Solar panels buying advice

I am new here and need your help. Well, I am looking at buying solar panels to set up a small home based solar power plant. Recently while surfing online I stumbled across some ads on a classified website regarding selling of used solar panels. Cost of these used solar panels is much less than buying new ones. I am interested in these panels, but read somewhere that buying used solar panels can be a bad deal. Can anyone point me in the right direction and help me to make up my mind?

Thanks for your advice.


  • Chuck46
    Chuck46 Solar Expert Posts: 95
    Re: Solar panels buying advice

    what Im saying is my personal opinion. First off when deciding to go green your first step should always be concervation, reduce your ppower consumption as much as possible.

    Once thats done determine your total daily average load, this will help determione how many panels to invest in.

    As far as used vs new several things come to mind to consider.
    1. Is there any warrenty
    2. Cost per watt
    3. Reliability of the folks selling the used panel
    4. How long have they been in service
    5. Has there been any type of output test done and will they provide the data?

    Now personally if it were me I would not buy used panels unless all that was answered afirmatively. When buying new from a reputable dealer you have no real worries about this stuff. It seems to boil down to peace of mind and reaching your goals.

    Hope that helps

  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar panels buying advice

    aside from physically looking intact, the number one point is, are they working to spec? to know that you need to know what the original specs were for the pvs and then know how to test the pvs. we lack sophisticated equipment for proper testing, but one could measure the voltage open circuit (voc) and the short circuit current (isc) if you have a decent dmm and know how to use it during peak solar insolation hours. without the knowledge and meter to test they could see a potential sucker coming for any nonworking pvs if their intent is to swindle you. wow, i haven't used that word in ages.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
    Re: Solar panels buying advice

    By the way, the original poster was a link spammer out of Bombay India (not Texas as claimed)--I have banned the user and deleted the link.

    Left the thread because of the answers provided.

    -Bill "Moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset