Used solar panels save money or a risky waste of money ?

by jacksonsamy on Jan 15, 2021 Business 121 Views

Traditionally low prices for electricity have long hampered the development of alternative energy in Russia. The situation began to change only from 2017-2018,  Tunbridge Wells Taxi Numbers    when the cost of photovoltaic panels fell to less than $ 1 per 1 watt of power. And more recently, used solar panels began to appear on sales notice boards, which are significantly cheaper than new ones.

How much can you save?

The standard cost of photovoltaic panels ranges from the following:

$ 0.45 - $ 0.7 per 1W for elite products of manufacturers from the TOP-10 Tier-1 rating from Bloomberg, regardless of the manufacturer's country;

$ 0.4 - $ 0.6 for the same power unit of medium-quality photovoltaics, usually made in China or, less often, European, Japanese and Russian production.

$ 0.25 - $ 0.35 - the price of used solar panels 2013-2017. from European companies or new panels of Chinese "no name" firms.

Today, solar panels with different lifespan at 280W, 300W, 380W and even 450W are offered on various marketplaces from $ 110 to 230 per piece.

1. European products

Since the products from Europe are of the premium class, the savings on the purchase of used models can be 20-35% of the price of a new one. Unfortunately, it is not possible to answer the question whether it is profitable. This is due to the complete uncertainty of the current quality of such panels, which makes their purchase extremely risky.

2. Chinese products

Single panels and complete sets of second-hand solar panels produced by the Middle Kingdom are most widely represented in the secondary market and are in high demand. Due to the many factories and manufacturers, there are some of the products with slightly lower quality than the top Chinese and European manufacturers. Chinese photovoltaics are offered at a price 30-45% lower than new ones. Taxi To Heathrow From Tunbridge Wells In some cases, for outdated copies of 2013-2015 and earlier, the cost drops by 60-70%. However, buying such equipment is strongly discouraged.

3. Second-hand solar panels from Russian factories

Found on avito extremely rarely and in single copies.


The best option seems to be the purchase of almost new batteries, which for various reasons were not used by the owner and therefore are offered as used with a small discount.

All types of risks of used solar panels

Buying and using used solar technology carries a long list of risks.

1. Technological risks.

The first group is associated with possible technical shortcomings of such equipment. There is a high likelihood of the following types of damage to solar panels during previous operation or subsequent transportation:

violation of complete waterproofing;

partial deformation of the glass surface and / or frame;

flaking or local diffraction of the laminate;

the occurrence of visually invisible microcracks;

the formation of "hot" areas due to violation of the crystal lattice;

the effect of accelerated degradation of the semiconductor layer, known as PID.

Any of these defects will drastically reduce the remaining service life of used solar panels. That, in the absence of guarantees for counterfeit products, is actually tantamount to a direct loss of funds spent on the purchase.

Important! With licensed certified equipment, such risks are calculated, since free replacement of equipment is assumed in such force majeure situations

2. Operational risks.

The second group of risks is associated with the peculiarities of the operation of used solar panels. The following situations are most unpleasant:

Even relatively new panels or other prestigious brand equipment can show small hidden defects. With the purchase of new technology, this problem is not fundamental. However, contacting a "gray" dealer in the event of a problem will entail a counter offer to contact the direct manufacturer. However, not a single supplier will serve the products imported into the country unofficially. Moreover, even domestic specialized companies that are certified dealers of manufacturers can refuse this.

The cheapest are used solar batteries with a fairly long previous operation. However, even in the absence of defects, such equipment is characterized by significantly lower reliability and low efficiency in comparison with modern models. Consequently, the savings in purchasing it at a lower price are completely offset by the reduced life and unsatisfactory efficiency.

The most unpleasant option may be the occurrence of problems with cheap, outdated equipment, discontinued by the time defects are discovered. As a result, a situation is possible when it will not be possible to replace or repair it due to lack of support and spare parts.

3. Potential legal risks.


To date, there is practically no legislative framework for alternative private energy in Russia. The only exception is a number of power requirements for solar power plants operating in grid or hybrid mode and connected to a centralized grid. However, as the current legislation in this area is further improved, the emergence of new requirements is practically guaranteed. Wadhurst Airport Taxi One of the first may be the condition for the installation and operation of only certified equipment, which will put "gray" used solar batteries outside the law. At the moment, the likelihood of the appearance of such a norm for private SES is not too high. But it's still worth adding it to the list of possible risks.


4. Subjective risks.


One of the ways to save money, the future owner usually sees not only the purchase of used equipment, but also the assembly of a solar power plant on his own. This can indeed reduce the overall cost by 10-15%, but significantly increases the likelihood of subjective problems.


The advantage of official companies is the guaranteed high-quality assembly and commissioning of any station. The installation is preceded by the preparation of a professional project, which takes into account the features of ideally matched equipment with precisely calculated characteristics.


When buying used equipment, the current-voltage parameters of the panels may vary. At best, even with the ideal subsequent assembly of the system, this will negatively affect the productivity of its work. At worst, it will lead to unpredictable voltage drops in the electrical circuit and the inevitable PID effect.


Is it possible to simultaneously save money and insure against risks?

In theory, such a possibility exists. To do this, you must follow several important rules.

Buy only equipment that is accompanied by certificates and manufacturer's warranty. If necessary, this will make it possible to carry out its warranty or post-warranty repair by authorized dealers.

Pay attention to the date of manufacture of batteries, inverters and other related peripherals. It is strongly not recommended to purchase outdated products older than 5-7 years.

Do not chase high discounts of more than 10-25% of the price of a new original.

In no case should you take a set of used solar panels of different power, year of manufacture and manufacturers.

Do not buy discontinued models - even, at first glance, of very good quality.

Important! And yet, if there is an opportunity to buy new PV equipment, it should be preferred.


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