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The Best Solar Panel Kits

Power up your electronics anywhere with eco-friendly portable solar panel kits.

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Robert Laswell
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Solar panel kits are the perfect off-grid power solution for your outdoor adventures. These kits are offered in a complete package with all the essential cables and clips for easy setup and instant charging. These devices are safe and reliable for home-based applications as well.

There are a bunch of solar panel kits that are currently available in the market. All of these products offer a wide range of services to their users. Due to the product differentiation, it is a bit difficult to purchase the right solar kit to fulfill specific needs. We’ve saved you time and effort and have reviewed some of the best solar panel kits in the market today. Take a brief look and find out which one suits you the most.

Editor’s Picks

Let’s take a look at the three best solar panel kits in three different categories.

Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
Best Overall
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 100W Starter Kit is a mid-range product that has the highest energy efficiency that you can obtain from a solar kit. It is loaded with all the essential and supplementary features so that you can use it for both home-based and outdoor applications. A PWM charge controller is integrated into this kit that not only safeguards your devices but also increases the output capability of this kit up to 400W. This product will not be depreciating anytime soon as it is protected with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. It is a safe and reliable product that is capable enough to power up your small and mid-sized electric appliances.

Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits
Best User Experience
Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

Renogy has manufactured this solar power kit specifically for outdoor purposes. This 100W solar kit has a foldable design to increase its portability and enhance its user experience. Also, it is highly compatible with a wide range of battery types. Renogy has increased the durability of this product with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame making it safe for use in harsh climate conditions. You don’t have to worry about overcharging and reverse charging your batteries as a charge controller is also provided with this solar power kit.

SUNER POWER 20W 12V Solar Panel Kits
Best Price
SUNER POWER 20W 12V Solar Panel Kits

SUNER POWER 20W solar panel kit is offered at a low price yet it competes with high-end products with all its specs and features. You can connect a wide range of small appliances without the restriction of battery type. You can connect AGM, Flooded, GEL, Deep Cycle, and Seal Lead Acid batteries without any worry. This product comes with a three-stage intelligent charging system that regulates the flow of voltage output to safeguard the connected batteries. You can monitor these stages on an LCD display that is also included in the kit.

The Best Solar Panel Kits

Power up your electronics anywhere with eco-friendly portable solar panel kits.

Solar panel kits are the perfect off-grid power solution for your outdoor adventures. These kits are offered in a complete package with all the essential cables and clips for easy setup and instant charging. These devices are safe and reliable for home-based applications as well.

There are a bunch of solar panel kits that are currently available in the market. All of these products offer a wide range of services to their users. Due to the product differentiation, it is a bit difficult to purchase the right solar kit to fulfill specific needs. We’ve saved you time and effort and have reviewed some of the best solar panel kits in the market today. Take a brief look and find out which one suits you the most.

Editor’s Picks

Let’s take a look at the three best solar panel kits in three different categories.

Best Overall – Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 100W Starter Kit is a mid-range product that has the highest energy efficiency that you can obtain from a solar kit. It is loaded with all the essential and supplementary features so that you can use it for both home-based and outdoor applications. A PWM charge controller is integrated into this kit that not only safeguards your devices but also increases the output capability of this kit up to 400W. This product will not be depreciating anytime soon as it is protected with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. It is a safe and reliable product that is capable enough to power up your small and mid-sized electric appliances.

Amazon.com: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Best User Experience – Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

Renogy has manufactured this solar power kit specifically for outdoor purposes. This 100W solar kit has a foldable design to increase its portability and enhance its user experience. Also, it is highly compatible with a wide range of battery types. Renogy has increased the durability of this product with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame making it safe for use in harsh climate conditions. You don’t have to worry about overcharging and reverse charging your batteries as a charge controller is also provided with this solar power kit.

Amazon.com: Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2Pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-in Kickstand with Waterproof 20A Charger Controller

Best Price – SUNER POWER 20W 12V Solar Panel Kits

SUNER POWER 20W solar panel kit is offered at a low price yet it competes with high-end products with all its specs and features. You can connect a wide range of small appliances without the restriction of battery type. You can connect AGM, Flooded, GEL, Deep Cycle, and Seal Lead Acid batteries without any worry. This product comes with a three-stage intelligent charging system that regulates the flow of voltage output to safeguard the connected batteries. You can monitor these stages on an LCD display that is also included in the kit.

Amazon.com: SUNER POWER 20 Watts Mono Crystalline 12V Solar Panel Kits – Waterproof 20W Solar Panel + Upgraded 10A Solar Charge Controller + 3-PCS SAE Cable Adapters for Car RV Marine Boat Trailer Off-Grid System

How Do Solar Panel Kits Work?

