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Clean Power Wayne National Forest Solar Panel Construction

Published on February 7th, 2008 | by Michelle Bennett

100

How To: Cheap or Free Solar Panels

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February 7th, 2008 by
 
My cousin mentioned to me that her family wanted to install solar panels on their roof. She said it was a huge disappointment because it was far too expensive. It would take twenty years for them to regain the cost in energy savings, even with state solar initiatives! I decided to do some digging and came up with a handy solution to help reduce the cost:

Find used or discounted solar panels. Maybe you can even get them for free.

It may be the next-best option for installing solar power after joining a solar panel group discount program (if one’s available in your area). And it’s a little simpler than going all out and building your own homemade solar panels.

Solar panels are ideal for electric equipment when one doesn’t have access to the power grid and are widely used for such purposes (i.e. by the U.S. military). But being “in the field” can be rough on rigid silicon wafers. Any time a solar panel gets chipped or cracked, it becomes “unsafe” and must be replaced. Fortunately for us, “unsafe” is relative to rough road-side or wilderness conditions, not a cozy rooftop. Those panels have to go somewhere and they can be expensive to dispose of. Some companies would rather give them away to greenies. Sound too good to be true? Well, consider that some of that damage, cracks or chips, also degrade the efficiency of the panels — anywhere from 10%-60%. It’s not going to generate as much energy as a swanky new panel. But if you buy it for a song, or even convince them to give it to you for free, who’s complaining? Subtract 10% off a 22-watt panel and you still get 19 watts. That panel will still reduce your electricity bill.


So, where do you find used solar panels?

Step 1: Collect Contact Info.

Next time you spot a panel “in the field,” there should be a sign on or near it with a contractor’s name and contact information. These are the people who provide solar panels for “in-field” use. Just be careful: it is dangerous and sometimes illegal to stop on the side of a highway just to jot down a name and number. Instead, look for weather sensors or portable electric signs on local roads. If that fails, try scouring your local phone book for contractors who provide equipment for road construction. Make a list of these names, phone numbers, and their addresses.

Step 2: Go see them.

Convincing someone to sell/give you an expensive piece of hardware is less likely to happen over the phone. You’ll want to talk to the mechanics or the maintenance department: gentlemen who are probably very busy. Be friendly and always offer to pay for the damaged panels — they’ll appreciate the offer even if they don’t intend to charge you. If they do want cash, bargain. Keep in mind that they are doing you a favor by selling/giving something to you. Forging a good relationship will help in the long run. They wear out panels regularly — if they give to you once, they’re more likely to do it again. Remember to call back every few weeks to check if they’ve “received” (i.e. broken) any more panels.

See the rest of this post on page 2:

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About the Author

is an environmentalist who loves to write. She grew up across the southeastern USA and especially love the Appalachian mountains. She went to school in the northeast USA in part to witness different mindsets and lifestyles than those of my southern stomping grounds. She majored in English Lit. and Anthropology. She has worked as a whitewater rafting guide, which introduced her to a wilderness and the complex issues at play in the places where relatively few people go. She also taught English in South Korea for a year, which taught her to take nothing for granted.



  • Khawaja Khalil ur rehman

    Please guide us how to buy broken solar cells and get training to make panel ready
    To install

  • ice

    Just a though, would we rather get Solar Panels that is cheap or a bit pricey with assurance of good quality and after sales services?

  • Billy Kidd

    This is such a helpful post. We at Solar Gold Coast Company offers a cheap solar panels. This is such a great way to own your very own solar panel within your budget, Imagine how will it helps you big in a long run!

  • http://www.yougodesigns.com.au/ Cheap Website Design Company

    Especially difficult, and with minimal knowledge or carpentry and
    electrical work, you can build your own solar panels for a fraction of
    the cost of buying prefabricated panels.

  • affiliates1213

    Doing your whole house is a huge project… That is my ultimate goal but in the meantime I am taking baby steps! I got most of my info on http://www.homemadesolarcelldiy.com and its been really helpful. There is also a lot of good info here! Just keep reading!

