If you’re looking at going off the grid or want to be more eco-conscious, solar panels are the way to go! And the best news is that they are perfect for tiny houses since they’ve got lower power needs.
We’ve gathered all the information you need to know before installing solar panels, so find out how easy, and affordable this installation is!
- 1 Can Solar Panels Provide Energy For A Tiny House?
- 2 What to Consider Before Setting Up Solar Power In A Tiny House
- 3 How To Power A Tiny House Off-Grid
- 4 How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For A Tiny House?
- 5 How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For A Tiny House?
- 6 Pros And Cons Of Solar Power In A Tiny House
- 7 Best Solar Panel Kits For A Tiny House
Can Solar Panels Provide Energy For A Tiny House?
Yes, they most definitely can! Solar panels are perfect for tiny houses since the space is much smaller and the power needs are lower. Various companies can help you install the ideal solar panel system for your tiny house. They can also help with where to place it and which system works best for your home. One such company with great reviews is AltE.
Going solar in a tiny house is the way to go! A tiny house has a very low power consumption as, on average, it consumes about 914 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Plus, there are loads of options for powering your home using solar panels.
You will need to consider a few factors beforehand, though. So below are some points that will help you make your decision.
What to Consider Before Setting Up Solar Power In A Tiny House
Your power usage
Power usage is possibly the most crucial factor to consider before any solar power installation. So you’ll need to look at how much electricity you use or plan to use every month to figure out what size your solar system needs to be.
Consider your habits. Do you use the kettle a lot? Are you using an electric oven and stove? How many people live with you? Are you planning to change these habits or not? This will give you an idea of how much power you use.
How many watts to run your tiny house
Each tiny house is different, but on average, a tiny house uses about 4KWs per day. And most of your power is used for cooling and heating purposes. You can do some calculations to figure out how much energy your home needs by adding up the consumption of each item or appliance you use daily.
Once you’ve figured out your daily consumption, you can multiply the amount by 30 to get an idea of your monthly consumption. From there, you can determine the size of your solar system. Luckily you don’t have to do this on your own – there are professionals who can assist with this.
Think of the watts used for heating, cooling, cooking, laundry appliances, and electronics. Consider all of this when calculating how many watts you need to power your tiny home. You can use an Appliance And Home Electronic Energy Use Calculator to help you figure it out.
In addition, certain providers have created a solar calculator to make this process a bit easier.
The space available to set up the solar kits
A good start is considering how much room you have for a solar panel system. You may need about 15 solar panels. Do you have space for all of them? It’s always a good idea to properly look into something before investing so you know exactly what you are getting into this way and can be fully prepared!
Most roofs on tiny houses can only fit about two solar panels on them, which won’t produce enough power to keep your house running. Therefore you’ll need to consider the space around your home too.
The number of solar panels you will need
As mentioned, the average tiny house will need about 15 solar panels to power it. This is if they are 300-watt solar panels. This way, the solar panels will generate 4500 watts from the sun. This power could very easily cover your power needs, although it is recommended that you get a gas stove.
The number also depends on how many people live there and what your power needs are. If you live alone, five solar panels could get the job done, for example.
Installing and maintaining a solar panel system is initially relatively expensive. It’s a lot of money upfront, but you won’t have any electricity bills once you’ve got it installed.
Ground or roof-mounted
A ground-mounted system is the most popular as it allows you to have loads of panels. You can also place them where it suits you, and you can easily access them.
Roof mounting solar panels are great for those who have low electricity needs or if you’re trying to supplement a different source of electricity.
Batteries and storage
Solar systems also need a battery bank to operate, so you’ll need to consider if you have space for it. The solar batteries also need to be in a well-ventilated spot and out of the sun.
How To Power A Tiny House Off-Grid
Solar power system accessories
Off-grid systems need more than just panels. You will also need an inverter, batteries, cabling, charge controllers, breakers and boxes, and a control panel, amongst other things.
How to set up the solar power system
- Gather all of the components
- Calculate your power usage
- Charge the battery
- Set the inverter up
- Mount the solar panels
- Connect the panels and the battery
- Setup the stands for the battery and inverter
Putting solar panels up is not as challenging as it seems. Just a few simple steps (you can always seek assistance), and you have a solar-powered tiny house!
Solar power maintenance needs for a tiny house
The only maintenance needed is an annual inspection and some occasional cleaning from time to time.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For A Tiny House?
It all depends on your energy usage and how many people live with you. A typical tiny house would need about 15 solar panels, but you’d only need about five panels if you live independently. It also depends on the watts of the solar panel.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For A Tiny House?
A small system will cost you about $3250, and a more extensive system can cost around $9750. This is before any rebates and incentives.
Taxpayers can benefit from a 26% federal solar tax credit to help reduce the cost. There is also an option of applying for a solar loan.
Pros And Cons Of Solar Power In A Tiny House
- Clean, renewable energy
- Save on electricity bills
- More energy independence
- Great return on investment
- You can customize them
- The batteries are expensive
- Requires a fair amount of space
- The upfront cost is high
- Placing the inverter can be challenging
Best Solar Panel Kits For A Tiny House
Below are some fantastic options to choose from when it comes to solar power kits. They all have different factors and specifications but are good-quality kits.
Lodge 6.8 kW 24 Panel SolarWorld Off-Grid Solar System
This handy kit boasts 24,285-watt solar panels and an impressive 8,800-watt inverter system. Great for powering refrigerators, fans, lights, computers, and more.
Grape Solar 3750 Watt Expandable Solar Kit
This kit is excellent as you can daisy-chain panels and add more systems at any point. This way, you can easily expand if your energy needs increase.
Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 20 Solar Panel
The big bonus of this kit is that it’s really affordable. It also includes a 100-watt bolt-on invertor, has 2 USB outputs, and a laptop port. However, you should note that it won’t run a DC convertor.
ECO-WORTHY Monocrystalline Solar Kit 200 Watts
This kit is a fantastic choice and will last you years. It includes a lithium rechargeable battery, easy installation, and top-quality materials. It also transforms DC power into AC power, further extending the system’s use.
Renogy 12V 200-Watt Solar Kit Wanderer
This is a particular favorite for RVs and campers as it’s suited for a smaller footprint – making it perfect for tiny homes too. It’s good quality and can even withstand snow loads and high winds. It is also very easy to install.