Are you thinking about whether or not to buy solar panels? Switching to solar is gaining popularity over the recent years mainly because it helps cut down costs and is more environmentally friendly. For outdoor lovers, using solar panels as part of their camping power source allows them to conveniently stay off-grid for a couple of days without worrying about keeping their essential appliances running.
If you're planning to make use of solar energy, keep in mind that you can't just buy solar panels without considering factors like your outdoor settings, location, and weather condition. While going solar is good, the best way to ensure that you maximise it is to check first if your current camping or living setup is favourable to the use of solar panels.
What Do You Look For When You Buy Solar Panels?
Efficiency Rate: Of course, efficiency is the number one consideration when you buy solar panels. Conventional solar panels usually have an efficiency of around 15% to 21%. This will fare decently but if you happen to find something with a higher rate than this, go for it. The higher the efficiency rate, the fewer panels you need to produce the electrical output you need.
Price: Highly-efficient solar panels are likely to be more costly. While it's tempting to go for cheap solar panels, this can cause more harm than good. Good quality solar panels are usually priced from 67c to $1.60 per watt and this doesn't include installation fees yet.
You can find good solar panel providers that sell for a lower price but this could be a risky move that requires careful consideration. You get what you pay for with this, so it's best to invest in something that will give you maximum returns.
Quality and Warranty: It's not easy to have an idea of a certain solar panel brand's quality since providers tend to be biased. You have to take your time doing your own research about it and browsing through years of customer reviews. Knowing a good amount of feedback, especially from a diverse range of customers will give you a good hint of how the panels will perform in different outdoor settings.
Another thing to look at aside from conformance to quality standards is the warranty. Avoid going for shops that offer a poor or no warranty period when you buy solar panels. Anything that does not let you send back your modules for assistance in case you encounter issues with it is not a good sign. A provider's solar panels for sale have to have at least 10 years of warranty that covers defects in workmanship and materials.
Specifications: This could be technical but still need to be considered to make sure you're getting the best set of panels. Check the solar panels' power tolerance as well as their voltage and coefficient of temperature. It should be rated at least 100V DC for safety. A good temperature coefficient, meanwhile, means that the solar panel can perform slightly better than other panels in higher temperatures.
Appearance: How you want your solar panels to look is all up to you. Whether you want thin-film panels, solar mats, or flexible solar panels, the important thing is that they are well suited for your roof and installed at the right angle.
How Much Does It Cost To Buy Solar Panels?
When you buy solar panels, you can expect the individual panel cost to start at around $150 to $300. The total price will be dependent on how many solar panels you need to buy. For this, it's good to have an estimate of your power requirements. Going for camping solar panels or caravan solar panels is likely to cost you less as there are fewer appliances to run.
On average, a 200W solar panel or 300W solar panel that costs a few hundred dollars can suffice a short camping trip. Off-grid camping might demand a little more power output as you'll have no access to a mains power in this setting. A popular solar panel setup among RV owners is that they pair their panels with a solar battery. This allows you to bank enough power to fully charge your battery and use it to power your devices whenever you need to.
Pairing batteries and solar panels is a good idea for homes too. Those who are using solar energy to power an entire house will benefit a lot from the use of solar battery storage such as the Tesla Powerwall Series. You can even get smaller power packs too if you want to save up a bit. Just remember to use a solar charge controller when connecting your modules and battery to avoid over-voltage.
Using solar panels for home is obviously going to cost you more and would probably need installation compared to camping panels. You will need more panels plus, the cost of installing a standard roof PV system costs between $3,000 to $12,000. This is where you need to get your pockets ready and if possible, try to find providers where you can buy solar panels at a lower price without compromising on quality to help slash some of your expenses.
Is It Worth Your Money To Buy Solar Panels?
People buy solar panels mainly to reduce costs. Buying solar panels plus other necessary solar panel accessories can be expensive overall so naturally, you would want to get good value for your money. However, it's crucial to understand that the use of solar energy is not suited for everyone. You can't just barge into a store and buy solar panels.
There are a lot of factors to consider that will determine if it's worth your money to buy solar panels. Whether you're camping or using it for your household, location matters. It has to be somewhere with a favourable climate for using solar panels. You also need to consider how many peak sun hours you get in a day. Familiarise yourself with the solar rebates available in the area. Make sure your roof angle allows for maximum sunlight exposure of solar panels.
If you have met all the necessary considerations, then solar panels are a great investment. Their general lifespan lasts for about 25 years too, which is more than enough time to have your initial payment for purchase and installation back. It's also a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to power your electronic devices and enjoy an unlimited camping adventure.
More from Outbax
Buy solar panels at a lower price without worrying about the quality. Here at Outbax, we have a range of different solar panel types fit for a variety of applications. We even have 12v solar panel kits for your RVs that include essential accessories like cables and clips!Outbax specialises in affordable yet excellent camping gear to accommodate outdoor lovers on a budget. Need a good battery to partner with your solar panels? We have solar lithium batteries here! We even have inverter generators for those who want to skip installation and too much setup. Just pick your camping equipment, check out and we'll have them delivered to you just in time for that upcoming outdoor trip.