  • Murphy
  • Pingback: Smart Technology: The Key to a More Energy Efficient Life | PlanetSave

  • Samuel Brock

    Is there any place around mansfield ohio to get free solar panels

  • Alabama_home_chicken

    Hi, my name is Cheryl I reside in Huntsville, Alabama. I own a very old home which I rented out both sides to very reliable renters. I only charged enough to pay the house payment so I would not loose my home during this very bad economic times. I had moved in with my fiance which turned out to be a very bad decision on my part. Not having the money to rent and not the money to take back my house I’m living in a metal shed. I just bought a camping porta pottie. I’m cooking with propaine on a camp stove. All I need is some electricity. For lights Im using a lanter, Ive been very intrested in solar energy. I have a job but not one that pays very well. Ive bought books on solar energy but I’m confused  if I dont have a electric panel would the solar energy still work and what size panel do I need? The shed is about 20 X 10 and a 10X10 in the back.   

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sorry to hear about your situation Cheryl.

      Obviously money is in short supply for your right now.  What I would suggest is that you consider one or two solar lanterns for general light.  Something like this one that Amazon sells…

      http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Powered-Camping-Lantern-Panel/dp/B003CSZ62E/ref=pd_sim_sg_1 

      I’m not recommending that particular model, it’s just the first I happened to find that had a low price and high rating.  Use the page to find what would be best for you.

      You might also want to consider a headlamp for reading, cooking or other times when you need to put more light right on the task.

      I bought one of these for reading and hands-free work and it’s great.

      http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-E91-PE-Headlamp-Electric/dp/B0027GVIOW/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1345131578&sr=1-2&keywords=headlamp 

      You could get a solar charger for the batteries if desired.

      That’s most likely the least expensive way to get some light.

      • Alabama_home_chicken

        Thanks so much for your reply. Youve helped more than you know!

        • Bob_Wallace

          Hang in there. If we can help with more info, let us know.

          (Bama-born Bob)

    • Bob_Wallace

      OK, if you want a better system.  

      You’re going to need a solar panel, a charge controller, a storage battery and some LED lights.

      If you want to set up a system post back and we’ll see if we can help you figure out an inexpensive system.  To give you some idea of what you need you could take a look at this charge controller…

      http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-7-Amp-Charge-Controller/dp/B0006JO0XI 

      There may be something cheaper, I haven’t looked.  

      If you want help figuring out a system post back with what you want to do with electricity.  For example, how many lights and how many hours per night?  Charge a cell phone?  Run a radio?

    • AnonStatic ProxyPrepper

      Hi, I am a Huntsville, AL. Native. I now live in Blountsville, AL. I come to Huntsville every weekend. I am a prepper and I build solar panels. I would be interested to see your new living quarters and see if there is any advice I could give you. If you have facebook you can add me. Look for AnonStatic ProxyPrepper. Be sure to send a message to me when you send the friend request so I know who is trying to add me.

  • Suncahser1979

    If you was in the southeast and worked as a white water rafting guide you may know the Ocoee river which is where I live.. small world..Tim

  • http://solar-pool-heater-review.blogspot.com/ Solar Pool Heater

    It’s a grate thinking that buying used  Solar panels instead of a new one! So, those who don’t have the ability will now be able to install solar panels.

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  • Cary Jones

    My Name is CJ and I am a Volunteer Board Member at a Non-profit organization here in Phoenix. We are on a tight budget due to making our money by fundraisers and individual donations. Our electric bill can be high sometime, mostly in the summer. I was wondering if anyone knew of anyone who had any solar pannels at low cost or could donate and use as a tax write of. Thanks.
    CJ
    jonescary72@gmail.com

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  • Clergylady2

    My husband and I are 65 and 73. He’s a retired electrician. We had each lost everything in the years before we met and married so there is no savings to fall back on and only a small income. We are very interested in solar and he’s still able to do a lot of the work. Any suggestions how we can get started? We’re near Albuquerque, NM

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’d start by learning everything you can about everyone who does installations in your area. What they charge and what sorts of reputations they leave behind them. You’re going to need to be better and cheaper in order to gain market share.

