There is a flourishing market of solar panels in many other parts of the world for people looking to buy new or second-hand solar panels. If you want a less expensive renewable power source, used solar panels are preferable over brand-new panels. However, the downside to buying second-hand solar panels is their reduced efficiency and shorter lifespan. Buying solar panels that are portable, affordable, and long-lasting is the best option. In this ultimate guide, we will disclose everything related to secondhand solar panels, where can I sell my used solar panels, their upsides & downsides, and how to get solar in 2024.
Where Can I Sell My Used Solar Panels?
Indeed, everyone should keep clean solar panels if they have an interest in selling them after a period. For some people, the initial costs of solar panels seem too high. However, rising energy costs make solar energy an attractive option for many. Pay-as-you-go plans & power purchase agreements (PPAs) are two great ways to bypass the cost issue.
Yet, used solar panels for sale are another obvious choice for those looking to save money. If you want to sell your second-hand solar panels and have questions about whether they are worth it, keep reading to find out more about where can I sell my used solar panels.
1. Online Marketplace
The online marketplace is the best suited to sell solar panels. Nowadays, many people perform online to buy and sell different types of materials or components. So, an online platform can be the best choice. But which platform you should follow? In that case, you may follow local online platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and another e-commerce platform, eBay, and others.
2. Specific Website
Many websites or forums offer to sell and buy different types of electrical and electronic components. You may focus on that and upload your product photo. You must give your contact information. If anyone chooses your second-hand solar panel to install their new roof, then they will contact you and discuss it.
3. Contact Local Retailer Shop
Solar panel is the medium to generate renewable energy and many people love it to install their homes and offices. Many people may not have the budget for the new PV panels. In that case, they look for used PV panels. That’s why contact your local electronics components or specific solar panel sellers shop. And let them know that you want to sell your used solar panels. Don’t forget to give them your contact information.
4. Contact Solar Panel Installer
Many solar panel installation companies may be interested in purchasing old PV panels. In that case, contact your nearest PV panel installer and let them know the details about your panels, such as how long you have been using them, pricing, and others.
You should show the buying document whenever you have bought them to install on your tile roof or other places. Because document always carries the authenticity. So, if everything is good to go then they can purchase your old panels. On the other hand, if they don’t buy it then they may let you know some sources to sell your PV panels.
What Is a Used Solar Panel?
A used solar panel is a photovoltaic (PV) panel that has been formerly installed on a solar array system & removed for resale or reuse. The second-hand solar panels may come from solar arrays that were uninstalled because of system upgrades, damage, or the closure of a solar farm.
Consequently, any panel that was formerly possessed by any other person, company, or any other entity is a used solar panel. Even if somebody has never used them but taken them out of the box, we still consider them used. Solar panels have a life spanning around 30 years. But if any panel used for nearly 15 years is also considered ‘’used’’.
‘’Used panels can be perceived differently since not all solar panels are equal. And the longer lifespan depends on solar panel maintenance & the buyer’s judgment. Yet, good quality used PV panels for sale are not very hard, irrespective of where you stay. But you need to be patient & set realistic standards in selling the right product for your use case.
Refurbished Vs. Second-Hand Solar Panels
Refurbished solar panels are panels that were previously used (not for long). But it has been restored to a satisfactory condition fit for usage by a professional refurbished manufacturer.
Thus, second-hand solar panels are unlikely to perform as new, and buyers expect degraded performance in some form. While refurbished ones may not last as long as new ones, they function like new ones since some parts of them may have been restored or replaced professionally.
Are Used Solar Panels Worth Anything?
In an ideal situation, second hand solar panels for sale will provide many of the same benefits as new systems. Several of these advantages are as follows:
- Energy Security. Most people have nowhere to turn when the electric grid goes down. Solar panels offer a reliable energy source in emergencies.
- Reduced Electric Bills. Solar panels will reduce your electricity bill; they often pay for themselves over time.
- Increased Home Value. Many home buyers are becoming more environmentally conscious. It is increasing the demand for solar.
- Energy Cost Protection. Solar panels protect against rising energy costs.
Aside from the usual benefits, the cost of used solar equipment for sale tends to be much lower than that of a new one. Some used systems might even cost half as much as new ones.
Remember, if you select to buy used PV panels for sale, avoid damaged solar panels unless you are both capable & willing to fix them. Be intelligent when choosing a seller, & perform your due diligence by testing the system before making your final decision.
Taking the essential precautions might finish with a high-quality solar panel system. Just ensure you know the extra costs that may come with it, such as installation & a new inverter.
How Do I Sell My Used Solar Panels?
As a solar installer, you might end up with used or old solar panels on hand from time to time. Customers upgrade their solar arrays. Sometimes, new home buyers are not interested in keeping solar arrays installed by former occupants. You might question their logic. But it is their home, so it is their call.
You’re in the solar business, so the probabilities are good that you are a strong proponent of sustainability. That is what selling solar is all about, after all. Simply throwing old solar panels for sale away doesn’t seem like a good option. It is a waste of the natural resources and carbon emissions that went into making them.
