All You Need to Know About The Best Solar Panel Kits for Home

One of the main advantages of renewable solar energy is that it is clean and affordable. As a matter of fact, solar energy has never been more popular. Considering the fact that we are all witnessing the side/effects of years of consuming non/renewable energy, it is clear why solar energy has become one of the most efficient ways to power your home.

In a hurry? Check our carefully picked top 3 solar panel kits:

 

If you have decided to go solar, there must be thousands of questions swarming in your head:

Where to start?

What solar panel kit to choose?

How much should I spend on solar panel?

What does a solar panel kit include?

Can I install it myself

Which are the best solar panel kits?

To help you with a decision making process, and help you choose the one that will match your home requirements, we’ve done a thorough research and compiled a list of the essential things you need to know before buying the best solar panel kit for your home.

In other words, we created an ultimate guide on all solar panel kits for home that will provide you with all the ins and outs.

So, let’s dive right in!

What Are The Best Solar Panel Kits of 2019?

#1 Renogy 10Pcs 300 Watt 24 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy 10Pcs 300 Watt 24 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel 3000W for Off-Grid On-Grid Large Solar System, Residential Commercial House Cabin Sheds Rooftop, Multi-Panel Solar Arrays
  • Renogy 300-Watt Monocrystalline solar panel offers industry leading performance and it's the first step to converting your house to solar
  • Perfect for residential rooftop systems to decrease your electrical bill, or for a large off-grid system commercial and utility systems
  • The monocrystalline panels will give you the most efficiency per space and have the ability to withstand extreme elements and severe weather
  • Guaranteed positive output Tolerance (0-3%), withstand high wind (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa)
  • 25-year power output warranty; 10-year material and workmanship warranty
  • Reliable – EL tested solar modules; no hot-spot heating guaranteed. Authorized UL 1703 photovoltaic modules and panels. PERC Solar Cells, Black frame solar panel
  • Durable – Capable of withstanding high winds, up to 2400 Pa, and snow loads of 5400 Pa. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use. Anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass with enhanced stiffness and impact resistance. IP67 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental particles and low-pressure water jets
  • Versatile – Can be used for many different applications, even work sheds, garages, or camps. Ideal for residential and commercial rooftop systems. Ground mount compatible. Compatible with on-grid and off-grid inverters
  • Warranty Information – 25-year power output warranty: 5 year/95% efficiency rate, 10 year/90% efficiency rate, 25-year/80% efficiency rate. 10-year material and workmanship warranty
  • Package Includes – 10 Pieces Renogy 300 Watts Monocrystalline Solar panel

#2 Grape Solar 540W Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit

Grape Solar GS-540-KIT 540W Off-Grid Solar Kit with Comet40 Charge Controller
  • Requires 12V Deep-Cycle Battery Bank At Least 270ah (not included)
  • Includes PWM-Style Charge controller with large easy-to-read LCD display and remote monitoring app
  • Quick-connect guide included to get you up and running in 20 minutes or less
  • Tech support help available by email - 5 yr warranty on panels, 1-yr on charge controller
  • Watts: 540
  • Volts: 12
  • The High Points: The kit is great for powering small, location-independent consumption systems.
  • The Not-So Good: An expensive price point for relatively low wattage and no included battery bank.

Grape Solar’s unique 540W Off-Grid kit boasts minimal maintenance, easy installation and durability. With a price point that’s more expensive than most other similarly equipped kits, Grape Solar has a lot to prove. However, the well-reviewed system lives up to its marketing; buyers love their kits, no matter the price point.

Overall, the kit is best for off-grid systems like boats, RVs, cabins, sheds, vehicles and tiny houses. It’s not suitable for entire households as it only provides enough power to fuel small appliances and electronic devices. With USB ports and outlets, the o the standard 15% of other panels.

Although there are certainly cheaper 100W panels on the market, the ALLPOWERS model rises to the top because of its quality and features. However, be aware that you will still need to purchase a battery bank and charge controller separately which will significantly increase your overhead costs.

Features and Considerations

The 540W rating is a good choice for those looking to fully power small appliances, like pumps, solar lights or laptops. It’s an “in-between” option as most kits offer 100-400W of power, or 1,000W+. Overall, the system can produce roughly 1,620W hours or 135A hours of charge per day.

