Solar Power

Cheap Solar Panels – My TOP 6 TIPS For Telling the Deals From the Duds

Solar power is clean, efficient and free. That’s the good news. The problem is that most consumers can’t afford to have it installed in their homes. Today however, we can reduce the cost greatly by learning to build our own solar energy systems.

Most people don’t know it, but 50% of the cost associated with professional solar installation is in the panels. One of the best ways to reduce the expense is by using reliable cheap solar panels purchased from alternate sources. Sometimes you can even find them free if you know where to look. Just make sure the bargain you think you are getting is really a bargain. The following tips should help.
1) Local Sources – Believe it or not, the highway departments or local contractors are a great place to start. They often have small panels that they want to get rid of. Sometimes these need to be disassembled and used for their cells to construct a new, larger panel but usually you can’t beat the price. There are a number of other local sources as well.
2) Online Sources – eBay and other online auctions sites are also a good source. Just make sure you check out the seller’s feedback and reputation as you would with any other online purchase. Also, follow the other tips below to help evaluate what you’ll be getting.
3) Evaluate Condition– While used panels are much cheaper than new, it is important to make sure that what you get will work with your project. Panels have to be properly sealed and structurally sound to prevent moisture infiltration. Your panel’s ability to perform at full capacity will be diminished if it collects moisture. Find out about the age and usage history as well. Panels that have been in service for years won’t perform to their full rated capacity. They loose their effectiveness over time in service. On the other hand, old panels that have never been used should perform like new. So age must always be considered in combination with use history.
4) Testing – Use a volt meter to make sure that it functions properly. If the panel is not performing up to its rated capacity, check the individual cell rows to see if it is worth repairing.  If the panel is priced right, it might make sense to replace or re-wire around a damaged cell.
5) When shopping for used panels, keep your eyes open for individual cells too. Don’t overlook the possibility of building some of your own solar panels in addition to buying them. It isn’t all that complicated if you know what you are doing. Once again, if the price is right this may be a really good opportunity to reduce costs even more.
6) As always, get a good instructional guide that includes detailed directions for locating panels from alternate sources. A good guide will teach you how to build or buy cheap solar panels and is something you will refer back to over and over again throughout the process of growing your system. You can’t beat the education you get at such a low price because you’ll learn how to shop for cheap solar panels without wasting money on material you can’t use.

Do you want to learn more about cheap solar panels? Check out our full reviews of the best resources available for homegrown energy projects, including DIY Solar power. Stop paying hundreds every month to the the power company. Anyone can reduce or eliminate their monthly electric bill using affordable, homemade solar power without breaking the bank. More and more people are moving to DIY solar power each day with cheap solar panels. You can too.