Solar Panel Kits; Retail or Wholesale?

Categories: Solar PV Panels.

Solar panel kits were a logical step when I thought about rooftop solar. What if solar power kits consisting PV panels, mounting brackets, controller, inverter, switches, generator and batteries were available to be delivered to your home? Wouldn’t that provide an alternative solution for lower cost photovoltaic electrical power?

Renewable Energy Sources

You could have a local electrician install the solar kit. Size it to operate your home’s electrical appliances when your utility grid’s power prices fail to impress or you want off grid power. The installed solar PV power kit, with generator and a bank of batteries if needed, would supply a stable reliable power source for your electrical equipment.

Solar panels kits come in many sizes depending on their intended use: portable RV solar panel kits, trailer solar panel kits, boat and marine solar panel kits, and the best solar panel kits probably being for cabins and homes.

You simply need to know how much power your home needs and order the right sized solar kit, and then arrange for qualified electrical installation. You can check how much power a particular appliance uses by using a plug in power monitoring meter that measures the electrical power use real time and accumulatively over a period.

Solar panels are quickly becoming a commodity consumer product. You can see solar panels on the rooves of car parking shelters for offices and shopping malls. Solar panels on homes and schools are becoming more common. The sight of solar panels on poles to power electronic signage or lighting is becoming less spectacular.

Like many other consumer products the range of solar PV panels is becoming wider. You may have seen advertised promotions for selling ‘solar panels’ popping up in the side bar since you started looking. In countries where solar panels are manufactured they are frequently seen on the roofs of many houses.

Solar Panel Kits From The Source

Solar technology is popular in Europe, India, USA, Australia, Asia and Africa. The prices of solar panels have fallen significantly in the past few years due to improved manufacturing efficiency. The costs of components in solar panel kits have been declining due to technology improvements and manufacturing specialisation. European solar research and manufacturing are competing in a global market.

Chinese manufacture solar components and their associated electronics. China has a massive solar program and have adopted solar on a large scale. Chinese manufacturers have seized a large slice of the solar market locally and globally. Chinese manufacturers supply most of the global wholesale solar panel sellers.

Due to strong competition and automated manufacturing techniques the price of solar panel technology falls year on year. Few solar manufacturers outside of major Chinese solar companies have managed to compete against price drops and improved solar technology. Much of the global solar panels supply comes from Chinese solar panel manufacturers and wholesalers.

Solar Panel Kit Prices Drop With Higher Volumes

The purchase price of solar panels stays higher when there is imperfect competition or insufficient supply volume into the market. As solar panel kits become accepted household appliances, more like a commodity, the prices of solar panel kits fall.

The manufactured supply increases until demand for solar panel supply is met and they become cheaper to buy. As more people are attracted to install solar generation technology on their homes the demand for installers increases. More people become PV panel installers competing for the work and they innovate to make installation cheaper.

Specialist renewable energy companies emerge and start to provide solar electricity package kits that encourage more people off grid. By linking the most efficient panels, inverters, batteries and support brackets into kits with quote options more households adopt solar. Over time the solar market matures and companies also help to spread the message of making the planet greener.

Buying Solar Panel Kits Wholesale

You can buy solar panel kits' components on line from eBay, Amazon or Alibaba.

Now these products bought from a wholesale distributor through Alibaba are usually cheaper than buying retail products from websites like Amazon or eBay for volume purchasers.

That’s okay if you buy volume for a business that installs solar roof panels onto homes, schools or shopping centres. Note that volume is key within wholesale pricing. The reason for the price differential lies in logistics and economics of bulk buying as it does for other consumer products.

solar panel kits

Solar Panels bought from China in volumes are far cheaper than solar panel kits at the retail level. A major solar panel manufacturer will sell you whatever solar panels you want, even in small quantities. You may not like the higher relative cost of transport, distribution and handling for getting the purchased items to your door.

The extra marginal cost of factory to front door transport logistics for small quantities of panels can double its cost. Importing a full solar PV system kit may be a cost effective procurement strategy, even with higher marginal transport costs. There might be more work to do for you ensuring the kit is installed correctly. You will need to look around for trusted installers and make sure the kit is complete. If you do this physical installation yourself ensure that the electrical is checked and signed off by a licensed electrician installer.

Buying Solar Panel Kits Online

If you are reading about online wholesale websites you have probably decided to look at what is available. How do you ensure that you buying good value? Solar PV panels from retail websites usually have higher prices for products than you could get directly from the factory. Buying from foreign factories in any volume comes with trade risk.

If you are buying solar technology from a drop ship website you could buy solar panels here, an inverter there. The prices for individually procured solar panel kits' components are lower if bought directly from a manufacturing company factory. Buying a full solar system could save money but has risks attached. Some wholesalers’ sites may simply be a retail drop-shipper that is a shopfront marketing solar panels using a marked catalogue with pricing plus shipping.

These Chinese companies might be interested in selling solar panels directly but most have threshold sales quantities. The manufacturing company’s shipping threshold might be set in kWs, per thousand solar panels, by set sized packages or per container shipped.

It’s more difficult but not impossible for an individual householder to buy cheap solar panel kits' components from Chinese manufacturing companies. Someone buying panels for a medium sized solar project might organise a homeowner group to also purchase panels within the same shipment to keep solar panel purchase and transport logistic costs down. By going to the website the procurement organiser finds solar panels from a number of solar panel companies from Asia.

Solar Panel Kits Purchased Online

Buying solar panel kits through the online website is fairly transparent. Also quantities above the threshold attract rates closer to wholesale. You could save substantially but you need to be vigilant and prudent when buying online.

Diligently look at the product information, terms and conditions of purchase before putting any personal information into an online purchase. Not all of the companies that list on are equal. The components of the solar kit need to be compatible, complete and work together as an operating electrical system.

Manufacturers of quality products will be careful with payment information and ensure secure shipping and transport of your purchased materials. The exporting manufacturer will explain how you should receive your shipped solar panels purchase, the agent contacts and warranties.

Solar Panel Kits - Last Words

Now, in closing, let me return back to an earlier question I posed. What if solar power kits consisting PV panels, controller, inverter, and switches were available as a kit, and could be ordered online for delivery to your home? Look at these links for articles about generators and batteries if you wanted a more complete off grid set up.

There are ready options for purchasing solar panels and the various components online. You might scratch your head and ask; "Are there risks in doing that?"  Who does the PV system design? Who would check and approve the design?

Consider buying a complete solar kit. You will need to find an electrician to do the wiring after you install the mounting brackets on the roof, fix down that with solar panels and system wiring and locate a suitable secure location for the balance of system (BOS). A good electrician might assist with a lot of the wiring run from the panels to the house connection and fit the BOS connections to make it all work.

The solar installation company's source of profit is from a combination of sources including organising the purchase, transport and electrician with their company markup; the installation and assembly labour and their follow up maintenance contract. They may suggest upgrades to your system like the installation of a battery bank and a back up generator.

A solar installer provides a one-stop shop based on what system they sell but you pay for that service. I am suggesting an alternative DIY solution to that here, and I am posing that as a question.

Have you considered buying a solar kit and having a local electrical installer fit it? It might be a solution that saves you some money.

We recommend this kit from Amazon. Click here to check out the price.

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