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Forum Index : Solar : Panels sure are getting cheaper.

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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 03:45am 11 Feb 2020
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Just went for a run down to the local scrappy to get rid of some of the crap I am accumulating once again. Swore I would never turn the place into the junk pile I had before but I can see I'm slipping. Time to remedy that.

While I was there, a ute Pulled up and offloaded a bunch of panels into a bin.
Emptied out my ute and spoke to the friendly guy there who said they take them as a favour to a local company who gives them a lot of cable.  I asked if they got anything for them and the guy said no, the old ones they got copper out of but the new ones were no good. They gave them to a company who took them for the aluminium frames but paid them nothing for them.

Not sure in reflection if he meant water heating panels they got copper from but anyway.
He asked if I wanted some and I said well if it would help to take them off your hands, everyone is happy. He said go for it mate.  I got an assortment of 190 and some 225W panels and left a few shattered ones. Emptied his bin a lot and filled my ute. Haven't counted number or size but I'm thinking about 20 panels all up.

Guy also gave me a reasonable looking 80L water heater which I will couple them up to. Have plans for these. Going to do a deal with my fathers neighbour whom showers in cold water and has the water heater turned off to save money. Guy is not poor by any means, just a bit of an eccentric.

If he agrees to look in on my father EVERY day to make sure he is Ok and let me know if he is sick or anything is wrong, ( Dad hides a lot from me) then I'll give him the panels and the heater and set them up for him.  
Hot showers for him, peace of mind for me.

When I go back to the scrap yard tomorrow ( yes, I'm on a mission) I'll ask the guy what company the panels come from. Maybe I can do something with them direct.
Even if I pick them up and put them on gumtree for $100 a set, Might be a bit of pocket money.

Certainly makes me laugh when this morning I saw people trying to sell 1.5 and 2 Kw systems on dumbtree for $1000.

My local scrappy thinks I'm doing him a favour taking them away for him.

Soon as the weather cools I'll start taking down my older smaller panels and putting up the new ones I got recently.  Making more sense now why they would chuck them out.
Edited 2020-02-11 14:00 by Davo99

Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3273
Posted: 05:31am 11 Feb 2020
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Sounds like a pretty good thing there Dave.
Cheers, Tony.


Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 328
Posted: 07:02am 11 Feb 2020
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Here is a monthly specials offer page from a company I use in Europe. As you can see they also do recycled and older stuff.

There good as a price comparator.


Happy new year 'Tony'
Edited 2020-02-11 17:09 by Clockmanfr
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (11 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (7 yrs). 9kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
Old Seagull Man

Joined: 21/12/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 18
Posted: 08:37am 11 Feb 2020
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If you want cheap panels is Australia Gumtree is the only place.
54 220 watt panels for $500 recently. But you must be prepared to the lot.
People are upgrading systems like made at the moment so the buying is very good.

An installers have the old penels taking up space in there workshops and yards.

Ps 54 panels is about 12kw.

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 10:17am 11 Feb 2020
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Hi Andrew,

Another Lister forum Member!

I have got the majority of my panels from Dumbtree.  For some reason, they seem to be sold cheaper there than on Fleabay. I have recently been put onto market place, as much as I detest the parent site, but it also seems to be a good place to buy and sell things.

Where were the 54 panels advertised? There seem to be a lot more and a lot cheaper in up north From about Coffs up than south. Would have been a good buy.  It's usually difficult to get a decent number of panels of the same  type although a guy I got some off had over 250 from a factory  insurance job. Said about 6 were damaged that he'd installed less than a year before and insurance paid to replace the lot.
Guy did well on that deal front and back end!

Something else I came across in the scrap yard this morning was a 42 Hp Deutz engine. Just dropped off this morning and looks in great nick.  The scrappy said the company that had it runs them till the warrant runs out and then replaces them! Looks like it's been on a Hydraulic pump or a compressor.  Only thing missing is the starter.
Guy is going to give me a price on what he wants for it. Thing is on a frame with a bund, fuel tank and radiator support. Oh, cooling fan is missing as well like I could care about that. Rather have electrics anyway.

Once again, engines are easy to get and alternators nearly impossible.
Bit like good used solar inverters.

I bought 25 250W panels last year for $500 and thought I was doing well. 54 220's for $500 would have been a great deal. I would have certainly bought them all at that price.

I wrongly  thought that panels would get harder to get used as the solar rebates fell off. For a while there, not much was around at all. Now they are throwing them away.

I'm thinking of making a carport roof with them. Be cheaper than buying colour bond and maybe I could wire them up and do something amusing with the power they would generate.
Not sure what, been trying to think of something useful I could do with the Kw's of excess power I have now in summer.

