TOP 10 SOLAR OFF-GRID COMPANIES IN INDIA
TOP 10 SOLAR OFF-GRID COMPANIES IN INDIA Renewable energy provides consistent electricity and diversifies fuel sources, boosting energy security and lessening the risk of fuel spills while decreasing the need for imported fuels. Renewable energy also helps to conserve the nation’s natural resources. They are urgently required. As electricity usage and expenses climb, the world looks to renewable energy sources to satisfy its energy needs. Solar energy has been a popular renewable energy source in recent years due to its decreasing costs and increased efficiency. Solar system for home has become popular. For billions of years, the sun has generated solar energy. The sun’s beams (solar radiation) that reach the Earth are referred to as solar energy. This energy can be turned into heat or electricity. Solar energy is simply the capture, storage, and conversion of solar energy to electrical energy. Among the terms to be familiar with are: Photovoltaics Cells / PV Cells: A solar cell is a device that uses the photovoltaic effect to convert sunlight energy directly into solar electricity.
TOP 10 SOLAR OFF-GRID COMPANIES IN INDIA
Renewable energy provides consistent electricity and diversifies fuel sources, boosting energy security and lessening the risk of fuel spills while decreasing the need for imported fuels. Renewable energy also helps to conserve the nation’s natural resources. They are urgently required.
As electricity usage and expenses climb, the world looks to renewable energy sources to satisfy its energy needs. Solar energy has been a popular renewable energy source in recent years due to its decreasing costs and increased efficiency. Solar system for home has become popular.
For billions of years, the sun has generated solar energy. The sun’s beams (solar radiation) that reach the Earth are referred to as solar energy. This energy can be turned into heat or electricity. Solar energy is simply the capture, storage, and conversion of solar energy to electrical energy. Among the terms to be familiar with are:
Photovoltaics Cells / PV Cells : A solar cell is a device that uses the photovoltaic effect to convert sunlight energy directly into solar electricity.
Photovoltaics Module / PV Module : A photovoltaic module, often known as a PV module, is a bundled linked assembly of photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells.
What is a Solar System ?
A solar system is an arrangement that uses solar energy to create electricity. A typical solar system includes of-
- solar panels. which collect sunlight
- solar inverter. which converts DC to AC
- a mounting frame. which holds the panels in place
- batteries. which store excess electricity
- a grid box
- and system balancing (wires, nuts etc.).
How can we use Solar Energy?
All solar power systemsoperate on the same fundamental principles. Solar panels use the photovoltaic (PV) effect to convert solar energy or sunlight into direct current (DC) power. The DC electricity may either be stored in a battery or transformed into AC power by a solar converter, which can then be utilised to power household appliances. Excess solar energy can be delivered into the power grid for credits or stored in a number of different battery storage devices, depending on the kind of installation. A solar system can be 1 kWh, 2 kWh, 3kW, 5kW, 7.5 kW, or 10kW in size. On average, a house with monthly electricity consumption of 1000 kWh requires 26 – 30 solar panels (Each solar panel is 320 watt).
Solar system price- Installing a solar system for a homeis Rs. 25,000 if you already have a single inverter battery and Rs. 50,000 if you already have a double inverter battery.
The three main types of solar systems are-
Uses of Solar energy
- Solar heating can be used for swimming pools.
- Solar water heater
- Heating of an entire house with the help of solar energy
- Charging of batteries with solar power.
- Power the entire house with solar energy
- Solar energy can be used for cooking
- Outdoor lightning
- Solar power pumps
What is an on grid and off grid solar system?
On-grid and off-grid are the two most common types of solar systems. On-grid means that all the components of your system must be connected to the grid. Off-grid means that you have your own power generation system, but it may or may not be connected to the grid. Each has its benefits, but if you want to get into solar it’s important that you understand what each system entails so that you can choose which one is right for your home or business.
On grid solar system. An on-grid or grid-tied solar system is one that operates in tandem with the power grid. This implies that any surplus or deficit in electricity may be supplied back into the grid via net metering. Many household users are choosing an On-grid solar system since they may receive credit for the extra power produced by their system and save money on their electricity bills. You will always have access to power, whether from the solar system or the grid. They are not powered by batteries.
Off grid solar system. Off-grid solar systems operate independently of the grid but include batteries that can store the solar power generated and supply electricity after the power goes off or during the night.
Off-grid solar systems must be properly built in order to generate enough electricity throughout the year and have enough battery capacity to satisfy the needs of the residents, even in the dead of winter when there is often significantly less sunshine.
What is the difference between an off-grid and on-grid solar system?
The main differences between off-grid and on-grid solar systems are-
- An Off-Grid solar system will continue to operate even if power is lost, however, an On-Grid system would not.
- A grid-connected solar system is less costly than an off-grid solar system.
- An off-grid solar energy system is not tied to the utility grid, but an on-grid (also known as grid-tied) solar energy system is.
- If your PV system is not connected to the grid, you will not receive an electric bill. Even though your solar system generates 100 per cent of your power, if you choose a grid-tied system, you may still notice a few minor costs on your electricity statement.
Top 10 Solar Off Grid Companies in India 2022
- LENTO. Lento pioneered pure Sine wave technology in its inverters, UPS and power supplies. The Sine wave inverters output stable frequency and voltage, mimicking mains power supply, making it perfectly suitable to power expensive equipments, especially inductive loads that do not work well on square waves. Most appliances like CFL, fans, motor based equipments like air conditioners and pump sets are designed to work on 50 Hz sine wave. Running such equipments on unregulated quasi sine wave-square wave based inverters poses a risk as regards performance and durability. Lento DSP sine wave Static UPS and inverters are designed to provide stable 50 Hz sine wave irrespective of load and battery voltage, making them the most suitable for inductive, capacitive and non-resistive loads. Importantly, our inverters and UPS are designed to deliver instantaneous high current during start up, especially in case of air conditioners and refrigerators, with safety cut out when battery voltage goes lower than a specified point to avoid brownouts and burning of motors.
An Auto sense intelligent control Smart charger and electronic changeover, hence much better reliability. It conducts the quiet operation of AC motors as well as other inductive loads, unlike the noise that emanates from Modified Sine Wave Systems. It gives more accurate readings and reduced errors. Requires less energy consumption as compared to modified sine wave systems. Is able to run a wide range of appliances including computers/laptops, CFLS and other sensitive electronic devices. It also provides better voltage regulation and less fluctuation, hence a more stable power supply. It is environmentally friendly.
Product name: LKVA Sine Wave Inverter- Can be used for- Power Back-up for Household as well as the computer, Small shops, Small offices etc. Small Water pumps and all motor-based small applications TV Sets, Fans, Tube Lights, computers etc.
