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With the current wave of obsession over portable solar panels, I feel like rigid designs have been put on the back burner by a lot of companies and consumers.
While it’s true there are some amazing foldable designs on the market, rigid panels have a lot going for them, too.
More robust and typically more weatherproof than their flexible counterparts, they’re a shoo-in for permanent exterior arrays, and their solid cells also tend to hold their performance for longer.
This is why I decided that, instead of buying yet another portable panel, my next solar purchase would be a rigid design: the 200-watt, 12V Newpowa panel!
This panel is big, bold, and theoretically, super powerful. But does it live up to its specs? Having spent a couple of months with it now, I’m ready to dish all the details!
- High-efficiency monocrystalline silicon
- Super robust, corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
- Lots of installation options
- Well packaged
- Zero wafer blemishes
- Compatible with most panels and power stations
- Can be chained with 2 more Newpowa 200W panels
- Almost entirely weatherproof
- Bypass diodes boost efficiency in partial shade
- Multi-laminated for longer service life
- No physical warranty
- Not very portable (if that’s what you’re looking for)
- Not as efficient as some other panels on the market
Newpowa 200W Solar Panel At A Glance
The Newpowa 200W 12V is a large, rigid, monocrystalline panel aimed primarily at mobile off-grid systems, such as RV arrays and boat backups.
Although, if you’ve got the space in your vehicle, there’s nothing to stop you from pairing it with a solar battery and taking it loose on your next car-camping trip either!
Where Can You Purchase The Newpowa 200W Solar Panel?
Shop the Newpowa 200W Monocrystalline 200 Watts 12V Solar Panel here.
Rated for 200 watts, this is one of the largest (power-wise) solar panels in my collection, so I was pretty excited to get it out into the yard and do some test runs with my trusty multimeter.
However, being that we’re in the dead of winter, I had to be patient and wait a couple of weeks for a crisp, cold, bright day.
When the sun finally peeped out, I grabbed my panels and my testing equipment and hit the yard — there were very few clouds in the sky, and it was blindingly bright.
I set the Newpowa panel up, angling it so the light was striking at a perpendicular angle, then hooked it up to my multimeter.
I wasn’t expecting a massive read, as, generally speaking, the winter months drag cell efficiency down quite a bit, but it turned out to be much better than I thought.
In direct, winter sunlight, The Newpowa panel was pulling in an impressive 170 watts.
Some panels don’t perform that well in the middle of summer, so I was pretty content. I imagine the cool weather helped to crank up the watts, as well as the amazing monocrystalline cell construction.
I won’t get a chance to do any summer testing until later in the year, but I’m pretty certain this thing will break the 175 threshold without breaking a sweat, possibly even higher.
Newpowa doesn’t give an efficiency rating, but I’d estimate it lies around the 20–30% zone.
The Newpowa 200W 12V may not be flexible in a physical sense, but figuratively speaking, it’s very flexible indeed. It should fit into pretty much any established solar array, so if you’re looking to galvanize your average yield, it’s a good choice.
It also supports most solar charging stations from the big names in the industry, but bear in mind that some pairings may require an adapter. I did some compatibility testing with the EF Delta and encountered zero problems!
As long as the output of the panel doesn’t exceed any of your solar battery’s input specs, you should be able to link them up and enjoy some free, green energy.
Design And Durability
As soon as I cut open the box, I had a good feeling about the quality of this panel, as it had clearly been packaged with care, and, sure enough, it slipped out of there looking absolutely immaculate.
The wafers were uniform, I couldn’t see or feel any indents, scratches, or (god forbid) cracks in the tempered glass beneath the multi-layer sheet lamination. Even the back of the panel looked well crafted.
With high wind pressure, heat, cold, snow load, and hail tolerances, it’s also a completely weatherproof design, too.
So, no matter what sort of climates your adventures lead you through, you can count on this Newpowa panel to keep the lights on and the coffee pot on!
Even the junction box is rated as IP65 water-resistant, meaning you should never run into any rain-based issues with this panel, especially if it’s well mounted. Featuring a ridiculously rugged, anodized aluminum frame, you don’t have to worry about rust either.
There aren’t that many features to speak of with the Newpowa 200W solar panel, as it’s a pretty traditional design, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve.
You can chain up to three of these bad boys for a maximum theoretical output of 600 watts, which is nothing to scoff at! So, if you’re interested in doing so, you could create an entire mini-array for your RV, caravan, boat, or home out of these panels exclusively.
Besides that, you get all the usual suspects such as multi-lamination to protect against dust and debris and to extend service life, and preinstalled diodes in the junction box to maintain efficiency in partial shading.
Something I really appreciate about his panel is the number of pre-drilled mounting holes in the anodized frame.
It gives you way more flexibility when it comes to installation. You can install them on flat horizontal surfaces, flat vertical surfaces, or even on pole mounts.
That said, at 27.56lbs, it’s not the lightest panel in the world, and it’s pretty large too, so you may have some trouble installing it yourself.
It measures 64.57 x 26.57 x 1.38 inches, so, if I were you, I’d recruit a friend or two to help with the fit, especially if you’re trying an elevated mount on, say, an RV roof.
The integrated MC4 cables are 3 feet long, but almost 1 foot of that is used to reach beyond the frame of the panel, so realistically, you’ve got about 2 feet to work with, which is pretty good for a panel of this size.
It means you don’t necessarily have to have them flush against your existing array, but, of course, if you need more give, you can always invest in some solar extension cables.
Value For Money
You’re paying roughly a dollar per watt for this panel, which is considered great value.
Sure, some of the higher-end panels of this size are slightly more efficient, but you end up paying a ridiculous premium for what turns out to be a handful of watts.
In my opinion, you’re much better off purchasing a couple of these panels than buying one super pricey, super-efficient panel — space permitting.
That way you get even more power, more flexibility, and I think we can all agree that two panels look way cooler than one!
I’m not going to lie, I was incredibly disappointed with the coverage provided by Newpowa.
When you buy this panel, you do it without any form of material or workmanship warranty, which means if it breaks, you’re on your own — not cool, Newpowa!
Yep, that’s right, I’m afraid there are no physical warranties in place, nada, zero, zilch. But that’s not to say that there are no warranties at all. Newpowa does offer what’s known as a transferable power output warranty.
This essentially means that Newpowa is guaranteeing that their panels are capable of providing a certain output for the first 25 years of usage.
If the efficiency of the panels decreases at a faster than normal rate over time, you will then be eligible for free repairs or replacements.
However, as panel degradation is tricky to measure and occurs over such a long period, customers are less likely to exercise their consumer rights and claim on this warranty.
The Final Verdict
Overall, I think that the Newpowa 200W Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel is a solid design. While I can’t say it’s particularly groundbreaking in any way, it does all the usual stuff perfectly well, and, at this price point, that’s really all you can ask for.
Efficient, durable, easy to install, there’s very little to complain about (apart from the lack of a physical warranty), so I’d happily recommend it to anybody looking to start their high yield solar collection or augment an established array with a few more watts.
I would absolutely buy this panel again. In fact, I probably will buy another couple in a few paychecks’ time, as I’m itching to see how a chain of three would perform together.
I give the Newpowa 200W Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel 4.5/5