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Old 12-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Home energy - broken solar cells?

Since this is an eco forum.... I was curious, does anyone have any broken solar panels they want to get rid of? I had been starting on a solar project and am having a hell of a time finding any around here.

I found an interesting write-up a while back that I had printed out regarding using solar cells and a decent sized panel to use energy for shop projects for things like battery tenders, charing stations, etc for tools. I'm all about that kind of stuff and think it would be a fun project.

Or, does anyone have anywhere they could POINT me for broken solar cells? (reason I prefer this is since you can essentially shape them, solder, and cut and make your own panel out of them pretty easily, and most people don't want them lying around anyway)

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Old 12-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The only place I know of is ebay, and they aren't even that cheap there.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah the ebay ones aren't too great of a deal, even for broken panels they want a lot. I had a chance to pick some up that were going to a dump locally from a place that does home installations of them but I missed out on the opportunity unfortunately.

Does anyone know if when these get thrown away they go to the dump? Or are they recycled? I'm willing to go pick some up. I'll have to do some hunting.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They should be recycled, as I don't think there is any reason that they can't be, most manufacturers take back damaged ones that I know of, so unless they went out of business like the company that made the 1kw worth that I have, I don't have alot of spare time to work on them so I'm willing to sell the three panels I have for around a buck per watt?
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Start up conversations with some of the heavy equipment rental companies if you have any local. They rent those solar powered signs you see on roadside construction many times. Occasionally they will have damaged panels that would likely get tossed. Might be able to get some cheap(case of beer) that way. Usually the panels will still have some output unless they are completely trashed. May of may not be useful to you.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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^^^ interesting idea jackstone. I'll have to do some searching locally. Otherwise, Ryland, i'll keep it in mind since i'd like to keep it relatively low-budget until I figure out exactly how to finish it 100%.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I did some asking around and 50-60 cents per watt for the broken ones I have is apparently more reasonable, I think the ones I have a just over 300 watts per 4x6 panel, large enough that shipping them would be a chunk of the cost, large enough that I would have to barrow a vehicle to haul them.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ya know those construction signs you see when there's road work?

Stop and get the phone number from one of them for the company that leases them. Those cells get damaged alot, and they replace them when the panel falls below a cetain line of output. You can usually get them free, but you should always offer to compensate them for the favor, and go from there. Make an offer that's fair to you, but don't be unfair to them. After all, they're a business, and they need to stay that way.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey guys i found a couple places, sorry for the long update on the wait. When I get some time i'll post some information up on it when i get around to it. It's been a tad busy around here.

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