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Thread: Used solar panels?

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    Used solar panels?

    So I've been looking on craigslist and it seems you can potentially save a fortune by buying some used panels from someone who filled in their pool or a house thats being remodeled etc.

    Whats the best way to tell if the panels have some life left in them? I am guessing they will be more pliable vs. hard and brittle?

    When the panels are at the end of their life do they just start sprouting leaks more than is economical to repair? how long do they typically last?

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Panels have a life of from 5 to 15 years depending on water chemistry and exposure. They clog and get small leaks. The best way would be to test them but that is probably not possible because they will be likely off the roof.


    jblizzle one of the moderators on here I believe installed used solar so he may be able to help you more.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Yes I did. I took a risk with no testing. I am not sure they really stiffen up either.
    I got 11 4x12.5 Heliocol panels (only planned to use 10) plus controller for $600. One of the panels had a few tubes that were obviously cut, so I did not use it. After installing the 10 panels and firing up the system, I was lucky that only 3 of the 100s of tubes had small leaks that I plugged.

    My install was on a very gently sloped roof. I used white roof tar to hold the brackets in place and just set the panels on the roof in the bracket. The Heliocol panels have individual tubes so they are much less affected by the wind. Due to the high heat, some of the brackets have started sliding down the roof, so I plan to get up there and add 1 bolt per bracket and a lot of tar to hold them in place.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    I'm looking at some Solar Industries 4x12 panels with 1.5in headers for $40 each. Guy says they are 6 years old, removed when roof was redone and replaced with PV system

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    I think at that price its a no brainer..even if you have to plug 40% of them

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Yeah, also they are 2 hours away and I would have to rent a truck for transport which is a little bit of a pain. He also has a couple random fafco panels he is selling for $75 each.

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Wow..how many does he have...u could do a pressure test too..just need plugs and a compressor.

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    He has 12 solar industries panels and like 4 fafco. I would plan on just buying all the solar industries ones.

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    The fafco are good ones too...wish I had deals like this in my area, I would cover my whole roof lol

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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Would the 1.5" headers be sufficient? I plan on getting a variable pump so I figure they wont be the limiting factor. But running a straight line through all 12 seems kind of weird, because of the layout of the roof it would make the most sense though.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    If that is what you can get for a good price, they will work. I would use 2" pipe to and from them.

    Not sure what you mean by a straight line, they should be installed in parallel. Post up some pictures/drawings and we can help with layout suggestions.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    I'm looking to pick up a set of Solar City Vortex solar panels: 3 4x10 panels and 4 4x12 + punch of PVC piping off CL. They are a 3-4 years old but never been installed and guy's asking $600.
    Now, I don't know whether the technology has changed since then and if the material gets weaker if left exposed to the elements, etc.
    Other than panels, piping and mounting hardware do I need additional pump accelerate the flow? Any other considerations to make it a worthwhile DIY project? Thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    If that is what you can get for a good price, they will work. I would use 2" pipe to and from them.

    Not sure what you mean by a straight line, they should be installed in parallel. Post up some pictures/drawings and we can help with layout suggestions.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    You need a VRV to prevent negative pressure in the panels when off. And Ideally a solar controller hooked up to a solar 3 way valve with actuator.

    You should really have started your own thread and not hijacked this one.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Used solar panels?

    Yeah, this is a 3 year old thread.

    FYI - there seems to be some real inexpensive solar panels on ebay. I just purchased a few of these for $80/each. I'm not sure the quality but will report back later.

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