Top products from r/solar

We found 59 product mentions on r/solar. We ranked the 218 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/solar:

u/rosinall · 5 pointsr/solar

Hi, this is simple if your expectations are in line, and unworkable if not.

If you want to run devices that heat or cool with electricity, such as coffeemakers, hotplates, A/C, toasters, hair dryers, etc., you will not make your numbers or anywhere near them. Give that all up. There is a reason whole-house systems cost $30-40k, it is heating and cooling.

Now for the awesome: IT WORKS. I ran 30 feet of LEDs, a laptop, a small but nice stereo, a PoE wireless antenna, a wireless hub, iPhones and iPods, 18v DeWalt battery packs, a fan — plus whatever I am forgetting — off of 2 x 100W solar panels and 2 x 100Ah marine cells for ten weeks. I went dry twice, but with a fully charged laptop, stereo and phone.

First you must go ahead and do all the math of your usage, because we are are still at the stage where we must all do all the math, and math is good, but when you are doing all the math to the third significant digit, and looking up the model of that rechargeable flashlight you like for its charging amperage requirements, maybe say fuck it and start with half that; one beefy panel, one solid battery. You could easily add another panel and battery later.

As to wiring, your charge controller will have connections that include a legend where to hook up your batteries, panels and inverter, so easy peasy there. See the link below for an example. I recommend spending the extra on an MPPT controller, which converts some of your extra juice (the 12V panel below can run almost 19V) that normally is dumped when charging into increased amperage of the charging current. Do the math of your expected load, it's possible you will want a 20A. If it doesn't include fusing directions, go online and find a schematic of where to add inline fuses that, if that are not included, you will get at the auto parts store.

YOU WILL WANT TO DO THE MATH on wire sizes. There are calculators online. For your small setup, the important run is going to be between the battery and the charge controller. This is where the fires start. If you think you will EVER add another battery dig deep and wire for it.

For inverters, I feel better about everything by getting a well-respected pure sinewave unit. I run a Xantrex 600W in my 4Runner and a Cotec 350W for the solar, and they feel bulletproof. You could save a ton, and maybe in this case you should, by getting a cheap modified sinewave one and seeing if it meets your needs. Either way they will have outlets on them, so you don't need to wire it further.

Also, no SLA batteries inside the vehicle unless properly secured, sealed inside, and vented outside.

I also recommend the /r/vandwellers subreddit, it is excellent. This comes up there a lot, although this is the better place for the question.

Solar panel:

Charge controller (10A likely okay, do your math, I got the 20 amp)


u/graffix01 · 2 pointsr/solar

This is basically what I have. I bought a different battery and inverter because I have an account at batteries Plus but this is a widely accepted quality battery and a decent inverter. I would recommend buying at least the battery local as shipping them is expensive.

NOTE I did not include fuses/breakers in this list but you definitely should build these into your design.

Depending on what you really want to power this may be way more than you need. You really should start by figuring out the load you want to power and then design your system around that number. This is a great little tool for figuring out how much power the devices you want to power will use and it's certainly cheaper than buying too much system and finding out you could have done what you wanted with half as much as you bought.

I'm certainly not an expert at solar but am learning so feel free to PM any other questions.

u/joergonix · 1 pointr/solar

Thank you so much! That is incredibly helpful information.

Hypothetically if I were planning to spend about $700 on the solar setup and batteries do you think I would be smarter to save a bit of money on the controller by going PWM rather and MPPT and put it into an extra panel? I could do 3 panels, and 2 of these: AGM 12v 100ah batteries. Price would be similar to the golf cart batteries. Would this setup be an improvement?

Also found a good deal on a DC fridge that consumes about 4.2amps which at 12v would be about 50watts and should theoretically be awesome for my setup right?

Do you think

u/traveler19395 · 3 pointsr/solar

You need to stay within the amperage limitations of your wiring and charge controller.

For instance, this is a good charge controller that can do 75v and 15 amps, so in theory you would think it could do 1125 watts. But that's not the way it works. You need to keep peak voltage and amperage under 100/15, and load voltage and amperage will be a good bit less.

