Please read on for lots of information on cheap solar panels for sale and also my thoughts on the book that tells you how to make a solar panel at home for a low price. Below you will find some of the best priced solar panels online so be sure to take a look. Click any item to see the whole massive range available.
5 or so years ago when we bought our solar system there were not as many resources available to buy solar panels online. I did eventually order our system from on online store for solar panels and Inverters, apart from the batteries, but the prices were not really as low as I had wanted.
We got what we could afford but looking back on it I wished we had bought a slightly different system.
Now it seems that prices have come down enough to even make having solar hot tubs a viable proposition.
This is going to be one of those epic posts on the self sufficient site I write from time to time so if you want to know where to buy solar panels cheap, can you make homemade solar panels, what are the best solar panels to buy, how many solar panels do I need and an awful lot of other questions relating to getting cheap solar panels and running a home off grid then settle back with a pot of coffee and get ready for a very comprehensive look at many of the questions relating to buying and choosing solar panels.
Before we start there is one thing that I come across quite a lot and that is that people want to buy solar panels to at least run a few items off grid but never seem to get around to it. My advice is bite the bullet, buy a few solar panels sooner rather than later and stop just thinking about it. There really is nothing quite like knowing that you are at least generating some of your own power, even if you just hook up a solar panel to a deep cycle leisure battery (even a car battery is better than not doing it all all) and get yourself a cheap home Inverter. They are ridiculously low in price here from Amazon so there is absolutely no reason not to at least have the shed or garage running on solar or a few appliances in the home.
You are reading this (I hope) because I am sat at my laptop writing it from energy stored from the sun in a set of 560 amp hour 12 volt batteries that are connected to an 1100 watt pure sinewave 12 volt Inverter. It is far from a perfect system but as I said earlier it was what we could afford at the time and was also tied in with what I actually knew about choosing a system, which was not very much.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no expert on the whole subject but I can help you to choose the best solar panels for the money and point you in the right direction of where to buy. This is Amazon by the way, who are absolutely now our favorite supplier for all manner of items, from large to small. Let’s get started.
Can I Get Cheap Solar Panels ?
Absolutely. When I bought our solar panels, which are 4 80 watts panels, there were not as many resources online to but them. They were not cheap I can tell you. Now, because many of the big online stores stock absolutely everything they are a lot lower in price than 5 years ago.
Partly due to the increasing number of people buying solar panels, as this cuts production costs, and better technology. There is also the fact that large companies have a better buying power because of the number of items they can order.
You absolutely cannot find them cheaper than here. The selection is great and with third party sellers competing to get sales their profit margins have been which is great news for us.
The Best Price Solar Panels
The best price for solar panels really can only be answered if you want to compare prices for a certain size panel and the quality. Always go for the best you can afford with the best coatings and the absolute highest resistance to the weather.
There are a surprising number of third party sellers on Amazon with amazingly low prices. To get the absolute best price for solar panels then I recommend simply browsing through all that is on offer and buying the lowest price for the wattage of the panel that you require. It will be the size of the solar panel based on watts that will be the deciding factor in how much you end up paying. Choosing the solar panels is probably the hardest decision to make and this greatly effects how much you will be paying. This leads me nicely on to:
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Run A Home?
This is extremely hard to say and it will all be dependent on a number of different factors. It depends on how many watts each solar panel will give, the size of the batteries used to store the magic produced by the solar panels, and of course how much electricity you use in the home. Most people will be using a 12volt battery and Inverter system so I will be talking about the best solar panels with that as a starting point.
It is simply too complicated to go in to technical details about the voltages and it will not be understood by many and as I said I am no expert on the subject anyway. To make things simpler we will simply talk about the most basic solar power systems, the one that most people will end up installing.
It will be nigh on impossible for me to tell you how many panels you will need to totally run your home off grid. What I will say is that the less high consuming appliances you use the less you will need.
If you want to buy cheap solar panels and live off grid then you can take the following as a starting point. This is our system and this is the appliances we run. You can get a rough idea of what you will need to buy from our energy use. Of course, bear in mind we live in Spain and get good hours or clear bright skies for the majority of the year.
What Can You Run On Solar Panels
We have a 12 volt battery storage system that give 560 amp hours of storage.
We have 4 80 watt 12volt solar panels that are wired via a solar charge controller to the batteries.
The batteries then feed to a 12 volt 1100 watt Inverter that converts it to a pure and reliable AC current.
For much of the year we can do the following without resorting to turning on a backup generator to top up our batteries.
We can run 2 or 3 energy efficient light bulbs all day and 1 on all night. We can use a laptop for 7 or 8 hours. We can watch a small 50 watt tv for 4 or 5 hours. We can do a load of washing on a cold economy wash, make some toast in a high energy using toaster in the summer and a few other bits and pieces.
