Solar Energy has long been thought of as the utility of the future, but the future is now! With the cost of living steadily increasing, now is the time to reduce your electricity bills and simultaneously help cut the use of fossil fuels in your life. For more information check out our solar energy page, but if you’re ready to take the next step then sustainable homes are just a few clicks away! Here is our list of solar the best solar panels available to help get you on your way to a greener approach to electricity.
Generally speaking, there is no such thing as the “best solar panel.” There is, however, the best solar panel for specific applications.
Solar Panel Reviews: Best Monocrystalline Solar Panels & Systems
Monocrystalline solar panels are typically solid black and made from the highest quality of silicone, and, therefore, produce the highest efficiency rate compared to other types of solar panels. While there is typically more cost for you as a buyer up-front, the payoff is eventually better which is why we have put them at the top of our list. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are always the best choice for your personal needs and situation. For more information regarding Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panels and the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in its different forms, see our solar panel comparison guide.
Don’t want to be tied to the grid anymore? It’s time to break free of public utilities with these great off-grid panels. If you’re just getting started, you’ll also want to take a look at our solar power generator and battery reviews. Keep in mind, your off-grid solar energy systems can easily become grid-tied with any of our recommended grid tie inverters.
Best Off-Grid Solar Panels
If you’re a beginner to solar energy systems and are looking for some high quality small solar panels to experiment with, we’ve reviewed some of the best off-grid solar panels for your convenience. Also, if you’re just in the market for a lower wattage panel to take camping, hiking, or anything like that, the following solar panels will best accommodate your needs to charge electronics and more!
The Goal Zero 15M is a great starter kit for solar power amateurs. This particular model of Goal Zero solar panel has 15 watts of power and will work best with a Goal Zero Escape 150 or other compatible power packs. With its small dimensions and weighing only 3.5 pounds, this solar panel can be easily transported, set up and stored. The Goal Zero 32101 Boulder 15M Solar Panel will be perfect for your day at the beach in order to keep the tunes playing, your overnight outdoor photography adventure, or just day-to-day convenience of free electricity! If you’re wanting to just experiment a little, this is definitely one of the best solar panels to begin with.
- Recommendation: best quality solar panel for beginners
- Wattage: 15 Watts
- Warranty: 12 months (parts)
The Instapark 15 watts solar panel is very well priced. This extremely useful 15-watt solar panel is made by Instapark and comes with a 12-volt solar charge controller to ensure that overcharging of 12-volt batteries will not occur. Instapark clearly had convenience in mind when they produced this particular panel as it weighs just over five pounds and can easily reach whatever needs a solar charge with its included 12.5in cable. As an added bonus, this small solar panel also includes a built-in USB hookup for easy phone, laptop, or GPS charging!
- Recommendation: best priced solar panel for beginners
- Warranty: 25 year 80% minimum peak power warranty
- 5 year limited product warranty
The Instapark 20 is similar to its 15 watt brother, it is a slightly larger and slightly faster way to get the job done at a minimum cost difference.This is the best priced 20-watt solar panel available. With 36 solar cells working to produce electricity to fill your needs, Instapark makes sure their 20-watt panel is made with the highest quality materials and is designed to help lower the cost of your electrical utilities. The excellent part about Instapark’s solar panels is that they will be able to sufficiently charge batteries and function well even in low-light environments. RV’s, ATV’s and any electronic equipment you have will benefit from this great solar panel, and it is just one more small step towards the bigger picture of sustainable homes and lifestyles!
The Goal Zero 30M is a bigger version of the 15M. We promise that there is a bit more variety with brands amongst our reviews of the best solar panels and comparisons of what is out there for your needs. However, when it comes to the lower wattage solar energy systems, Goal Zero, and Instapark definitely know their stuff. When it comes to understanding the needs of the customer, Goal Zero does it again with their 30-watt edition in their Boulder series. Everything from its strong frame to its convenient size and weight makes it cohesive with either an on-the-go lifestyle or for a more permanent purpose. What’s we really love about the Goal Zero solar energy systems is their user-friendly intention. Purchasing more than one in order to achieve a higher charge current comes with benefits, not a headache of trying to fit everything together. It’s easy to give this smaller Goal Zero the title of the best solar panel for your time!
The ALEKO 50W is the best medium wattage solar panel. For those looking for a great solar panel for their trailers and campers: look no further! There’s a reason why this Aleko 50 watt solar panel is on our list of best camping solar panels because it’s also the best mid-wattage solar panel around! When it comes to camping, you can ditch the generators for this bad boy, which will keep your batteries charged and take care of all your electric needs. With a high-quality regulator, this compact unit will provide instant power even when indirectly facing the sun.
