How Long Do Solar Panels Last? A Detailed Guide
When investing in solar panels, you might wonder how long do solar panels last, especially since solar panels have higher upfront costs.
Due to strong federal policies like the Solar Investment Tax credit, and other factors, solar power is booming in the United States, with 89 gigawatts of solar capacity installed nationwide. This is enough to power 16 million homes!
If you are thinking about becoming part of this solid growth, then read on to see more on how long solar panels last.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
The good news about solar panel lifespan is that they last for 25-30 years. But that’s not to say that they completely stop functioning after that time.
They will still be able to produce electricity after this time. But due to degradation over time, their capacity to produce electricity reduces a bit.
As long as solar panels aren’t damaged by wind, debris, or external factors, they will work for a long time to come. Because they don’t actually have any moving parts, they don’t break down so easily.
The main thing you need to do is choose a solar installation company that sells high-quality equipment, and you will be good to go. This is important because of the solar panel degradation rate. Let’s look further at this.
Solar Panel Degradation Rate – What It Is and Why It Matters
As time passes by, solar panels degrade due to internal and external wear and tear, as does any electrical equipment. And its capacity to produce electricity reduces over time. This is called solar panel degradation rate.
The average solar panel degradation rate is 0.5%, but it can be as high as 0.8%, and as low as 0.3%. It depends on the solar installation company you go with.
The better quality solar panels you choose, the lower the solar panel degradation rate.
Let’s look at an example to see how the solar panel degradation rate affects your solar panel electricity.
If you go with a 0.8% degradation rate, then after 25 years of a full lifespan, the solar panels would be functioning at 82.5% capacity. With a 0.5% degradation rate, you would be at 87.5% capacity after 25 years.
Be sure to inquire about the solar panel degradation rate from your solar panel installation company to get the best deal.
Solar Panels Come With Warranties as Well
If you worry about how long do solar panels last, then you need to remember that many solar panel installation companies will offer warranties.
The solar panels usually come with both an equipment warranty against production defects and a performance warranty, which usually ends up around 25 years, as that’s how long the solar panels function.
Both of these warranties can offer you peace of mind when purchasing solar panels, as the benefits of solar panels are many, and you would be remiss to avoid getting them due to your fears about solar panel lifespan.
Increase Solar Panel Lifespan by Doing These Things
The good news is that there are certain things you can do to improve the life span of your solar panels.
Of course, the best thing to do is to choose a reputable solar installation company so that you can be reassured of the quality of the solar panels you would be investing in.
Ensure that you choose a solar panel service provider that has lots of great reviews from other satisfied customers, and has sustainable, high-quality products for sale.
Also, you might want to look into providers who offer easy financing options with robust warranties, and service calls.
Even though this means more work for you on the front end, it will result in fewer headaches during the lifetime of your solar panels.
Get Your Solar Panels Checked Out by Your Service Provider Annually
Instead of rummaging about with your solar panels and voiding the warranty, it’s a better idea to get them checked out by your service provider or installer every few months.
The good thing about getting your solar panels checked out regularly is that any issues with the electrical panel or wiring or anything else will be caught and fixed earlier rather than later, saving you money in the long run.
It’s also a good idea for them to check the racking, to ensure that the solar panels are securely mounted to the roof. And they won’t fall off in the next major snowstorm.
Finally, they will also be able to check the solar inverters, which might need to be replaced at some point in your solar panel lifespan. Unless you purchased the new microinverters, which have a 25-year lifespan as well.
Remove Debris and Other Damaging Materials From Your Panels Regularly
When installing your solar panels, ensure that there are no large trees that could drop large branches or cast a shade on them.
Ensure that you remove debris, like leaves, or bird poop, or anything else damaging from your solar panels regularly.
Solar panels are long-lasting, and will produce electricity for years to come, but only if you can avoid causing physical damage to them.
Many companies will sell specialty products related to solar panels, to prevent damage to them.
For example, solar panel critter guards prevent squirrels and birds from forming nests underneath the panels. This is important as this could cause damage to the writing and panels over time.
The Lifespan of Solar Panels Is a Solid 25 Years if You Follow Our Tips
There are many benefits of solar panels. Not only are you helping the future of Earth through a sustainable choice, but you are also saving on electricity costs, and gaining tax credits.
How long do solar panels last? You should be able to get a solid 25 years out of your solar panels, especially if you follow the tips outlined above.
If you are interested in learning more about other sustainable lifestyle choices, please check out the other articles on our website.