So you want to add solar panels to your life?
That’s great because there are so many amazing benefits to solar power.
The fact that it is completely free to create electricity is quite amazing.
They say nothing in life is free, well they forgot about the sun’s energy.
And one of the best ways to do this is with a 200 watt solar panel.
Because this size solar panel provides a perfect balance of power, size, and cost.
It is surprising how cheap can get started with a solar panel kit these days without scrimping on quality.
Whether you want to instantly add renewable energy to your house, shed, cabin, van, RV, camping, or boat, you can do it without any hassle.
I am sure you know the virtues of solar panels, it’s why you’re reading this…
So let’s dive straight into this article which will give you a complete in-depth guide to solar systems and what 200 watt solar panels will power.
What Will A 200 Watt Solar Panel Run?
It’s important to understand how solar panel systems work to understand what you can run. If you are powering devices directly from a 200 watt solar panel you will be a little limited as to what you can run. You will be completely dependent on sun and weather conditions which can lead to variable power output. That being said you could run low-power appliances and charge electronics including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, LED lights, torches, laptops, and portable games consoles.
To run a solar panel effectively is best to use it with a leisure battery or portable power station. This way you can store energy in a battery to use at a later time or in a more reliable fashion. With a 200 watt solar panel, you could generate around 60Ah of energy a day (720Wh). When stored in a battery you could then power much large appliances via a power inverter. You could run refrigerators, fans, LED TVs, tools, lights, computers, A/C units, slow cookers, and much more!
How many amps in a 200 watt solar panel?
A 200 watt solar panel will be able to produce a maximum 16 amps with a 12V battery. In reality, the average sunlight will produce more like 10 – 14 amps of energy per hour. Or 50 – 70 amps a day.
What size fuse for 200-watt solar panel?
A 20 amp fuse will work for a 200w solar panel.
What charge controller do I need for 200 watts?
You require a solar charge controller with at least 20A capacity to work with a 200 watt solar panel. If you want to connect more panels you will need a bigger charge controller. Adding to this, an MPPT controller will be much more efficient than a PWM controller.
Can you use a 200 watt solar panel for camping?
Yes, there are a few different 200 watt portable solar panels for camping. You can find the best options in the list of reviews above. Most people use them with a portable power station for an unbeatable off-grid camping electricity solution.
Can you power a house with 200 watt solar panels?
To power a house with 200 watt solar panels you will need more than one. Quite often people only partially power their houses with solar panels. Most use a grid-tie system that can switch between grid and solar power. This means you can still access electricity without the need for sunlight but reduce your power bills (and carbon footprint) during sunny periods.
What size inverter for 200 watt solar panel?
For a single 200 watt solar panel and a battery that stores 50-70Ah a 500 watt power inverter will do a good job. This enables you to run essential electronics such as lighting, phones, mini-fridges, and TVs. You could even run a games console for a while too! You could use a more powerful inverter but if you try to draw too much power you’ll quickly deplete your battery and your solar panel won’t be able to keep up.
200 Watt Solar Panel Recommendations
1. WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
If you’re looking for your first solar system then get going with this reliable starter kit.
This solar panel kit from WEIZE has all the essential solar components for your off-grid power needs. All you need to add is a battery and inverter.
Why is this number one on the list? For its all-round performance and durability. You’ll benefit from monocrystalline solar cells which boats the highest level of efficiency to charge your batteries. Protecting the panel is an anodized aluminum anti-rust frame plus tempered impact resistant glass. These will be rock solid for years even in wind, rain, and snow.
Measuring at 36.4” by 26.8” in surface area, you’ll comfortably be able to generate between 600Wh of energy on a sunny day. This makes them ideal for most static uses like RVs, self-build campers, sheds, cabins, and other remote locations. I’ve even used them on a food truck.
The kit also includes a 30A PWM solar charger which is a crucial piece of equipment. It helps to efficiently charge your battery while protecting it from overcharging and reverse polarity. It also has a neat LCD screen so you can monitor your electricity flow and make simple adjustments. Amazingly, you can even charge phones from the in-built USB port too.
An awesome way to get started with solar.