The kit includes three 180W monocrystalline solar panels, which are the most efficient solar cells available. The panels are also built with an aluminum frame and sealed junction box, so the system is virtually weatherproof. Durability is an important consideration for solar panels, and Grape Solar hits the mark.

Along with the panels, the kit also includes a 40A Comet PWM charge controller. The PWM charge controller is not as efficient as an MPPT controller but it does the job. It also offers mobile monitoring which is great for those on the road.

While the kit does not come equipped with a 12V deep cycle battery which is necessary for operation, it does have a 15A inline-MC4 comparable fuse, a 1,800W pure sine inverter with two outlets and a USB port. The USB port is particularly useful for plugging in small devices.

#3 ECO-WORTHY 400 Watts Off Grid Solar Power System: 4pcs 100w

  • Solar charging will provide on average 1600 Watt Hours (Wh) or 135 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability).
  • Good water and dust proof functions: IP-65 rated junction box complete protect it against environmental particles and low pressure water jets.
  • Controller protection system: Wrong battery pole connection protection, Lightning protection.
  • Off Grid Inverter: Parallel type design for DC input and modularization design for inverter, small volume, distributed installation, easy for system configuration, flexible for combination, strong expansibility of system.
  • Connection: 32 feet solar cable adapter and Z mounting brackets for quick and easy installation.

#4 WindyNation 400 Watt Solar Kit: 4pcs 100W Solar Panels

WindyNation 400 Watt (4pcs 100W) Solar Panel Kit + 1500 Watt VertaMax Power Inverter + AGM Battery Bank for RV, Boat, Cabin, Off-Grid 12 Volt Battery System
  • Complete kit includes: (4pcs) 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel, 30-amp P30L Solar Charge Controller (w/ LCD Display ), 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, all necessary solar mounting hardware + 1500 Watt (3000 Watt surge) VertaMax DC to AC Power Inverter, 2 pcs of 2 AWG Battery Cables for connecting the inverter to a 12V battery + 4pcs BattaMax 100Ah AGM (Maintenance Free) Deep Cycle Batteries with 2/0 AWG Interconnect Battery Cable.
  • Bundle and save! Purchase all the components together and save time and money!
  • Solar charging will provide on average 1600 Watt Hours (Wh) or 135 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability)
  • Perfect kit for having an off-grid 12 volt battery system. 1500 Watt VertaMax Inverter provides plenty of AC power to run your household appliances and the battery bank will supply plenty of energy for moderate use.
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • Complete kit includes: (4pcs) 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel, 30-amp P30L Solar Charge Controller (w/ LCD Display and user adjustable settings), 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, all necessary solar mounting hardware + 4pcs BattaMax 100Ah (400ah total) AGM, Maintenance Free, Deep Cycle 12V Batteries with 2/0 AWG Interconnect Battery Cables.
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • PWM Solar Charge Controller has user adjustable settings! LCD Screen shows system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature and DC load draw. See Image in photo gallery for all LCD Screen readouts.
  • Solar panels will provide on average 1700 Watt Hours (Wh) or 150 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability)
  • 5 year solar panel warranty. 25 year power output warranty. 1 year warranty on all other included components.

#5 ECO LLC 1800W Home Grid Tie Solar Kit 12pcs 150W Solar Panel

ECO LLC 1800W Home Grid Tie Solar Kit 12pcs 150W Solar Panel & 2000W Power Inverter Charging AC 110V
  • Money Save---Get 30% Gederal Solar Tax Credit and Saving Up to 35% of Electricity Bills Per Year .
  • Power Generation Plan---1.8 KW Solar Power Generates Average 7kWh of Electricity Per Day for Home.
  • Flexible Use of Electricity---In Cloudy Days, When the Power Supply is Insufficient,Automatically Obtained Power from Your State Grid System to Supply Your Load.
  • Solar Panel--- Corrosion-resistant Aluminum Frame Allows the Panels to Use for Decades,As Well As withstand High Winds (2400Pa) and Snow Loads (5400Pa) Outdoors.
  • Grid Tie Iverter---Make Full Use of All Types of Buildings’ Surface that Face to the Sun In the City As Well As Fast and Easy Installation of Solar Modules and Grid Tie Inverter. It Gust Needs VeryLow Maintenance Costs.
  • Money Save—Get 30% General Solar Tax Credit and Saving Up to 35% of Electricity Bills Per Year .
  • Power Generation Plan—1.8 KW Solar Power Generates Average 7kWh of Electricity Per Day for Home.
  • Flexible Use of Electricity—In Cloudy Days, When the Power Supply is Insufficient,Automatically Obtained Power from Your State Grid System to Supply Your Load.
  • Solar Panel— Corrosion-resistant Aluminum Frame Allows the Panels to Use for Decade,As Well As withstand High Winds (2400Pa) and Snow Loads (5400Pa) Outdoors.
  • Grid Tie Inverter—Make Full Use of All Types of Buildings’ Surface that Face to the Sun In the City As Well As Fast and Easy Installation of Solar Modules and Grid Tie Inverter. It Gust Needs VeryLow Maintenance Costs.

