If you are in the market for residential solar power, you might have heard about solar panel kits. The name itself makes it sound like an easy DIY home improvement project. And for some, going with a solar panel kit is easier than contracting with a solar power company to purchase individual components of a system and have them installed.
You’ll want to know what is and isn’t included in a solar panel kit, however.
What are Solar Panel Kits?
In general, solar panel kits allow you to go “solar out of the box.” The kits generally come with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, an inverter, and charge controllers. Some assembly required.
There are a range of solar panel kits on the market at different price points. Generally, the more expensive solar kits include a greater number of solar panels and better quality inverters and charge controllers. For example, this solar panel kit from Home Depot has 10 Sunforce 123 Watt panels and a Pro Series inverter with a continuous output of 2500 Watts, and a surge power of 5000 Watts. It will cost you nearly $9000, prior to federal and state incentives and rebates.
Advantages of Solar Panel Kits
There are several advantages to going with a solar panel kit. Generally speaking, they are less expensive because you are not paying for installation services. Many people say that solar panel kits are more convenient and easier to modify to meet their own home energy needs. For handymen and women, I’d agree that DIY solar panel systems can save you both money and headaches.
Disadvantages of Solar Panel Kits
Many homeowners prefer to contract for the purchase and installation of solar panels instead. Professional installation is often more reliable and comes with a warranty – perhaps worth the additional cost. In addition, some solar power companies will assist you with paperwork to maximize your solar rebates and other incentives. That in itself can be a huge headache! Obviously, solar panel kits do not come with any professional services.
Should you go with a Solar Panel Kit?
Only you can decide what makes sense for your household. For smaller solar power systems such as those used with RVs, boats and worksheds, a solar panel kit could be perfect and more economical. Larger systems such as those to power an entire home or small business may do best with a professional installation.
Have you recently gone solar? Please share your own thoughts and opinions below regarding solar panel kits vs. professional installation.