Solar Kits: The Best Way to Power Your Life with the Sun
In today’s world, more and more people are turning to renewable energies for both financial and environmental reasons. With today’s technology and prices, it is possible to purchase and build small off-grid renewable energy power sources for use at home or on the go.
At Solar Us Shop, we are committed to delivering the absolute best products to electricity consumers looking to go a bit greener. For this reason, we’d like to formally introduce solar kits to our collection of high-quality sun-powered products. In this article, we will dive deep into what solar kits are, how they work, and what makes them a great power solution for a growing number of people. For more tips on saving energy at your home, check out 12 Energy Savings Tips for your Home from our sustainability friends at GreenMatch.
What are Solar Kits?
Alright first things first, what is a solar kit anyway? Well, a solar kit can be defined as a specifically packaged set of components designed to generate, store, and discharge electricity harnessed from the sun.
Essentially, generating solar energy is a bit more complicated than simply slapping a few solar panels on the roof of a home or RV. Instead, additional components are necessary to both create solar electricity and allow it to be used for powering electronics.
Before you purchase a solar kit, it is essential to understand what parts are included in your purchase as well as their function. In order to be considered a complete ready-to-go solar kit, a package must contain solar panels, a battery bank, and a way to power devices with the solar electricity (i.e. plugs, ports, or outlets). In a lot of instances, the battery bank may be sold separately.
The Components of a Solar Kit
As stated above, solar kits are simply a sum of individual parts. As they are a relatively new product, the included components in today’s solar kits may vary between different manufacturers and sellers. Here, we will go into a little more detail about the different parts of a typical solar kit.
Of course, solar kits could not be solar kits if it weren’t for solar energy. Solar energy is harnessed through photovoltaic (PV) solar panels by capturing sunlight and converting it into DC electricity.
Today, the variety and price of solar panels are better than ever. Stong, durable solar panels are built to last for over 20 years and come in a variety of wattage capacities. Solar panels in a solar kit may come in the form of a portable solar suitcase or as individual panels that are meant to be permanently installed on a roof or ground-mounted array.
Secondly, a charge controller (also known as a regulator) is required to keep a successful solar installation up in running. The charge controller serves two main purposes.
For one, it regulates the amount of solar energy sent to the battery, which is necessary because solar energy is generated at a variety of intensities throughout the day. Charge controllers are able to modify the energy so that it can be efficiently sent to the battery in a smooth, consistent electrical flow.
The second purpose of a solar charge controller is to prevent the battery from overcharging. If a full battery is left continuously charging, this can potentially damage the system to the point of needing replacement. Charge controllers stop the flow of energy to the battery if it reaches capacity. With this in mind, solar panels can be left out in the sun without needing to modify the system.
Third, battery banks are necessary in order to create a fully off-grid solar energy system. Batteries come at a variety of voltage capacities, which is most commonly 12V or 24V in smaller solar kits. In addition to that, a wide variety of battery technologies can be used to store DC solar electricity in a reserve capacity. Today, lithium and lead-acid batteries are the most common in solar energy kits.
A battery’s storage capacity is rated in watt-hours, which translates to how much electricity can be set aside for later. Once disconnected, a solar kit can then charge a different battery, just the same. With this in mind, many people choose to have a few batteries on hand to expand their available storage capacity.
Next, a power inverter is required to modify DC solar electricity into usable AC power. If you’re unfamiliar, AC power is what is most commonly used in homes and can be distinctly recognized by standard wall outlets. As solar electricity is generated as direct current (DC), the inverter “inverts” the power into alternating current (AC) to power televisions, appliances, and more.
Here, the “continuous wattage capacity” must be considered before plugging in high-powered electronics such as power tools or refrigerators. If your appliances’ electrical demand surpasses our inverters output rating, the system will shut off and potentially become damaged
Of course, an inverter may not be necessary if you are not powering any AC devices. Instead, small, single-purpose devices such as solar security lights or solar fence lights do not have an inverter. However, most solar kits are designed to provide usable AC power anywhere in the world.
What Can a Solar Kit Power?