We know that it’s important for you to know the ins and outs of the technology you’re looking to buy, that’s why we’re here to explain just exactly how solar panel kits work.

As standard, in a solar panel kit you will find the following elements: one or more solar panels, the appropriate mounting brackets for them, the appropriate wiring, and a solar charge controller. Whilst this is not everything you’ll need to power your home or appliances with solar, it’s close enough (you’ll likely only need to add a high-capacity battery on top, before you can start making the most out of your renewable energy set up).

Let’s look briefly at how solar panels generate electricity. Solar panels are frames of weatherproof and waterproof material housing many smaller solar cells. It’s these cells which do all the work: made of polycrystalline, monocrystalline, or thin film silicon, they undergo a chemical and physical reaction when exposed to direct sunlight. This reaction is known as the photovoltaic effect, during which the forced displacement of electrons from one silicon layer to another generates volts of electricity. It’s as simple as that! This electricity production process occurs over and over, infinitely, for as long as the panels are exposed to sunlight.

Using the mounting brackets in your kit, you can mount the solar panels just about anywhere – what’s most important though is that you choose a spot where they are most likely to receive optimal sunlight during daylight hours, and where they are least likely to be obstructed by shade and shadow.

Your panels are then connected to your charge controller by cabling. This charge controller acts like the brain of any solar array. Installed with MPPT technology (maximum power point tracking), a charge controller’s job is to detect the load characteristic of your solar array at which the panels put out maximum power, and to keep this characteristic constant. Since the strength of sunlight varies wildly throughout any given day, ensure the stability of this power point maximises the efficiency of energy conversion from the panels to your home. An MPPT controller also ensures that the electricity it then feeds to your battery/appliances is optimised (in terms of frequency and voltage) for said battery/appliances. And that’s the long and short of it!

Pros and Cons of Solar Panel Kits

Let’s take a look at the fundamental benefits and drawbacks associated with solar panel kits.

Pros:

  1. Free electricity! Renewable energy costs nothing once installed, providing you with electricity year round, for which you need not pay a single cent.
  2. Green energy. Renewable energy is also carbon-low, or even carbon-free, meaning that you’re not contributing to global warming and the ensuing climate crisis whilst using it.
  3. Easy to install. You can install your solar kit all by yourself, with just a little help from installation guides (either online or via the included manuals).
  4. (Almost) everything you need. Whilst you’ll still need a battery at least, and maybe an inverter, too, solar panel kits are great in that they have just about everything you need to build a solar array from scratch.
  5. Budget conscious. Who said solar power was expensive? Sure, it can be, but with kits starting from $50, there are options here to suit just about anyone’s budget.
  6. Durable. Solar panels need to be highly waterproof and weatherproof, since they are exposed to all the elements. As such, they are designed to last for years without requiring nearly any maintenance at all.

Cons:

  1. Sunlight dependent. Whilst free electricity might sound like a dream, remember that it all depends on consistent exposure to direct sunlight. During the winter months, or overcast weather, your panels will underperform.
  2. No battery included. Marketed as ‘kits’, we can’t help but notice that none of them come with a battery, which you absolutely will need, if you want to run your home or vehicle on solar power.

The Best Solar Panel Kits Reviewed

The Best Solar Panel Kits In 2021

#1 Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

  • Brand: Renogy
  • Monocrystalline solar cell efficiency: 21%
  • With the Renogy wanderer 30A PWM charge Controller
  • Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use
Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 100W solar kit is the top product on our list. It consists of a highly effective layer of monocrystalline solar cells that has a conversion efficiency of 21%. This kit includes a single 100W solar panel with a 30A PWM charge controller. This controller safeguards the connected batteries from any voltage anomaly generated from the charging kit. It also helps the kit to expand up to a 400W capacity and, thus, you can add additional solar panels if 100W doesn’t suffice.

What makes this kit a truly remarkable product is that it is a complete package offered at an affordable price range. It contains all the essential connectors and cables to let you install and use it without incurring further expenses. To increase its durability, Renogy has protected this kit with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame.

Pros:

  • Energy Efficient
  • PWM Charge Controller
  • Highly Durable
  • Easy to Set up

Cons:

  • Conventional Design

#2 Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

  • Brand: Renogy
  • Compatible with gel, sealed, Lithium, and flooded batteries
  • Charge controller with LCD display
  • The low-voltage system avoids electric shock hazards
Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

This is yet another 100W solar kit from Renogy that is a lot more portable and flexible than the one mentioned above. It has a unique foldable design that allows you to pack and carry it anywhere. This solar kit is lightweight yet highly durable. It is protected with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame which is a market standard in high-quality solar kits.

