What is the charge rate of a 200w solar panel per hour? The answer to that question isn’t as easy as you might think. It depends on many different variables like the weather, the available sunshine and the seasons.
This would take up a very very large post. So instead I am going to present the answer to you with known variables. I have collated the information of different 200w solar panels and averaged their specs out.
This will give you a good idea about the rate of charge per hour. For both a single panel and panels connected together to form a solar array. This will include how many amps, how fast and what type of battery a 200w solar panel will charge.
Don’t be scared but there is a little bit of math involved but it isn’t complicated. But by the end of the post you will have a better grasp on the kinds of charge rates the panel can produce.
What Is The Charge Rate Of A 200w Solar Panel?
“Assuming a 12 volt system, monocrystalline solar cells and ideal weather conditions. The charge rate of the average 200w solar panel is around 10.49A per hour. I arrived at that figure using 10 different 200 watt solar panels and averaging their charge rate. Some of the sample panels charge rates were either side . But because I used both portable and rigid panels as subjects it is a solid platform to work from.”
Short of measuring the output per hour with a multimeter you can do what I did and use this simple formula:
Divide the solar panels wattage by the Maximum Operating Voltage (VMP).
You can usually find the VMP in the manufacturer’s specifications. While not 100% accurate because of varying environmental conditions it will give you a good idea.
Arriving at the Average Rate Of Charge Per Hour
I have produced a table showing the different charge rates found in the 10 test 200w panels. It is arranged from highest VMP to lowest. I have included whether it was a rigid or portable panel.
|Maximum Operating Voltage VMP||200 Watt Solar Panel Type||Rate Of Charge Per Hour|
You may have noticed that as the voltage declines the amperage goes up. So if you want a higher amp solar panel look for panels with a lower VMP and vice versa.
Looking closely 6 of the panels were above the average and 4 were below. With all 4 of the foldable portable panels above the average it’s something to think about. But overall because you are looking for a higher charge rate two of the rigids performed the best.
How Many Amps Does A 200 Watt Solar Panel Produce?
If you are new to solar the rate of charge of a panel is measured in amps. We already know the average 200 watt solar panel will produce 10.49A.
Amp Hours (Ah)
Although the use of amp hours isn’t strictly an electrical term. You may have seen batteries marketed as an 100Ah AGM battery. This is because a battery’s capacity is rated in amp hours
Amp hours are a description of amps multiplied by an hour of time (amps x hours = Ah). For instance two amps expended in one hour would equal 2Ah (1 x 2 = 2). Two amps expended per hour over two hours would equal 4Ah (2 x 2 =4) and so on.
Using our average 200 watt solar panel amp output of 10.49A from earlier. To convert it to amp hours we multiply the figure by one hour (1 X 10.49 = 10.49). This means our solar panel will produce 10.49Ah per hour.
Connecting 200 Watt Solar Panels In Parallel To Produce More Amp Hours (Ah)
Ok so one 200 watt panel can produce 10.49Ah but what if you want to produce more amp hours. You can connect more than one panel together in either series or parallel.
Connecting in series incrementally increases the voltage but the amps stay the same. For instance connecting 4 x 12v 200w panels together would produce a voltage of 48V (12 x 4 = 48). But the amps would remain at 10.49A.
Connecting in parallel increases the amperage and keeps the voltage the same. For instance 2 x 12v 200w panels together would produce 20.92A (2 x 10.49 =20.92). But the volts would remain at 12V. This means you would now be able to produce 20.92Ah per hour (20.92A x 1Hr = 20.92Ah)
How Fast Does A 200 Watt Solar Panel Charge A 12 Volt Battery?
I mentioned earlier that a battery’s capacity is indicated in amp hours but what does this mean? Using a small battery it might have a capacity of 1.000mAh. In case you don’t know the term mAh means milliamp hours.
mAh stands for milliamp (or milliampere) hour and it’s a unit that measures (electric) power over time. Milliampere hour can be spelled with any of the following symbols; mA⋅h, mA h, or simply mAh. (Source; chargeitspot.com)
A 1,000mA (milliamps) equals 1 amp. Multiplying the same way as with solar panels to work out the amp hours (1,000mA or 1 amp x 1hr = 1,000mAh or 1Ah). Theoretically this means a battery can supply a load (device or DC appliance) with 1 amp for 1 hour. I really hope I haven’t lost you.
How Do These Measurements and Calculations Relate To How Fast The Solar Panel Will Recharge A 12V Battery?
