Where Youll Use Your Solar Panel Kit
If youre looking to power appliances on the go, youll need somethingportable.
Most standard solar panel kits are designed to be permanently installed in one location, whether thats on the roof or the ground. You can permanently install a panel on the roof of an RV, but this may not be the most suitable option for everyone.
Several portable solar kit models are designed with travel in mind. They offer features such as foldable or flexible panels, pre-wiring, pre-drilled holes, pop-out stands, lightweight materials, and durability. Generally, these kits are 100-200W as anything more would take up extra space and double the weight.
If youre looking to use your solar panels to charge your boat batteries or appliances on the water, rather than while parked on land, youll also needmarine-friendly equipment. Some kits offer marine charge controllers and waterproof panels.
However, it may be best to purchase a solar panel kit that doesnt include a charge controller, battery bank, or inverter. That way you can purchase the best marine equipment separately to guarantee quality in extreme conditions like water exposure.
Hqst 600 Watt 12 Volt Mono
Why we like it: This is a compact and powerful design to work as a portable solar electricity generator. The solar power kit comes with a range of accessories required to deliver electricity to the battery in an efficient manner. It can serve as a power backup for homes to power portable devices on the go. Also, this solar kit can be attached to an RV or a camp, or a shed with less electrical load.
Editors rating: 3/5
- Solar panel- 100 Watt x 6 mono-crystalline solar panel
- Charge Controller- 40 Ampere 12/24V with Maximum Power Point Tracker technology
- Cables and connectors: 20 feet of 12 AWG cable to connect solar panels in an array and array to controller. A pair of Y branch connectors.
- Mounting of panels: 6 sets of Z brackets
- Monitoring system: LCD display
The design and purpose of this solar kit are to charge a portable battery.
Design: It is a small and compact design to carry your energy generator along with you. In this 6 Mono-crystalline solar panels with 100W capacity of each supply direct current with a potential of 12V and strength of 8A. They do so when exposed to direct sunlight. This DC is supplied from a solar panel junction box and their array through 12 AWG cables to a solar charge controller. The MPPT solar charge controller refines the input of current with controlled input to a battery . The solar generation by the solar panels and input to the charge controller can be monitored by an inclusive LCD display.
Canadian Solar Warranty And Power Guarantee
Canadian Solars leading cell and module technology guarantees the world class stability and reliability backed by a 10-year product warranty covering materials and workmanship, and a 25-year module power output warranty. All series of Canadian solar panels are manufactured to the strictest engineering guidelines, ensuring each cell and module meets international standards for quality and safety.
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How Many Solar Panels Do You Need
The number of solar panels youll need to meet your power needs depends on a few main factors: the wattage of the individual panels, your average power consumption, and the amount of light you receive daily.
This all requires a bit of math.
Your total daily electricity load = total wattage of your appliances X number of hours theyll be turned on.
Number of solar panels = total daily electricity load / hours of sunlight X individual panel wattage
For example, running 4 50W light bulbs for 8 hours would mean a total daily electricity load of 1.6-kilowatt hours . If you receive an average of 5 hours of sun per day and are purchasing 100W panels, then youd need 3.2 panels. This means 4 100W panels would easily power your light bulbs.
How Big Of A Solar System Do I Need To Go Off
The first thing to consider when wondering how big of a solar system you need to run a house off-grid is whether or not you plan to use another alternative source of energy to power the home. If you are going to be using off-grid solar energy for smaller needs, then you wont have to invest in such a big system.
You want to invest in at least 20-25 solar panels for the average home. Available online through numerous forums, however, are solar system calculators to determine the size of the system that is required to power your current residence!
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Considerations When Buying A Solar Panel Kit
There are several places you can use a solar panel. Determining if youll use your solar panel kit for your house, a shed, a vehicle, while camping, or at some other location will help you determine what kind of solar panel youll need.
There are also other considerations you should make to help you find the one that fits your needs best. Well go over some of these considerations in the following sections.
How Do Solar Panels Work
There are two main types of solar panel, including solar thermal panels and photovoltaic panels. Both of them work slightly different to fulfill their own unique function.
All the panels on this list are made from photovoltaic cells, which use semiconductors like silicone to converted sunlight directly into electricity.
This energy is produced as direct current and then passed through an inverter to produce AC power that can be used by the appliances in your household.
Solar thermal cells on the other hand use sunlight to heat up cylinders of water, and serve the function of providing heating for a home. These panels can be made to produce electricity through the use of a dynamo, but they are mainly used for providing domestic hot water.
