In this write-up, you will see the best off grid solar systems.
What are off-grid solar systems? Additionally, can you rely solely on the off-grid systems and completely discard the on-grid system?
Therefore, before we dive into the reviews, we shall first find out the main differences between these two solar systems.
In this case, off-grid means disconnecting your home completely from the national grid. It means going 100 percent on solar, no more energy bills!
On the other hand, an on-grid solar system means that your solar power is connected to the main grid. In other words, you can still access mains electricity. However, for off-grid systems, you depend on the sun and the power stored in the batteries.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Off-grid Solar System
If you have decided to go completely off grid, you have made the right decision.
You can go off grid using wind power, that is, if you come from a high wind area. In addition, you can also use solar power. On the same note, you can use a combination of both, you know, a hybrid system.
However, in this case, we are going to find out how you can buy the best off grid solar system. Of course, with so many of these systems in the market, getting the right one can be confusing.
Here are the top factors to consider:
Choose according to the material used
Solar panels may look the same or slightly different to inexperienced people, but they are not the same. They come in the following types:
Monocrystalline solar panels
These are the most popular solar panels. You will know them by their black color. In addition, they are more efficient than other solar panels, for instance, polycrystalline ones.
The solar cells are made from a single silicon crystal, hence the name “mono.”
Polycrystalline solar panels
You will be able to tell the polycrystalline off grid solars from the monocrystalline ones by their blue color. However, these solar panels are made from many crystals of silicon, hence the name polycrystalline.
While polycrystalline solar panels have a lower efficiency as compared to monocrystalline ones, they are cheaper. Besides, the difference is not that much. For instance, they have an efficiency rate of 17 to 19% while monocrystalline ones have 18 to 23.5%.
Amorphous Solar Panels
These are thin-film panels. Although they are large, like some monocrystalline solar panels, they perform very well in direct sunlight.
Your solar panels will give you DC power. However, your home appliances use AC power. Therefore, you will need this inverter to convert the DC power to AC power.
Of course, most of the off grid solar panel systems come with inverters and if they do not, you will need to buy one separately. On that note, there are different types of inverters.
Some are huge, some are string types and yet others are micro in size. However, if the solar system does not come with one, you can always check with the solar panel manufacturer about the best inverter to buy.
This is another very important component of the off grid power systems using solar energy.
If you live in a sunny area or you have a high capacity solar panel that harnesses a lot of energy, you need a solar charge controller. In fact, you need this gadget irrespective of your solar system size.
This device controls the amount of current and voltage that is going to your battery. In addition, when the battery is full, the charge controller will not allow more current to pass. However, as soon as the battery is dispensed a bit, the charger controller will know that and allow the solar to continue charging.
To tell you the truth, going completely off-grid with solar is not going to be cheap. Therefore, you may need more solar panels compared to a person who wants an on-grid solar system, depending on your energy requirements.
Since you will need more solar panels, you will need a higher budget. In addition, you will also need solar panels with higher output and this can cost more. If you add the other components such as inverters and batteries, you can see just how much the budget will hike.
Depending on the size of your home, you could need small or big solar panels. For instance, if you have decided to reduce your carbon emissions by living in a tiny home, even a 200-Watt or 300-Watt solar panel, one deep cycle battery and charger controller can be enough.
To come up with a proper budget, you need to find out how much power you will need. This includes determining how much power your appliances and lighting fixtures consume.
To give you a proper estimate, you can expect to spend at least $500 for a complete 200-Watt off grid solar system for your small home.
You could install your off-grid solar system on your own and save the installation costs. However, it is better to hire a technician to install it for you.
In addition, you might also need to buy extra hardware from the store. For example, if you want to install the solar system in the backyard, you might need a mounting rack.
If you are going to install the solar panel on the roof, you might need extra installation hardware. Of course, most suppliers add the installation hardware such as screws, lead wires and others. However, in some cases, you will find that the screws are of lower quality.
The initial cost of buying and installing complete off grid solar kits with batteries is costly. However, after that, you can have a free run (literally) until you need to replace the off grid batteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Going for the complete off-grid solar system can be a hard decision. Therefore, you need to know as much as possible about it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
How many solar panels do I need to be off grid?
