The Cheapest Solar Panels Money Can Buy: Are They A Money Saver Or A Ripoff?
Buying the cheapest solar panels could be a recipe for trouble.
It could also be a perfectly suitable solution to your solar needs.
Now that I've got all my bases covered, allow me to explain that "cheap solar panels" can mean a lot of different things.
Is that wishy-washy enough for you?
What I'm trying to say is that before we decide whether bargain basement panels are a good idea, we should take a look at what your "cheap" options are when it comes to solar panels.
After all, there are a lot of ways to save a few bucks on solar power and some of these ways are a lot smarter than others.
For instance, you could save big bucks on your installation by stealing your neighbor's solar panels in the middle of the night, but the jail time probably isn't worth it.
You could also take a page out of Thomas Edison's book and invent yourself a solution.
Maybe you could come up with a low cost solar panel that revolutionizes the solar industry. Then again, your newfound fame and fortune as an inventor would probably just make all of your friends jealous.
Now that we've scratched "grand larceny" and "becoming a genius" off of our list, let's go back to the drawing board and look at some other potential solutions for acquiring the world's cheapest solar panels.
Here's the short list:
Used solar panels sound like a pretty good idea. After all, solar panels have no moving parts and they can last for many decades. If you could pick up some panels that don't have many "miles" on them for a good price, wouldn't that be a terrific opportunity?
It sure would, and you should definitely consider taking advantage of such an opportunity if you get the chance. The problem is, this sort of opportunity isn't very common. After all, if solar panels can last for many decades with very little reduction in power output, why would somebody take them off their roof and sell them? I'm sure it happens, I just wouldn't count on it.
As far as homemade solar panels are concerned, I would definitely say "caveat emptor" (that's "let the buyer beware" for anyone who needs to brush up on their Latin). There is no shortage of ebooks that promise you that for $200 you will be able to build solar panels that will run your entire house. I won't say that's impossible but be aware that your results may vary.
I would suggest that making your own solar panel should more accurately be considered an interesting hands-on learning experience that could create a small scale power source (in other words, don't cancel your electrical service just yet).
When it comes to new technologies, there are a lot of big promises about how the cheapest solar panels you can imagine are right around the corner. Some of the recent "solar savior" technologies include spray-on solar panels, solar power from space, solar powered asphalt, and lunar-powered solar power (okay, I made that last one up).
You don't have to be in the solar industry too long before you start thinking of Little Orphan Annie's line "tomorrow, tomorrow... you're always a day away". That's not to say that there aren't some game-changing technologies in the pipeline, but we shouldn't be waiting on promises when we have efficient and dependable technology today.
As you can see, when you're searching for the cheapest solar panels you can end up going down a dead end or two. Just don't let it keep you from continuing your search for the best solar solution you can find.
Checking out thin-film solar panels might be a good start.