Product Name. HKVA Static and UPS inverter- Most appliances like CFL, fans, motor-based equipment like air conditioners and pump sets are designed to work on 50 Hz sine waves. Running such types of equipment on unregulated quasi sine wave-square wave-based inverters poses a risk as regards performance and durability. Lento DSP sine wave Static UPS and inverters are designed to provide stable 50 Hz sine wave irrespective of load and battery voltage, making them the most suitable for inductive, capacitive and non-resistive loads. Importantly, our inverters and UPS are designed to deliver instantaneous high current during start-up, especially in the case of air conditioners and refrigerators, with safety cut out when battery voltage goes lower than a specified point to avoid brownouts and burning of motors.
Product Name. Solar hybrid domestic inverter / PCU (MPPT Type). Lento offers next generation Smart MPPT based solar chargers for maximum efficiency and highest performance required in demanding situation. MPPT stands for maximum power point tracking and Lento’s Smart MPPT solar chargers play a crucial, central role in stand alone and hybrid solar power installation. MPPT increases energy transfer efficiency by as much as 30% by calculating maximum voltage available from the SPV modules at which maximum power is available for charging and sets the charging current accordingly. Output from SPV modules can vary considerably according to changing weather conditions and incorporation of MPPT means the charging conditions are always optimized by covering extra voltage to amperes and thus speeding up the charging process. Lento uses high grade components to assure best performance and extended life of the unit.
- TATA SOLAR POWER
- ADANI SOLAR
- VIKRAM SOLAR POWER
- JACKSON GROUP
- WAAREE ENERGIES
- LOOM SOLAR
- EMMVEE PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER
- PHOTON ENERGY SYSTEMS
People also ask top solar offgrid companies in india
How much solar power do I need to go off the grid?
The average off-grid home usually requires about 7 Kw (or 7000 Watts) of power to rely entirely on its own energy production. Solar panels come in various forms, shapes and sizes.
Can I go completely off-grid with solar panels?
For grid-tied solar panels, grid failure means solar failure, so without more, solar panels can’t take you off grid. Even if they could work while the grid were down, you would still have a big problem: since solar panels only generate electricity during the day, you would be left in the dark all night.
Can I Run My Whole House on Solar Energy?
With a modern solar energy system, including power storage, you can definitely run a whole house completely on solar power. Today’s high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries make it cheaper than ever before to power an entire home exclusively using solar energy.
Which is better on grid or off-grid solar?
The biggest downfall of an on-grid system is that it does not provide power during a grid outage. Off-grid systems allow you to store and save your solar power in batteries for use when the power grid goes down. It is meant to be entirely self-sustaining.
What are the advantages of using a grid-connected solar PV system?
The main advantage of a grid-connected PV system is its simplicity, relatively low operating and maintenance costs as well as reduced electricity bills. The disadvantage however is that a sufficient number of solar panels need to be installed to generate the required amount of excess power.
A solar house is a house equipped with glass areas and so planned as to utilize the sun’s rays extensively in heating.
What is the cost of solar system for House?
On average, the installation of a 1 kW rooftop solar system could cost between Rs 45,000 and Rs 85,000. Batteries would cost extra if power is to be stored. Similarly, the cost for a 5 kW system would fall between Rs 2,25,000 to Rs 3,25,000.
FAQS about TOP 10 SOLAR OFF-GRID COMPANIES IN INDIA
Which is the No 1 solar company in India?
Number 1 in this List is Lento, a Leading Top 10 Solar Companies in India. As one of the Top and Best Solar Panel Manufacturer Company, Lento manufactures solar modules, solar cells, Solar Home Lighting System and other solar products.
What is future of solar industry in India?
Off-grid solar power is growing at a fast pace in India, with sales of 329,000 off-grid solar products in the first half of 2021. With a potential capacity of 363 GW and with policies focused on the renewable energy sector, Northern India is expected to become the hub for renewable energy in India.
Which state has largest solar park in India?
Bhadla Solar Park is the world’s largest solar park located in India which is spread over a total area of 14,000 acres in Bhadla, Phalodi tehsil, Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India.
Is solar farming profitable in India?
If the tariff recieved is Rs. 18 per kWh but the cost for the plant is only Rs. 8 crore then a 1 MW plant can make a profit of 1.6 crore per year, for 25 years! In rooftop solar there is an added uncertainity as there are few solar installations up so far on rooftops in India.
Which company is best for solar?
Lento India is the best for Solar.
What is meant by Solar photovoltaic system?
Photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy. Department of Energy. What is photovoltaic (PV) technology and how does it work? PV materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy. A single PV device is known as a cell.
What are solar appliances?
Solar appliances are a reliable solution for preserving energy and other sources on the planet as they are a never-ending source of energy. These appliances work on solar energy which harnesses the heat emitted by sun. which can be used anytime in the future in the form of solar thermal energy.
How do solar appliances work?
Solar power is harnessed using Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology that converts sunlight (Solar radiation) into electricity by using semiconductors. When the sun hits the semiconductor within the PV cell, electrons are freed and bus bars collect the running electrons which results in electric current.
Is it worth installing solar panels with battery?
Flexible rate or time of use customers with a solar battery can benefit from lower rates for most of the day, and use their stored solar power to cover peak period energy usage, rather than relying on the grid and paying higher peak rates.
Conculsion. In a Nutshell we have described about TOP 10 SOLAR OFF-GRID COMPANIES IN INDIA
Best Off-Grid Solar System
Most standard solar systems you see in residential homes are grid-tied. They remain connected to the public grid and produce energy for your homes. Additionally, they send your excess energy back to the grid. On the contrary, an off-grid solar system isn’t connected to the grid. This means you won’t be able to pull energy from a utility. This type of system is best suited for RVs and off-grid properties. In case, you want to buy an off-grid solar system this list of the best off-grid solar system will be of great help. It also includes the best off grid solar system for tiny houses.
How Do Off-Grid Solar Systems Work?
Before learning about the best off-grid solar system, it’s important to learn about the working of this system. This system doesn’t rely on the grid for power at times when the sun isn’t out, it instead uses a solar battery or an energy storage system to store the excess energy produced by the solar panels.
The battery bank can then be used as a solar generator and can be called on to provide power at night or during cloudy days when solar energy generation is likely to go below demand.
When your panels are generating more power than needed, the excess energy gets routed to the batteries. When solar production goes down, your home will pull whatever energy that panels have produced and will also seek the energy stored in the solar generator.
Even with an off-grid solar system, you’ll be able to fully power your home, provided that this system is sized appropriately for your RV or home and the combined power from your batteries and solar panels can provide enough electricity to power your home. Thus, it is ideal for non-grid-tied applications.
Off-grid systems provide you the freedom to electrify just about any solar project or home in any remote location. Additionally, installing an off-grid system is often straightforward as it is like a DIY home improvement project.