You can experiment with many of the solar panel kits and see which one would be the best investment for your home.

#6 Best for Off-Grid Homes: Renogy 3600-Watt Solar Cabin Kit

Renogy 3600 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Cabin Kit for Off-Grid Solar System with 12 Pcs of 300W Panel and Midnite MPPT Controller
  • Ideal for large off-grid systems such as remote cabins.
  • Works with off-grid residential and commercial rooftop systems.
  • Guaranteed positive output tolerance (0-3%); withstands high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa).
  • The MidNite Classic allows you to stack multiple charge controllers, giving you more options for expansion.
  • Newly added MidNite MNEDC- Quad houses included MNEDC100 breaker which acts as a DC disconnect for protection of your battery bank and charge controller.
  • Watts: 3600
  • Volts: 48
  • The High Points: Can fully power small-sized households or work as a backup source for regular homes.
  • The Not-So Good: Not ideal for those looking to dabble in solar panels.

Renogy, the top-tier brand that topped our list with their 400W starter kit, also offers a variety of other systems. The 3600W Solar Cabin Kit is a powerful addition to any small household. With advanced panels and a host of high-quality equipment options, the kit is ideal for remote cabins, off-grid residences and commercial rooftop systems.

Although the price tag may seem startlingly high for newbies in the DIY solar market, it’s actually a reasonable cost when considering the size of the bundle. The kit comes with a MidNite Classic MPPT charge controller and a MidNite Solar MNPV6 Combiner box. However, you will need to purchase a 48V battery bank separately.

Features and Considerations

The kit comes with twelve 300W monocrystalline solar panels. The panels use PERC solar cells, which are more efficient. Overall, each solar panel is 15-20% shorter and lighter than a regular 72 cell 300W panel.

The solar panels are able to withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa) should you live in a climate with frequent inclement weather. This durability makes it ideal for rooftop mounting on residential or commercial buildings. The panels also boast the ability to perform well in low-light environments.

In each kit, you’ll find a MidNite Classic 150 MPPT charge controller. This industry favorite is a leader in remote monitoring and offers a wide range of features and more control over the system compared to PWM charge controllers. There’s also a MidNite Solar MNPV6 Combiner Box, another popular piece of equipment, which is rated for outdoor use.

Renogy guarantees a positive output tolerance (0-3%). They also offer a 25-year power output warranty on the panels, a 5-year material warranty and a 1-year accessories warranty. This may ease potential buyers’ concerns about the upfront investment in an entire system that’s not backed by a professional installation and solar service company.

#7 Sunforce 37826 170W Crystalline Solar Kit

Sunforce 37826 170W Crystalline Solar Kit
  • High efficiency crystalline solar panels
  • Ideal for 12 volt battery charging and use in remote locations
  • Completely weatherproof for added durability
  • Connect multiple kits for more power
  • Kit includes: 2 x 85 watt solar panels, 30 A digital charge contoller, 200 W inverter, wiring, brackets, screws, and a voltage tester
  • High efficiency crystalline solar panels
  • Ideal for 12 volt battery charging and use in remote locations
  • Completely weatherproof for added durability
  • Connect multiple kits for more power
  • Kit includes: 2 x 85 watt solar panels, 30 A digital charge controller, 200 W inverter, wiring, brackets, screws, and a voltage tester

