Cutting yourself off from the power grid has many benefits. First off, you’ll be more self-sustaining and won’t have to rely on someone else for power generation. You also won’t have to worry about electricity bills piling up since the renewable energy from your solar panels will be free.
To live life sustainably and away from the grid, you need to find the best off grid solar system. Your system should have panels to absorb and convert solar energy into free energy for you to use at home, whether for appliances or lighting.
But how can you tell which off grid solar power systems for homes are the best? Here are a couple of factors you should look out for when buying an off grid solar system:
- Emits an adequate amount of power: The solar system you buy needs to be proportional to the size of your house and how much energy you and your family consume. If you have a smaller home, you can get away with a 5KW solar system off grid. If you have a three-story home with many big appliances, you might consider the 10KW off grid solar system price option, even if it can be a bit more expensive.
- Complete with accessories: You must ensure that your complete off grid solar system comes with all the necessary components it needs to run properly. These usually include several solar panels, a junction box, a charge controller, cable connectors, mounting brackets, and more.
- Solar panels have high conversion efficiency: Go for panels that can give you the highest energy conversion rates. Try purchasing solar panels made with monocrystalline solar cells, which are known to be very efficient in absorbing light energy. This will allow you to make the most out of your stand alone solar system.
Of course, these are just some of the factors you need to consider when shopping for the right off grid power systems. For other things to look out for, check out our buying guide below.
Meanwhile, the 12 reviews below should help you know what’s out there.
Table of Contents
- Top 4 Off Grid Solar System Reviews
- What to Look for When Looking for Off Grid Solar Systems
- Can a House Run On Solar Power Alone
- How Big of a Solar System Do I Need to Go Off Grid
- How Much Does an Off-Grid Solar System Cost
- Do You Have to Pay Taxes If You Live off the Grid
Top 4 Off Grid Solar System Reviews
1. Topsolar 20-Watt 12-Volt Solar Panel
This solar panel kit by Topsolar is smaller than the others on this list, so it’s perfect for traveling and camping. It comes with one 20-watt solar panel made with monocrystalline cells. These solar cells are highly efficient and have the added protection against damage through multiple layers of sheet lamination.
I find that the panel is super durable because of its design. It’s made with tempered glass and a corrosion-free frame made of aluminum.
That said, it’s still lightweight at just 4.8 lbs, so it’s easy to carry around during transport. This makes it an excellent choice for mobile off grid situations, like boats and campervans.
This system comes complete with all the necessary accessories for setup, like a 10A charge controller, alligator clips, and even an O-ring terminal. It even has two USB ports where you can charge smartphones and small devices conveniently.
2. Renogy 100W Off Grid Solar Panel
Portable off grid solar systems are immensely useful when traveling and camping. This foldable solar panel kit by Renogy is among the best ones out there.
The panels are made with an aluminum framing that is corrosion-free, so I’m sure they’ll last me a long time. They also come with a kickstand, making them easier to position at my campsite.
When you’re done using the panels, you can simply fold them up. This saves on storage space in your RV, off grid cabin, or trailer when they’re not in use.
This off grid solar kit comes with a 20A charge controller with an LCD screen to show you all the relevant info on your battery charging. The charge controller also protects against overcharging, minimizing fire risks. Since the entire system is low-voltage, it also prevents electric hazards.
3. Renogy 400W Premium Solar Panel
The four solar panels included in this Renogy system are monocrystalline, making them more highly efficient than other panels. They can convert up to 21% of the energy they absorb and turn it into free energy for you to use.
Each panel can emit 100 watts of power. Altogether, the system has a total power output of 400 watts at any given point.
The system comes complete with all sorts of components. This includes a 40A solar charge controller, some mounting hardware and screws, and the necessary connectors. There’s also a junction box rated IP65 waterproof, so it’s protected against the elements and bad weather.
It’s super easy to mount and install these solar panels. There are pre-drilled holes at the back of each panel’s frame, so I can go straight into mounting them without stopping to drill them myself.
4. Renogy 200W Off Grid Solar Kit
This solar kit by Renogy includes two solar panels made of monocrystalline cells. These solar panels are weatherproof and can handle up to 5,400PA of snowfall and heavy rain, making them very durable. Plus, the junction box is waterproof, making the unit even more sturdy.
The high-efficiency solar cells convert 21% of the solar energy they absorb into free power for you to use as energy.
Bypass diodes are installed in each panel to ensure that they continue giving us the solar power we need even when we’re in a low-light environment.
This kit includes other top-class accessories, such as a 30A charge controller, a BT-1 Bluetooth module, sets of mounting brackets, and more. There are also some 10AWG connectors. The cables are IP67 waterproof and fireproof, making them less prone to hazards.