Equipment In an Off-Grid Solar System
An off-grid system isn’t just a single component, it is a lot more than just a battery and an array of solar panels. Its equipment includes-
- Solar panels
- A solar charge controller
- Solar batteries
- A solar inverter
- Mounting equipment
Solar panels are the component of this system that harnesses solar energy from the sun. Without these panels, your RV or home would never have power. As long as the array of solar panels is properly sized for your energy demands, you can use just about any solar panel. Solar storage options range in size and capacity.
Although not every off-grid system uses a solar storage solution. These solutions might be needed if you want to access electricity at all times of the day.
A charge controller is sued by some off-grid systems to route the energy collected from the panels directly to a device for charging. These controllers are there to prevent overcharging when the sunlight on your panels is sufficient. Additionally, they provide more complicated setups that also require inverters.
If you have installed a solar system in an off-grid home and you plan to use the electricity as normally as you could, you’ll need an inverter. These devices are used to convert direct current (DC) energy collected from the sun into AC (Alternating Current) energy. The AC power is used to plug an electronic device or turn on a light. This is why conversion is mandatory.
It’s quite possible to do without an inverter if you have installed a charge controller or if you have batteries with a setup that utilizes DC electricity. Mostly, you’ll find these DC setups in RVs (Recreational Vehicles) and sometimes even in tiny homes.
Finally, you’ll need wiring and mounting equipment. Roof brackets are used to mount rooftop solar systems. However, depending on the location as well as the size of your solar system, you might use another mounting option, such as pole mounts or ground mounts. You’ll need wiring to connect all the above-mentioned components.
Best Off-Grid Solar System
Below, we have included a quick list of our top 5 best off-grid solar system. This list also explains a few important product specifications. Let’s start exploring the list-
Renogy 100W Panel Off-Grid Solar Kit
Renogy offers one of the best off-grid solar system in the market. It comes with four 100-watt solar panels for a total output of 400 watts. This indicates that this system is quite suitable for smaller applications. With additional panels, you can even expand the power of this system.
For easy connection of appliances or devices, this system comes with a charge controller. The charge controller is a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) instead of an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) controller. However, it still is great for connecting devices to your panels.
This kit is also equipped with Bluetooth modules and it lets you connect the system wirelessly to check its performance. Most other off-grid systems don’t include this innovative option. It lets you set up the batteries and keep an eye on storage as well as the production of your solar energy. This ensures that you don’t experience a blackout.
The con about this system is that it doesn’t include an inverter or batteries, so if you want to go fully off-grid with reliable power, you’ll need to buy these separately. However, Renogy does sell good 100-amp, deep-cyle batteries for about 300 each. So, you can easily add these to your system.
over, Renogy is a trusted name and it provides you with high-quality materials with durable components. You’ll also get a warranty of 5 years on the materials and workmanship.
Additionally, Renogy equipment is also waterproof. They have a waterproof rating of IP67 and IP65. This allows you to install the system in any location with confidence.
Many Renogy products are available on sites like Home Depot and Amazon. So, you’ll have no issues getting your hands on the equipment.
Eco-Worthy 1,200W Solar Power Kit
If the process of connecting solar system components yourself makes you intimidated, then this DIY-friendly Eco-Worthy 1,200W kit is one of the best off-grid solar system for you.
This system comes with six 200W solar panels to produce a whopping 1200 watts of power. Thus, the system is very compatible with small grid houses, detached garages, sheds, or other structures that are off the grid.
This Eco-worthy system includes a pure sine wave inverter (PSW inverter) and two 100 amp-hour batteries to provide power even when the sun isn’t shining over the panels. Finally, you also get a Bluetooth module that helps you monitor your production and energy storage. It is ideal for keeping a watch over your production as well as energy storage.
One of the best things about this kit is that its instructions are pretty simple to follow. There are a variety of installation videos about this system online. Even its printed instruction sheet comes with easy-to-follow wiring diagrams and installation instructions. Additionally, if you have any questions or issues, the company has a 24/7 customer service line.
You can also invest in a solar tracking kit from Eco-worthy in case you are looking for the maximum amount of energy for your solar-powered project. This mounting structure pivots and tilts your solar panels to ensure the optimal angle for energy collection.
The solar panels that come with this system offer an efficiency rating of 21%, a tracker kit will help you make this system more suitable for larger solar projects as well.
WindyNation 400W Solar Kit
The WindyNation 400W solar kit is among the best off-grid solar system. It is best for small solar projects. Its price is about twice the price of Renogy off-grid systems. However, the WindyNation system comes with more equipment that allows you to go off-grid.
This system comes with four 100W solar panels, an inverter, a charge controller, wiring to hook up your system, four 100 amp-hour batteries, and brackets for easy solar installation.
This system is ideal for a small cabin, remote home, or even an RV to use off-grid renewable energy. You’ll have everything you need to produce as well as store electricity during cloudy days and at night.
This system also comes without an inverter and costs about 600 less. However, to utilize the energy you collect, it still comes with a PWM charge controller.
WindyNation is a quite reliable solar manufacturer and it offers a 5-year warranty for its panels, a 25-year warranty for power production, and a 1-year warranty on its other components (including batteries). Its products are also easily available on Amazon and Home Depot.
Renogy 800W Monocrystalline Solar Panel Premium Kit
Well, Renogy makes it to our list again with its 800W monocrystalline solar panel premium kit. Overall this kit is a bit expensive and has a higher cost per watt.
This system comes with eight 100-watt solar panels that provide a total output of 800 watts. Just like other Renogy systems, this one also comes with high-efficiency solar panels that can help you make the best out of the solar power in even low-sun conditions.
This Renogy system comes with an MPPT charge controller that helps maximize energy conversion and a Bluetooth module that lets you monitor your system in real-time. This is a great option if you want to keep track of your solar production and monitor the amount of energy you have stored if you couple the system with batteries.
Just like other Renogy systems, even this system doesn’t include batteries. However, its charge controller is fully compatible with a variety of batteries. So, you’ll have no issues coupling your system with a battery storage solution. To maximize battery efficiency as well as extend battery life, the controller comes with four charging modes.
The biggest advantage of this system is its warranty coverage. Renogy covers the equipment and workmanship for 10 years, which is great for a do-it-yourself solar system. It also guarantees that for at least 25 years, the system will stay at or above 80% efficiency. This makes sure that you enjoy maximum production for as long as possible.
ACOPower 800 Watt Monocrystalline Black RV Solar System
This is a fully functional off-grid solar system from ACOPower. It comes with four 200-watt solar modules that provide a whopping 800 watts. This system is designed for use in RVs but it can also be used in tiny houses, cabins, or just about any other off-grid dwelling where you need constant electricity access.
This system has the best backup power as it has four 200 amp-hour 12-Volt batteries. This is the largest battery capacity of any off-grid system mentioned in this list. This system is ideal for places that receive ample sunlight accentuated by cold weather. It provides about 800 amp-hours of energy which should be enough to maintain electricity in most off-grid arrangements.
