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Forum Index : Solar : Sometimes you get REAL lucky.

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 01:49pm 22 Dec 2019
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Went to dump some cardboard tonight in a friends Dumpster. I know they come in the morning so what ever space is there Sunday and Wednesday Night I'm welcome to use.
Pulled up in front of it and I can see all this other stuff someone has dumped there.
New shop going in the complex he is in and at first I thought it was some shopfitting materials like shelving.

Was after dark time I got there after working in the cooler weather cleaning up so I walked around and put the cardboard in the bin and then went to look at this other stuff thinking the truck wouldn't be able to get in there to the dumpster.  I did a double take and realised these weren't shelves, they were in fact solar Panels.

There were several piles and I looked at the ones in front of the dumpster and saw they were large panels.  A couple on the top were smashed as I could see a couple on the bottom were as they had slid out of the stack somewhat but the others were fine.
I loaded 9 into the back of the ute which was all I could fit and all the unbroken ones in that pile.  Moved the others over out the way of the bin and it seems there are a bunch of used 325W panels there as well. Again some seem smashed but others intact.

More than tired when we got home but I got a torch and looked at what I had and they are all barely used looking 360W panels! 3.2 KW worth of very good panels for Nothing! Jackpot!

I can't believe someone would dump these! There may be more, certainly there are some 325's there so I'll be back in the morning to see what else there is. Even some of the smashed ones may be OK. I have had 2 broken ones sitting on the shed roof 2 years now running the car radiator fans in the shed window that do a great job. I noticed the fans weren't howling as much as they usually do the other day but then again, the smoke had killed all the other solar outputs as well.

I just don't get why or who would dump these like that?  Pretty inconsiderate too blocking the dumpsters. Wish I knew who it was, they could dump all they liked at my place! Just don't understand why anyone would do that though?
Pretty amazing that used panels have become so worthless someone is throwing them away and quite a few of them. Must have come from a factory or a it was a big house install.

Last lot I bought was 250s, I don't have anything in the 300W class but with a bit of luck I may be able to upgrade some or a lot of the ones I have. Going to need help though, these buggers are 2M tall and an extra 3 Kg heavier which I can feel. Make them pretty hard to handle on my own even though I have managed to get all the other up there by myself. I'd cry if I dropped one of these so have to get someone in when I put them up.... maybe in a few months time when it's cooler.

I like going round the factory's and looking in their bins because I have found some great stuff over the years and this time is the best because they have clean outs.  I remember picking up a number of great scores last year leading up to Christmas  but didn't go this weekend. Between not feeling well and telling myself all I needed to do was get rid of stuff and not collect any more, I exercised some self Discipline and just cleaned up at home. Silly me!

Won't make that stupid mistake again next year!

I was saving a spot on the northern side of the house roof but these panels would be perfect there especially for the much needed winter generation. If I do in the foreseeable future get a legit system put on, good chance these things would be compliant anyway. From what I can see with a bit of research, they are still a currently sold panel .


This little score has sure made my Christmas already!
 
johnmc
Senior Member

Joined: 21/01/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 197
Posted: 11:35pm 22 Dec 2019
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Fortune favours the brave enjoy your Xmas   .

cheers john
johnmc
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3276
Posted: 12:08am 23 Dec 2019
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Its amazing what some people throw out.

Several times I have spotted useful items people have left out as rubbish, and thought to myself "I can probably fix whatever is wrong with that".
Only to find the thing works perfectly.

Great stuff Dave, and have a very merry Christmas.
Cheers, Tony.
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1566
Posted: 05:32am 23 Dec 2019
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  Warpspeed said  Its amazing what some people throw out.

Several times I have spotted useful items people have left out as rubbish, and thought to myself "I can probably fix whatever is wrong with that".
Only to find the thing works perfectly.

Great stuff Dave, and have a very merry Christmas.


