A solar panel for the Small Cabin
Off Grid Solar System
This has been great! We put up a 200 watt solar panel and attached that to a 200 watt inverter with two plug ins. Now we have power!
Solar panel kits have come down in price and many great ones can now be purchased on Amazon. Here is an example of one from Amazon
200w 12v Solar Panel Kit 2pcs 100W Flexible Solar Panels for RV, Boat, Cabin, Tent, Car, Trailer, 12v Battery with Solar Controller PV Connector Wire
Eco-worthy sells kits from as low as $249 to this one shown below for $1878.99 which would be great for a cabin or summer home.
ECO-WORTHY 800 Watts Solar Panel Kit: 8pcs 100W Mono Solar Panel + 1.5KW 24V-110V Off Grid Inverter + 60A Charge Controller with Combiner Box + Solar Cables + Z Mounting Brackets for Charging Battery
With our 200 watt panel and an inverter that has two standard outlets we can power my laptop, small-screen TVs, our phone chargers and can even use our coffee pot if we want to. I’m told we can also use a toaster, blender, and boom box but haven’t tried that yet.
Setting up the solar system
Here are some pictures of Scott setting the system up.
First he mounted the Panel on the outdoor cooking area and ran the wires down the post – here is a picture showing the wires running down the post and into the pipe.
The trench was dug using a pix axe and dug down about a foot.
This trench is to run the wires through the pipe to the cabin, it’s not good just to place the wires in the trench – they could get damaged or rot from moisture in the soil.
To prevent any damage happening to the wires, Scott placed a pipe in the trench in which he pulled the wires through.
These wires not need to go to the battery, charge controller and then the inverter.
Because the cabin is small and we really didn’t want a batter in it, we found this old cooler and used it to put the battery and charge controller into.
The battery we are using is a marine battery – it fit nicely in the cooler.
Marine batteries can vary in price – cheaper is not always the best way to go. We paid around $200 for this battery but the ones in our travel trailer were about 400 they lasted for 6 years. We will see how long this one lasts.
Carmanah CMH-AGM-100 100 Amp AGM Deep Cycle Rechargeable Replacement Battery for PV Solar and Inverters (No Maintenance)
We filled the cooler with styrofoam insulation to help protect the battery from our cold weather and so far it seems to be working well.
Once everything was hooked up to the cooler, a hole was drilled thru the log and into the cabin to attache to the inverter.
Because we have cold winters and not much room in the cabin, we but the battery in an old cooler and insulated it.
If you don’t need to worry about the weather or have a larger area to store them that’s great. If storing outside a battery box should be used.
attwood 9067-1 Heavy-Duty Acid-Resistant Power Guard Series 27 Vented Marine Boat Battery Box, Black
What can I run on my 200 Watt Inverter
Some of the items you can run on your 200 Watt Inverter would be:
- Charge a Cell Phone
- Use your Laptop
- 25″ TV
- Ceiling Fan
- LED Light Bulbs 40, 60, 75 or 100 Watt
- Some Coffee Makers
For more info on power inverters go to the link below
12 thoughts on “Solar Panels for Cabin”
I so had to read this article! I am living in the middle of nowhere, and I have no electricity and it has been tough. Installing solar also seemed expensive or maybe I asked the wrong people … You explained the steps to set this up very clearly and I like that you added photos. I already have an inverter, but it’s a little over 2 years and a half old. It would still work, right, not be outdated? I have never used it. I just need to get a panel and a battery and the cables. For just some lights in the evening, and enough charge for a laptop, wifi, and phone chargers, what panel should I get? And if I want to include a small fridge, how many more panels do I need?
Hi Christine, I have been looking at hooking up a fridge and did some research on this. You might be interested in this link. Mini Fridge for Off Grid We have a 200 watt panel and that works great for charging our phones, a light in the evening etc. Solar Power Kits
I found your post highly uplifting and educational. Solar panels are getting popular in the part of the world where I live and people are interested in installing solar panels. I am also interested in it and while doing some research found your informative post. I got helpful insights from your post.
The step by step walk-through on setting up the solar system and the images you shared are very helpful in my understanding. You have really given a lot of value here.
Your post certainly made me think more on the subject and I am bookmarking it for future reference.
Thanks Paul. Check back for more info as we are learning along the way. In the future we hope to power the larger cabin with solar as well, but of course it will be a larger system.
Wow! This is really interesting. I have some little knowledge and experience about solar panels and inverters because I am a student of electrical and electronics engineering. I love solar technology so much and I plan on getting a very powerful one iin my house because of the numerous advantages and benefits of this technology and free energy from nature. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
We also, are learning along the way. In the future we will get a larger solar system for our bigger cabin. It’s been great learning about this and sharing with everyone.
I can imagine cabins in the wilderness, where you need power that this solar panel set up can give. If it is easy to set up then I can imagine that most people living in cabins will take them up. What surprises me is the number of electronic devices that can be powered by these solar panel. I wonder how many panels would you require to have enough to power an average cabin, as it would be interesting to how much of the roof will be covered by them.
As with all solar panels the concern of the amount of power produced if it is cloudy or if the solar panel if they get dirty. You wonder if enough power is generated to cover all your needs.
Thank you for your article as it is very interesting, as we live in environmentally friendly times mm
Hi Antonio, we are learning as we go along and in the future will power the larger cabin with solar as well. When this is done there will be many more panels, batteries and a much larger inverter so be sure to check back as I will be sharing that with everyone as well.
Living in a place where it is cloudy can certainly affect the amount of solar power you will receive, we are lucky as I was doing research I found out that we are living in one of the best places in our country to harness solar power.
Thanks for stopping by the website.
I’m curious as to how the panels survived the winter with snow accumulation, or not?
The angle the panels are sitting are great. Any snow just slides off and we had lots of snow last winter.
I have always been very fascinated by the use of solar panels and I was even hopi g that maybe someday I too would be able to run out in my home but didn’t know which type. I think this one will make for a very good solar system in my home and I will also enjoy using it very much. Your explanation is very good.
Hi Suz, this one is a good starter for sure. It helped me understand how the whole solar thing works and now we are ready to put a bigger system in the large cabin…..keep posted lol. Take care