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Glenn there's no way to know for sure the used panels quality and output absent an accurate test, but that being said if there are no breaks or cracks etc and you figure IFFFFFFFF data is valid??? even x years old they still produce maybe 70% or so ???? of what they did when new, used at the right price may be a good deal, only YOU can make that choice. It sounds like you may have more then enough panel capacity so if say 70% of that still provides all you need (at a greatly reduced price) consider the used I guess ??? My first series of panels were 235 Watt later 315 for not much more size, and now  400 but I have enough that Im NOT going to swap out now.......

John T

 

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I just bought a pallet of 285 watt used panels from them but these aren't installed yet.  I have bought used panels from others and haven't had a problem.  However, I have been watching a You Tube video about a person that bought used and even though they tested good the power output is maybe 1/2 of what it should be.  Panels usually have a 25 year span until 80% power so my thought has been a 5 year old panel will likely outlive me but after seeing the video I am not so sure.

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4 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

I just bought a pallet of 285 watt used panels from them but these aren't installed yet.  I have bought used panels from others and haven't had a problem.  However, I have been watching a You Tube video about a person that bought used and even though they tested good the power output is maybe 1/2 of what it should be.  Panels usually have a 25 year span until 80% power so my thought has been a 5 year old panel will likely outlive me but after seeing the video I am not so sure.

Randy you must be watching Andy's videos also. What a wonderful series.   A number of people on the DIY SOlar Forum have purchased Santan panels and are happy. I have not read a negative one yet.

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1 minute ago, Daveh said:

Randy you must be watching Andy's videos also. What a wonderful series.   A number of people on the DIY SOlar Forum have purchased Santan panels and are happy. I have not read a negative one yet.

Have to consider that also. They seem to be a great company.

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Glenn, are you saying the used panels only have 50% capacity of when they were new ??? or you could get by with 50% ???????

 As I noted above if the reduced output of a used panel still satisfies your needs and its significantly cheaper, hey that sounds pretty good !!!!!!!!! but ONLY 50% of what they were new still doesn't sound great regardless. If I have the money and starting from scratch Id still opt for brand new BUT HEY THIS IS A MATTER OF CHOICE BASED ON YOUR NEEDS AND BUDGET no right or wrong answer here. To each their their own

 Same as above it takes actual hard core testing of a used panel to know its TRUE ACTUAL OUTPUT... I would just be hesitant to buy a pig in a poke not knowing the real data, but hey if it were available based on certified testing so I could make an informed decision regarding new versus used now were talking.. 

John T

 

Edited by oldjohnt
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on the video that was mention, he stated a panel had 50% output. Santan Solar states good output. I messaged them and asked to clarify what good was. 80%, 50?. Hope to hear back later this week and will post it. I am leaning toward the 305 watt new panels. At $130.00 each not bad price.

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For the pallet (25) I bought from them they agreed on a little quantity discount.  There shipping connections saved some to.   I also have not heard a bad report on Santan and they were easy to deal with.  I am going to put 6 of the panels up in a couple of weeks as a ground mount to supplement our RV solar, when at our property.  I will report back on what I find.

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4 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

I am going to put 6 of the panels up in a couple of weeks as a ground mount to supplement our RV solar, when at our property.  I will report back on what I find.

Looking forward to your findings, let us know how they work

John T

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I prefer new as I stated, but if the used actually test out good enough and are cheap enough hmmmmmmmm ????  I just heard about some "cheap" but still  "new" panels on the market being ones subject to a recall or other problems which may be contributing to why they are so cheap ??? I HAVE NO IDEA AND NOT JUDGING OR SAYING.   You can see or hear so much sometimes conflicting info about this industry whom to believe sometimes grrrrrrrrr.   A person would have to do their own testing but a seller may frown on you buying them subject to that and/or you can rely on their sales data to be accurate. I bought some new from a local Amish supplier and so far all Ive bought have performed up to their specs, keeping fingers crossed.