Yeah I like that idea, I might go find a porsche and if the cops ask any questions I'll use that excuse, hahahahahaha
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 09:51am 23 Dec 2019
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Didn't get back there this morning, Daughter needed the ute to pick up Mrs Christmas present.  Rang mate and he said yeah, things have been here for days.  After an exclaimed " Why the F&$^%#!!% didn't you ring me ??"  The reply of  How F*&^%$&^*ing many of the things do you want? Place is covered in them now!!"  did hold some uncomfortable logic and my reply of the thing were better than I have, also seemed to trigger the thought of why would anyone dump them if they are all right then?

With that out the way I told him not to have them removed, I'd do that for him. Now I have some confidence they still should be there tonight.  He also mentioned there as a lot of lengths of metal they put down the side so I surmise that's the racking.  I was thinking of putting a lean to on the side of the shed so if I get enough of that I can double up, I can TIG weld it together for a frame work and use the leftover panels for the roof. May as well hook them all up while they are there especially as they will be north facing! :0)

Just waiting for daughter to get home now then we will unload the Christmas box (NFI where I'm going to put it!) and then go back for another load.  Should be able to get them all with a bit of luck if no one else beats me to it. Might see if I can borrow the neighbours trailer and load that up. They are only 5 KM away so nice and close.
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 10:05am 23 Dec 2019
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  Warpspeed said  Its amazing what some people throw out.

Several times I have spotted useful items people have left out as rubbish, and thought to myself "I can probably fix whatever is wrong with that".
Only to find the thing works perfectly.


Done that so many times myself. Seen stuff, assumed it was no good but picked it up for the parts I thought I could get out of it, brought it home and nothing wrong with it or needed some minor fix like a fuse, a spark plug, new switch or an adjustment.

I'm not too proud to dumpster dive and go through clean ups.  I get far more of a kick out of getting something useful that works off the rubbish heap than I do buying something brand new.  A good many of my cherished and most useful tools and assets were scrounged.  Was only a few weeks back a house round the corner was being sold and the owners put out stuff for clean up.  I spotted a VERY good camping type Fridge.  Grabbed that, A cane chair the Mrs wanted and a pair of car jack stands.

The fridge is a ripper and I looked it up as currently being sold for $499 for the exact same current model.  Chair was perfect, wasn't even dusty and the jack stands might have been used 3-4 times. maybe. There was other good looking stuff there we had no need for but I'm sure there was nothing wrong with it either.

  Quote  Great stuff Dave, and have a very merry Christmas.


Thank You Tony, You too.  
Thank you also for your help and the education you have given me and so many others.  You are a great asset to this place and it certainly wouldn't be the same without you.
I look forward to much interesting and enlightening reading in the new year and beyond and following your projects.
 
Davo99
Guru

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 02:06pm 23 Dec 2019
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Went back to have a better look at the dumped panels.
I can now see why they were dumped.
There was a pallet of the 360W panels I picked up last night. They were ALL smashed.
I found another one intact which very disappointingly, shattered on the way home.
Must have picked up well over 150 panels by now and that's the first one I have ever broken.
Does kind of add up to why there were so many other broken ones there though.

I think some of the panels had been taken. There were 2 empty pallets that weren't empty last night and I couldn't find the 325W panels.
I did manage to find a lone 260 and 10x 225's. These are COVERED in Lichen. I'll bet the owner got a new system put on because the old one wasn't delivering the power it used to and they thought there was something wrong with the panels.

Neighbour has solar hot water on her roof that is also at least 25% covered with growth. Not that it matters. The trees that completely overhang her roof would make the heater useless anyway.

There is also 4 or 5 assorted panels on a pallet I couldn't fit in so might go back for tomorrow. Might be good for someone to maintain a battery on a mower or vehicle with. I have more than enough orphans and broken panels I can use for different things now.
There were at least another dozen of the 225's that look like they had been hit Multiple times with steel Cricket balls. They were really trashed. I haven't heard of hail in about a year and if that was hail, I think houses would have been levelled and cars would have holes clean through them.

