The price of solar technology continues to drop, making home solar power kits affordable enough to be within the reach of virtually every consumer. Once an expensive commodity which relatively few could afford, they are now available online. These lower end kits are simple and easy to set up and while they may not be the top of the line, they are a great introduction to solar energy for anyone who’s interested in taking advantage of this renewable resource. The kits generally include all of the parts you need to get started, so they’re a good choice for the average person.
Of course, there are different kinds of kits, each of which has their own advantages and disadvantages which consumers should know about before making a decision. A quick rundown of three of the more common types follows:
Grid Tied Solar Power Kits
These kits are made to plug right into your home’s existing, grid-connected electrical power system and work pretty well to supply your home with extra electrical power. However, with many of these kits, you’ll still need to buy a breaker and some wiring to actually connect it to the grid.
Off Grid Solar Power Kits
These kits are designed primarily for use in situations (like a cabin or a home in a rural area) where you might not necessarily be able to connect to the electrical grid. They are also good choices for sheds and other areas around your home which are not wired already. Since these kits are made for using where there is no electrical grid to connect to, you will need to store the solar power your system generates; for this reason, most of these kits will include the basic equipment as well as a battery and a charge controller.
Portable Solar Power Kits
These are very similar to off grid kits in that they need a battery to store the power you generate. However, they are small and as the name implies, portable.
Home Solar Panel Kits
Despite their declining prices, these solar power kits can be a little on the expensive side for some people; but there are other home solar panel kits which include all of the parts, but need to be assembled. They’re cheaper than kits with pre-made components and since the directions are provided, they’re actually easy to assemble yourself.
What to Watch Out For
When you buy one of these home solar power kits, you’ll usually get a solar panel and all of the other components you need to get started; but if you would like to add more panels to your system later, then these systems are not the right choice for you. There are some components in these kits which can be very expensive on their own, like the charger controller and the inverter – and since they’re designed to be used with just one panel, you’d need to replace these expensive parts as soon as you want to add on to your system. Instead, it’s easier to plan ahead and buy your own parts individually. This will save you both time and money in the long run, whether you want to have just one or two panels or a large array which can power your entire home.