Battery compatibility is a critical differentiator between high-end and low-end products. Renogy has taken note of this feature and integrated it into this solar charging kit. It is compatible with a wide range of battery types including Gel, Sealed, Lithium, and Flooded batteries. A 20A charge controller is also integrated into this kit which displays on an LCD display the voltage inflow and outflow from the power system. This controller also prevents negative grounding to make the kit more compatible.

Pros:

  • Foldable Design
  • Highly Durable
  • 20ACharge Controller
  • Highly Compatible

Cons:

  • Expensive

#3 SUNER POWER 20W 12V Solar Panel Kits

  • Brand: SUNER POWER
  • Multiple Compatibility
  • Durable & Strong
  • Intelligent Charging
  • Visual Monitor
SUNER POWER 20W 12V Solar Panel Kits

SUNER POWER 20W solar panel kit is a great product as a starter kit. It is not as powerful as some of the other products on this list, but still, it is highly energy efficient. It is offered at a low price but has all the specs and features that you’d expect from high-end solar kits. For durability, it is protected with tempered glass. For energy performance, monocrystalline solar cells are employed in the panel. For voltage management, a charge controller is provided with this kit along with an LCD for visual display. For ease of use, it contains essential connectors and cables. What more can you expect from a solar charging kit at such a price range.

Pros:

  • Highly Durable
  • Energy Efficient
  • Charge Controller
  • Highly Compatible

Cons:

  • Less Powerful

#4 Topsolar 100W 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit

  • Brand: Topsolar
  • High-efficiency solar cells
  • Build to last for Decades
  • PWM intelligent charge controller
Topsolar 100W 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit

Topsolar 100W solar power system has a simple design that is effective for both fixed and portable energy purposes. This kit is powerful enough to power up the batteries of your cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles along with small and mid-sized home appliances. This kit includes a 20A charge controller with PWM capability. It prevents overcharging, overheating, and negative charging to preserve the battery life of the connected devices. For easy installations, Topsolar has integrated Z-brackets plus all the connectors and cords. Also, it is protected with strong tempered glass and an aluminum frame that makes it highly durable for harsh environmental conditions.

Pros:

  • Energy Efficient
  • Charge Controller
  • Easy Installation
  • Highly Compatible

Cons:

  • Expensive

#5 Topsolar 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit

  • Brand: Topsolar
  • Color: White
  • Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • High efficiency monocrystalline cells
  • 10A 12V/24V Auto Charge Controller
Topsolar 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit

Topsolar 20W solar panel kit is the perfect product for powering up small-sized batteries. It is a cost-effective solar charging kit that is highly compatible with 12V batteries. It is a small-sized, lightweight product that is highly portable for camping purposes. It includes a 10A charge controller which is an essential feature to safeguard the solar system as well as the connected devices. Pre-drilled holes are present on its aluminum frame to make it easy for you to quickly install it anywhere without professional help. Topsolar provides a 25-year transferrable output warranty and a 1-year materials and workmanship warranty.

Pros:

  • Small and Lightweight
  • Highly Durable
  • Energy Efficient
  • Highly Compatible

Cons:

  • Less Powerful

#6 Topsolar 30W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits

  • Brand: Topsolar
  • Perfect for off grid 12 volt batteries charging system
  • High efficiency monocrystalline cells
  • 10A 12V/24V Auto Charge Controller
Topsolar 30W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits

Topsolar 30W solar panel kit is yet another cost-effective product that is powerful enough for the batteries of your travel vehicles. This kit comes in a complete package for quick and easy setup. Apart from the solar panel, it contains two 6.5ft cables with alligator clips and an O-ring terminal. Also, a charge controller is provided with this product to protect the battery life of the connected electric appliances. To improve the power efficiency of this product, Topsolar has integrated a monocrystalline solar cells layer in the panel. Lastly, this kit is protected with strong tempered glass and an aluminum frame. You’ll get a 25-year transferrable output warranty plus a 1-year component warranty with the purchase of this solar kit.

Pros:

  • Safe and Reliable
  • Easy to Use
  • Charge Controller
  • Highly Compatible

Cons:

  • Less Powerful

#7 Renogy 200W Foldable Solar Suitcase

  • Brand: Renogy
  • Adjustable, Corrosion-Resistant aluminum stand
  • Heavy duty handle and latches for longevity
  • Protective casing
  • Negative-ground charge controller for compatibility with an RV, boat, trailer, etc. The low-voltage system avoids electrical shock hazards
  • Waterproof Pwm Controller
Renogy 200W Foldable Solar Suitcase

We have already reviewed a foldable solar kit from Renogy and here’s another one. This one is a 200W solar charging kit that is bigger, better, and more powerful than its 100W counterpart. It is protected with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for high durability. For safe and reliable voltage flow, a 20A charge controller is provided with this solar charging kit along with an LCD display. It is a highly compatible kit that can be connected with a wide range of battery types including Gel, Sealed, Lithium, and Flooded batteries.

