Panels on the cheap

GregmikGregmik Posts: 19Registered Users
I have been buying panels, one a month for a few months, from Amazon. I have 7 so far. They are $150 per panel(50 Watts) with shipping. Anywhere I can get them cheaper? Should I save for a few months rather than buying them every month?

Thanks in advance,
Greg

Comments

  • intel415intel415 Posts: 31Solar Expert
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    have you check cragslist? sometimes people have left over for their projects, so they sell them cheap good luck :)
  • GregmikGregmik Posts: 19Registered Users
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    No never thought of that....thanks!

    Greg
  • Jim45DJim45D Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    What are your ultimate goals? Are you shooting for a 12 volt system, or larger? What are the specs of the panels that you've already purchased. I know you said 50 watters, which is roughly 17.8 Amps. Personally I think you'd be better off getting into a larger panel. Thus far, you already have 350 watts, and for less than what you've paid already, minus shipping, you'd have only two panels to lug up to the mount, or roof.
  • GregmikGregmik Posts: 19Registered Users
    Re: Panels on the cheap
    Jim45D wrote: »
    What are your ultimate goals? Are you shooting for a 12 volt system, or larger? What are the specs of the panels that you've already purchased. I know you said 50 watters, which is roughly 17.8 Amps. Personally I think you'd be better off getting into a larger panel. Thus far, you already have 350 watts, and for less than what you've paid already, minus shipping, you'd have only two panels to lug up to the mount, or roof.

    I have not posted much lately, I got p*ssed off at the electric company here. I am off grid and am building my system slowly. I only have about $150 a month to spare. I get my bats for free as I have a friend that repairs wheel chairs and Medicare and Medicaid allows them to replace the bats once a yr no questions asked. So I get yr old 74ah GC for free.

    I have a gravity fed water system and most things run on propane. I have a generator that I use too much right now to charge the battery banks I have. I want to get to the point where I can run a fridge. Not there yet, but getting close. I am looking for a place where I can spend the money more efficiently.

    Do a search for epcom 50W on amazon and you will see what I have been buying. I am a carpenter so mounting and installation is not a problem.

    Thanks
    Greg

    P.S. The more panels I get the more extra cash I get every month... :)
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,271Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    Greg I think you will find if you search around a bIt that larger excellent panels can be had for about half of your $3 watt you have been paying. A while back there was a vendor with Evergreen panels for $0.78 a watt plus shipping.
  • Jim45DJim45D Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap
    Gregmik wrote: »
    I have a gravity fed water system and most things run on propane. I have a generator that I use too much right now to charge the battery banks I have. I want to get to the point where I can run a fridge. Not there yet, but getting close. I am looking for a place where I can spend the money more efficiently.

    P.S. The more panels I get the more extra cash I get every month... :)

    I can relate to the electric co. senario, and yes you do have a deal on the batteries. What type of inverter have you considered at this point? Also, is the fridge....supposedly one of those energy savers? There are plenty of people here on the forum already doing what you want to do. I also hope to run my fridge from my batts/inverter. In the meanwhile, I have a kill-o-watt meter attached in hopes that it will guide me to some justifiable point as to what exactly I do need. I presently have a 2k watt inverter. I know this is enough, but do I have the batt capacity, and solar charging to achieve it? At this point.....I don't know.,...........YET! However, I did research the panels you are getting/buying, yes a watt is a watt, and a amp is a amp........beware Greg, beware! A five year warranty off the bat does'nt get it.

    Myself, I researched for 4 years before I made the plunge, and 11 years later........I'm still researching/questioning. Mabey, just mahaps, I'll know what the hell I'm doing before I'm 70. Always keep in mind....."you get, what you pay for." SOMETIMES! Enough said. Above all else, good luck with your project, and please keep the forum posted.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 6,347Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    Beware of getting in-compatible panels when buying piecemeal. Last years 19V panels will de-rate this years 26V panels.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,070Super Moderators admin
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    Greg,

    I know you are "p*ssed off" at the power company,, but at least you should be aware of this pesky fact. Grid tie solar comes at about have the price and twice the performance of battery based PV. It is important (for most) to realize that the grid is their best friend, even if the gate way (the power company) isn't. As a way to "get retribution" back to the power company, what better revenge would there be than to use their resource (the grid) and have them pay you to do so?

    So often we hear from folks who for what ever reason, want to chuck the power company and go off grid. Once they are confronted with the reality of both off grid power limitations, as well as the huge benefit of the grid,, they often re think their plans. Just sayin' as they say.

    Tony
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 3,253Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    We always like to suggest Northern Arizona Wind and Sun, our sponser.

    Someone use to advertise a book(let) on Ebay about how to aquire free or cheap solar panels. As I recall it was largely removing from building where they were installed in the early '80's and checking auto grave yards for solar signs that had been hit.

    There are some reputable sellers on Ebay selling some panel w/o UL listing, I'll PM you a seller who I have some knowledge about. Ebay listings go up and down so I won't post here.

    Likely you'll want to get just one more of the 50 watt panels so you can run in series to charge a 24 volt or 48 volt systems as your system grows. FWIW I didn't see anything about UL/TUV listing on your Epcon panels.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Panels on the cheap

    Price out Wind Sun's panels, dollars per watt, then compare to the panels you are buying @ $3/watt.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
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