Off grid solar panels are increasing in popularity all over the world, not just by people who are concerned about the effects of global warming, but also by savvy owners who realize the substantial savings when it comes to energy costs.
If you are new to the world of solar energy, you are likely confused when looking at all of the different products that are available for purchase.
You may also think that solar panels are quite expensive to start off with.
However, in terms of energy savings, the initial cost of having solar panels installed will more than pay for itself in no time at all.
Even though this is a major upgrade, with new solar window technology and different solar panel forms on the market, there has never been a better time to start saving money and saving the planet!
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Types of Solar Panels
Off grid solar panels save you money on energy costs because they use the greatest, and cleanest, source of energy that exists – the sun.
There are two main types of solar panels that are widely used today:
Each type has their own benefits and advantages.
The benefits they will provide, along with the initial cost to purchase and installation should be seriously considered before you make any final decisions on which off grid solar panels to buy.
When making comparisons of off grid solar panels, you will need to decide what the most important factor is to you:
- Is cost your most important consideration?
- Is efficiency the most important thing to you?
Maybe you are looking for a panel that will give you an equal mix of performance and cost.
Each situation is different so answering these questions will ensure that you make the correct decision for your needs.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made up of single black silicon crystals. They are small, so they save on space, and they are about 2% more efficient than polycrystalline panels. They also outperform polycrystalline in situations with high temperatures and where low light is an issue.
Polycrystalline solar panels are usually blue, and they are made up of many silicon crystals. This type is often preferred because they have a lower price tag and they also ensure high efficiency with the use of an anti-reflective coating.
Now that you know a little bit more about what you should be looking for in off grid solar panels, let’s take a look at the 7 best solar panels for off the grid living.
Best Off Grid Solar Panels
ECO-WORTHY 100-Watt Solar Panel
There is no need to break the bank if you consider purchasing these polycrystalline solar panels.
This is a great budget option without sacrificing efficiency.
Offering up to 500-watt hours per day. Especially if you are planning to install an array of off grid solar panels, the ECO-WORTHY panels use the more affordable polycrystalline so they might be your best bet to keep yourself on budget.
Polycrystalline solar panels convert energy at a slower rate than what you will see from a monocrystalline solar panel, so there will be some efficiency lost per square foot.
However, ECO-WORTHY offers excellent power guarantees for their panels – within 25 years there is still an 80% power retention!
Consumers who have purchased these panels are happy with the design, the performance, the ease of installation, and the overall cost.
The most common complaint from buyers is the weight of the panels. At about 18 pounds (8 kilograms) each, this is substantially heavier than panels made from monocrystalline. If you are able to work with a slightly lower efficiency rate, these are certainly worth a second look.
|Overall cost||Quite heavy at 18 pounds|
Renogy 300-Watt 24-Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Take the first step to converting your home for energy production by installing one of these monocrystalline solar panels.
Used mostly for commercial and residential purposes, their solar panels can be utilized for many different applications.
Excellent when used for both large and small off-grid systems, these panels can easily be used in multi-panel arrays. PERC solar cells are included, and they help to make the panel both lighter and smaller. In fact, when compared to a regular solar panel with the same attributes, the Renogy panel is 15% – 20% lighter and shorter.
Yet, they are still able to withstand snow loads of 5400 Pa, and high winds up to 2400 Pa.
Consumers who have purchased these panels are happy with the ease of installation, the compatibility with both off-grid and on-grid systems, and the impact resistance of the anti-reflective panels.
What some consumers do not like is the price – they are on the high end for monocrystalline panels. There are also some who would prefer that the frame was made from steel, rather than the aluminum they currently use.
|Easy Installation||High price|
|Highly compatible||Frame made of aluminum|
|High impact resistance|
WindyNation 100-Watt 12-Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
It could be one of the smallest solar panels that you have ever seen, but WindyNation’s low profile design comes in at only 0.67 in. thick.
Where you would expect this to be a negative factor, it actually makes this a beautiful solar panel that is perfect for situations where something a little lower profile is required.
In fact, WindyNation panels work excellently when mounted on campers, boats, off-grid cabins, RV’s, and even off-grid telecommunication sites.
The panels still continue to work perfectly, even in conditions with low irradiance and high temperatures. They are one of the easiest things to set up and use. Once you take it out of the package, you only need a few minutes to get it up and running.
This is also a perfect panel if you are not quite sure yet about using solar energy and you want to give it a test run.