It depends on the size of your home and the appliances that you need to power. For instance, you should find out how much output one solar panel could give you.
In addition, if a solar panel has an output rating of 200 Watts, it will do about 170 Watts. Therefore, you can divide your overall consumption by the output of one panel. That way, you will find out the number of solar panels that you will need.
What do I need for an off grid solar system?
You will need a full solar system kit. Usually, this involves the solar batteries, the solar panels, an inverter and charger controller. In addition, you might need an installation rack if you want to install the panels on the ground. On the same note, your kit will come with the required cabling.
How many batteries do I need to go off grid?
Again, this depends on the size of your home and your solar power needs. However, most experts recommend that you have a 24 or 48-volt battery system. Therefore, you might need two, three or 4 battery banks. The range of 24-volt batteries is about 600Amp hour. Therefore, there is no limit since the range can go as high as 6000amp.
Off Grid Solar Power System Reviews
In these reviews, we shall look at solar power systems for different applications. In addition, some of these solar power kits are handy for camping, Rv-ing, sailing, tiny houses and other smaller off-grid needs.
Here are ten top-rated off grid solar system:
1. ECO-WORTHY 1000W Complete Off Grid Solar System
When we say that this is a complete solar panel system, we mean that it comes with a battery and inverter. Therefore, all that you need to do is set it up and you will be ready to harvest solar power. However, first see its features.
This is a complete kit. It comes with everything that you need to set it up. For instance, it comes with a 200Ah battery and a 3.5KW inverter. In addition, it is quite simple to set up so you will probably not need the assistance of a technician.
The power output from this solar system kit is 4kwh, which is more than enough to run the most important appliances in your home. For instance, it runs the fridge and the air conditioner. Therefore, if you do not have many appliances, this is going to be enough.
This is a monocrystalline solar panel, as you will no doubt see from its black color. Therefore, it has a high conversion rate of 23%. This means that it converts 23% of the sunshine that lands on it. In addition, it is also going to charge the battery even when there is no direct sunshine.
In spite of the good features that this solar system kit comes with, there are some downsides. For instance, you might need to keep changing the position of the solar panels. You need to follow the sun so that they can charge the battery fully.
- Comes with a warranty of 12 months
- The technical support team is always on standby
- Enough power for a cabin in the woods
- It charges the batteries even on overcast days
- The installation instructions could be better
Eco-Worthy is a renowned name in the solar industry. With this kit, you can be able to run a few appliances comfortably without connecting to the grid.
2. ECO-WORTHY 400W Off Grid Solar System Kit
ECO-WORTHY is a one-stop center for renewable energy products including windmills and solar. Therefore, when you are buying one of their products, you will be confident that it will serve you well. On that note, this complete set comes with an inverter and battery. However, see its features first.
First, you should know what the package comes with. For instance, you will get four solar panels, an inverter, a charge controller, connectors, Z-Brackets for mounting and a cable. However, please note that this package comes with two batteries.
When connecting the solars, batteries and charger controller in the setup, you shall use the provided cable to connect the solar panels to the charge controller. You will then connect the charge controller with the batteries. It prevents overloading, overcharging or some other hazard.
To set it up, just follow the detailed user manual. In addition, you will see that you do not need professional help. On the same note, if you need more power, you can expand this set up easily up to 2160 watts.
Like many other ECO-Worthy solar off grid sets, this one has many nice features. On the same note, it also has some downsides. For example, you might find the buzzing sound from the inverter a bit annoying.
- This system is easy to install
- The solar panels have pre-drilled holes for easy installation on roofs
- Two 12V zero-maintenance batteries
- Good for off grid use on boats, RVs, cabins and tiny homes
- Beginners might find the installation challenging at first
One thing that you might love about this off grid solar system is that it is easy to install. In addition, you will be able to expand it easily when you need more power.
3. ECO-WORTHY 200 Watt Complete Solar Panel Kit
This is yet another off grid solar system from Eco-Worthy. If you have a boat, an RV or a camping van, you need solar systems like these ones. They will power your appliances when you are off the grid. In addition, once installed, you can keep it running for a long.