I know that doesn’t really sound like a lot so you will have to consider carefully what to buy if you want to run a complete household from a solar system. We can’t use our washing machine on a hot wash as it uses more watts than our Inverter will allow us to draw. This could be rectified by buying an Inverter that will allow you to draw more watts but what we have found is that for nearly all day to day use of the washing machine you don’t ever need anything other than a cold wash. And bear in mind that this is with using eco wash balls, no powder or liquid.
What we cannot do and neither will you with the same amount of solar panels is run a fridge. We have a gas fridge and it is far from perfect. I would certainly choose to buy an extra solar panel to run an electric fridge if I had to do it all over again. We also cannot run an electric oven or hob, our Inverter is not highly rated enough for one and the 4 solar panels would need to be doubled if we wanted to run an electric oven and hob on a daily basis.
We also use a gas kettle as electric kettles use an amazing amount of electricity.
So, we cannot go crazy with our power usage and neither can we run as many electrical items as many normal households do. However, it is not like we are living in a cave either. We have 2 laptops, tv’s, washing machines, plenty of lighting from stupid energy efficient bulbs that take about 3 years to give sufficient light (but that’s a different story), and run all manner of other electrical items as and when they are needed. Stereos, radios, dvd players etc.
So, you can run a house on solar panels and you can do it on 4 80 watt solar panels if you are careful. What would be ideal for us I think and for many households who are aware of electricity use is 8 80 watt solar panels. Or, and this would be better, a battery system that is 24 volt, which will mean it is twice as expensive as a 12 volt system, a high rated 24 volt Inverter to cope with the demands of washing machines and ovens and hobs.
Which is the best price solar power system is hard to tell. It will probably work out a little more for the 24 volt rather than simply buying more panels but it gives a lot more freedom when it comes to the range of appliances you can run in the home and allows for much more in the way of storage that is produced from the panels for when the sun is giving little charge.
Should I Buy Solar Panels Online?
Personally I think yes. With Amazons low prices there is no way you will get near to that if you go to a bricks and mortar store. They have the best price solar panels that I could find for all manner of sizes and to fit all budgets.
Price comparisons for solar panels from a number of suppliers have confirmed that they are without doubt the best source for cheap solar panels.
Can I Run A Workshop On Solar Panels?
This image is the perfect example of what to buy. It is actually very good value and has everything you need to power a small area or run a workshop or a laptop etc very efficiently. It has the panel but also a deep cycle battery and an Inverter. This is perfect for anyone wanting to run part of the home or an outhouse from a single purchase.
You can run a workshop, a garage, a shed, a single appliance, anything, via solar panels. All you need to ensure is that you know how many watts the appliances you want to run use and buy accordingly. You need to bear a few things in mind though.
Let’s say I want to run a laptop from a solar panel. Now my laptop uses 90 watts when charging. Often it will be lower than this and of course with a good new battery installed it will actually not be using any electric more often that it will. Now if I bought 1 80 watt panel I could connect it straight to a very cheap Inverter and simply plug the Laptop in to it when I wanted to charge the battery. Without a deep cycle battery to store the energy from the solar panel I am of course wasting a lot of that potential power but for single use systems it will certainly add to the cost.
The single panel would simply not be good enough, even if it was a 100 watt panel. You need to remember that that is the optimal number of watts. This means if it is at the perfect angle and the sun is at the perfect spot then I may get the 80 watts. Much better to have a deep cycle battery that the cheap solar panel is connected to. This means that from as soon as it is light I am capturing that power and storing it for when I need it. Even on a less than perfect day it means that I could run my laptop because I have stored power.
As a single deep cycle battery, the ones used for camping etc, are about a third the price of a solar panel it makes much more economic sense to always connect the solar panel to a storage battery. You harness all the possible power you can and this makes the system cheaper.
Home Solar Panels
What I will say is that the best home solar panels will be extremely durable. This means that the panels should be able to withstand hail and very bad weather. With very cheap solar panels for the home you may find that they do not live up to expectations. Get a good quality set of solar panels, especially if they are to be the main source of electricity for your house. It is not as important as far as quality is concerned if the solar panel is just a little extra to help run an appliance or for a shed etc.Basically all of the many solar panels available are suitable for the home. Solar panels for the home are really little different to anything else and this is simply the same some people like to call them.
You may find that to run just a little appliance or for a low energy power point that you can get a very cheap home solar panel at low prices and you won’t have to be so concerned about the quality although obviously the better it is the longer it will last.
