How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
What is the longevity of solar roofs? How long do solar panels last? It all depends on the kind of panels that you want to purchase. In most cases, you should expect panels to last for about 25-30 years, but weather conditions, regular maintenance, and many other factors might prolong their lifespan or shorten it. In this article, we will delve into this topic in more detail and explain how to have solar panels running for the maximum possible amount of time!
The Connection Between Longevity of Solar Roofs and Their Efficiency
Knowing that, in general, solar roofs last for at least 25-30 years, you might be wondering whether their efficiency is the same for the whole time. If you do, then good job! Indeed, the performance of solar panels drops as time passes, and the installation degrades. How fast is this process?
On average, you should expect a 0,5% decline in the efficiency of the panels per year. Most solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty, some even 30 years or more.
What Are the Factors Affecting Solar Panels Lifespan
So, what exactly does impact the longevity of the solar panels? There are quite a number of different factors, some of which depend on you, others you cannot control. Take a look at the list below and discover what you should pay attention to:
Quality – The first and foremost aspect that impacts how long solar panels last is their quality. Better materials will take more time to degrade, so investing a bit more at the start should pay off in the long run.
Weather – Are solar roofs weatherproof? Yes and no. While they will prevent weather conditions from affecting your comfort inside the house, no roofing material is 100% weatherproof. For example a huge piece of hail can break the panel or cause microcracking, which can ultimately lead to problems later. In this case, the panels should be assessed with a thermal camera and if needed, replaced.
Maintenance – Regular maintenance carried out by professionals is the key to prolonging the lifespan of your panels. Thanks to it, you can spot any malfunctioning or damaged elements and repair them before they grow to be a bigger problem.
Inverters’ lifespan – Solar energy (DC) is converted to usable household energy (AC) by inverters , which have a shorter lifespan and warranty. They last for about 10-15 years; thus, you should replace them after this period to prolong your solar roof’s lifespan.
Physical damage – Accidents like tree branches falling on your solar installation may result in damage that will reduce the efficiency of your panels. Thus, you should make sure that your solar roof is protected from such situations.
Technology used – New technologies are known for improving the durability of solar panels. Thus, if you have an older installation, it’s very likely that new, innovative solar cells will last much longer, all you have to do is replace your current ones.
Replacing Solar Panels Due to Their Lifespan
At some point, the time will come when you will need to replace your current solar panels with newer ones. How to approach this? Here are a few tips:
Check the warranty – You want to make sure that you can replace your panels.
Examine the efficiency – Has it really dropped so considerably that the panels need immediate replacement?
Make sure your new panels are compatible – You don’t want to buy panels that cannot be installed with your current inverters and system.
Check for legal issues – The law for PV installations is constantly changing, so it’s wise to check whether you’ll need any extra permits to upgrade your panels.
How long do solar panels last? It all depends on their quality and external factors. Solar panels will last at least 20-25 years, but you may have to change themif your installation is exposed to, for instance, extreme weather conditions, or physical damage.
Did you like this article? Then you should also read: Maintenance of Building-Integrated Solar Panels