You may consider selling them to customers who are interested in solar but do not have the budget or the desire to finance brand-new panels. If you are going to break into the used solar panel market, there are several things you should consider.
1. Test the Panels before Selling Them
There is a diversity of used solar panels for sale. Some still have plenty of life left, while others are shadows of their former selves. Test any used solar panel you are considering selling with a multi-meter. If they are still in good condition, they may be worth considering for a cautious solar enthusiast.
2. Used Solar Panels are not as Efficient.
One prospective issue with second-hand solar panels is that they are not quite as efficient as newer ones. It means your customers will have to dedicate more space to solar to generate the same amount of electricity. If you are helping a client who has limited room for solar panels, then newer panels will likely be a better choice.
3. Damaged Solar Panels Are Tough to Sell
Sometimes, a freak accident or a storm will damage a solar panel. Visibly damaged solar panels will likely be hard to remove, even if they work like a charm. To maximize your selling price, you must fix them first. It is up to you to determine whether or not that is worth your time.
4. Ensure Used Panels Are the Right Fit
For some clients, old solar panels can offer an excellent value, but they are not right for everyone. For instance, a customer may need to replace one board in an array tied to a centralized inverter. If you install a used panel within that array, which is not as efficient as the other panels, you might end up limiting the output of the whole system.
5. Be Transparent
If you sell used solar panels, you must be transparent with your customers. Don’t sugarcoat any of the details. It is better to fill them in on the relevant details, such as output power, warranty, and before they buy than wait until after the sale. Your business’s reputation is your most valuable asset; do not compromise it.
6. You are the Solar Expert
As a solar installer, you know when second-hand solar panels are an intelligent option for your clients and when they are better off buying new ones. Follow your instincts, and do your best to offer each customer the solution that will best fit their needs. Do that, and you will end up with plenty of referrals & repeat business from new and used solar buyers.
Is Selling Used Solar Panels Hard?
If you are trying to find your buyer or listing your used solar system for sale on online marketplaces like eBay, finding your buyer can be pretty challenging. You may have to be compliant with environmental laws & other regulations in your area.
If you somehow find a buyer, you must remove the solar panel from where it’s currently installed, sort them, package them, and arrange transportation. It can be quite challenging in practice. You can also work with a solar equipment professional if you want to sell your used commercial utility-scale solar panels & equipment in volume.
Why Sell Used Solar Panels for Solar Recycling?
Solar Recycling offers an easy way to sell your old solar panels, even long after your solar panel’s OEM warranty has expired. There are services to help you recover as much of your initial solar panel investment by buying your used solar equipment. The main goal is Net ZERO Waste with Net ZERO cost when possible.
If, for some reason, Solar Recycling cannot recover any value on your solar panels, i.e., if it is broken beyond repair, then it can offer a downstream recycling service and complete solar panel destruction service that complies with all environmental laws & regulations.
Who Buys Used Solar Panels?
For some homeowners, used or old solar panels may be a clever purchase. For example, if you do not want to power your whole home with solar and are looking to charge a small battery. In that case, purchasing a few used solar equipment for sale is a stake, and it may be the cheap way to get your required energy.
Best Place to Sell Used Solar Panels
There are two primary solutions to sell used solar panels. You could use a solar panel retailer or a buy & sell website like eBay. While you should proceed cautiously, either way, you’d want to be especially careful if selling through a buy & sell website.
Here are some marketplaces where you might find old solar panels: eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and Preloved. Beyond that, you could contact the seller for further details on the panel(s) they are buying.
Best Place to Buy Used Solar Panels
Are you looking for the best place to sell my used solar panels? Don’t worry, there are many platforms where you can sell your old solar panel. But how much cost you will get from? It will depend on your used or second-hand solar panels.
It is noted that busing and selling solar panels may happen on the same platforms. However, now I am going to show you the best way to buy used or second-hand PV panels.
Ordering Used Panels Online
From eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and solar marketplaces, used or old solar panels are readily available through online classified advertisements and dedicated solar resale sites. Advantages of buying used panels online include:
- Huge Selection. Find panel models from top brands unavailable locally, often for over 50% off retail.
- Easy Price Comparisons. Rapidly measure fair market value for any brand panel based on online listing prices.
- Buyer Protections. Sites like eBay guarantee functionality for a period after buying or offer refunds.
- Convenience. Panels are delivered to your door for easy transition to installers.
- Product Reviews. Customer feedback helps identify reputable sellers on resale marketplaces.
Buying Directly from Solar Panel Owners
Another option is to buy used solar panels straight from local homeowners or businesses that formerly installed panels on their properties. Direct owner buying offers these possible advantages:
- See System Firsthand. Inspect solar panels working in actual field conditions before buying.
- Lower Prices. Cut out the middleman & wholesale markup that installers/resellers charge.
- Negotiation chance. Homeowners are often flexible on price to avoid panel removal & disposal costs.
- Recommendation. Former owners can give reviews on panel performance & reliability.
- Support Local Owners. Directly support solar acceptance while recycling panels that may end up in landfills.
