In this Newpowa 200w solar panel review, I will be taking a look at the portable Sunwanderer Briefcase. With a link to the 200W 12V Monocrystalline solar panel. For recreational vehicles and outbuilding installation.
Product: Newpowa 200w 12V Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase
Best Place to Buy: Newpowa
Dimensions: 39.57 x 26.38 x 1.38inch/1005 x 670 x 35mm
Weight: Weight: 36.38lbs/16.5kg
24 month material and workmanship
25 year 80% output warranty
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The Newpowa 200w 12V Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase Review
Newpowa was founded in Las Vegas in 2013 but is now based in Ontario. And has expanded its operations into Germany. They manufacture portable solar panels, power stations, batteries, controllers and inverters. The products are manufactured in China and assembled in the United States of America.
Portable solar suitcases are ideal for lots of different applications. The 200w version has a couple of advantages over the 100w and smaller smaller models.
- The higher the solar panels wattage power rating the faster it will charge batteries.
- There is a space consideration. This is because two separate 100w solar panels are more difficult to stow and store
- If you want even more power two 200w portable solar panels will produce 400 watts. This is particularly handy if you have multiple batteries to charge.
How Does The Newpowa 200W 12V Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase Work?
What is the Newpowa 200w Sunwanderer suitcase?
The Newpowa 200w portable solar suitcase is actually two 100w panels joined together. They are wired in parallel, this gives the panel its 200w power rating They are kept together with metal hinges and latches that fold like a past table.
The monocrystalline solar cells are encased in a metal frame with rubber corner protectors. With an attached handle and 3 built-in adjustable metal legs and 20A solar controller. The whole unit has an exterior protective case that makes it look like a suitcase.
|Efficiency||20% to 23% (approx)|
|Voltage at Pmax (Vmp)||17.8V|
|Current at Pmax (Imp)||11.43A|
|Open-circuit voltage (Voc)||21.3V|
|Short-circuit current (Isc)||12.34A|
|Operating temperature||-40°C to 85°C|
|Dimensions||39.57 x 26.38 x 1.38inch/1005 x 670 x 35mm|
The 200w solar panel is encased in metal, with metal hinges and latches. This makes it highly durable. The portable panel can stand most weather conditions barring hurricanes and tornadoes. The rubber corner protectors will help with small knocks and bumps. Dropping it from height or standing and jumping on it may damage the solar cells. Damaging the solar cells will ultimately reduce the suitcase performance.
All other normal weather conditions will have little effect because the solar panel itself is waterproof. But the electrical connections may not be. For example where the electrical wires meet the controller. This means you need to be careful around liquids. But this shouldn’t cause any problems under normal working conditions.
Remember the metal casing, hinges and latches can be prone to rust. The electrical connections are not waterproof. If it starts raining stow the portable solar panel away. And never leave the Newpowa 200w Solar Suitcase outside for prolonged periods of time.
With a 25 year 80% efficiency warranty. You will be enjoying the 200w portable solar panel for many years to come.
3 support legs
A very thoughtful edition to the solar panel is that it has 3 support legs. 2 either side of the opened panel and one in the middle. This makes it very sturdy when unfolded especially in windy conditions. Yet you are still able to tilt the solar panel to capture the best sunlight angle.
Solar panels are made from Photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells react to sunlight and convert its energy into usable Direct Current (DC) electricity. The cells are encased in a metal or plastic frame to form the solar panel. There are generally three accepted types of solar panels:
Are single (mono) solar cells manufactured from the purest silicon. The solar panels are recognizable by their dark colour
Are manufactured from multiple crystalline solar cells. The solar panels are recognizable by their blue speckled colour
Made by covering a material with one or more thin layers of PV cells. The solar panels are recognizable for their extremely thin and lightweight characteristics.
The Newpowa 200w portable suitcases’ solar cells are monocrystalline. So the Sunwanderer should have the highest efficiency rating. Because the higher the efficiency rating the better it will convert sunlight into electricity. Currently the solar industry standard is 17% to 19%.
But as a guide most portable monocrystalline solar panels have a rating between 20% to 23%. Sunpowa have not released the 200w solar suitcases official efficiency rating. So erring on the side of caution I have given it a rating of 20% to 23% (approx). In line with most other portable monocrystalline solar panels. Making the suitcase highly efficient.