You could run three 300w panels like this in parallel with a charge controller that can handle 40v 30 amps, or you could run the same panels in series with a charge controller that can handle 120v 10 amps. The wiring needs to handle the amperage, so much smaller wiring would be needed for the latter.

If you did more, smaller panels, like six 150w panels, you could do a series/parallel combination for something like 80v at 15-20 amps. That would go very nicely with this charge controller.

And then there's the decision of how likely you are to want to expand the system and if you should buy equipment that can handle more panels.

Create a short list of your preferred charge controllers and their capacities, then start shopping for panels and do the quick math. If the panels were the same dollar-per-watt I would probably do six 150w in series/parallel with the controller I mentioned above. If you think it's likely you may expand capacity, I would go with three 300w panels in parallel with this controller, then you could add 6 more of the same (2700w total) in series/parallel without changing your charge controller or wiring.

u/Delialearn2 · 2 pointsr/solar

As we all know, it is often the case that the installation date the last time a solar system owner ever looks at their panels – until something goes wrong. I bought a [50W solar panel] ( at amazon for 2 yrs, named suaoki. It's really powerful at the beginning but later the functions is slowing down. So I tried to clean it to see if the cleaning helps. As you can see, the cleaning did some good in the end. Having dust, grime or buildup on your panels can reduce your system’s energy yields by up to 25% – and associated reductions in energy bill savings.

I recommend that panels be cleaned and inspected at a minimum once every six months. Cleaning at regular intervals prevents the buildup of residue and keeps your panels operating optimally at all times.

u/davy_crockett · 6 pointsr/solar

Watts are a measure of power

Watt-hours are a measure of energy


Add "kilo" to the front of each unit and it gets multiplied by 1000.


Power is instantaneous and energy is power over a period of time. Think of them like speed and distance. Just like a faster car will go farther in the same amount of time, a solar panel with a higher kw rating will generate more energy in the same time than a lower kw panel (assuming sunlight conditions and orientation are the same).


When a solar panel is rated for, say, 100 watts, that means that under certain laboratory conditions (a certain amount and intensity of sunlight, a certain temperature of the solar cells), a brand-new panel will produce 100 watts of instantaneous power. However, in the real world, the amount of sunlight varies, the temperature varies, and that same panel will often produce less than 100w or sometimes more than 100w.


If you want to get a sense of how much a watt and watt-hour really is, then I recommend getting a Kill A Watt meter. It's something that you put between an appliance and a wall outlet and will measure how many watts and watt-hours that appliance uses for however long you have it connected. You can also check the electricity bill for your house, which will show how much energy (measured in kilowatt-hours) your house uses in different months of the year.

u/geo38 · 1 pointr/solar

No, that won't work. It's only got a 10W solar panel. That means sitting at the top of the highest mountain in the world at noon, clear skies, with a tracking mount that follows the sun, you might see 10W if you're lucky. In the real world, you might average 5 during the day if the Sun's out.

That's nothing. If you had LED lights that drew 5W (not much light), you can see that the Sun won't even power the lights much less a pump even when the sun's shining. You'd have nothing available to charge a battery to keep things running at night.

You have to figure out how much power your pump and lights use. "Not much" isn’t good enough.

You correctly noticed that the device in your link didn't have an outlet for the pump. If your pump has a standard plug, you need an inverter to convert the battery voltage to plug power. Better is to get a 12 Volt pump that directly runs off the battery. Same for the LED lights - there are lots of 12 volt LED lights for recreational vehicles and campers.

Search Amazon for 'aquarium pump 12v'. Here's a $12 unit that draws 5W. That's pretty good. The LED lights will be more, surprisingly. Actually, depending upon what you need, I'd buy the inexpensive solar LED lights; you'll never be able to build something cheaper.

So, you need 5W for the pump. Let's guess 4 days without sun. 4 days times 24 hours times 5W is 480 Whr. Call it 500 Whr. That's how much battery you need. Double that since 12v battery lifetime goes down if discharged less than 50%.

1000whr at 12 V is 83 AmpHr which is how 12 V batteries are rated.

