Best Solar Panel Kits

Best Solar Panel Kits Reviewed 2018

Finding the best solar panel kits is essential when planning your own DIY solar. These kits can vary as they come with different types of solar panels with different power outputs. Finding the best one for your particular energy needs can save you lots of money and hassle in the long run.

Since the task of choosing the right solar kit can be challenging, we thought it would be a great idea to review the best solar panel kits the market. We recommend looking at each of the below devices and decipher which one is best suited for you. Hopefully along the way we a give you some helpful tips and tricks.

 

Solar Panel Kit Comparison Guide

Picture:Name:Technical DetailsWattage:Price:
Renogy 400W Solar Panel Kit- 75 Pounds
- 40 x 27 x 6 inches
400 Watts$$
WindyNation 400W Solar Panel Kit- 94 Pounds
- Unknown Dimensions
400 Watts$$
Grape Solar 400W Solar Panel Kit- 119 Pounds
- 42 x 100 x 1.6 Inches
400 Watts$$$
Go Power 480W Solar Panel Kit- 180 Pounds
- 30 x 24 x 64 Inches
480 Watts$$$$$
Renogy 100W Solar Panel Kit- 19.8 Pounds
- 47 x 1.5 x 20.9 Inches
100 Watts$

.

The Best Solar Panel Kits

1. Renogy 400W Solar Panel Kit

First on the review is the Renogy 400W solar panel kit. This is by far one of the best kits you can purchase today. This is because of the high quality parts and materials that Renogy is known for. It also has high efficient panels that allow you to generate more energy with less panel space.

The Renogy kit comes with 4 separate solar panels. These panels have an output of 100W each thus totaling 400W when put together. These panels are made out of high-grade materials and are built to last the wear and tear of the outdoors.

To add onto this they are mono-crystalline solar panels which are the most efficient type of panel on the market. Since they are more efficient they are smaller than some of the other solar panels on the market since less panel space is needed to generate the same amount of power.

This starter kit also comes with some other essentials to set up your system. It includes a 40A MPPT charge controller, 20Ft 10AWG MC4 Adaptor Kit, 8ft 8AWG Tray Cables, and Mounting Z Brackets. Since this kit only includes a charge controller, you will need to purchase a battery and inverter. This inverter/battery than charges whatever you need it to charge.

If 400W isn’t enough for your energy needs then you can upgrade to a 800W system at 24V without the charge controller failing. Giving you a little bit of growing space without having to invest into another charger controller or inverter. You can expand you system beyond that if you purchase a larger charge controller.

Overall the Renogy 400W solar panel kit is a great stater kit. Its relatively cheap price and quality products makes it ideal for small systems. While deep-cycle batteries do not come with this kit, you can find some quality ones on Amazon. With a battery and inverter the system will be complete for most of your charging needs..

Pros
  • High efficiency panels.
  • Powerful charge controller.
  • Includes 25-year transferable power output warranty.
Cons
  • Inverter isn’t included.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 40 x 27 x 6 inches
Weight: 75 Pounds
Wattage: 400 Watts

 

2. WindyNation 400W Solar Panel Kit

Second on the list is the WindyNation 400W solar panel kit. Unlike the above kit the WindyNation comes with an included inverter. For this reason and its cheap price it landed second on the review.

The Windy Nation solar kit uses four 100W solar panels that total 100W in total. While these panels generate a lot of power, they are polycrystalline panels. This is negative because polycrystalline are less efficient than monocrystalline.

To combat this inefficiency the solar panels are slightly larger than the above panels. While this isn’t a huge issue for most, some people need smaller panels because they are using them on RVs or boats.

As we mentioned above the WindyNation solar kit also includes an 1500W power inverter. In addition the kit also comes with a 30-Amp P30L Solar Charge Controller, 40 ft of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors for wiring, and all the necessary mounting hardware.

Together this kit allows you to generate power anywhere there is sun. If you purchase batteries then you can even use the system at night. One thing we didn’t like about this kit is that you can’t buy too many more solar panels without having to buy a new charge controller. So if you want to be able to expand easily then this might not be the kit for you.

Overall the WindyNation solar kit is a great option. While it uses inefficient solar panels, the kit still provides a lot of value for its small price. If you need the cheapest NEARLY complete solar kit then this is the product for you. It even comes with an inverter which many kits don’t provide.

Pros
  • Includes power inverter.
  • Great value for the price.
Cons
  • Uses polycrystalline solar panels.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: Unknown Dimensions
Weight: 94 Pounds
Wattage: 400 Watts

 

3. Grape Solar 400W Solar Panel Kit

Third on the review is the Grape Solar 400W solar panel kit. This is another polycrystalline kit, but comes at a higher price then the above option. With that being said it has some great features that add to its value.

As we mentioned above the Grape Solar kit provides 400W of solar power. Each polycrystalline panel outputs 100W and has 2-diode junction box for enhanced performance. The anodized aluminum frame and a sealed junction box make the panel weatherproof. The iron tempered glass also provides enhanced durability and impact resistance.

