Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Solar Panel Starter Kit

Harnessing the power of the sun is a great way to power your home and decrease your utility costs.

House with solar panels
Even if you’ve never tinkered with solar power before, there are kits that make it easy to set up a grid at home.Pexels/Vivint Solar

Whether you’re convinced Armageddon is just around the corner, or you simply want to more responsibly manage your power consumption, clearly solar power offers options. While it’s true there are areas more suitable for solar power generation than others, a starter kit can be your first step toward off-the-grid independence and making solar work for you. Here are three things to consider in getting started with solar.

Load Support

Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer
This solar starter kit is expandable and designed for smaller electrical demands such as a cabin or RV. It includes all components except battery.Renogy

The size of your project and the number of solar (photovoltaic) panels required depends on your electricity needs and your expectations. Getting completely off the grid requires far more panels than a system designed to reduce electric bills, power your RV or back up your home’s power supply. Industry guidelines are available to help you calculate your home electrical needs. Some starter kits offer an expandability option.

Permanent or Portable

ECO LLC 3000W Off Grid Solar Panel Kit
This solar panel starter kit is designed for more permanent installation, for an RV or small cabin.ECO LLC

Some solar starter kits are designed for portability and can be used with an RV, boat or cabin as needed. Others are built for more permanent installation. If your needs are flexible, a more portable option might work best for you.

Warranty

WindyNation 400 Watt Solar Kit: 4pcs 100W Solar Panels
This complete solar starter kit comes with a series of warranties covering panels (5 year), power output (25 year) and a one year coverage on components.WindyNation

The degree to which a manufacturer is willing to stand behind their product is a great indication of the quality and performance you can expect.