grape solar reviews

Grape Solar Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you're looking for Grape Solar reviews, you've come to the right place.

We've taken a deeper look at the solar panel kits and products from Oregon-based solar panel manufacturer Grape Solar.

This brand may only be 10 years old in the market (they launched in 2009), but Grape Solar has quickly built a reputation for durable yet affordable solar panel kits.

Grape Solar has in-house installation service, but since they are available in major retailers like Home Depot and Costco, they are able to accommodate the DIY-loving public as well. 

Interested in getting an off-grid solar panel for your home? Check the top 3 Grape Solar products:

Most Affordable 

BEST GRAPE SOLAR KIT UNDER $50

  • Best for charging powerbanks and similar applications
  • Cheapest Grape Solar kit in the market
  • Beginner-friendly installation and operation

Most Beginner-Friendly  

BEST GRAPE SOLAR KIT FOR BEGINNERS 

grape solar gs-200
  • Includes two 100-watt solar panels
  • Comes with a handy power inverter that turns your solar kit into usable power in an instant 
  • Ideal for RVs and boats 

Most Beginner-Friendly  

BEST GRAPE SOLAR KIT FOR BEGINNERS 

grape solar gs-400
  • Charges portable gadgets without a fuss
  • Can run small pumps 
  • Expandable (Add more solar panels in the future) 

3 Best Grape Solar Reviews

grape solar gs-400
  • Polycrystalline panel
  • Features two diode junction box 
  • Uses 12-volt deep cycle battery

Ideal for those who already have some equipment ready, the Grape Solar GS-400 Kit includes all the components you need, such as inverter, charge controller and the panels. You do have to prepare your own mounting brackets and batteries to begin using this off-grid solar panel kit.  

Performance-wise, Grape Solar's GS-400 solar panel kit will arrive with its components boxed separately along with instruction booklets for each component. Installation is easy, even for beginners, since everything is already written on the guides. Operation is just as user-friendly and because you can add more to your 4 100-watt polycrystalline solar panels in the future, it can serve beyond as backup power source. 

Other components included in this kit include an 800-watt inverter with two outlets and 1 USB port, a 35-Amp charge controller, a manual and cables. Note that you might need to buy additional supplies, such as extra wires, MC4 connectors, battery box, and so on, depending on what you currently have and the setup you plan to build.

​PROS

  • Expandable system
  • Value-for-money kits 
  • Exceptional customer support

​CONS

  • Battery and fuses not included
grape solar gs-100
  • Designed for DC applications
  • Extendable (up to 3 panels)
  • 10-year limited warranty

The Grape Solar GS-100 is a must if you're planning to stay overnight at your cabin and just need extra power available for charging low-voltage applications like batteries and solar cells. 

This particular kit is one of the most affordable, but it includes a good set of beginner components, including one 100-watt polycrystalline solar panel with two performance-boosting diode junction box. If you use it on a daily basis, you can receive up to 300 watt-hours of power, but this number will vary depending on the panel location and current weather. 

The Grape Solar GS-100 kit also has a Xantrex C35 Charge Controller, 5-feet charge controller-to-battery cables, and 6 inches of PV cables with Mc4/Bare Ends. 

Because of this kit's Xantrex's 35 Amp charge controller, you can add more solar panels in the future. With extra cables, it can accommodate up to 3 extra panels. Just make sure you invest in at least one 12-volt deep-cycle battery to make them work.

​PROS

  • Can accommodate up to 4 solar panels
  • Cheapest Grape Solar panel kit
  • Easy to install
  • High quality build components

​CONS

  • Only for low-voltage applications
  • Battery isn't included 
grape solar gs-200
  • Ideal for RVs and boats
  • Comes with a power inverter
  • Expandable up to 4 extra panels

Perfect if you're on a budget, but want to expand your system in the future. This Grape Solar 200-watt off-grid kit already includes two Grape Solar 100-watt Polycrystalline solar panels, a 35 amp Xantrex charge controller, and 450-watt Xantrex inverter as well as cables, two outlets and manuals for every component.

If you buy just this kit, the Grape Solar GS-200 kit can give you about 50 amp hours daily (that's around 600-watt hours). Of course, you can add more power if you wish. Just connect additional panels and connectors when you're ready.

​PROS

  • Maintenance-free solar panels
  • Weatherproof, impact-resistant components
  • Charge controller indicates if the batteries are fully charged

​CONS

  • Included cables are short

Factors to Consider When Buying Grape Solar Panel 

Price is often the number 1 concern of people switching to solar panels. It's a valid concern, since pricing isn't as straightforward as buying a generator. Are you going to save money in the long-term if you buy a particular kit? The following things could answer this question:  

  • Components included - The Grape Solar panel kits differ in the type and number of components included. Of course, the components included would also affect tag price.
  • Professional installation costs - Unfortunately, some state doesn't allow do-it-yourself solar panel installations. If you want solar panels installed, there is no other option than to pay for professional installation. 
  • Tax credits and other types of monetary incentives - There is a 30% federal tax credit for solar (if you install the equipment from 2016 to 2019) and up to 26% for 2020.

Aside from price, also consider performance and warranty.

Performance

  •  Solar panel efficiency - How much usable electricity can your solar panel convert from the sun? The answer is called solar panel efficiency, and the higher the rating the better.  In general, solar panels operate with 14 to 18% efficiency with the best ones even reaching 24%.
  • Temperature coefficient - This refers to the effectiveness of solar panels during not-so-ideal temperatures. You should find solar panels with lower temp coefficient (about -0.25 to 0.40). In general, Grape Solar panels fall in the mid-range of temperature coefficient ratings. For example, if your kit states it is -0.25 temperature coefficient, which is the standard for most solar panels, this means that the maximum electricity it can provide falls by .25% with every 1°C increase in temperature. 

Warranty - Most solar panel manufacturers like Grape Solar offer an average 10-year warranty against defects on parts. Specific warranties per kit varies, so better check first before deciding. This consideration is important since no one wants to be stuck with a defective solar panel about 5 years in and without receiving its full value-for-money yet.

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Grape Solar Panel for My Home?

It is important that the solar panel kit you choose is able to accommodate your needs, especially if you plan to use them in remote locations like your cabin. 

Note that comparing these three Grape Solar reviews should give you an idea of how other people used them for their own set-ups. Whether or not these solar panel kits would be the best option for your power requirements at home depends on the considerations explained above. 

In addition, as you might have guessed by now, the price tag of these solar panel kits aren’t the only money you’d need to shell out. All the Grape Solar kits above do not come with batteries yet, so if you’re starting out from scratch, add a couple of hundred bucks more to your investment. 

The best thing about all three - the Grape Solar GS-100-KIT Solar Panel KitGrape Solar GS-200-KIT Solar Panel Kit and Grape Solar GS-400-KIT Solar Panel Kit is that they are all expandable, so you can begin your solar project now and add more panels in the future.

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