The 200w solar suitcase is highly portable and the carry handle makes it easy to move around. You should be able to find a place for it to live. Because it’s dimensions are 39.57 x 26.38 x 1.38inch/1005 x 670 x 35mm. Although admittedly, you may have to squash it into a smaller camper van.
When you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is point it at the sun. Adjust the panel angle using the adjustable support legs with guide rail. Hook the solar panel to your battery bank with the provided crocodile clips. And all that free power from the sun is yours to enjoy.
Newpowa 200w 12V Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase has a built-in 20v solar controller. It is a 4 stage (bulk, float, boost and equalisation) PWM charge controller. With a built-in LCD screen and simple button operation.
In case you didn’t know;
Pulse width modulation (PWM), or pulse-duration modulation (PDM). Is a method of reducing the average power delivered by an electrical signal. By effectively chopping it up into discrete parts. It is one of the primary methods of reducing the output of solar panels that can be utilized by a battery. Source: Wikipedia
The controller can charge several different battery types. With automatic 12/24V identification and adjustable charge-discharge parameters. And two 5V/2A USB ports You should find it very easy and simple to operate.
What Can You Charge With The Newpowa 200w Portable Solar Panel?
The 200w Newpowa portable solar panel will charge 12v Lead Acid, AGM, Liquid and Gel batteries. The two USB ports on the charge controller will directly charge electronic devices.
Using the free power of the sun. The 200w portable solar panel will keep your vehicle leisure batteries charged whenever you are taking:
- A day out
- Short trip
- Living on the road
Your RV, camper van, caravan or trailer will always be able to generate power. Without polluting the environment and the irritation of generator or engine noise.
The 200w portable solar panel is also great for use on flat roofs like garages, workshops and outbuildings. Where you don’t want to permanently mount a solar panel. Or where you want to supplement an existing installation.
What’s in the box
1 x Newpowa 200w 12V Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase
1 x Integrated 20A Solar Controller
1 x Protective Case
1 x 16ft Controller to Anderson Connector Cable
1 x Anderson Connector to Battery Clamp Adaptor
What other Newpowa Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcases Are There In The Range?
|Spec||60 Watt||100 Watt||160 Watt|
|Dimensions||25.39 x 13.58 x 1.18inch||25.59 x 19.88 x 1.18inch||39.57 x 19.88 x 1.38 inch|
|Weight||16.80lbs/7.62Kg||19.64lbs/8.91kg||29.7 lbs/13.5 kg|
|Voltage at Pmax (Vmp)||17.8V||17.8V||17.8V|
|Current at Pmax (Imp)||3.43A||5.62A||8.99A|
|Open-circuit voltage (Voc)||21.3V||21.3V||21.3V|
|Short-circuit current (Isc)||3.70A||6.07A||9.71A|
|Operating temperature||-40°C to 85°C||-40°C to 85°C||-40°C to 85°C|
What’s Good About The Newpowa 200w Suitcase Solar Panel
Highly efficient monocrystalline portable solar suitcase
The monocrystalline solar cells that make up the solar panel are highly efficient. The panel is actually made from two 100w panels wired in parallel. This will ensure that when the weather is cloudy. You should still achieve a reasonable battery charging performance. Making the portable panel very reliable, even set against its rivals.
The outer casing is made from aluminum with rubber protectors fitted to the corners. This should ensure knocks and bumps do not cause damage. The delicate solar cells need protecting from chips and scratches. So the carry case will help with that. As I mentioned earlier the portable solar panel will survive most normal weather conditions. But very high wind and excessive hail need to be treated as severe weather conditions. The solar panel should be stowed away to protect it under these very rare circumstances.
Easy to use
The Newpowa solar briefcase is truly a plug and play kind of system. Just take it out from where you have stowed it for transportation. Point it at the sun and select the battery type you want to charge. Then hook it up to your batteries with the supplied clamps and the job is done.
What’s Not So Good About The Newpowa 200w Suitcase Solar Panel
Won’t charge lithium-ion batteries
As I mentioned earlier I think this is more to do with the controller than the solar panel. If your batteries are one of the other types mentioned it won’t be a problem. But if you think you may want the lithium option. You can always buy the Renogy 200w Solar Suitcase with a built- in controller. This will charge Lithium-Ion and LiFeP04 batteries.
At 36.38lbs people with back, arm, mobility problems or who are disabled. May feel the 200w portable solar panel is a bit on the weighty side. There is no denying that it is. But for most people it wouldn’t be too difficult to transport. If you feel it is too heavy take a look at the 100w version. This is 19.64lbs, so if you have mobility problems it will be much easier to handle.
