September 29, 2016 | By RGR Marketing Blog

What’s New With Used Solar PV Panels?

As a solar installer, you may end up with used solar panels on hand from time to time. Clients upgrade their solar arrays and sometimes, new homebuyers aren’t interested in keeping solar arrays installed by previous occupants. You might question their logic, but it’s their home, so it’s their call.

You’re in the solar business, so odds are good that you’re a strong proponent of sustainability. That’s what selling solar is all about, after all. Well, that and turning a profit.

So what should you do with used solar panels that make their way into your possession? Simply throwing them away doesn’t seem like a good option – it’s a waste of the natural resources and carbon emissions that went into making them.

You might consider selling them to clients who are interested in solar but don’t have the budget or the desire to finance brand new panels. If you’re going to break into the used solar panel market, there are certain things you should consider. Keep reading to learn more.

Test the Panels Before Selling Them

You’re already well aware that used solar panels are a mixed bag – some still have plenty of life left in them, and will likely outlive the manufacturer’s projected lifespan, while others are shadows of their former selves.

Test any used solar panel you’re considering selling with a multimeter. If they’re still producing plenty of juice, then they may be worth passing on to a thrifty solar enthusiast.

Damaged Solar Panels Are Hard to Sell

Sometimes a storm or a freak accident will damage a solar panel. Visibly damaged solar panels will likely be difficult to get rid of, even if they’re still working like a charm. If you want to maximize your selling price, you’re probably going to have to fix them up first. It’s up to you to determine whether or not that’s worth your time.

Used Solar Panels Aren’t As Efficient

One potential issue with used solar panels is that they’re not quite as efficient as newer ones, which means your clients will have to dedicate more space to solar to generate the same amount of electricity. If you’re helping a customer who has limited room for solar panels, then newer panels will likely be a better choice.

Be Transparent

If you’re going to sell used solar panels, then it’s crucial that you be absolutely transparent with your clients. Don’t sugarcoat any of the details. It’s better to fill them in on the pertinent details – power output, warranty (or lack thereof) – before they buy than it is to wait until after the sale. Your business’s reputation is your most valuable asset; don’t compromise it.

Make Sure Used Panels Are the Right Fit

For some consumers, used solar panels can offer an excellent value, but they’re not right for everyone. For example, you may have a client who needs to replace one panel in an array that’s tied to a centralized inverter. If you install a used panel within that array, and it’s not as efficient as the other panels, you could end up curtailing the output of the entire system.

You’re the Solar Expert

As a solar installer, you probably have a pretty good sense of when used solar panels are a smart option for your customers, and when they’re better off buying new. Follow your instincts, and do your best to provide each client with the solution that will best fit their needs.

Do that, and you should end up with plenty of referrals and repeat business from new and used solar buyers, alike.

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