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Thread: Used PV Equipment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chester, Vermont
    Posts
    23

    Default Used PV Equipment

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the value of used PV equipment in good working order? I have a customer that no longer wants his system, and is looking to get a fair price for it. I may have a market for it, but want to know what the fair market value of used equipment might be. I am located in northern New England, and the equipment is less than five years old. Modules are Schüco on a ground mount, and the inverters is a Kaco 2501xi.

    Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    I would say the modules should be worth a bit more than half of current prices for modules (per watt), and the inverter would be worth well under half.

    I would probably be happy to pay 60-70 cents a watt for five year old modules that were undamaged.

    The inverter has already been through a third-to-half of its useful life, and is possibly out of warranty or will be soon or if sold, so it is worth quite a bit less compared to a new one. A new Kaco 2.5kW inverter would be around $1300 so I would probably not pay more than $400 or so for a five year old one.

    That's my 2 cents.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    I've pretty much always felt I recieved good value from used equipment, but I tend to be careful.

    I'm surprised what 12 volt(nominal) used panels bring, here in central Missouri $1 a watt or even more for recent name brand.

    I think if you check ebay "completed items" and look at what things actually sold for isn't a bad place to establish value. I take it this is a grid tied system, you sell the Kaco inverters on Ebay as well. Panels would be a local market, unless you want to palletize them, if your near a major metropolitan area I would advertise there, the thought being that even your local people will be looking at advertisments in the metro area.

    Craigslist is a good spot and free, to start. They don't allow battery specific advertisments.
    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,

  4. #4

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    The specs on the panels would make a difference too. "Standard" 12 or 24 Volt panels offer a wider range of applications, and thus more market. Small panels (less than 100 Watt) cost more new, and may or may not have more market used.

    I agree with jaggedben about the inverter. You can test a panel and if it puts out close to Isc it will probably be good for years to come (barring accidents). An inverter that works today may quit tomorrow, and its 'new equivalent' probably is both better and less expensive than the old one was when new.
    1220 Watts of PV, OB MX60, 232 Amp hrs, OB 3524, Honda eu2000.

    Ohm's Law: Amps = Volts / Ohms
    Power Formula: Watts = Volts * Amps

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Quetico, Ontario
    Posts
    5,025

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    The people who buy on eBay for single panels are ...shall we say idiots! They routinely pay way more for a used panel than a new one costs, when you sell them by the each. If you are selling a bunch and don't want to go thorugh the headache of selling each one, a price about 1/2 what a new on is worth is a good starting point.

    Bottom line is what are they worth to the seller to move them' or the buy to get them. I will pay a bit more for ones that are close to me, but if they need to be shipped, it gets expensive in a hurry.

    Tony
    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!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    The problem with used grid-tied equipment is that if you are trying to get utility rebates or even tax credits, the equipment has to be new. Our utility inspector joked one time that because we had 0001 kWHr on the meter (cause - ya, we tested it to make sure everything works) they could deny our rebate money - as the system is "used". Only thing used equipment is good for is small off grid systems. The Kaco inverter is only good for intertied systems. And as PV modules have come down so much in price, I wouldn't give more than half of wholesale (about 45 cents/watt) for 5 year old ones.
    2.7kW Trina/Xantrex GT, 3.7kW Trina/SolarEdge, 2kW CSI/SMA GT, Solar well pump on 6, 25yr old Holeck 48W modules. Toyota SR5 converted to 108V EV. Prius w/Enginer PHEV conversion. BSEE, C11-residential, NABCEP, SunnyPro >700kW installed
    "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof." - John Kenneth Galbraith

  7. #7

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by icarus View Post
    The people who buy on eBay for single panels are ...shall we say idiots!
    While I understand you are talking about used panels, I have three times purchased new panels on Ebay in pairs, cheaper than they were available any where else, including shipping! It use to be common for panels to be packaged in pairs, and they could still be shipped by UPS/FedX.

    That said it is amazing to me that people get good money for cracked panels on Ebay. I guess there is a buyer for anything...

    I would think local Craigs list would be the way to go, and if your an installer, you might work something out, on dismantling the system and keep the grid ties as spares for inverters that have to be sent back for repairs/service... but then again I guess you can't do that since it would likely require inspaction by the power company...
    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,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern NH
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    Craiglist and Uncles Henry's has used solar equuipment listed on occasion. Unfortunately with the current price drops, the current owners are in for a shock when they list them for sale. The market for used solar is "thin" so how quickly the owner wants them gone makes a big difference. I have run into folks who have bought used gear for real cheap when the owner was moving and needed to move the gear quick.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    "I would probably be happy to pay 60-70 cents a watt for five year old modules that were undamaged."

    ONe can buy new panels for around 70 cents a watt now so if panels last 25 years a 5 year old panels would command a 20% discount right away or 56cents/watt.
    I wouldn't pay more than 50 cents a watt.

    that being said I've looked at a LOT of used solar gear and most sellers were asking more than I was willing to pay and some sucker came along and bought it anyways.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Used PV Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by rollandelliott View Post
    "I would probably be happy to pay 60-70 cents a watt for five year old modules that were undamaged."

    ONe can buy new panels for around 70 cents a watt now so if panels last 25 years a 5 year old panels would command a 20% discount right away or 56cents/watt.
    I wouldn't pay more than 50 cents a watt.
    I guess you've got the super hook-up, or you are buying a megawatt. Anyway my point was based on prices around $1.10/W which is what you can get around here (California) without spending too much time looking. Multiply your local price by 80 or 75 percent or so for used panels, that's the point. Keep in mind most degradation will happen in the first five years, so a bit over a 20% discount is probably more appropriate.

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