DIY solar panels: Pros, cons 6-step cost savings guide
A DIY solar installation is a great option – but only if you have the time and skills to pull it off correctly.
There are many reasons why people choose to go solar. Some want to switch to clean and renewable energy. Others like the idea of reducing their reliance on the electricity grid.
But the number one reason to go solar is to save money. A Pew survey about solar found that 96% of people who have installed or will install solar do so to save money on electric bills. more than any other reason cited.
Now, it’s entirely possible to see big savings by using a professional solar company — that is, after all, the way that most people go solar. But if you want to lower your upfront costs as much as possible, you may want to consider a do-it-yourself (DIY) installation. After all, it’s cheaper to do things yourself rather than hire someone else to do it for you!
So what are the pros and cons of a DIY solar installation? And how does one go about completing one?
I’ll answer those questions by looking at each major advantage and disadvantage of a DIY solar panel installation, and then breaking down the design and installation process into six simple steps.
Find out your cost savings by getting a custom estimate for your home
What are the pros and cons of DIY solar panels?
Although cheaper than going solar with a professional solar company, DIY solar is still a big and costly commitment. You’ll want to figure out whether a DIY solar panel installation is right for you before you’re too heavily invested in the process!
To help you decide if DIY solar is worth it for you, here is a list of the possible pros and cons:
|Cost savings||Lots of time and effort|
|DIY satisfaction||Risk of roof damage leaks|
|Inability to claim incentives|
|No support for faults or warranty claims|
Pro: Cost savings
A DIY solar panel installation can save homeowners thousands of dollars in upfront installation costs.
The average cost of solar panel installation by a professional solar company is around 2.95 per watt. For a typical 5 kW (5,000 watt) solar panel system, that works out to 14,750.
On the other hand, a 5 kW DIY solar panel kit costs between 1.00–1.50 per watt. Assuming you perform the entire job by yourself (i.e. no contractors for any of the tasks), the total cost of a 5 kW DIY solar project is between 5,000 and 7,500.
That works out to a potential savings of 7,250. 9,759 by choosing DIY over a professional solar installation.
The figures above are just averages. There are many variables that can change these numbers for you, such as system size and whether or not you qualify for the solar tax credit (worth 30% of solar energy system costs).
Pro: DIY satisfaction
If you’re someone who likes to take on big and challenging DIY projects, then a solar installation might be just what you’re looking for.
You will have to draw on many different skill sets, such as the ability to negotiate municipal processes, financial planning, proficiency with power tools, electrical work, and even tax accounting.
And there are many stages to the solar installation — researching, planning, shopping, permitting, installation, electric wiring, and monitoring.
This is a project that will keep you busy for a while, and if you manage to complete it on your own you will definitely feel a sense of pride in your accomplishment.
Let’s now take a look at the cons.
Falls are a real hazard in DIY solar panel installations. Image source:
Con: It’s a lot of time and effort
Installing solar yourself can be rewarding — but only if you’re actively seeking a serious DIY challenge.
If, however, your past experience with DIY projects is limited to assembling Scandinavian flatpack furniture, you might want to steer clear of taking on solar. Not only does it require a lot of planning and organizational skills, but it is also a very time-consuming project: from conception to commissioning, a DIY solar installation usually takes between one to four months.
Con: Risk of roof damage or leaks
This is perhaps the biggest financial risk when it comes to a DIY solar installation.
Unless you have a flat roof, your solar installation will involve drilling a large number of holes into your roof. Drilling into the wrong spot on the roof can cause structural damage, while incorrect sealing and flashing can cause roof leakage and/or mold issues.
Another factor to keep in mind is that a DIY solar installation is likely to void the warranty of your roof, so you’ll have to foot the bill for any repairs that may be needed.
Con: Physical danger
Heights and high voltage electricity are two major risks that DIYers are exposed to during a solar installation.
And the physical risks aren’t just restricted to just the installation. If there are any problems over the 25-year life of the panels, it’ll be up to you to get back on the roof to troubleshoot the issue.
Worst of all, if you don’t connect the wiring properly, your rooftop system could catch fire!
Con: No support for faults or warranty claims
You are on your own if there is ever a fault with the equipment.
Of course, you can still contact the manufacturer directly, but it can be difficult to prove a warranty claim. Furthermore, if you perform an improper installation, you can actually void the warranty.