This may be hard to believe, but a solar kit can be used to power essentially anything that requires electricity. Solar kits come in all shapes and sizes, specifically designed to meet a specific electrical demand. In homes, RVs, and more, solar kits are typically used to power the following:
- Appliances (refrigerators, electric stoves, microwaves, etc.)
- Electronics (TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, walkie talkies, etc.)
- Medical devices
- CPAP machines
- Air conditioners
- Power tools
- And more
While some solar kits may only be able to power small electronic devices, high-capacity systems have the potential to run everything that can be found in a home or RV. Here, the amount of power you can output is only limited by the inverter capacity rating. Trying to use loads of power beyond the intended inverter levels may cause a solar kit to shut off or become damaged.
With a large enough battery bank, it is also possible to power high-demand electric devices or long periods of time. However, with both inverters and batteries, higher-capacity components almost always come at a higher price and weight.
What is the Best Solar Kit?
Unfortunately, we cannot definitely say that there is one, single “best solar kit” for every person on the earth. Instead, electrical demand, power usage habits, and geographic location combine to make finding the best solar kit a unique, and individual journey.
With that said, Solar Us Shop has meticulously curated a few high-quality solar energy kits that are designed to fit a variety of purposes. Below, we will go into detail about some of our best solar kits for all-in-one renewable energy generation.
Nature Power Solar Kits
In the Solar US Shop, we have a couple of Nature Power Solar Kits designed to fit the needs of a few different electrical demands. In each of their kits, Nature Power meticulously tests and combines premium parts to create a long-lasting, optimized solar energy system.
If you already have a storage battery (or plan to get one separately), Nature Power offers 3 different sized kits, which we will detail below.
In their smallest, high powered kit Nature Power includes:
- 110W of Solar Power
- 300W Power Inverter
11 Amp Charge Controller
In their next largest kit, Nature Power includes:
- 330W of Solar Power (3 1110W Panels)
- 750W Power Inverter
- 30Amp Charge Controller
Here, the increased capacity of solar and charge controller makes it possible to store more electricity at increased rates of efficiency. Plus, the 750W power inverter can handle nearly twice the electric demand as the smaller, 300W. For even faster charging, Nature Power created this large kit which includes:
- 440 Watts of Solar (4 110W Panels)
- 750-Watt Power Inverter
- 30-Amp Charge Controller
While some people need off-grid solar kits to produce all of their energy, others may simply want to experiment in generating their own electricity. Although they are not as powerful as the previous options, Nature Power offers the following solar kits for low demand situations:
- The Nature Power 66 W Amorphous Complete Solar Panel Kit
- & The Nature Power 72 W Amorphous Complete Solar Panel Kit
In both of these kits, Nature power includes miniature (but highly efficient) solar panels, an inverter, and a built-in charge controller. These lightweight solutions are perfect for bringing solar panels on-the-go to power small devices, LED lights, and more.
What about an extra battery?
Of course, an off-grid solar kit only becomes complete once you add a battery for solar power storage. With any of the solar kits above, we’d also recommend using a Kisae portable solar battery for both homes and RVs.
Kisae has two main products capacities to fit varying electrical demands:
While both options serve their own purpose, each battery comes in a nice, compact design with 2 AC wall plugs to power and charge devices. Whereas the 800W battery is more light and portable, the 1,800W battery can be better used as a home backup system. Depending on your electrical demand both systems would also be great for RVs, camping, tailgates, and more.
Solar Panel Financing
While solar panels and renewable energy in general have experienced the benefit of plummeting costs, a complete solar energy system can be a large investment. If you are looking to finance a solar array, be sure to check out this comprehenive guide on solar panel financing from Bankrate. Bankrate's guide will give you a great idea of the costs of solar power in your region and the best options for financing.
Even if you are just staging small, installing a DIY solar kit is a great way to explore the possibility of off-grid renewable energy. For RVs, off-grid cabins, and more, solar kits are designed to easily generate renewable solar electricity directly on-site, anywhere in the world.We hope that this article has both been helpful and inspirational. For more information on solar energy-related products, feel free to visit https://solar-us-shop.com/.