For solar panel, you need a bit over 5W average output. Sun only shines enough for solar 8 hours/day. That's 15W needed during those 8 hours. Assume 4 days no sun. Now you need 60W output during that 8 hours of sun. That basically means a 100W solar panel. Amazon shows a $112 unit.®-Polycrystalline-Photovoltaic-Connectors-Charging/dp/B01586LFJ0/

You need a solar charge controller. Amazon, $22

You'll need some wiring, fuses to be safe. Get a 'marine battery' instead of a standard car battery. Marine deep discharge batteries are designed to be discharged over a period of time rather than a normal car battery which just needs to supply a lot of current briefly to start the car. Buy a 75Ahr battery.

If you don't need to handle running through several days of rain, you can drop the solar panel size and battery.

u/Watada · 4 pointsr/solar

If you only need power for a day or two you would probably be better off with a USB charger for those batteries and a huge battery bank. Something like this would charge each of your devices up to three times.

Assuming you need to charge each one a full time every day with a solar panel you would need something like this and it would require between 3 hours and 9 hours in direct sunlight to provide enough power. The panel needs a clear day, to be pointing at the sun, and to be kept cool to provide enough power in 3 hours.

u/buddhra · 0 pointsr/solar

Here's another option for a peltier cooler A/C.

250W peltier cooler - $30 -

3 100W 12V solar panels - $415 -

2 heat sinks and fans - $26 -

add some wire and some mounting odds and ends - $100

So for around $500 you mount this little contraption in a window with the cold heat sink on the inside and the hot heat sink on the outside. When the sun starts shining, the panels will start powering the fans and peltier and you can enjoy that sweet solar A/C.

Of course, a peltier is only about 10% efficient, so it's only going to move about 25W or 85 BTU/hr, but it's free energy right!

u/SegFaultX · 1 pointr/solar

I have these they both work great. Eceen works better in low light, while anker works better with bright direct sunlight. I have tested anker to give the output of 1.3A which was the max my phone could take in before in the afternoon. However I've never actually used them much since I bought them more so for emergency since I don't camp or anything.

u/CarbonGod · 1 pointr/solar

Well, most laptops are about 18-21v input. The best bet is to snag a high power panel, maybe 30-50w, 110v inverter, and large battery with enough capacity to charge. Now, many factors depend on variations. How long will you be using the solar/battery? Hooked up and running 24/7? Just for a few hours (or like, one battery cycle, etc) These will determine the amount of solar power you need, and size of the battery.
You can get small car inverters to attach to the battery. A smaller motorcycle/garden tractor battery might work as well.
Oh, and a charge controller, since 30-50w panel is too larger to directly charge the battery.

From what the sounds of it are, you have a portable folding panel? I don't know many others that have a 12v/USB output. Chances are 1-10w in size?

u/mydarkerside · 1 pointr/solar

You'll want an AGM deep cycle battery, not standard car battery. Doesn't really matter what the terminals are like since you can always buy different terminal types. I bought two of these from Amazon for about $170 each before tax and have been happy with them. I've also looked into used lithium batteries from medical devices, but it gets more complicated because you need a battery management system.

It gets expensive if you build a 400ah system, so I would look more into energy efficient devices or solutions. I did a google search for raising chickens in cold weather and it actually says don't over insulate or heat the coop. You said oneconcern is the water freezing, so maybe just focus on that.

u/mo_jo · 2 pointsr/solar

I've never used them, but Flycrates says they will ship to places that Amazon sellers won't. According to this page, the main problems are extra shipping costs, customs forms, and import duties that have to be paid. Flycrates will supposedly do that for you and let you know what import duties will need to be paid up front.

AllPowers makes a flexible 100w solar panel that sells on Amazon, and there are other companies that also sell flexible panels.

I purchased an AllPowers flexible+foldable 80w solar charger panel and a Suaoki 150Wh Solar Generator (lithium battery+inverter) for camping, and it's worked well. It will run a few lights and power a laptop. I did have to custom-make the connector cable between them to charge the Suaoki, however.