- Monocrystalline cells
- High efficiency
- Durable aluminum frame
- Mounting system
- Charge controller
- 2 separate panels
- Not portable
2. Renogy 200 Watt Foldable Solar Panel
This is a unique hybrid panel from Renogy that mixes durability with portability.
Despite its portable design it still packs in some serious performance with deep black monocrystalline cells across two 100W panels. It neatly folds down into a protective casing with a briefcase handle for easy transportation.
To set up your panel you can quickly unfold it and find the perfect angle in the sun with the adjustable aluminum stand. Then quickly hook it up with the alligator clips to use with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries.
Handily, a negative ground 20A charge controller is included which offers 4-stage charging to protect from overcharging.
I really love the solid feel of this kit while remaining portable. It is great to use for things like car camping. If you don’t have the space to permanently mount solar panels but still want to keep leisure batteries charged in remote locations then this is an innovative solution.
- Portable and foldable
- Solar charge controller included
- Solid and durable
- Monocrystalline cells
- Not permanently mountable
3. BLUETTI 200W Solar Panel for Portable Power Stations
Onwards to some epic portability to pair with your portable power station.
You’ve got to be very careful when buying solar panels to go with your portable power station. Quite often you can be left with a serious lack of power to efficiently charge your generator – When you inevitably run out of power all you’ll have is an expensive brick.
Avoid that with this portable solar panel from BLUETTI. It’s a particularly great match if you have one of their battery banks already. This whopper of a product delivers up to a 23.4% conversion efficiency to perform better than anything else on the market, even in low light conditions.
It’s built using monocrystalline cells wrapped with ETFE material that is water-resistant, scratch-proof, and allows for great light transmission. An ideal friend for outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, and fishing.
A kickstand makes it a breeze to set up while the MC4 connector allows compatibility with most solar generators you can buy.
The folded size of 23.2 x 24.8 inches and weight of 16lbs is quite a lot for a portable panel. To be honest, I wouldn’t plan on carrying it too far from a vehicle.
Portable power for car camping, RVs, or emergency backup.
- Works with power stations
- Monocrystalline cells
- Durable and water-resistant
- Highly efficient
- Not rooftop mountable
- Quite big for portable panel
4. Giosolar Flexible Solar Panel 200W
Flexible solar panels are a suite brilliant invention, they add even more adaptability to solar systems.
This flexible solar panel from Giosolar makes it easy to mount your panels on the uneven or curved surfaces you usually find on boats, RVs, airstream trailers, and busses. Compared to a rigid panel you find awesome benefits including bendability, less fragility, thinness, lightweight, and easy to install.
Additionally, you still get fabulous performance from the monocrystalline cells to match the efficiency of traditional panels. Happily, mount these on a vehicle and enjoy free electricity all year round. They’re still tough enough to take on all weather conditions thanks to an ETFE covering and a waterproof junction box.
You can install them in any way imaginable either fixing them in place via the steel eyelets or simply use velcro or glue for less permanent use.
Weighing just 4lbs and 2.5mm in height, nobody will even know you’re using solar power on a van or truck!
- Thin & lightweight
- Durable and efficient
- Easy to install
- 2 separate panels
- Might not last as long as rigid panels
5. Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
For a standalone solar panel to mount on a rooftop then you can’t go too far wrong with this.
Another stand-out product from Renogy is this high-performing single 200 watt solar panel which will last for decades on your house, cabin, or shed roof. As you’d expect from any top product it uses monocrystalline solar cells and bypass diodes to deliver brilliant efficiency, even in variable sunlight. Plus a TPT back sheet makes for quick heat dispersion for long-lasting usage.
It certainly stands up to the test of time and won’t falter even in the worst weather conditions including high wind, rain, and snow. This is because of its corrosion-resistant aluminum frame and tempered glass. The glass is well-engineered to avoid reflection and allow optimum light transmission to your solar cells. Even the junction box is IP65 waterproof rated.
Predrilled holes on the frame make mounting effortless and you can combine it with systems including z-brackets, tilt mounts, or pole mounts easily.
Finally, Renogy stands by this product with an impressive 25-year power output warranty!
An efficient high-performer for your rooftops.