Solar controller not MPPT enabled
For the wattage and price you might think I am being a bit picky over this. But all solar panels benefit from the MPPT upgrade. If you are reasonable at DIY, you could always change it to the 30A Newpowa MPPT Charge Controller
What Is Better Than The Newpowa 200w Solar Suitcase?
There are always other portable solar panels out there. The Newpowa 200w Sunwanderer Portable Solar Panel has a few rivals. Including 200w offerings from Goal Zero, Renogy and Zamp. But I am comparing it to Go Powers 200w Suitcase here.
|Specs||Newpowa 200w Suitcase||Go Power 200w Suitcase|
|Dimensions||39.57 x 26.38 x 1.38inch||39 x 26.4 x 5.6 inch|
|Supported Battery Types||Lead Acid, AGM, Liquid and Gel||Vented & sealed lead acid, Gel, AGM, Liquid, Flooded. Lithium, LiFePo4|
|Rated DC Voltage||17.8V||17.6V|
|Short Circuit Current||12.34A||12.34A|
|Warranty Solar Panel||25 Years||25 Years|
|Warranty Controller||12 Months||3 Years|
|Protective Storage Case||Yes||Yes|
The immediate difference between the two is that the Go Power 200w has a better installed solar controller. Which enables it to support virtually any type of battery as opposed to the Newpowa 200w. Which doesn’t support lithium.
I suspect if you were handy at DIY you could change the Newpowa controller. To the 30A Newpowa MPPT Charge Controller, this would enable lithium charging. The big bonus is by changing to this controller. The Newpowa 200w has the potential to be more efficient than the Go Power. Because of the onboard MPPT which boosts efficiency. It costs $99.00 which still makes the Newpowa more cost effective
At 36.38lbs the Newpowa 200w is a hefty piece of kit. But the Go Power is 15lbs heavier at 51lbs. If like me you wouldn’t want to carry either portable solar panel very far. Given a choice, I know which one I would prefer to lug around.
Just as an aside, does the difference in weight suggest a quality difference? Or have Newpowa used a lighter aluminum frame and thinner glass to keep the weight down?. The Go power description is; the frame is made from anodized aluminum. It looks like it is a combination of both glass and frame. Because the Go Power 200w dimensions are significantly thicker. For me this suggests a difference in quality.
Both offer an excellent 25 year warranty. The Sunpowa is for 80% efficiency and the Go Power is specified as a module. Which suggests they are both highly durable and are going to last a long time. I love it when a manufacturer puts its money where its mouth is.
When it comes to price the Newpowa 200w Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase wins hands down. With the Go Power 200w costing over double the Newpowa. And much more expensive than most other 200w offerings on the market.
Undoubtedly the Go Power 200w is a superior product with regard to quality. But you have to ask yourself is it worth the $945 tag? Especially when both companies are offering essentially the same warranty. I will leave that for you to decide.
Solar Power Has Some Limitations
Solar power is fantastic, because it provides an environmentally friendly energy source. Let’s be honest. Without solar panels the world would be relying on smelly, noisy gasoline generators. You just need to be aware of a few things.
When it is overcast, the PV cells will receive less light. Reducing the rate of charge, meaning it will take longer to charge your batteries. This isn’t a major problem. Until full sunlight returns, limit the number of devices you are planning to power or charge .
Shade will stop charging altogether. Keep an eye out for this now and again and move your Sunwanderer 200w back into the sunlight if necessary. This is important if you are near an overhang or obstruction such as in and around a forest. You will need to check for shade more often.
Is The Newpowa 200w Sunwanderer Portable Solar Suitcase Any Good?
I think the 200w Sunwanderer is a credible alternative 200w portable solar panel. There seem to be good reviews about it around the internet. What’s not to like about the panel?
It is made from high efficiency monocrystalline solar cells. They are encased in a metal frame with a built in solar controller. With 3 support legs making the unit very sturdy when opened out. OK, the controller isn’t the best in the world but it is very easy to use. And will adequately do the job it was designed for. What do you want for the money?
Newpowa have been around for a while now and along with the 25 year 80% efficiency warranty. You can be fairly confident that the solar panel won’t fail or fall apart. In the first few months or years of heavy use.
I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about the Newpowa 200w portable solar suitcase. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.