Second-Hand Solar Panels: Brilliant Idea or Waste of Cash?

Second-Hand Solar Panels: Waste of Money or the Best Idea Ever?

Second-hand Solar Panels, unsed Solar Panels

Thinking about going solar but worried about the high cost of getting started? It’s true that solar power systems have dropped considerably in cost over the last couple of decades after many advancements in manufacturing has led to cheaper installation costs and greater efficiency. It’s also true that government incentives, lease options, and net metering programs have helped lower the bar to entry for most folks.

The costs have never been lower, but it’s completely understandable that even with the lowest costs that have ever been seen some would look for additional ways to lower the costs. So, are second-hand solar panels a legitimate way to save on the costs of putting in a solar power generating systems? Or, are they a proverbial time bomb, the cost of which (added to the cost of installation) will never be recovered as they quit producing power soon after installation?

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions aren’t terribly simple. Used solar panels can represent a serious cost savings if they work for a significant period of time.

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Solar Wheels: Now That You’ve Installed Them on Your Roof, Consider Your Car

Solar Power on the Go

Solar Wheels, solar panels on your car

With so many people adopting solar as a way to power or supplement the energy used in their homes, many are starting to wonder if solar-powered cars aren’t right around the corner. Well, they are. And though they may not be ready to release to the consumer market just yet, the future is looking very good for solar-powered or solar power supplemented vehicles appearing sometime well before we run out of fossil fuels.

But what if you can’t wait that long? What if you want to start using solar power in your car now? Furthermore, even if you can’t power the whole car with solar just yet, couldn’t you at least attach solar panels to your car so that you could recharge your laptop or your smart phone, or run your stereo system?

The answer to that question is yes. Solar power can be generated and used within the confines of your car to do many useful things, no matter how far you might be from the grid.

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Cheapest, Most Flexible Solar Cell Yet: Linköping University Breaks Record

Swedish Researchers Have Just Beaten the Flexibility Record for Solar Cells

Linköping University Breaks Record for Fullerene Free Polymer Cells

Earlier this month, researchers at Sweden’s Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced a stunning new breakthrough in solar cell construction: the creation of the world’s first polymer solar cell without using fullerenes. The new cells, which can be manufactured in thin sheets using low-cost roll-to-roll printing technology, represent a major breakthrough in the manufacturing, installation, and efficiency of polymer solar cells.

For most of the history of the solar energy industry, solar cells have been made with rigid materials and silicone. These cells where typically manufactured in heavy, rigid panels, which were then transported to the site of their installation, hoisted to a roof and installed.

Polymer solar cells have been making gains against silicone based rigid cells because they are flexible, lighter, and cheaper to manufacture. Unfortunately, up until now, the manufacture of working polymer solar cells has required the use of fullerenes.

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The Purple One’s Green Initiatives: Prince’s Solar Philanthropy Revealed

Prince’s Green Secret: Solar Power for All

Prince's Solar Philanthropy

In the short time since the death of pop, R&B, funk, soul, and rock legend Prince was announced, it seems as if just about everyone you know has a Prince story to tell, some secret or not terribly secret way that his music touched their lives. Well, it turns out that along with the public persona of the beloved artist, singer, songwriter, and musician, there were many hidden aspects of his life. Some of these hidden aspects or activities may have touched more people than realized it.

It turns out that Prince was secretly supporting and funding multiple charitable programs throughout the country. One of these charities, Green For All, an Oakland-based environmental group, is reporting that Prince paid for solar panels that were installed on the homes of needy families without them having any idea where the money funding the project came from. Now that Prince has passed on, the truth about his secret and wide-ranging philanthropy can be told.

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How to Maximize Solar Power’s Efficiency in Colder Climates

Solar Power Isn’t Just for Southern Climates Anymore

How to Maximize Solar Power's Efficiency in Colder Climates

The design, manufacture, and installation of solar power systems has come a long way in the last few decades. The industry once populated by cutting-edge, if a bit clunky, tech was great at converting the sun’s rays into electricity during the brightest parts of the day in areas that rarely suffered from clouds in the sky.

These days, the efficiency of solar power generating systems and energy storage has improved so much that solar power is a viable alternative to conventional energy in all but the most weather-plagued of areas in the United States.

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