Best Bigger Picture Solar Panels
Whether you’re looking to go off-grid with your new solar panels, or transform the following of our best solar panels into on-grid units, the following 100+ mono-crystalline solar panels are going to help create a more sustainable lifestyle and greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Check out this cool carbon footprint calculator if you want to examine your own impact. With the biggest disadvantages of solar power being the upfront costs and time investments, it is important to not get discouraged when things begin to look a little daunting. The money you will save on electric utilities and the effort you are making to strongly reduce your carbon footprint should remain the focus. Getting into more advanced solar panels is a huge step towards a healthier environmental presence.
The benefit of going big with an off-grid solar energy system is not having to worry about dealing with any federal, state, or local electrical utilities. Though it means investments in batteries and energy storage, it also means independence from fossil fuel dependent companies. So what are the best solar panels that are designed to be off-grid and can help you take this leap? We’ve got the solar panel comparison for you:
The Ramsond 100 watt is the best rated solar panel. Besides being at an incredibly phenomenal price for its quality, the customer feedback for the Ramsond 100 Watt Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel Module is quite impressive. Intended to be able to quickly charge a 12-volt battery, this particular model is extremely lightweight and yet incredibly tough. The exterior has been built to protect from even extreme hail impact as big as one inch in diameter falling at as high as 50 miles an hour! If you’ve ever seen this kind of weather then you’ll understand the impressive nature of this magical solar energy beast.
The Windynation 100 watt is the best single solar panel for the price. Great for RV’s, cabins, boats, homes and more, WindyNation has constructed a brilliant 100-watt solar panel at a very affordable price. If you’re looking for a starter panel to help reduce your utility bills or power a low electricity cabin or trailer then this is the best type of solar panel for you. It’s backed by a 5-year warranty and produces anywhere from 300-600 watt-hours per day. WindyNation was obviously considering clouds when they designed this panel- it will work fantastically even in overcast weather.
The ALEKO 140 watt is another great Aleko panel as a companion to the lower wattage type is the 140 watt edition. Aleko constructs incredibly sturdy solar panels, which means it’s life will be longer even if it needs to be mounted, moved, re-mounted, etc. Aleko’s high-quality silicone helps to guarantee that the panel will meet the specified wattage of 140, and you’ll be taking advantage of every ray of sun it soaks up.
Best Solar Panel Kits
So now you’ve taken a look at some of the more powerful off-grid solar panels. Now take a look at the great package deals we’ve found you to get you started on a more advanced solar panel adventure to green living! Below is one of the top selling kits, Renogy’s 100 Watt two to four panel kit.
The Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panels these Grade A efficiency solar panel kits are an excellent way to start with your sustainable journey through solar energy. The 100 Watt panel is accompanied by a 25 year power output warranty, a 5-year material and workmanship warranty, and a 1-year warranty on any of the solar panel accessories that come with the kit you purchase.
Renogy has created these panels to withstand heavy winds and snow while simultaneously being able to operate and produce free electricity in low-light settings. It is easy to understand why this is a bestseller, and the price makes it even more enticing.
Available in starter kits including one to four 100 Watt panels, Renogy can get you well on your way to saving a ton of money on your energy and take you in an earth-friendly direction and transform your house into one of many sustainable homes! Buying in bundles is recommended as the price per panel greatly decreases and the amount of accessories that are included increases. Keep in mind that the different kits come with different components, so if you are unsure as to what you will need in order to get started on constructing your solar energy system with these panels check out our solar panel accessories article that will detail it out for you.
The Grape solar kit 4X100 watts this next solar panel kit is from Grape Solar and offers a great opportunity to get started with some high quality panels. This kit is extremely easy to install as it will come with all that you need besides mounting equipment and 12 volt batteries to house and convert your generated electricity- which we can give you our best recommendations for both of those items. What they do come with is a 35 Amp Xantrex charge controller to prevent overcharging of batteries and a 2000 Watt Xantrex inverter with two outlets AND a USB port (in order to get fast access to your energy). With these and more, Grape Solar is a great way to get started!
