What Is The Lifespan Of Solar Panels?
The lifespan of solar panels is a common concern when researching home solar. Going solar is a big investment for homeowners who are looking to shield themselves against future electric rate increases. So knowing how long you can expect your panels to last is an important factor when considering the upfront costs associated with producing your own solar energy.
Solar Panel Degradation Rates
Since the early 2000s, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of solar installations, and now 20 years later, some of those systems are nearing the end of their life. Or are they? It’s been said the industry-standard lifespan for solar is about 25 to 30 years, which only refers to energy production at a level considered optimal by panel manufacturers. Solar panel degradation is the rate at which a panel loses its power output. It’s just a fact of physics but a good quality panel will have low degradation rates that don’t affect a solar system’s lifespan or performance too much.
Advances in solar panel manufacturing processes have decreased overall degradation rates over the past several decades. Most manufacturers claim an average yearly degradation rate of only 0.5%. Some premium panel manufacturers claim degradation rates as low as 0.3%. If we take the average degradation at .5% panels should operate normally around 92% of original capacity after 20 years.
The exception to these averages would be if you live in a climate that has extreme temperatures, or severe weather. Over time panels exposed to high levels of UV in desert climates, will experience large decreases in production, approaching 1% per year. Colder climates will also suffer greater if subjected to heavy wind and snow.
Panel Maintenance & Warranties
The great thing about solar panels is they don’t have any moving parts, so they rarely will break from the inside. Instead, the damage is usually caused by external forces like wind, debris, or subpar installation involving poor racking. Always work with a reputable, licensed solar installer offering solid service to help you clean and maintain your home solar system. You can also avoid physical damage to your solar panels caused by birds or animals by installing protective netting.
Many manufacturers will offer 10 to 12-year warranties covering defects and environmental damages, as well as a production warranty lasting around 25 years, guaranteeing the panels will generate a certain amount of energy for your home.
A positive solar experience starts with a trusted installer offering quality solar technology. If you have questions about home solar, backup batteries, or have any maintenance needs contact the Energy Experts at SunPro Solar. We have decades of experience and are happy to help in any way we can even if you are not currently our customer. 951-678-7733