This system also comes with a charge controller for easy access to your live-time energy production. For easy conversion of your DC energy from the sun into AC electricity for typical power sources, it also has an inverter. Additionally, it has an MPPT charge controller for maximum energy conversion.
The biggest drawback of this is that it only has a limited warranty of 2 years. The warranty only covers issues arising due to manufacturing defects.
Although this solar system is a bit expensive it is totally worth the money. It provides you with consistent and reliable access to solar energy.
5 Best Off-Grid Solar System For Cabin or Best Off Grid Solar System For Tiny House
These are the best off-grid solar system for cabin or best off grid solar system for tiny house-
AltE Tiny House Off-Grid Solar Power Kit
AltE offers some off-grid solar systems among the best off grid solar system for tiny houses. This off-grid solar system can produce a massive 2,160W. It comes with a combiner box, six 360W monocrystalline solar panels, a solar inverter, and a charge controller. Additionally, there are some add-on options that have solar mounting bundles and batteries. These help you customize the solar system as per your needs. This off-grid system also comes with a surge protection device. This system is quite expensive but it can easily power a tiny home or a cabin.
The best part about this system is that it offers high-power output and it offers a variety of options to customize the system on the basis of your energy needs.
- Power Output: 2,160W
- Price: starts around 6,140.34
- Components included: 6 360W monocrystalline solar panels, combiner box, charge controller, solar inverter, options to add solar batteries and mounting materials
- Warranty: 10-year material warranty for panels, 5–7.5 years based on battery choice
ECO LLC 900W 24V Complete Off-Grid Solar System
ECO LLC 900W 24V Complete Off-Grid Solar System is among the best off-grid solar system for cabin. It is for people who live in snowy or rainy environments. It can withstand all weather conditions and that is why it is ideal for extreme outdoor use. It can be used to power your RV, home, or camp.
It has corrosion-free aluminum and its frame is also quite lightweight making it quite portable. Its glass is also anti-reflection and reinforced with many safety features.
It has an electrical output of about 2.5 kWh per day and provides a 1-year warranty on manufacturing defects. The biggest con of this system is that it doesn’t have enough wiring. Additionally, it doesn’t have an instruction manual. Thus, it’s not ideal for beginners.
Selectronic SP Pro
If you are looking for a medium-sized off-grid system that can power the majority of your home then go for Selectronic SP Pro. It is great for a large RV or an RV with AC. It comes with a solar hybrid and off-grid option. Additionally, it has a generator controller to help maximize efficiency.
This powerful inverter is one of the best off-grid solar system for cabin or the best off-grid solar system for tiny house. Sol-Ark 12K is great for an off-grid solar system and can power your entire home. It can produce 12 kW and its peak power is 20 kW. Its max PV input is 16.5 kW which is notably higher than many other systems.
For off-grid production, it can support about 8000 watts of continuous power. It comes with a 96% efficiency rating and thus it needs less direct sunlight. It also has a three-phase power battery. It has a 10-year warranty coverage. It is also quite user-friendly.
Victron MultiPlus is a 12-volt pure sine wave invert that comes with 120 amps. It has adaptive charger technology and is an excellent battery charger. It comes with an in-built power assistant feature that prevents the overload of a limited AC source.
The inverter has a quite fast activation and within 20 ms it can take over the supply to connected loads. This is specifically important if you decide to stay connected to the grid and the system fails.
It also offers split-phase or three-phase operations which give you more versatility and flexibility. Additionally, it can operate nearly six multiplus units in parallel and give you unlimited power.
Its installation is quite tricky and you should hire a professional to do this job. All in all, you can go for this system as it is quite portable and lightweight. It is quite ideal for a small house or a cabin.
What Should You Consider When Buying An Off-Grid Solar Panel System?
Choosing the best off-grid solar system isn’t an easy task, especially if it’s your first time choosing one. While you go through the different options of off-grid solar systems in the market, there are certain things you should keep in mind. This will help you make the process of buying an off-grid solar panel system smoother. Some of these things are-
The very first thing you should consider before choosing any off-grid solar system is your solar project’s size. You need to size all the solar panel systems on the basis of the energy you consume. A quick calculation will help you learn what size system will be able to meet your demands.
You should start by figuring out how much energy your off-grid application is consuming. Although this can be a challenge, you can still get the expected loads of each electrical device you plan to power on energy from the sun as well as the amount of time you’ll be consuming each day.
This calculation will give you an estimate of your expected energy consumption. If you size this by about 25%, it can help you offset the days that your solar system won’t produce at its 100% capacity, such as winter months or cloudy days.
Additionally, you should also consider the efficiency rating of your panels, a higher rating usually leads to higher rates of energy production. Although monocrystalline panels are costlier, they are still more efficient than polycrystalline as well as thin-film panels. You can check for the efficiency rating in a panel’s specification section.
Batteries and Storage Capacity
Choosing whether you need batteries for your solar system or not is very important. If you only need access to solar power during daylight hours then solar modules are just enough for some off-grid systems to function properly. However, if you need electricity at all times, even at night or during cloudy days when solar production is non-existent or low, you’ll need to opt for batteries.
If you have decided you want to go for batteries, you’ll need to again calculate the amount of energy you’ll require to store to meet your energy requirements. It is quite hard to determine how much storage you’ll need to cover your consumption in kilowatts or watts. However, you can assume that nearly all 100 amp-our batteries provide approximately 1.2 kWh or 1,200 watt-hours of stored energy. This is enough to power a 100-watt appliance for about 12 hours.
From there you can decide which of your devices you want to run on stored energy as well as the size of your batteries accordingly. In the case of solar panels, it’s always better to size up for the best results.
Additionally, one also needs to consider the kind of battery one wants. There are four primary types of batteries-
- Lead Acid Battery: It is the most common and reliable battery.
- Nickel Cadmium Battery: It is famous for its long battery life.
- Lithium Battery: It is best used for storing large amounts of energy.
- Flow Battery: Flow batteries are a popular option for off-grid solar applications as they allow for a total discharge.
Additional Equipment Included
For an off-grid solar system, you also require other additional equipment apart from solar panels. Most such systems include battery chargers or charge controllers. These controllers help prevent battery overcharging and also allow you to connect devices directly to your panels for power. Some systems also come with inverters and batteries, while others include all this equipment plus wiring and mounting brackets for a complete off-grid setup.
The overall efficiency of your system is determined by the charger you get with your system. PWM and MPPT solar charge controllers are the two most common options. The best option is going for MPPT controllers as they provide the maximum possible efficiency. They help you take full advantage of the available sunlight.
Most DIY grid systems also come with connectors and wires to connect all the components and mounting equipment to install your solar panels safely. Depending on where you’re installing the components, you might even need to go for longer cables.
Additionally, off-grid solar systems come with a variety of mounting equipment, such as Z brackets for ground mounts, pole-mounted, and roof-mounted solar. Before deciding on the mounting option consider where you’ll install the solar system.
