Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. Many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at the expected capacity. Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, but solar panel longevity has also increased dramatically over the last 20 years. In addition to decades of effective performance, many solar manufacturers back their products with performance guarantees in their warranties.
Keep in mind that expected solar panel life expectancy doesn’t mean the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. It just means their energy production will decrease by what solar panel manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average American family’s energy needs.
What is the life expectancy of a solar panel?
As a general rule, the average lifespan for solar panels is about 25-30 years. However, this doesn’t mean that they stop producing electricity after 25 years – it just means that energy production has declined by what manufacturers consider to be a significant amount.
Their life expectancy, however, will be much longer. Solar panels will continue to work for many decades, given they aren’t physically damaged by wind, debris, or any other external factors. This is primarily because solar panels don’t have any moving parts – they rarely break from within and are usually only damaged by outside forces like a poor racking setup or inclement weather.
Warranty of solar panels
Solar panels also come with a few different warranties that can give you a sense of just how long you can expect your solar panel’s lifespan to be. Manufacturers will offer both an equipment warranty, to certify against manufacturing defects, and a performance warranty, to guarantee that your panels will produce a certain amount of electricity. Your solar panel’s performance warranty, which typically lasts 25 years, can give you a better sense of how much electricity to expect from your solar panel system over time.
Factors That Affect Solar Panel Lifespans
Some factors that affect solar panels’ lifespans—such as climate and extreme weather events—are beyond your control. Still, there are ways in which you can increase the longevity of your solar panels.
As the breakdown among solar panel Tiers shows, the quality of your panels makes a significant long-term difference to the output. For an indication of what type of output you can expect, look at the production warranty offered by the manufacturer. Companies that offer 25 or more years are willing to stand by their products for a long time—and that’s a good sign for you.
By working with an experienced installer to get your solar panels in place, you can feel confident that the racking will support the panels long-term. If improperly installed and wired, your solar panels may degrade faster. Many of the best solar companies also offer maintenance checks to make sure the system is operating properly and to catch any issues before they turn into larger problems.
Besides the savings potential and the environmentally friendly benefits, one of the biggest selling points of solar panels is that they are quite low-maintenance.
What is the solar panel degradation rate’?
Over time, solar panels lose their ability to absorb sunlight and convert it into solar energy due to factors such as hotter weather and the natural reduction in chemical potency within the panel. This is what is referred to as the “degradation rate”.
The lower the degradation rate, the better the panel. When a solar panel has a lower degradation rate, it will produce more energy over its lifetime.
Degradation rates vary from one brand to another; higher-quality panels have a lower degradation rate versus lower-quality panels. This is important to keep in mind when doing a solar panel comparison since it might make more sense, in the long run, to spend more money on higher-quality panels.
When to consider replacing your solar panels
Many solar companies offer apps or physical trackers that monitor your solar electricity generation monthly or even daily. Having a grasp of the typical amount of the energy output of your panels will help you notice if something is off.
For example, if your solar panels generate 35 kWh of clean electricity per week and you notice that over the years this reduces to 32 kwh, then 30 kwh – and there is no visible debris or increase of shade cover over your roof – this can indicate that your panels are beginning to degrade.
When your panels are no longer producing the amount of electricity your home needs, it becomes time to replace them.
Solar panels are a great way to generate renewable energy and save money on your electricity bill. There are many factors to consider when choosing solar panels, including the size of your home, the amount of sunlight you receive, and the type of solar panel you want.
We are excited to announce that we are offering solar panel installation services throughout the entire state of California! With our experienced team of installers, you can rest assured that your solar panel system will be installed quickly and efficiently. Give us a call today for more information, or just fill out the form on the home page and our experts will contact you to give more information about our solar panel installation services and how we can help you save money on your energy bills.