So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Friday, June 14, 2013
Antique Solar Panels
My original 8 solar panels are over 20 years old. I guess that makes them antiques. The 20 year warranty is expired, but that probably doesn't matter much. The company that made them and the company that sold them to me are both out of business.
More importantly, they pretty much look and function as well as the day they were installed. I have done nothing to them. How many things keep functioning for 20 years, day in day out, in the heat of summer and cold of winter?
As for the rest of the system, the battery bank has been chanced a couple times. That's to be expected as lead acid batteries have only so many cycles in them. The charge controller was replaced, not because it failed, but because I upgraded to better technology. The old charger has been saved as a backup.
The inverter is an old 2425 Trace. It's original. It converts 24 volt DC to AC house current. It also functions as a battery charger. This is long past its warranty date, but keeps on ticking. It works hard as I'm powering a ½ horse submersible pump and power tools with it -along with the rest of the house stuff.
The only other thing that's been replaced on the whole solar electric system is one battery cable on the battery bank. That was my fault. Once of the connections was loose and improperly corrosion protected. The connector had a lot of corrosion on it so I replaced the whole cable.
The cost of the system was paid off in energy savings in 7 years. The piece of mind from having a good power supply independent of the grid was immediate. When times were tight, it was nice to know the lights were going to stay on.
My guess is that my grandkids will one day have to figure out what to do with those old solar panels.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.