You need to decide on the kind of systems you are looking for and if you should go for the add-ons mentioned above. Things like batteries, inverts, and even additional panels can be added to your off-grid system at a later date if you want to upgrade or expand it.
Finally, warranty coverage should also be considered while buying an off-grid solar system. You sometimes even pay 5,000 for an off-grid solar system and for such a huge investment warranty coverage must be provided. It gives you peace of mind that your solar system will work for years after its installation.
Most solar system warranties cover the performance of the panels, the equipment from manufacturer defects, or a combo of both. The more long and more comprehensive the warranties are, the better it is for you. However, you’ll need to decide if paying more for a solar system that comes with better warranty protection is worth it for you.
Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems
Going for off-grid systems is usually beneficial but it certainly isn’t the best for everyone. Let’s delve in and look at the pros and cons of off-grid solar panel systems.
Pros of Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems
Provides Power in Remote Locations
Off-grid solar systems are quite popular in remote locations like rural areas. In such places connecting to the grid is either very expensive or not possible. These systems help you to harness the power of the sun and use it to provide electricity for your residences as well as to charge backup batteries.
An appropriately sized off-grid system can easily power homes that normally don’t have access to electricity. Larger off-grid systems can even provide sufficient power and backup energy to run an entire off-grid house or cabin indefinitely.
Helps Avoid Power Outages
Even if you don’t live in a rural area, an off-grid system will still be great for you. If you are accessing electricity via the grid, you are always at risk of blackouts. During emergency situations and severe weather, blackouts are very common, and having power during these situations is of utmost importance.
Grid-reliant systems may go down during an outage but off-grid systems will still function effortlessly. This system just needs the sun the shine and it will continue producing and storing solar energy even when all the surrounding homes have lost their power.
Reduces Energy Costs
By converting to solar, you’ll be able to avoid paying utility bills. With an average annual consumption of about 893 kWh and an approximate retail cost of about 13.15 cents per kWh, your off-grid system will save you more than 1,400 each year.
Beneficial to the Environment
By option solar energy, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Any average system can reduce the CO2 emission of your home by nearly 6.16 tons every year. If people effectively install and use off-grid systems, it will help limit pollution and global warming significantly.
Cons of Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems
Going Off-Grid Is Expensive
Although an off-grid system frees you up from an electric bill, the upfront costs of shifting from utility to an off-grid solar system are expensive. To get a high-quality off-grid system that can power all your appliances, you’ll need to have a sum save up.
Choosing the best off grid solar system and figuring out your power usage is a trial-and-error process. It will probably take you months to decide on an off-grid system. It can be quite time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.
Potentially Illegal Depending on Your Area
In some countries and states using off-grid power is illegal. So, if you are fixed on going off the grid, you might even have to change countries. Most people go for off-grid solar systems when they live in areas these restrictions do not apply.
Are Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems Worth It?
After going through the list of best off grid solar system for tiny house, best off grid solar system for cabin, and in general best off grid solar system, let’s also see if the off-solar panel system is worth it or not.
Off-grid solar systems are great for some folks, but their worth depends on an individual’s situation and needs.
If you live in a remote location that is not economically or situationally connect to the grid, then an off-grid system is the best solution. If you have sized this system properly and installed batteries, this system will provide you with clean energy all the time. For small applications, an off-grid system is an ideal option.
If your home is located close to a grid and you are required to maintain power all the time, an on-grid solar array is a better option for you. This allows you to use renewable energy but also has the backup of your utility company in case your solar production drops. Ultimately, it’s your choice whether you want to shift to the off-grid solar system or not.
Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet’s long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.
Off grid solar suppliers
Next Phase Electric is a proud manufacturer/supplier of off-grid solar systems in the Bakersfield, CA and Kern County areas. Anything is possible. An off-grid solar system may be you if you:
- Planning on going off-grid?
- Want to try out a solar system before getting one installed?
- Have unreliable electrical power resulting in frequent outages and/or brownouts?
- Need temporary site power where no electrical power is available?
- Have remote equipment needing power?
We design and build standalone solar systems that can replace costly generators and optionally tie-in to the grid to act as a backup power source.
A 3.6 kW solar system mounted on a trailer complete with grid-tie able inverter and battery backup.
A solar-powered water injection controller for secondary recovery complete with solar panel, battery, and solar controller.
- Rent or lease a solar system to see the benefits without touching your roof or spending money on a full system
- Don’t need a solar system year-round? Rent for a few months each year
- Off-grid electrical source for remote home or equipment
- Temporary site power – excellent alternative to a gas or diesel generator as it requires no refueling!
- Power: anything is possible – a few watts up to 10’s of kilowatts
- Voltage: DC or AC; 6/12/24/48/custom VDC, 120/240 VAC (single or three-phase)
- Energy storage: with or without batteries; flooded lead acid, gel, sealed, AGM, lithium ion, nickel cadmium, etc.
- Grid tie-in: optional; inverter required
Sat Sun. 24/7 Service Calls
5409 Aldrin Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93313
- Solar Inverter
- 1KW-3KW MPPT Solar Inverter Solarsun Series
- 3.5KW MPPT Solar Inverter SolarPro Series
- 5.5KW MPPT Solar Inverter SolarPro Series
- 6KW Hybrid MPPT Solar Inverter SolarPolo
- 8KW SolarPolo Hybrid Solar inverter
- 10KWh All in One Home Use Solar Power Energy Storage System
- 10KW 3 Phase Hybrid Solar Inverter
- Portable Power Station
- 500W LiFePO4 Portable Power
- 1500W LiFePO4 Portable Power
- 600W LiFePO4 Portable Power 600
- 2000W LiFePO4 Power Station
- 1000W LiFePO4 Power Station
- 2500W Pull rod box Power Station
- Solar Power Home System
- 6KW Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 10KWh Battery
- 10KW Three Phase Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 10KWh High Battery
- 12KW Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 20KWh Battery Storage Feature
- 18KW Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 30KWh Battery Storage Feature
- 24KW Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 40KWh Battery Storage
- 30KW Hybrid Solar Power Home System with 50KWh Battery Storage
- 3.5KW Solar Power Home System with 5KWh Battery Storage
- 5.5KW Solar Power Home System with 10 KWh Battery Storage
- Solar Panels
- 450W Half Cell Mono Solar Panel
- 550W Half Cell Mono Solar Panel
- 650W Half Cell Mono Solar Panel
SankoPower produce and offer solar components like solar panels, deep cycle batteries, solar inverters and customized solar systems. As a China goverment authorized supplier, we provide global customers with cost-effient and reliable products, and offer excellent after sales service.Read more.
SankoPower offer wide solutions for home energy storage system: 3.5KW / 5.5KW Off Grid home system, 6KW / 8KW/10KW Hybrid solar home systems, Single Phase and Three Phase Hybrid solar home system. In the case of low power consumption, SankoPower portable power stations are ideal and portable emergency power supplies for indoor and outdoor activities. Portable Power also can charge electric car (EV Charging). Read more.
