Cheap used panels !

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Re: Cheap used panels !

Postby offgridQLD » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:00 am

I think the above advice is good. I have had mixed outcomes with used panels.

I purchased 5640w - 24 x Bosch 235w mono panels that were removed from a factory that was having a old roof replaced. Price was under $40 each. They have 50mm frames so not as slim as some of the panels available for domestic use but overall they look to be very well made solid panels that are made in Germany. I am very happy with the performance and look on my shed.

That said I also purchased 20 x 250w Trina panels around the same time for $30 each. Though when I got them home and cleaned them up I found that the white backing film was degraded (small micro cracs in the white film) the cracks let in moisture behind the glass and you get corrosion in the cells solder conections. The panles needed to be cleaned and a detailed inspection done to see this damage. I was lucky enough that the guy I purchased them from was a solar company with some reputation to withhold and they were ok with me returning the used panels and refunding my money. (As I was told they where used but not told they where used and defective it was a bit misleading)


The Mega sends out high voltage and can be used to test the insulation of the panels wiring for leakage to the frame. I would say all above Trina panels would have all failed the test and even if you got away with using them at low voltage the panels are still mechanically damaged and the corrosion due to moisture ingress will still end there useful life sooner rather then later.

I have purchased a 3rd 2nd hand 1500w 8 panel system for $30 each panel. They were a chinese panel with a unfamiluar brand. Though after cleaning up and inspecting they are in great condition and perform to spec. So did ok with them.

Over all I wouldnt pay to much for 2nd hand panels especialy considering the risks. Your not getting any warranty or REC to offset the cost. Paying to much for 2nd hand panels could be a fulse saving by the time you purchase wracking, cable, fusing, conduet and so on and your time to install. The new installed systems are very competative with REC offset.
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Re: Cheap used panels !

Postby australsolarier » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:54 am

thanks Kurt for giving a civil answer.

yes considering that the racking and breakers and wires, etc now seems to cost more than decent new panels, it is probably not worth bothering with second hand ones. except maybe experimenting and doing some rough damaging testing.
i gave never claimed REC's or STD's.
by the way, how is your new project going?
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Re: Cheap used panels !

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:10 pm

For those not familiar with electrical test equipment, a clarification on the references to "mega" (= 1 million!). It should be Megger, a company that makes devices for testing insulation, resistance etc. They are often used by electricians to check power and light circuits before energising them.


For example see: https://megger.com/products/insulation- ... g-lt;-1-kv
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Re: Cheap used panels !

Postby australsolarier » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:17 pm

thanks Gordon for the clarification.
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