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 11:41am 11 Feb 2020
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  Clockmanfr said  Here is a monthly specials offer page from a company I use in Europe.

The numbers of panels ( and Inverters) quoted on that page is mind Boggling.
I get the idea these things might be a lot cheaper than we realise on a wholesale Basis.

I can well see how panels are going to become a waste problem of the future. The amounts of them I have seen with my own eyes like the pallet loads where I picked the good ones up from was enlightening enough. That's from one installer in a semi rural area.

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 03:54am 12 Feb 2020
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Went back to the scrap yard today to drop off some more treasure.

Picked up a few more odd panels.  Some I'm sure are new old stock. Dusty and dirty ( being in a scrap yard and the rain wouldn't help) but I can't see any of the normal marks from being clamped down and everything once cleaned looks very fresh and new.

I have ended up with 8x 190 panels, 4 of which look new,
8x 250w panels, all look new,
and 6 assorted panels including a 260 which looks new.

There were quite a few damaged ones there, one lot where the diode box was coming away from all the backs of the panels.  Shame, they were all 320s and looked good apart from that serious flaw.  :0)

What I did think to do today was cut all the leads and connectors off these broken panels. Always looking to make connectors for going to wires for playing round and taking power off to different things so these should keep me going a while.

Messaged Dads neighbour and showed him a pic of the panels I got him and he was stoked.
Told him about the hot water setup and seems very happy with that too.

I have over 20 190 panels of different breeds but the same specs I can give him but I think I'll talk to him and see if he wants to use those for the hot water which he will have to put up or incorporate some of the panels he has already erected that are sitting there doing nothing.  He's talking about a battery setup but I really can't see that happening. Then again, he did spend $7K on water tanks.

I think the sticking point with the solar is he admitted he knows nothing about electricity.  I gave him a car stereo for the shed last week which I think he wanted to run off the panel and battery he has but he bought it back and said it doesn't work.  

Worked just fine ( amazingly) when I connected the wires right way round.

I'm thinking for a 3.6 Kw heater, 2 strings of 10 Panels should have the thing putting out pretty much full power and enough power on cloudy days to do something useful.

Anyone know if a DC SSR will be OK to switch that current without Arcing itself to meltdown?

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 502
Posted: 11:44pm 28 Feb 2020
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I took the panels I picked up the other week to my fathers Neighbour when I went up there last week to look after Dad.
He was like a kid at Christmas and seemed very appreciative.  He did throw me for a loop though.

I was talking about building him a controller and getting him a hot water heater so he could have hot water. He then took me to show me he's gone out and bought 2x 140 Ah deep cycle batteries and wants to get a charger/ inverter.
He wants to run the whole place off the batteries and I suspect remove himself from the grid. He then asked me if he should get a couple more batteries?  I'm thinking the money you will spend on these will be at very least a years worth of power plus the inverter and everything else, I hope they last  longer than I expect.

Seems I got his motivations all wrong. He's not poor, just a tight arse. Not because he wants to go off grid, but because he thinks he's going to save money AND he has no real clue about what is involved.
I think maybe I'm at fault here. Seems the more I talk to him the more ideas I give him even when I have said every time he WON'T save money with batteries. his power bills are low anyway and his connection costs are higher than the power he uses.  No wonder with him taking cold showers.
I have tried to tell him to do a GTI setup like mine but he does not want to do anything connected to the mains.

He asked me to help him set up a charger/ inverter and his batteries and I said I'd advise him how to go about it as I don't want to do anything in someone elses place that has a great chance of going wrong because I'm far from sure he wouldn't fiddle with anything I did and he just doesn't have an understanding of anything electrical.

Every time I try to explain Volts, amps and watts his eyes literally glaze over and then he will say " I don't understand any of that". I tell him, if you are playing with this stuff it's imperative you do, it's not an advantage, it's life and death.

My advise to him has changed.  Instead of the direct hook up to panels with the water heater and the controller ( I excitedly told him about)  as he has now ordered a charger inverter, I told him just to buy a PWM controller and run the water heater off the inverter but at lower power with whatever he can afford power wise on a given day. He now has a Total of 4 KW of panels so should be a reasonable amount of generation but the shading situation particularly in winter remains to be seen.

He is home most of the time so can play with the water heater feed but I did agree to set him up a voltage sensing switch to turn the heater off during low yield and at night.
He has no clue about battery capacity which I think will be a steep learning curve for him although he does lead a very low demand life style.

I put the proposal to him about keeping an eye on my father and he said I do that anyway, what do I owe you for the panels? I said all I want is you look in on Dad and let me know if he's crook or anything happens and if you are doing that already I take it my proposal is acceptable to you and we are all good.  :0)

I think next time I go up there he'll have a bunch of new toys to ask me about.
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