Best solar panels for DIY to help you get started on your solar project!
While solar panels themselves help you save big in energy costs, you can save even more if you install them yourself. You are the only one in charge and you don’t have to pay so much money to an installation company. But that also means you have to do all the planning, figure out how many solar panels you’d need and install them by yourself.
But don’t overwhelm yourself. In this article, we have included some of the best solar panels for DIY that have little to no installation required. Just set them under the sun and you’re all set to power your house or cabin by solar energy. We have also included a few things you should consider when buying solar panels for DIY. So, let’s take a look at them, shall we?
1. Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 100-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline System
Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 100-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline System is a great system for charging 12v batteries. It is specially designed for DIY at homes, RV, and caravans. You can install multiple 100-W panels for full coverage for your home. This kit comes with 4 Z-mounting brackets and pre-drilled holes at the back of the pane. Therefore, you won’t have to spend hours installing this panel. It can be firmly positioned in a few minutes, thanks to the drilled holes.
This solar panel kit is extremely long lasting because the manufacturers have made sure it has several safety features. There is also a PWM function that keeps the battery safe from reverse polarity, short circuits, discharge, overcharging or overload. The tempered glass is lined with an aluminum frame, making it extremely weather-proof.
- Perfect for DIY.
- Very lightweight (weighs 15 lbs.) and durable.
- Easy to carry and install.
- Charge controller is a bit noisy and is not weather-resistant.
- You will need extra wires for installation.
2. WindyNation 100w Polycrystalline Kit
WindyNation 100w polycrystalline kit is a pretty affordable yet high-quality solar it that offers efficient solar power supply. This kit has everything you need to set up the system. So, you won’t face any difficulty in installing the system as it comes with all the mounting brackets, cables, and connectors. There is also a charge controller with LCD display which you can use to monitor and control the system. You can maintain the temperature, amperage and voltage using this controller. This kit is a great DIY kit for both homes and vehicles.
- Very inexpensive.
- Great charge controller with adjustable settings on LCD screen.
- Durable and weather-proof.
- No built-in bypass.
3. Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Renogy 100W 12V Portable Foldable Monocrystalline Solar Panel suitcase is one of the best solar panel kits by Renogy that is extremely easy for DIY use. The kit comes in various options for charge controllers, panels, and configurations. Therefore, you can choose one according to your needs. This is an all-inclusive kit that comes with a kickstand, alligator clips, a charge controller with LCD display, a handle and a carrying case.
- 20A waterproof controller.
- 10 feet cable with alligator clips.
- Built-in kickstand.
- Comes with a carrying case.
- Doesn’t come with a built-in bypass.
4. ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel
ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel is an extremely lightweight solar panel kit weighing only 8 pounds. This kit has 8 DC adapters for any of the specific electronic devices and a whopping 10-feet wiring. The panels also come with charge controller with USB ports for charging phones and other devices. This solar panel system is very easy to use, and you can install multiple of these panels to meet your needs.
- Comes with 10 feet wiring.
- Foldable and portable.
- Multiple DC outputs.
- 20A charge controller with USB ports.
- Does not come with a kickstand.
5. ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kits
ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kits is a portable solar panel kit perfect for DIY at home, cabins, or vehicles. This system features 3×40 watt panels that are very lightweight and easy to install. This kit comes with MC4 connectors, a 10A charge controller with 2 USB ports to prevent overcharging and other issues, a built-in bypass, and a kickstand. The panels are of great build quality to last you years. However, the charge controller is not waterproof.
- Portable and easy to carry.
- Comes with a stand.
- 120W solar power.
- Carrying bag for cables.
- Easy-to-use handle.
- 10A charge controller with USB ports.
- Charge controller isn’t waterproof.
What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels for DIY
Here’s a list of what you should consider when buying solar panels for DIY
- Determine how much power you would need for your home, cabin, or vehicle so you can estimate how many panels you would be needing.
- There are four types of solar panels used commonly. These include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film and concentrated PV. If you are buying for your house, you should opt for monocrystalline panels. Although expensive, they are durable and will last years. Polycrystalline panels are less efficient. The other two are for commercial use.
- Solar panels are available in efficiency range of 14-22%. Always opt for panels with higher efficiency ratings as it represents the amount of sunlight the panel can convert into electricity.
- Make sure that the solar panels come with warranty and installation guides.
After comparing all the options mentioned above, our top choice for the best solar panels for DIY is the Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 100-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline System. It is extremely durable and has several safety features for weatherproofing.