In our series of solar panel reviews, this is the Ultimate TopNotch Newpowa 20W Monocrystalline 20 Watts 12v Poly Solar Panel Review 2020.
In this comprehensive lowdown we’ll cover:
- The main features
- Overall quality
- Weight and portability
- Lots more…
So if you’re looking for an inexpensive but reliable module for your RV, home, or just to stash in the trunk, this review is just what’s needed.
Let’s get the ball rolling…
- Very durable and tough
- Folds into a small package
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Works well even at high altitude
- Power output not enough for most purposes
- A power controller has to be bought separately
- No USB output for charging
Our Verdict: Newpowa Solar Panel 20W
To tell you the truth, every member of the TopNotch team is into solar chargers. It’s how we roll. We’re techy, we’re geeky, we love the earth and we try to save our dollars.
For short outdoor trips, I’ll readily prefer a lightweight 20-watt solar panel rather than a bulky 2000 Watt gas generator.
I remember, when I used one for the first time, I was surprised how efficient and convenient the whole setup was.
The Newpowa Solar Panel is great quality and features superb portability.
Moreover, it comes at a very affordable price to attract budget buyers.
All in all, the versatility of this kit really impressed us.
It can be used in your RV, on a boat, or even as a garage door opener.
Obviously, at that price we didn’t expect it to be an all-rounder.
So the ease-of-use and overall value isn’t the best in this category.
For that, you have to take a look at the TopNotch Top Picks for the best RV solar panel kit.
But if you don’t need too much power, this Newpowa solar panel is a worthy contender in the low budget range for an RV, marine boat, or a trailer.
So is it actually worth buying?
Let me lift the veil and throw some light on it right now.
Related: 9 Best Portable Solar Panels
Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
Frankly, the Newpowa solar panel wasn’t one of the top performers in our tests.
But stick with me for a moment.
Every product we chose has some specialty that’ll definitely appeal to some section of the market. We chose the very best 10 afterall.
So we put it through the same filter of tests like all other solar modules during our review trip.
While it couldn’t outshine our top performers, there were a few points that left us super impressed.
For buyers looking for a simple solar panel module for an RV, the Newpowa is a practical choice.
It’s time to take a closer look at this lightweight contender.
Value for Money
I have to tell you this.
The incredible price of this panel reminds me how far solar power technology has advanced in the past few years.
But the point is, just because of the great price, it’s not exactly a value for money product.
Value for Money Rating
What about the features and performance?
Firstly, the overall build quality is rugged enough to handle shocks.
The anodized frame and a TPT panel at the back make sure it’s sufficiently durable.
The panel is made from monocrystalline solar cells which are as good as the competition’s.
Also, the metal frame allowed us to mount it on our RV roof easily.
Surprisingly, under direct sunlight, it delivered close to 18 Volts for us.
That’s quite a performance!
However, when it came to overall performance and user-friendly features, this 20 w solar panel wasn’t in the same league as the BigBlue 28 W solar charger.
But that is our Top Pick in this category, to be fair.
Charge Interruption Recovery
The thing about solar charging is that cloud covers can affect performance and output.
Now, this is important as it will affect the overall charging time of all your electronics.
This is where the charge interruption recovery plays an important role.
Any time the charging process is interrupted by cloud cover, a great panel will reconnect within a short time.
Charge Interruption Recovery Rating
So did our Newpowa perform well under this metric?
Not really, no.
We shifted the Newpowa panel from direct sunlight to a shady area and the charging stopped. When we brought it back under the light, the charging didn’t start automatically.
We had to manually reconnect it to get the full flow back again.
Actually, in one case we left it in the sunlight with the solar generator connected to it after the charging was interrupted.
After around fifteen minutes it resumed charging to an extent.
However, it took a long time to get back to the normal level.
Compared to the performance of the chart toppers like the BigBlue 28 W solar charger, this wasn’t much to write home about.
