Rockpals 200W vs. Goal Zero Boulder 200: Portable Module Comparison
Not every portable solar panel is the same. It is paramount that those interested in adding portable solar panels to their emergency preparedness repertoire consider the differences between these modules.
Solar Panel Compositions and Efficiency
The Goal Zero Boulder 200 and the Rockpals 200W can produce up to 200 watts. However, they have different compositions and efficiencies, which results in two very different solar panels.
Goal Zero Boulder 200
The Boulder 200 has monocrystalline cells, sturdy tempered glass, and an aluminum frame with corner protection. It has a high-power port that can handle between 14-22V and 14A, totaling 200 watts max.
The dimensions of this panel come to 40 x 26.75 x 3.5 in. when folded and 40 x 53.5 x 1.75 in. unfolded. The hefty materials used to encapsulate these solar cells make this solar panel come to 42 lbs.
The Rockpals 200W foldable solar panels feature monocrystalline cells with EVA, ETFE, and PCB coatings to protect the cells. It has 23.5 percent cell efficiency.
These solar panels can produce between 100 and 200 watts depending on the DC port used. It can charge compatible batteries with either an included 18V or 36V port.
The dimensions of this panel come to 20.94 x 24.4 x 2.36 in. when folded and 20.94 x 92.52 in. unfolded.
Other Portable Solar Panel features to Consider
The efficiency and wattage of the solar module are paramount. However, other features can make a difference. Below are a few features that stand out on these portable solar panels.
Features that Make Goal Zero’s Solar Panel Unique
The Goal Zero Boulder 200 is compatible with and made for Goal Zero’s selection of power stations. These stations have multiple ports, which makes charging devices convenient.
The Boulder 200 can charge a Goal Zero Yeti in 3-70 hours, depending on the power station and available light. If you would like to power these storage devices faster or have more electricity at your disposal at once, you can chain up to four boulder 200s together with combiner cables.
Although this portable solar panel is heavier, it comes with a carrying case, making it easier to move. It also has an integrated kickstand, so you can easily set it up wherever the sun is shining.
This solar panel can be permanently mounted outdoors, so they are waterproof. You can leave it outside without any issues if the connections between the solar module and the power bank are sealed up and protected.
Another feature worth noting is the warranty. Goal Zero has a 2-year warranty on the boulder 200. This warranty covers workmanship and material defects under normal use.
Outstanding Rockpals Features
The Rockpals foldable solar panels come with four different connectors, allowing these solar panels to charge a variety of solar generators on the market. This solar panel is great if you already have a solar generator and are looking for a solar module to charge it.
The slim profile and lightweight of this module, along with the built-in handles, make this solar panel easy to move and store. However, the overall size of the solar module when unfolded means that this module will need more unshaded space to generate electricity.
Although this is a lightweight solar panel, it also has built-in adjustable kickstands, making adjusting the solar panels easier. This solar panel should not be left outside for weeks on end, but it is waterproof, so accidentally leaving it out during a storm shouldn’t be an issue.
The last thing to consider about the Rockpals 200W solar panel is the warranty. Rockpals doesn’t address the warranty on this product. However, the warranty page states that products purchased from them have a 1-2 year warranty, covering workmanship and material defects under normal consumer use.
The Best Situation for Each Solar Module
When The Goal Zero Boulder 200 Shines
The Goal Zero Boulder 200 balances a sturdy construction with portability. It’s also compact, making it great for those that don’t have a ton of unshaded space.
The Best Situation for Rockpals 200W
The Rockpals 200W is perfect if you’re hiking into a camping spot. It, however, would not be the best option if you don’t have a ton of unshaded space to work with or you plan to leave it outside on a windy day.