Remember to account for any extra influences when you calculate how much you can expect your solar panels to output. There are some intended outputs specified on panels, but that is only accurate if they are placed in an area that is sunny all the time. Any obstruction from trees or from a cloudy day will decrease the output.
Keep your solar panels out of the shade. It might seem obvious, but your solar panels do need sun. Make sure that you are not installing them in the shade. Trim back the branches on surrounding trees if you need to. Failing to do so could cost you more than half your energy output.
Make a solar battery charger using some dollar store path lights. Using 4 cheap dollar store garden lights you can make a very good solar AA or AAA battery …
Once your panels are in place, keep an eye on them and monitor them regularly. Get to know what you daily output of energy is, what everything looks like when operating optimally and even keep a record of such things. This can help you quickly notice when something isn't working correctly and help you ascertain where the problem is.