The result was, this 20 watt solar kit ended up as one of the mid-level performers in this metric.
The point is, when you combine top-quality solar cells with high conversion efficiency, the charging speed should be high.
That’s exactly the case with this Newpowa solar panel.
Moreover, we also found the panel delivering around 1.2Amps on a cloudy day.
An impressive feat for such a compact solar panel.
Charging Speed Rating
In full sunlight, the output was close to 18W and it charged up a 12V battery pretty fast.
One more interesting fact: The solar cells are encapsulated in EVA. As a result, you can expect them to last longer and perform better.
To our surprise, the Newpowa solar panel outpaced quite a few of our top choices for charging speed.
However, you’ll need to use a smart charging controller and regulator to make the best of it.
Multiple Device Charging Speed
The problem is…
The Newpowa doesn’t have any USB connectors.
So you won’t be connecting it directly with any of your small electronics.
Hence we were unable to test it under this metric alongside the other products we reviewed.
Multiple Device Charging Speed Rating
But the fact is, at this price other competitors are offering USB outlets.
What you get with this panel is just a 3 feet long piece of wire with bare ends.
Plus, there are no connectors provided.
We had to buy them separately.
Without a doubt, Newpowa could have definitely done better here.
Basically, if you’re looking for ease of connection, this isn’t the right choice for you.
Simply put, the panel is best used for charging up batteries in your solar generator or as a kit for RVs.
Need a high multiple device charging speed?
We recommend the BigBlue 28 W Solar Charger that has 3 USB ports to power up multiple electronics with optimum efficiency.
Need a panel to mount on your rooftop without worrying about the weather?
The Newpowa 20W is a great choice.
The rugged anodized frame can withstand high winds and a snow load of 2400Pa and 5400Pa respectively.
So you don’t need to worry about rough weather one bit.
But that’s not all.
The panel is made from low iron tempered glass which will last for years without going wrong.
Also, the back sheet is made from durable TPT (tedlar-polyester-tedlar) that can easily resist stress.
And the best part:
The solar cells are placed between these two outer layers to ensure fantastic long-term performance.
Overall, the Newpowa panel will easily withstand rough weather to give you a steady power supply.
More good news….
…Nepowa offers a 25-year warranty on the product for 80% output.
Now that one’s hard to match.
Thanks to the efficient design, the panel didn’t overheat and maintained steady efficiency.
Don’t forget, it’s not marked as waterproof. So I’d be careful while using it on a boat.
But the overall durability is truly best-in-class.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we placed it at the top spot in this metric.
Weight & Portability
The simple truth is, a solar panel with great portability is an outdoor lover’s favorite choice. And the Newpowa Poly Solar panel fits the bill perfectly.
Let’s start with the dimensions.
It’s 14.41 x 13.39 x 0.91 inches.
That’s pretty compact.
Keep in mind it comes with an attached wire and Anderson connectors.
We found the weight was light enough to be able to carry the panel around easily.
It doesn’t have a carrying handle but the compact size means excellent portability.
Note – you need to buy the right mounting brackets for your 20 watt solar panel to use over a good period of time.
Unfortunately, Newpowa doesn’t provide brackets with it.
At any rate, the Newpowa solar panel is one of our best solar panels for RV use.
But if you need a foldable and flexible solar panel for backpacking trips, look somewhere else:
Our choice: The BigBlue 28 W Solar Charger that we chose as our Top Pick.
Our Final Verdict: Newpowa Solar Panel 20W
So let’s sum up the details.
In our view, the Newpowa Solar Panel for RVs is one of the most durable solar setups you’ll find.
Next, high-quality solar cells keep the charging speed high.
Moreover, the superb durability also makes it a product that’ll last.
To sum up, it’s a basic panel that delivers steady power without any bells or whistles.
Quite simply, fix it on your RV and this solar panel will serve you reliably for years.
That’s all from our end – you have the lowdown – now it’s time for you to decide!