Con: Inability to claim some incentives
Many states offer incentives and rebates that dramatically reduce the cost of going solar.
Some incentives, however, are only available when the installation is completed by a certified solar company. Make sure to check what incentives and rebates are available where you live.
Installation guide: 6 steps for DIY solar panels
Let’s now dive into the 6 steps needed to take your DIY solar panel project from conception to completion.
Make a DIY plan and design your system
This is the trickiest step in the whole DIY process, especially if you don’t have any prior experience working with energy systems.
A. Decide on your goals
What do you want from your system? Financial savings? Backup power? Independence from the grid?
The goal you’re shooting for will determine the best system type for you, how complex the installation will be, and how much the project will cost.
B. Choose the right solar system type
The next decision is to choose the right solar power system type to match your goal.
All system types have many features in common: they all involve solar panels, inverters, mounts, and wiring.
There are, however, some crucial differences, and they can impact the project’s cost and complexity. Here’s a brief summary of each.
- Grid-tie solar panel system: This kind of solar setup uses the grid as a battery through net metering. Grid-tied solar systems require less equipment than other types of systems and thus have the lowest upfront costs. The disadvantage of these systems is that they lack backup power.
- Hybrid solar panel system: A hybrid system includes a battery storage solution while maintaining a grid connection. Hybrid systems are more expensive than grid-tied ones, but they offer additional functionality like backup power during a grid failure and time-of-use arbitrage.
- Off-grid solar system: Off-grid solar systems operate independently of the grid. Since there’s no grid to fall back on, the solar system needs many panels and a large battery bank to meet the home’s power needs 24/7, 365 days a year — even during winter and/or long stretches of overcast weather. This is the most expensive type of system.
C. Check solar rules and regulations
There is a wide range of rules governing solar installations. They can vary greatly between states, and even between local jurisdictions.
Be aware that some states don’t allow a solar system to be connected to the grid unless the installation was performed by a licensed contractor. If this is the case where you live, you won’t be able to install a DIY grid-tied or hybrid solar system.
If DIY is allowed where you live, then you’ll probably need a building permit and a utility permit before you start your installation. This generally involves an onsite inspection by either a structural engineer or a licensed electrician.
Later, once the installation is complete, you’ll need to pass another round of inspections before your system can be activated and connected to the grid.
D. Design the system
This is one of the most complicated parts of the DIY solar panel process. You want your system to take into account all of the following factors:
- Your energy needs
- Climate and the number of sun hours you’ll see each month
- Solar panel orientation
- Solar panel angle
- Natural efficiency drop
- Conversion losses
- Battery size and charging (for hybrid and off-grid systems)
Our solar panel calculator accounts for all these factors to show you total system output over each month of the year. It also recommends a system size for your specific home and even shows you which section of your roof you should use for maximum exposure to sunlight. Try it out by entering your zip code below.
Calculate the system size you need to offset 100% of your electric usage
If you’re adding batteries for a hybrid or off-grid system, you’ll need to take care to size your battery correctly.
You’ll also need to create an electrical diagram. They’re a required part of your permit applications, and they’ll serve as a blueprint when you physically install your panels.
E. Do the math
Now that you have a system design ready, it’s time to work the numbers, i.e. your estimated costs and savings over the 25-year life of the panels.
Figure out your costs with an online search for solar equipment. The simplest way to do this is to find the price for a complete, all-in-one DIY solar kit that matches your desired system size.
Next, you want to figure out your utility bill savings. The first step is to calculate the annual output of your system (see figures by location here). Multiply that by the cost of electricity where you live and you’ve got a figure for avoided utility costs.
With the cost and savings figure in hand, you can calculate the return on your DIY solar panel project.
Here’s the simple formula: Avoided utility costs (i.e. electric bill savings). Cost of solar equipment = Your total financial savings.
You can now decide if a DIY solar project is worth it from a financial perspective.
Begin the permitting process
You’re ready to get your hands dirty and install some solar panels! But wait — remember those pesky rules and regulations we mentioned in Step 1? We’ll need to review those before we start any work.
Begin by listing out all permit processes required by the state, your utility, and your authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). You’ll probably need to apply for a building and utility permit before you start any work. This will often involve an inspection by either an electrician or a structural engineer, or both.
Make sure to follow all requirements to ensure that your installation is code-compliant and legal.