      I’m assuming your husband is a licensed electrician, or has whatever sort of ticket needed in your area. Hopefully between the two of you, you’ve got the basic knowledge to run a small business.

      You should seek some sort of solar training course. Having some sort of document is going to help. Plus, there are a few tricks to learn.

      I’m guessing that the best way to get established is to do a few installations at a break-even price. Forgo any personal earnings as a way to get your first customers and build some reputation.

      Once you get a business license you should be able to purchase wholesale. If you want to strike out on a more ‘casual’ basis then it’s hard to beat the system prices at Sun Electronics.

      http://www.sunelec.com/

      Insurance. Reliable part time help to do the ladder work (I’m saying that as someone who has knees older than yours).

      Be willing to work further out in the rural areas than the ‘big boys’ might be willing to go. Advertise for reasonably priced repair service for existing systems.

      Basically, I’m thinking that sneaking in at the bottom and then building up is the cheapest way to get established. You’ve got a bit of income, work toward adding to that a bit down the road in order to get some volume/reputation first.

      That’s my best guesses….

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Thanks, Bob. :D

  • http://www.brisbanesolarelectrical.com.au/ Solar brisbane

    Return on investment in Brisbane Australia, with,the government incentives is around3.5 years

  • Moshe V. Toussaint

    I’m Moshe Toussaint. I currently live in Haiti. Our country has amongst other problems a great elaectrical problem. I as a concern citizen have for a long time thought what I could do about it. Solar electricity is a solution when I was in the United States, I thought could help, But I soon saw that the cost would be too overwhelming. Maybe you as an enviromentalist could give me an idea even on a small scale bases.

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  • Steve Mitcham

    EnergyCare I believe offer different panels (UK ones with 10 year guarantees) to buyers than to “renters” who get European ones with longer guarantees – 25 years, installed for free but only get the electricity but not the Feed-In Tariffs.

    This is makes wary and suspicious. Can anyone shed any light on this? (pardon the unintended pun)

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  • Paulaosull

    I would love solar panels i live in a maisonette i am soley responsible for the roof and any maintenance but can’t get on the free scheme due to rules and regulations Good old Government !

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  • Snowbeardvc

    We are disabled and are trying to get by on very small Soc. Sec. income. At 80 and 79 yrs. we are not able to install panels, batteries or wind power equipment. We live in Apache County AZ, so get good sun. We are off the grid and would have to pay a kings ransom to get power to our home. We are trying to find new or used equipment and have a small amount of money saved for this purpose. If you might be able to assist a couple of old foogies to obtain a system for their very rural home, please let us know….. Thank You !

  • Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    Good post. After oil crisis in 1973 there was big push for Renewables. Later I received some offers from US to supply used solar panels and Wind Turbines at a throw away price. Our Indian Government did not permit installing used Wind Turbines imported from abroad.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert
    E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

    • Eyecam286

      wah there was an oil crisis in 1973? it was the private companies winning that the Government wanted to supply all fuel at thier prices like in mexico PEMEX… no deals for the end user. that is why every one striked out on the Government …silly there was plenty of crude oil then .. we didnt have to wait in fuel lines and it was a short time remember? .. not 5-10 years.. just companies flexing their corporate muscles against the Government

      • Anonymous

        Bull.

        ” The *1973 oil crisis* started in October 1973, when the members of Organization
        of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or
        the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC , plus Egypt
        , Syria and Tunisia)
        proclaimed an oilembargo . This was “in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military” during the Yom Kippur war . It lasted until March 1974. ”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

  • Alex

    Hi my brother in law and I are both are unemployed and we can install them. But we don’t have experience but we would like to learn to install them. We both of us have the tools for the installation if any one have some ideas please let us know.

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  • Anilyadav

    plz tell me how to achieve a solar panel

    plz mail me at anilyadav461@gmail.com

  • Gustavo

    quem me pode vender um painel solar 30 cm x 10 cm de 9 ou 12v ?

