How much does solar REALLY cost? Does it have to be expensive in the real world?

what's up YouTube this is LD s reliance I get a lot of questions about what components I use and how much things cost and where did I get them from so I thought I would do a video on how much solar panel systems cost what are they really cost in the real world so as I was thinking about this I wanted to divide this into three different categories the first category would be the small systems these would be systems like I show in my beginner solar for beginners series where you've got a small 10 or 20 watt solar panel you're just starting out with solar and you're using cheap components that you don't necessarily need to depend upon every day the second category would be like your medium-sized systems you graduate into something where you're going to actually use it for something but you're still probably under a thousand watts and it's not something that you're you know you're powering your whole house off of or whatever and the third category would be large production systems like you would kind of have installed on your roof on your home if you were going to power the whole house off or cabin or whatever off of solar and you're using the and this is the kind of a quote unquote mission critical application that you really need to depend upon the other thing that I wanted to discuss before we start talking numbers is we're only talking about an off-grid setup so in other words like you see in the picture you need a solar panel you need a charge controller you need a battery you need an inverter those four components are non-negotiable you have to have them that's the only type of setup we're going to talk about we're not going to talk about a grid-tied system because there's lots of variability there there's different ways you can set that up with you know micro inverters versus a bigger inverter I mean and then you've got the installation cost where you really need to get a licensed electrician involved so we're not going to talk about that we're only going to be talking about off-grid ok so let's go ahead and talk about these components individually this is on the lower end this is a 20 watt panel you've seen it in a couple of my Biddy videos when you're dealing with really small panels going to pay a little bit more per watt than you do for some of the the middle and higher end panels just because you know there's more material other than the wafers themselves so generally speaking you're going to probably spend about $2 to $3 per watt for for these now if you hunt for a good deal you can you can probably still get them for about a buck 50 a watt this one in particular was $30 so it's in that dollar fifty per watt range it's a 20 watt panel so this is a good example of a lower end panelist 12 volt almost all of the low end panels are going to be 12 volts you can find really small ones 4 volt panels 3 volts 6 volt panels but I'd recommend you stay away from those okay and here we have about a medium sized panel this is a 100 watt panel this one in particular is made by grape Solar and cost me 130 bucks with Free Shipping from Amazon so it's still relatively about in that dollar dollar 25 a watt range with shipping which is about the best you're going to get right now now on the larger end the ones that you use to kind of put all over the roof of your home or whatever these are big panels you're going to a hundred percent guaranteed to pay shipping freight costs so expect you know – cost but generally speaking you can usually find something you can get down into the dollar per watt range if you really look now that's not paying for the name brands like the LG's and the Kyocera and some of those name-brand but if you if you're smart about shopping you can find about a dollar per watt on up to I mean you can spend a lot higher for name-brand panels or for more advanced technologies but generally speaking $1 to $2 per watt plus freight shipping is about what you can expect here we have a good example of a low end charge controller a lot of these will just be Chinese knockoff units or just no-name and they'll be available on eBay or Amazon or something for $20 or less sometimes you can find them for 10 bucks I think this that's what I paid for this one they're nothing special the electronic cinema are not that great so this is great for learning on but you really don't want to be depending upon this and here you have kind of a middle range since we're talking middle of the road got about a middle range charge controller here this is a Tristar t s60 this one is a little bit under $200 it's not MPPT but it's about as good as you're going to get non MPPT and it can handle 60 amps and that's a pretty decent system that a lot you know is definitely beyond kind of the beginner phase and for the large charge controllers expect to pay much more now when you're when you're installing a home system you're probably going to want to move to the maximum power point tracking or MPPT technology which increases the cost and you need reliable components that you can count on that are going to be safe and that you can depend on every day to provide you with power so you're probably going to be in the 400 and up range 400 to $1,000 apiece for these things and as it shows in this picture you'll probably need multiple charge controllers depending on how many panels you have and how many batteries you have and so forth for small hobby systems you can use sealed lead-acid batteries like shown here these are great because they're fairly cheap and they do not require any maintenance and now these are going to cost you approximately $2 per amp hour on the battery and then here we have kind of the middle-of-the-road batteries in my opinion now this is going to be these are definitely the step above the little sealed lead-acid batteries that that you play with in those smaller systems these are deep cycle batteries but they're not renewable energy batteries these are kind of the $90 $100 variety from you know Costco Sam's Walmart whatever for large systems you're going to want to use batteries that are designed to handle the abuse and are very reliable so for example this trojan t105 re or renewable energy now these keep in mind these are very expensive very heavy and they come in six volts so you're going to have to put multiple batteries together in series to achieve the voltage you need okay here's an example of a lower end inverter these are the kind that you're going to see at your gas stations and and at Walmart or or wherever for you know 20 bucks 30 bucks or less these are you know they typically come with the car adapter that's kind of what they're they're designed for but they're perfect for solar because they use 12 volts input and then they have you know your USB and/or your well your your outlets and or your USB connections so that you can use them with with various loads and here you've got a good example of a middle-of-the-road inverter this one still doesn't have a ton of watts I think this is only a 600 watt unit but this is a pure sine wave inverter and it's much cleaner power much more expensive this is a $200 inverter and last but not least four large inverters you're still going to want to stick with pure sine-wave so you can run your sensitive electronics and so forth but you're going to need a lot more wattage so expect to pay a lot more money these are going to typically cost four hundred to a thousand or even more depending on how many watts you want in one unit okay so what does this all mean well for small systems again like I've shown in my solar for beginner series expect to pay roughly $120 for the whole system now we can argue till we're blue in the face about exact prices but this is a pretty good ballpark plus or minus what you'll pay in real life in u.s.

Dollars for medium sized systems were taking a little bit of a quantum leap here and we're going with more robust equipment bigger everything cost a little bit more so you were looking at roughly 1200 1300 dollars in that range again plus or minus a little bit but that that's about what you can expect to graduate to the next level and then for large systems this is again another large quantum leap forward in price and complexity so you're looking at minimum six to eight thousand dollars probably more like 8500 to ten thousand to put in it like a three kilowatt system is basically what i SPECT out here anyway thanks for watching guys hopefully this has been a little informative and eye-opening for some of you

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