The tiny house movement has benefited a lot from the advancements in solar energy over the last decade. Solar power systems are more affordable and widely available for tiny homes, making it easier to generate practically free, clean energy.
Tiny houses that are always on the move or prefer to stay off the grid will also have a guaranteed, reliable power source even in the most remote areas. Tiny home owners can even jump on this renewable energy trend by assembling and installing solar-powered systems for their tiny houses themselves.
So what are the best DIY solar system kits available for tiny homes? Here are our top 8 solar system kit choices that are perfect for any tiny house:
- Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
- Renogy 200W 12 Volt Kit
- NewPowa 200W Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel
- WindyNation 100W Solar Panel Off Grid
- HQST 100W Solar Panel Kit
- SOLPERK 20W Solar Panel Kit
- Acopower 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit
- Grape Solar GS-300 Kit
Grid-Tied vs. Battery Bank: Which Is Better For Your House?
There are two types of solar power systems: grid-tied and off-grid. The difference between these two depends on where you store the energy you generate. Your solar panels only charge while there is sunlight, so you need to find a place to store the energy your house needs.
- Grid-tied: For grid-tied systems, the solar panels will send the energy you generate to the local utility grid. This becomes part of the power the people in your area use. In exchange, you get credit for the energy you generate. You can use as much energy as you contributed to the grid, so you have access to power when the sun goes down.
- Battery bank: On the other hand, an off-grid solar system will rely on a battery bank as their energy storage solution. Since you won't have any access to power lines, your batteries provide you the power you need throughout the day.
If you're unsure which system to use for your tiny house, consider your tiny house lifestyle. For homeowners living in remote areas, having your own power supply will ensure uninterrupted power consumption even if you live off the land for weeks at a time.
Alternatively, you can invest in a hybrid system so you can take advantage of both set-ups: you can connect to the grid whenever you’re in town, or rely on your batteries when it’s time to hit the road.
Learn more in our article: How to Wire a Tiny House for Solar Power
The Best Tiny House Solar Kits
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners looking for something inexpensive but of good quality
The Goal Zero Boulder is a lightweight and portable, 100-watt monocrystalline panel that comes with a briefcase folding enclosure and a 5 ft. long cable. It’s easy to carry around and to store in a tiny home, thanks to its carrying case.
The kickstands are adjustable and can be removed, so you can set up the panel at the proper angle. Be sure to avoid cloud cover, since it will impact the efficiency of the kit. The Goal Zero Boulder is durable and weatherproof, since it’s made of anodized aluminum and tempered glass. Overall, it's a practical product to use while you’re living in a tiny house off-grid, camping, or stuck in an emergency.
|Product||Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase|
|Dimensions||26.75 x 40 x 1.75 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.7|
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners who are solar energy first-timers
The Renogy 200W is one of the most long-lasting and durable solar kits for any tiny house. It has a solar cell efficiency of 21%, with its ideal energy output at 1000Wh per day. Made with an advanced encapsulation material with multilayered sheet lamination, it protects and enhances the performance of the cells.
The product includes a Negative Ground charge controller with reversed battery, and applications such as system protection against overcharging, overloading, and short circuiting. You can expand this system up to a maximum of 400W. It’s great for tiny house beginners since you can consult with their customer service team easily if you have any concerns or questions.
|Product||Renogy 200W 12 Volt Solar Kit|
|Dimensions||47.3 x 21.3 x 1.4 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.6|
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners looking for a heavy-duty, wind and snow-proof solar system kit
The NewPowa 200W model has a high cell efficiency and a decent light conversion rate during the perfect sunny day. The panels are much larger compared to others, built with sturdy anodized aluminum frame panels.. If you have problems attaching these panels to the roof of your tiny house, you can set them on the ground instead.
This product can withstand snow and high winds, and you get a transferable power output warranty good for 25 years upon purchase. It's an excellent value for the system that produces more than enough energy for your tiny house.
|Product||NewPowa 200W Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel|
|Dimensions||66.2 x 28.5 x 2.5 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.8|
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners who have a rudimentary understanding of solar energy and don’t mind some tinkering
The WindyNation Kit is a more complete solar solution for tiny homes compared to other kits. It comes with a full suite of panels, cables, connections, and accessories so it’s ideal if you have more experience with electronics, particularly with setting up an off grid solar system.
