For solar I would browse through the tutorials and kits at AM Solar http://amsolar.com/
. To decide on 12 volt
DC and 110 volt AC what I did was to determine what I want to do, stay in places with electric and water or boondock. If you decide to boondock then I would suggest looking at doing the majority of your mechanicals with 12 volt
. I've attached a list I made just to have a base to start from. It's a balancing process, of matching mechanical systems to the your electrical 'standards' and your budget.
Even if you end up throwing out your first version, at least it gives you a place to start.