The cost of solar panels has fallen sharply in the past 10 years, so if you’ve been considering going solar, now’s the time. How long will solar panels last once you get them installed? And what can you do to extend their lifetime?
Read on to find out what you need to know about the lifespan of solar panels.
How Long Will Solar Panels Last?
The average solar panel lifespan is 25 years, and most manufacturers offer a standard warranty to cover that period.
Most solar panels will continue to work after 25 years, but they will likely run at a lower capacity than when they came out of the factory.
Depending on how old they are, solar panels can increase the value of your property, according to Blue Raven.
Do Solar Panels Degrade?
The rate at which solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into energy degrades over time. This is because of the natural decline in the chemicals within the panel, as well as wear and tear caused by their exposure to the elements. Extreme heat, snow, wind, and rain can cause panels to crack, warm, or corrode over time.
On an average solar panel timeline, the degradation rate is around 0.5% per year, meaning that most panels run at around 87.5% of their original capacity after 25 years. The best solar panels degrade at a lower rate of around 0.3%, so they have the potential to run at 92.5% of full output.
How Can You Extend the Lifespan of Solar Panels?
There are a few things you can do to help make sure your solar panels last beyond their initial 25-year lifespan. Let’s look at three of the most effective methods.
1. Choose a Reputable Supplier and Installer
Among the key factors that determine solar panel lifespan are the quality of the panels and the installation.
High-quality panels from the top manufacturers cost more, but will naturally last longer than cheaper products. It is also important that you use an experienced installer, as damage to the delicate panels and wiring can reduce their efficiency.
2. Keep Solar Panels Clean
You might think that rainfall is enough to clean your home solar panels. But accumulated dirt and debris like leaves and bird droppings can obstruct the panels and damage the surface. This will not only reduce their power efficiency but could also cause them to break, requiring costly repairs.
You should clean your panels once or twice a year. You can do this yourself with a garden hose, or you can hire a professional cleaning service.
3. Conduct Maintenance Checks
Check your panels on a regular basis to make sure that they’re working as they should. Loose connections, broken panels, or cracked glass can put a strain on the system that reduces its lifespan faster.
You should also keep an eye on your energy bills in case there is a change that could show a problem with the output from the panels. There could be an electrical fault that needs fixing.
Some solar providers offer maintenance packages for convenient monitoring.
Maintain Your Solar Panels to Make Them Last
How long will solar panels last? With proper installation and maintenance, solar panels can last for at least 25 years. Make sure you choose a reliable installer and keep your panels clear of dirt and debris.