It can supply 350Wh daily, and the product includes an LCD display-charge controller with a battery temperature sensor. You can adjust the settings so you can monitor the temperature, amperage, amp hours, voltage, and DC load draw. This kit is also expandable, allowing you to scale your tiny house power consumption.
|Product||WindyNation 100W Solar Panel Off Grid|
|Dimensions||40 x 26.4 x 1.2 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.6|
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners who don’t have much room for large panels
|Product||HQST 100W Solar Panel Kit|
|Dimensions||30.3 x 22.7 x 5.3 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.2|
Don’t underestimate the HQST kit - while it’s smaller than other 100W panels, it provides the same power output. The product comes with a 25-year power output warranty and 5-year equipment warranty, so your tiny house’s power supply is guaranteed to last a long time.
Although you may take more time to install it, this kit comes with everything you need: a power socket with an MC4 connector and a multifunctional charge controller. It will protect your system from overload, over-discharge, and short circuits for off-grid use.
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home dwellers who want a plug-and-play solar system kit
|Product||SOLPERK 20W Solar Panel Kit|
|Dimensions||18.1 x 13.8 x 1 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.3|
The SOLPERK kit was designed for quick installation and set-up. It’s an ideal kit for even the most electrically-challenged tiny home owner. Its interface is easy to use and there are no extra requirements needed to maintain this system. It has a 12-month warranty period and lifetime technical support. The SOLPERK kit is wind and rain proof, with glass panels that are easy to clean and maintain.
This product has open circuit and short circuit protection, three-level charging modes, and a smart chip that manages the battery and charging. As long as your house receives direct sunlight, you can generate more power and even speed up the charging time.
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home families who want something simple and affordable
The Acopower Portable Solar Power Kit prioritizes simplicity over customization. You won’t have any trouble setting it up and attaching it to an existing power generator solution in your house.
It’s considered one of the easiest portable, waterproof solar system kits to use for tiny house living. The battery and generator have three options: a built-in charge controller for a 12V battery, MC4 connectors for the solar generator, and MC4 connectors for a simultaneous battery and solar generator hybrid. One minor downside is that you will need an adapter if you want to add more solar panels.
|Product||Acopower 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit|
|Dimensions||28.5 x 22.9 x 41. inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4.7|
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home owners who are looking for something easy to install
Since not everyone is talented when it comes to electronics, the Grape Solar GS-300 Kit is a viable option for those looking for an easy-to-install solution. You don’t even have to do much to maintain it, and their customer service hotline is always prepared for troubleshooting and assistance.
This 300W kit is made of high-efficiency crystalline solar cells in a weatherproof, anodized aluminum frame and sealed junction box ensures your tiny house has a constant energy supply in the years to come. It provides 900Wh of charge per day, and its TA two diode bypass will help minimize any drop in power caused by clouds or shade.
|Product||Grape Solar GS-300 Kit|
|Dimensions||42 x 81 x 1.57 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||5|
Should I Buy a Solar Energy Kit or Design My Own System?
Building your own tiny house solar collection system can be challenging, but it’s an undertaking any homeowner can successfully take on with the right research.
On top of finding the right panels and accessories, figuring out every appliance’s energy consumption, as well as your location’s optimal sun collection schedule are essential parts of the process. If you want to learn how to wire a tiny house for solar power from the very beginning, read our article here.
Here’s a quick way to decide whether to build your own system or buy a ready-to-install kit:
- Build your own system if you are planning a large-scale, more permanent harvesting solution
Solar panels are a reliable off-grid solution for tiny houses. Building a reliable off grid solar collection system requires painstaking attention to detail, but will reward you for years when done right. It’s a great way to passively harvest renewable energy for your home, whether or not you’re connected to the grid.
- Buy a kit if you know nothing about solar power systems and want a plug-and-play solution
If you're not too confident with building your tiny house’s solar power system, it's best to leave it to the professionals. Experienced solar manufacturers prepare everything you need to get renewable energy into your home. For infrequent travelers, buying a solar pack is a great way to supplement on-grid electricity and reduce energy costs or act as a reliable source during power interruptions.
How Many Solar Panels Should I Get For My House?
Tiny house owners are the perfect candidates for solar power use, since they don't need that much energy to run the appliances in their home. While traditional American houses use around 30 kW of energy every day, most tiny homes will only need around 3-4 kW daily.
If you're thinking about incorporating solar power into your tiny house, you will first need to study your power usage breakdown. Figure out how much energy you consume when powering the appliances and gadgets around your house, then include a buffer of 20% in your computations to account for cloudy days.
For tiny homes that only need 4 kWs, five solar panels should be enough. Make sure that you have solar panels of a uniform size, otherwise you will get different quantities of electricity at varying rates - which won't be good for the solar system energizing your house.
We wrote a comprehensive article on all things solar power for tiny homes, from panel costs by state, to energy consumption, to instructions on how to wire your tiny house with solar capabilities. We suggest visiting that article if you want to understand the basics of solar technology for tiny homes.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.