Choose a supplier and buy your equipment
Here’s is a brief list of all the equipment you’ll need for your solar setup:
- Solar panels
- Solar inverter
- Mounting and racking equipment
- Wiring and general electrical supplies
- Battery system (for hybrid and off-grid systems)
- Charge controller (required for some battery systems)
The easiest thing to do is find a complete DIY solar panel kit that includes all the equipment you need. If not, you’ll have the challenging task of shortlisting individual components and then figuring out which parts can work together.
When you’re comparing kits, we encourage you to check product reviews on SolarReviews to make sure that you’re buying from reputable brands.
As for the supplier, choose one that offers long warranties and great after-sales support. In fact, I would prioritize both these factors over price — you will interface with the supplier a lot for technical support, and possibly for warranty support, as well.
Install the solar panel system
At this point, you should have successfully applied for all necessary permits and approvals, and accepted delivery of your solar equipment. It’s now time to install the panels!
The actual specifics of the installation will depend on what system type and equipment you’ve decided upon.
The process I’m describing below is for a grid-tied system that uses microinverters for the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) power conversion.
Task 1: Install solar panel racking and mounting
Use a chalk line to measure and mark out exactly where on your roof the racking system will be installed.
Next, look for solid bits of the roof to drill into for the installation of lag bolts. You should consider using a stud finder with AC current detection to ensure you’re not drilling through a power line.
Caulk the holes and install flashing to create a waterproof seal before you screw the lag bolts in. Once the lag bolts are all ready, you can install L-feet and then lock the rails onto them.
The method I’ve described here is for a system using roof mounts. If your roof isn’t suitable for an installation, you may want to consider ground mounts instead.
Task 2: Connect the microinverters
On to the microinverters. These are little boxes that will modulate the output of each panel. You’ll connect them to the rails using the provided bolts. Each box will have a positive and negative wire coming out of it, which you will connect together to form a series connection for each array.
Microinverters attached to a rail. Later, each solar panel will be connected to one before it is mounted. Image source: Enphase
Task 3: Connect grounding wire
Connect copper wire of an appropriate gauge across the rails as grounding. This is an important safety precaution and will help dissipate any anomalies caused by a lightning strike or a fault.
Task 4: Install roof junction box
You’ll need to drill a hole in the roof to install a junction box. If you have more than one solar array, you will run the trunk cable from each into the junction box. This will allow you to channel the power from the solar panels to your house.
Task 5: Install the solar panels
It’s now time to haul the panels onto the roof. Each module is about 65 inches by 39 inches, which can be an awkward size for one person to handle on their own. Consider getting someone to assist you with this part, especially if your roof is steep. And make sure to use a harness while you’re up there!
It’s now time to attach the solar panels to the mounting rail. Before laying them down flat, get the wiring in order. Each solar panel has a negative and positive DC wire attached to it; clip or zip-tie them to the panel so that they don’t touch the roof. Once the wires are neatly tucked away, connect the wires to the microinverters
Next, insert the provided mid-clamps into the railing on each side of the solar panel to hold it in place. Use end-clamps solar panels at the end of the rail; they keep the panel in place but are less visible from the ground.
Task 6: Home run connection
With the solar panels ready, it’s time to connect them to the house. For this you will need to install:
The conduit will carry the wires from the roof junction box down to the external junction box. The junction box, in turn, connects to an emergency disconnect. This is a safety feature that allows you to quickly shut off your own solar panel system, and is a required feature in many jurisdictions.
The external junction box and emergency disconnect box should be weatherproof and installed in an area that is both easily accessible and allows easy connection to the home’s main electrical panel.
From the emergency disconnect, the wires are passed through to the home’s main electrical panel.
Your solar panel system is now ready, but you’ll have to jump through a few more hoops before you can actually switch it on.
Final inspection and interconnection to the grid
Once your installation is complete, schedule an inspection with the local AHJ. The inspector will assess if the system is compliant with local ordinances, and whether the design matches those laid out in your plans.
The system will also need to pass an electrical inspection to ensure that it is code-compliant.
Once you’ve passed the inspection, you can apply for interconnection with the grid. The utility will either install a second meter, or replace your existing one with a bi-directional (or net) meter. The bi-directional meter can record your home’s power exports to the grid so that you can receive credits on your power bill.
