Harbor Freight Solar

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Harbor Freight Solar

This is a discussion on Harbor Freight Solar within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; I'm toying with the idea of the Harbor Freight 4 panel solar kit. They run ~$150.00 on sale frequently. This would be just to get ...

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Thread: Harbor Freight Solar

  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Middle East-------(US that is)

    Harbor Freight Solar

    I'm toying with the idea of the Harbor Freight 4 panel solar kit. They run ~$150.00 on sale frequently.
    This would be just to get my feet wet.
    It would probably spend most of the time hooked up to the RV to keep the battery up while parked at home.
    Anyone tried this one? It's been available for a little while now so if anyone has tried it, chime in.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Hiding in plain sight
    I'm interested in this as well so I'll be seeing if anyone has any ifo in this thread.
    youngridge and jimb1972 like this.
    First you have to give up. First you have to know, not fear, know that someday you're going to die.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    SE Wisconsin
    Long term the PVC or plastic frame of the harbor Freight panels do not hold up. Mine is a 3 panel one . Easy enough to replace .
    New life as a house husband, major shift in duties.

    Karl Marx said, "Destroy their culture, rewrite their history. Ruin their art and literature, and defame their heroes, by offering fabrications to scandalize that which they considered good.
    After reading this Obama said I am on it.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Please do not rely on Harbor Freight's exagerated claims for their system. One days sun on a 100 watt panel will NOT charge a 35 Ah battery enough to run a refrigerator for 34 hours.

    Harbor Freight Solar-63585_zzz_alt4.jpg
    Slippy, Marica and SGT E like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    I have read a lot of information online about these systems and have been very curious as well. One thing I have noticed is the new systems are generally regarded as better than the previous generation. This is one of those things on my list if I ever get the money.
    jimb1972 likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I think a lot of people buy a Harbor Freight kit because they are a little apprehensive about putting together a solar kit.
    I mean it's a little scary to put even a small kit up if you have no experience with solar. But keep in mind the price of a
    good quality panel has came way down.

    The Harbor Freight panels really do not have much quality at all. I have heard that they will let water in then freeze and bust.
    For $150 you can put together a nice 100- - 200 watt set up.

    If you could see a basic setup you would say "That's it?"
    the solar panel output leads (two wires) run to a control box. The battery has two wires that also run to the control bo.
    That's all you need. For your 12 volt needs your better off to get your power straight off the batteries.
    You can pick up a controller for about $20 or less that will do the job.

    But if you would rather use a Harbor Freight kit to see what it's about check out craigs list
    I see those kits for 75 to 100 unopened.
    Last edited by budgetprepp-n; 05-16-2018 at 12:57 AM.
    Elvis and sideKahr like this.
    Taking your guns is like eating a whale,,,,,,One bite at a time

  8. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    I think everyone knows Harbor Freight is not the top end of any product, but that said, I have things I bought there that have help up well for over 15 years now. I assume a lot of it has to do with maintenance. Kind of like when I bought my Heritage Arms .22, everyone says they are garbage, buy a Ruger, they're inaccurate, you won't be happy, etc. That has been a great little gun. Plenty accurate for my needs, never failed to fire yet, just keep it clean and oiled. Not to say anyone posting here is wrong, I doubt anyone here has a reason to mislead the rest of us, I am just saying it might be a good idea for everyone to take a look at one of those kits in person and make their own judgement. I hope I have the opportunity to do just that.

  9. #8
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    You might be better off building your own kit. Tons of online solar calculators available. There are great affordable 300W polycrystalline panels that you just need to couple with a charge controller and batteries (the "best" affordable solution is sealed glass matt lead cells). Plus, Harbor Freight is not really know for quality.

  10. #9
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    nooo way - no how would I rely on Harbor Freight for something like solar panels - there's no back up guarantee there what-so-ever ...

    most of the big box home improvement chains offer the Grape Solar product line >>>> Home - cost competitive to get started - drop ship to your home or the local store - 100w basic set up is $100 ...

    get your feet wet and move up from there ....
    I llini WarriorHidden Content

  11. #10
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    South Eastern Arizona
    Remember we buy Harbor Freight tools to get that one tool we need right now, and probably will only use once.

    budgetprepp-n and bigwheel like this.


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