Solar panels cost money so before you decide whether to buy a 15- or 20-watt solar panel, take the time to compare their short as well as their long term benefits. To help you decide which of these two types of solar panels will work best for you, let us compare them in terms of their initial investment cost, power generation capacity, portability, and maintenance.
Initial Investment Cost
Generally, a 15-watt solar panel costs less than the 20-watt solar panel. If you take a look at your investment in a short-term perspective, it would appear that buying a 15-watt solar panel is the better option. However, if you look at the long-term benefits of your solar panel, you will notice that the 20-watt solar panel generates more energy so you actually save money if you use the 20-watt panel instead of the 15-watt panel.
Moreover, since the cost of solar panels increases almost every year, it is best to invest in solar panels with higher wattage for future use. Remember that the price of your 20-watt solar panel this year could easily be the cost of a 15-watt panel a year or two from now.
Power Generation Capacity
If you want to have an environmentally friendly energy source when you go camping in the mountains, you should invest in a 20-watt solar panel instead of a 15-watt solar panel. Yes, the 15-watt solar panel may be a bit cheaper compared to the 20-watt solar panel, but it may not generate enough energy to power up all your appliances and gadgets.
If you want to get the most out of your money; you might as well invest it in a 20-watt solar panel. Besides, sooner or later you will acquire more appliances and gadgets so if you only get a 15-watt solar panel now, you may need to buy yet another solar panel in the future to power up your new appliances and gadgets.
Both the 15-watt and the 20-watt solar panels are portable and they do not weigh much. In fact, a regular 20-watt solar panel weighs only a little over 3 pounds while the 15-watt panel weighs close to 3 pounds. A couple of ounces is the difference in weight between the 15- and 20-watt solar panel.
In terms of size, the size of both the 15-watt and the 20-watt solar panels does not really vary that much either. In fact, these types of solar panels have more or less the same size. Since the difference in terms of weight and size between these two types of solar panels is negligible so you might as well get a 20-watt solar panel and generate more energy.
Both the 15-watt and the 20-watt solar panels require very low maintenance. To keep your solar panel in top shape, all you need to do is clear your panel, make sure that the wires are properly connected and that your panel does not sustain damage while in transit.