Solar panels generally come with a guarantee of 25 years of undiminished performance. However, even after the warranty is up solar panels continue to work efficiently, if somewhat less than original (see how long do solar panels last?). Because a home solar array is expensive there is a thriving market for used solar panels. Used solar panels–when purchased with caution–can be a thrifty buy, and unless visible damage is seen, used solar panels can still produce plenty of power.
Before buying a used panel it is advised that you test it with a micro meter in bright sunlight. If the panel passes this test it is almost sure that the panel will function very well.
If you are looking to buy used panels for your home or establishment, the internet is a good place to start looking. Both eBay and amazon.com offer used solar panels at competitive prices. Many solar panel manufacturers sell used solar panels with slight damage. The price varies according to the years of use as well as any noted wear and tear. However it is better not to purchase solar panels with visible damage to the cells or other parts.
Consumer review and user feedback will tell you that used solar panels work very well. The decrease in power output should not generally be a drawback for regular households or small establishments. Testing has shown that even after 40 years of use, solar panels retain about 80% of their power output. At this rate, a used solar panel will work very well for regular needs.
Since some older solar panels are larger and require more space, go for used solar panels only if space is not a problem. Used models by well-known manufacturers should be your choice if you expect quality and reliability.
Used solar panels can be a great buy if you know what to look for. If you’re trying to build your own solar array, see more information on solar kits.