How Long Do Solar Panels Last

//How Long Do Solar Panels Last

Manufacturers give a 25 or 30-year warranty for solar panels. Therefore you can be sure that your solar panel will last at least that long operating at peak efficiency. Panels still operate after the warranty period but at reduced efficiency.  However, they can only function longer if they aren’t damaged by debris, wind, or other external factors. 

Solar panel warranties should give you a sense of how long the solar panel can last. Manufactures give both performance warranty for energy production guarantee and equipment warranty to cater for manufacturing defects.  A solar performance warranty can give you a better idea of what to expect over time in terms of electricity production. 

Degradation rate 

Solar panels suffer an efficiency loss at a rate of approximately 0.8% every year. This rate is referred to as a solar panel degradation rate. It varies depending on the panel brand. The degradation rate is continually reducing as panels technology improves over the years. In fact, it is below 1% across the industry. 

Let’s do some calculations- a 0.8% degradation rate typically means that in the second year after purchase, your solar panel will function at 99.2% efficiency.  By the end of the warranty period, 25years, the solar panel will operate at 82.5%. More long-lasting brands that feature a 0.5% degradation rate will function at 87.5% efficiency after 25 years. 

To know the expected output of your solar panel after some years, multiply the number of years by the degradation rate. Subtract the answer from 100%.

Can You Extend The Lifespan Of Your Solar Panel?

Solar panels can last for decades.  They are tested by manufactures to confirm that they can bear snow loads, high winds, and falling hail. Also, they require minimal maintenance since they don’t have moving parts. 

If you wish to make your solar panel last longer, the best way is to work with a qualified and reliable installer. Be wise enough when purchasing a solar panel and only pick one with robust warranties. Most manufacturers give 10 to 12-year equipment warranty to cover environmental damages and defects in addition to a 25-year energy production warranty. 

Proper maintenance of your solar panel will reduce the degradation rate and guarantee more extended solar panel performance. Below are some maintenance tips:

  • Regular Checks By A Panel Installer

Regular checks can unveil defects like exposed wires, loose racking, among other issues.  A professional installer is best suited for the job than you. Otherwise, you might cause more damages and void your solar panel warranty.

A Solar panel inspection may also involve scrutiny of roof racking system and solar inverters. Most central inverters have to be replaced after 10 to 15 years. Micro inverters can, however, last longer with proper maintenance. 

  • Place Panels Away From Damaging Materials 

A professional installer ensures that there are no trees that could drop branches or block your panels from sunlight. With zero physical damage, your solar panels can function properly for more than 30 years. If you wish, you can use specialty products like critter guards to safeguard your solar panel.

Parting Shot!

Solar panels are a significant investment in Australia. This is the right time to switch to solar. Only work with experienced and qualified solar panel installers.