#8 Best for Traveling: ACOPOWER 3X35W Solar Panel Kit

ACOPOWER HY-3x35W18V2 12V 105W Solar Panel Kit w 10A Charge Controller for both RV/Camper Boat Battery and DC Devices
  • CONVERSION EFFICIENCY: 105 Watt monocrystalline photovoltaic panels are from SUNPOWER - the highest conversion efficiency module provider in the world, which increases conversion efficiency up to 21. 6%
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: this portable solar panel kit charges 12 Volts lead acid batteries including Sealed, Flooded, GEL and AGM, which mostly serve in boats, cars, RV and campers; USB 5V output for phones/USB devices, the charge controller is removable for power bank or generator with regulator itself
  • HIGHLY PORTABLE: ultra lightweight of 7. 9lbs, ultra compact of folding size 22. 05x17. 32 inch with 50. 39x22. 05 inch unfolding film surface
  • OUTDOOR DURABILITY: weather-resistant, water-resistant, industrial-strength PET polymer laminated; 12 month worry-free
  • Has SAE connector for pre-wired Zap Solar RV or Campers; for other adapters, contact ACOPOWER. Matching power bank generator with DC/AC inverter for laptops, search ASIN: B01N19GOYJ 400Wh. Perfect Charging Pack to Bring Quick Charger Anywhere there is Sun.
  • Watts: 105
  • Volts: 12
  • The High Points: Unique “suitcase” design makes it very portable and easy to transport.
  • The Not-So Good: Design flaw with the wiring to the charge controller.

For those who are perpetual nomads, the ACOPOWER solar panel kit is here to meet your needs. With a useful and unique folding panel design, the kit makes assembly and packing up a breeze. The lightweight and compact panel construction means those who are always on the go can tuck their panels in the trunk or stowaway compartment when you aren’t using them.

The panel kit also comes with a LandStar 10A PWM charge controller. This also includes a USB output and alligator clamps for battery charging. You can tuck these extra additions away into the front pocket of the “suitcase” for easy access.

With a variety of bells and whistles, the ACOPOWER kit is an incredibly affordable option for those looking to power appliances on the road. 105W is all the power you need to charge laptops, phones or other essential devices. You will not need to do any setup, including tools or wiring. Simply stop your RV, pop out the standing legs and start charging.

Features and Considerations

Perhaps the greatest selling point for ACOPOWER’s solar panel kit is its unique “suitcase” design. The panel is actually three separate 35W panels mounted on a foldable surface. This tri-fold option is great for those looking to regularly transport their panels, like those traveling in an RV or on a boat.

The entire compact kit is only 7.9 pounds and can be reduced down to a size of 22 inches by 17 inches by 50 inches. The laminated panels and mounting surface are also weather-resistant and can be safely used in rain. The panels come equipped with a back prop stand for easy and quick assembly on the go.

The kit comes with an SAE connector for pre-wired Zap Solar RV or campers. You can also purchase additional adapters from the company. On top of that, you will need to acquire a 12V battery that’s compatible with your devices.

What kinds of solar panel kits are there?

Essentially, there are five types of solar panel kits on the market:

  1. Commercial solar power systems
  2. Off-grid solar power systems
  3. On-grid/Grid-tie solar power systems
  4. Hybrid solar power systems
  5. Residential solar power systems

Commercial solar power systems

As the name itself suggests, these solar panel kits are mainly designed for commercial buildings like offices, factories and public institutions like schools, hospitals and others. Their inverters tend to have a higher wattage than the residential ones. In addition, most commercial solar panel kits are grid-intertie.

Off-grid solar power system

Off-grid solar power system

If your home is in a remote location where grid power is currently unavailable, an off-grid solar power system comes to the rescue! In its core, grid power is an organised system of energy run and provided by local center. An off-grid solar panel kit is disconnected from the main power grid that service the area where your home is. For this reason, an off-grid solar panel system is backed up by batteries which constantly provides electric energy to the solar panel. In case there is a lower production of power, batteries are easily discharged. This is when electric generator produces more energy and make the entire solar panel kit work.

Hybrid Solar Power Kit

Hybrid Solar Power Kit

On the other hand, if you are living in a home where energy consumption is extremely high, you should go for a hybrid solar power kit. Basically, hybrid solar system is a combination of different sources of energy. For instance, if the are where you live receives a constant and consistent flow of wind, then you should consider using wind energy to back up solar energy.The best thing about these solar panel kits is that it can provide you with a solar energy even during power outages.