They are still getting corrosion and UV resistance, a strong frame, a 5 and 25-year warranty, and proven reliability. The only real complaint that some people have is that they are so small.
If you were to cover a roof for example, you would need far more of these panels than you would need ones of a standard size.
|Beginner friendly solar panel||Panel is small|
Renogy 400-Watt Solar Starter Kit
This popular brand never fails to impress and this great starter kit that comes with four 100-watt monocrystalline panels is no exception.
The kit has a high energy efficiency rating and the whole kit and caboodle has a weight of only about 90 pounds.
Everything that you need is included with the kit, except for the battery bank. You can always purchase one by itself. The other great thing about this kit is that you can always add on to it later if you need, or want, more power.
What customers like is how light the panels are, making it a breeze to install.
They also like that it includes 8ft 10AWG tray cables, mounting Z brackets, and a 20ft 10AWG MC4 adapter kit.
When it comes to cons, there are two that were consistently mentioned.
The fact that the battery bank is not included really turns off some buyers.
The other thing that was mentioned was that although installation is easy by yourself, no instructions for the installation are included. This means you have to do some YouTube research before you start.
|Easy Installation||No installation manual|
|Includes all mountings||Battery not included|
Grape Solar 540W Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit
Buyers seem to love this system if the reviews are any indication. Included are 3 180-watt monocrystalline panels.
Surrounding each panel is a frame made from aluminum, and the junction box is sealed, making this system almost completely weatherproof.
Extreme durability is something buyers are looking for and the company doesn’t disappoint. There are some other additions to the kit as well.
The charge controller is a 40-amp Comet PWM. While not as effective as MPPT controllers are, it does get the job done.
Also, in the box are an 1,800-watt pure sine inverter having two plug-ins with a USB port, and a 15-amp inline-MC4 comparable fuse.
What customers like is the excellent customer service, quality materials and craftsmanship, the ease of installation thanks to the instruction booklet, and how it is capable of totally powering small appliances.
There are only two mentioned cons to this kit – it does not come with a battery bank and it is expensive, even when compared to kits of the same caliber.
|Excellent service||Battery not included|
|Easy installation (with manual)||Expensive|
WindyNation 400W Solar Panel Kit
Being close to the most thorough kit available to buy, WindyNation’s 400W kit really packs a wallop.
After rushing to open the box, you are going to find four 100-watt panels, a 1500-watt VertaMax power inverter, four 100Ah BattaMax batteries, a 30-amp solar charge controller, and a large variety of mounting hardware and cables.
Even though the kit is comprehensive, it does not feature the newest technology and the equipment is at the basic level. For example, they use polycrystalline solar panels instead of the more efficient monocrystalline.
What customers like is the all-in-one-box solution, the fact that it can fully power appliances and small devices, and that it is relatively easy to install.
Where they do not get such great reviews is that you cannot pick accessories since everything comes bundled together, and that they use lesser quality technology than they should have.
|All in one package||Polycrystalline panels|
|Easy to install|
ALLPOWERS 100W Solar Panel Charger
If you are only looking to power small devices, or for newbies who are just beginning their off-grid journey, this is an excellent choice that is easy on the pocketbook.
The kit itself offers buyers some great benefits, one of the best being the flexible monocrystalline panel.
It also offers a design that is easy to mount, and an 18V output. In addition, most other panels offer a standard 15% efficiency rating.
ALLPOWERS crushes those numbers with an astonishing 21% efficiency rating.
What customers like are the quality and features that come with the kit, and that it can be mounted on irregular surfaces.
This puts it far ahead of some others in certain situations and for specialized uses. What they do not like is the fact that you not only have to buy a battery bank, but you also need to separately purchase a charge controller, unfortunately increasing your initial outlay by quite a bit.
For complete newbies it can be a challenge to purchase the proper accessories without some help.
|Flexible solar panel||Battery not included|
|Good for beginners||Charge controller not included|
|Mounts on irregular surfaces|
Picking out a off grid solar panel or solar kit is a different process for every person since everyone has their own needs and planned uses.
Some people have very flexible budgets, while others need not pay attention to cost.
In the end, even if you decide to sell your home somewhere down the road, having solar panels is a huge selling point for many potential buyers. It will increase the value of your home and provide ample savings to your buyers.
Hopefully, I have given you some guidance and options worth considering as you decide what will best suit you.