200-Watt Solar Panels (The Complete Guide)

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When it comes to electricity production, 200 Watt solar panels are the best compromise between size, power output, and price.

If you are looking to get solar panels for your house, your RV, or your boat, you might want to consider buying 200 Watt solar panels.

Although not the most powerful, they are certainly more versatile and compact than larger models, such as the 400W solar panel.

In our guide, we have put together the most useful information about 200W solar panels such as:

  • Price
  • Daily power output
  • Appliances that run with a 200W solar panel
  • Best battery for a 200W solar panel

We also outline the advantages of installing 200W solar panels on RVs and boats.

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

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200-Watt Solar Panel Average Price

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


We found out that on average a non-foldable 200W solar panel costs $230 and a foldable 200W solar panel costs $410.

All the 200W solar panels we mention below are monocrystalline. For a better understanding of what monocrystalline solar panels are, we recommend you to check out this informative article.
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, roof top, Boat$220
Renogy22.6V8.85Amps63.8” x 25.9” x 1.4”31.9lbsNoRV, roof top, 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

How Much Power Does a 200-Watt Solar Panel Produce?

The power output of a 200-watt solar panel is variable along the course of the day.

Below we have listed the different factors that could influence the power output of your solar panel:

  • Time of the day
  • Season
  • Clouds/Rain
  • Local shading
  • Tilting angle of your solar panel
  • Orientation of the solar panel

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

If the weather conditions are favorable, depending on the time of day you might 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

The highest power output is obtained between 11 AM and 3 PM.

In the graph below you’ll see how clouds and rain may affect your power output compared to an average sunny day.

Solar panel power output variation in function of the weather and time of the day(credit to David Seater)
The power output of your solar panel is obtained by using the formula below:

Power solar Panel (W) = Output Voltage (V) * Output Current (Amps)

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

What Can I Run With A 200-Watt Solar Panel?

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

Below we have listed some appliances and electronic devices that a 200W solar panel could run on an average 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

To achieve the full capacity of your 200W solar panel, you need a battery to store your solar energy.

Indeed, solar panels produce instant power, but what matters for us the most is energy.

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 could produce 600Wh of energy per day. Find out how much energy your solar panels could produce depending on your location on the planet with the Global Solar Atlas.

A Solar System To Run Your Appliances At Any Time

In order to assemble an efficient solar system, you will need to utilize these 3 key components:

The solar charge controller optimizes the power of your solar panel and charges the battery. Find out how to select the correct charge controller for your system in our comprehensive article.

Solar panels produce DC power; therefore, you need an inverter that converts DC into AC to plug in your electronic devices and household appliances. Have a look at our inverter size chart to select the best option for your solar system.

Finally, the solar battery stores your solar production so you can use it conveniently at any time of the day regardless of weather conditions. We even wrote an article to select the best solar battery.

If you find these types of systems too complicated, don’t worry, there are many all-in-one solar generators that combine charge controllers, inverters, and batteries. They are plug-and-play solutions! We have listed the best all-in-one solar generators in this article.


How Many Batteries Do I Need for a 200-Watt Solar Panel?

  • A 500Wh battery (12V, 40Ah) is the perfect match for a 200W solar panel.

As previously mentioned, solar batteries are a must in order for your solar panel to reach its full potential. A solar battery has two main functions:

  • Stores the excess energy produced by your solar panels
  • Acts 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. In a recent article, we faced off lithium and lead-acid batteries, guess which one won the battle?

Myth Buster about lithium batteries

We have read many articles about 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?

As mentioned before, your solar panel production depends on multiple factors, your location on the planet is one of the most important. For example, solar panels in California can produce two times more than in London.

Let’s take an example of an RV equipped with a 200W solar panel in California. According to the Global Solar Atlas, the solar production potential per day is 1kWh on average.

In the chart below, you’ll find the electronic devices and appliances that you could power with a 200 Watt solar panel on top of your RV in California:

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

We can conclude that a 200 Watt solar panel is enough to supply the needs of a small RV, but you would certainly need an extra panel for more comfort.

Tips and recommendations to optimize your solar production in an RV:

  • Always expose your solar panels to full sun
  • Avoid local shadowing (trees, buildings)
  • Clean your solar panel every month
  • Avoid using “flexible solar panels” glued on top of your roof, they overheat
Solar Tip

Ideally, for a campervan or RV setup, we would recommend that you use portable solar panels. This is mainly because you’d be able to avoid parking your RV in full sun all day long, it would get extremely hot and uncomfortable in the vehicle if you did this. Portable solar panels are easy to move to the sunniest spot, whilst your RV is parked in shade.

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

Boats are exposed to the sun at all times; therefore, solar panels are well adapted to power your boat appliances and electronic devices.

Usually, boats don’t have large surfaces available to install/attach solar panels, that’s why you should choose a compact and powerful solar panel.

A 200 Watt solar panel covers an area of 10 to 11 sqft, which is well-sized for a boat.

But what can you power with a 200W solar panel on your boat?

As stated before, your solar production greatly varies depending on your position on the planet, we will take an example of a boat sailing by the coast of California. The potential solar production is 1kWh per day.

Below, we have listed the appliances and electronic equipment that you could power on a boat with a 200W solar panel:

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

In the end, a 200 Watt solar panel is enough for a short sailing day trip. To power more appliances, we would recommend adding an additional power source like a micro wind turbine or an extra 200-Watt solar panel.


Final Thoughts

To conclude this article, we have combined all the most useful bits of information about 200W solar panels:

  • Regular fixed 200W solar panels cost on average $230
  • Portable and foldable 200W solar panels cost on average $410
  • A 200W solar panel should be part of a solar system combining a solar charger, an inverter and a battery
  • A 200W solar panel can power a mini-fridge/freezer
  • The best battery for a 200W solar panel is a 12V, 40Ah lithium battery
  • A portable 200W solar panel is a great choice for a small RV or campervan
  • A 200W solar panel is useful to power the electronic applainces on your boat for a day trip only

Romain Metaye, PhD

Dr Metaye has a PhD in chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique, France. He is a renewable energy expert with more than 10 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.

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