Hope that helps!

u/arrayofeels · 2 pointsr/solar

Well it just seems strange to have way more inverter capacity than generating capacity. So in this case you have a battery that has 900Wh of capacity, so your little 50W panel will take 18h of full sun to charge it (figure you can get 3 or 4 equivalent hours of sunshine a day, so we are talking most of a week) if you don't have any other load connected. Then if you connect your 1kW inverter and use it at full capacity, you'll discharge the thing in less than an hour. In some specific cases this may be desirable, but in general you need at least as much generating capacity as you have loads, or even more, depending on the load profile. But maybe in your case it makes sense just to have the ability to run the odd 110V appliance off your battery every once and a while, while mostly running DC loads like your light and radio

But I think your biggest problem right now is that you are pairing a panel with 18V Vmp with a 6V battery and a 12V inverter. At the least you need to switch to a 12V battery to use that inverter, but even then you will be wasting alot of solar power by forcing the panel to work at 12V (ie you'll only get around 30W out of it), so you would be better off finding a panel intended for use at 12V, like this one

Edit: you may want to look at this exchange from a few days back. /u/MrCloggy was offering some helpful advice to someone looking to set up a system similar to what you want. Actually, now that we've summoned him, perhaps he'll chime in over here.

u/kmp11 · 2 pointsr/solar

I designed this kit about 15yrs ago when I worked at Unisolar. (I am a little surprised there are still some available.) It was designed for RV's, but could be used for a tractor trailor.

They could be stick them on top of the trailor. From it you could probably power a small living space and maybe a small refrigerator which would save the cost of idling overnight. The advantage of this product is that it won't break if a rock hits it and don't have to worry about wind uplifting a glass panel.

128W is probably too small, but there are a few kits available !?!

u/1Davide · 2 pointsr/solar

Thank you for writing.

> bimodal inverter

Isn't that the same as what we call "Grid-interactive inverter"? Or is there a difference?

> a book about solar

No, the book is not about solar. The book is about batteries and battery management system; it's my second book on that subject. Solar systems with inverter/chargers is just one of about 70 applications I write about in this book.

> but know very little about solar.

True. That's why I ask. I thank you for your help.

u/cmonpplrly · 1 pointr/solar

Hopefully this is the right place. I'm working on wiring my camper and have this 225Wh, LiFePO4 battery pack. I would like to pair it with something like this, a preferably flexible 100w panel. The only way to charge the battery pack is via a 15V 4A wall charger. My battery pack is made to charge via solar, albeit with their proprietary panels. I would have contacted the manufacturer about what peripherals I need to get and ask them if/how I could use 3rd party panels, but the company has gone out of business. My question is, can I buy this solar panel, splice a DC charger tip on to it and charge my battery? Or am I missing some critical steps? I believe the battery pack has a built in charge controller, but I'm not sure. Any help would be awesome. Thanks!

u/pyromaster114 · 1 pointr/solar

If you can return that solar panel kit and the battery, that would be ideal.

Again, when I say that marine battery will be useless for running your loads, I mean you'll be able to run it for ~20 minutes or so before the battery is dead and takes DAYS to fully charge again (assuming each day is sunny) before it's useful again.

Also, without an Inverter/Charger (and just a stand alone inverter like you have linked to), you can't use your generator to easily charge the battery/batteries back up.

If you can return the stuff you bought so far and order different equipment, that would be best.



Here's the 'super budget build' which you can use to run some random appliances like maybe a small fridge and such, and use your generator fed through the automatic transfer switch while you're there to run the AC:


Solar panels:

400 Watts (Either get 4 x 100 Watt panels, or look into getting 2 x 250 Watt panels, like the utility scale 60-cell ones.)

Charge Controller:

EPever Tracer 4210AN MPPT Charge Controller


2 x Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery


AIMS Power 2000 Watt 24 VDC Pure Sine Inverter / Charger


This system will cost you about $1600 give or take. But it will be able to at least be moderately useful, and the inverter has a built in transfer switch and charger, so you can use your generator to power the AC while you're there, and then have everything just fail back over to battery when you shut off your generator and AC.

It's also somewhat expandable, which is the reason for the 24 volt nominal battery bank (and inverter) instead of 12 volt nominal.



Is there a bit more to your use case here? No grid power available? Is this a mobile installation? As with a lot of things, 'the devil is in the details'.

u/communityDOTsolar · 1 pointr/solar

Ah thanks /u/eliborg. If you know anyone who is just getting into solar, I recommend this book which contains good design and work flow process fundamentals to anyone getting into the industry.

u/42N71W · 1 pointr/solar

Realistically, the solar panels you can attach to your backpack while hiking through a forest, no.

