So you decided to buy solar panel kits for your home. That's great! The inexhaustible power of the sun is available whenever it shines so why not harness that power for your energy needs? The solar kits help you generate power silently, have no negative impact on the environment and often are easily portable. The freely available solar energy can power up your home, RV, cabin and electronic equipment far from civilization. Solar energy can help reduce your energy bills by decreasing your reliance on the main electrical grid. What's more important, an energy backup system powered by the sun can provide a great sense of relief in emergencies. When starting with solar technologies you can always start small and expand later as your needs grow. The solar kits we discuss below are ideal for DIY projects of your own. The components of a solar kit have been put together by specialists so you can be sure they fit together snugly. The main components of a complete solar energy kit are a) solar panels, b) inverters, c) charge controllers d) battery bank (in off-grid scenarios), e) energy monitors e) racking and wiring. The detailed manuals that usually come with the kits will guide you through the process of assembling. In the meantime, you'll learn so many new concepts and have that great feeling of accomplishment when you see your solar project actually works! But before diving into your solar adventures you'll need to make a distinction between 2 broad categories of solar panel kits: on-grid kits and off-grid kits.
On-Grid Solar Kits
On-grid kits tie into your local electric grid and act as a complementary power source. These are usually large systems for residential or commercial use that require professional installation and official permits. On-grid systems don't have a battery for storing the excess energy produced by the panel. The grid acts as a lossless battery crediting you for the generated power depending on your local grid policies. That is called net metering. The peak of the solar energy production at noon doesn't match with the peak of demand in the evening so with net metering you get energy credits to use when you need it.
Off-Grid Solar Kits
Off-grid solar kits are more DIY and beginner-friendly. They are perfect for small-scale projects like powering an RV, boat, shed or cabin. Because there is no available electrical grid, you need a battery bank for storing the energy. Buying a battery bank potentially increases the cost of the system but also makes it more versatile as in that case you are not tied to a specific location anymore. To choose an off-grid solar kit that fits your requirements you first need to know what electrical devices are you going to use then find out their power consumption in Watts. Next estimate how many hours a day you'll most likely use them. Finally, multiply the cumulative wattage and the number of hours and you'll get the estimate of the daily required energy measured in Watts*Hour (Wh). With that information available you can size a solar kit to effectively address your needs. We're going to look at pre-arranged off-grid solar kits next.
Solar Starter Kits
We've grouped together beginner-friendly / small scale off-grid solar kits here. If you are just starting out with solar technologies or your project is not energy-heavy then these kits would fit the bill. Typical applications that suit this category of kits include but are not limited to homes, RVs, trailers, boats, vans, sheds, cabins, emergency backup, 12V battery charging, outdoor lighting, solar water pumps, LED lighting.