500 Watt Solar Panel System: EVERYTHING You NEED to Know
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500 Watt Solar Panel System: EVERYTHING You NEED to Know

Updated July 10, 2023

500 Watt Solar Panel System


The solar industry is in a constant state of innovation as experts globally continue to push the limits of renewable energy to combat climate change.  In the spring of 2020, two Chinese solar panel manufacturers have each announced a model of a 500 watt solar panel, however these panels are not readily available for personal use and would be too large in size for most DIY solar panel systems anyway.  

In today's market, the highest wattage solar panel available is around 400 watts.  Despite this, many people are still choosing to design and install a solar panel system that totals 500 watts by stringing together multiple solar panels (ie. 5 x 100 watt solar panels = 500 watts of solar).

In an off grid set up, 500 watts of solar power in full sun can easily charge a battery and power the devices of your van, RV, cabin without breaking the bank.  

Since a 500 watt solar panel is not available at this time, let's look at what your options are for getting to a 500 watt solar panel system.

How are 500 Watt Solar Panel Systems Made?

In order to complete a 500 watt solar panel setup, installers will choose to use a few like sized panels to reach the capacity total.  Popular options for a 500 Watt solar panel system include five 100 watt solar panels or two 250 watt solar panels (check 100w solar panel specifications).

Unless the electrical parameters are carefully considered by an expert, mixing together solar panels of different wattages (i.e. a 100 watt solar panel with a 400 watt solar panel) is not recommended for both safety and system longevity.  

Lion Energy 400 watt complete starter solar panel kit

The Other Parts of a 500 Watt Solar Panel System

After you’ve selected your panels and have all of the necessary wiring, you will need to complete your off grid solar power system with a charge controller, a battery, and an inverter.  These components can all be purchased separately. You could also look at an all-in-one solar powered generator kit such as these. 500 Watt kits are ideal because they can deliver a significant amount of solar power, but at come in a size that is still portable and mobile.

500 Watt solar panel system

500 Watt Solar Kits with Solar Power Generators

If you haven’t already purchased your solar panels, there are complete kits available that include everything you need to produce and use the solar power you're harnessing. The Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator + 5 x 200 Watt Solar Panels Kit is an extremely powerful 500 watt solar panel system that is backed by an easy-to-use, portable solar power generator.

If you already have solar panels, or would like to build a custom solar generator kit, there are plenty of medium and large sized solar generators that can handle 500 watts of input such as The Bluetti.  A large advantage of using a solar generator is that it can be temporarily detached from the panels to power something in a different location. Solar generators are also all-in-one solutions that you can just plugin and power up. For more information on solar generators, read our solar generator buying guide

How to Make Your Own DIY 500 Watt Solar Kit

If you want to save money and install a permanent 500 watt solar panel system in your cabin, van, or RV, you will need to purchase and install the solar panels, wiring, charge controller, battery, and inverter either yourself or with the help of an electrician.  

500 Watts of Solar Panels

As outlined earlier in this article, you will need to string together a few solar panels in order to reach the total capacity of 500 watts of solar.  Depending on your budget and the size of available space you have to install the solar panels, you can choose to go with five 100 watt solar panels or two 250 watt solar panels. You can see our selection of solar panels here.

Lion Energy 100 watt solar panel

500 Watts of Solar Panel Wiring

Whenever you buy your solar panels, take a special note as to what is included with your purchase.  Some panels come with all of the wiring included, while others will not. It is important to make sure each of your components is compatible with one another and that you choose the correct wire size to allow for maximum system efficiency.

Most solar panels now a days come with MC4 connectors that can plug right into your charge controller. The other cable you'd need here depending on how you're planning on setting up your system, would be some MC4 to alligator clips.

The Charge Controller

The charge controller will regulate the amount of power being sent from the panels to the battery to prevent damage and ensure system longevity.  For a 500 watt solar panel set up, a 30 AMP charge controller should be large enough to handle most solar power systems operating at peak capacity.  To figure out how we did this math, read our solar power system sizing guide here.

The Battery

Although 500 watts is a lot of power for a relatively inexpensive system, the true capability of your system over time will heavily rely on the size of your battery.  For solar energy storage, we believe lithium ion batteries are significantly better than lead acid batteries in terms of cycle life, efficiency, maintenance and weight.

Lead Acid vs Lithium Battery

Going with lithium batteries means less weight, less maintenance and overall a much longer lifespan. For more information on how to size out your battery bank, read our sizing guide here.

The Inverter

In an off grid setup, the inverter will determine the amount of continuous electricity you can use to power your lights, devices, and appliances. A 500 watt solar panel system will typically have an inverter that is at least 400 watts or bigger so that you can charge basic appliances and electronics such as laptops, lights and a small fridge. You can learn more about solar power inverters here. 


I hope this article has helped clear up some of the information regarding 500 watt solar panels of today and tomorrow.  If you are looking to purchase or build your own 500 watt system, there are many great solar panel kits available

Otherwise, a DIY 500 watt solar panel system is also a possible. We will be sure to let you know when we finally launch a 500 watt solar panel, but until then, our biggest options are 400 watts. 

If you still have questions about 500 watt solar panels don't hesitate to reach out or give us a call today at 877-242-2792.

If you are interested in further information about generating efficient solar energy, consider reading our next blog - Highest wattage solar panel. Or maybe thinking 500 watt is too much for your needs? Then feel free to read our next blog - What Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Power? 

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Article by

Max Bair Marshall

Max is a co-founder of Shop Solar, a company that he established in 2018 to revolutionize the solar industry by simplifying the process and making it more simple and cost-effective. Under his strategic leadership, Shop Solar has grown into a comprehensive one-stop-shop, empowering over 40,000 customers to access top-quality solar and storage solutions, comprehensive information, intuitive tools, and professional installation services.

With a passion for innovation and sustainable energy, Max has successfully expanded the business's reach and impact, serving as a driving force in the company's growth and development. Today, as the leader of a dedicated team of 60+ professionals across North America, Max continues to set new standards of excellence in the renewable energy industry, with a mission to transform the way people access and utilize clean energy.

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