What can a 200-watt solar panel run? (Explained)

A 200-watt solar panel attracts a wide variety of users ranging from RV owners and campers to small homeowners looking to supplement their power.

A 200-watt solar panel can either be your best investment or a lacklustre addition depending on your requirements.

To fully understand what you can accomplish with it, you need to understand a few basics.

  • A 200-watt solar panel will not give you an output of 200 watts. The power rating of a solar panel signifies the maximum output you can get under ideal situations. However, many factors stop it from reaching its full potential.
  • The solar panel incur several losses during power generation and transmission.
  • The solar panel will only work when there is sunlight. Most places will get around 6 hours of adequate sunlight. This will vary based on your location and season.
  • To reap the full benefits of your solar panel, you have to buy a battery. It will store the electricity during peak sun hours and will deliver it when you need it.

Size and weight of a 200watt solar panel

The size of a 200-watt solar panel is around 62.2 x 31.8 x 1.4inch (158 x 81 x 3.5 cm), which makes it slightly over 5 feet in length and a little more than 2.5 feet in width. Different brands have some differences in their sizes.

A 200-watt solar panel weighs around 29lbs 0r 13 Kgs. 

The size, weight and power output makes it popular among RV owners, Boat owners and campers.

200 Watt Solar Panel Price

A 200-watt solar panel costs around $200 without a kit, and with a battery kit, you can get it for approximately $400.

How much power does a 200W solar panel produce?

The power output of your solar panel will depend on your location, the angle of panels, losses, efficiency and seasons.

We tried to simplify this for you so you can make a correct assessment.

You can use this simple formula to calculate the power output of a solar panel.

E = A * r * H * PR

E = Energy (Kwh)

A = Area of your solar panel (m2)

r=solar panel yield or efficiency (15%)

H= Average annual solar radiation on tilted panels

PR= Performance ratio (Average Value = 0.75)

To simplify it even more, we have calculated the average daily power for all states. We have used the solar radiation data for the last decade. However, even in the same state, the solar outputs can be very different.

Code State/Province Average Annual Solar resource in kWh/m2/day Average Daily Solar Power in Watts
AL Alabama 5 675
AK Alaska 3.5* 473
AZ Arizona 7.1 958.5
AR Arkansas 4.45 600.75
CA California 7.2 972
CO Colorado 6.2 837
CT Connecticut 4.5 607.5
DE Delaware 4.7 607.5
DC District of Columbia 4.7 634.5
FL Florida 5.3 715.5
GA Georgia 5 675
HI Hawaii 6.5 877.5
ID Idaho 4.7 634.5
IL Illinois 4.6 621
IN Indiana 4.3 580.5
IA Iowa 4.7 634.5
KS Kansas 5.7 769.5
KY Kentucky 4.45 600.75
LA Louisiana 5.2 702
ME Maine 4.3 580.5
MD Maryland 4.55 614.25
MA Massachusetts 4.5 607.5
MI Michigan 4.25 573.75
MN Minnesota 4.7 634.5
MS Mississippi 5.2 702
MO Missouri 4.8 648
MT Montana 4.6 621
NE Nebraska 5.4 729
NV Nevada 6.4 864
NH New Hampshire 4.4 594
NJ New Jersey 4.5 607.5
NM New Mexico 7 945
NY New York 3.9 526.5
NC North Carolina 5 675
ND North Dakota 4.9 661.5
OH Ohio 4.2 567
OK Oklahoma 5.9 796.5
OR Oregon 5.4 729
PA Pennsylvania 4 540
RI Rhode Island 4.7 634.5
SC South Carolina 5.2 702
SD South Dakota 5.2 702
TN Tennessee 4.7 634.5
TX Texas 6 810
UT Utah 6.2 837
VT Vermont 3.9 526.5
VA Virginia 4.7 634.5
WA Washington 4.5 607.5
WV West Virginia 4.2 567
WI Wisconsin 4.4 594
WY Wyoming 5.6 756


What can a 200-watt solar panel run?

As you can see, the average daily power output of a 200-watt solar panel ranges from around 473 Wh/day to over 972 Wh/day in the united states. If we average out all the values in the table, we have 675 Wh/day.

Please note that the power rating, i.e. 200 watts is instantaneous power, and the average daily output, which is 675 Wh/day, is accumulated power

So in practical conditions, the appliances you can run on solar power will depend more on your accumulated power than instantaneous power.

Device Power Run time (If You Used Only One Device)
60 Watt Bulb 60W 11 Hours
LED 6W 112 Hours
Cell Phone  5W 135 Hours
Laptop 42W 16 Hours
Fridge 80W 8.5 Hours
DC Fridge  170W 4 Hours
Heater  1000W 40 Minutes
Booster Pump 60W 11 Hours
Blender 500W 1.35 Hours

Can a 200-watt solar panel run a refrigerator?

Yes, a 200-watt solar panel can run a small fridge (80 watts) or a DC Fridge (170 watts). However, you will need a battery to accomplish that; and you can expect an average runtime of about 8.5 hours for an 80W fridge and 4 hours for a DC fridge in a day.

Please note that these values will vary considerably based on your location, weather conditions and usage.

Can a 200-watt solar panel run an air conditioner?

A 200-watt solar panel can only power an air-conditioner for a few minutes. The smaller air conditioners used in RVs have a power rating of 1000Watts to 1500watts. With a daily charge of 675Wh/day, you can barely run an air conditioner for 40 minutes to 27 minutes, which is unsuitable for any practical use.

Final Thoughts

A 200-watt solar panel is best for people looking to run sun smaller appliances or substitute their grid power. It will take care of most of your electricity needs during camping and boating trips.

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