Monday, May 16, 2011

Simple Solar Setup - Harbor Freight Solar Kit

This is my solar setup. I bought two Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Kits. These panels generate enough electricity to run the lamps in my home all night. I also run the pump for my Koi pond on it. I hooked my panels up to two 12 Volt DC Deep Cycle Marine Batteries and a 400 Watt Inverter. I also have a Grid Tie Inverter that I hook up when the batteries are fully charged.

I am doing everything I can now to reduce my dependency on the grid. So far I am doing so without noticing much difference in lifestyle. You can actually live very well off grid... Its actually kind of fun! :)

I would recommend the Harbor Freight kits to anyone who wants to give solar a try. They are easy to get up and running, and help to give a basic understanding of how solar works.


  1. Did you make that mount system yourself and if so is it wood or metal? I have one of these setups I'd like to use with a small generator for backup at a cabin that I have, where electricity is not available.
    To expand it I'll probably go with panels other than Harbor Freight but I thought this would be a good start up to get me going.

  2. Hi Jon, The mounts are made out of pine boards. I painted them black. The system has been in place for 3 years now and has survived several hurricanes, intense thunder storms, and winters. The HF panels are good but do not generate as much wattage as I would like... I might look into some panel upgrades in the near future. Thanks for dropping by!

    1. I got my setup connected a few weeks ago, just one set of panels. I'm hoping for enough to power some basic lights and charge a laptop or MiFi while I'm there. Good to hear they have held up pretty well, that's encouraging.

  3. I was looking for maintenance of the power plant. Fortunately i find this blog post............ .. Solar Panel