  • http://makesolarpanel.net Todays deal

    Good Discussion about solar panel, I hope people will study about it more,

  • Bill Perry

    Would like to get solar power in my home, but am handicapped and cannot affort to hire it done and unable to do it myself. Could you offer any suggestions and or help. Bill Perry

    • JeremyPhelpsFL

      Bill, perhaps try asking greenie friends and family. I would gladly donate my time and effort to a handicapped (or even able bodied) friend that needed assistance. We are all in this together, as the more we start to do to help each other the better off everyone will be.

      • JermFL

        Of course also keep in mind, at some point, you will have to hire a licensed professional if you plan to hook up to the grid through your meter.

  • Jim

    Gentlemen,
    If someone is purchasing a used solar array and when tested shows that it is not putting out the amount of amps it should be, can’t you dismantle a solar array (carefully) and test each piece within it to find those not working and then replace these with a part from another used solar array. Know these pieces are very delicate and can be damaged easily, but is it possible to do the above and make a fully functioning solar array.

  • http://backpackercabin.com Brendan Killilea

    I’m a pretty serious backpacker and will admit that I’m anal about my equipment. If there’s one nuance that I highly dislike, it’s when my gear give way. This is why I always buy quality gear to outfit myself and be ready for most anything the dusty trail throws at me.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/HealthyGreenSmoothies GreenTeaSmoothie

    One of the healthiest options out there are green tea smoothies,it’s like my coffee in the morning now! p.s. great post

  • http://www.classicmontecarlos.com monte carlos

    Great post. Thanks!

  • http://www.liquidfoundry.com/ SC Web Design

    You can even earn a return on that investment – A friend recently told me that if you generate more power than you use, the utility company is required to pay you back for the energy you generate at cost (not market price).

    There’s more info on the subject here:

    http://www.solarpanelnexus.com/installsolarpanel/powercompany.php

    • 01indianbob

      I would think that for that to happen, one would have to have solar panels covering the entire roof of his/her house…and their neighbors, too. I could be wrong…don’t know. Somebody reply with some solid stats, please.

  • http://knobs@roadrunner.com Thomas May

    You can save a lot more money immediately through conservation and RECLAMATION, (extracting waste heat from furnaces, fireplaces, waste hot water and basically anything that uses a fuel to make heat. 20% of the heat you produce can be recovered with some innovative devices I found at greenhousecoalition.com and some other related sites. Some need custom fabrication, but make hot water like you know what. I have some links and more info and I can be reached at tmay dot greenhouse at roadrunner dot com One simple device installed on my shower reduced my electric bill by 20%. Another one reclaimed hot water from my washers, dish and laundry, increasing that enough to warrant investigation of meter tampering by the electric company. Im also working on a hydrogen powered generator which may eliminate it all. Wind power makes more juice anyway if you get up high enough, there’s always a breeze. Good luck and God bless.

  • JJ

    I would also second what George says, I would rather deal with new parts that I know will work well to spec with no surprises.

    I see lots of spam here already, like Ambigrid seems to be another “buy this book for secret info”, and the blogs that pump it are obvious shills. There are plenty of these “energy4free” books, stay away from them.

    Anyway that said, you can buy the raw PV cells on Ebay for about $1/W. They usually come in 3″x6″ tiles about $2 each sometimes with minor cracks. The specs are 1.7W at 0.5V*3.5A. You solder 36 in series for an 18V stack. There is an Aluminum frame for about $35 to hold 36 of these. You buy tempered glass sheets locally, place in the frame and lay the PV cells over the glass, solder up the connections, and seal the whole thing with silicone?. A regular DIY might take a couple of hours per panel, more panels go faster.

    After that you have a 60W panel for about $110. There are videos too on youtube. These panels can then be used to charge up a deep cycle battery pack and that will add more $ for the batteries, charger, inverter, wiring. The battery power though will only give about 40W per panel. You have to figure in your own time value, but you keep the savings.

    I would do it myself except my house is a bad candidate, too little sun in the winter and I don’t fancy climbing up on the roof yet. If I had a better located roof or clear garden, I would put 25 of these panels up and wire it with the rest of the system for about $2500 for a 1KW system. I would use it to go half off grid, put all the electronics on separate solar AC outlets and leave the rest of the house on the grid. Start with 1 panel to get some experience and measure the results before going further.

