The growth of the Solar Array, from 4 to 52 panels...
I used the Solarex 60W
Polycrystalline Panel, I bought the first two in 2001. Now I have 44 of the
panels. Solarex was bought by BP. Some of the Panels are Solarex 60W, 64W.
Others are BP 60, 65W. Some have 1" frame instead of the normal 2" frame. I
added 1" spacers made from 1/2" hollow Aluminum Tube cut with a Pipe Cutter.
I used this panel only because it was the first one I bought. I wanted to
use the same size panel to make the array look nice.
to buy used panels??? I bought the first four panels new. The rest of the
panels are used or sold as not-new. If I were to grade the panels on
appearance, I have panels from grade C- to A+.
The C- panels don't look like new, but they have
comparable output power to the A+ panels. I cleaned up many of the
C- panels buy washing them like they were a car, wax and all! Use the
same mild detergent, cleaning with a mild scrubby, rinsing, drying, waxing
and buffing (before mounting into the rack). This cleaning help remove the
build up of crud that forms over time either with the panel in action or in
storage. By the way, the Voc & Isc are normal on C- Panels...
The B panels are cleaned just like the C panels.
The A+ panels come in two types; hardly used and never used! That is
the beauty of ebay. People have stuff they don't want. Other People buy it
Don't buy broken panel panels or those with
stated damage, there are plenty of good grade A, B & C+ panels available.
Also, always add insurance to a PV panel purchase. Always ask about bubble
wrap or the packaging technique. If you are paying for shipping, you
should get what you pay for.
Lastly, also look for other
sizes of panels to find a consistent source for your used panels. The other
more popular size is the Siemens 75W panel. Shell bought Siemens, so
they are also called Shell 75W. They are available as 70W, 75W and 80W in
the same outer dimension.