Best Portable Solar Panels For Renters

As a renter, whether or not you are able to use permanent solar panels on your roof is usually up to your landlord.

However, portable solar panels are an alternative to those traditional roof mounted panels that most homes and dwellings have.

The best portable solar panels for renters most importantly leaves no structural or aesthetic markings, or damage.

Having said that, you always want to check with local laws/regulations, your landlord and any relevant parties (service providers for example) for any necessary approvals.

Let’s have a look at some good portable solar panel options for renters …

 

(*Friendly Disclosure – links to retailers or brands on this page may include affiliate links, and we may receive a commission when you purchase through these links)

 

Top Rated List of Portable Solar Panels For Renters

Cheap/Small Portable Solar Panel For RentersEnsupra 250-Watt Readymade Polycrystalline Solar Panel Power Kit (on Amazon)

  • Easy enough to install and understand for one panel

 

Large Portable Solar Panel For RentersPluggedSolar 1.74KW Grid Tie Kit (on Amazon)

  • Although the large system is not bad – there can be issues with setting it up and a lack of technical support. We have not reviewed the large system at this stage, and will check back on it at a later date to see if the issues have been resolved.

Read more about portable flexible, bendable and folding solar panels here if you prefer them as options to the above plug in solar panels.

NOTE: flexible/bendable, and folding solar panels will have to be purchased with an inverters to convert DC off grid to AC grid power.

 

Best Portable Solar Panels For Renters: Reviews

 

Ensupra 250 Watt Readymade Polycrystalline Solar Panel

What Makes This Solar Panel Good For Renters?

  • Kit is composed of a 250 Watt panel (comes with panel stand), and a 250 Grid Tie inverter (Certified UL 1741, power monitor and 50 ft wire -ready to plug in)
  • Power monitor includes Watts display and cumulative kWh display and record
  • Can use the DC power from the panels to charge off grid items like 12v batteries
  • Can chain/stack up to 7 panels together via expansion sockets
  • Easy to set up – place the solar panel in the sun and plug into the wall
  • Estimated energy production is 400kWh per year (but depends heavily on direct sun)
  • 25 year warranty on the panel, and 20 year warranty on the grid tie inverter
  • Possible 30% Federal tax credit available for US residents – confirm with council, government or supplier
  • Two step installation should take less than an hour and involves:
  1. Attach panel stand legs with nuts & bolts.
  2. Put the Solar Panel facing the Sun and Plug the cord into your 110/120V wall socket along with supplied Ensupra Power Monitor. Wait for 5 minutes to observe the live power generation at power monitor. Follow local regulatory electrical codes for installation. If in doubt, consult appropriate licensed contractor.

 

What Are Some Potential Improvements?

  • Like all solar panels, overcast days or cloud cover will drastically decrease power output. Works best in direct sun
  • There may be other planning and approvals your area requires for solar panels – e.g. government and supplier approvals, external meters, electrician sign-off etc.

 

What Accessories Might You Need?

  • No extra accessories are mandatory, but you may be required to get a professional (qualified electrician or solar installer) to asses your situation or set-up.

 

Where To Check Out This Solar Panel?

View the Ensupra 250-Watt Readymade Polycrystalline Solar Panel Power Kit on Amazon

 

Best Portable Solar Panels For Renters: Buyers Guide & FAQ

What Types of Portable Solar Panels Are There For Renters?

There are two main types of portable solar panels options for renters:

  • Plug and play, and grid tie solar panels

The more common option.

These solar panels set up in the sunlight on the ground, and have a cord/plug that runs from the solar panel to a household powerpoint or power source without any structural modification (some people choose to get them hardwired into the power source by a professional).

The cord/plug is an inverter that turns solar DC energy into the AC energy needed to feed back into the grid (your household electricity system).

It is possible to use these panels off grid too – but, you’ll have to make sure to buy a brand of standalone inverter that is compatible with your panel/s.

 

  • Off grid solar panels

These include flexible/bendable, and folding solar panels.

These panels are off grid type solar panels – meaning that they function outside of your household energy supply.

These panels usually have a compatible inverter you can purchase to turn the solar DC energy into the AC energy you need for household appliances.

The solar panel usually connects to the inverter box, and you can then plug your devices directly into the inverter box (make sure they have the right connections first though).

 

You can read more about portable off grid solar panels here:

Folding Solar Panels

Flexible & Bendable Solar Panels

 

What Are Portable Solar Panels Used For When Renting?

  • Plug and play, and grid tie solar panels

Plug and play solar panels are used for collecting DC solar energy, converting it to AC household electricity via an inverter cord, and feeding it back into your household grid system for you to use.

You use your household electricity the same as normal.

 

  • Off grid solar panels

Off grid solar panels are stand alone panels.

They consist of the panels, a solar controller, sometimes a generator, and an inverter.

As a general example, a 1500W Go Power Sinewave Inverter used with a Go Power solar panel setup should be able to handle devices like TV’s and laptops.

The smaller folding solar panels like the Goal Zero 20Watt are quite useful – as you can plug USB battery devices like smartphones and tablets directly into them without an inverter. You’ll need a regenerator though if you want to charge those devices when you solar panel isn’t in the sun.

 

 

Which Portable Solar Panel To Get When Renting – How To Choose?

  • Plug and play, and grid tie solar panels

These panels are better if you plan on just using the panels at home.

They are also more convenient and cost effective as you don’t have to buy the extra accessories that off grid panels require in order to run AC energy.

 

  • Off grid solar panels

You’ll have to buy the panels, maybe a solar controller, maybe a regenerator, and definitely an inverter box/system if you go this option.

This system is more impractical for strictly home use – but, is probably better if you use an Rv, camper van, go camping, hiking, backpacking or will have a need for solar energy off grid at any point.

 

*NOTE: you should always get the relevant approvals, sign-offs and professional checks done before and after installing using solar systems. Relevant parties to approach and consult with might include your local council/government, energy suppliers, your landlord and professionals like electricians or solar installers.

 

What Features To Look For, & Considerations To Make With Portable Solar Panels When Renting?

Some of the following things you’ll want to look out for in plug and play panels are:

Check the Wattage and output (Kw per day, and per year) of one panel

Can the panels be stacked i.e. can you join a number of panels together to increase the output of the solar system?

How does the panel support itself – do you just set up and attach the legs to the panel?

How does the inverter cord and plug work – does it connect straight from the panel to the power point?

Check whether you can get a tax credit from both national and local government for the panel

Make sure the warranty is guaranteed on both the panel and inverter

Make sure there is customer support from the company post-purchase

Do the panels have any level of certification from any solar bodies?

 

Portable Solar Panels For Renting – Accessories & Extras Required

Panel Health, and Panel Output monitor

Backup inverter

Depending on where you install it – potentially brackets and extra support

You may choose to engage a professional to help you with approving the installation

 

Best Portable Solar Panels For Renters: Resources

1. http://www.pluggedsolar.com/ 

 

 

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1 thought on “Best Portable Solar Panels For Renters”

  1. I’ve been told that I can now for a few thousand dollars purchase portable solar panels that will pretty much power my apartment. I have read countless sites, and no one simplifies and explains “what you need to buy, how much$, and what it can fuel. I am a renter, probably always will be, but I’d sure like more information so if I do happen on a windfall I can invest in not paying for my electricity for the rest of my life. Is it possible, or not?

    Reply

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