First, you will get two solar panels, each at 100 Watts. Therefore, overall, You are going to get 200 watts. While the output will never really get to 200 watts, it is still a fair amount of power to run a small fridge, TV and lights.
You will get a 1000W solar inverter to convert 12V DC power to 110V AC electrical power. Therefore, you can add more solar panels in the future because this inverter can support more. In fact, you can have up to six solar panels on your RV. In addition, you can have up to 8 of them in your cabin.
The package also comes with a PWM solar charge controller. In addition, the solar controller has many features. For instance, it has two USB ports so you can charge your devices as the solar panels charge your batteries.
Finally, the package also comes with two 12V Lead acid batteries. In addition, you also get connecting cables of 16 feet. On the same note, if you want to mount this system on your RV, you will be happy that it comes with Z-brackets for just that.
There are so many good things to say about this off grid solar kit. However, it also has some downsides. For instance, there are some concerns about the durability of the charger controller. Therefore, you might have to use the warranty.
- Has a warranty of 12 months
- Comes with all the installation hardware
- The solar panels have pre-drilled holes for easier installation
- Runs your electronic items thanks to the DC to AC conversion from the inverter
- You might have to make use of the warranty to return the charger controller
Whether you want to install this solar system on a boat or an RV, it will serve you well. However, we recommend that you get more than two solar panels to run several appliances.
4. WindyNation 400 Watt Off Grid Solar System Package
WindyNation is one of the most established solar products companies in the US. Therefore, it is not a surprise that one of their off grid solar kits makes it to this list. However, you can only judge the product by its features, as you will see below.
First, there are four solar panels, each with an output of 100 watts. The output of each of the solar panels is 17 to 20 volts a day in bright sunshine. Therefore, you can see that if you have all of them set up, they will give you enough power to run your appliances in your RV or boat.
In the package, you will also find a 30Amp solar charge controller. In addition, it has a nice LCD display. Therefore, you are going to see the voltage and current. In addition, from the display, you can see when the controller is transferring power to the battery and when it is not. On the same note, you will never undergo the risk of overcharging or overloading your battery.
You will also get an inverter in the package. This will help you to convert DC to AC power so that you can use it with your appliances. In addition, the inverter comes with three AC outlets. Therefore, you can plug in three items at the same time. Alternatively, you can plug in a power extension with a few ports to run a few devices.
Finally, you will also get 4 deep cycle batteries, one for each solar panel. In addition, for each battery, there are the relevant cables to connect the battery and the solar panel.
This off grid solar kit is as complete as it gets. However, the manufacturer could improve some things. For example, the cables should be longer, say, above 20 feet so that you get more flexibility in the placement of the solar panels.
- It is easy to add more solar panels
- You can set them up without the help of a technician
- The price is fair considering that you will get 4 batteries
- Large capacity inverter rated at 1500W
- The inverter does not produce enough power to push heavy-duty appliances
You cannot go wrong with a tested and proven system like this one. However, to install these solar panels on your RV, you might have to get a bigger inverter.
5. WindyNation 400 Watt Off Grid Solar System Kit
If you are considering a good off-grid solar kit that you can install on your RV, boat or other, you can try this WindyNation set. Each is going to give you reasonable value for your money. In fact, the only difference between these two packages is that this one does not come with the inverter.
First, in this WindyNation solar off grid package, you will find the required installation hardware. This includes the mounting brackets, cables, batteries and the solar panels themselves. In addition, there is a charge controller. The solar panels are four in number and each has an output of 100 Watts.
Secondly, the PWM charge controller has a nice LCD display. Therefore, you will be able to know the amperage and voltage all the time. You will also see the temperature and the load draw. Of course, with a lot of sunshine, you can expect to get up to 150 Amp hours of charge.
WindyNation makes high-quality products. However, we feel that they should have included an inverter to convert DC to AC power. Therefore, if you do not have one, you will have to get it separately.
- The package comes with a warranty of 5 years on panels and 12 months on other accessories
- You can get a lot of power with a day of sunshine
- Maintenance-free deep cycle batteries are included
- Installation is so simple
- Returning this for repair or refund can be costly even if you are in the USA
Sometimes, it is just better to get your off grid power options from renowned brand names for peace of mind. In addition, WindyNation provides an impressive warranty on this package.
