Bluetti PV200 Review: Foldable Camping Solar Panel with 200 W
The foldable solar module PV200 from Bluetti is a solar generator and a useful addition to your power station for your camping trip. Besides being a practical transport option, the solar panel can be set up in seconds and supplies your power station with solar energy. How the solar panel PV200 performs, you can read here in the NextPit test.
- Bag with cable available on the solar panel
- Quick and easy setup
- Three set up angles available
- IP65 certified
- No eyelets installed
Bluetti PV200 in a nutshell
Convenient transport, quick assembly, and lots of power. This is how you can describe the solar panel PV200 from Bluetti in one sentence. The PV200 is a useful solution if you are looking for a mobile alternative to supply your power station with energy on the go.
Unfortunately, the panel does not have any eyelets, which makes it not a good choice for a balcony power station. The $499.00 MSRP of the PV200 is within the average of known current brand solar panels. In this context, we would like to point out that the PV200 is currently reduced by $100 and you can purchase the module for $399 at Bluetti's online store.
Design and setup
The PV200 from Bluetti is a foldable solar panel with a convenient carrying handle and low weight. For the stand you can choose between several tilt angles, and on top of that the panel is IP65 protected against water splashes and dust.
- Set up and take down within a minute.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Bag with cable available on the panel.
- No eyelets available.
The 16.1 lbs (7.3 kg) solar panel has a convenient carrying handle for transport and can be set up quickly without additional support. When unfolded, the PV200 measures 23.2 × 89.2 in (59 x 226.5 cm), and there is a pocket on the back of the panel with the necessary cables. Bluetti has firmly attached the cables to the module. The PV200 has MC4 ports only. Unfortunately, there are no other accesses, such as a USB port.
Also on the back are three stand feet that stick to one side of the panel via Velcro. What's special about the PV200's feet is that you can set the angle individually and set up the PV200 at an angle of 40, 45 or 50°.
As good as the idea behind the set-up angles is, the function is useless in practice when you are camping outside in strong winds. In optimal weather conditions, however, the tilt angles are a nice gimmick so that you can orient yourself to the high or low sun.
Unfortunately, the PV200 doesn't have any eyelets. These are also an advantage for your camping trip, because you can secure the panel against wind. As wonderful as the solar panel is for your camping trips, as unsuitable is the use for your balcony power plant.
Solar cells and power
The PV200's solar cells are made of monocrystalline silicon. While the rated power is 200 W, the PV200 charges our test power station (albeit in mixed test conditions) with a maximum of 172 W.
- Solid output power even in adverse conditions.
- IP65 certification.
Of course, a solar panel makes little sense if you don't also have the right power station. When it came to choosing a suitable power station for our test, we opted for the Bluetti AC180. On the one hand, the AC180 left an excellent impression in NextPit's review, and on the other hand, because we would like to have the same test conditions for future solar panel tests.
Here is a little hint for you: We conducted our practical test on May 22, 2023 in Berlin under a (unfortunately) cloudy sky with sunshine at temperatures of circa 23 degrees. For a direct comparison, we tested the solar panel SolarSaga 200 from Jackery in addition to the PV200. You can read the test report about the SolarSaga 200 module soon on NextPit.com. Stay tuned!
ETFE solar cells were used in the PV200 panel. According to Bluetti, the PV200 has a maximum efficiency of 23.4% thanks to the monocrystalline solar cells. In other words, the PV200 is capable of converting up to 23.4% of sunlight into solar energy. Compared to that, Jackery claims a cell efficiency of 24.3% for the SolarSaga 200.
And the result? Surprisingly clear! In the test, the PV200 charges our power station with a constant 165 W, and even with 172 W for a short time in the peak, and this is independent of the panel's tilt angle. In places, the power drops to 160 W. The SolarSaga 200 charges the AC180 with 140 W most of the time, with occasional jumps in power to 147 W.
As we observed with the PV200, the SolarSaga 200's power also occasionally dips. In these phases, the solar module charges the AC180 with "only" 125 W. Based on the manufacturer's stated conversion rates, this is a result that we did not expect, especially in such a clear manner.
If you read carefully, you will have noticed that up to 40 W of power disappeared from the PV200. But what is the reason for this? It's quite simple. With solar panels, you always have to keep in mind that the nominal power is the perfect test result. Factors such as module orientation, dirt or shading from trees, and other obstacles can affect the result. All in all, our documented peak power of 172 W, measured against the mixed weather conditions during the test and the stated nominal power of 200 W, can be considered a good result.
With the foldable solar panel PV200 Bluetti offers a convenient and mobile way to supply your power station with solar energy when camping or on the boat. The solar panel is comparatively light and already has all the necessary cables stowed in a bag on the back. The panel makes a stable impression and charges our test power station constantly with 165 W and up to 172 W at peak. These values are valid for the adverse weather conditions in which we tested and should be easily surpassed in correspondingly better weather.
The only downer is the lack of eyelets on the PV200. Thus, you can not easily attach the solar panel to the balcony or secure it against winds when camping. With the recommended retail price of $499.00, the Bluetti PV200 is one of the cheaper solar panels with a rated power of 200 W. If you are looking for a foldable solar panel with a convincing performance and excellent comfort for upcoming camping trips, you will definitely be very happy with the Bluetti PV200.
- Read more: How to find the best foldable solar panel
- Also interesting: The best power stations with solar option