What Size Inverter for 200W Solar Panel? Do you Really Need it?

The purpose of the inverter is to convert DC into AC. So you can run your household appliances.

If you have a 200W solar panel system or thinking about getting one, but are not sure about which size of the inverter would be suitable with a 200-watt solar system? Then this post is for you.

Suitable Inverter For 200ah Battery

In Hurry? Here’s a short answer.

For a 12v 200W solar panel system, a 300-watt inverter would be enough to run AC appliances, 200Ah lead-acid battery, and a 20A MPPT charge controller.

Note! The size of inverter mentioned above is the minimum size inverter you should get with a 200 watt solar panel.

How to Determine solar inverter size?

usually, we calculate the inverter size according to our wattage need when planning to install solar panels. We use the required wattage number to calculate the inverter size.

But in this case, our power output will be according to 200W solar panels. So, to calculate the inverter size for 200W solar panels first, you should know how much power can a 200W solar panel produce in a day.

This will give you a clear idea about how much energy is coming which you can use to run your appliances.

Step 1: How much power does a 200w solar panel produce?

if your solar panels are under ideal conditions (Getting 100% of direct sunlight in peak sunlight hours) then your 200W solar panel can produce about 200 watts of power.

But on average, a 200W solar panel will produce about 160-170 watts per hour.

160 x 5 peak sun hours = 800 watt-hours (Wh)

I’ve discussed in detail, what you can run on your 200W solar panels Click here to read the article

Step 2: calculate the inverter size

As we have discussed how much power your 200W solar panels will produce. To use that DC power you’d need an inverter.

a 200W solar panel will produce about 0.8-1.2kWh of energy per day or 160-180 watts of power during peak sun hours. Most experts suggest multiplying your required wattage use by 2 to calculate the inverter size.

This means if your solar panels are producing 170 watts of power per hour you should get 340 watts of the inverter, but in my opinion and what I have experienced is that just multiply your wattage output or required wattage (per hour) by 1.5 and you’re good to go.

(170 x 1.5 = 255)

So a 250W inverter would be enough for a 200W solar panel but it’s better to get a 300W inverter just because they are easy to find and there’s not much price difference. I recommend the Samlex America 300W pure sine wave inverter

The 50% is because of the inverter’s efficiency rate (Most of the inverters in the market right now are 85-90% efficient) which means there will be a 10-15% power loss when converting DC into AC.

Related Post: Solar DC Watts To AC Watts Calculator & Formula

Inverter Wiring Chart

What size of cable should I use with my inverter and battery?

Use this chart to select the right size wire for an inverter.

Some important Notes

There are many different types of solar inverters, here are some important short tips to choose the right inverter for you & Some other important things to keep in mind

  1. Always go for a Pure sine wave inverter – which is the safest technology inverter available on the market. which will draw the electricity in a more smooth way which will keep your appliances safe from getting damaged.
  2. Get a large capacity inverter than what you need – it’s easy and as well as fun at the same time to increase the solar power system, for a start a 200w solar system maybe would be enough for you right now. bu in the future you may want to increase it by 400w or more maybe so it’s always a good choice to invest in a large capacity inverter than what you need.
  3. An 85-90% efficient inverter would be enough – right now there are few inverters with a 95% or even 99% efficiency rate. but the prices are too high. it’s not worth the money of buying a more efficient inverter.
  4. Use thick and good quality wires – the cheaper or bad quality wires will cause more power loss. so it’s always worth spending the money on high-quality wiring. Use the above chart to find out the suitable gauge wire size for your inverter.

Video – Which type of Solar Inverter Should I Get?

The Best Alternate – Solar Generators

Solar generators are like a whole package of off-grid solar panels. these are a complete package that contains batteries, an inverter, and a charger controller with AC and DC outputs.

I’m using a portable solar generator for my Renogy 200W portable solar panels. and also I have a Jackery Explorer 1000 which I use to store the energy produced by the solar panels

Click here to read my review on my solar generator.

Do you really need an inverter for 200W solar panels?

if you’re thinking about running AC appliances on your solar panels then there’s definitely a need for an inverter. But, if you’ll use this solar energy to power your devices like (charging phones, laptops, some TVs, & electric cars) then there’s no need for an inverter.

you can simply charge your DC power devices directly from batteries or solar panels. but it is safe to use the inverter to keep your devices safe.

so in short, No it’s not necessary to use an inverter for DC appliances but for AC appliances. But using an inverter will keep your devices safe from getting damaged.

Summary

The inverter is a device that we use to convert DC (Direct current) produced by solar panels or stored in batteries into AC (Alternating current). For 200W solar panels, a 300W of the inverter would be enough (recommend a pure sine wave inverter) 200Ah batteries, and a 20A MPPT charge controller.

but What’s the best alternative? the answer is a portable solar power station. it will store the DC energy in it. you don’t need any fancy wiring, it’s easy to set up and a complete package of inverter, charge controller, and batteries.

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I'm an experienced Sales Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the renewables and environment industry. Skilled in Photography, Customer Service, and Sales.