Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
Your information is safe with us. Privacy Policy
Solar panel kits.

A qualified solar installer installs most home solar panel systems, but more DIY-minded homeowners are exploring options like solar panels for sale online and solar panel kits in hardware stores. If you're among the millions of Americans considering going solar, you've probably come across some DIY solar products and off-grid solar systems. Here's your complete guide to finding the right option for your home.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
  • Access the lowest prices from installers near you
  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help

Key takeaways

  • Solar panel kits may cost less than most installations but require extensive technical knowledge only a professional can provide.

  • Solar panel kits contain the basic elements needed for a working solar array.

  • It is important to compare cost and system size before choosing a kit.

  • RVs, boats, and tiny homes are great applications for solar kits.

  • Using the EnergySage Marketplace to find professional installers is a great way to save money in the long run on your solar system.

While many property owners work with a professional solar installer to set up a solar energy system, you can install it yourself if you have DIY experience and know-how. Solar panel kits are solar power systems that haven't been set up yet. They usually come with all of the necessary components for a home solar panel installation, including the following:

  • Solar panels that capture the sun's energy using photovoltaics

  • Solar inverters & wiring which turn the captured electricity (direct current or DC) into usable energy (alternating current of AC) for your home

  • Mounting hardware to allow you to affix the panels to your roof

  • Sometimes these kits even include the proper permitting and engineering documents to help you finish the installation

While solar panel kits can cost less than a professional solar installation, many solar shoppers can't properly install solar panels themselves due to the electrical and mechanical complexities involved. It's always a good idea to work with a professional solar installer to do the job for you for safety reasons.

If you want to install a DIY solar project, compare several options beforehand. Grape Solar and Renogy Solar are two of the leading manufacturers offering different DIY products for both grid-tied and off-grid systems, which you can find more information on in the table below (in addition to other products):

Solar panel kits for sale: examples of grid-tied and off-grid options

System Size (watts)
System Cost
Dollars Per Watt
Retailer Link
Grape Solar 400 watt PV solar panel kit400$588$1.47Home Depot
Grape Solar 600 watt PV solar panel kit600$857$1.42Home Depot
Renogy solar 12-volt/24-volt premium kit800$1,350$1.69Renogy
ECO-WORTHY off-grid solar panel kit800$1,090$1.36Amazon

Grape Solar 400 watt PV solar panel kit

Grape Solar 400 W solar panel kit.

The Grape Solar 400 W solar panel kit has four 100 W high-efficiency Grape Solar PV panels guarded by a weather-protected junction box and frame, making this solar power kit perfect for outdoor use on RVs and boats. Grape Solar kits have been leading the market, and for a good reason, too – this system is easy to install because it comes with all the necessary cables and connectors and provides 1,200 W hours of charge daily. This is enough to run appliances like power tools, televisions, and mini-fridges. The solar panel kit is also easily integrable with lithium batteries, but this kit doesn't include one. Learn more in Grape Solar's product description.

Grape Solar 600 W PV solar panel kit

Grape Solar 600 W PV solar panel kit.

Like the 400 W kit, Grape Solar's 600 W solar panel kit is virtually maintenance-free and has all cables and connectors necessary for an easy DIY installation. A trio of 200 W monocrystalline panels, a charge controller, a 20-Amp in-line fuse, and installation equipment make this kit capable of producing 1,800 watts daily. This solar panel kit also features an MPPT charge controller, which boosts efficiency. Learn more in Grape Solar's product description.

Renogy solar premium kit

Renogy solar premium kit.

Renogy's solar premium kit has many off-grid applications, including RV, boat, and camper installation, and ground mounting for an emergency energy backup system. The Renogy kit includes eight 100 W monocrystalline solar panels at 21 percent efficiency, a charge controller for efficient and safe charging, cables, and installation equipment like brackets, racking, and branch connectors. This kit also features bypass diodes that minimize energy production loss in the shade or inclement weather and a Bluetooth connection to the Renogy app to track performance. An MPPT charge controller for high efficiency charging up to 24 volts, which allows room for you to add more panels for more power, also comes included. Worth noting as well is that this kit does not come with a battery backup or battery bank. Learn more about Renogy's premium solar kit on their website.

WindyNation off-grid solar panel kit

WindyNation off-grid solar panel kit.

The WindyNation off-grid solar panel kit is powered by four 100 W polycrystalline solar panels that are easy to install. Still, the kit doesn't come with instructions which could present problems. Depending on how much sunlight your panels receive, the WindyNation solar panel kit will produce 1,600 watt-hours (Wh) of energy daily on average, great for powering small appliances in your cabin, boat, or RV. Unlike other kits, the WindyNation PV system has every component necessary to function as an all-in-one kit. Check out more information on WindyNation's off-grid solar kit in Amazon's product description.