Off Grid MPPT Solar Inverter
SolarPro 1KW MPPT Solar Inverter
SolarPro 3.5KW Solar Inverter
SolarPro 5.5KW Solar Inverter
SolarPro 10Kwh All in One Solar System
10 KW MPPT
SankoPower is a China government authorized off grid solar home system factory and supplier. SankoPower designs, manufactures, exports off grid solar inverters to more than 60 countries all around the world. And SankoPower provides OEM service and ODM service for off grid MPPT solar inverters and hybrid solar inverters.
SankoPower is a residential solar inverter supplier and factory in China. All our solar inverters are multi-function power generators and have MPPT solar charger built-in. All these advanced solar inverters can work with or without solar batteries. SankoPower off grid solar inverters are high end pure sine wave solar inverters, and with optional function of remote control.
Our off grid solar inverters can connect with the utility (the mains). During raining day or evening time, when the solar energy is insufficient, it can switch to the utility power (the mains) without delay to ensure continuous power supply.
SankoPower off grid MPPT solar inverters support 220VAC country and 110VAC 120VAC market like USA, Japan, Costa Rica. SolarPax solar inverters have parallel function, can connect max 9pcs inverters, which even can form a 3 phase solar system or even bigger solar power home system like 10KW home solar system,15KW solar system, 20KW solar system for these high power consumption family.
SankoPower REAL hybrid solar inverter SolarPolo series can not only support self-consumption, but also can feed the grid and sell the power to utility. SankoPower REAL Hybrid solar inverter are high end residential solar inverter which suits for European market. This series are available with 5KW hybrid solar inverter and 6KW hybrid solar inverter, both are REAL on grid and off grid solar inverter, and all with parallel functions and remote control function.
To import solar inverters from China supplier, please contact SankoPower sales for wide selection of 3.5KW, 5.5KW, 5KW, 6KW off grid and hybrid solar inverter.
- ABOUT US
- Company Profile
- Factory Tour
- Solar Inverter
- Solar Lithium Battery
- Portable Power Station
- Solar Power Home System
- Solar Panels
- CONTACT US
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- TEL: 86 0769 8282 6010
- WhatsApp/Mobile: 86 134 3121 7430
- Sankopower Solar System Co., Ltd
- Add:Factory 22, Changping Zhu Bao Industrial Park, North Huan Chang Road 568, Changping,Dongguan, Guangdong, China.
Top 5 Best Off-Grid Solar Systems (Cost, Specs ) (2023)
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Written by Dan Simms
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he’s not checking his own home’s solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing. Learn About This Person
Reviewed by Karsten Neumeister
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace. Learn About This Person
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other solar site has covered renewables as long as EcoWatch, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites.
Jump to Section:
Find the best price from solar panel installers near you.
What Are Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems?
A standard solar system — the kind you see on most residential properties — is “grid-tied.” This means they remain connected to the public grid and are capable of a few things:
- They produce energy for your home
- They can send excess energy to the grid to let you take advantage of net metering
- The system allows your home to pull electricity from the electric grid if needed
Through interconnection, grid-tied solar panels allow you to use the sun’s energy whenever possible but always have an electricity supply from your utility company when you need it.
On the other hand, off-grid systems are not tied to the grid. That means you cannot pull energy from a utility company if your energy needs ever outpace your production, and you cannot send excess power to the grid or take advantage of net metering.
Off-grid solar energy systems are a great option for RVs and properties that are too far from the electric grid for a cost-effective tie-in. They’re also helpful for small projects where it’s nice to have electricity, but it may not be worthwhile to connect to the grid. Some examples include sheds, detached garages and other outbuildings.
Off-grid solar systems are usually off-grid out of necessity rather than preference. In most cities, it’s not yet legal to live fully “off-grid.”
Blue Raven Solar
How Do Off-Grid Solar Systems Work?
Instead of relying on the grid for power at times when the sun is not shining, off-grid solar power systems will use an energy storage system or solar battery to store excess energy produced by the panels.
Acting as a solar generator, that battery bank can then be called on to provide power on cloudy days or at night when the solar energy generation is likely to dip below demand.
When your panels generate more power than you’re using, the excess energy will get routed to the batteries. When solar production drops, your home will pull what it can from your panels and will supplement that with energy stored in the solar generator.
Provided your off-grid photovoltaic (PV) system is sized appropriately for your home or RV, the combination of power from your panels and batteries can provide enough electricity to fully power a home, making it an ideal situation for non-grid-tied applications.
Off-grid systems give you the freedom to electrify just about any home or solar project in a remote location. Plus, installing off-grid systems is often straightforward enough to complete as a DIY home improvement project, so you can save money as opposed to having a professional install a grid-tied system.
Equipment In an Off-Grid Solar System
Off-grid solar systems involve a lot more than an array of solar panels and a battery. The list of equipment you might need includes:
- Photovoltaic panels
- Solar batteries
- A solar charge controller
- A solar inverter
- Mounting equipment
Most importantly, you’ll need PV panels. Your panels are the component that harnesses the energy from the sun. Without them, your home or RV would never have power. You can use just about any panel for your off-grid system, as long as the array is sized properly for your energy demands.
The next most important component in your off-grid setup is the battery. Your solar battery will store the energy your panels produce for later use, which lets you maintain electricity through the night and during cloudy days when production is minimal. Solar storage options range in their capacity, and the size is a crucial factor to get right.
Although not necessary in all off-grid systems, solar storage solutions are a requirement if you need access to electricity at all times of the day.
Some off-grid systems use a charge controller to route the energy collected directly to a device for charging. Charge controllers prevent overcharging when the sunlight on your panels is abundant. They also help avoid more complicated setups that require inverters.
If you’re installing your solar system in an off-grid home where you plan to use electricity as you normally would, you’ll need an inverter. Inverters convert the direct current (DC) energy harnessed from the sun into alternating current (AC) energy. AC power is what you’d use when you turn on a light or plug in an electronic device, so conversion is necessary.
It’s possible to forgo installing an inverter if you have a charge controller or you have batteries with a setup that already utilizes DC electricity. This is more common in recreational vehicles (RVs) than anything else, but some tiny homes also have DC setups.
Finally, you have mounting equipment and wiring. Rooftop solar systems are mounted using roof brackets. Depending on the size and location of your system, though, you might use another mounting option, like ground mounts or pole mounts. Wiring will also be required to connect all of the components mentioned above.
What Are the Top 5 Best Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems?
Below, we’ll include a quick list of our top five best kits for off-grid use, followed by a comparison chart with some important product specifications. In the following sections, we’ll explain why we’ve chosen each of these products and provide more in-depth information for each.