6. ECO LLC 900W Complete Off Grid Solar System Kit
ECO LLC has been producing solar products for some time now. In addition, they make reputable products that can help you meet your off-grid solar needs. However, to be sure that this is the right product for you, read about its features.
What is in the package? This off grid solar kit includes 6 pieces of 150W Solar Panel. In addition, it also comes with one1500W inverter for AC 110V electrical power. On the same note, it has a 60A Solar Charge Controller. The only “downside” is that the batteries are not included, so you will need to buy two 12V batteries separately.
In addition to the things that we have mentioned above, you will also get a 6-string combiner box. Therefore, installing this solar off grid system becomes so easy. On the same note, the PWM charge controller comes with a nice LCD display. Therefore, you will see the amperage, the current and temperature of the system.
Well, while having many components is really good, the overall power output a day is very important. Therefore, with this system, you will be able to harness up to 2.5kwh of power. Apart from the cloudy days, this should be enough to power your appliances in your cabin, boat or RV.
In spite of the many features and benefits that this off grid solar power system brings you, it has some downsides. For instance, it does not come with enough cabling, so you will definitely have to buy extra.
- Solar panels are made of high-quality tempered glass
- Installation is super simple, just follow the provided user manual
- The 6-string combiner box has surge protection
- You get a 12-month warranty to help you deal with any arising issues
- Economical in the long run as it will save you energy bills
- You will need a 24V battery
- You might need to buy more cables
ECO-LLC might help you meet your small, medium or large off grid solar system with the right system. They have proven themselves as a brand.
7. Renogy 400W Off Grid Solar System
Renogy has been in the business of making solar products for a long time. In addition, they seem to have a solar panel for every kind of power need. For instance, if you need a portable solar panel system, they will have it. In addition, if you need a small off grid solar power system, they will have it. Therefore, that is why you are reading about the Renogy 400W 12 Volt Off Grid kit.
First, all of the components in this solar system kit have been made with choice materials. Therefore, even if you are going to install your panels outside, they will last through rain, snow, sleet and wind. Therefore, you can install these panels outdoors and never have to worry about their state.
Second, the package comes with four solar panels and Renogy claims that each offers an output of 100 watts. However, we know that a solar panel never gets to the maximum output unless it is being tested in a lab setting. Collectively, you can expect about 2.0kwh. Therefore, this can be enough to power most of your boat, cabin or RV appliances.
In the package, you will also find a small black box. This is a Bluetooth enabled power module. Therefore, you will be able to monitor the charging progress and status even when you are away from the controller.
Even from a casual look, it is obvious that this is a premium off grid solar package. However, there are some downsides. For instance, the performance of these panels highly depends on the weather. Therefore, on the overcast days, they will not charge enough.
- The junction box has a waterproof rating of IP65
- The solar panels are durable and can stay exposed throughout the year
- You will ramp enough power for your appliances
- Easy to install without the need for professional help
- There is no battery in the package
Renogy makes solar panels of premium quality. Therefore, you can expect good service and value for your money from this package.
8. Renogy 200 Watt Off Grid Solar Kit
Renogy has a solar panel for just about everyone. Therefore, we are including this 200 Watt foldable solar panel kit in our off grid solar power systems because of its flexibility. In addition, it is quite portable so you can use it for cabin, RV camping, fishing and others.
This off grid solar panel kit from Renogy is foldable into a suitcase size. Therefore, it is also highly portable in your camping van, RV or even boat. Besides, 200 watts can be enough to run some of the appliances in your boat or RV. Therefore, if you love boondocking or dry camping, this is a perfect choice for you.
This is not complete off grid solar package because it does not come with a controller and inverter. However, it comes with a built-in charge controller that prevents overcharging or surges for your batteries. In addition, it also comes with a PWM charge controller with a display to show you the temperature, current and amperage.
These solar panels are compatible with gel, sealed, flooded and even lithium batteries. Therefore, if you already have one or more of these batteries, you can use them. Another feature that these panels come with is a folding stand. When set up, they stay at an angle so that they can capture more sunshine.