    To actually do a grid tie system means ruling out a DIY home build, I don’t think any utility would deal with that. That means looking at quotes that price like a luxury car installed by pros with a long payback time.

    If you are going to pay contractors to build a solar system, you would get quicker payback to do solar thermal water heating. Also better payback by replacing energy guzzlers with lower power models.

  • rex

    my parents have solar panels and they dont know how to hook them up is their any info that i could send them that whould help them.

    • Chrismiller

      hook it up to the braker box with a 50 amp bracker! I can answer your questions if you need it.

    • Kirtg

      You need an inverter to change the DC from the panels to the AC for the house system first.

      • Manavjain15

        yes i want for project ,,,,n if u can i also wann the pv panel n votage controller too, con me at manavjain15@gmail.com

  • http://www.plans2reality.com George Grenley

    Nothing wrong with the idea of using used panels, per se, but…. there are some tradeoffs.

    - a random assortment of panels will not match well when hooked to a common inverter. You may need to buy several inverters or use micro-inverter technology.

    - if you really can find cheap or free panels, great, but most markets are efficient most of the time. I’d bet that a used panel that runs at only 80% of rated power is going to sell at 70% or so of new price; at least once the secondary market begins to develop.

    - Electricity is the most fungible commodity in the world; one kWH is pretty much identical to the next. Thus, panel prices tend to move to the point where the price of one panel, installled and making juice, nets the same cost per kWH as some other panel.

    On the other hand, especially for a smaller installation, it could work very well.

    AS for batteries, a used battery is no bargain. Batteries have well-known, and fairly rapid, wearout cycles. A corporation that is selling used backup batteries at a low price has probably done the calculation and knows that there isn’t much life left in the battery, either in terms of remaining amp-hours or remaining charge-discharge cycles.

    Okay, I’ll stop being a wet blanket now. ;-)

    George

  • Prahallad

    Its a realy nice idea.

    Could u please help me..I am looking for a cheap solar pump.

  • http://ambigrid-review.blogspot.com Ambigrid Plans

    You can build your own solar panels for UNDER $100 and Solar Water Heater for about $7 with the Ambigrid Plans!

  • http://ambigrid-review.blogspot.com Ambigrid Review

    I found the best DIY solar panel plans to be at http://ambigrid-review.blogspot.com

    I was able to make my own panels for UNDER $100!

  • http://www.mysolar2020.com badarinarayan

    Is it worth installing Solar Panels on your Roof? Now you can decide for yourself.

    ————————————————————————- ———————————————————

    Installing solar panels requires a big initial investment. Before you make this investment you should check to see if the money you will save by installing solar panels will pay for this investment. This website “www.MySolar2020.com ” provides you an opportunity to examine how much money you will actually save if you install solar panels.

    To calculate your savings, the website considers the area (square feet) you currently have available to install solar panels. It looks at the available sunlight and its intensity in your state each month of the year. Based on this data the website (www.MySolar2020.com) estimates how much energy your solar panels will generate. It compares that with how much energy (kWh) you currently consume. You can find average energy (kWh) usage from your monthly utility bill. This data along with the savings is presented in a simple report on the website.

  • http://ambigrid-review.blogspot.com Ambigrid Review

    I used the plans at http://ambigrid-review.blogspot.com to build my own solar panels and solar water heater for under $80. I am getting enough energy to power half of my 1500+ Square Foot home in Florida!

  • DeBee Corley

    How about today? Where are the least expensive solar panels?

    Why is the solar power industry a fraud? Without government tax credits, the whole thing collapses.

    Because it doesn’t make sense to pay $.20 a kilowatt for solar when you can buy $.15 grid power.

    I have the technical ability to install solar power, but all I see are government style prices.

