solar panel on the roof after snow in winter

How Long Do Solar Panels Last on Average?

There’s been a huge adoption of solar across the country in the past few years. There’s never been more of an interest in this kind of technology from homeowners, who are making the switch to solar more and more frequently. 

You might be interested in making the switch yourself but are on the fence about a few different elements. Some additional information may help to make up your mind on the matter.

For example, you might be curious: how long do solar panels last? The longer a solar panel system lasts, the less you’ll have to worry about repair and replacement costs down the line. What should you come to expect? 

Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last? 

There is no one simple answer to this common question. The lifespan of solar panels will depend on a great many factors, after all. The type of solar panel you’re using, the setup of your system, your location and climate, and the amount of maintenance you perform will all factor into the lifespan.

The length your system goes without the need for repairs might be different than someone else’s. However, there is a general sense of how well the average system will last and it’s a pretty decent amount of time.

Most solar panels last for a minimum of twenty years without the need for much maintenance, repair, or replacement. That’s two decades of service from installation without much need for work on your end. They might be able to go even longer, up to thirty years. 

There are things that can bring down the overall efficiency of your system and impact the length of its life. Understanding what causes these issues can help to ensure your system remains in good shape for many years to come.

Solar Panel Degradation Rate

In 2012, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory did a major study on the lifespan of solar panels. They found that the output of the average solar panel falls by only 0.8 percent per year that passes.

Premium panels were found to have even less degradation per year, hovering around something as low as 0.3%. As solar technology has continued to progress in the previous years, this rate has continued to lower, with rates still far below 1% across the whole of the industry.

That means even at the end of a solar panel’s lifespan, it will still be operating at around 85% efficiency, which isn’t at all terrible. This gives you a sense of just how durable this technology really is.

Many solar panel companies will offer also warranties that will give you a sense of how long these systems last. Most solar panel warranties will be issued for up to twenty-five years. 

Factors That Impact Solar Panel Health

What might limit the long-term health of your solar panel system? There are a number of factors that could contribute. 

Rough weather conditions are the biggest thing that you’ll need to keep an eye out for. If a solar panel isn’t installed correctly, rain and wind have the potential to create issues. Corrosion might occur, or strong winds might shake and pull apartment the bonds that hold together the equipment.

Huge amounts of extreme heat or lots of snow could also potentially do damage. Extreme heat can make a solar panel brittle, making it easier for moisture to get into the system itself. Freezing temperatures can also potentially warp or crack panels and weaken the overall system.

Most solar power systems are built and installed so as to hold up to even the more extreme weather conditions we fight through. However, damage could occur and so it’s important to check on your system from time to time to ensure it’s running as it should.

Even when this damage does occur, the amount of efficiency that is impacted is typically less than one percent. 

Increasing Solar Panel Lifespan

What kind of actions can you take to ensure your solar panel system lasts as long as humanly possible? The system you will have installed will already be just about as durable as can be.

There are no moving parts in a solar panel system which means the need or maintenance is very low.

The most important decision you can make to ensure the long-term health of your solar power system is to work with a reliable and reputable solar panel company

The proper installation of the system will be key to ensuring all works as it should in the coming years. If a solar panel system is installed incorrectly, it could lead to problems.

As long as everything is installed just as it should be, you should be able to enjoy the maximum lifespan from your system with little difficulty. A reputable company should also be able to last you a lengthy warranty that will ensure that you won’t have to foot the bill should something eventually go wrong with your system. 

The only thing you’ll need to do on your own is to check on your system after big storms and make sure that it remains clear of debris. 

Investing In Solar Energy

How long do solar panels last? 

There are many reasons to make the switch to solar, but the long lifespan of these systems is a major reason to consider making the switch. Once installed, there’s little you’ll have to do to enjoy the full, long life of your new solar panel system.

Have more questions about getting your own system installed sometime soon? Give us a call for more assistance.

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