How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Did you know 6% of US homeowners utilize solar panels? 46% of homeowners say that they’ve considered and given some thought to installing them in their homes as well.

But how long do solar panels last? Will they last long enough to justify their cost? As the quality and innovations of solar panels go up, so does their lifespan. Although it’s hard to give an exact price without gathering all the specific information about your solar panels.

But don’t worry, we’ve collected the estimations to how long they last and factors that affect this. Keep on reading to find out more and learn about the contributing variables.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

With such a large purchase to invest in, it’s obvious that one of your main concerns would be how long they last. Most good quality solar panels should last around 25-30 years. This is mostly based on manufacturer testing as well as experimental testing. Of course, there are plenty of factors that contribute to life expectancy like what type of solar panel you’ve installed. Also, take into consideration the installation and manufacturing process.

When they do reach the 25-year mark, it doesn’t mean that they’ll stop producing electricity. It simply means that the amount of electricity produced will start declining given that they’re not damaged by other external factors.

Their Degradation Rate

A study shows that the electricity output of solar panels declines by 0.8% per year. Again, this rate will vary depending on the solar panels manufacturer. Some higher-end ones only decline by 0.3%.

To put that into perspective, if your solar panel’s output is declining by 0.8%. When it reaches the 25-year mark for its lifespan, it will only be outputting around 82.5%.  The degradation rate varies from more durable solar panels to those that aren’t. You can calculate for yourself an estimate of its output. Take the degradation rate of your solar panel’s manufacturer and multiply it by the number of years you plan to have it and subtract it from 100%.

Some solar panel manufacturers give you an estimate of degradation. This is composed of both the degradation rate as well as the estimated lifespan on their warranties. You can get a better sense of how much electricity is produced on its performance warranty.

Do They Breakdown? 

Excluding tracking solar panels mounted on the ground or poles, it’s most likely that your solar panels don’t have any moving parts. This means that breakdowns caused by everyday wear and tear are unlikely. Since most of them are stationary, the only thing you have to worry about is their inner workings. Unless any physical damage breaks the solar panels, you shouldn’t see sudden breakdowns. As the solar panel ages, its performance slowly goes down too but this is over time and not something that happens out of the blue.

If your solar panels do breakdown, without any physical damage, it will most likely be because of short circuits in the microwaving or the part keeping the water out of the panel’s main engineering fails and water damages the inside.

How Can You Make Them Last Longer?

Solar panels belong outdoors and are generally very durable because of this. They have to withstand the elements and the occasional falling debris now and then. They are also mostly stationary so there aren’t any moving parts you need to worry about. This means that the best thing you can do to keep your solar panels working for a long time starts at the roots. Working with a reputable solar panel installer with great customer service is the way to go.

It’s also very important that any solar panels you purchase have warranties and that they cover manufacturer defects and most kinds of environmental damage.

Despite this, it’s still a good idea to keep them well maintained as that can lead to lowering your degradation rates.

Which Solar Panels Last the Longest?

It’s no surprise that some brands of solar panels last longer than others. When you’re comparing for the best solar panels on the market, remember to look at degradation rate and performance warranties so you can know how long they should last.

Most brands should state how long you can expect them to last as well as how much electricity they produce. Make sure to check their other warranties and extra equipment given to avoid manufacturer defects. If you don’t know where to start, check out Solarise Solar and their quality solar panels and go from there. Aside from the different brands of solar panels. How long a solar panel will last can also depend on what type they are.

There’s the Monocrystalline kind and the Polycrystalline one. Both are made from crystalline silicon which is a very stable and durable material.  This makes it much more likely to pass the 25-year mark on a solar panel’s lifespan. The Monocrystalline kind is the older version and likely more developed one. Polycrystalline comes from newer technology.

Get the Most Out of Your Solar Panels

We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of how long solar panels last and why. Giving an exact answer to the question “how long do solar panels last?” isn’t easy. There are many aspects that can affect the overall lifespan of your solar panels.

Therefore, it’s important that you learn about the specifics of the solar panels you get. Things like the manufacturer and the quality and durability of your solar panels. As long as you avoid any kind of physical damage to the solar panels, then you can estimate how long they’ll last and if it’s worth the investment.

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