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Best Foldable Option: Dokio 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit
Dimensions: 27.95 x 13.78 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Watts: 110 Watt | Volts: 18 Volts | Panel Type: Monocrystalline | Includes Battery: No | Solar Charge Controller Included: Yes
What We Liked
- Easy to set up
- You can charge 12V batteries or portable power stations
- Compatible with several types of batteries
- Affordable for most budgets
What We DidntLike
- Not built for extreme environments even though it comes with an built-in waterproof case. The wires are also not suited for rough environments
- At 110 watts, it provides less solar energy than other solar panel kits within the same price range
- Charge controller is more fragile than we expected it to be
Admittedly, this isnt the best option for those looking for an ultra-durable solar panel kit . If youre thinking about traveling with it to areas with high wind or extreme seasonal conditions, youll most likely return with a scratched panel because of its less than impressive stand.
Though, the panel does come with a thin plastic layer to protect the panel from scratching.
On the other hand, if you plan to use this solar panel kit in areas that dont see many weather extremes, we couldnt recommend this panel more. Its one of the most lightweight panels on the market making it easy to carry and it comes with a waterproof case to protect it in storage or while traveling.
This panel is promoted by the manufacturer as a great choice for power in emergency situations.
Q: Whats The Difference Between Polycrystalline And Monocrystalline Panels
A: The material the solar panels are made of affects the efficiency of 1.6-kilowatts of the overall unit. Solar panels are generally manufactured with either monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar cells. Theyre both made from crystalline silicon.
Monocrystalline panels use a single continuous crystal structure.
Polycrystalline panels use many crystal structures.
Monocrystalline panels are more efficient because theyre made with the highest-grade silicon. Some industrial panels can convert as much as 22.5% of sunlight into energy. These panels are also lighter and smaller because they require less space to produce equivalent results.
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Renogy 400w Monocrystalline Solar Rv Kit
- Specifically built for RVs
- PWM charge controller has a seamless flush mounting
- LCD display shows operating information
- UV-resistant and waterproof cable housing
- Electronic protective systems and self-diagnostic feature
- Battery needs to be bought separately
Make the switch to having a solar power system in your mobile home with the Renogy 400W solar kit. The kit is ideal for RV use and is optimally made, so living life off-grid is still very convenient.
The monocrystalline solar kit includes all the basics you will need to get you started on having solar energy in your RV. It has a 100W solar panel, their adventurer solar charge controller, a tray cable, the adapter kit, and Renogys signature cable housing. You can also choose to have either the Corner bracket or the Z bracket upon purchase.
Gone are the days that you would settle for cheap solar panel kits that youd try to integrate on your RV. This specific unit from Renogy is built for RV owners as the adventurer PWM solar charge controller is highly detailed to be applied on RVs. It can be aesthetically installed with seamless flush mounting. Briefly, youll absolutely know that this specific solar panel kit is built for mobile homes.
It also has an LCD screen that displays major operating information and other parameter settings.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Solar Panel Kit
Solar energy has revolutionized the way we consume energy. Yes, there are a ton of advantages and benefits as to why these are one of the best alternative energy in the market today. However, there are also a few setbacks on these solar panel kits.
The fact that daylight turns every single day makes solar power accessible to most consumers. Everyone has access to sunlight, and the general public can greatly benefit from this heat.
Your electrical bill is significantly cut when you use this alternative energy source. And in the long run, it will come out cheaper and at a lower cost than continually using fossil fuels. Investing in solar panels leads you to a life of greater savings in the future. This is because you are using renewable energy that comes on the daily. In the future, your monthly then your annual costs will be significantly lowered if you consistently use these solar panel kits.
- Green Energy
Your role in the community is highlighted when you have a lesser carbon footprint. To prevent climate change, carbon emissions need to be cut. Using solar panel kits takes off a load on the carbon emissions and can promote better eco-friendly energy sources.
- Low Maintenance
- Can be used for outdoors
These solar panel kits can also be used on camping, road trips, boats and yachts, and even on other remote areas. The possibilities of their usages are endless, making them one of the best investments you can make to cut electrical costs.
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Electricity Storage Or Battery Required Or Not
Having an off-solar grid system for your home or business is like getting out of the electricity transmission line which everyone is part of. This requires energy storage technology like batteries and also very efficient consumption of energy.
If power cuts are not a major problem in your area which is too seldom in developed countries, batteries or energy storage can be opted out. Instead, an on-grid solar system is more beneficial as electricity can be supplied back to the grid and extra money can be earned or saved.
