Buying Used Solar Panels in San Antonio: Why Not?
Last Updated on
For years solar technology has been unaffordable for the general public. Within the last decade, however, solar panel prices have had a drastic price drop.
The price drop and local photovoltaic incentives have made solar cheaper than ever. With resale value and utility savings, solar has become an investment worth considering. Many people are now able to afford rooftop solar.
For those that don’t want to pay for a professional install, a DIY solar array is an appealing option. We, however, encourage all individuals to research solar before starting a solar DIY project. You may get yourself into more than you bargained for.
Second Hand Solar Panels in San Antonio
Many that have researched the DIY panel scene have debated on purchasing used panels. There are pros and cons to getting used panels for your solar array.
The Appeal of Buying Used Solar Panels
You can look online and find both dealers and individuals trying to sell used solar panels. The main appeal to getting used solar panels is the price. You can get used solar panels for a fraction of the cost of a new panel.
Used Solar Panel Cons
If this is the reason you are considering used solar panels, you may want to double check your purchase. If you get used panels, you can expect that they will not be as efficient. This is because all electronics deteriorate over time.
You will, however, want to make sure that they are still within the energy efficiency range for the age of the panel.
You also want to make sure that the panels aren’t broken. Broken panels can cause more problems than they are worth.
What Happens When Your Solar Panels Break in Texas
The type of break and how fast it gets handled has a lot to do with the amount of damage. Although solar panels get tested to withstand major storms, they can still break.
Cracks in the solar panel can cause the array to be less efficient. A study published by science direct found 60 percent of cracks have a significant impact.
If you have panels with cracked glass, moisture can get into the panels. This will corrode the inner workings of the solar panel causing panel failure.
How To Test Used Solar Panels
You can test solar panels by placing it in the sun and reading the amperage of the panels with a multimeter. This will tell you if your panels are producing their rated amount.
Finding and fixing the problem is another story. You may want to get a professional to look at the panels to find out where the problem is and if it is fixable.
Are Used Solar Panels Hazardous Waste?
Solar panels have components that should get recycled for reuse. These materials can cause problems if they are not recycled.
Mass solar production is new and so few panels have died. Because of this, broken panels have found their way into landfills.
This can be dangerous if the hazardous materials in the panels leech out. Recycling solar is a new concern.
If you have a used panel that does not have any damage, the panel should not be hazardous. This does not mean, however, that it is okay to leave panels un-recycled after use.
Recycling Your Texas Solar Panels
There are two main systems of recycling that are currently used for solar panels. One system is for thin-film and the other for silicon-based.
The Recycling Process for Thin-Film Solar Panels
Most thin-film panels have glass, plastic, aluminum and other metals in them. When you turn in your thin-film panel for recycling, it goes through a process.
It first gets shredded and then materials get separated and refined for reuse. The recycling group can reuse 90 percent of the glass and 95 percent of the panel’s semiconductor.
End-Of-Life Management for Silicon-Based Solar Panels
Recycling silicon-based solar panels is a bit more of a process. These panels contain glass, plastic, aluminum, silicon, and metal.
Silicon panels get disassembled. The glass, metal framing, and silicon wafers then get separated and refined.
When you recycle 100 percent of the metal framing and 95 percent of the glass gets reused. After separating and refining 80 percent of the module and 85 percent of the silicon gets reused. This silicon, however, is not pure enough for solar panel reuse.
People like Meng Tao at Arizona state are working on this issue. They have a recycling process that will extract pure silicon for photovoltaic reuse.
If this process gets approved, and used, it would make recycling PV panels more profitable. If it is more profitable, recycling in markets like the US would become more prevalent.
Recycling Used Solar Panels in the United States
In the United States, we don’t have mandatory PV recycling, but we do have recycling options. The SEIA has come out with a national PV recycling program. As of August 2018, this program has partnered with three companies. These companies are Green Century Recycling, Cleanlites Recycling and First Solar.
If you have a system that needs recycling, you can contact any of these three companies. They will help you know what the best step to take with them is.
It is important to note that none of these companies have facilities in Texas. Shipping may make recycling Texas solar panels more expensive.
If you bought your panel new, and it is still under warranty when broken, the manufacturer will take care of it. If you have bought a used solar panel the manufacturer warranty doesn’t apply. You are the sole responsible party for finding a recycling facility.
Why Professional Texas Installations Are Better
As tempting as a DIY solar project may be, it can cause frustration and extra work. Finding out everything you will need for the project is quite the ordeal on its own. Then you need to decide how best to mount it so you can get optimal sun exposure most of the year.
When you pay for a professional solar installation you get more than quality panels. You are paying for a better solar experience.
Assurance of Quality Products
When you get solar through a trusted solar installer, you can be sure that they have done everything in their power to make sure they have the best products for you. Go Solar Group uses German-engineered solar panels for the majority of their installations. We also specialize in solar backup, and have several options for our customers to choose from. You can even get a Tesla Powerwall.
Solar Design You Can Trust
We aren’t trying to say that you aren’t smart enough to design a good well thought out system. The question is: do you want to go through all the painstaking effort to do it?
When you hire a professional solar company, they do all the hard work. They have already learned what does and doesn’t work. Because of this experience they can assess how to best meet your home’s needs.
Problem-Free Solar Warranties
When you purchase your solar array, the solar company takes care of the warranty details. If you have a problem, they will assess the damage and let you know what your options are.
Permits, Metering Agreements, and Solar Incentives: That Was Easy
When you get solar for your home, there is a lot of paperwork involved. Knowing what needs to get done when, and getting it in on time, doesn’t need to be something that you stress about. When you hire a solar company to install your solar array, they take care of the paperwork for you.
Customer Service Before and After Install
One of the best perks of using a solar company is the customer service. From start to finish, you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you have a question, we will find an answer. If you have a problem, it gets solved. You don’t have to do the hard labor — just sit back and relax as the savings roll in.
If you would like to learn more about solar for your home, you can call us or fill out a form and we will contact you. After getting some information about your home, we will set up an in-person appointment. In this appointment, we will go over a custom proposal that we have designed for you and any questions you have.
If you aren’t ready for solar yet, but would like some questions answered, please feel free to still reach out to us. Our goal is to help inform the public about their solar alternative. We are happy to help in any way we can.