Best DIY Solar Panel Kits on Amazon
Solar panels are a great, longterm investment, that can save you a substantial amount of money. Although you need to pay a lot at first, they will continue returning the investment for years to come, whether by reducing the electric bills, taxes or by saving gas, if you use them instead of a generator.
Fortunately, they are not as expensive as they used to be, and now you can find more budget-friendly options everywhere, including Amazon.
In this article we will guide you through the world of solar panels, explaining to you what to look for when buying one, and also giving you three great options. Stay with us.
Three Types Of Solar Panel Systems
- On-grid systems – these are connected to the public electricity grid. To use them, you will not need any batteries. If your solar panels generate power that you don’t need, it will be sent to the grid, and you will get the FIT (feed-in-grid) tariff. These systems have one major downside – they will not work when there is a blackout.
- Off-grid systems – these systems require battery storage, to connect the excess electricity. You will also need an inverter. They are not connected to the grid, thus completely independent, and suitable not only for blackouts but also for RVs and remote areas.
- Hybrid systems – they give you the best of both worlds. You don’t have to think about how much juice is left in your batteries, as you can use the grid. Also, you don’t have to worry about blackouts – if that happens, the hybrid system will isolate itself, and you will be able to use the energy stored in the power bank.
Things To Consider Before Getting Into Solar Panels
Before trying to do anything, make sure you have these things in mind:
- The amount of power you need – this will be determined by the purpose you buy solar panels in the first place. You will have to do the math, and figure out how many cells you need to buy to get the job done. Also, consider the design – maybe you don’t have room for all those cells you need?
- Skills & tools – while DIY saves you money, it is only a viable option if you have the needed skills AND tools to pull it off. So be honest with yourself – if you are that type of person who can’t build your own IKEA furniture, maybe this is not the best thing to do. After all, we are talking about electricity and climbing roofs, so don’t get killed in order to cut your bills. Also, you will need some basic tools to complete your solar panels, and if you don’t already own them, it will add to the cost. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from your friends who have the skills/tools, or professionals.
- Price – although solar panels have never been more affordable, they will still require a considerable amount of money, even in the DIY form. Yes, the money will eventually return, but only after years of use. So try not to get into debt to get solar panels. It is a good idea to start slow, as you can buy more cells later on, so make sure you leave room for them. Start by powering something smaller, like a garage, to keep the costs and potential complications low.
Solar Panel Accessories
Here are a few items that you will find in your kit:
Inverter – panels create DC electricity, but in order for you to use it, it has to be converted to AC. For that purpose, you will need an inverter. Now, some panels have micro-inverters, in other words, every panel has its own. Other don’t, and you will need a separate device. There are also power optimizers which are an advanced version of inverters which control every solar panel individually prioritizing maximum efficiency.
Switchboard – this piece of equipment sends the collected electricity to the desired location. In off-grid systems, you can power specific appliances or batteries. If you have an on-grid system, the excess electricity can be forwarded into the grid.
Batteries – in an off-grid system, you will have to store the energy somewhere; thus you will need batteries. You will have the option to get them with some solar panels, so you don’t have to bother buying them separately. They are less expensive than they used to be.
Charge controller – this device makes sure no overcharging and overvoltage happens, preventing accidents and keeping your system healthy. It also extends battery life.
Best DIY Solar Panels You Can Find On Amazon
WindyNation Solar Panel Kit
This is a complete kit, as it includes the panels, but also the AGM battery bank, controller and an inverter. You will even get the needed cables, mounting hardware, in short, exactly everything you need to run the system.
Now, depending on the amount of sunlight available, this system will produce up to 1600 Watt Hours or 135 Amp hours, each day. The output is 12 Volt. You can opt for up to four batteries of 100 Watt each, for maximal independence. The system is not cheap; however, it is completely stand-alone, high-quality and simple to install.
ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Kit
This kit will produce as much as 800 Watts of solar power, through eight 100 W pieces. Although it has no batteries included, it has a combiner box, off-grid inverter, charge controller and 15ft solar cable. It also has Z mountaing brackets.
Solar cells are top quality, highly efficient and made out of silicone. They have a 25-year guaranty, and you can expect them to retain 95% of efficiency after five years of use. Also, this system is very water, dust and wind resistant, making it perfect for rough weather. It is very popular among RV community. The only downside is the price, especially considering that you will have to buy batteries separately.
HQST Solar Panel
This is a beginner-friendly option, as it is effortless to install, with pre-drilled holes. In the kit, you will also have the needed Z brackets, making the whole process smooth and fast.
The off-grid system is suitable to both 12 and 24 Volts, and it will be beneficial for RVs, boats, sheds, and other remote location purposes. It can produce up to 2000 W each day, depending on the amount of insolation. It can charge a battery in 3 hours.
The system included four 100W panels, a charge controller, a pair of cables, Z brackets and the necessary mounting hardware. There are no batteries, nor an inverter included; you will have to buy those separately.
That was our view on the world of solar panels. You have already made the right decision by choosing to go this route. Solar panels are a great way of saving money. They are indeed a much better alternative to noisy generators that require gasoline and produce fumes. Yes, they are quite an investment, but they start paying off immediately, and they last for decades. In our opinion, they are well worth the money.