The easiest solution is to find lower power electronics that will do whatever you need. If you really need a lot of solar power, I'd recommend getting one or more of the biggest folding panel you can, like this, and planning a long siesta in your hiking schedule where you'll find a place to position them optimally for a few hours.

u/nyc4life · 2 pointsr/solar

22w folding panel should be enough for daily phone charging and occasional camera & tablet charging.

#1 seller on amazon:

large battery pack with an lcd display and pass-through charging:

in order to charge your chromebook and a more serious tablet you'll need a bigger solar panel and a bigger battery. /u/dij-8al's solution would be a better fit.

u/CJOttawa · 2 pointsr/solar

Best in class:

Anker PowerPort 21-Watt folding array.

If you don't need 21-Watts, they offer a 15-Watt version that deletes one panel.

GoalZero stuff is well made but extremely overpriced on a dollar-per-watt ratio and larger than necessary for not using the latest cells. Anker is using SunPower cells.

Example: GoalZero Nomad 20, a 20-Watt folding array: $200 MSRP, compared to the $50 or so for the 21-Watt Anker PowerPort.

The only upside to the GoalZero stuff is it seems to output enough voltage for things like laptop or storage cell charging; with Anker, it's USB only.

I would also suggest one of these:

It's universal USB charger and power pack. The included 18650 Li-Ion battery can provide power to USB devices and the charger will charge most battery chemistries and sizes. (NiCad, NiMH, Li-Ion, AAA, AA, C, 18650, 18350, 10440 etc) Charge that with the solar array and then use it to power devices when the sun isn't out.

u/JRugman · 2 pointsr/solar

Of the two charge controllers you've picked, the cheap one is actually a far better choice for what you want to do.

You want to get a charge controller that lets you run the load through it, and is programmable with either a timer or an adjustable low voltage disconnect. That way you can set it up to run the pump when the sun is shining or when the battery has plenty of charge. The Renogy will only control the charging, so you could find yourself with a very flat battery if you don't add in something else to control discharging.

If you want a branded version of the cheap charge controller, check out this one (but it's basically the same thing).

If you want something with similar features but better quality and functionality you could try this EPsolar controller plus this PC cable and temp sensor.

u/creekyoffgrid · 2 pointsr/solar

I really like the new Victrons. Blazing fast mppt. And you can add bluetooth monitoring/programming. Which is really nice.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/solar

Okay, heating and cooling are usually things that solar is terrible at doing, but with your needs you can certainly pull this off.

Assuming your heating coil is a 120v unit it's pulling a little over .2 Amps. It would draw a little over 2 Amps if being run off 12 volt, which is what I'm going to build off of. An off-the-shelf good 12v marine battery (better than plain auto batteries because they are built to cycle deeper) that has a 100Ah rating , which since you do not want to run lower than 50%, has 50Ah on call in a fully charged state, will run this for about 25 hours. This is good news and will give you a little slack in that your solar PV cell has two days to charge the battery, plus your draw is low enough, and of the type, that you have no need to invest in more expensive pure sine wave inverters or an MPPT charge controller.


1 x 100Ah 12v marine cell, make sure it is outside or vented; $100 Wal-Mart has good ones sorry to say.

1 x 100W solar cell; part 1 of $165

1 x Inexpensive (non-MPPT) charge controller; part 2 of

1 x El Cheapo low watt modified sine wave 12v – 120v inverter*, $25


u/nolyfe27 · 2 pointsr/solar

My system specs are: 8 12volt 100ah AGM batteries wired in series parallel to 48volts


Charge controller is Epever 80 amp mppt

It sounds like when you add milk to rice crispies cereal.... I have read AGM should make no noise. Thanks for the response.

u/tangakalol · 2 pointsr/solar

I have a 2018 ford transit van. We take this with us camping ( I camp about 20 times a year, 2-3 day trips ) .


I am looking to get a small electric generator / battery and a simple solar panel to charge it. This will be used just to run a water pump for once a day quick shower, power some low energy fans at night and charge devices.