What to Look for When Looking for Off Grid Solar Systems
Has a significant number of solar panels that can power up your whole place
More often than not, one solar panel will not be able to cut it when it comes to powering up an entire home. Make sure the off grid solar systems you’re eyeing come with enough solar panels to power up all your home’s appliances and lights.
Designed with solar panels that are durable and high-quality
Always go for solar panels that are durable and sturdy. Check out those with multi-layered sheets for extra lamination and protection from the elements. You’ll also want a solar panel with corrosion-free aluminum framing to resist impact and damage, therefore extending the lifespan of your solar system.
If you’re not sure whether a solar system you’re eyeing is sturdy enough, you can always check out simple off grid system reviews left by other users to see their experience with the system’s longevity.
The off grid solar system shouldn’t be complicated to set up and install
If you’re a newbie in setting up off grid solar systems, save yourself the hassle by going for easy-installation solar panel kits.
Go for those with easy-connect cables or panels that have pre-drilled holes to make mounting quick and convenient. Another thing that might help is longer connectors to give you the mobility to set up anywhere you want.
Components should be waterproof to prevent damage from the weather
When looking for a complete off grid solar system with batteries, it would be good to see that each component is waterproof-grade, not just the panels. That means even your junction box and cables have to be waterproof so as not to get damaged during tough weather conditions.
Off-grid systems should work efficiently even when it’s cloudy outside
One con of going off the grid and relying solely on renewable energy for your electricity is not having backup power when your area is less sunny than usual. Make sure your solar system is built to work efficiently even when the sunlight is a bit dimmed down.
Look for solar panels with bypass diodes that allow them to provide energy without drops in power, even in shaded, low-light areas.
Can a House Run On Solar Power Alone
Yes, a house can definitely be self-sustainable by running on solar power alone. High-quality off grid solar system packages with a significant number of solar panels can provide enough energy to power up all your lighting, appliances, and other electrical needs.
However, you must remember that installing a solar system from the ground up can be difficult and a bit expensive. You’ll have to invest in multiple solar panels and make space on your roof or balcony to mount them.
Installing an off grid solar panel system also requires you to set up all the necessary junction boxes and controllers inside your home, which can be quite tedious. You can choose to hire a professional to help you out with that if you’re not entirely comfortable doing it yourself.
If you feel your house needs more power than just solar energy, you can look for off grid solar and wind power kits. Wind power is another efficient source of renewable energy, although solar power remains the gold standard.
How Big of a Solar System Do I Need to Go Off Grid
It depends on how big your home is and how much electricity you and your family need to use. For a family of two or three in a small bungalow, you can get away with just several 250W solar panels. But if you have a bigger home with more floors, you’ll definitely need to invest in about 10-15 panels to get the energy you need.
Before thinking of off grid power solutions, always assess how much energy you need to get your home up and running in the first place. Otherwise, figuring out which off grid battery system to get may be tricky and confusing.
How Much Does an Off-Grid Solar System Cost
The price of your off grid solar system will depend on how much power it emits. For example, a system that emits a thousand kilo-watts will be less expensive than the more powerful 5KW off grid solar system price.
A small off grid solar system can go between $500-10,000, depending on how many panels you use. For bigger homes that need more panels and accessories to complete the solar system, you may have to spend more money. You can even pay around $40,000 for a home that needs a 20KW system.
Yes, these prices seem a little hefty. But remember that it’s an investment. By going off-grid with these systems, you won’t pay another electricity bill again.
But if you want to save money, you don’t have to spend on brand new off grid solar systems. You can always look through online marketplaces to shop for a used off grid solar system for sale. However, note that you may come across issues with wear and tear if you don’t go for a brand new solar system.
Do You Have to Pay Taxes If You Live off the Grid
Living off the grid isn’t without its expenses. Obviously, you will still need to pay your property taxes and income taxes. But because you won’t have to pay monthly electricity bills after installing the top-tier off grid solar power system, you can still end up saving money.
Going off the grid is a bold choice. But if being self-sustainable and avoiding crazy electricity bills is a priority for you, purchase the best off grid solar system you can find.
Opting to go off the grid is also perfect if you’re serious about using renewable energy to do your part in reducing carbon emissions to save the planet. Next time you’re thinking of reasons to get an off the grid solar system, remember the impact you’ll have on the environment.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of the off the grid electricity systems above. They’re beneficial for homes with different sizes and energy consumption.
I am Kathleen Miller, staff writer and reviewer of the Avasolar team. Working with the team has been a pleasure for me so far, I hope to bring readers useful information by creating detailed and easy-to-follow contents.