How Long do Solar Panels Last?
Did you know that you can considerably lower your monthly utility bills or even entirely eliminate them? Going solar is the best way to do this, transitioning to a more sustainable life at the same time.
According to the United States Department of Energy, “Most solar electric systems last 30 years and pay for themselves in 4 to 5 years after tax credits and rebates. That means homeowners can enjoy free electricity for years.” That is a very short period of time when comparing it to the life your solar panels can have, making it worth buying a system.
You need to understand the average lifetime of solar panels in order to know if a solar power system is worth investing and, and if it is, to get the best use of your installation.
WHY DO SOLAR PANELS DETERIORATE?
The different types of technology that manufacturers use will influence on the lifespan of solar panels. Also, if solar panels are improperly installed, are exposed to heavy soiling, or experience contrasting climate changes, they can degrade at a faster rate.
Hot weather, a strong windstorm that causes things to fall, heavy snowfall, and large hailstones can also damage the panels.
Solar panels however, are built for durability and most manufacturers certify their panels to withstand harsh weather conditions and storms.
WHAT IS A SOLAR POWER DEGRADATION RATE?
Degradation rate is how much the ability of solar panels to absorb sunlight and convert it to energy reduces in a year.
A solar panel will produce more energy over its lifetime when it has a slower degradation rate. A solar panel is better when it has a lower degradation rate, so lower quality panels will have higher degradation rates than high quality panels. This can depend on the brand.
According to a National Renewable Energy Study, each year, the standard solar panel loses 0.8% of its output. There are premium manufacturers who have degradation rates as low as 0.3%. Their panels will last much longer than the average solar panel. Before you purchase your panels, degradation rate is a very important factor to compare.
It is rare for solar panels to have defects, however, when you install the panels for the first time you should take extra precautions. Serious problems could be caused by a leaky, damaged, or old roof if an installer doesn’t check any issues correctly. Find a trusted installer before you begin.
PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY OF SOLAR PANELS
Here are some factors that may impact the performance or efficiency of your solar panels.
Before installing solar panels, an important aspect to consider is your area's climate. Your system's energy production can be reduced by excess heat. Taking in mind the average temperature of your location will help you put your solar panels in a way that supports enough airflow, keeping them at the right temperature for the best operating conditions.
Most people think that the sun’s heat allows the photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar panels to produce electricity. However, the sunlight is what is essential for solar panels to function properly. The power that solar panels generate is related directly to the amount of sunlight (UV rays) that reach the panel.
Mounting is an essential factor to consider. Solar panels work according to how much solar energy they can take in. You will enhance their efficiency by installing your panels to face the sun as much as possible. As the sun moves across the sky, roof solar panels take in different amounts of sunlight through the day. In general terms, the most ideal orientation for optimal solar exposure all day is to face your panels south.
Solar panels require very little maintenance. To improve long term energy production, an occasional cleaning may be recommended every few years, depending on where you are located.
KEEPING YOUR PANELS EFFICIENT
On average, solar powers last around 30 years, however some may last up to 50!
Here are some ways to make sure your panels work efficiently as long as possible.
KEEP YOUR PANELS CLEAN
The solar company you work with should make sure that there are no trees that could drop branches on your panels when they are installing them. Keeping your solar panels clean and free of debris, leaves, snow and more, will expand their lifespan.
You should have a professional analyze the energy production of your system and individual panels to identify potential damage over time.
If you see any debris or damage on your panels but cannot access them safely, you should call a provider with the needed equipment and experience to help you.
BATTERIES If your solar power system includes a battery backup system, you need to consider maintenance and replacement costs. Most batteries need regular inspection. The manufacturer’s warranty usually lasts anywhere from three to 10 years depending on the specific brand of battery you choose. You can help extend the life of your batteries by ensuring they are properly installed and inspected.
REGULARLY CHECKING YOUR PANELS
A solar maintenance professional should check your system if production declines. It’s recommended to have a cleaning and inspection annually to be sure that your installation is operating at its best.
A TRUSTWORTHY SOLAR INSTALLER
Make sure to work with a reputable solar company that has years of experience and a record of immaculate customer service.
How long a manufacturer thinks a panel will last is shown by the length of the warranty. The majority of panels last around 25-30 years. Manufacturers can guarantee that panels will operate at least at 80% of their peak efficiency during this time. Usually there are different warranties that cover other things like inverter and monitoring equipment, junction boxes and faulty framing. These are normally for a shorter period of time.
SUNSHINE CITY IS AN INSTALLER YOU CAN TRUST
How can we help? Contact us, we would like to hear from you. One of the best sources of green energy is solar power if your system is properly installed and maintained. Thanks to their durability, they’ll generate a return on your investment.
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