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Solar kits start for as little as $150 and include a small solar panel and a charge controller. The solar panel produces DC voltage and the controller prevents the battery from being over charged.

From this point, you may add as many batteries as you need and as many solar panels as it takes to keep your batteries charged.

If you want to run loads that are regular household AC current instead of just DC loads, you will need an inverter. An inverter converts DC voltage to AC voltage. Inverters come in a wide range of sizes. You can add a larger capacity inverter at any time. You can run an entire cabin on around 3500 watts if you use a swamp cooler instead of an air conditioner and use propane fridge and freezer instead of electric. If you must have large electrical appliances, inverters are available in 220 volt AC as well as three phase.

Many people start with a small system as a backup for lights, TV, etc. and add solar modules and batteries as affordable.

See our article on how off-grid power works