How long will a solar panel last
Solar energy is a long-term investment. While the initial investment may be substantial, the investment pays for itself over time through tax benefits and monthly energy bill savings.
When individuals are attempting to determine the long-term value of their investment, one of the first questions we receive is “how long willlast?”
Which Solar Panel Type Is This?
The rate of degradation of ais dependent on the panel type. Crystalline panels are significantly more resistant to breakage than thin-film panels. Warranties for various types of panels reflect their varying life expectancies. Crystalline panels are typically guaranteed for twenty to twenty-five years, whereas film panels are typically guaranteed for only two to five years.
Solarcome with a standard 25-year warranty. This is how the manufacturers arrive at this figure: They calculate an annual efficiency loss of 8 percent. After 25 years at this rate of degradation, the panels will operate at 80% of their original efficiency. Solar panels must achieve an efficiency level of at least 80% to be effective. Thus, it is predicted that these panels will degrade to an unacceptably low-efficiency level in 25 years.
Nonetheless, there are crystalline panels that have operated for more than 40 years and thin-film panels that have maintained the required charge for double the standard time.
How can you extend the life of your solar panels?
While solar panels do not typically require extensive maintenance, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep them operating at peak capacity for an extended period of time.
- Choose a reputable manufacturer. Solar panels are typically encased in glass and remain unaffected by the environment. The semiconductor material is kept completely separate from the corrosive environment. The panel will degrade if the manufacturer uses substandard materials to encapsulate the metal and conductive materials.
- Assure that they have complete access to light. Remove any tree limbs or other plant growth that prevents sunlight from reaching the ground. Any shade will reduce the efficiency of a solar panel – and not just because photons are blocked. The shaded area will act as a high-resistance “hotspot,” even when diodes are installed. These hotspots can accelerate the module’s degradation over time, resulting in premature failure.
- Ensure that your solar panels are kept clean. This is especially true in areas with high winds. Keep dust, dirt, sand, and pollen off your panels. Avoid allowing smog to settle on the panels in more polluted cities. When possible, keep snow and frost off the panels during the winter.
The best way to keep your solar panels working long-term is to work with a reputable installer. A regular examination can reveal potential issues like loose racking, exposed wires, and other areas of concern. Keep your panels clear of debris and other damaging materials such as dust and dirt. Going solar is an investment in the earth’s future that can also save you money.