I already own this power source -


I was debating getting this solar panel -

Is it compatible and will charge the power source listed above or is there a better one? Am I missing any critical components to get this to work?


I plan to mount it on top of the van as a permanent structure.

Thanks in advance.

u/csatt · 1 pointr/solar

I can't vouch for this, but here's what comes up at the top of an Amazon search for "solar laptop charger":

u/drbudro · 2 pointsr/solar

Regular car batteries are made to have a lot of cranking power, and then stay on a trickle charge once the alternator gets going. Running the battery voltage down each night and charging it daily will kill the life of your battery (if it's not deep cycle).

Honestly, charging a phone (5w), running some small LED lighting (8w), and a couple 12VDC fans (6w) can all be done through your cigarette lighter port and won't be drawing more than 20watts. If you ran that all night, you would only be using 15amp/hrs or so of your battery; and if you get 8 hours of sunlight, you only need a 30watt solar panel to charge it back up. Whenever you are talking about solar though, you should plan on doubling your capacity to account for non-optimal performance, cloudy days, long winter nights, etc.

kieranmullen gives a pretty good rundown of what you would need to setup a separate 12v system but seems like overkill for what you are asking (and would run you about $300-400).

Personally, I would get a 100 watt panel, 7 amp charge controller, the cheapest 12v deep cycle marine battery from walmart, and maybe a 3-400w inverter (for a laptop charger or any other AC devices). Also, I'd put an inline fuse between my charge controller and load, and maybe another between the battery and charge controller.

u/rudykruger · 1 pointr/solar

Are you within the Amazon return window? Send it back.


That is almost certainly not a real MPPT charge controller, and it is way overpriced for what it is. The "PV Off" setting is where charging stops and the battery goes into float. A single setting is not enough, with this controller you will always undercharge and eventually ruin the battery prematurely.


A proper charge controller (MPPT or PWM) allows you to set a level for Bulk charge (i.e. approximately 80% charged), Absorption charge (the remaining 20% to full) and Float charge (trickle charge once full).


If you are on a budget, on the cheaper side get Epever or Renogy. This 30A Epever is a proper MPPT controller and is more than enough charge controller for your setup (with a 30Amp MPPT you can go up to ~400W of solar if you are charging a 12V batttery system).


With a 100W panel you don't need a 40Amp controller, or even a 30Amp controller. A 100 watt, 12V nominal panel (i.e. 18-20V PV) will produce around 5.5 amps, and a real MPPT controller might raise that to 7 amps charge to the batteries. This 15A Victron controller is vastly superior and can handle up to 200 watt solar when charging 12V batteries.

u/IMDeus_21 · 1 pointr/solar

In addition to keep ipads,phones and maybe some power tool batteries, I would also like to keep this powered

ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer- 50 Quart

u/Specken_zee_Doitch · 1 pointr/solar

You can go less than a $3 a watt using [this kit.] (
You're going to have a bit of challenge on a budget like that though. Batteries will be an additional expense but this is a good learning experience.

u/Earptastic · 1 pointr/solar

Electric heat is an awful use of the suns rays. Let's say you get 3kw of solar panels on your roof. Congratulations, you can run 2 of these for about 6 hours
That used all the power you made all day.

u/asanano · 6 pointsr/solar

500,000 tons of coal ~ 4 billion kilowatt-hours. Say solar panel lifetime is 30 years, producing electricity 8 hours a day. That means you need 45 kilowatts of solar panels. That means you need 22.5 Watts per pound of sand. A 100 Watt solar panel is [16 lbs] ( That would mean ~ 25% of a solar panels weight was silicon. Seems about reasonable.

u/Veadro · 1 pointr/solar

You'd want to go straight from 12-18v. You can try a laptop car charger but I'd be kind of nervous of low voltage issues. I'm guessing the laptop charger will turn off when it decides it doesn't have enough power. From there it will either cycle on and off or stay off until you unplug it and plug it back in.
From there you might want to add a 12 battery in between the charger and panel, it'll need is own charger controller, we're adding weight at that point. I'd probably not bother with the battery, try the 12v laptop charger and if that doesn't work go with something like this:

*I think there's an affiliate link, it's not mine but the website that found it for me