Your Questions About Solar Panel Kits

Carol asks…

Does a 40 watt Solar Battery Charger come with battery protection to prevent overcharging of batteries?

Does a Tektrum 40 watt Solar Panel/Blocking Diode Cable/2m long Cable and Clamps Battery Charger Kit, Is this solar panel fitted with a battery protection circuit to prevent overcharging of batteries?
Or is it recommended to have a Solar Power Charge Controller. if so which one is best to use?

ssadmin answers:

That's a very good question and I don't know about those specific products. I get most of my stuff from the site below because they really know their stuff.

Mandy asks…

Solar Panels For Homes, Anyone knows About It ?

I need to know more info on where can i find solar kits for homes, how much it's worth it and what type should I use for an average 2000sq ft home.

ssadmin answers:

To start with most solar Modules have a 25 year garantee to provide 80% of the rated power.

Next the size of your home has nothing at all to do with the size of solar electric system you need. You have to size your system by your electric usage.

If you are wanting to go grid-tie, you will not be able to hook it up your self. The Electric Co. Requires the local building inspector to sign the paper work and the building inspector requires a lic. Electrical installer to get a permit. So most you could do your self is mount the hardware and hire someone to pull a permit and finish the wiring.

To start with you need get your last 12 months electric bills and find the kWh used and total it for the whole year. Divide that by 365 days and you will have your usage per day. Find out what the peak sun hours are for your area and divide your daily usage by the sun hours. Now you have the size of a system you need.

Start by reading this link

Go to this link to get your sun hours.


Then go pick the system you need from one of the links this page.


You can aswell use this link and it will do most of the math for you along with give you details on how much money you could save and priceing for the system you really need.


The first text link is an Excel spread sheet.. Try it out.

Sandra asks…

how many watts/volts does a RV camper use in 1 day?

i'm looking into buying a solar panel kit for my RV to eliminate the cost of electricity. I dont know how big of a panel to get. they come in 12 watt up to 130 watts and bigger! Thanks!

ssadmin answers:

It will depend on what appliances you have running.
You're not going to run any 110VAC devices are you?
Forget about trying to run an air-conditioner.

Frankly, I'd just worry about the 12V circuitry.
Add up the watts of all the bulbs you have.
That's the built-in low-voltage lighting.
Just use the solar panel to re-charge the batteries.
Run your furnace, frig. & stove on propane of course.

Linda asks…

Question about home solar panel systems?

Online stores selling solar photo-voltaic generation kits gives specs indicating the power generation capability of the system. For example, Solar World Grid-Tie Solar Electric System with 245W Panels & PV Powered PVP2000 Inverter, 1.2 to 2.4 kW. This seems to indicate that the system can generate 1.2 to 2.4 kW. Is that per day? Per month? I'm trying to calculate the return on investment, but can't because I don't know how much power a system such as this will generate in a month.

ssadmin answers:

There are several items here.

1) the panel produces 245 Watts of energy that can either be used directly to power items or charging batteries up to the output of the 245 Watt panel. Loads in excess of that amount would be fed via a battery up to the amount of charge on the battery or the capacity of the inverter.
2)The size of the battery determines how much and how long you have power and the size of that battery determines how effectively you can charge it in a day.
3)the inverter is the device that is converting that Direct Current from the panel and stored energy in the battery to Alternating current for unmodified AC appliances, entertainment, etc. The size of the inverter determines how much current you can draw from it at a maximum of 1.2 Kw continuous to 2.4Kw peak intermittent, such as starting an electric motor. The rating is in effect instantaneous ratings.

To determine what size panels you need, you first need to know what your current usage is per day in Kilowatt Hours.

To figure out how long it will take to pay for itself, take your current Kilowatt Hour charge on your electric bill, divide that number into the total cost of the system, multiply it by 4.1 and that gives you the hours you need that system producing energy in terms of Kilowatt hours, so however long the weather and daylight permit you to reach that amount of time should be considered your break even point of cost recovery.

In short- that system might be enough to eliminate the need to plug in an RV to an AC source, or for a small cabin or home. With maybe 1 kilowatt hour to 2 kilowatt hours of usage each day assuming a lot of sunny days. Assuming heat is not electric and hot water is not electric. And that you are not powering a well for irrigation.

If you are looking to go off grid, in one fell swoop, 245 Watts is not enough for an average family without some serious changes to usage patterns. 2000 Watts of panel “might” be adequate for some, but people still need to change usage patterns.

If you are looking to have a system installed, you can get some idea of some components and vendors through and The latter's magazines tend to read more like a sales brochure than a magazine.

If you plan on doing the work yourself- be sure to get it inspected for a multitude of reasons. You can get some additional pieces through From panels, to inverters, to controllers, etc. Just look in their alternative energy section.

If you happen to have aboutt 30,000 dollars to drop on the installation and you plan to live their more than 10 years, talk to your power company and they can set you up completely.

Susan asks…

Is anyone out there living off grid? Can you either tell or explain to me how I can do it too?

I have been trying to go green. But hope to buy a solar panel kit to save some money on my lights.

ssadmin answers:

Living off the gird involves having some source of power (solar, minihydro, wind) and generally being very, very, energy efficient in what you use. There's a really good magazine called home power that has lots of on- and off- grid alternative power info…

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