On-grid/Grid-tie solar power systems

This type of solar panel kit is directly connected to the traditional power grid. It enables homeowners to make use of power from the utility grid which also serves other residents. It has a tendency to produce constant electric energy and match all your home requirements and needs. In case an on-grid solar system does not produce adequate electric energy, additional energy will be drawn from the grid system. Net metering technology enables an efficient energy management. On top of that, it keeps track of energy production and consumption.

What does a solar panel kit include?

The essential components of every solar panel kit are a solar panel and an inverter. But, most solar panel kits will also include racking or all the electric supplies necessary to install a complete system. Here are some of the components that most solar panel kits include:

  • Solar Panel – solar panel is the heart of every solar panel kit and its main function is to receive the sun rays and convert them into electric energy. They are commonly known as PV modules and can vary in sizes. While large ones use 200 watts, and even 300 watts, some smaller ones use 100 watts. Basically, the size and voltage depend on the type of cell technology used to make them.
  • Inverter – Inverter has one major role – to convert current energy from one form to another. Solar panels provide energy which is in the form of direct current, known as DC, and inverter changes this energy into alternating current, known as AC. The biggest benefit of AC is that it sends the energy over long distances in several directions. Keep in mind that there are different kinds of inverters for different solar panel kits on today’s market.
  • Mounting System – as we mentioned a mounting system also known as a ranking system is a crucial element of every solar panel kit installation. Besides keeping the solar panel system firmly fixed on the roof, it also increases the level of power production of solar panels if installed properly.
  • Wiring and Connectivity – In most cases, it a cable and entire wiring are included in solar panel kit
  • Charge Controller for Battery Systems – if your solar panels are connected to batteries, you need to have a charge controller or a charge regulator. By using a charge regulator, the batteries won’t suffer excess charging from the panels allowing you to keep the current from the panel to the cells under control.

What things you need to take into account when choosing a solar panel kit for your home

As with most purchases you make, from the smallest ones to the life changing ones like buying a house, you need to take some important things into consideration. One of the main factors when choosing a solar panel kit is most definitely the price. This is the reason why most companies offer solar panels at attractive prices when selling their products online. However, it often turns out that these solar panels are of low-quality. This is why you need to be aware of the potential dangers that the wrong installation of solar panels can cause. Here are some of them:

-If solar panels are installed incorrectly, they can cause fires

-If you are installing solar panel yourself, you need to have the appropriate safety equipment

-If solar panels are damaged during installation, they may void the warranty

-If installed incorrectly, solar panels can cause leakage which may cost you a lot

Here are a few features you should be looking at when you start looking for a solar panel system that will suit your needs.

What are the advantages of solar panel kits?

There are good reasons why an increasing number of people are installing solar panels in their homes. Here are some of the biggest benefits of solar panel kits:

  • They represent a source of renewable energy – renewable energy is highly beneficial simply because it can’t diminish. As long as there is sunlight, there is solar energy. This means you don’t have to worry if you are going to run out of supply.
  • Solar power lowers the electricity bill significantly – one of the biggest benefits of installing a solar panel system is undoubtedly the cost-efficiency. If you want to save money, you should consider installing a solar panel. If you decide to install off-grid solar panel, you won’t even have to deal with monthly electricity bills. Also, off-grid solar energy bill are significantly lower than other energy sources. Plus, solar panel kits can help you generate some money. Basically, the surplus energy can be channelled back to the grid allowing you to receive bonus payments.
  • Solar energy system has multiple applications – the energy that solar panel systems generate can be used for various purposes. Besides powering electric appliances, the solar power system can produce heat at the same time. One of the examples of the usage of solar panels in industry are factories. They use solar energy to run heavy machines. However, a solar panel system can be used to run even public institutions like schools, hospitals or streetlights.
  • Low maintenance cost – another reason for investing in solar panels is easy and fast maintenance. Solar panels do not require some special maintenance. The only thing you need to do on a regular basis is to clean their surface, however, not too frequently. Also, the system does not have moving parts which means that you do not have to remove the parts or replace them when they wear out, and you don’t have to lubricate on a regular basis. However, you may have to replace the inverter, but only after a period of 5-10 years.
  • Easy to install – while the installation process is really simple and fast, make sure you hire a person who is skilled at installing solar panels. However, if you decide you want to do it on your own, ensure that you have the right skills and knowledge to do that, as it may cause some serious damage if not installed properly.
  • Solar Panels don’t take up much room – one of the biggest and probably most valuable benefits of installing a solar panel is the fact that it is installed in the place that is usually not utilised like on roofs. In its core, all of the energy you need for your home can come from the space on your roof that is exposed to the sun the most. In case you are installing a solar panel on a shed or other smaller vehicles and other places, you can get the most solar energy if you install your solar panel on the top of your camper, van, RV, shed. In such a scenario, you need to be aware of your power needs ratio and choose the most efficient solar power kit.
  • Solar panel Systems are expendable – one of the things that sets solar panel kits apart from other sources of renewable energy is the fact that they are modular. This means you can add more to what you’ve got. For example, you can add batteries that will store your energy. This feature gives you a possibility to first invest in solar panels on a smaller scale and then scale up when you are financially ready
  • The costs of solar panels are decreasing – although there is a huge variety of solar panel kits out there on the market, the good news is that the prices are dropping. Now you can find an efficient solar panel kit at a reasonable price. This reduction in cost is mainly due to the fact the installation process of solar panel systems is becoming much cheaper.
  • Grid Independence – finally, if you want to live off-grid, buying a solar panel system for your home is the right decision. The best thing about off-grid solar systems is that you don’t have to be tied to the system and live in the city to take advantage of solar energy. You can go wherever you want and still use the power you need.