Switch on your system
If your system has now met all state, local, and utility company requirements, you can now commission it. Check whether your solar system is functioning by firing up your solar monitoring app — almost every inverter comes with one these days.
Does the app show the system is performing as expected? If yes, then congratulations! It was hard work, but you’re finally done.
DIY or not, solar power is highly rewarding
If you’ve read through this very lengthy blog post, kudos. It means you’re serious about going solar — a journey I’m sure you’ll find highly rewarding. Solar panels will reduce your electric bills, cut your carbon emissions, and increase your energy independence.
If you have a lot of time on your hands and the skills to pull it off, you might be able to go the DIY route.
However, if a DIY solar installation seems like more than you can handle, then fret not: there are many highly-rated solar installers that can do the work for you.
DIY or not, we encourage you to check out our solar calculator, as it will recommend a system for you that offers 100% offset of your utility bills.
Best of luck on your solar journey!
DIY solar panels: pros, cons and installation guide
To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering “do it yourself”, or DIY, solar. You can install solar panels yourself, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to doing it alone. In this article, we’ll break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do-it-yourself solar panel systems before making a decision.
Can you install solar panels yourself?
A solar panel system is complicated, which is why so many companies across the U.S. specialize in providing professional solar installation services. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t build your own solar panel system – you can install your own panels, a DIY solar panel setup can be a viable option for some solar shoppers wanting to tap into renewable energy.
According to data from the EnergySage Marketplace, the average cost of going solar for homeowners (after accounting for the federal tax credit) is about 20,650 in 2023. Of that amount, design and installation labor costs contribute about 10% of the total bill; this 10% is what a DIY solar installation will save you since you’ll still have to buy the equipment and components yourself. Regardless, it’s still tempting to look into building your own solar panel installation to save money and be in full control of your home renewable energy project.
Your solar energy system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years, so you must consider both the upfront costs and the relative financial benefits for all of your solar options. If you buy a home solar kit like the ones for sale at Costco or Home Depot, it may be less expensive per watt, but you aren’t getting the same quality equipment that solar installers can offer you. For the most part, solar installers buy from equipment distributors that don’t sell to the general public – and they’re often getting lower because they’re able to buy in bulk and have access to the best solar panel brands. Going for the more expensive option now may end up saving you money in the long run because you’ll likely have a system built to last a few decades, offsetting your monthly electric bills.
Pros and cons of DIY solar panels and solar panel kits
DIY panels can be a great option for going off the grid and some small home applications. For powering your entire home, however, it may be in your best interest to go with a professional installer.
DIY solar pros and cons
|Provides more energy independence for homeowners by not being tied to the electricity grid.||Require much more maintenance that would otherwise be covered by an installer warranty.|
|Effective in powering smaller items like RVs, boats and other appliances||For an entire home, installation may be difficult for an individual without the knowledge and experience of a professional installer.|
|Allows homeowners to save roughly 10% on the overall cost of installation that would otherwise go towards labor.||DIY installation may be illegal where you live according to local zoning laws.|
Most home DIY all-in-one solar panel solar kits (including items like solar batteries, and inverters) are designed for off-grid use, which means you can’t use them and remain connected to your utility. If you’re an average homeowner, going off-grid is probably not in your best interest – being able to access utility-generated electricity is important if your solar array doesn’t produce enough electricity to meet your needs at all times of the day throughout the year.
However, home solar kits can be a good solution if you’re not trying to power your entire home. RVs, boats, and the increasingly popular tiny houses are all opportunities to explore do-it-yourself solar because they are already off-grid and mobile. Storage kits are also a good option for backup to help in the case of a blackout and can contain battery banks and battery systems.
If you want to install a DIY solar project, compare several options beforehand. Grape Solar is a major manufacturer (among others) and offers a few different DIY products and components for both grid-tied and off-grid systems, which you can find more information on below.
DIY solar options
|Grape Solar 400 watt PV solar panel kit||400||588||1.47||Home Depot|
|Grape Solar 600 watt PV solar panel kit||600||857||1.42||Home Depot|
|Renogy solar 12-volt/24-volt premium kit||800||1,350||1.69||Renogy|
|ECO-WORTHY off-grid solar panel kit||800||1,090||1.36||Amazon|
When you decide on DIY solar panels, remember that you get what you pay for. A home solar kit may be less expensive, but solar installers offer tremendous value for a relatively little additional cost (remember that 10% figure?). When it comes to installing an expensive electrical system on your property, finding someone who knows what they’re doing can save you both time and money in the long run.