Having now converted the solar panel amp output to amp hours. It is now possible to calculate how fast the panel will recharge a battery. For example we’ll use a 100Ah lead-acid battery discharged (depleted) to 50% of its capacity.
This means that it needs recharging by 50Ah to bring it back to it’s 100Ah capacity. Our solar panel will provide a recharge capacity of 10.49Ah per hour. So to determine how fast the solar panel will recharge the battery.
We divide 50Ah by 10.49Ah which equals 4.77hrs (50 ÷ 10.49 = 4.77)
Let’s take a look at what would happen with 2 solar panels connected in parallel. The parallel connection discussed earlier will produce 20.98Ah per hour. Using the same 50% discharged battery to find how fast the solar array will recharge it;
We divide 50Ah by 20.98Ah which equals 2.39hrs (50 ÷ 20.92 = 2.38)
So a single 200 watt solar panel can charge a 100Ah discharged by 50% in 4.77 hours. And two panels connected in parallel will recharge the battery in 2.38hrs. But remember these calculations are theoretical and the results in the real world will be different.
If you would like to know more about solar panels and how they work You can follow this link;
What Type of Battery Can A 200 Watt Solar Panel Recharge?
It can charge any type of lead-acid or lithium battery all depending on the solar charge controller. The best type of controller to use with a 200 watt panel is the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) type.
This is because compared to PWM controllers they are around 40% more efficient. This will be very important if you intend to connect solar panels together. You will want the efficiency of all components making up your solar system to be as high as possible.
Recharging times will vary across differently configured solar panel setups and battery sizes. It will also be affected by the amount by which the battery has been discharged.
Charging Lead-Acid Batteries
Below is a table showing different amp hour battery capacities and recharge times. There are four 200 watt solar panel setups, assuming a 50% battery discharge.
|Battery Capacity||Amp Hours Discharged 50%||Recharge Times|
1 x 200 Watt Solar Panel.Ah Output 10.49
2 x 200 Watt Solar Panel (400w) In Parallel. Ah Output 20.92
3 x 200 Watt Solar Panel (600w). In Parallel. Ah Output 31.47
4 x 200 Watt Solar Panel (800w). In Parallel. Ah Output 41.96
|300Ah (2 x 150Ah)||150Ah||14.40Hrs||7.17Hrs||4.77Hrs||3.57Hrs|
|400Ah (2 x 200Ah)||200Ah||19.07Hrs||9.56Hrs||6.36Hrs||4.77Hrs|
|600Ah (3 x 200Ah)||300Ah||28.60Hrs||14.34Hrs||9.53Hrs||7.14Hrs|
The discharge rules for Lithium base batteries are not the same as for lead-acid types. This is because they can be discharged to 90% of their capacity and they will not be damaged. Lithium batteries recharge faster, some claiming up to 5x that of a lead acid.
Unfortunately this means I am unable to produce a table for you based on the figures above. But as an illustration based on those parameters. I can show how fast a 100Ah Lithium battery discharged by 90% of its capacity (90Ah) might recharge.
- 1 x 200w Panel With A 10.49Ah Output = 8.58Hrs
- 2 x 200w (400w) Panels Connected In Parallel With A 20.92Ah Output = 4.3Hrs
- 3 x 200w (600w) Panels Connected In Parallel With A 31.47Ah Output = 2.85Hrs
- 4 x 200w (800w) panels Connected In Parallel With A 41.96Ah Output = 2.14Hrs
You can see from these figures that 2 x 200w panels will keep a 100Ah Lithium battery fully charged. This means if your battery regularly consumes 90Ah per day. You only need one Lithium compared to two lead acid batteries.
This may constitute a significant saving over time when comparing battery life-cycles. Many lead acids have a 500 cycle limitation before they start to deteriorate in performance. But LiFePO4 can have many thousands of cycles before a deterioration in performance.
If you would like to know more about charging batteries with a 200 Watt Solar Panel you can follow this link;
My Closing Thoughts
The rate of charge per hour can be roughly calculated without using a multimeter. By using the theoretical calculation I have outlined in this post.
They are based on known variables that are derived from ideal conditions at optimum performance. Unfortunately they can’t be used if it is cloudy or wintertime for that you would definitely need a meter. But still they will give you a good ballpark estimate in full sunshine weather conditions in summertime.
If you would like to know more about 200w panels you can take a look at a review here ;
I hope you enjoyed this post and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about 200w solar panels and their rates of charge per hour. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.