Because this is a Renogy product, there is a long list of features and benefits. However, there is also a downside. For example, the alligator clip wires are 10Amp only. The solar panels have a 15Amp output. Therefore, it is easy to “cook” the alligator clip wires in full sunshine.
- Portability makes it good for boats and RV
- Monocrystalline panels have a high conversion rate
- Comes with a suitcase for carrying and storage
- Has a controller for the negative ground charge
- You will have to buy better clips with a higher Amp rating
- You will have to buy an inverter and batteries
Having this set of 200-Watt solar panels from Renogy gives you the freedom to enjoy dry camping wherever you want. In addition, it is good for tiny house living.
9. SereneLife 200W Solar Panel Starter Kit
If you intend to go camping off the beaten path with your RV, you need a reliable set of solar panels. In that case, you might want to try the SereneLife SLSP KT200 off grid system starter kit. You can install them on the rooftop of your van, boat or RV. However, first see the features.
The physical features of these solar systems show that you can use them outdoors. For example, they have anodized aluminum frames. In addition, everything, including the junction box is waterproof. Therefore, they can stay exposed to the weather without sustaining corrosion or other types of damage.
In this package, you are not going to get an inverter and/or battery. However, it comes with a 30A charge controller. Therefore, your battery will have protection against overcharge, overload and surge. In addition, it comes with an LCD display so that you can see the current, amperage and temperature of your system.
This solar panel off-grid system comes with 10 installation brackets. Therefore, you can install it on the rooftop of your van or RV easily. In addition, it comes with wire fixers and other small accessories. Basically, for van or RV rooftop installation, you can take even less than 10 minutes.
While this is a good small, off grid solar system, it has some downsides. For instance, the 3-foot wire fixers might not be enough. Therefore, you might have to buy more. In addition, batteries and inverter are not part of the package. Therefore, you have to buy them separately.
- Simple setup and installation
- Monocrystalline solar panels that have a high conversion rate
- High waterproof rating of IP67
- Works with lead acid and lithium-ion batteries
- This is a set of two solar panels (100 watts each). For enough power, you might have to buy four or six.
Your search for an affordable solar system for off grid use might stop with these SereneLife 200-watt panels. However, you have to get a battery and an inverter to make the system complete.
10. Pikasola 100 Watt Off Grid Solar System Kit
This is another small scale off grid solar kit to use on your boat, camper van or RV. However, if you have a tiny home, you can also use it there. But first, you need to know all the features that it comes with.
First, it is good to consider what the package comes with. For instance, in this one, you are going to get one 100-Watt solar panel, 20A charge controller, MC4 connector cables (16 feet) and Z brackets for mounting. Of course, you can see that there is no inverter or battery.
The solar panels are monocrystalline, which, to reiterate, have a higher conversion rate than their polycrystalline counterparts. In addition, the panels are made of resin-encapsulated glass. Therefore, they are weather resistant. On the same note, the frame is made of anodized aluminum for durability.
The power output that you can get from any off grid solar system is very important. Therefore, in this case, you are going to get 500Wh a day. Of course, you might need two or more solar panels to run many appliances in your RV. In addition, this solar panel can charge a half-full 50Ah battery in 3 hours with bright sunlight.
There are many benefits to owning this off grid system. However, there are also a few downsides. For example, the charging time depends on the weather. On seriously overcast days, it will charge very little.
- Installation instructions are easy to follow
- The monocrystalline solar panels have up to a 24% conversion rate
- The solar panels are weatherproof and dustproof
- High-quality Z brackets made of stainless steel
- You might need longer extension cables to be able to install your charge controller where you want.
If you have a detached shed, garage, chicken coop, RV or boat, you might want an extra power supply for them. Therefore, you might consider this starter off grid solar package.
Conclusion and Recommendation
That is it for the best off grid power systems for your RV, boat, detached garage/shed, tiny house and other applications.
If you are thinking of going the solar way and discarding the grid power altogether, you are not too late. That train has not left the station yet!
However, as you have seen here, we have brought you some big and small off-grid power systems. Therefore, if you need the big one, try the 1000W ECO-WORTHY package. It is costly but definitely worth it at the same time.
On the other hand, if you just want an off grid solar starter kit, try the 100W Pikasola 12 Volt panel with charger controller.