Some of the best solar installers have been in the business for decades – an experience that no amount of online research or DIY guides can replicate. Every state requires that installers are licensed and qualified to install solar, and independent certifications like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar PV Installation Professional Certification ensure that the company you choose to work with has an intimate understanding of the process. Because of this, they can provide experienced insight and help you assess what equipment is the best fit for your property and whether a battery system is right for you.
Your solar installer will also help you complete and file the permits and applications that you need to submit to get your solar power system up and running. This is particularly important because your utility won’t let you connect your system to the grid without a sign-off from a certified electrician.
Because of your solar installer’s experience, they’ll also have a strong understanding of the financial incentives for solar available in your area, and might even be able to help you save more money by finding any rebates and tax incentives that you may have missed. Lastly, it is important to note that many equipment manufacturers will only honor their warranties if a qualified installer installed their equipment. Many installers will also offer an additional warranty to back up their work, too.
The 6-step guide to DIY solar panels: how to install solar panels
The DIY solar panel installation process can be simplified into six major steps:
Purchase your solar equipment and components (solar panels, batteries, inverters, racking, etc.)
Equipment and components including panels can be purchased with help from the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide. You can compare panel, battery, and inverter models based on specs like efficiency, warranties, and more.
Install the racking or mounts for the panels on a roof or the ground
Once you have the necessary equipment, designs, and permits in order, it is time to install your equipment. For roof mount systems, this begins with installing your racking and mounting equipment. To start, mark where your system will be installed, drill where lag bolts will be put in place, caulk the holes, put in lag bolts, and lock rails onto them. For ground mount systems, the steps are similar, only the panels will be installed at the ground level on some type of racking system.
Install your equipment
The first items to install are the solar inverters, which convert the electricity generated by your solar panels into usable electricity. After these are installed using provided bolts, you will need to connect a grounding wire. This is a piece of copper wire across the rails that serves as a safety precaution against lightning strikes and other faults. After this, you can attach your solar panels to your racking equipment.
Connect to your main electrical board
After you have fully installed your panel and system, be sure to schedule an inspection with the local construction authority closest to you. This will ensure that your system complies with local ordinances. Once you pass this inspection, you can apply to connect to the grid. The local utility company will give you a meter to record your power exports.
Get in touch with your utility company and request permission to turn on (PTO) if necessary in your area
From there, turn on your system after you have the proper approval and check how the system is functioning with a solar monitoring app.
Maintenance of DIY solar panel systems
One of the benefits of working with a certified solar installer is the warranty that comes with their service. Solar panel manufacturers provide a range of warranties that guarantee you will have support and coverage in the unlikely event of an issue caused by unusual circumstances, such as large hail or falling tree branches. Power output warranties guarantee that panel performance won’t fall below a specified level over the term of the warranty (usually 25 years). For instance, a manufacturer might provide a warranty to guarantee that peak power output won’t fall below 85% for 25 years.
Frequently asked questions about DIY solar panels
If you’re considering a DIY solar panel kit, but still have concerns about the best options, process, and general cost, check out a few of the most common questions we encounter when talking to solar shoppers:
DIY solar panels may be tempting to install, but their long-term worth may be up for debate due to quality alone. Typically, a solar panel system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years, so it’s important to invest in quality equipment and a reputable installer. If you purchase a home solar panel kit from a retailer, you may be paying less per watt, but you’re not going to get the same efficiency or quality that professional installers usually offer with their products.
You’ll also likely forgo any warranties that come with your solar panel system, as warranties often only apply when the system is installed by a certified installer. It’s also important to mention that if you still need to rely on some utility power and remain connected to the grid, DIY solar panels are typically not worth it. They are best used for small off-grid applications, like RVs, where a solar generator or solar battery bank can provide you power when you otherwise may not have access.
As a DIYer, you don’t need to be an electrician to install solar panels. It’s certainly not illegal to go the DIY route if you choose to. However, when it comes to installing a costly electrical system on your property, we recommend relying on professionals with technical know-how —their experience is invaluable and it can make a huge difference in the overall quality and performance of your system. Plus, solar installers will help you fill out permits and file important paperwork that you might not otherwise know is required.
