Did you know there’s enough solar panel installed nationwide to power 18.9 million homes? As more people realize the benefits that come with solar energy we can only expect this number to increase.
Still, many individuals remain on the fence about whether or not to invest in solar. One of the chief concerns of this group of people is how long the panels will last. After all, no one wants to invest thousands of dollars into a system only for it to stop working suddenly.
So, exactly how long do solar panels last? If you want to learn the answer to this question and more, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the complex issue that surrounds the lifespan of solar panels. Let’s get started!
How Long Do Solar Panels Last Typically?
The specific lifespan of your solar panels will depend on the brand and type that you go with. But what about the average length? In general, you can expect most solar systems to last between twenty-five to thirty years.
However, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that your solar panels will simply top producing electricity after this time has passed. It simply means that they don’t produce as much energy as they used to when the manufacturer originally installed them.
As long as you keep your panels in good shape, then you can expect them to continue producing electricity for decades past this initial estimate. This is because solar panels have no moving parts.
As such, it significantly increases their lifespan. Just keep in mind that your solar panels will gradually produce less electricity with each passing year. However, we’ll take a closer look at that in the next section when we discuss solar degradation rate.
What Factors Affect How Long Solar Panels Last?
The most important factor in determining how long your solar panels will last is the degradation rate that comes with them. The average degradation rate for a solar panel is .8% each year.
However, keep in mind that this can change depending on what brand you purchase. Some of the new panels have degradation rates that are as low as .3%. So, what exactly does a solar degradation rate refer to? When you purchase a new solar panel it comes with its original output.
This is the amount of electricity that’s produced by the panel. However, every year that passes the panel will gradually produce less and less. The solar degradation rate determines how quickly the panels will lose their efficiency.
So, let’s say that your solar panels come it a .7% degradation rate. At the end of year one, the panels will operate at 99.3% of their original power output. So, after thirty years have passed this number will decrease to 79%.
As you can see, after a twenty-five to thirty-year period your panels are far from useless. They’re still producing a good amount of energy. It’s just not as much as they did in the past.
As such, if you still want to rely fully on solar energy, then you will either need to install more panels to supplement or bring in a whole new system. Also, keep in mind that many warranties expire after a twenty-five-year period. As such, you should expect the supplier to replace it after that period ends.
How Can You Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer?
One way that you can make your solar panels last longer is by selecting a reliable installer or service provider. This is important for two reasons. First, if your installer is reliable, then they provide you with a great product and set it up correctly.
Second, they’ll provide you with a lasting warranty. Ideally, you’ll find a company like Simple Solar (https://simplysolarcalifornia.com/services/products/) that offers these types of long-term warranties.
Warranties are important because certain components of a solar system will need to be replaced within its lifetime. To identify when these components need replacing you must regularly get your system inspected.
These inspections can help reveal serious problems like exposed wires, loos racking, and defective panels. They can also reveal when components, like your solar inverter (which has a shorter lifespan than panels) need replacing. Just make sure that you hire a professional instead of doing it yourself.
This is both for your safety and your warranty. If, while inspecting a solar panel you accidentally scratch it, then it can instantly void your warranty. That means you are stuck with an inexpensive replacement.
So, make sure that you always hire a professional instead. You can also make sure that your solar panels last longer by making sure that they’re free of debris. Ideally, your installer will scout out a location that’s far away from trees.
This will ensure that tree branches and leaves aren’t building up on your panels. However, sometimes this isn’t an option. Or, debris can still find a way on your solar panel’s thanks to critters like squirrels and birds.
If you fall in this category, then consider installing critter guards on your solar panels. This will ensure that these critters don’t nest underneath your panels. If they do so, then they can easily damage the wiring.
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We hope this article helped you answer the question, How long do solar panels last? As you can see, solar panels come with an exceptional lifespan. And, with a few preventative measures, you can make them last even longer.
Even when they begin to degrade they still produce energy. So, you can expect solar energy from your investment for decades in the future. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.