- Last for decades
- Aluminum and tempered glass
- 25 year warranty
- Single 200w panel
- Not portable
6. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit
If you’re looking for a polycrystalline solar panel starter kit then read on.
This starter kit includes two 100 watt solar panels, charge controller, cables, and mounting brackets. All you need is a battery to hook up to and start charging.
The highly durable solar panels use polycrystalline cells which are less efficient but provide a more attractive price. This could be good for you if you’re on a tight budget. The quality is still great though with tough aluminum frames and complete waterproofing.
An included PWM charge controller is rated for 20A to safely monitor the charging of your battery and protect from overcharge or reverse polarity. Plus it automatically detects 12V and 24V systems. It even has a display to give you an instant readout of voltage and current.
The IP67 waterproof rated panels are simple to install with predrilled holes in the metal frame. You could quickly mount the system on a rooftop, caravan, RVs, boat, or even a golf cart!
- Durable design
- Rooftop mountable
- Use with vehicles
- Great price
- Includes charge controller
- Polycrystalline cells
- Not portable
7. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel Charger 200W
Let’s get back to some top-quality portable solar panels.
This well-priced option from ALLPOWERS offers incredible adaptability thanks to the wide range of adaptors and cables. It folds down into a really neat portable size and weighs 13lbs which is lighter than most others.
Its performance is pretty decent too with high efficiency up to 22% to charge your devices, batteries, or power stations. It’s ready to use with all the popular portable power stations on the market. Adding to this, you can hook up to a leisure battery, or simply charge USB gadgets directly.
Of course, one of the key features of products on this list is durability, which you get in spades here. Its construction uses super durable nylon which is waterproof too. You can quickly unfold the system and angle it in direct sunlight using the kickstand.
It’s could be your best friend on car camping trips!
- Foldable and portable
- Use with power stations
- Alligator clips
- Top value for money
- Not mountable
- Need charge controller for leisure battery
8. ROCKPALS Portable Solar Panel 200W
Finishing off this review list is another portable solar panel. It’s on the more expensive side compared to the ALLPOWERS but you do get a more robust feel.
Once again this panel offers decent adaptability with connections to help hook up to various power stations. Although it is limited to 4 adaptors which is less than others available.
You can still charge USB devices directly from the panel too which is always a big bonus in my opinion. When you’re camping or off-grid I like to just plug a phone or light in without any faff. It actually offers smart fast charging with USB 3 and Type-C ports making it suitable for even the newest of smartphones.
In direct sunlight, you get up to 23.5 conversion efficiency which rivals the best products on the market. You can create the perfect angle using the solid kickstand for maxim electricity production.
As you’d expect, this is a really solid design with an ETFE laminated case that makes it tough and waterproof. Adding to this the rubber handle is robust and comfortable to hold if you have a little walk to your location. Once you’re finished simply fold away the panel in seconds and store cables in the handy pocket.
Heading car camping, to the beach, or need an emergency backup, then this could do the job without fail.
- High build quality
- Efficient conversion
- Fast charging
- Only 4 adaptors
- Not mountable
Factors to Consider About 200 Watt Solar Panels
Now you should have a better idea of the sort of products available on the market. If you still haven’t made your choice then take the time to understand the factors that go into picking the best option. Below is everything our experts take into account when selecting and reviewing products.
The type of solar panel is pretty darn crucial depending on how your planned usage. Generally, you can split these up into 3 categories – traditional rigid panels, flexible panels, and portable. Let’s go through the differences.
Rigid solar panels – This is probably what you think of when someone says the word solar panel. It’s what you’ll see on house rooftops across the nation. They are designed with metal frames and glass to protect the solar cells. They are highly durable, lasting for decades, and can be permanently mounted on a flat roof, angled stand, or other structure.
Flexible solar panels – This is a pretty cool invention and adds the attributes of being lightweight, low profile, and bendable. This type is ideal for placing on curved surfaces you find on vehicles like caravans and boats. Plus the slim design many people like them for being very stealthy. They’re not quite as durable as rigid panels but will still last for years and years.
