200-watt solar panels (The complete guide)

If you want solar panels for your house, RV, or boat, you’ll want to consider purchasing 200-watt solar panels.

Despite being on the smaller side, these solar panels combine solid power output and great value for money.

And while they aren’t the most powerful, they’re certainly more versatile and compact than their larger 400W or 500W counterparts.

In this guide, we take an in-depth look at 200W solar panels, focusing on factors such as:

  • Price.
  •  Daily power output.
  •  The best battery for a solar panel of this size
  •  The appliances you can run off a 200W panel.

Additionally, we outline the advantages of installing 200-watt solar panels on RVs and boats.

Let’s start with our price review of 200-watt solar panels.

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The average price of a 200-watt solar panel (2024)

We looked at 8 of the best 200W solar panel brands, including non-foldable fixed and foldable (thin-film) solar panels.

Based on our research, we discovered that the average non-foldable 200W solar panel costs approximately $230, and a foldable 200W solar panel costs $410.

Note to our readers: All the 200W solar panels mentioned below are monocrystalline.

200W Solar PanelMax. operating VoltageMax. operating AmpsSizeWeightFoldableBest forPrice
Newpowa17V11.76Amps64.57″ x 26.57″ x 1.38″28 lbsNoRoof Top, Boat$205
RICH SOLAR20.4V9.8Amps58.7” x 26.8” x 1.4”26.5lbsNoRV, rooftop, Boat$220
Renogy22.6V8.85Amps63.8” x 25.9” x 1.4”31.9lbsNoRV, rooftop, Boat$232
ROCKPALS36V5.56 Amps20.94″ x 24.4″*2.36″ (folded)
92.52″ x 20.94″ x 1.18″ (unfolded)
18.3 lbsYesCamping, RV, Boat$495
DOKIO18V11.12Amps21.2″ x 28.7″ x 1.1″ (folded)
85″ x 29″ x 0.7″ (unfolded)  
11.7 lbsYesCamping, RV, Boat$237
BLUETTI20V10 Amps20.7″ x 20.5″ x 2.4″ (folded)
82″ x 20.5″ x 0.7″ (unfolded)    
14.3 lbsYesCamping, RV, Boat$499
SUNGOLDPOWER37V5.41 Amps62.2″ x 31.8″ x 1.4″29lbsNoRooftop, boat, RV$269
Goal Zero Boulder23V8.69Amps40″ x 26.75″ x 3.5″ (folded)
40″ x 53.5″ x 1.75″ (unfolded)
42lbsYesCamping, RV, Boat$456

Interested in sizing your own solar system? Check out our solar calculator.

How much power does a 200-watt solar panel produce?

A 200-watt solar panel’s power output varies throughout the day because of the following factors:

Therefore, your 200W solar panel will only produce 200W under perfect conditions — at noon in summer, under a clear sky.

If weather conditions are favorable — depending on the time of day — your solar panel could produce the following power output:

Time of the dayPower output
6 AM-9 AM0W-50W
9 AM-11 AM50W-170W
11 AM-1 PM170W-200W
1 PM-3 PM200W-100W
3 PM-5 PM100W-50W
5 PM – 7 PM50W- 0W

Based on the table above, a 200W solar panel will achieve peak power output between 11 AM and 3 PM.

In the following you’ll see how clouds and affect your solar panel’s power output compared to an average sunny day.

A graph illustrating a solar panel's power output relative to the weather and time of the day — 200-watt solar panels.
Solar panel power output variation relative to the weather and time of the day.
Source: David Seater

Determining your solar panel’s power output

You can use the following formula to obtain your solar panel’s power output:

Solar panel power (W) = output voltage (V) * output current (amps)

While the voltage will likely remain the same in all conditions, the output current will vary, affecting the power output.

What can you run with a 200-watt solar panel?

With a single 200W solar panel, you can power a mini-fridge like the one below:

A mini-fridge that can be powered by a 200-watt solar panel.
View on Amazon

Below you’ll find some appliances and electronic devices you can run with a 200W solar panel on a typical sunny day.

AppliancesNumber of hours per day
2*Led lights (10W)5 hours
Phone/Tablet/Drone (20W)3 hours
Laptop (100W)2 hours
TV (100W)2 hours
Electric fan (40W)2 hours

You need a battery to store your solar energy to harness your 200W solar panel’s full potential. Yes, solar panels produce instant power, but what matters most is energy.

Determining the amount of energy your devices use: formula

While running, appliances consume energy in Wh or kWh. To find out how much energy your devices use, apply the formula below:

Energy (Wh) = Power (W) * Running Time (hour)

On average, a 200W solar panel can produce 600Wh of energy per day. If you’d like to to find out how much energy your solar panels can produce at your location, make use of Global Solar Atlas.

What components make up a solar system?

