Used solar panels: advantages and disadvantages

One of the best bargains you can find which is both beneficial and economical is used solar panels. Unless there is some serious damage involved, usually you can be sure that you are making a safe choice. Also, if you are uncertain about purchasing used photovoltaic panels, you can always test their functionality with the help of a multimeter under the sunlight prior to finalizing your purchase with the dealer. It is not likely that you will ever find a used solar panel which is on sale but is not functional, but it is better to test it to stay on the safe side. It is not easy to determine the exact age or lifespan of a solar panel because many people are still using some of the very first commercial solar panels that were made available to the public.

Things to watch for when purchasing used solar panels:

  • One of the facts that you need to consider is that new panels are most likely to pack a greater amount of wattage in a smaller area or space in contrast to old ones. If space is not an issue for consideration that you can always count on older panels for great functionality and excellent bargains.
  • No matter how functional they are, do not risk purchasing solar panels which have obvious external damage on them unless you know that you are capable of fixing it. Some of the most common problems with used solar panels include cracked glass, broken glass, and damaged connections. However, all of these problems are considered minor and can be repaired.
  • It is also important to acquire the details of the manufacturers of the solar panels that are you about to purchase for an extra precautionary measure. This information gives you knowledge on when the panel was manufactured, what is its average output and lifespan etc.
  • It is common to see that some of the older solar panels have a brown discoloration on the external covering which causes serious problems for the mirror concentrators. This is because some of the older photovoltaic panels were manufactured used a substrate of plastic base. But do not expect these panels to be any cheaper than the rest, because it is not the discoloration but the amount of output that the panel can produce which matters most. All decisions thus must be based on how much power can be generated by that particular solar panel. It is also important to note that just because these panels have become discolored, they will not degrade at a more rapid pace that the rest of the panels that are available to you.

Overall used solar panels are a good bargain, but you have to very careful when selecting them. You need to have a certain amount of expertise as these can very well turn out to be damaged and you might have to repair them by paying much more extra then you had initially planned to. New solar panels will always generate more electricity and are more effective.