Starter Garage System

I did a show with Jack Spirko at on May, 12 2023 where I talked about a cheap starter system for an off grid install on a garage using 1 or 2 used panels sourced locally. You can rarely if ever get less than 10 panels shipped to you so any small systems need to be based on what you can get.

You should be aware of both th VOC and the IMP of the system to ensure your charge controller is properly sized, but assuming you can do that math on your own here is the system as I described it in my answer:

You may listen to my segment below if you skip ahead to the 9:34 mark.

Charge Controller

This charge controller will take up to 48VOC and 520W when paired with a 12V battery Bank and double those numbers when paired with a 24V Battery Bank.


I would suggest you get some batteries at your local Sams or Costco which you should be able to get for around $100 each, but the LIFEPO4 one to the right isn’t a horrible deal.


I mentioned a smallish 12/2000 inverter for this system that would run small items and this is probably the best option for this application.

Combine this with some Mini Rails, End clips, and Mid Clips for the panels(make sure to match the height to your panel height) and some PV Cable and you have a starter system for under $900 (assuming 500W of panels at $0.25/watt)