- Renogy 100W Panel Off-Grid Solar Kit
- WindyNation 400W Solar Kit
- Eco-Worthy 1,200W Solar Kit
- Renogy 800W Monocrystalline Solar Panel Premium Kit
- ACOPower 800 Watt Monocrystalline Black RV Solar System
Renogy 100W Panel Off-Grid Solar Kit — Best Overall
The Renogy off-grid solar kit is our favorite overall, and it’s the one we feel most comfortable recommending. It includes four 100-watt solar panels for a total output of 400 watts. This means it’s ideal for smaller applications, although it can be expanded with additional panels for more power.
The kit also includes a charge controller for easy connection of devices or appliances. The charge controller is a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) controller, which isn’t as efficient as a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller. Still, it’s a great option for quickly connecting devices to your panels.
The Renogy kit can be equipped with a Bluetooth module that lets you connect to the system wirelessly to check performance. This is an outstanding option that most other kits don’t include. It’s handy for setting up your batteries and keeping an eye on production and storage to ensure you don’t experience a blackout.
Unfortunately, this system doesn’t include batteries or an inverter, so if you’re looking to go fully off-grid with reliable power, you’ll need to buy these separately. Renogy does sell compatible 100 amp-hour, deep-cycle batteries for around 300 each, so you can easily add those onto your system while you’re collecting your equipment.
Perhaps most importantly, Renogy is a trusted name in do-it-yourself solar equipment. Not only do you get high-quality materials and durable components, but you also get the company’s 5-year warranty for the materials and workmanship.
Renogy’s equipment is also waterproof. The components have waterproof ratings of IP65 and IP67, so you can install this system in just about any location with confidence.
Many Renogy products are available from sites like Amazon and Home Depot, so you should have no issue getting your hands on the equipment.
- High-quality, durable components
- Includes Bluetooth module for wireless solar monitoring
- Trusted and reliable brand name
- Great value for the money
- Relatively affordable
- Can be expanded to provide more power
- Doesn’t include batteries or an inverter
- Not ideal for larger applications
- Poor customer service
WindyNation 400W Solar Kit — Best for Small Applications
The 400W solar kit from WindyNation is our top pick for a complete solar setup for smaller solar projects. It’s about twice the price of the Renogy system, but it includes more equipment that allows you to go fully off-grid.
The kit comes with four 100W panels, a charge controller, an inverter, four 100 amp-hour batteries, wiring to hook up your system, and brackets for an easy solar installation.
This is an ideal starter kit if you’re looking to convert a small cabin, RV or other remote home to off-grid renewable energy. You’ll have everything you need to produce and store electricity through the night and through cloudy days if you buy the complete kit.
You can also buy a kit without an inverter for about 600 less if you don’t need to power a home or need access to AC current. It still comes with a PWM charge controller to utilize the energy you collect.
WindyNation is also a reliable solar manufacturer, and it backs this system with a 5-year warranty for the panels, a 1-year warranty for all other components, including the batteries and a 25-year warranty for power production. Its products are also available on Amazon and from home improvement stores like Home Depot, so they’re very accessible.
- Excellent warranty coverage for panels and efficiency
- Includes batteries and a controller
- High-quality materials will last for years
- Available for less money without inverter
- Relatively straightforward to set up
- expensive than competitors
- Warranty isn’t the best for equipment besides solar panels
|Best For||Small Applications|
|Watts||400 watts, but can be expanded|
|Equipment Included||4x 100W PV panels, 4x 100 amp-hour deep cycle batteries, inverter, controller, mounting equipment|
|Price||1,900 (or around 1,300 for smaller system)|
|Warranty Coverage||5 years for panels, 1 year for other equipment, 25 years for panel efficiency|
Eco-Worthy 1,200W Solar Power Kit — Best for Easy Installation
If you’re a little intimidated by the process of connecting all of your solar system components yourself and are looking for a kit that is DIY-friendly, even for beginners, we’d recommend the Eco-Worthy 1,200W kit.
This includes six 200W PV panels to produce a massive 1,200 watts of power, making it suitable for most small off-grid houses, sheds, detached garages, or other structures that aren’t connected to the grid.
It also includes a pure sine wave inverter (PSW inverter) and two 100 amp-hour batteries to provide power even when the sun isn’t shining on your panels. Finally, you get a Bluetooth module to monitor your production and energy storage, which is ideal for keeping an eye on your production and energy stores.
Our favorite thing about this kit is that the instructions are simple to follow, and the company — and third-party companies — have a variety of instructional videos you can reference for tips on a straightforward and stress-free installation.
Even the printed instructions include wiring diagrams and installation instructions that are easy to follow, and the company has 24/7 customer service lines open in case you run into any issues or have questions.
If you’re looking for the maximum amount of energy for your solar project, you can also invest in the solar tracking kit from Eco-Worthy. This mounting system tilts and pivots your panels to ensure the optimal angle for energy collection.
With panels that boast a 21% efficiency rating, the tracker kit can help make this system suitable for larger projects as well.
- Simple and well-explained installation instructions
- Video installation guides available
- Complete kit includes batteries and inverter/charger
- Great for small and medium-sized solar projects
- Relatively affordable on a price-per-watt basis
- Expandable with compatible accessories from the same company
- Two 10 amp-hour batteries may not be sufficient for some applications
- Expensive overall, despite being a good deal
- The warranty coverage is severely lacking
Renogy 800W Monocrystalline Solar Panel Premium Kit
Renogy makes our list again with its 800 watt solar premium kit. This is a more comprehensive kit than our top pick, but it comes at a higher overall price and a higher cost per watt.
The kit includes eight 100 watt panels for a total output of 800 watts. Like the other Renogy system, this one includes high-efficiency panels that can help you take advantage of solar power even in low-sun conditions.
It also comes with an MPPT charge controller to maximize energy conversion and a Bluetooth module that allows you to monitor your system in real-time. This option is great for keeping track of solar production and monitoring how much energy you have stored if you couple the kit with batteries.
Unfortunately, as is the case with all Renogy kits, batteries aren’t included in this kit. The charge controller is fully compatible with multiple types of batteries, though, so you should have no issues coupling your kit with a battery storage solution. The controller also has four charging modes to maximize battery efficiency and extend battery life.
The biggest draw for this system, in our opinion, is the warranty coverage. Renogy covers the equipment and workmanship for 10 years, which is outstanding for a do-it-yourself solar kit. It also guarantees that the system will stay at or above 80% efficiency for at least 25 years. This helps ensure you enjoy maximum production for as long as possible.
- Outstanding and lengthy warranty coverage
- Includes an MPPT controller with multiple charging modes
- Includes a Bluetooth module for live-time system monitoring
- Comes at a relatively low per-watt price
- Two 10 amp-hour batteries may not be sufficient for some applications
- Expensive overall, despite being a great deal
- The warranty coverage is severely lacking
ACOPower 800 Watt Monocrystalline Black RV Solar System — Best for Backup Power
This is a fully functional off-grid kit from ACOPower, a trusted name in do-it-yourself solar equipment. It provides a massive 800 watts via four 200-watt solar modules. This kit is designed for use on an RV, but it can be adapted to suit tiny homes, cabins or just about any off-grid abode where you need constant access to electricity.