The solar panels for sale online and residential solar panel kits available in hardware stores can be the ideal solution for some situations. If you're not trying to power your entire home but are looking to add solar electricity generation to your RV, boat, or "tiny house," shopping for small solar panel kits and installing them may meet your energy needs. Often, these kits are referred to as "solar generators" and may include a portable solar panel and solar battery storage setup to make it easy to transport the system from place to place.

Similarly, solar panel kits are a good solution if you're trying to power an area of your property that isn't connected to an electric line. This is one of the top ways that DIY solar can save you money on your electric bill – running a new electric line is costly, and because powering a barn or toolshed typically doesn't require a considerable electricity load, a small solar panel kit can provide all the electricity you need. Check out our article on the pros and cons of DIY solar to learn more about the process.

Not all solar panels are created equal. Solar installers select the equipment for their installations based on their technical specifications and the job needs, and homeowners shopping for solar panel kits should do the same. There are three main metrics to look at when comparing solar panel kits:

  • Efficiency

  • Performance/temperature coefficient

  • Warranties

EnergySage has developed a system that rates solar panels based on these three key criteria: efficiency, performance, and warranties. You can use the same criteria to compare your solar equipment options. (We've also conducted a complete review of Grape Solar panels, one of the most common solar panel kits for sale. If you're considering Grape Solar for your DIY solar installation, read our review first.)


Solar panel efficiency is one of the most important indicators of a solar panel's quality. It refers to how well a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell can convert sunlight into electricity and is presented as a percentage. Panel efficiency is crucial if you have limited space to install a system and want to maximize your electricity production.

For solar panel efficiency, a higher percentage is better. The best solar panels currently available on the market have an efficiency rating of approximately 22 percent.

Performance (temperature coefficient)

A solar panel's temperature coefficient rating is a simple way to understand how well a solar panel will perform in less-than-ideal conditions. Like any other electronic device, solar panels work best when they are kept reasonably cool (ideally around 25° C/77° F), and their performance can suffer if they overheat. The temperature coefficient can tell you how your panel's performance will decline during hot summer days. For every degree above 25° C (77° F), your solar panel's electricity production will decrease by the temperature coefficient.

For example, Grape Solar's GS-S-160-Fab8 panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.5%/°C. This means that if the temperature of your solar panel increases from 25° C (77° F) to 26° C (79° F), its electricity production will decrease by -0.5%. If your solar panel's temperature increases to 35° C (95° F), its electricity production will decrease by 5%.

As you compare solar panels for sale, remember that a lower temperature coefficient is better. The best solar panels available on the market have a temperature coefficient of -0.25.


Every high-quality electronics manufacturer will offer a warranty to show that they stand behind their products, and solar panels are no different. Aside from the technical aspects of the equipment in your solar panel kit, look for a strong materials warranty (sometimes referred to as a product or equipment warranty)—the materials warranty guarantees against equipment failures resulting from manufacturing defects or environmental issues. Most manufacturers of solar panels for sale will offer at least a 10-year materials warranty. The best manufacturers will provide materials with 12, 15, or even 25-year warranties.

What does my solar kit contain?

All solar panel kits include solar panels, a solar charge controller, and mounting hardware. They may also have an inverter or even a string inverter or microinverter.

Can I return a solar panel kit?

You can return most solar panel kits within a relatively short period. This depends on the warranty and manufacturer.

What will a 100-watt solar panel run?

Small devices can be run on a 100 W solar panel, including a laptop, television, or ceiling fan.

How many solar panels do you need to run your home?

An average home needs between 20 and 24 fully-sized solar panels to offset utility bills with solar. Small DIY solar panels will not be able to do this.

In some cases – like installing a solar RV kit – DIY solar can be a significant money saver. As you investigate the solar panels for sale online, evaluate all your solar options. That means getting multiple installation quotes from solar installers in your area and pricing out your DIY options.

Comparing multiple quotes is one of the easiest (and free) ways to reduce solar installation costs. EnergySage data shows that solar shoppers who compare their options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace save 20 percent or more of the installation costs compared to shoppers who don't compare quotes from multiple installers beforehand. The reason is simple: when solar installers compete for your business, you win!

Ready to see how much you can save? Start by reviewing an instant solar estimate from our Solar Calculator, or register your property to receive no-obligation solar quotes today.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
  • Access the lowest prices from installers near you
  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help
Back to the top
Did you find this page helpful?
Discover whole-home electrification
Home solar
House with rooftop solar panels

Create your own clean energy with solar panels.

Community solar
Solar farm

Enjoy the benefits of solar without rooftop panels.

Heating & cooling
Heat pump

Explore heat pumps, the latest in clean heating & cooling technology.

See solar prices near you.

Enter your zip code to find out what typical solar installations cost in your neighborhood.

Please enter a five-digit zip code.