For years, home solar power systems have been considered more of a luxury for those who could afford the expensive price tags ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars. But now there are other less expensive options such as home solar panel kits that are hitting the market as a means of making renewable energy affordable to the general public.
There is no doubt that these kits are less expensive and a definite move in the right direction, but they are no means the best option available for an affordable solar power solution.
What Do Home Solar Panel Kits Include?
These do it yourself kits are designed to provide you with almost everything you need to build your own solar panel from scratch. I say almost everything because the one thing they do not provide is the panel housing which is because of the shipping expensive required to ship something of that size.
But many kits do provide you with everything else that you need including a soldering iron that you will need to connect the solar cells together. They include a complete set of solar cells required to build the solar panel to exact power specification. They also provide all of the needed interconnect materials including solder, flux, bus wiring, and tab wiring. Then they also provide you with all of the written instructions and wiring diagrams.
Who Are Home Solar Panel Kits Best For?
These kits are best suited for those who do not mind spending some extra money to have a third party package all of the parts together for them. This typically includes schools, universities, or other group settings that would rather save the hassle and order in bulk as opposed to spending the time to purchase the components individually for much less money.
The Upside of Home Solar Panel Kits
The main upside to these types of kits is that they are less expensive than purchasing a commercial solar panel that has already been pre-made. But they are not as inexpensive as you might think. You can expect to pay between $4 and $5 per watt for one of these kits which will save you on the order of 20% when compared to the commercial versions.
The Downside of Home Solar Panel Kits
The major downside of these types of kits is that you can practically get the same exact thing for much cheaper with only a little bit of homework required.
But aside from the money aspect, there are some additional cons that are worth noting. For starters, these kits are typically small and are for low power solar panels. This can be good for certain applications but most people are looking to get the most power per dollar out of their solar panels.
Another downside is that the written instructions can oftentimes be poor quality and leave you frustrated with questions.
The Best Option
If you are looking the best option for a home solar power kit then it is easy to cut out the middle man and get the same exact parts for much cheaper. In fact, by ordering the parts yourself you can build the same solar panels for around $1 per watt. This is a huge cost savings of around 80%.
And you might still need a good set of instructions but there are many great and inexpensive do it yourself solar panel guides that step you through the entire process from start to finish but with much higher quality. In fact, many of these guides even provide video instructions which are great for visual learners and will leave you with no question unanswered.