How Long Does a Solar Panel Last? Complete Guide
Solar panels can last up to many decades, and their work efficiency does not drop. However, there can be many reasons why these panels can have a shorter lifespan in some cases.
When you buy an expensive and reliable brand, the company offers a lifetime warranty covering up to 25 to 30 years.
A solar panel is a cell that uses photons to produce electricity, and if it is made with sturdy material, it can last a long time. Many users feel that they will need to replace the solar panels after some time due to a drop in performance.
There are many ways to ensure these panels' longevity, but that requires a little bit of care.
How Long Does a Solar Panel Last?
People who wish to convert to solar energy from the grid electricity always ask about the lifespan of a solar panel. After all, when you are spending a lot of money, you would be concerned about recurring expenses.
Despite the government’s incentives and rebates, the cost of these panels can be high. Yes, there is an advantage that the reduction in electricity cost will bring you to break even within a few years.
A laboratory-tested solar panel can perform consistently for up to three decades, but the one that is installed on your roof will show different performance rates.
Users must understand that dust, rain, winds, and even sand deposited on the solar panel can cause a drop in their performance. This sustainable energy source will be a great money saver for you if you care for them and keep them clean from dust and sand deposits.
Residential Solar Panels
The lifespan of residential solar panels is around 25 years, and the manufacturer's warranty is also for this period. Therefore, you will not see any drop in performance, and even if you do, it is already covered by the brand!
This means that you will only have to pay once, and the solar panel will cover the installation cost in savings from electricity consumption.
If you think that after 25 years, the solar panel will immediately die, that is not so. The solar panel continues to produce electricity even after the warranty period; however, production may drop with time.
The degradation of solar panels is not sudden, and they keep working. The 25 to 30 years mark is for consistent performance. However, with time, there can be gradual deterioration.
Factors Impacting Solar Panel Lifespan
Some residential solar panels have a short warranty period, and that is because of environmental hazards and various kinds of climatic changes.The fallen branches, storms, or even dust storms can cause some drop inefficiency. Many manufacturers keep these factors in mind and offer a lesser warranty period.
Some of the factors that impact lifespan include:
• Quality of material
• Installation methods
• Maintenance of the solar panels
The quality of the material plays an integral part in the panel's life span. We mentioned earlier that the manufacturers that use the highest quality material also give a more extended warranty, which implies a longer life span.
Similarly, if the solar panels are not installed properly, they will deteriorate faster than they should. The performance of the solar panels decreases over time if they are not properly fixed or are covered by shade.
Lastly, the maintenance of solar panels means regular cleaning and even keeping the solar panels free from dust and sand to ensure proper working and longer life.
Which Solar Panel Lasts the Longest?
The quality of the solar panel is the most significant determinant of its lifespan. There are three types of solar panels available in the market.
Tier one is from manufacturers that have been providing solar panels for around five to seven years and have good customer service in terms of solar installation and efficiency of the materials.
Tier Two and Three are lower in service, and the solar panels are also not as sturdy and long-lasting as the ones from Tier One.
The lifespan of Tier One is the longest, and the drop in performance is also as low as 0.3% per year. No matter how much these solar panels cost, the lifespan covers much of this price.
Some Questions that Users Ask
Here are a few questions that can help you understand how solar panels can be used for longer without compromising performance. The answers from experts will help you understand how the lifespan of solar panels varies.
• When Should Solar Panels Be Replaced?
You can replace solar panels when the performance had dropped to less than half of the output that was observed when these panels were new. If the solar panel is not covering your electricity requirement, and the bill from the grid is increasing, it is time to replace the panels.
Physical trackers or monitors can help measure the capacity of the solar panel. Keep a check so that you can replace parts or all of the solar panels to resume your savings from the electricity consumption from the grid.
• Do I Need to Change My Solar Panels if They Get Dirty?
No! Solar panels can be cleaned easily, and their output improves when the surface is clean and ready for photon absorption.
Maintenance of solar panels includes cleaning them regularly so no dust or sand covers the panels. Any obstruction can cause a slight problem, translating into a significant home electricity deficit.
A solar panel can last for more than two decades, but the users must take care that they buy suitable quality materials. The Tier One solar panels will last up to 30 years, and if you take care of them, the deterioration will be much slower than with Tier Two or Three panels.
Headline Solar can provide you with high-quality solar panels in Texas and Illinois. Contact us today!