The Renogy 2X200 watts is the last of our off-grid monocrystalline best solar panels comes again from Renogy, trust us when we tell you they really know their stuff when it comes to high quality, higher wattage solar energy systems. For a fantastic price, you can get their two of their 200-watt solar panels with high conversion efficiency. These are tough panels, made to withstand high wind and snow loads, with high ranking performance in low light environments. These powerful panels pack a punch, and can knock out quite a few digits of your electrical bill and can otherwise power your off-grid home or cabin. They are also backed with an incredible warranty, guaranteeing at least an 80% efficiency rate after 25 years of use, plus a 10-year warranty on any material or workmanship needs. For that cost, you’re looking at a long term relationship with these incredible Renogy solar panels, easily making them one of the best solar panels we suggest to you!
Best Grid-tied Solar Energy Systems
The sound of “Off-grid” can sound rather appealing to anyone seeking a more eco-friendly lifestyle and sustainable home, and as you can see, we offer a great number of best solar panels that will fit off-grid needs. While many of the mono-crystalline off-grid solar energy systems we mentioned have the capability of being inverted and grid-tied, it can get costly to buy all of the accessories and equipment needed in addition, and not all solar panels are federal, state, and locally approved to hook to your homes pre-existing power grid. Here is the site to check for tax credits and rebates.
If you’re looking to truly ditch traditional electric supply for solar energy, than grid-tied systems are 100% the way to go. With the initial costs being the biggest disadvantages of solar energy, the advantages will just begin to pour in after that. Our top recommendation for you does just that.
Renogy has already wowed us with their great bundle prices on mono-crystalline off-grid solar panels, so it is no surprise that they are supplying some of the best solar panels for a grid-tied system as well. Their 250-watt panels are available for the best price online (with FREE shipping) in sets ranging from four panels to twelve, making for a maximum purchase of 5000 watts worth of mono-crystalline solar panels.
The best part about these Renogy grid-tie solar panel kits, is that they are already eligible for federal, state, and local utility rebate and incentive programs. Essentially what this means is that if your Renogy solar panels are soaking in so much sun that they are putting energy back into the public grid, you can be credited for part or all of that amount. So not only will you be spending no money on whatever electricity they do generate, you could potentially be paid for the excess.
Take a look at your most recent power bill, and at how many wattages of electricity you and the members of your potentially sustainable home are using. Consider that for many months out of the year, you could be getting that energy from a completely renewable and natural source. Your carbon footprint is practically shrinking just thinking about it.
Solar Panel Reviews: Best Polycrystalline Solar Panels & Systems
Polycrystalline solar panels are made with multi-crystalline silicon and have been around for a lot longer than single-crystalline models. Known for their uniform blue color, the polycrystalline panels are often considered better because the construction method does not waste as many materials.
Lower pricing is considered one of the biggest advantages of solar panels made from polycrystalline silicon versus monocrystalline silicon. When it comes to solar panels, we at EcoKarma want to tell you that sometimes it is an OK thing to choose the cheaper model, which is why we did our best to construct a list of solar panels that we were sure would give you the most for your money. However, when it comes to the solar panels we researched, the price differences between individual polycrystalline panels and monocrystalline panels was not at all overwhelming. This is why our first recommendation for residential solar panels are monocrystalline units.
Nonetheless, there are still some great deals out there on polycrystalline solar panels from some similar and new companies that are made to the highest quality and at a great price. Many of the ones we found for you come in kits with extra tools to help you get started on your advanced solar panel journey.
Best Off-Grid Solar Panels
The Solartec 15W 12V: This 15 watt polycrystalline solar panel from Solartec is a great way to kick off your solar panel adventure. With a great price, it’s one of the best ways to get portable clean power where you need it. It’s lightweight and durable, backed by a 10-year guarantee that it will perform at 90% it’s rated power, you’re definitely getting what you pay for and more.
The Wel-Bilt 20 Watt: This heavy duty 20 watt solar panel with aluminum frame is an excellent way to keep batteries charged. This particular includes a 12-volt battery for your shopping convenience, and will help you to get everything up and running in a much smoother fashion. Wel-Bilt uses heavy duty protective glass in order to finish out this solar panel’s weather resistant design. This piece of equipment is going to be great for RV’s or camper trailers where it will be facing harsh elements and still performing up to standard.
The Solartech 85 Watt 12-Volt Polycrystalline PV Solar Panel: With a max voltage of 17.9, this 85 Watt 12-Volt Polycrystalline solar panel from Solartech is extremely comparable to bigger brands. It is complete with the 25-10-5 year warranty on the percent power supply. It’s easy installation will make it more convenient for you when you wish to expand, as these panels are easy to wire these up parallel for twice or more of the power. This polycrystalline off-grid panel will be a perfect addition to your home for lowering bills, isolated cabin or favorite camping spot.