How to size your solar panel installation?

Once you have decided to buy a solar panel kit, you need to know how much energy you need to produce. The first thing you need to do is to measure the power output of your home. In other words, you need to identify all the appliances and measure their power consumption.

Here are a few simple steps you need to take to size down your solar panel system:

  1. Find the wattage of your appliances – do a little research and list all the 12 V electrical appliances you use on a daily basis. Find out how many watts they consume. You can usually find this information on the appliance itself or in its handbook.
  2. Calculate how much Watts you consume daily – To do this, estimate how many hours you would use each appliance during one week and then divide it by 7 to get a daily rate. Next, multiply the wattage of each appliance by the hours you will use the appliance in a day.
  3. Calculate your panel size – simply divide total watt hours you require by the hours of usable light that you would expect to use on a daily basis. In this way you will get insight into your minimum panel wattage.
  4. Check out your battery size – Multiply your daily Watt-hour requirement by 7 to get weekly requirement. Next, divide this by 12 to convert back to Amp hours. To get the correct battery size, multiply by two.
  5. Finally, size your charge controller – use the Amps produced by your panel to size your charge controller. Calculate the Amps produced by dividing the panel wattage by 16.5.

How much do solar panel kits cost?

As we mentioned earlier solar panel kits vary significantly when it comes to price. The price is usually based on who is selling the kit and what components, that is what solar panel and inverter are included in the kit. Providing that the kit may include other components such as cabling, or racking, the price can further vary. Generally, solar panel kit prices range from around $1.50 per watt to around $2.20 per watt depending on:

  • What type of solar panels are included in the kit
  • What kind of inverter is included in the kit
  • Whether other equipment such as racking, cabling, and other sundry electrical items are included in the kit
  • Whether the delivery of a solar panel kit is included in the price

Installing a solar panel kit yourself can save you more money. It can be up to $1 per watt cheaper than the cost of getting a solar company to organise the installation of your solar panel for you. This means that for a typical size of a residential system, around 6000 watts, this can save up to $6000 before 30% solar tax credit, and $ 4,200 after claiming the credit. However, be warned that to install a solar system yourself you need to organise installation, permitting, and inspections by the city and your utility yourself. Generally, it is a more difficult and mor demanding process than buying a solar panel from the company who does everything for you. Also, as we pointed out above, you run the risk of hurting yourself or making costly mistakes in the installation and permitting process. On top of that, by installing the solar system yourself, you face owning a system for 25 years where no one will help you with a warranty claim.

How do solar panels work?

While solar panels may look pretty simple and sleek from the outside, they can actually be quite complex.There’s a lot of engineering going on behind that sophisticated look. Solar panel is not the only component needed to generate energy.