While the panels the kit uses are quality, they are polycrystalline panels which means they are less efficient than other panels on the market. This is important because it means they must be larger to make the same amount of energy and they utilize an older technology.

This kit also includes a 35 Amp Xantrex charge controller, 2,000-watt pure-sine Xantrex inverter with two outlets and 1 usb port, cables and manual.The charge controller will work with both 12V and 24V battery banks. The inverter is also rated at 2000W which is more than the above polycrystalline solar kit.

Grape Solar states that this system will provide approximately 1,200-watt hours or 100 amp hours of charge per day. Meaning it is sufficient enough for most RVs, boats, and cabins. Unfortunately you cannot expand too much with this kit without having to invest in another charge controller/ inverter.

Overall the Grape Solar is a good option when looking for a solar kit. Its made with quality materials and has a lot of features. Its only negatives is that it uses less efficient technology and is more expensive than other models on the market. With that being said you should still check this kit our and see if it’s the investment for you.

Pros
  • Durable and meant to last.
  • Includes both inverter and charge controller.
Cons
  • Uses less efficient technology.
  • More expensive than other models.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 42 x 100 x 1.6 Inches
Weight: 119 Pounds
Wattage: 400 Watts

 

4. Go Power 480W Solar Panel Kit

Fourth on the list is the Go Power 480W solar panel kit. This is one of the largest kits you can purchase online and comes at hefty cost. This kit is almost twice as expensive as the other kits even though it only provides 80 more watts.

As we mentioned this kit produces a total output of 480W. There are three separate solar panels that have an output of 160W. Unlike the above kit these are monocrystalline solar panels and are highly efficient.

Since you pay a premium price with this kit you get a premium solar panels. They are made with tempered solar glass and framed with heavy-duty aluminum. This aluminum is light, but durable enough to handle the wear and tear of the outdoors with ease. To add onto this the panels come with a 25 year limited power output warranty.

In addition to the panels the kit also comes with 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter, 30 amp PWM solar controller, 75 amp smart battery charger, 30 amp pre-wired transfer switch, DC inverter fuse & cable install kit, inverter remote, 50′ of MC4 output cable, and mounting hardware. 

As you can see this kit comes with more features than any other kit on the review. Both the inverter and charge controller are excellent. The inverter itself can handle 3000W and is sensitive enough to power your electronics and powerful enough to power some household appliances.

Overall the Go Power solar kit is a great kit. It comes with more features than any other kit and is made out of quality materials. The only negative thing about this kit is its high price tag. This premium product come with  premium price tag, but this might be okay for some. So if you need a quality solar kit that provides a lot of power then this is the kit for you.

Pros
  • Most powerful kit on the review.
  • Built with quality materials and parts.
  • Comes with more features than other kits.
Cons
  • Twice as expensive as other kits.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 30 x 24 x 64 Inches
Weight: 180 Pounds
Wattage: 480 Watts

 

5. Renogy 100W Solar Panel Kit

Last on the review is the Renogy 100W solar panel kit. Yes, this is another Renogy product, but its perfect for those needing minimal solar power. Because of its small size and simple installation it landed a spot on the list.

This particular Renogy solar kit uses one 100W solar panel. This small, but powerful mono-crystalline solar panel is highly efficient and provides enough power for a small RV or boat.

Along with being extremely efficient the panel is also very durable. Its made out of quality materials and is made to handle the outdoors.

To complete the kit Renogy also included a 30A PWM Wanderer Charge Controller, a 20ft 10AWG MC4 Adaptor Kit, an 8ft 10AWG Tray Cable, and a set of Z-brackets.

The charge controller is great for small solar systems, but can be expanded to a total of 400W. Meaning you can buy 3 more panels without having to buy another charge controller. This charge controller also included LED indicators and is compatible with sealed, gell, and flooded batteries.

To fully complete this kit you would only need to purchase a battery if you already didn’t have one. Along with an inverter to convert the energy from the battery into useable energy that you can use. With that being said this kit is perfect once set up correctly. It can last for years without having any issues.

Overall the Renogy 100W solar panel kit is perfect for anyone needed a minimal amount of energy. Its small size makes it perfect for RVs and boats. The kit is also expandable so you can add 3 more solar panels without having to invest in another charge controller. So if you’re in the market for a small yet powerful solar kit then this is for you!

Pros
  • Uses highly efficient mono-crystalline panels.
  • Kit can be expanded to a total of 400W.
  • Small size is perfect for small RVs and Boat.
Cons
  • Inverter is not included.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 47 x 1.5 x 20.9 Inches
Weight: 19.8 Pounds
Wattage: 100 Watts

Solar Panel Kits: What To Look For

Solar panel kits vary as they utilize different types of solar panels with different power outputs. You can find super small kits that generate 100W total to larger kits that generate a total of 1000W. These kits also differ in which products they include. Some included inverters while others just include charge controllers. With that being said you can find the best solar panel kits by watching out for each of the following aspects.

 

Wattage

When looking for solar panel kits the most important thing to contemplate is the wattage the system produces. Each solar panel generates a certain amount of watts. By adding more solar panels to the kit you can enhance the total wattage of the system. On average most beginner solar kits come with a total of 400W.

