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Where to Find Used Solar Panels or Surplus Panels

One of the best ways to find cheap solar panels is by searching for used solar panels or surplus solar panels online or in your local classified ads. Purchasing used solar cells is a great way to start generating your own solar energy, while saving on the huge initial investment normally associated with solar power and other forms of renewable energy. 

Another option for saving money is to purchase surplus solar panels from a surplus seller. These panels are normally left-over or older models that the manufacturer sells at a greatly discounted rate. Since these panels are usually older, they may not be quite as efficient as brand new panels, but are still a great value for the price.

Used Panels vs. Surplus Panels

Purchasing used solar panels is more of a risky business than purchasing surplus panels because there is much more chance that the panels will not work properly. When purchasing any used solar panel, it’s best to test them with a mulitimeter while the panels are exposed to full sunlight, in order to determine how much energy the panels are capable of producing. 

Of course this can be quite difficult to do with any panels you purchase online, so it’s necessary to be quite careful about where you purchase your used panels from. It’s recommended that you only buy used panels from a reputable dealer or only buy panels you can test first; however the severely reduced price of many used panels makes the risks much lower. It’s recommended to stay away from any panels that contain anything but very minor damage, unless you want to spend your time trying to repair them. 

used solar panelsPanels with broken connections can usually be easily repaired, while other more serious damage is usually beyond repair. With a little research, you should be able to easily find some high quality used panels to buy. 

This is because the lifespan of solar panels is still relatively unknown, with many of the very early panels from the 1980’s still functioning at almost maximum capacity today. 

Of course this will depend on how the panels have been taken care of, but most panels should last for decades with proper care and maintenance.

Surplus panels normally come from a surplus trader or seller, and these companies normally purchase any leftover stock or older models directly from the solar panel manufacturer. You can be guaranteed that these panels will be new, never used products, although they may still be several years old. 

Many manufacturers also sell refurbished solar panels, and although these will not be brand new, they will have been recently repaired by the manufacturer which makes them almost as good as new. Surplus panels will normally cost quite a bit more than used panels, however they will also be free of cracks or any other type of damage which increases their energy output.

The last option is to look for dealer which sells factory defect solar panels that may have blemishes or other minor defects. These panels are still sold at a greatly reduced price, and the majority of the defects have only a minor effect on the amount of energy that the panels can produce.

Where to Buy Used Solar Panels

You can find many used solar panels for sale on eBay, although the quality of these solar cells can be hit or miss. When buying on eBay, it’s best to either buy from a reputable used solar dealer, of which many exist, or to get some sort of guarantee from the seller as to the quality of the cells and the amount of energy they will produce. Another good quality site to find used panels is Oasis Montana.

Oasis Montana offers free listings for anyone who wishes to sell their used solar equipment, and has a huge selection of used solar products from sellers all around the United States. Note that Oasis Montana does not actually sell any of the used products themselves: rather they simply provide a free forum to connect buyers and sellers. 

Another great place to look for used panels is The Solar Biz, which offers a wide variety of used panels which they themselves sell directly. If you purchase panels from this site, you can feel comfortable knowing that the panels have been tested and meet at least minimum energy production requirements. 

Where to Find Surplus Solar Panels

The best place to find surplus panels is from a surplus dealer that purchases excess panels directly from manufacturers and other businesses which have left over panels. One of the most reputable surplus solar dealers is Surplus, which has a huge selection of panels and all other solar equipment at greatly discounted prices. It’s best to check back often if you don’t find what you need, as there stock is constantly rotating depending on supply and demand. 

Surplus Shed is another good place to look for surplus panels. They often have great closeout deals on different panels and other solar equipment, and you can usually find some of the cheapest prices on the net for surplus panels. One final website to have a look at is American Science and Surplus, which offers a huge selection of surplus solar panels and other surplus gear. 

The quality of the panels purchased on all of these surplus sites will vary significantly based on the model and make of the panel, so it’s best to do some research before deciding to purchase any surplus panel, as they may be surplus for a good reason - i.e. they are extremely weak or won’t function properly.

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