Choosing the Best Off Grid Solar System

What to consider when selecting your off grid solar system

What to consider when choosing the best off grid solar system


Going off grid with solar power is a big investment – both in time and money. That’s why it’s so important to choose the highest quality solar components when choosing the best off grid solar system,  they will provide reliable, long-lasting performance even in harsh conditions. Buying inferior products to save money upfront often leads to system failures, costly repairs and replacements down the road. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to build the best off grid solar system that meets your needs and stands the test of time.

What Makes the Best Off Grid Solar Components?

When evaluating off grid solar gear, these key factors define true quality:

Durability – Can it withstand years of exposure to weather elements like sun, wind, and rain? Quality brands extensively test components.

Efficiency – How much power is converted and retained? Higher efficiency means lower system losses.

Output Capacity – Does it deliver adequate output for your needs? Size matters for solar panels and inverters.

Warranties – What’s the warranty coverage? At least 10 years shows manufacturer confidence.

Certifications – Is it safety tested and certified? Look for UL, ETL, CSA, CE badges.

Settling for less in any of these areas means you’ll likely need to replace components sooner. It’s worth investing in quality upfront even if it costs more initially.

Benefits of Purchasing The Best Off Grid Solar Kits


Solar kits containing panels, mounts, inverters, charge controllers and accessories can make off grid solar a plug-and-play process. Here are the advantages of purchasing the best off grid solar kits:

  • Convenience – Everything included for a full system. No separately sourcing components.

  • Compatibility – Designed to work seamlessly together right out of the box.

  • Reliability – Reputable kits utilize premium components built to last.

  • Expandability – Many kits let you start small and add more panels over time.

  • Value – Can be cheaper than buying individual pieces.

We recommend top-rated all-in-one kits from trusted brands like Renogy, Goal Zero Yeti, and WindyNation. Take the guesswork out of system design and get premium gear in one package.

Choosing the Best Off Grid Solar Panels for durability and efficiency


Solar panels are the engine of any off grid power system. Their efficiency and durability are critical to long-term performance. Here’s what to look for when your selecting the best off grid solar panels:

  • Efficiency – Monocrystalline panels offer 15-20% efficiency. The higher, the better.

  • Durability – Commercial-grade panels can withstand extreme weather for 20-30 years.

  • Wattage – Size panels to fit your electrical needs. Typical range is 250-400 watts.

  • Material – Monocrystalline silicon is pricier but more efficient than polycrystalline.

  • Warranty – 20-25 year warranties ensure longevity.

Top panel manufacturers like LG, Panasonic and SunPower offer proven quality that justifies their higher price over generic panels. This investment will pay dividends for decades through reliable energy generation. Check Below For some things to consider when buying.

Comparison of Solar Panel Types

Panel TypeEfficiencyDurabilityCostProsCons
Monocrystalline15-22%25-30 years$$$– Most efficient conversion of sunlight. – Compact size for output. – Performs well in low light.– Most expensive upfront.
Polycrystalline13-16%20-25 years$$– Good value for performance. -Handles high heat.– Lower efficiency than monocrystalline. – Can be degraded by high heat.
Amorphous Silicon6-8%10-15 years$– Thin, flexible design options. – Works in shaded areas.– Very low efficiency/energy output. – Degrades faster than crystalline silicon.


Finding the Best Off Grid Solar Inverter


Inverters play a crucial role in solar systems by converting DC power from panels into standard AC electricity for home use. Here are tips for finding the best off grid solar inverter:

  • Pure vs. Modified Sine Wave – Pure is better for sensitive electronics, but costs more.

  • Continuous/Surge Wattage – Size inverter to your anticipated power needs and surges.

  • Efficiency – Look for at least 90% efficiency to minimize system losses.

  • Safety Certifications – UL and CSA approval ensures electrical safety.

  • Durability – Check maximum operating temperature and 30+ year MTBF.

While it’s tempting to save on a cheap inverter, spending more for a sturdy pure sine wave inverter from Outback Power, Xantrex, or Sol-Ark will provide the best performance and longevity. Some Stats Below to look at before choosing.

Key Specs for Top Off-Grid Inverters

Inverter BrandPower RatingEfficiencyCostWarrantyProsCons
Outback Power3,000 – 10,000W94%$$$10 years– Very reliable. – Efficient. – Advanced monitoring/control.– Expensive.
Sol-Ark3,600 – 15,000W97%$$$10 years– Excellent efficiency. – Stackable for expansion. – Variable load handling.– Newer company, unknown longevity.
Xantrex500 – 6,000W90%$$5 years– Proven reputation. – Pure sine wave.– Lower peak efficiency. – Shorter warranty.
Renogy500 – 4,000W85%$2 years– Most affordable. – Compact.– Lower efficiency. – Short warranty period.

Selecting the Best Off Grid Solar Batteries


Deep cycle lead-acid, AGM or lithium-ion batteries are essential for storing and supplying solar power through inclement weather or night time hours. When  choosing the best off grid solar batteries Consider :

  • Battery Type – Lithium-ion offers long lifespan but higher cost. AGM and Gel are also quality options.
  • Amp Hours/Power – Choose batteries that meet your overall energy needs.
  • Voltage – Determine if 12V or 24V etc. batteries integrate best with your system.
  • Warranty – Look for at least 5-10 year warranties from top brands.