  • http://generatepower.blogspot.com/ Suk

    Learn to build a solar water pumps

  • tayyab

    i need solar panels at very cheap price that can be useful for people living in pakistan where electric power is in shortage send me response through ,mail and help people in hot summer you can send used but repairable ones free of cost as donation contact me at tayyab.urrehman@yahoo.com plz

  • http://www.smuntzwood.com Nick Blackmore

    Thank you for the article it has given me some ideas to try following up. With the space I have for solar panels I don’t care if they put out 10% if they are really cheap!

    Cheers and well done Michelle

  • Mahbub Hasan

    I think cheap renewable energy should be disseminated climate change vulnerables in the thirdworld such as Bangladesh. We have chronic shortage of electricity among 65% rural farmers. most of them are victim of some kind of disaster based on geographical location. How can you help us in promoting cheap solar energy to eliminte sin of darkness from poor in Bangladesh.

    I think a little collaboration to HRD and technical support would be good enough

    Thank you for positive response.

    Dr. Mahbub Hasan

    Head, centre for water and Environment

    BUP, Dhaka

    Tel: 88028853958

    cell:801925157199

    • sam

      Has anyone responded to your aid for electricity in rural areas and countries?

  • Isaiah Justin

    Hey guys, Could you tell me where i can get the free panels, because i have seach all around i could not get it.

  • http://www.beanpies.com Renay Ingram

    Does anyone know where we can get free solar panels from a company willing to showcase their products in a college/school community?

  • Edward

    I wish I could have solar power or wind power for my home. Not just for my self, but to even give to others. And today jobs are hard to keep and money runs short. Most people cant afford to buy of install green energy.

  • abel

    I payed $49 for the same information at earth4ehergy

    to bad I din’t search here ,well I thought i will get more for $49.99

  • STEVE CHERAZ

    I’M A THIRD GENERATION ELECTRICIAN/CONTRACTOR [AC ELECT. 50+ YRS.] AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTRESTED IN NEW TECKNOWLOGY AND ECSPECALLY EFFICANCY. [POWER MANAGEMENT] RECENTLY, ME AND MY BROTHER DID A JOB FOR A COMP. THAT CONVERTS CARS,TRUCKS,EVEN A TRAIN TO L-ION IN MONROVIA,CA.. TODAY WE WIRED AN ARRAY OF APPROX. 72 PANELS ON THE ROOF TO THE INVERTERS,ISOLATION DELTA/WYE TRANS AND TO SOB PANEL. ALSO WIRED WAREHOUSE W/T-5 HO HIGHBAY LITES /1ST TIME AND IMPRESSED. OK NOW THAT IM DONE BABBLING—–IM COMPUTER WEAK, LIKED YOUR SIGHT, AND JUST NOTICED THE TIME. PLEASE SEND ME ANYTHING ON USED PANELS,ARRAYS AND SETUP MONITERING,EDISONKICKS, OTHER TECKS. WHATEVER YOU CAN.THANKS….IM TO OLD TO BE THIS INTERESTED/TO YOUNG NOT TO BE

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  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    Great story, Michelle.

    An update, though: Since the bailout bill last month, we finally passed the solar tax credit, which reduces the cost of a solar roof by 33%.

    That is the Federal tax credit.

    Many states (like CA for instance) also have state reductions and even (here in Northern CA: PG&E) utilities who reduce the amount as well to encourage more people to lower electricity use.

    So if you are not a DIYer, check to see what it would cost now, with the investment tax credit in place finally.

  • Utility Guy

    I don’t think your idea is any better than installing new solar panels.

    You must have a certified solar panel reseller company (on your utility company approved vendor list) who could sell your the approved solar panels(on your utility company approved list), for any utility company to qualify you for your rebate.

    Refurnbish solar panels would not qualify.

  • http://www.diygreenproject.com cheap solar panels

    though some options are expensive, there are cheaper routes. I know the system I put in my house was bid at over 9 thousand dollars but with what I was able to do, I brought the cost down considerably!

  • Looking to save

    Thank you. I have often wonder about the solar panels along the roads and if they ever had to replace them.

  • Jonas

    Just lower the prices of solar systems,and tell people about the advantages of solar power.