The 360's were all shattered/ crazed like the one I picked up went. Oh well, disappointing but another for the shed roof for some low voltage project. That ought to make the old radiator fans blow up a proper gale! Would have preferred 10 rather than 9 but very happy with what I did get.

I might see if the local scrappy is open tomorrow Morning and see if they pay anything for panels? I could take the aluminium framing off but I don't want shattered glass everywhere and I doubt it would be worth the effort.  If I can get something for them whole I might go back for them, if not, looks like the complex owner has been screwed over with a clean up bill. I'll also ask the scrappy if he gets any/ many panels and if so I'm sure I could pay him more than they are worth for scrap and Onsell them and make a few Bucks.  I'd be happy to get a load at the right price to use for roof covering material. Don't want to use shattered ones in case they break up completely in a few years. Might leak and the glass come away in granules and then I'd have a hell of a mess.

I did find the racking, must be 4-5M lengths. Definitely a trailer job to get that home. There is a LOT of it.  Again, can't understand why they didn't take that to a scrappy and get good money for it. Still mystified why they dumped what I am now sure is 10 Brand new panels.  Maybe they were too lazy to sort through them all but at what? $300 a panel? and 10 Panels, would have been worth their while I would have thought.

This lot must have been dumped by an installation company but there are none  for a fair way around. I know where they all are and have found a lot of useful things in their dumpsters before like brackets and lengths of cable and a couple of smashed panels as well as brand new isolator switches, breakers and a life time supply of one size of Tek screws.

Will be interesting to see if any more turn Up. Doubt they would be game to do the same thing in the same place too often though. I also noticed the shattered ones were on pallets and tied with that plastic tape stuff.  They must have had a Hiab on a truck to lift them off.  Also, being 5-6 Pallets, they must have come back multiple times to ditch them or had a decent size truck. Maybe some more will turn up over Christmas but I'd tend to think this was their cleanout for the year.  

Very curious indeed but a happy score for me!
 
brucedownunder2
Guru

Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1425
Posted: 12:38am 24 Dec 2019
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Hi Dave.

 What a good story ?  

Takes me back 20-30 years ,diving into dumps and industrial bins ,used to luv that . I also am very mechanically mind and sort of have a "forward-thinking" brain as to what I can do with recovered stuff.

My friends remind me of stuff I have --"That-fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck".  Sort of giggle to my self ...


You and your family have a Very Merry Christmas and stay safe in your adventures.

Bruce and Ilda.
Bushboy
 
Davo99
Guru

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 03:32am 24 Dec 2019
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My stuff never got onto the truck to fall off it in the first place! :0)
I stopped it getting that far and just brought it home.

I have a load to go to the scrappy now. wanted to get rid of it before Christmas but never happened. Oh well. Main thing is I have made the decision to get rid of it.

The one thing that has amazed me ( and will probably bit me now for saying it) Is I have never run into security or or anyone else accusing me of DUMPING anything.
Not that I ever have but I have often had a load of picking on board and thought no one will believe me I'm picking this stuff up, they will try to pin me for Dumping it.

I have seen some real messes and bastardy going around different places.  My wife works for the council and says there is barely a day goes by where they don't get a report of Dumped asbestos.  Costs the council a fortune to have it picked up and disposed of.
Ironically she also says that 95 times out of 100, it will all be wrapped up in the black plastic it is supposed to be in and the crews can go out and lift it straight into the truck. It's like they are considerate in doing the wrong thing.

I do understand why people do dump stuff though. It's not as senseless as vandalism even if the effect is close.  The cost of getting rid of Rubbish these days is insane.
It cost me $2500 to get a skip bin to take all my crap away before I moved here and I had been doing dumpster runs for weeks before and got people to come and take all my scrap metal and a real hoarder to come get all the old computers and electronics.  I felt bad I was dumping this stuff on him but then he was asking if he could have what was in the skip in old radios and things as well.
Now There is a man with a BIG problem! Collecting stuff I have chucked out!

