Ready to install solar panels on your home or business? If so, you’ll join the 4% of homes in the country powered by solar energy. Solar energy cuts your home’s maintenance and in areas like Arizona, the project can offer an ROI of 100%. Better still, you reduce dependence on the grid electricity while also reducing your home’s carbon footprint. But like many other consumers, the question you might have in mind is whether the solar panels will last forever. After all, this is a major investment and you want to understand the life span of solar panels.
In this article, learn more about the average life span of solar panels, how to increase the life of your solar panels, and factors that can reduce the panel’s efficiency.
Average Life Span of Solar Panels
The average lifespan of a solar panel ranges from 25 to 30 years. Over the years, the technology used in the development of solar panels has evolved. The result is safer, more durable, and reliable PV panels. A quick check around shows that solar panels installed way back in the 1980s are still in working condition.
With the solar panel longevity guaranteed by advanced technology, most solar panel manufacturers now offer lengthy performance warranties. Most products come with a performance warranty of over 25 years. So reliable are the solar panels on the market that manufacturers advise you to install a new roof along with the solar panels. This is because your roof systems might have a shorter lifespan than the solar panels you install.
To appreciate why a solar panel can last this long, look at the products used in its manufacturer. Crystalline silicon wafers are the main component material while the semiconductors are made from silicon. Silicon is a great semiconductor and also has a long lifespan. Other materials include glass, plastic, metal, and wiring. For effective installation on a rooftop, the unit comes in a durable plastic/polymer frame.
Of course, different solar panel systems differ in construction. However, most of the materials used are durable and weather-resistant. This explains the longevity of your solar panels.
Do Solar Panels Degrade with Time?
Solar panels efficiency is a crucial metric to help understand the life span of Solar panels. This refers to the ability of a particular solar panel to convert sunlight into electricity. The best solar panels have an efficiency rating ranging from 15% to 20 %. Some things that affect solar panel efficiency include the production of electricity by solar cells (which is affected by the cells’ composition), electrical configuration, and other components in the PV panel.
Like with any technology, solar panel systems degrade with time, which means the panels lose their initial efficiency levels. solar panels degrade at an average rate of about 0.5% per year. This means that even after 20 years, your solar panels still boast over 90% efficiency.
What Affects Life Span of Solar Panels?
Some factors that can affect the advertised lifespan of a solar panel include:
- Weather: Fluctuations in weather patterns can affect the quality of the solar panels. Damage to the protective glass leaves the cells exposed. Heavy storms can also affect the structural integrity of the panels and accelerate the degradation
- Poor installation: Poorly installed solar panels will eventually malfunction over their lifespan. Multiple repairs to the solar panels or glass affect their efficiency
- Maintenance: Proper solar panel maintenance can improve the life of your solar panels. Solar contractors offer professional solar cleaning and other maintenance services to keep the PV panels in optimal shape. Regular inspection, removal of debris after storms, and repositioning of the solar panels can improve the lifespan of the panels
Are you planning to install solar panels in your home? Get a reputable Phoenix solar contractor for the job. High-quality solar hardware, proper installation, and professional maintenance can increase the life span of Solar panels. Total Solutions Arizona offers comprehensive solar solutions to help property owners maximize the benefits of clean, affordable energy. Contact us today for solar installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacements services.