used solar panels

A Buyer’s Guide To Used Solar Panels

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  • Content
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  • FAQ
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On websites like eBay, users can list their used solar panels for sale at a discounted price, making these websites a great place to get some of the best deals on solar equipment. In this piece, we will investigate the market for used solar panels and discuss whether or not purchasing panels from a reseller is the best option for setting up a solar power system in your home.

used solar panels

What to know about installing used solar panels

Used solar panels typically come at a significant discount compared to the cost of brand-new solar panels; moreover, it is quite possible that they need to meet the same quality standards.

Used solar panels are acceptable for certain low-scale projects, but in most circumstances, they are not appropriate for residential use.

Over time, solar panels degrade. It is in your best interest to install new roof panels.

Are using solar panels right for you?

For thermostat system installations, your solar installer will assemble a new system consisting of new components, including solar panels, inverters, and wiring. However, if you quickly search online for used solar panels, you will find various possibilities for purchasing second-hand equipment. These options range from online auction sites like eBay to wholesale used panels from several sellers.

There are a few different motivations for selling panels. They might be somewhat damaged, resulting in reduced efficiency, or they might come from someone who no longer wants some or all of their panels. Either way, their performance might be affected. Used solar panels might be appealing because of their low pricing and low-stakes usefulness in do-it-yourself solar installations. This is true regardless of the reason for the sale.

How much do used solar panels cost?

Used solar panels have the primary benefit of having a cheaper price point than newly built ones. Used solar panels can be purchased for as little as $0.10 to $0.75 per watt, but new ones cost between $2.86 and $3.88. (in the state of Massachusetts). Nevertheless, it would be best to consider many factors besides the starting price of solar panels before purchasing them.

Key things to know about used solar panels

Used solar panels might be a viable choice for certain kinds of projects, but for the vast majority of people who buy solar energy, they cause more headaches than they're worth.

Buying and installing used panels comes with several additional, hidden expenditures, including the following:

  1. Used panels are often damaged

Solar panels that have been damaged or somehow already utilized provide energy at a lesser efficiency than quoted. This is because the output of a solar panel gradually decreases with time. Some solar panels used in large-scale commercial solar systems will eventually sustain damage. One simple strategy for minimizing the financial impact of damaged panels is to resell them at a reduced price.

used solar panels
  1. The solar industry is still evolving and expanding rapidly

This indicates that new panel technologies are continually being introduced, so prices for these panels are rapidly reducing. Even a used panel that is in good shape and from a few years ago would have outmoded photovoltaic technology, and as a result, it will produce less electricity than a new panel would. For this reason, it ends up saving you more money, in the long run, to choose to install newer, more efficient panels as opposed to paying less upfront for an older type of solar cell rather than saving money in the short term of purchasing an older brand the f solar cell.

  1. Availability of solar warranties

Most solar panel manufacturers will provide warranties on the system’s production and equipment when you buy a solar energy system. These warranties ensure that your panels produce at a certain efficiency level and protect you from any physical damage or system failure. Used panels do not always have that luxury tied to them, and if you do not have a coverage plan, you leave yourself open to the possibility of low production or failure. Used solar panels have already been in use for some time, which means they may be producing at a lesser efficiency than when they were first installed. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs with all solar panels over time. In addition, there is no reliable way to ensure that secondhand solar panels will even function in the first place, so you run the risk of purchasing equipment that is either fully defective or utterly useless.

Used vs. refurbished solar panels

Another type of secondhand solar panel that can work well for your needs is one that has been refurbished. Because they have been repaired, there is a greater chance that they will operate at the same level as new panels rather than using panels that have not been restored. They will also be significantly cheaper than purchasing new solar panels. In contrast to most used panels, most reconditioned panels are sold with some form of warranty. Despite this, their lifespan is significantly lower than that of brand-new panels.

Are using solar panels right for you?

Purchasing old solar panels might be a good investment for some homes. For instance, if you don't want to power your entire home with solar energy but are searching for a means to charge a small battery, purchasing a few old panels is a low-risk, low-cost way to receive the energy you need to get the job done. Used solar panels are frequently used on boats, which can be a challenge in onboard power generation due to limited space. If you mount a pair of old solar panels on your boat’s canopy, you will have enough electricity to run a cell phone or an additional light while you are out on the lake. Additionally, you won't have to worry about destroying new equipment. Installing a brand-new solar power system that will supply your home with electricity for many years is likely the better long-term solution for most individuals.


On the secondary solar market, as well as on online marketplaces, one can purchase used photovoltaic panels. The need for old solar panels is expected to increase with the development of photovoltaic technology. You must complete the necessary research before purchasing them, however. It is important to know that tax credits for renewable energy cannot be applied to purchasing old solar panels if you intend to use them for your own needs.


Is it a good idea to invest in solar panels that have been used before?

Choose refurbished solar panels over overused solar panels because refurbished solar panels have been repaired or recovered to an appropriate working condition. Used solar panels have not been reconditioned or restored to an acceptable working condition. Refurbished solar panels often have a longer guarantee than used ones and come with a price premium than overused solar panels. The energy produced by solar panels decreases at a rate of 0.5% every year.

used solar panels

Are there still benefits to using old solar panels?

On the other hand, poor-quality panels may fail after only two months because they were already flawed and were shipped out of the factory, but good-quality panels can withstand the weather for more than 30 years. However, regardless matter whether your panels are the best of the best or the scum that rises to the top of a pot full of rot, they will eventually perish.

How many more years are left in used solar panels?

The longer your solar panels keep generating electricity efficiently, the more money you will save in the long run. The good news is that most household solar panels should continue functioning normally for 25 years before deterioration (or a notable reduction in energy generation) becomes apparent.

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