While this is a lot of power, it might not be enough for your energy needs. You might need to twice as much or even more three times more wattage then that. The best way to finding this out is by contacting best to contact your energy company. If this cannot be done then a general estimate is 2 watts for every square foot. Meaning if you have 2,000 square foot home you would need a solar array of 4,000 watts.

 

Energy Conversion Rate

Another huge factor to look for when analyzing solar kits is the energy conversion rate of the panels. This conversion rate is simply the amount of energy the panel can transfer from sunlight. This means the higher the conversion rate, the more efficient the panel is

There are multiple different types of solar panels on the market. Some of which are more efficient than the others. Out of the different types mono-crystalline panels are the most efficient. These types of solar panels tend to have efficiency rates hovering around 15-25%.

Why is this conversion rate important? Well, higher efficiency rates mean the panels are using the latest solar technology. You don’t want to purchase a solar panel that is using outdated or just old technology. Secondly, higher conversion rates mean you need less panel surface for a given wattage. Giving you smaller panels that produce more energy.

 

Materials

Since buying solar panels can be somewhat expensive, you want to get the bang for your buck. This means buying solar panels that utilize the best materials. These solar panels are meant to be used outdoors, so buying a quality panel can ensure the system lasts at least 25 years.

Not only do quality materials extend the lifespan of the panel, but they also allow it will be more powerful, efficient, and compact. With that being said yo want to buy products from reputable companies. This is one of the best ways on ensuring your buying a quality solar panel.

 

Charge Controllers & Inverters

All solar systems need one of two things. They need either a charge controller or an inverter. For those of you who don’t know an inverter converts the solar power directly into 240 volt AC electricity. This means that during the day, you can use the power in your house directly from the solar panels without using at all your batteries.

The charge controller on the other hand takes the DC solar power from the panels and directs it towards the battery for charging. The main function is to regulate the power that goes into the batteries so that they don’t overcharge. The power stays in the DC format from the panels to the batteries and it only gets converted to 240 volt AC electricity via the battery inverter when you want to use it in your house.

When looking at different solar kits its best to find ones that have either one of these devices. Some offer both while some offer one or they other. It should be noted that DC coupled systems tend to be more cost-effective for small domestic stand-alone power systems, whereas AC coupled systems are more cost-effective for larger domestic options. In some situations it might be best to have both of these devices.

Another important thing to contemplate when looking at these devices is the power they can handle. If you buy a small kit with the understanding that you are going to upgrade the system at one point then it might be best to buy a larger charge controller or inverter from the get go. This will save you money over the long haul as you won’t have to buy 2 units when the first one can’t handle the power you need.

 

Batteries

While most solar kits do not come with batteries, they are a key item that most solar systems need. Deep cycle batteries allow you to use energy at night-time or even just store it for emergencies. This can be essential when off-the-grid as it gives you a power bank that you can rely on when at night or when its cloudy.

When looking for batteries its essential to finding your energy needs. Some small solar system only need a small car battery while larger ones need big 125Ah batteries that are combined together. With that being said there are many deep cycle batteries on the market. Allowing  you to find the perfect one for your situation.

 

Overall solar panel kits are great for anyone looking to power their RV, boat, or cabin. They allow you to have every wherever you are, even iff you’re off the grid. We hope this guide helps you with you buying decision and hopefully leads you to the right product for your particular energy needs.

 

Solar Panel Kit Benefits

There are many benefits to purchasing a solar panel kit. First and most obvious is that it’s good for the environment. Solar panels utilize the sun which is a renewable resource. This is because of the sun will be around for another 5 billions years. Meaning it’s never ending and there will always be an abundance of it.

Unlike gas coal or oil, solar doesn’t produce harmful gasses or wastes when utilized. Instead, solar panels use free energy that doesn’t create any harmful effects on the world. Over a long period of time solar has a negative effect on global warming since gas and coal isn’t being used to produce energy.

Another major benefit is that it saves you money. It’s estimated that solar panels pay for themselves in a little over 10 years. (This differs by each state because of their weather and the incentives they have.) Since most solar panels last at least 25 years, this means you have around 10-15 years of free energy after the first initial 10 pay for the system itself. Thus saving you a lot of money over the long haul.

There are also some states that allow you to feed energy back into the grid. This gives you an even better opportunity to save more money as it allows you to sell your unused energy from your solar system. So while you’re gone on vacation, your solar system is working for you and feeding energy back into the grid.

Solar panels have also been shown to increase the value of your home. A study conducted by The National Bureau of Economic Research, found that solar panels added a $20,194 premium to the sales price of a house. Meaning homeowners recover majority of their investments costs in addition to any savings associated with reduced electricity bills.

To add onto these benefits, solar kits also allow you the freedom of having energy where ever there is sun. You don’t need to be connected to the grid in order to power your devices. You just need regular sunshine and deep cycle batteries to have energy whenever you want. For these reasons solar kits are perfect for RVs, boats, and cabins that are off-the-grid.

Overall solar panel kits are a great investment. They have a ton of benefits and allow you to generate free energy wherever there is sunlight.