1# Solar Panels: We use two sorts of solar panels. The choice usually depends on the required power of the kit. For higher power kits we often use high voltage panels. High voltage solar panels are mass produced for the grid tie market (selling electricity back to the grid) and are consequently cheaper and readily available. We also use low voltage off grid solar panels which are slightly more expensive, cheaper to transport and require simpler electronics to operate them. (Why? Read about MPPT charge controllers)
2# Solar charger: To store the power generated by the panels in the batteries you need a solar charge controller. There are hundreds of different types and sizes. In our experience we find the Steca range excellent for low power kits and Morningstar, Studer and Outback controllers good for high power kits.
3# Batteries: The power produced by the solar panels is stored in batteries. There are 3 regular sizes which we use - 2 Volt, 6 Volt and 12 Volt. Because batteries can be extremely heavy it's useful to be able to use 2 Volt versions.
The maximum power for a 12 Volt battery is about 250 Amp hours or 250 X 12 = 3000 Watt hours. Nearly all batteries are made from 2 Volt cells (that's why there are 6 filling caps on a 12 Volt battery) It's often easier to supply 6 separate 2 Volt solar batteries instead of one huge, unmanageable 12 Volt monster!
Some suppliers leave the batteries out of their kits. They do this because it's difficult to correctly size them and awkward to deliver them. We don't leave the batteries out because you need them. We do the calculations, have special packing materials and professional logistics partners. You get a complete kit!
4# Inverter: An inverter converts the DC battery power into AC or mains power. We only use pure sine wave inverters. Others types of inverters can make your equipment make strange noises and in some cases cause permanent damage.
5# Cables: People often get confused about the size of cables required for a solar power kit so we choose the right size of cable for you. The wrong size of cable could at worst result in a fire and at best seriously reduce the efficiency of your kit.
6# Fuses: Often left out and so very important. The primary purpose of fuses on the DC side of the kit are to protect the cables. If you've ever inadvertently shorted the terminals of a car battery you'll know why fuses are important. A fire caused by melting cables can be extremely dangerous. Never leave out fuses!
7# Good design: The most important component and one we spend a lot of time on. Our kits are reliable, long lasting and easy to install.