Monday, September 5, 2011

Cheap Home Solar Panels: Reuse & Recycle To Save Money

While it's not difficult to find information on how to put together a cheap home solar energy system, many experts forget to mention an easy way to save even more money when you do it yourself. Salvaging used solar panels is a great way to build an eco-friendly home while recycling perfectly good solar equipment in the process.

Used solar panels can be found on auction sites like eBay and classified ad sites like Craigslist or Kijiji - be warned, you should most definitely ask the seller questions about the condition and location of materials to avoid scammers. Also, don't forget to factor shipping into the cost of recycling solar panel parts!

Refitting used solar equipment to build low cost panels doesn't require as much skill as one might think. With basic do-it-yourself skills and common tools, most people will easily be able to repair and reuse components from pre-owned and even broken solar generators.

As always, do first things first. After you've purchased your used solar panels you will need to free the photovoltaic cells from the base which they are mounted to. Next you can inspect the solar cells for any loose connectors, cracked panels and moisture damage. These issues are quite common and usually the reasons why most homeowners deem their solar panels to be defective. This equipment can usually be repaired quite easily with a little re-soldering of the joints to strengthen the connections.

Replacing broken PV cells require a little more effort as you will need to replace them with similar or exact components as the original. It is important to note that if a solar cell is broken, and this is the only problem, most will still work though the overall power output will be reduced.

If cheap home solar panels are what you desire, then harvesting used parts is a great way to save money on your DIY solar panel project. Used panels can often be picked up for next to nothing, and if you're lucky you might find a local contractor who is willing to unload a lot of used parts and panels for free!

Whether you're paying for used panels or they were given to you, identifying the problems is where most of your time will be spent. As long as you know this going into it, cheap home solar panels are often right around the corner! If you run into problems finding good used parts, consider contacting contractors who specialize in solar panel installation. Most will be willing to cheaply sell or even give you used panels just to get rid of unneeded inventory.


Alison Wood brings you ideas to live a green life and in the process save money. If you want to start making some substantial savings on your power bills then check out this easy step-by-step guide to building your own solar panel =>

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