Buying from Local Solar Installers
Buying from a local solar equipment supplier or installer near you is an outstanding option for reliable used panels. The advantages of purchasing through local solar companies include:
- System Matching. Local installers source panels compatible with the types of solar setups in your area.
- Experienced Inspection. They test entirely and vet the quality of used inventory. You get fully functional, defect-free panels.
- Professional Installation. Local Solar Installers offer full-service installation & electrical integration after purchase.
- Possible Warranties. Some installers offer used panel warranties covering certain defects & functionality issues.
- Ongoing Support. An established local company will be there for system maintenance & repairs.
Is It Profitable to Sell Solar Panels?
There is room for solar panel contractors to make some profit by selling second-hand solar panels. As the world moves to green energy, you can set up your company to capitalize on the future by dominating the market early on.
Solar panel sellers get the commission, meaning they will not have a fixed salary range. Manufacturers give varying commission rates. However, the amount is usually based on a 2% time-based volume bonus, a 5% base commission, & 2% for self-generated leads.
With an average net pay of $65,000. Solar panel salespersons have limited opportunities for advancing based on skill. But you can earn more depending on location and experience.
How to Choose Ideal Used Solar Panels?
Solar panels are some of the most exclusive products available on the market. They must be maintained with the greatest caution during transportation & installation to prevent defects. Defects are like termites on the surface of the wood. They ultimately reduce the module’s effectiveness. So, if you are considering working with second hand solar panels for sale. In that case, there are a few highly crucial considerations. Let’s walk you through them.
- It is very significant to check the condition of the product first. The longevity of solar panels is guaranteed at least 20 years. The less the former owner used it, the more you could utilize a product.
- The solar panel efficiency is related to how much maintenance the previous owner performed. Therefore, the guarantee hardly covers second-hand solar panels for mechanical or electrical repairs. Therefore, before working with used PV panels for sale, find out from the previous owner if they care about the solar system satisfactorily.
- It would be great if you could calculate the solar energy output. A client would need to sell used solar panels for sale. You can save the client’s money and energy by offering the appropriate type and size of solar panel system for his exclusive needs. After that, you could discuss the precise installation details with the clients.
How Do You Test a Used Solar Panel Before Buying?
If you would like to buy used PV panels to install on the roof top. In that case, you should follow some crucial things, such as ‘’testing’’. Testing will help to determine actual performance and condition. You would need a multimeter and a few minutes to test the efficiency. Look for the following parameters:
- Visual inspection. Check for any cracks, corrosion, or moisture damage.
- Check efficiency. Divide gauged power output by the panel wattage to determine real-world efficiency.
- Short circuit current test. Test output current with a multimeter on a sunny day compared to expected Isc.
- Open circuit voltage test (Voc). Test output voltage with a multimeter on a sunny day compared to the expected Voc.
Moreover, you should consider some other crucial things before buying solar panels.
Solar panel connection is a crucial thing. In direct sunlight, check the wattage of the solar panel with the multimeter. Touch the device’s positive lead to the panel’s positive terminal & then connect the negative leads to the negative wires. In standard situations, the multimeter reading must be around 60 volts. If the results are too far away, consider skipping the panel further checks.
You repeat the same procedure as you did for volts testing, the only difference being you set the multimeter to the amps setting this time. Connect the negative and positive wires like in the last step and look at the reading. The panel is in good condition if the screen shows around 3 to 3.5 amps. If the results are less than 3, it shows a possible error with the device. You can skip the purchase or consult a professional for further help in such cases.
Building relationships with solar installers and contractors can be a great way to get your used solar panels in front of potential buyers. They may have clients looking to expand their solar systems or replace faulty modules, and they can also be your reference point for the quality of the panels you are selling.
You must be transparent and honest. When selling second-hand solar panels for sale. It is significant to be transparent and honest about their condition and performance. This will help build trust with prospective buyers and increase the chances of making a sale.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Happens to A Used Solar Panel?
Solar panels are mainly recyclable, with parts that can be reused and refurbished. Approximately 75% of the weight of solar panels comes from glass, which can be recycled. Copper from the cables, aluminum, and steel can also be recycled.
How Are Solar Panels Refurbished?
The company can recycle about 90% of a solar module by heating the panel and removing components. That procedure removes silicon from panels, which is then returned to the manufacturing stream to make new modules.
How Do You Test Second-Hand Solar Panels?
Directly connect the positive lead of your multimeter to the positive wire of the solar panel, & the negative lead of the multimeter to the negative wire of the solar panel. It will display the Short Circuit Current of the solar panel.
Why Is the Second-Hand Solar Panel’s Demand Rising?
Many solar equipment brokers and installers have recognized the financial potential of reselling used solar panels. This is because many people are eager to buy non-shattered panels & use them to avoid the excessive installation price of buying and installing new solar panels.
How Can You Determine the Prices of Used Solar Panels?
The following factors can determine the estimated cost of used solar panels.
- Dimension of the solar system
- Condition or state of the panels
- Structure & type of the solar panels installed
- The brand the module belongs to
So, there is no one price tag you could put: all used solar panels for sale will have different rates.