Batteries can be used if backup is required in case of usual power cuts or if the energy produced during the day is to be used at night. Adding a battery to a solar panel system comes with additional costs and should be thoroughly thought out before opting for it.
Which Solar Panel Kit Is Best For My Needs
Weve designed each of our solar panel kits with lifestyle and energy needs in mind. For some individuals, a solar panel kit is a great way to break into the world of solar and see how this renewable energy source can power some of your at-home appliances. The kits can also work well as backup energy sources if your home frequently deals with blackouts.
Renogys RV and van solar panel kits will get you everything you need to travel comfortably for those looking to enjoy the nomad lifestyle that Canadas vast lands afford. These kits also work great for tiny homes and boats.
Perhaps your version of going off-grid doesnt include a moving vehicle, but it does have a lovely cabin in the woods. In that case, we would recommend our cabin kits. They can power all the necessities you need to enjoy the wilderness without sacrificing comfort or safety.
We Would Like To Earn Your Business
We would like the opportunity to bid on your next project or you can choose any one of our pre-packaged solar power system kits. We also supply all solar power system components, including solar panels, inverters, charge controllers, mounting and hardware, wiring and cables and more!
Need us to help you design the solar power system kit for you or have any questions about solar energy and solar energy products? Take advantage of our FREE SOLAR ENERGY CONSULTATION & DESIGN. Just call us at 888.680.2427 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll do whatever we can to make your solar energy needs our #1 priority! Thank you for taking a moment to consider MrSolar.com as your next solar power system suppliers.
The Solar Panels That Could
When it came time to add solar to my rig I begin researching and pricing out what I felt would be affordable and most of all effective. My solar was going on my truck camper and I really didnt want the panels to just sit there when not in use and get piled up with snow.
I then begin to look at many of the suitcase styles but really didnt find anything I felt would last and after reading reviews I found many had issues. So where could I find a quality panel and yet portable. In my research I stumbled across the Harbor Freight 100 Watts Solar Kit.
At the time I was looking to purchase this kit was on sale for $149.00 and so I thought to myself if it fails I dont have much into it and it was a lost I was willing to take. The 100 watt solar kit, Harbor Freight item #63585. was just the ticket to fit my need. Please Note: The manual, posted online as a PDF, fails to describe a few useful details which well cover here.
Every product picture showed the four panels lined up in a row. But in fact the four panels are capable of standing separately as each panel is in their own frame and has their own folding stand. Bolting them together is optional. If the panels are to be deployed and stowed frequently, leaving them separate might make sense as the panels are much easier to handle individually.
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Type Of Solar Panel Required
There are many types of solar panels being invented and researched. The type of solar panel means the type of semiconducting material used to make a solar cell. A solar panel is comprised of a number of solar cells.
Mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline, amorphous, and thin-film are the major types of solar panels being commercially used. Of these mono-crystalline and poly or multi-crystalline solar panels are widely used. Mono-crystalline solar panels are made up of single silicon crystal doped silicon cells and are most efficient but costly.
Similarly, poly-crystalline solar panels are made up of more than one doped silicon crystal, these are cheaper and less efficient than mono. Doped silicon here means the silicon cells are added with impurities like phosphorous which makes them generate electricity when photons of sunlight fall on them.
Amorphous and thin-film solar panels are light in weight, cheaper, and require more space to generate electricity as compared to mono and poly-crystalline solar cells. Depending on your space, budget, and expected payback period, solar panels should be chosen.
Selection Criteria: How We Ranked The Best Solar Panel Kits
Based on our specified criteria, weve narrowed down a competitive list of options to feature the 7 best solar panel kits.
Our rankings place a special emphasis on reliability and value for the money. They also take into consideration the quality of the equipment, the wattage, the volts, and the designated use.
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Type Of Solar Inverter Required
Solar panels generate direct current or DC and it is not used in our homes or businesses. DC can charge up batteries directly or equipment requiring DC to operate. To convert DC to alternating current or AC, inverters are used.
There are two types of inverters in the market string inverters and micro-inverter. A string inverter is connected to an array of solar panels and converts DC to AC which is supplied ahead. A micro-inverter is attached to each solar panel which converts DC to AC.
The life of the string inverter is less compared to the micro-inverter but is also cheaper than the latter. The inverter is the second most essential component of the solar system after solar panels and should be carefully chosen. The efficiency and life of the solar system also depend on the inverter which also plays a crucial role when the solar system is tied to the grid.