Small Solar Panels
Small solar panels that will supply a few watts should not be overlooked for running small appliances, even things like small submersible pond pumps. It is very easy to buy cheap small solar panels and place them at an angle pointing at the sun. They can be mounted on anything really, as long as they get the most sun possible.
Lots of the little solar panels often come in a sort of fold out arrangement which makes them extremely portable. These often simply come with jubilee clips and while not perfect, for a small appliance the panel can simply be clipped to a cheap car battery or even an old one.
This is something I have been meaning to get around to for some time. At the moment our water tanks are at the top of our land. The water is pumped via a small DC pump which is connected to a car battery. Every few days it needs to be recharged via a battery charger. This means carrying it down to the house. It would make much more sense to simply get a low cost cheap and small solar panel and clip it on to the battery. A slow trickle charge is all that is needed to keep the battery topped up enough to ensure there is a sufficient charge to run the pump.
Small solar panels are perfect for such usage and they are even perfect for running a few lights in a shed or garage, or even a child’s tree house. You can get plenty of DC lighting arrangements and this means that you can do away with the need for an inverter. Just ensure that wherever the cable runs to after the battery that the run is as short as possible. The DC current is not very good over long distances so the shorter the run the better. Having written this I think I really am going to get around to buying a small solar panel from Amazon today, it is just one of those things that I never seem to get around to doing.
Even just using a small and very cheap solar panel to run a low powered item will make a bit of difference to your energy usage so why not at least buy a small solar panel today and get started using the free energy the sun provides?
Solar Panels For Homes
Earlier we looked at how many solar panels you may need to run a home, as we are really at the lowest rung of the ladder when it comes to a house solar system. Ideally there would be a much better system but it works and it won’t be changed any time soon.
If you want solar panels for the home that run anything and everything then go for as large a wattage for each panel as possible. You can get from 80 watt solar panels to 200 watts and more and my advice is get as few solar panels as possible by getting them with the highest wattage possible. This will enable you to buy cheaper solar panels and also save space.
Large solar panels will mean you need less of them and this saves space and it also saves on the additional costs. You will not have to buy as many brackets and nuts and bolts to fix them in place and it also means that you wont have to spend as much on cable to wire them all together. The real cost is also much reduced by buying large solar panels for the home. Buying a big solar panel will mean that it is a fair amount cheaper than buying two to give the same sort of output. You are only paying for one item so the frame etc is only being paid for once, and lets not forget shipping and packaging as well, although this is often free.
Discount Solar Panels
I am not going to say don’t buy discount solar panels. There are lots of very good prices but what I would say is that it depends on the use to which the panels will be put.
If they are for the running of the main household then I would get the best quality possible. Get the best price solar panels but with the best quality as well. You do not want any problems with them and you do not want to have to replace them any time soon either.
You often really do get what you pay for so don’t be enticed by a ridiculously low price if you know that it means the quality is far from perfect.
Installing Solar Panels Yourself
It really is a very straightforward process to install them yourself. You do not really have to be that technically minded. There are countless resources online that show you exactly how to install a complete system. You may also well find that instructions for wiring the panels are contained when they arrive. This is also true for good quality home inverters. None of it is that difficult, just take all reasonable safety precautions.
If it is going to be a stand alone system then I would say try to install a complete solar system yourself. But if you really do not think that you are up to that then get a professional to take care of the job.
If it is for a solar system that is tied to the grid then you will definitely need a qualified person to complete the installation. You definitely do not want to be messing with the electricity that is currently being supplied to your home. This is not to say that you cannot do most of the installation yourself, just leave the complicated and dangerous stuff to someone who is allowed to interfere with the point where the grid electricity enters your home.
The beauty of a home solar system that is tied to the grid once installed is that when you are producing too much electricity then it can actually be sold directly back to your provider. And when you are not getting enough electricity through your solar system to run the home then you simply have your supply direct from the grid.
Now I wanted to talk about something a little different but it is something that an awful lot of people search for on the Internet and it is something that is seriously abused when it comes to finding out information about the subject from an unbiased perspective. This is making homemade solar panels.
It is actually a very big business, as people sell books, mostly in the form of e-books which are books that you pay for and then download straight away.
How To Make Solar Panels
Anyone who has searched online about the subject of making their own solar panels will come across countless sites all giving the same sales pitch about the magic of one of the few e-books they are trying to push. The claims are wild and fantastic and it sounds like you can make a solar panel at home for the price of a sandwich.
This is not what is going to happen, but it is not as bad as I thought it would be, and actually they can be surprisingly helpful (the e-books).
Not so long ago I actually got sent a free e-book from one of the people that wrote one. I have since also looked at a few others after simply asking for a free copy. I guess this is because I write here and they want me to sell them for them. Well I guess it worked, didn’t it? Sort of anyway. I am not a big fan of e-books as a general rule as an awful lot of them are totally pointless but some information can be gleaned from the solar panel building guides to make them more than worthwhile. Here are the top three if you want to learn how to make a solar panel at home.
