DIY solar panels are great, because they will never become obsolete. Solar panels are still being designed in a modular fashion, which allows for upgrades of single pieces, and expansions as necessary. This means, you can begin with a relatively small system, and then add as you feel more comfortable. The other benefit which comes from these type of systems, is the ability to start small and learn as you go, so that you can repair any part of the system which might go down. It is important to understand the need for inverters, when dealing with anything other than strict battery charging. The inverter allows the energy stored to run directly to appliances or household workings. Inverters are not included in many of these kits, but can be easily acquired.
Solar Sphere Plug And Play Home Solar Kits
These small solar kits are great for the homeowner who is easily intimidated by lots of parts or has no electrical experience. These kits are designed to be as simple as possible. Merely set up, plug in and you are good to go. The ease of these systems means a lack of versatility, but they are a great place to start getting your feet wet. The systems come in multiple sizes from portable and emergency back up, to full working systems with larger voltages.
Harbor Freight Tools Chicago Electric Power Systems Kit
Seen as the best kit for those who like it simple, but still want to be able to adapt the system to there needs, Harbor Freight offers a great deal on these Chicago Electric Power Kits. The panels come only in 45 watts, but can easily be combined and upgraded to create larger systems. These kits are simple, but still modular and can be wired to supply multiple batteries. As a single unit, they will not power much, but with a small amount of background the panels can easily be added to into a much larger unit. These kits do not come with an inverter, but at the most economical price out there, the inverter can easily be purchased.
Gaiam Real Goods Weekend Get Away Kit and Upgrades
With over 26 years of experience in solar power, these guys really know what they are talking about. These kits are for Do-It-Yourselfers who are comfortable figuring out how an entire system works and love to modify systems to their specific needs. These weekend kits come in three different sizes from minimal use to full time. The best part of these kits is that they are complete down to the smallest detail, but allow for large amounts of upgrade. If you recognize the need for a different piece of the system, they have it in multiple options. The kits do not come with inverters, but that is a quick fix since they have multiple options of those as well. Real Goods has been around a long time and aren't going anywhere soon. They are knowledgeable and can be of great assistance