Pros:

  • Highly Compatible
  • Highly Portable
  • Strong and Durable
  • Easy to Use

Cons:

  • Expensive

#8 WEIZE 100W 12V Solar Panel Starter Kit

  • Brand: WEIZE
  • High Efficiency
  • Perfect Design
  • Durable low-iron tempered glass
WEIZE 100W 12V Solar Panel Starter Kit

WEIZE 100W solar panel kit has a conversion rate of 21% thanks to a layer of monocrystalline solar cells integrated into its solar panel. WEIZE has gone above and beyond to make this product as weather-resistant as possible. It is protected with an anodized aluminum frame, tempered glass, and a sealed junction box. The kit contains all essential tools making it a ready-to-go product for outdoor purposes. All-in-all this product is a safe and reliable off-grid option. The only limitation with this product is that it is not offered with a warranty.

Pros:

  • Energy Efficient
  • Strong and Durable
  • Safe and Reliable
  • Easy to Install

Cons:

  • No Warranty

#9 DOKIO 150W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

  • Brand: DOKIO
  • High Efficiency
  • Waterproof & Durable
  • Portable design and wide applicability
  • Powerful high conversion efficiency with high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell
DOKIO 150W 12V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kits

The last product on our list is the DOKIO 150W solar kit that has a unique foldable design. A carrying handle is included in the kit which makes it easy to carry and use for camping purposes. Furthermore, the panel is only 2.4cm thick and weighs only 4.1Kg. DOKIO Offers this kit in a complete package with all the connectors and cables for quick and safe installation. This product, however, is not as durable as some of the other products on our list.

Pros:

  • Foldable Design
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Complete Package
  • Energy Efficient

Cons:

  • Less Durable

Buyers’ Guide

The products in the solar kits category are differentiated by a number of specs and features. If you are new to these products, buying the right one can be tricky. Following are a few of the features that we suggest you keep in mind while looking for a solar charging kit.

Power Capacity

The most important feature that you should look for in a solar kit is its power capacity. It starts from 20 Watts and goes up to 300 Watts. You’ll have to identify your energy needs and then choose the product accordingly.

Battery Compatibility

Solar power kits have specific battery compatibility that you must look out for. Most products on our list are compatible with 12V batteries. Therefore you may find difficulty in charging batteries of a different voltage.

Charge Controller

A charge controller is considered an essential element of any solar kit. It controls the flow of voltage produced by the solar charging kit. It prevents negative charging and reverse-polarity to safeguard your electronic devices.

Design

The design of solar kits is integral to their portability and user experience. Most portable devices have a special foldable design which makes it easy to carry them without the need for a carrying bag. Fixed solar kits have a simple design that is ideal for permanent installation.

Weight and Size

The weight and size of solar kits are also important for increasing or decreasing the portability of a solar kit. If you are looking for a solar kit for outdoor trips, you should invest in a compact and lightweight product.

Final Verdict

There aren’t many solar kits that have the features that make them hybrid for both home-based and outdoor operations. Renogy has succeeded in manufacturing such a product for you. The Renogy 100W Solar Panel Kit has the highest power efficiency of 21%. A corrosion-resistant aluminum frame is added on top of a highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells layer.

A PWM charge controller is provided with this kit for regulating the flow of current to safeguard the connected devices. It also expands the power capacity of this kit up to 400W, something that is rarely seen in most kits. This controller also prevents overloading, short-circuit, and overcharging/discharging to preserve the battery life while charging it up.

This is a complete package with all the essential connectors and cables for a safe and reliable installation and operation.

FAQs

Can you permanently install portable solar kits?

Portable solar kits have special foldable designs plus they are mostly lightweight. You can permanently install them. However, they might not be as energy-efficient and durable as their fixed counterparts. It is therefore not advisable to use them as fixed solar kits.

How can you maintain solar panel kits to preserve their useful life?

In order to preserve the usefulness of solar kits, you must have the skills to install and operate these kits carefully. Also, you should take care of their operational and environmental capability.

Why do you need inverters with solar kits?

Solar kits produce solar power in the form of DC current while most electronic devices run on AC current. An inverter converts DC to AC so that you can conveniently utilize solar power.

What are the limitations of solar panel kits?

Solar power kits require special climate conditions to operate at full capability. You’ll need to expose the solar panels to maximum sunlight which may not be possible all the time. Thus, you may not be able to use them in the case of an emergency.

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Author Bio

Robert is a renewable energy and sustainability specialist with 10+ years of experience in the solar and renewable energy space.

With experience in different organizations in the industry, he operates semprius as a passion project promoting sustainable renewable energy ideas and products.

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