack while opened to charge devices while backpacking.
My best advice is to think about exactly what you want to use the solar panel for and then search for one that can provide you what you need.
I created an article all about proper solar panel sizing and I think it would be a great read to narrow down your search.
Check it out here: What Size Portable Solar Panel Do You Need? (Detailed Overview).
How Much Does a 120-Watt Solar Panel Cost?
A 120-watt solar panel typically ranges from $125 to $360. The price depends on the solar panel type and voltage. A 12V rigid panel costs between $125 and $140. A 12V foldable panel ranges from $175-$300. Lastly, a 24V rigid panel costs anywhere from $140-$360.
|Solar Panel Model||Power Requirement||Solar Panel Type||Price|
|ELECAENTA Portable Solar Panel 120W||12V||Foldable||$170-$205|
|ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel||12V||Foldable||$200|
|BLUETTI SP120 120W Solar Panel||12V||Foldable||$300|
|Giosolar 120 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel||12V||Rigid||$125|
|NEWPOWA 120W 24V Monocrystalline Solar Panel||24V||Rigid||$140|
|Solarland SLP120-24U Solar Panel 120W 24V||24V||Rigid||$270|
|Ameresco Solar 24 Volt 120 Watt Solar Panel||24V||Rigid||$360|
At the same wattage rating, foldable solar panels tend to be more expensive than rigid ones because they are overall much more versatile.
Check out the table below for folding solar panel pricing for panels rated at 120W.
120W Portable/Folding Solar Panel Comparison
Below are multiple folding/portable solar panels rated at 120W. Check out their specifications below.
|Solar Panel Model||ELECAENTA Solar Panel 120W Portable Foldable Solar Charger||TwelSeavan Solar Panel 120W Foldable Portable Solar Panel Charger||TISHI HERY 120W Portable Solar Panel Foldable||BALDR 120W Portable Solar Panel||PAXCESS 120W Portable Solar Panel||ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger|
|Weight||11.24 lbs||9.5 lbs||8.8 lbs||10.25 lbs||11.18 lbs||9.0 lbs|
|Dimensions (Folded)||20.47 x 14.17 x 2.17 in||20.5 x 14.4 x 1.6 in||20.2 x 14 x 0.78 in||20.5 x 14.6 x 2.2 in||20.7 x 14.4 x 1.38 in||21.5 x 14.6 x 2.5 in|
|Dimensions (Unfolded)||65.35 x 20.47 x 0.98 in||64.6 x 20.5 in (thickness not listed)||64.5 x 20.2 x 0.3 in||65.4 x 20.5 x 0.98 in||66.7 x 20.7 x 0.2 in||62.2 x 21.5 x 0.2 in|
|Main Output Max Power||18V, 6.6A||18V, 6.6A||18V, 6.7A||18V, Amps not listed||18V, 6.6A||18V, 6.67A|
|USB Ports||1x USB-A QC3.0 (24W max)|
1x USB-C PD (45W max)
|1x Standard USB-A|
1x USB QC3.0 (24W max)
1x USB-C PD (60W max)
|1x Standard USB-A|
1x USB QC3.0 (24W max)
1x USB-C PD (60W max)
|1x USB-A QC3.0 (24W max)|
1x USB-C PD (45W max)
|1x USB-A QC3.0 (24W max)|
1x USB-C (18W max)
|2x Standard USB-A|
|Water-Resistance IP Rating||IPX5||Not Listed||IP65||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed|
|Included Connections||8mm adapter, 10x DC connectors, DC5521-Anderson/Aviation plug||8mm adapter, 10x DC connectors, DC5521-MC4 cable, DC5521-Anderson cable, DC5521-DC5521||10x DC connectors, DC5521-DC5521 cable, DC5521-Alligator clips, DC5521-MC4 cable, DC5521-Anderson cable||8mm adapter, 2x DC connectors, DC5521-Anderson cable||8mm adapter, 2x DC connectors, DC5521-Aviation plug||10x DC connectors, MC4-Alligator clips|
|Storage Pouch? (Y/N)||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Grommets/Clamps for mounting? (Y/N)||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
The differences that stand out the most when comparing these panels are:
- USB port options
- Water resistance rating
- Included connectors
When looking for the best option for yourself, the above differences may make you like one solar panel option over the others.
Is the Elecaenta 120W Solar Panel Worth It?
From my testing and analysis, I believe the Elecaenta solar panel is worth the cost because it performs well after testing its:
- Overall power output
- USB power outputs
This tool will be a great addition to your off-grid power needs especially if you’re on the go.
You can check out all of my tests visually in my YouTube video review found below.
You can check out the Elecaenta 120W solar panel here on Amazon (affiliate link) – be sure to click the coupon box and also enter the code “SOLARMAX” at checkout for an additional 10% off!
Before reviewing the Elecaenta solar panel, I wrote an article on the top off-grid solar panels.
This piece may give you some insights into which type of panel may be best for your needs. Check it out here: Top 5 Best Portable Solar Panels for Off-Grid Use.