A few years ago this whole thing started because I wanted to have a solar panel.
I found that the price of solar panels had been dropping for years. I bought a single 12V 100W panel and a charge controller.
I had a bunch of surplus batteries from work, so I set about making a battery box from an ammo can.
A solar panel
A charge controller
Things to plug into the battery
What is your load? I planned this to have small 12V devices plugged into it, such as LED lights or a ham radio. Also I had a small inverter and I wanted to be able to charge my laptop from the solar panel, or charge a phone. I added a USB charger and a cigarette lighter plug. Don't forget fuses.
So... this got out of hand. Since solar panels were so cheap, I ended up buying a few more, then a few more, then a few more.
I now have 500W of 12V panels set up with a charge controller, attached to 10 deep cycle UPS batteries that are the size of car batteries, with some 12V lights and a 900W inverter.
I have several more panels which will bring the system up to 1200W, but they need to have mounts built for them. They haven't been installed yet. More projects.