Basically, most of the solar panels seen on people’s roofs are photovoltaic. The word itself implies that the solar energy is transformed into electrical energy you can use. These panels use photoelectric effect to produce electricity. Photoelectric effect is when certain materials produce a small amount of electric current when they are exposed to strong light. Then, solar cells that are inside solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. In its core, solar cells do not produce much energy. However, when they are combined to make a solar panel, they can produce large amounts of energy. A collar cell consists of two extremely thin layers of silicone. While the top layer has too many electrons and wants to get rid of them, the bottom layer has empty spaces and needs to fill them with electrons.

So, the two layers are itching one against another to transfer electrons. But, they need a catalyst that would help the transfer to take place. Once the sunlight hits the surface of solar panels, it triggers the electrons, giving them push that they need. In this way, the flow of electrons between the silicone layers begins. And, this flow is actually an electric current.

But, the electricity produced by sunlight is not the electricity we need for our home appliances. The electricity produced by the sunlight is called direct current, and we need alternating current to start the appliances. This is where the inverter comes in. The inverter converts direct current into alternating current. This is why inverter is an essential component of every solar panel kit.

How to compare solar panel kits for your home?

Choosing the right solar panel kit for your home can be a real challenge, especially when we take into account a huge variety of solar panels with different specifications and at different prices that can be found on today’s market. That is why it is vital to check out all the details before making the final decision.

Essentially, there are a few things you need to take into account before making your decision. There are three main metrics you need to pay attention to:

-Efficiency

-Warranties

-Performance/temperature coefficient

Efficiency

One of the most important indicators of solar panel quality is efficiency. Basically, efficiency refers to how well a solar photovoltaic cell can convert sunlight into electricity. Efficiency is presented in percentage. The best solar panels on today’s market have efficiency rating of approximately 22%. Be mindful that you need to pay close attention to the efficiency of the solar panel that you are purchasing especially if you have a limited space to install a system and want to bring your electricity production to the maximum.

Warranty

Most of the high-quality manufacturers will offer a warranty in order to show that they support and stand behind their products, but most importantly, that they guarantee the quality of their products. Besides paying attention to technical aspects of your equipment, you should also look for strong materials warranty. This kind of warranty is sometimes referred to as a product or equipment warranty, and it guarantees against equipment failures.These failures might result either from the environmental issues, or the manufacturers themselves. The best thing is that most manufacturers will offer at least a 10-year materials warranty, and the best ones will offer 12, 15 or even 25 years warranty.

Performance

Another crucial factor when it comes to choosing ideal solar panel kit for your home is unquestionably its performance. Solar panel’s performance is measured through a temperature coefficient rating in a simple way. This will give you insight into how your solar panel performs in less-than-ideal conditions. Like most solar products, they work best when they are kept reasonably cool. If they overheat, their performance can suffer significantly. The ideal temperature is 25° C/77° F. Temperature coefficient is a great indicator of how your solar panel’ performance will decrease during hot summer days. Also take into account that the lower the temperature coefficient the better. Also, keep in mind that the best solar panels on the market have a temperature coefficient of -0.25.

How to properly maintain and deal with troubleshooting of solar panel kits?

Despite their excellent performance, high-quality and top efficiency, many solar panel kits may still face many challenges like technical issues and others. In such cases, you don’t necessarily have to contact a technician. Instead, you can try to solve problems on your own. From time to time, your solar panel might start discharging low power. And there might be situations when your solar panel cannot generate any more power at all. If this happens, there are a few simple troubleshooting steps you need to take to prevent further damage.

1. Carry out a shading test

Once you notice that the output power is not as high as it is supposed to be, you can carry out a shading test. Simply, using a piece of cloth cover the part of a solar panel that you suspect has a problem. If the solar panel that is being covered with the cloth does not respond, it means that that is one with the problem.

2. Check out for heat fade

The sun has a strong impact on solar panels. It can even cause an overheating effect which leads to heat fade. As a result, it can have a negative impact on the overall performance of a solar panel system. To solve this problem, you can check out the wiring system.

3. Replace the burnt terminals on a solar power system

Electronic equipment is very sensitive and like with many electronics, the terminals on the batteries can burn out. In such cases, you need to check all the metal parts of terminals and replace them.

Robert

HI! My name is Robert and i'm a Solar Sunny Lover :). I love to get the best out of the sun with solar systems and loves to write about that.
Robert

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Last update on 2019-11-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API