Going solar for your home or business might sound like an intimidating change, especially when tens of thousands of dollars are involved in the process, but this doesn’t have to be the case. DIY solar panel kits cost merely a fraction of complete solar power systems.
In addition, while they do not provide the same amount of electricity per day, they are nevertheless a great way to dip your toe in the sea of renewable energy. Once you are accustomed to using such a kit, it’s easier to consider a more permanent transition.
What Are the Best Solar Panel Kits in 2020?
There are a variety of starter kits for solar power currently on the market, but if you want to make the most of your purchase, it’s a good idea to stick to some of the most reputable manufacturers. We’ve put together the top reviews for solar panel kits in 2020 to help you out. (Looking for some ready-made solar panels of the marine variety? Check out the best marine solar panels here!)
RENOGY 3600 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Cabin Kit
The Renogy 3600W is one of the most powerful DIY solar panel kits for homes currently on the market. Although not enough to fully replace conventional electricity in the average house, it is more than sufficient for a cabin, work shed, garage, or back-up battery, especially in off-grid locations.
The set includes 12 300W monocrystalline solar panels that are sleek in appearance and highly efficient in terms of energy conversion. Their design features PERC solar cells, which makes each panel 15% to 20% smaller and lighter than its more traditional 72 cell counterpart. The panels can easily be installed on a roof without the help of a professional technician or they can be propped up on the ground for better orientation.
Finally, the kit comes with a MidNite Classic 150 MPPT Charge Controller, which is not only efficient, but also durable and reliable. The MidNite Solar MNPV6 Combiner Box makes it possible to stack multiple charge controllers and thus to expand the system when needed.
- One of the most powerful DIY solar panel kits on the market
- Includes 12x300W highly efficient solar panels; enough to power a cabin or a back-up battery at home
- Comes with a MidNite Solar MNPV6 Combiner Box for outdoor use and future expansion
- Reliable, durable, and weather-proof panels and components
- More expensive than other options
GRAPE SOLAR GS-2300-KIT Residential
Grape Solar’s solar panel kits for home are intended to function in parallel with a traditional grid in order to decrease monthly electricity bills and the household’s impact on the environment. At a peak output of 2300W, this kit is not powerful enough to fulfill the energy requirements of an average house on its own, but it can decrease the amount of electricity drawn from the grid by up to 40%.
Each of these DIY solar panel kits consists of 10 polycrystalline 230W PV solar panels that are coated with tempered glass for enhanced durability. Due to their qualitative build, the panels can be used even in areas with heavy rainfall, hail, high winds, and snow.
Everything required to install the panels and connect them to the grid comes with the kit for no additional cost. The rack-mount system is easy to assemble and can be used to position the panels correctly on most roof configurations. An inverter with an AC/DC system disconnect for additional safety is also included.
- Powerful starter kit that can generate up to 420kWh per month
- 10x230W solar panels and an inverter are all included in the kit
- The rack-mount system that comes with the kit is easy to assemble and install
- Weather-proof; can withstand heavy rain, snow, and heat
- Fairly expensive compared to other options
WINDYNATION 400 Watt Solar Kit
If you are looking for DIY solar panel kits that are suitable for back-up battery charging and other light applications, this set by WindyNation might be the best choice for you. Although less powerful compared to the other options presented here, it is also less costly and more than sufficient for occasional use.
The kit features four 100W polycrystalline solar panels for a total output of 400W, as well as a charge controller with LCD display and adjustable settings, four 100Ah (or 1.2kWh) deep-cycle batteries, MC4 connectors, 40ft 12AWG cable, and the necessary mounting hardware. In other words, everything you need to set up and start using the solar panels is included in the set.
- More affordable than other options
- Includes all the necessary components to install and run the solar panels
- Easy installation; requires no additional hardware
- Comes with four rechargeable batteries in addition to other components
- Less powerful than other options
- Perfect for small off-grid applications, but not suitable for extensive residential use
ECO-WORTHY 800 Watt Solar Panel Kit
For those on a tight budget who are looking for solar panel kits for homes with a decent PV output, the Eco-Worthy 800W is an excellent alternative. This set is significantly more affordable compared to other options with a similar output and it is powerful enough for several home and off-grid applications.
The kit by Eco-Worthy comes with 8 100W polycrystalline solar panels. The latter are built using high-grade silicone for maximum conversion efficiency and an ideal PV output. In addition, each set includes a solar charge controller, an off-grid pure sine wave inverter, 33ft 12AWG cable, a combiner box that allows further expansion of the system, and 8 Z mounting kits for quick and easy installation.
- 8x100W solar panels; enough to charge a back-up battery or power a small off-grid cabin
- Very affordable compared to other options
- The kit includes a charge controller, inverter, and installation hardware
- The combiner box allows further panels to be added to the system
- Less durable than other options
- Instructions for installation are fairly minimal