  • Alex Chase

    I had read an article about this several years ago and did a lot of leg work on it. I found the contractors who rent/lease them in my state and talked with State/local highway departments. After contacting them and working with them for several months, I netted two very damaged panels. One 50 w panel produced < 0.1W and the other produced ~ 2 watts. Why so few panels available? The contractors were very thrifty, the panels are pretty standard, if one is badly damaged, it is replaced with another salvaged off another unit. May be different in other areas, but not much to be had in Massachusetts.

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  • Eliana

    Michelle: thank you for the great post! I am in the market for some solar panels and seems that my financial whoes are echoed by many. This gives the opportunity to still pursue solar energy at a cost that is actually feasible for me. And Brent: thank you for the suggestion for batteries! Moving to sustainable energy is a great idea, it’s just so expensive initially, and it’s really exciting for me to hear that I also have all these alternatives to make sustainable living more affordable for the “fresh out of college” too.

    Thank you!

  • Mike

    We saw the same twenty year scentance, chained to a heavy repayment !

    Guess what the price of power went up and in 4.5 years we are paid for and making a profit!

    Do not be discouraged, just look at the pricwe of gas over the last 2 years!!!

    Mike

  • http://yahoo.com pijush roy

    I interested to solar energy then you will give some tips.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    Jose,

    I’d love to, but unfortunately I’m not a business. Just a humble blog. However, if you see anyone with solar panels in your country, ask them where they got them and for how much. They might know some way to get a great deal.

    Actually, I have a friend in Cape Verde. She’s an English Teacher. Unfortunately, she probably doesn’t know anything about solar panels.

  • Jose C. Gomes

    I think in my country Cape Verde I’m paying too much on electricity bills and I’m looking if I can get a deal with a solar panel? My output is 220 volts so tell me if you have something with total price and I’ll see if we do business.

  • MichelleBennett

    Dennis,

    It’s true that there are a lot of exciting innovations in solar technology right now. It’s getting cheaper and more efficient every day – with important announcements cropping up almost weekly. As for the economic impacts, electric companies actually save money when demand on their infrastructure decreases to a certain amount. It’s not just that they’re producing less, but they don’t have to produce more. Building new power plants of any shape or size is expensive. If they can keep what they have (without losing *all* of their business of course), they can spend more time earning profits instead of expanding and upgrading an already-stressed system.

  • dennis

    This hopefully will all be a moot point soon as some smart guy from MIT just developed a new solar panel design that will make new panels of 50 watts cost around ten bucks instead of 300. This new material he found performs just about as well as silicone , but is very cheap to make. He claims you could put the chemicals into your ink jet printer and make your own panels by spraying the stuff on to a plastic paper and soldering wires on to a certain pattern. I saw the units on their web site and later in the same month I saw it again on a program on the history channel called green power I think. Anyway, I goggled the stuff and it was true, but a lot of big money was put into a large corporation and I’ll bet it will be years before we see this stuff because of all the damage it could do to our economy. It could cause everyone in the nation with sun to unhook from the grid and buy electric cars and how would all of the power companies make money? I hope you see my point instead of thinking I’m just paranoid. Well, look it up and maybe they actually have the stuff in production by now, as this was four months ago. Good Luck.

    dennis

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  • MichelleBennett

    James:

    I used WiseLiving as one resource (and credited them)but drew information from sources that they didn’t link/ include. If you think the “author” could have done more, please let me know how and include your resources.

  • MichelleBennett

    Natalay:

    But if they did that they wouldn’t sell or give them to us!

  • http://gimps.de Nataly Short

    I wonder why they are giving them away.

    They should sell them on eBay or at least contract a reseller company to do so !

  • http://iloveteh.biz James W.

    I like how the “author” of this article essentially reworded the same thing from Wise Living Journal from almost 3 weeks ago.

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  • Cubicle Dropout

    Good post. I know I will looking into this more when I build my own house.

  • Brent

    As for the batteries you’ll need I have a friend that gets batteries from the power company they periodically replace back up batteries that are just simply scheduled to be replaced as part of routine, but still have lots of life left in them. Maybe talk to your local power company and see if they have any deep cell solar batteries they are getting rid of.

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