Although we all try to save as much as possible, there are some decisions where we should not be seduced by a cheaper offer, as this decision could be more expensive in the long run.
Many people opt to install second-hand solar panels for a much lower price and reduce their investment in solar energy. But is it the right choice?
We often do not know the product’s characteristics and rush to buy the cheapest one, but it is not always the best decision. Therefore, the following article explains why second-hand solar panels are not profitable for your home.
Second-hand solar panels: what are the factors to consider?
Normally we let ourselves be tempted by the affordable prices and offers presented to us, but this is not the main factor to consider for certain products. This is the case with purchasing solar panels for a residential photovoltaic system.
Opting for “semi-new” solar panels to be implemented in our homes is not the best alternative because it could involve a greater expense than initially imagined. Therefore, when it comes to second-hand photovoltaic solar panels, it is advisable to know several factors, namely:
- Origin of second-hand solar panels
- Performance and yield
- Possible fraud
The origin of second-hand solar panels
One of the most frequently considered aspects when discussing second-hand solar panels is the origin of the modules.
Second-hand solar panels can come from private individuals but are not the most common eventuality. In most cases, we are dealing with large photovoltaic systems in which the photovoltaic modules installed on a given surface have not worked as efficiently. Therefore, the production is lower than expected, and installation is problematic from the start.
For this reason, new complete solar power kits for homes are purchased, leaving the old ones on the used market and thus repaying part of the investment made in the first purchase of defective photovoltaic panels.
Also, most second-hand solar panels from large commercial installations are much larger than those used for residential use, as they require more surface area to produce energy.
Residential PV modules typically have 60 cells and are approximately 1×1.6 mi. In comparison, industrial solar panels typically have 72 cells and measure 2 meters in length and 1.6 meters in width, double those for residential use. These larger dimensions also make installation, anchoring, and subsequent maintenance more difficult, so the panels used for large installations are not recommended for use in homes beyond any possible doubt about their origin and previous use.
Efficiency and performance
It is clear that the performance of a second-hand product decreases regardless of the sector in question, and second-hand solar panels are no exception. All products lose efficiency over time, and used solar panels can reduce their performance by 30% to 60% compared to a new photovoltaic module, which performs quite well.
It must be considered that the purchase of used or repaired solar panels one or more times will not produce the same amount of electricity as a new panel. Therefore the energy savings will not be appreciable, and the investment will have been in vain.
Indeed, if the respective manipulations have not been carried out correctly, the efficiency of solar panels is further reduced. However, one problem that is difficult to tell at a glance is whether the solar panels are damaged, as it is quite invisible if they have not suffered considerable damage.
Are second-hand solar panels warranted?
Most second-hand solar panels do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The guarantee of the photovoltaic modules is very important because if the solar panels we purchased at any time should no longer work properly or present some other type of defect, we cannot expect the manufacturer to respond to this situation without it.
When a solar panel has functioning or performance problems, it is necessary to change it. The repair would involve a high and unnecessary additional cost, which we would not have to bear if we bought new solar panels directly. In this case, the warranty is available. If an accident occurs after installation, the manufacturer must take care of it, replacing or repairing the equipment or even refunding it.
Fraud in the second-hand solar panel market
In addition to the lack of manufacturer warranties, selling second-hand solar panels can be fraudulent. And how does this happen?
When we buy second-hand photovoltaic panels, the labels on the cells are often manipulated, as the new label is replaced with the original one from the manufacturer.
Such a situation can cause problems, such as the possibility of being unable to request changes to the system in case of accidents in operation or performance due to a total lack of knowledge of the real manufacturer. Furthermore, we will not know the technical data shown on the labels and whether they are authentic.
Is it worth buying second-hand solar panels?
After analyzing all the factors that must be considered when talking about second-hand solar panels, it is not the most appropriate option if you want to install a photovoltaic system on your house roof.
We summarize below the negative consequences of buying second-hand solar panels:
- The used photovoltaic modules can come from large photovoltaic systems that are no longer efficient;
- These panels are too large to install on house roofs;
- The yield of photovoltaic systems with second-hand modules is lower;
- It is not possible to know exactly how long a solar panel has been in use;
- Second-hand solar panels often have no performance guarantees;
- Repairing a solar panel can be more expensive than a new one.
Buying second-hand solar panels have many shortcomings. Therefore, there is no point in taking such a big risk when the savings will not be higher than buying new solar panels.
Furthermore, since there is no guarantee, the repair costs will be a very high investment, and we will not be able to benefit from the maximum performance of the photovoltaic system as in the case of a new installation( Get more information about rv solar installers near me).
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