You can find reliable DIY solar panels at retailers like Home Depot or from manufacturers like Grape Solar, for between 6,000 to 11,000, depending on your system size needs. For lower cost options, some manufacturers sell DIY solar panels on Amazon for anywhere between 1,600 to 2,500. You may be looking at additional costs if you want to install a solar battery and charge controller system as part of your DIY project.
Should you install solar yourself or hire an installer?
If you’re wavering between a DIY solar system and hiring a solar installer, getting a ballpark estimate for an installation may help you in your decision process. With our Solar Calculator, you can see upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type to determine if a solar installation is the best choice for you. If you’re looking to get quotes from local contractors today, be sure to check out the quote comparison platform in the EnergySage Marketplace.
reading on EnergySage
Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… How to install solar panels Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023 Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Are solar panels worth it in 2023?
How To Install A Simple Solar Panel System. GF Radio
Will tells us how to install a simple solar panel system. He just finished his solar setup in his barn and we walk through it today.
Here is the parts list, these are affiliate links:
Video of Will’s version of How To Install A Simple Solar Panel System
My Video on How To Install A Simple Solar Panel System
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
another option not power inverter but grid-tie inverter. essentially house/use is your battery. This assumes one is on the grid. Also like to see/hear some wind tubrine/water wheel sites. thanks
[…] of a basic tutorial for anything less than wiring up a whole house. Now I know how thanks to a podcast conversation between Eric of Garden Fork and Will of the Weekend Homestead. Will describes how he rigged up a few panels and batteries to power lights and charge tools in his […]
121 Beekeeping, Fireworks, Solar Power and Extending Wi-Fi with Will of the Weekend Homestead | Root Simple says:
[…] Will on the Garden Fork Podcast discussing his solar power system along with part recommendations. […]
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We’ll keep this concise and skip right to the guide. Enjoy! Make sure you join our Blog Newsletter here.
Obtain equipment and supplies to build a solar charged battery bank and energy supply setup that will provide a contingency source of electricity to power essential appliances, lighting, security implements, and electronic conveniences.
SOLAR PANELS Panels are classified by watts. Small portable (fold-out) panels may range from 5 to 100 watts while larger stationary panels could range from 50 to 1000 watts each. [The solar panel wires will be wired into the controller’s input ports.]
SOLAR CONTROLLER A controller manages the incoming energy the panels obtain from the sun and safely optimizes the electricity to be directed to a battery. [Power supply wires will be wired into the controller’s output ports and then wired to a battery/bank]
BATTERIES There are many battery systems designed for charging from solar panels but the cheapest and most easily obtained batteries are 12v marine deep cycle batteries (about 1000 watts or 100 amp hours) found at auto part stores or supermarkets. Avoid starting/cranking batteries and use caution not to drain the battery below 50%. [For a 24v series, wires will be run from battery to battery alternating terminals from to. with the remaining. terminals reserved for the load to be powered. For a 12v parallel, wires will be run battery to battery to the same terminals such as to and. to., the load can be wired to any battery in the parallel]
BATTERY BANK Wire 2 or more batteries together in a parallel (more amps) or series (less amps, requires inverter) to create a bank of batteries. Parallel offers the best options for an offgrid or backup scenario allowing you to directly power 12v accessories without an inverter but it’s not as efficient for longterm use. [Wire your battery bank to your inverter either from any battery in the parallel or from the load end of a series. In some cases you may need to wire the controller directly to the inverter with a separate wired connected from the controller to the battery bank]
INVERTER The inverter will convert the electricity into the proper current such as 110v (common household appliances/electronics) which will turn your DC power into AC.
These items can be purchased now as part of your readiness plan or obtained through scavenging/bartering after a LAE. 3x 100 watt panels and 2x 1,000 watt marine deep cycle batteries could power a mini fridge and two light bulbs for 3 years. Check the amp hours or watts that a device requires. Obtain the correct amount of panels and batteries to surpass that need by 15%. The angle of the panel, clouds/trees, and battery efficiency dictate you plan for more than you actually need.
That’s it! Yes, there are other ways about it, there are more complex explanations too. This is a primer, just an intro. It’s based on what we did for our on setup. Checkout our offgrid cabin by searching #thelandbysuperesse on Instagram at @offthegridguide. BTW, Off the Grid Guide also runs a helpful Telegram account.
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