We’ve rated this as the best system for backup power because it includes four 200 amp-hour 12-volt batteries, the largest battery capacity of any of the systems on our list.
This makes it the ideal system for locations that receive ample sunshine punctuated by inclement weather. The 800 amp-hours of energy should be plenty to maintain electricity in most off-grid conditions.
The kit also includes a charge controller for easy access to your live-time energy production, as well as an inverter to allow for easy conversion of your DC energy from the sun into AC electricity for typical power sources, like outlets. The charge controller is an MPPT for maximum energy conversion.
Unfortunately, the warranty for this system is only good for two years. It’s a limited warranty as well, so it only covers issues stemming from manufacturer defects.
This is an expensive kit, but it’s well worth the money if you need consistent and reliable access to solar electricity.
- Includes a massive 12-volt battery bank for ample energy storage
- Provides enough power for most small and medium applications
- Includes everything you need to go off-grid for extended periods
- Relatively straightforward instructions and installation process
- The warranty is lacking compared to competitors
- Expensive overall
- Costly on a per-watt basis
What Should You Consider When Buying An Off-Grid Solar Panel System?
Choosing an off-grid system is an intimidating process, especially if it’s your first experience installing a solar kit. There are quite a few things you should keep in mind as you go through the different options. To help make the process a bit smoother, we’ll discuss some of the most important factors to consider below.
The first thing you should consider when choosing an off-grid PV system is the size of your project. All solar panel systems should be sized according to the amount of energy you consume, so a quick calculation can help determine what size will meet your demands.
You can start by figuring out how much energy your off-grid application consumes. This can be a challenge, but you can get the expected loads of each electrical device you plan to run on energy from the sun and the amount of time you’ll be using it each day.
This can give you a baseline for your expected energy consumption. Sizing up from this by around 25% can help offset the days that your system won’t produce at 100% capacity, such as cloudy days or winter months.
Take a look at the table below to learn the average consumption rates for different household appliances and electronics.
|Appliance/Household Item||Rated Watts Required for Continuous Power|
|Phone Charger||10 watts|
|Alarm Clock||10 watts|
|Energy-Efficient Light Bulb||18 watts|
|Ceiling Fan||60 watts|
|Standard Light Bulb (60W)||60 watts|
|DVD Player||100 watts|
|Home Speaker System||100 watts|
|Box Fan or Floor Fan||100 watts|
|Hair Straightener||120 watts|
|Small Laptop Power Supply (like Chromebook)||125 watts|
|Gaming Console||180 watts|
|Vacuum Cleaner||200 watts|
|Rice Cooker||200 watts|
|Heated Blanket||200 watts|
|Up to 56” LCD TV||225 watts|
|Standard Desktop PC (Non-Gaming)||240 watts|
|Dehumidifier (Standalone)||250 watts|
|Whole-House Exhaust Fan||350 watts|
|Central AC (Fan Only)||370 watts|
|Evaporative Cooler||400 watts|
|Keurig Coffee Maker||400 watts|
|Desktop PC and Monitor||400 watts|
|Washing Machine||500 watts|
|Space Heater||750 watts|
|Clothes Dryer||3,500 watts|
|Water Heater||5,000 watts|
If all you need to power in your off-grid home is a mini-fridge, laptop and two light bulbs, then you’ll only need to supply 345 watts of continuous power (100 watts 125 watts 2x 60 watts). The Renogy 100W panel kit would do the trick for a load that small.
One additional consideration to make is the efficiency rating of your panels. A higher rating will usually lead to greater rates of energy production. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than polycrystalline and thin-film panels, although they’re more costly. You can always check the panel’s specifications for a specific efficiency rating.
Batteries and Storage Capacity
The next thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not you need batteries for your system. Some off-grid systems can function with just solar modules if you only need access to power during daylight hours. For other applications, you’ll want electricity at all times, even on cloudy days when solar production is low or at night when it’s non-existent.
If you do decide you want batteries, you’ll need to do another calculation to figure out how much energy you need to store to meet your needs. Determining how much storage you need to cover your consumption in watts or kilowatts is tough, but you can assume that most 100 amp-hour batteries provide approximately 1,200 watt-hours (or 1.2 kWh) of stored energy. This could power a 100-watt appliance for 12 hours.
From there, you can decide which of your devices you’ll want to be able to run on stored energy and size your batteries accordingly. As is the case with panels, it’s always wise to size up a bit for the best results.
One additional consideration you’ll need to make is what kind of battery you want. The four primary types are below:
- Lead acid battery: The most common and often considered the most reliable
- Lithium battery: Lithium-ion batteries are best for storing larger amounts of energy
- Nickel-cadmium battery: Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries have some of the longest battery life available
- Flow battery: flow batteries allow for a total discharge, making them a popular option for totally off-grid solar applications
Additional Equipment Included
Solar panels purchased for off-grid systems typically require additional equipment. Most include battery chargers in the form of charge controllers, which help prevent battery overcharging and let you connect devices directly to your panels for power. Some also come with batteries and inverters, and others include all of this plus mounting brackets and wiring for an all-in-one off-grid setup.
The charger you get with your system can determine your overall system efficiency. The two most common options are PWM and MPPT solar charge controllers. MPPT controllers provide the maximum efficiency possible, so they’re probably the best option if you’re looking to take full advantage of the available sunlight.
Most DIY off-grid systems also include wiring and connectors to connect all of the components and mounting equipment to install your panels safely.
You might need to consider purchasing longer cables, depending on where you’re installing the components in relation to the others — like if you need batteries inside, but the ground mounts need to be placed far away for maximum sun exposure.
Additionally, DIY solar kits can come with a variety of mounting equipment, including Z brackets for roof-mounted solar, pole mounts and ground mounts. Consider where you want to install your panels before deciding which mounting option — and solar kit — is right for you.
You should decide what kind of system you’re looking for and whether you need the add-ons above and beyond your panels and charge controller. Keep in mind that things like inverters and batteries — and even additional panels and upgraded connectors — can all be added to your system at a later date if you need to upgrade or expand your setup.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the warranty coverage included with your system. Most DIY solar systems have some kind of warranty to protect your investment for at least a few years. With off-grid system sometimes topping 5,000, warranty coverage can provide much-needed peace of mind that your equipment will work as intended for years after the installation.
Most solar kit warranties cover the equipment from manufacturer defects, the performance of the panels, or a combination of the two. Of course, longer and more comprehensive warranties are always better, but you’ll have to decide if paying more for a system that comes with superior warranty protection is worth it for you.