How To Get Solar Panels For FREE (Used But Functional, Zero Cost)

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DIY Solar Projects & Tutorials

That’s right, there is a way you can get solar panels for free! I know someone who did it and so can you. Here’s how it’s done…

Solar panels are used everywhere these days. They are often used by construction crews and traffic systems (signs, cameras & emergency signal lighting etc) and these are where we are going to focus because they quite often have contracts with the solar panel providers. Whenever a solar panel becomes cracked or damaged, they are replaced under contract, even when they are still serviceable.

The solar panel provider ends up with a whole load of damaged but working solar panels. They can’t sell them so they usually have to pay to have them disposed of. What you need to do is find the contact details for the solar panel providers and give them a call to see if they have any damaged but functioning solar panels you can take off their hands.

The person I know who did this got around $800 of working solar panels for free, just for a bit of detective work. He saw a solar panel on a road sign and noticed the sign had a sticker with a phone number on it to report a problem. He simply phoned the number and asked for the solar panel provider’s details and gave them a call. A few phone calls later and a trip to their facility and he had a load of free solar panels.

UPDATE: We have several solar farms locally, that generate and sell electricity as a business. I reached out to two of them. Both had old, in some cases slightly damaged solar panels, which still functioned. Both said I could have some of these panels for zero cost. In fact, one of the solar farms offered to deliver some for a small fee.

I enquired about the efficiency of these panels. It was explained that these old or slightly damaged panels were not as efficient as new solar panels (hence why they were replaced). With a solar farm, everything is about efficiency at generating electricity. They are a business. That said, for home use (and at zero cost) these panels have years of life left in them. Additionally, if you have space you can simply have more panels, to make up for any lower efficiency with these older solar panels. 

I guess you could also try researching and directly contacting solar panel manufacturers too. They must get loads of panels that are damaged or defective that still work but can’t be sold. Even solar panel stores must get loads of damaged but working solar panels returned, or have panels that get damaged in storage etc. No one wants to pay to have to dispose of damaged goods.  Take advantage of this and you could get free or heavily discounted stuff that works just fine.

Just a little thinking outside the box can save you a huge amount of money. Give it a try, all you have to waste is a little time and a phone call.

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