In order to assemble an efficient solar system, you need to combine the following three key components:

  • Solar charge controller: A solar charge controller optimizes the power of your solar panels and charges your battery. power your solar panel and charge the battery.
  • Inverter: Solar panels produce DC power. Therefore, you need an inverter that converts DC into AC to power your electronic devices and household appliances.
  • Solar battery: A solar battery stores your solar energy production so you can use it conveniently anytime, regardless of weather conditions.

If combining these components seems a little too complicated for you, don’t worry; many all-in-one solar generators combine charge controllers, inverters, and batteries. The most powerful solar generators make for fantastic plug-and-play energy solutions.

How many batteries do you need for a 200-watt solar panel?

A single 200-watt solar panel will match perfectly with one 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery.

Renogy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery. Perfect for a 200-watt solar panel.
Renogy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery.
View on Amazon

As previously mentioned, solar batteries are a must for your solar panel to reach its full potential.

These batteries serve two primary functions:

  1. Store: They store the excess energy produced by your solar panels.
  2. Buffer: They act as a buffer for continuous power supply in case of cloudy/rainy days.

We highly recommend lithium batteries. Their power output, life duration, and robustness far outperform lead-acid batteries.

Note to our readers: We’ve come across many articles regarding lithium batteries being non-recyclable and a threat to the environment. We did some thorough research to write a comprehensive article about recycling lithium batteries. Their recycling rate might surprise you!

Is a 200-watt solar panel enough for my RV? 

200-watt solar panels offer the best compromise between size/weight and power, but are they powerful enough for an RV?

You’ll recall that your solar panel’s production depends on multiple factors, with the location being the most important. For example, solar panels in California can produce two times more than in London.

Scenario: RV in California equipped with a 200W solar panel 

According to the Global Solar Atlas, the average daily solar production potential is 1kWh.

In the below chart, you’ll find the electronic devices that you can power in California with a 200-watt solar panel on top of your RV:

EquipmentNumber of hours per dayEnergy consumption (Wh)
Led lights (3*5W)690
Circulation pump (100W)1100
Cooler (50W)12350
Small Electric fan (30W)390
USB devices (Phone, tablet) 30W390
Laptop (90W)3270

In conclusion, a 200-watt solar panel is enough to supply the needs of a small RV, but you’ would’d certainly need an extra panel for more comfort.

Tips and recommendations to optimize your RVs solar production

  • Always expose your solar panels to full sunlight.
  • Avoid local shadowing (trees, buildings).
  • Clean your solar panels monthly.
  • Avoid using “flexible solar panels” glued on top of your roof — they overheat.

Tip: For a campervan or RV setup, we recommend using portable solar panels. These panels are easy to move to the sunniest spot whilst your RV is parked in the shade.

Is a 200-Watt Solar Panel Enough For My Boat?

Boats are continuously exposed to sunlight. This makes solar panels a perfect option for powering their appliances.

Moreover, most boats lack the required surface area to install solar panels. That said, a 200-watt solar panel covers an area of 10 to 11 sq. ft. This makes them well-suited for boat setups.

What can a 200-watt solar panel power on a boat?

Let’s use an example of a boat sailing along the coast of California where the daily solar production potential is 1kWh.

Here is a list of the appliances you can power with a 200W solar panel on a boat:

Number of hours per dayEnergy consumption (Wh)
Marine radar (25W)12300
Fishfinder/sonar (30W)6180
Led lights (2*5W)550
Cooler (50W)8300
Circulation pump (100W)0.550
USB devices (30W)260

In conclusion, a 200-watt solar panel is enough for a short sailing trip. To power more appliances, you’d need to add an additional power source like a micro wind turbine or an extra 200-watt solar panel.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, here are the most useful bits of information about 200W solar panels:

  • The average price of regular fixed 200W solar panels is $230.
  • The average price of portable and foldable 200W solar panels is $410.
  • A 200W solar panel should form part of a solar system combining a solar charger, an inverter, and a battery.
  • A 200W solar panel can power a mini-fridge/freezer.
  • A 200W solar panel pairs well with a 12V, 100Ah LiFePO4 battery.
  • A portable 200W solar panel is an excellent choice for a small RV or campervan.
  • A 200W solar panel is ideal for powering your boat’s electronic appliances during short day trips. 

And that’s a wrap! If you have any questions regarding 200-watt solar panels, please reach out to us in the comments section below or follow us on Twitter.

Romain Metaye
Romain Metaye

Dr Metaye has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique, France. He is a renewable energy expert with more than 11 years of experience within the research world. During his career, he supervised more than 150 projects on clean energy. Off-grid smart systems, solar energy, battery and the hydrogen economy are among his specialties.

  1. decent article but prices on many solar and batteries have dropped nov 2022
    a 100ah 1260 wh battery lipo4 are as low as 240 to 350 even the top recommended one has reduced imo you can get 3 for price of that early premium one
    i have see a few 100 and 200 watt panels also sinking in size