Quality batteries from Battle Born, Renogy, Surrette are expensive upfront but pay off over thousands of reliable charging cycles. Don’t cheap out on the heart of your solar system! Below are some different types of batteries to choose from for your off grid battery system.

Battery Bank Options

Battery TypeLifespanMaintenanceCostProsCons
Lithium-ion10-15 yearsMinimal$$$– Long lifespan. – No maintenance. – Fast recharging.– Expensive upfront cost.
Lead-acid4-8 yearsModerate$– Inexpensive option.– Shorter lifespan. – Slower charging. – Regular maintenance needed.
AGM8-12 yearsLow$$– Sealed design. – Faster recharging.– Costs more than lead-acid.
Gel8-12 yearsLow$$– Sealed design. – Faster recharging.– Costs more than lead-acid.

The Best Charge Controllers for System Protection and Efficiency


Charge controllers regulate power from solar panels to the battery bank, preventing overcharging and system damage. For off grid use, MPPT controllers are recommended:

  • MPPT Technology – Maximizes solar energy yield, even in low light. Up to 40% more efficient than PWM controllers!
  • User Programmability – Adjustable settings to customize battery charging.
  • Remote Monitoring – Bluetooth/Wi-Fi allows monitoring charge levels.
  • Safety Features – Overload, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection.
  • Warranty – 5-10 year warranties demonstrate quality manufacturing.

Brands like Victron, Renogy, MidNite Solar offer excellent MPPT controllers tailored to different size off grid systems. Don’t skimp here – your controller protects your investment!

Accessories for Peak Performance: Mounts, Cables, and More


While not “glamorous,” components like wiring, mounts, disconnects, and lightning arrestors are crucial for safe and efficient solar systems. Invest in quality here as well:

Mounts – Sturdy anodized aluminium resists corrosion.

Wiring – Copper lasts decades. Don’t use aluminium.

Surge Protection – Protect electronics from voltage spikes and lightning strikes.

Grounding Equipment – Ensure proper grounding for safety.

Disconnects/Fuses – Isolate system components safely for maintenance.

Fasteners – Use stainless steel hardware rated for outdoor use.

Taking time to install premium accessories ensures your solar system stays operational for the long haul.

Proper Installation is Key

Investing in quality gear won’t matter much without proper installation. Consider hiring a NABCEP certified solar pro, or thoroughly researching DIY installation best practices including:

  • Site survey and planning – Factor in sunlight, climate, local building codes.

  • Mounting and wiring – Follow manufacturers’ guidelines and electrical standards.

  • Inverter, battery bank sizing – Right-size systems to your electricity needs.

  • Grounding and lightning protection – Critical safety measures.

  • Monitoring and maintenance – Enable remote monitoring and schedule preventative maintenance.

While hiring a qualified installer adds cost, it ensures your system is professionally optimized for efficiency, safety and longevity.

Maintain Your System

Over years of operation, even quality solar systems need basic maintenance. Follow these tips to keep systems performing like new:

  • Clear debris/snow from solar panels and check mounts.

  • Inspect wiring connections, housings for damage. Tighten as needed.

  • Check inverter filters and fans. Clean or replace if needed.

  • Monitor battery bank health and recharge/equalize periodically.

  • Update firmware and settings on components if applicable.

  • Log system output and quickly address any irregularities.

Catching small issues early prevents big problems down the road. Given the investment, protect it!

The Value of Quality Off Grid Solar

While premium off grid solar gear carries a higher initial price tag, it pays dividends over time by:

  • Reducing Maintenance/Replacement Costs – Quality components operate reliably for decades rather than needing frequent repairs and swaps.

  • Maximizing System Performance – Efficient components with robust output produce optimal energy yields year after year.

  • Providing Energy Security – Reliable off grid power generation gives peace of mind and preparedness.

  • Delivering a High Return on Investment – Avoiding recurring system issues and replacements alone makes quality components worthwhile.

Going with the cheapest option often leads to an endless cycle of system problems, headaches and sunk costs. Invest wisely upfront in quality off grid solar that will keep you powered reliably for the long haul.


Creating a high-performing, long-lasting off grid solar system requires investing in quality components designed specifically for the rigors of off grid use. While premium gear carries a higher upfront cost, it will save you money and hassle over your system’s lifetime through:

  • Fewer repairs and replacements
  • Maximum energy production and efficiency
  • Reliable off-grid power when you need it
  • High return on investment over decades of use

Don’t be tempted by cheap deals on generic or DIY solar components not engineered for long-term off grid operation. Take the time to research and select durable products from reputable brands known to withstand harsh conditions. An ideal off grid solar system uses high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels, a pure sine wave power inverter, and lithium batteries designed for solar storage – even if they cost more initially.

With critical components like solar panels and batteries, go for equipment with at least 20-25 year warranties from manufacturers that thoroughly test their products. And don’t forget smaller but vital accessories like wiring, fuses, and mounts – use premium products here as well. Proper installation also makes a big impact.

The wise adage “go cheap, buy twice” very much applies to off-grid solar systems. Invest wisely upfront in quality components, and you’ll reap dividends for decades in terms of performance, reliability and cost savings on repairs. Your future off grid self will thank you!

Ready to start researching and selecting components for your own off grid solar system? Check out our Recommended Gear page for in-depth reviews and comparisons of the best off grid solar panels, battery banks, power inverters and complete kits. Our experts are also available for free consultations to help you design the ideal off grid system tailored to your site and usage needs. Contact us today to get started designing your high-performance, long-lasting solar system.