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re Reputable suppliers of solar panels.
Dave Thomas
31 Posts
Question
I'm interested in an off grid / supplementary solar panel system for my own use. I'm part p but only part time and semi retired- there's absolutely no value in me doing all the courses to become a renewables installer.
But trying to find panels online to buy is a minefield: I get loads of companies trying to sell me complete packages , and I get all sorts "shops" selling panels with so many different names and claimed outputs ,  I really don't know where to start. These things are obviously imported, mainly from the far east and I know quality can vary enormously, so I need a reputable supplier who will sell me them with some sort guarantee.There must be plenty, but how to sort the wheat from the chaff, as it were? 
7 Replies
MrFox
6 Posts
UK suppliers for off grid are easy to find on the web, Bimble Solar (UK based), Renogy (Chinese but have a UK arm), Photonic Universe (also UK based importer). Or if you just want the panels, eBay second hand house units go for 25 to 50 quid. The Renogy MPPT charge controller works well and is cheap new.
Dave Thomas
31 Posts
Superb, thanks. That gives me somewhere to start. Secondhand Ebay ones are interesting: why are people taking them out.   I've read about problems with people selling their house but thought it was because you were normally signed up for many years. Surely you couldn't just take them out. And if they're paid for they should be generating you a nice saving on your bills? 
mapj1
3509 Posts
There are not many credible situations, one maybe when a new roof is needed or if few panels are mechanically damaged, insurance prefers to pay for a new system, or the maker is no longer in business so spares that suit are hard to get. I must admit I have been thinking of this as a way to get some VA for a shed, not being afraid to tinker a bit, but what you may do for yourself is not the same as a paying customer..


M.
MrFox
6 Posts
I bought a bunch off eBay for my camper van and a friend's horse box, 500W on the camper and 250W on the HB, still going strong 3 years later, these were £60 each second hand 'Canada Solar' brand 250W each. I have no idea why they were being removed but one of the guys selling was an installer who said that it was 'surplus'. 
Grumpy
98 Posts
MrFox:
I bought a bunch off eBay for my camper van and a friend's horse box, 500W on the camper and 250W on the HB, still going strong 3 years later, these were £60 each second hand 'Canada Solar' brand 250W each. I have no idea why they were being removed but one of the guys selling was an installer who said that it was 'surplus'. 

Is that the same "surplus" as the fella (and his wee donkey) who offered to resurface my driveway? I'd better check my roof!

MrFox
6 Posts
Now then I do hope you're not casting dispersions towards the Travelling Community? :)

On a related note, I see that various online sellers in the UK are selling new panels in the 305W (£77) to 475W (£140) range. Given old 250W panels are liable to be a bit knackered and old and still running at £50 or £60, I reckon a new panel is actually better value as you only need one not two for the same output, pretty much. Just saying :)
RE Elltec
7 Posts
Hello Dave
I have been involved in photovoltaics for 16 years. I have installed many off grid systems. The one and only supplier who has been a specialist supplier for off grid components since 1984 is WIND AND SUN Leominister  they don't sell cheap stuff only the best

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