Used solar panels


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Old 04-09-22, 09:41 PM
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Used solar panels

I did some general calculations and found that I may be able to get solar power into my home for 75% off if I get used panels vs new. Does anyone have any experience with this or can recommend it?
 

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04-10-22, 08:06 AM
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Adding roof top solar panels is not an ideal way to go. Of course very often a home will not have a choice. But if land is available and the location can see sunlight, then on the ground is the way to go.
A relative of mine has solar power on the roof. He has been gliding all year round with no electric bills and using electric heat like a drunken sailor. Even inviting an electric car friend to charge his car at his house because of all the extra power he has. However, recently during a storm, his roof got damaged. Local roofers will not even give an estimate for roof repair with solar panels attached. They are telling him to have the panels removed first then they will provide an estimate. To remove the panels and then have them re-installed is several thousand dollars. Not counting the cost of roof repair when and if they can get a contractor to do the work with the current state of affairs' in the construction business. So any saving he got with solar power has been wiped out due to to repair and maintenance.
I'm not against solar power, but I don't believe it has seen it's time for most people.
 
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Old 04-10-22, 06:28 AM
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Your question hinges on degradation over time. So the important question you should be asking is how old are the panels and in what conditions were they exposed to.
Some experts claim solar panel degrade between .5% to 1% per year or more in efficiency and maybe more so if in hotter climates and if on roof top installation. Not sure why roof top makes a difference.
The other thing to consider is the technology used to make them and the quality from that particular manufacture.
Perhaps if you explain to us how you want to use them, we might be able give a better opinion if used vs new is better or worse.
 
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Old 04-10-22, 06:41 AM
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Not sure why roof top makes a difference.
I would suspect it is because roofs can get VERY hot.
 
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Old 04-10-22, 07:28 AM
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I was recently elected to 'town council', the prior administration installed a large solar panel array at the municipal building, with an EV charger across the street at the municipal park.

One of the concerns for solar IS degradation of the coatings and conversion efficiency over time, but we will just have to wait and see. We don't need hail insurance in PA, but some mid-west areas do.
I'd be very curious whether the "used" panels come with an inspection of current status versus factory specifications: e.g. they may be 500watt "when new" but what are they now? Just like window glass ends up with hazing or glazing that reduces the transparency, solar panels also degrade over time.

Our state Realtor Facebook page recently had a discussion about problems settling on houses with solar panels: some solar companies have a 'sale and lease back" arrangement where the solar company owns the panels, and essentially owns a 25 year lease on your roof. In more than a few cases, the homeowner have to 'buy out' the remainder of the lease if, for instance, the new buyer doesn't have a 650 credit score.

When it comes time to replace the roof due to age or stormdamage, it can be a bit complex to get the insurance co. and electric co. on the same page.
 
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Old 04-10-22, 08:06 AM
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Adding roof top solar panels is not an ideal way to go. Of course very often a home will not have a choice. But if land is available and the location can see sunlight, then on the ground is the way to go.
A relative of mine has solar power on the roof. He has been gliding all year round with no electric bills and using electric heat like a drunken sailor. Even inviting an electric car friend to charge his car at his house because of all the extra power he has. However, recently during a storm, his roof got damaged. Local roofers will not even give an estimate for roof repair with solar panels attached. They are telling him to have the panels removed first then they will provide an estimate. To remove the panels and then have them re-installed is several thousand dollars. Not counting the cost of roof repair when and if they can get a contractor to do the work with the current state of affairs' in the construction business. So any saving he got with solar power has been wiped out due to to repair and maintenance.
I'm not against solar power, but I don't believe it has seen it's time for most people.
 
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Old 04-10-22, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm201
//assets.doityourself.com/forum/avatars/apatosaur.gifI'm not against solar power, but I don't believe it has seen it's time for most people.
Agreed- our municipal system is 70kw

The 70.12 kW system is comprised of 180 panels, 2 ground mounted racks, and 6 inverters. The township spent $169,000 from their general fund reserves, proud that they didn’t need to finance this; that they’ve paid no interest. The electricity generated will power the municipal building, the park, the traffic signals, the street lights and the wells for this town of 5200 people. They expect an 11 year payback period, with all savings going back into the general fund’s reserve account.
BUT it is a "power-to-utility" or "credit" system. So last week, I got a cellphone call from our manager -"a car glanced off the telephone pole outside, took out or phone, internet and electric, I'm sending everybody home for the day because it will be a while until we get power back"

So, although we've got solar panels, they're not 'off grid' and can't be used to power anything DIRECTLY. Instead it generates a "store credit" with the electric company because we can send power to THEIR grid, but can't use it for ourselves.

So, don't just rely on the press-release; always read the fine-print...
 
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Old 04-10-22, 05:50 PM
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All of these systems are grid tied.
Even if it's on your roof..... it does not supply you directly with power.
The power is fed into the grid and you use power from the grid.

Standalone systems that have battery banks are not connected to the grid.
Those systems are purchased only.

Personally I would not consider putting used panels on the roof.
 
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