Anyway this is quite an interesting subject so I will cover it now but I will do so without all the hype and the bull. This is a real review of how to build a solar panel, or really a review of the how to build solar panels e-books.
Instructions On How To Build Solar Panels Yourself
Firstly let’s get one thing straight, you cannot build a solar panel from scratch. And that’s that. The technology involved is way over anything you are going to learn about from a low priced e-book. You may have seen on the internet lots of claims about building your own solar panel from the ground up but it is a little misleading.
What these books on how to make a solar panel at home do supply are some very clever tips and tricks to assemble solar panels from cheaply sourced bits and pieces and lots of very clear instructions on how to assemble it all. There are diagrams and very clear pictures so anyone can do it. You do not need to be experienced in anything electrical or otherwise.
The main point of the solar panel building instructions is to really make you think outside of the box when it comes to getting cheap solar panels to run whatever you wish. You will be assembling frames and you will need a few basic tools and you will have to spend some money.
The books do not tell you how to make a free solar panel but they do allow you to construct a solar panel at home for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new one. What you will not get as an end result is a solar panel that looks as sleek and perfect as one that you buy. It may be a little more rough around the edges but once on a roof or wherever it is placed who really cares?
Make Your Own Solar Panel At Home
I have to be honest here and say that I haven’t followed the books and actually built my own solar panel. Because we live a fairly remote life on top of a mountain in Spain the realities of getting materials shipped to our post office box in town simply do not stack up.
People in the US and the UK and really anyone who lives slightly less out of the way would find it easy to get what materials they need shipped to them or to buy them easily locally. We do not have that luxury but I may get around to it one day as an experiment, and I think this may well be when we need another solar panel to maybe run an electric fridge instead of a gas one.
Until then there are plenty of other things to keep us occupied. If you do want to learn how to cheaply make a solar panel at home then the most popular books are those above.
They are all fairly similar buy I guess the best one is probably the one advertised in the banner.
But do not expect an epic book. These are simple and to the point. They tell you the tips and tricks to source what you need cheaply and tell you exactly how to assemble everything. Just remember that it is not what you will be expecting. I find it a little awkward writing this as surely I could just tell you all what is in the books and then you would not have to pay for it.
Well, I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. Everyone is entitled to make a little money online, and as I do just that through various writing projects I would not be happy if someone came and stole my content and published it elsewhere. And I certainly would not publish the diagrams etc that I guess will be copywrite anyway.
By all means buy one of the books with instructions on building solar panels but don’t think it tells you how to make one from the ground up. They are simply some very clever little tricks to source what you need cheaply, which I had never even thought of, and just if not more importantly, they give easy to follow instructions on how to put it all together, make frames etc, and how to do the wiring, which is so easy anyone could do it.
The building solar panels guides are more like a “Doh!” moment than anything else. It’s kind of a “slap your head” why didn’t I think of that kind of thing.
For the money that they cost they are well worth the price and they will result in significant savings. It will probably take you a day or two to make the whole thing so it is quite a good project to make. I think it would be a great thing to do with children as the anticipation would build. When the final homemade solar panel is finished then you can run one of their toys or something similar and it is sure to be a lot of fun. Quite a good way to do a project together and an opportune moment to open their eyes to environmental issues and teach them a few things about how the whole solar thing works.
I Am Going Soon
Finally I hear you cry.
I know this has been a rather epic post and has wandered about some. I just wanted to do a single post that covered a lot of the basics when it comes to buying cheap solar panels and I hope I have done that. It is partly because I spent so many hours looking for cheap solar panels and in the end I really did not get the best price at all.
If you follow the numerous links and images on this post you will be able to get cheap solar panels and they really are the best possible prices you will find. I can’t really believe that they are cheaper than when I bought mine over 5 years ago.
If you want to have a go at building your own solar panel then give one of the books a try. The end result will be some large savings but just don’t expect them to be what you may suspect they will tell you. They are full of clear instructions but you will have to spend some money on materials. I think for the books on building a homemade solar panel the main thing I got from them is that it would be quite a satisfying project to put together just so you can do a bit of boasting about the fact that you made your own solar panel.
Before I go please note that I am not a technically minded person so please do not give me any grief if I have made mistakes, don’t be picky if I have not used the right words for aspects of solar panels i.e watts, amp hours, volts etc, unless it really makes a difference to what I was trying to say. The main point is to show people that you can run a home via solar and also to point everyone to the best and cheapest places to buy them. This was not intended to be, and never will be, an instruction manual on how to install a solar system.
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