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  • Panels on the cheap

    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

  • #2

    Re: Panels on the cheap

    Re: Panels on the cheap

    have you check cragslist? sometimes people have left over for their projects, so they sell them cheap good luck :)

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    • #3

      Re: Panels on the cheap

      Re: Panels on the cheap

      No never thought of that....thanks!

      Greg

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      • #4

        Re: Panels on the cheap

        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.

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        • #5

          Re: Panels on the cheap

          Re: Panels on the cheap

          Originally posted by Jim45D View Post
          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... :)
          Last edited by niel; April 15th, 2012, 9:19. Reason: keep it family oriented by not swearing

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          • #6

            Re: Panels on the cheap

            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.
            Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
            60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

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            • #7

              Re: Panels on the cheap

              Re: Panels on the cheap

              Originally posted by Gregmik View Post
              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.
              Last edited by Jim45D; April 15th, 2012, 4:07. Reason: Structure

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              • #8

                Re: Panels on the cheap

                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.
                http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
                http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

                Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph # 214505 ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV
                Powerfab poletop PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe battery | 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV | Midnight ePanel || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT

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                • #9

                  Re: Panels on the cheap

                  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
                  Last edited by niel; April 15th, 2012, 9:21. Reason: edited to reflect my editing the original quote for swearing
                  Please note, being a moderator does not add any weight to my opinions 300 watts Siemens/BP panels,plus a Sun 90,, making ~400. ~30 amps into Rogue MPT-3024, 450 ah of Trojan T-105, Morningstar ts300 inverter, a Tri-Metric meter.a collection of antique generators, plus 2 Honda eu-1000i's (also a BS2512 IX controller) and assorted other stuff!

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                  • #10

                    Re: Panels on the cheap

                    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- 20 - 200W Evergreen blems, 2 Classic Lites, E-Panel, 2 Prosine 1800 watt inverters, 800AH 24V forklift Batt, up and running 1 Classic Lite and 14 Suntech 185W in spare room.
                    Experience with Pulse/Trace PC250 Power Center, Original Rouge CC, 80-4/5watt 6v panels, Odds and extras,

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                    • #11

                      Re: Panels on the cheap

                      Re: Panels on the cheap

                      Price out Wind Sun's panels, dollars per watt, then compare to the panels you are buying @ $3/watt.
                      12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is, 4.2 kw APC UPS powered either by battery or a Prius. Really.

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