This latest find is great and unusual in that it even got the MRs seal of approval.
The one thing she doesen't give me grief about is anything solar.
She sees how much I enjoy playing with it, she sees how much it saves us financially and she tolerates my experimentation with wires and stuff everywhere.... although having pretty much settled on a setup I am tidying that all up and making it permanent now.

Actually she is worse than me to take Bin shopping. I'll argue we don't want it, she will insist we do, it comes home, is in the way and nothing gets done with it and I get rid of it some time later at the scrappy or use it for fire wood and she doesen't even realise it's gone.

There is also a plant ban in place here. Unless there is a hole pre dug for them to go BEFORE they come home, they don't come home.  More pot plants than solar panels here and sick to death of seeing money being wasted when the plants die in the place they were taken out the car and never touched again.

She gets really ticked off when we are in Bunnings and she picks up a plant.  I'll look at her and say  " Ohh poor thing, what did it ever do to you, put it back and let the poor thing live and grow up with someone who won't make it all Crisy and brown!"
Yeah, we are still married. Miracle!

Merry Christmas to you and your Bruce!
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1425
Posted: 11:20pm 24 Dec 2019
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First ,,,,  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ON THE BACKSHED AND THEIR FAMILIES..

 Now, the plan thing---Yep,,I have plant funeral director here, also.

The silver trolley comes towards me in the big Bunnings shed ,and Bruce says to himself " another orphan plant to our concrete pathway to die a slow death?."

I thought of the "dig hole first" rule ,, but ,   "talking to a brick wall" sort of comes to mind ?.

Anyhow, I'll try very hard to change . Just because ,as I'm writing this I'm thinking of Christmas and the good things that all should be very thankful for in this lovely country -

Merry Christmas,all

Bruce and Ilda .
Bushboy
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 09:13am 01 Jan 2020
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Went back to the panel dump site today.
A lot of them had been cleaned up.  The stack of the shattered 360's was there and Luckily for me, 5x 210W which appear again to be all brand new.

Loaded them up and went home happy again.

Decided I'd do a stock take so I could work out exactly what I did have Lying round stacked up and  not installed atm.
Current stock holding is:

175W x 11 Plus 8 on the verandah roof I will change out for newer/ larger panels.
180w x 8 plus another 8 on the south shed roof
190w x 18
210w x 5
225w x 9
260w x 36
360w x 9

I hope I haven't got a bit carried away with all this panel thing!! :0)

I didn't count the " Good" panels on the roof.  I think there are 27 x 240s on the shed plus a couple of kilo's of 250's .  There are I think 8 Kw of 250's on the house plus I think some more 240s but I can't remember what is what from looking at them now.

I intend to pretty much standardise on the 250's and take anything  smaller than the 240s down and offload them. I think I have enough 250's to replace all the 240's on the house so I might replace them anyway for the sake of looks. Can't see anything on the shed roof so not so worried and the inverter is double over clocked anyway and the wiring up there maxed out so not much point putting any more on.  I was going to put 3 phase up there but with so much I can put on the house, not much point.

I have been talking to my mate up north who had his house burnt down in early Nov.
He wants to get a caravan and rebuild his place.  He has a couple of lister generators but has also found a source of used batteries at the right price so would like to set up an off grid system as well.  He had a little solar on some batteries before he used with the gennys but is now thinking of off grid as he is going to push the tress back as far as he goddam wants now because he sure the council that stopped him clearing them before isn't going to say a thing now especially since there is already a class action against them being organised.

I have told him he is welcome to the 225's I picked up the other day and the 190's I have as they should play pretty nice together and give him over over 5 Kw which should keep him in power for the most part. If he wants he can have the 180s as well which will be around 8 Kw so even in winter should give him a decent and reliable 25Kwh+ per day. I was going to sell all my excess panels but after loosing everything  and what I think might be difficulty getting a lot of things where he is, I think he could use them better than in need the money.

Neither he nor I are up to building a Warpinverter but there are some units on fleabay that are charger/ inverters that don't seem too exy and should get him through.
 
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