Alternative energy equipment can be very expensive and is often a deterrent for people who wish to live off the grid or with a grid tie in system. Recently, I discovered much of this equipment is available at online auctions, such as Ebay. You can find solar panels, inverters, wind turbine blades and plans galore.
For example, our 4000 watt inverter retails for $2200, but on Ebay it sells for $1500 new, in the box. Of course there are some risks with purchasing expensive equipment from online auctions, as it is important to read the feedback comments of the sellers and find out what kind of warrantly and return policy they offer.
In addition, you may find used equipment. Some alternative energy equipment is fine to purchase used, but other items, such as batteries, would not be advised. There is no telling how long the batteries have been used and abused, and their life on an alternative system is only about 10 years when treated right. Purchasing used solar panels can save lots of money. We purchased six panels that were only used to power an outdoor concert one year.
Alternative energy equipment is expensive; however, the initial investment does pay off over time. A little discount can go a long way in setting up your system, so search for gently used products and discounts from online auction sites. You may just be able to afford that system you’ve been dreaming about.