 Good luck yall in your decisions. The prices have dropped since I bought some years back, 

John T

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On 4/26/2021 at 8:47 PM, Chad Heiser said:

I have a bunch of brand new REC 365 watt panels I am sellintyoically 

Sounds like a good deal Chad. They keep getting cheaper even at more power yayyy. If I were starting all over I could probably get more watts on the same limited space (room for 4 panels) up top my 29 Ft Class C but my moderate 1080 watts on a good sun day brings my AGM's up to 100% SOC early morning already, so I  have no need to change. Im upgrading to LiFePo4 which in theory should charge up even faster, I may have to take some panels off   NOTTTTT   lol lol 

Best wishes

John T

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39 minutes ago, oldjohnt said:

Sounds like a good deal Chad. They keep getting cheaper even at more power yayyy. If I were starting all over I could probably get more watts on the same limited space (room for 4 panels) up top my 29 Ft Class C but my moderate 1080 watts on a good sun day brings my AGM's up to 100% SOC early morning already, so I  have no need to change. Im upgrading to LiFePo4 which in theory should charge up even faster, I may have to take some panels off   NOTTTTT   lol lol 

Best wishes

John T

I know we're off topic now, but I am going to replace the six 235 watt panels I currently have on my 5th wheel roof with six of the new 365 watt panels (from 1410 watts to 2190 watts) and I am going to upgrade my four 260 AH AGM batteries to eight (maybe) 100 AH lithium batteries this fall (1040 AH with 520 usable to 800 AH or so usable).  Then I will run at least one of my three AC's through the inverter.  We already are able to boondock for extended time with no real power issues (unless its cloudy).  The new set up should make it a no brainer and will give me the option to cool off the bedroom with AC when needed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been researching inverters and panels. Signature solar has both. They are in Dallas area. I can drive there. Considering new 430 watt. Can fit 5 on each side. Got to measure wife's Durango to see if will fit. Get panels, solar and wire from same shop. 

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54 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

Considering new 430 watt. Can fit 5 on each side

Congratulations Glenn, impressive amount of solar power, 10 x 430 = 4300 Watts woooooooo hooooooooooo. Ive seen entire homes in our area with similar amounts.  On a given day, subject of course to suns intensity, angle to panels, and time, you might harvest 1300 + -  Amp Hours of Energy daily.   Provided you couple that much energy harvest with adequate battery energy storage capacity AND LARGE ENOUGH CONTROLLER CAPACITY (like over 300 charging amps into a 12 volt bank or over 150 into a 24 volt etc) PLUS adequate Inverter capacity (for an example ONLY, 4300 Watts of Solar changed into 120 Volts = 35 Amps into 120 Volt loads) you can boondock a longgggggggggggggg time lol. That  will accommodate one VERY HIGH energy user for sure !!! You can power your own zip code and allow us moderate energy users to plug in no problem lol.   Its fun helping spend YOUR money.    

PS these numbers are NOT exact, there are way too many unknowns and variables and inefficiencies in components plus Ive never achieved the full rated output of a solar panel, this is ONLY basic guidelines and rough approximations if one has 4300 watts of solar panels....... 

Take care Glenn, best wishes, fun stuff for us sparkies 

 John T

Edited by oldjohnt
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Thanks, John. Always enjoy your posts. Just run numbers and sweet match. Split panels in 2 separate set. Feed each to each inverter/controller. 9.65 amps to each unit, 35.6 charging at 57.6v out of each to batteries. At 216.5 volts from panels. Each unit will handle up to 18 amps, 450v, 6000 watt. #10 pv wire will net 1% loss.

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/25/2021 at 2:28 PM, oldjohnt said:

Looking forward to your findings, let us know how they work

John T

Awhile back I said I would give some feedback on some used panels purchased from Santan Solar.  These panels are mounted at just a little more than 30 degrees for fall power.  So with the sun so high this time of year the sun hits the panels at a noticeable angle.   Yesterday at 11:30am these six 285 watt panels produced 1430 watts.  Solar noon here is 1pm.  That is acceptable to me.  The panels came with a 1 year warranty and are in excellent physical condition.  It would seem if the power output is reduced it is only a minor reduction.

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Hey Randy, THANKS for the feedback. Those panels appear VERY SATISFACTORY (maybe as good or near as good when new??) and for the price a good deal. Its been my experience the amount of shade, angle to the sun based in part on geography and season is a major factor in their energy production, but we already knew that..

 If I were to start all over Id consider used panels but as the price of new keeps dropping and I already have all I need (and no more roof space) I don't get the fun of shopping and buying anymore lol

 Once I saw info about a panel that had (convex or concave) reflectors of some sort so regardless of the suns location its energy was all directed straight down to the cells ????????????? 

 Take care, I enjoy our sparky chats, although I'm  also retired I still enjoy talking the talk

 John T  

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