The many ways to install a plug & play solar kit yourself

When it comes to residential solar installations, solar panels on a roof are probably the most common image that comes to mind. But, with solar panels becoming ever cheaper in recent years more and more people have started to experiment with alternative applications. We wrote about ambitious projects in various parts of Germany that have piloted the use of solar panels beyond roofs. As a consequence, plug & play solar kits were born, and have enjoyed a massive boom in Germany, with up to 1.500.000 kits installed by the end of 2023, saving German households millions of Euros every year on their power bills.

The balcony as the first step for alternative installations

In Germany, plug & play solar kits are often called “Balkon-Kraftwerke”, or balcony power stations. This comes from an early use case that became very popular, where households installed solar panels on their balcony railings to generate electricity for self consumption. At Robinsun, we offer both our Light kit, with ultralight panels of just 5 kg weight, for easy balcony installation on higher floors. We also offer special mounts for our Performance kit that allow for a vertical installation at 90 degrees, or a 60 degree mount to give the panels an angle and produce more.

Flat surfaces as an ideal installation location

Since in vertical installation production of solar panels tends to decrease, and the ideal angle for a solar panel in Europe is 30-35 degrees, many households have looked at horizontal installation possibilities. A garden, flat roof or car port are obvious choices, as they offer sufficient space for installation. Our 20 degree mount gives the solar panel an angle to increase production and mount it solidly on the ground. Since installation is generally very easy on a flat surface and production is much higher than in vertical mount, this type of installation has become the most popular choice by households in many European countries.

Unleash your creativity

But there are many more places a solar panel can produce a lot and help you cut your power bills by up to 50%. You can fix a panel to a wall, horizontally with our 90 degree mount, or with a 60 degree angle to increase production.

Our 90 degree mount for Performance panels is actually a very versatile way to put a solid mount on a solar panel, and then fix it to any surface. We heard from customers using that mount to put their kits on sheds, kids’ garden houses or fences, cover walkways or fix it to pre-existing structures of their houses. To make use of existing structures in your house, like pergolas, gazebos, veranda roofs, our Basic kit gives you the total freedom to do so, as it comes without any mount and you can fix the panels directly to any structure you like. Customers have used our Light kit on existing metal structures on balconies and terraces to give shade while generating solar power at the same time.

Conclusion

Solar panels and components have become so cheap over the years that even small scale plug & play installations are economically extremely profitable. The main question for every household now is, where to best install them to harvest the sun in the best possible way. Flexible, lightweight panels are a great option to get creative, and are very easy to handle. But also conventional solar panels, even in their latest bifacial version can be installed in many more ways than on roofs, giving households an ever wider range of options to generate their own solar energy for self consumption, and save big on their power bills every month.

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