Portable solar panels – This is probably self-explanatory, you can carry them around with you. This size of portable solar panel is probably too big for hiking, but you could happily store them in a car or campervan for remote trips. You’ll find they fold down into a neat pack too. Most commonly you use them with a portable power station.
Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline
The next thing to watch out for is the solar cells used in your panels you’ll find either monocrystalline or polycrystalline. The difference here is all about efficiency and price. In simple terms, monocrystalline is more efficient but more expensive. Polycrystalline is less efficient but cheaper. To spot the difference monocrystalline is black and polycrystalline is blue.
Personally, I’d always favor monocrystalline. Yes, you might pay a little more but you’ll come out ahead in the long run. After all, the sun’s energy is free to use!
Let’s take a step back and think about the build quality of products for a minute. It’s a consideration in every buying decision we make these days. It is particularly important with solar equipment for a number of reasons. Obviously, this is something that will be used outdoor so it should be able to resist harsh weather conditions – particularly for permanently mounted panels. You want your system to last decades so look for anti-corrosion materials like aluminum and reinforced tempered glass. Don’t just pick the cheapest product available, take the time to analyze what will serve you best in the long run. Ask yourself some questions:
Is the panel solidly built?
Is the junction box waterproof?
Speaking of price, how much do 200 watt solar panels cost? There’s no single number but you should expect to pay anything between $200 and $500. You can get a decent rigid solar panel kit for as little as $200 these days. If you’re looking for a portable solar panel then prices can get up to $500.
Size & Weight
Take the time to make sure your chosen setup will fit in the space you have available. This is important for panels you plan to mount on a rooftop or vehicle. You might notice your boat or van has limited roof space once you look a little closer. Stop and measure up the area and check the dimensions of the product you are buying. A simple thing that will stop headaches down the line.
Adding to this, weight can also be a factor in smaller structures and vehicles. Many people opt for flexible panels to help reduce weight on a vehicle.
Your solar system will consist of a number of components. You need a few other bits to go with your solar panel. Here’s a list of essential equipment:
- Solar charge controller – This helps to safely charge your leisure battery.
- Battery – Solar systems work by charging a battery for you to draw power from.
- Power inverter – Converts battery energy to AC electricity to power devices and appliances.
Pros and Cons of 200W Solar Panels
If you’re not sure that this solar panel is the correct size for your needs then here’s a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide
- Power output – You get really great power from a single panel. In fact, you can generate more than 12Amps an hour or over 70Amps a day.
- Connect in series – It’s common to connect multiple panels together to increase electricity production. You can add to your system in the future to increase the wattage.
- Multiple types – There’s tons of different styles available no matter your needs whether you want it for a vehicle, house, or portable use.
- Accessible price – The cost is not too expensive for the results. You can get started with a solar system for less than $500 in total which is pretty awesome for free electricity!
- Size – These solar panels are quite big which can make them a little tricky to mount on smaller structures like sheds, and vans. They can measure over a meter and a half in length.
- Not so portable – Yes you can get portable solar panels but they are still quite cumbersome and heavy. You wouldn’t want to carry it far without a vehicle.
How to Install Solar Panels
One thing you might be a little nervous about is the installation of your solar panels. Obviously, this is not a problem if you use a portable one, but rigid and flexible panels will need to be installed correctly. You can do it without the help of a professional if you want. Here’s a how to do it:
- Measure out the surface you want to mount your panel and mark holes for drilling.
- Carefully drill your holes to correspond with your frame or mounting system.
- Secure the panel in place using nuts and bolts. You should add waterproof sealant around the bolts and holes fo to stop any leaks.
- Connect your solar charge controller to your leisure battery using the red (positive) and black (negative) terminals. Always do this first.
- Connect your panel cables to the solar charge controller. Your system should now be ready to charge your battery.
- Hook up a power inverter to draw AC electricity to your appliances and devices.
- Makes sure to keep your panels clean for optimal performance.
If you’ve made it this far then you’re an expert in 200 watt solar panels and should feel comfortable making a decision on what to buy.
Having a high-quality efficient solar panel is crucial to your off-grid power setup. If you have something subpar it will be frustrating when you regularly run out of electricity.
So using and installing the most suitable equipment for your needs gives you the ultimate access to free energy from the sun.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.