The EPCOM 125 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel: This is the best solar panel for your money. 125 Watt solar panel is quite the find, operating at over 18.1 voltage, this high-performance solar panel is a great investment opportunity to make a significant addition to your solar energy system. EPCOM constructed this panel to be exceptionally resistant to temperature changes, as it can operate from -40 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 90 C). To top it off, the customer service that this particular company provides is top notch and helps to cement its spot on our reviews list!
Best Bigger Picture Solar Panels
The WindyNation 100Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel: The 100 Watt solar panel from WindyNation comes in many different kits with multiple panels and bonus materials so that you can get the most for your money and time. This panel is optimized for 12-volt battery charging greatly for RV’s or Off-Grid energy production. Clean, free, renewable power will be produced rapidly by these panel cells as they soak up the sun.
The Vertamax 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit: Our best recommendation for getting the most for your money with this particular model is by investing in the Complete 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit. This solar panel kit includes four 100 watt high quality polycrystalline solar panels and takes away purchasing stress by also providing a 1500 Watt VertaMax Power Inverter for easy access to convert your solar panel’s energy into usable electricity for your home. WindyNation is providing you with the best solar panels they can create when you bundle and save!
The Grape Solar 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel: 100 watt solar panels seem to be Grape Solar’s specialty, as they also made our best solar panels list for monocrystalline off-grid panels. Their polycrystalline panel meets and exceeds our expectations again by providing outstanding performance in both low lights and increased temperature environments. With polycrystalline panels, this can be extremely important as many panels struggle with rising temperatures. They are also weather resistant, built to withstand 50 pounds of snow per square foot which makes these solar panels great for anyone in an environment with severe weather year around.
Best Solar Panel Kits
The Renogy 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kits: If you’ve even glanced through our reviews on mono-crystalline solar panels, you’ll definitely recognize the next brand that has once again, earned our EcoKarma stamp of approval! Renogy’s 100 Watt polycrystalline is extremely comparable to its mono-crystalline brethren.
The best kits that Renogy has available to those who are on the market all include a 1000 watt inverter and charge controllers. These off-grid inverters make the electricity easily accessible so that you can make the most out of your purchase. Most of the kits also feature the necessary mounting equipment and adapter kits.
Once again, you can bundle and save with this brand, and you’ll save more by starting big and reaching your goals of continuous sustainable power for your home.
The Ensupra 235-Watt Solar Panel Charging Kit another great value kit is offered by Ensupra; containing a 235 watt solar panel, this system also comes with approval for a chance of a 30% federal tax credit. Like the other polycrystalline bundles we reviewed, this one also includes the benefits of a 1000-watt power inverter. In addition to the inverter, a 20 Amp Solar Charge Controller, and a 25-year power warranty means that Ensupra is standing by their product with gusto. This panel will provide enough electricity for small appliances and will knock a great deal off of your monthly electrical utility bill for your home if you choose to implement it that way!
Best Grid-Tied Solar Energy Systems
If you’re ready to go big for your home and lower (and sometimes eliminate) your monthly electric bill, then we have some amazing grid-tied systems comprised of polycrystalline solar panels that will best fit your needs.
The Andalay Solar AC Solar Panel Grid-Tied Kit 250-Watts (Pack of 4): Available in different sizes, this particular 4 pack kit is going to get your home one huge step closer to a sustainable home for a very reasonable price. Generating a total of 1000 watts of electricity, this system qualifies for a 30% federal tax credit. Andalay has created temperature resistant high-efficiency solar panels that are easy for roof installation and will pay for themselves in hardly anytime at all.
The Lightway Green Solar Kit if you’re looking to do your best to switch to a completely renewable energy source for your home and property, look no further than Lightway. Lightway’s kit is an afforable way to help you transition into a more sustainable lifestyle. This extensive kit includes fourteen of their 225 Watt Solar Panels with a 3000 TL Inverter and a racking system for your roof. This solar energy system is eligible for federal tax credit, state and local utility rebate programs and is topped off with a 10-year limited warranty. If you’re truly wanting to invest in solar panels and find that polycrystalline panels are the route you want to take this is by far the best system for your complete solar energy needs.
The Best Solar Panels: Wrap-up
Check out our solar section of the site for additional information on solar energy and solar panels.