Is Buying USED Solar Panels a Good Idea?

Is Buying USED Solar Panels a Good Idea?

Having had my old panels for 9 years, I knew solar panels are built to last. So I decided to take a shot and buy some used solar panels, and on today’s episode we check out if it turned out to be a good idea! There are definitely some risks and considerations, and pros and cons.


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Daniel Jones says:

I wonder if the micro inverters have also improved between your old and new.

I have a 3.15 kW system installed about 11 years ago with an SMA string inverter. Has had no problems. I'm looking at adding more but haven't decided yet if I will again do a string inverter or micro or dc optimizers. Plus code has changed too. But my plan is to self install. As far as used panels, I'd totally do it. My wife said no though. Lol I've also noticed new old overstock by the pallet as well online.

Great video, thank you!

Matt D says:

what even makes a solar panel to degradate? and can't a solar panel be regenerated?

Arthur Muriph says:

I bought 65 used panels for my diy install. Several panels had low output like yours but a few new bypass diodes fixed the issue. Paid 55.00 each for the panels 40 each for used enphase micros and made my own racking. I make about 80 to 100 kWh a day enough for the house and 2 Chevy electric cars here in Orlando.☺

Paul van Lit says:

Same experience here, so I recommend it as well.
I did however measure V and I against spec in full sunlight before buying them.
I installed 5xPV 275Wp second hand ~5-6 yrs old); for 55€ each; bought an inverter (Growatt 1.5kW) for 310€ + 100€ roof-rack;
It actually replaces my shed's roof with just solar panels so I saved on roofing altogether (~300€).
I took large panels 200cmx100cm (80"x40") so it was easy to get the roof watertight, and installed the PV's myself).
Works fine, I expect about 800-1000 kWh per year, which adds 10%-12% to my 8000kWh/yr main PV set (Solaredge).
Pay out time 2-3 years (@20ct/kWh).
I just wanted to test and maybe in the future test some battery extension to it.

MrKillswitch88 says:

Noticed while looking around at panels online that some commercial panels get dumped onto the market is due to damage as there were some sellers trying to pawn off hail damaged panels on eBay.

electronzapdotcom says:

Sounds like used solar panels are good for DIYers, but should probably be avoided by those that will need someone else to fix things.

charles foster says:

That's a question I ask myself many times after buying new . Thank you for making this vid .

Muonium says:

Can also test the panels before installing by finding someone with a far IR camera and looking for hot spots on the panels under load, or using a near IR camera (any cell phone camera with eg. a piece of unexposed developed negative film or piece of old floppy disk over it) and reverse biasing the panel to observe the ~1100nm near IR electroluminescence emitted from the individual cells – cracks and defects are obvious.

Soepsliert says:

Did you also consider getting a used inverter/micro inverters, or is the availability not as good?

azatecas says:

That's huge savings specially if you install them yourself

Karolis says:

solar panels are kinda cheap so imo its better to buy new panels. also you get ~20-30 year warranty. installation work, wiring and inverters are very expensinve.

Peter Todd says:

Very interesting video. I thought it was a shame you didn’t look at the economic outcome of the installation in terms of how much electricity bill you are now saving and what the ROI is. I’d also be interested to see the data of how much was produced and used. Do you plan to add batteries to your system and /or the ability to keep your system working when the grid goes down

Donovan Kriasol says:

Gracias por la información.

stolz999 says:

I live in the north of Russia. There is no sun all winter. Clouds, snow, daylight is very short. Therefore, buying solar panels is a bad idea for me. Nothing better as a nuclear reactor is good for my home.

sam guapo says:

I'd love to hear more about solar panels older than 25 years and how "matchable" are the old panels with controllers etc… does the volts degrade? or the amps generated?

James Boone says:

I just searched for 30 min for used "commercial" panels and there is so much noise when searching! Do you think you could at least point us in the same direction you?

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