You’ve come with a question, and we’ve got the answers! Wait, answers? Plural?
Yes, you read that correctly. As with anything worth investing in, there are several factors that can affect the answer. When looking at the lifespan of installing the solar panels there are solid industry answers, but there are also things you can do.
Read on to understand both the industry side of things and what you can do to extend your solar panel’s life expectancy!
If you’re asking, “How long do solar panels last?”, then you need to understand how life expectancy is determined. When the energy production of solar panels decreases below what manufacturers consider to be optimal, then they have met their life expectancy.
Does this mean that they no longer generate energy? No, it doesn’t. Optimal solar panel production is production 90% or above.
Degradation rates, or the rate of reduction of power output, vary depending on the quality of solar panels. The best solar panels have a degradation rate of .3% with the industry average being .5%. A degradation rate of .5% will mean that after 20 years your panels will be at around 90% of their original production rate.
The Lifespan of Solar Panels
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that solar panels last about 20 years. Many solar companies issue warranties that are good for 25 years. Understand that the 20-year life expectancy simply means your solar panels are below that 90% benchmark.
The exact number of years that your solar panels might last depends on several factors: the climate where you live, the type of home solar panel you choose, the way the system is installed, and how well the solar panels are maintained. You have control over all of these factors, you just can’t change the climate.
Solar Panel Maintenance
It’s important to remember that maintenance is part of solar panel ownership. As with anything you invest in, the better you take care of your panels, the longer they will last.
Regular cleaning is an important part of solar panel maintenance. If they are dusty or covered in debris or pollen, rinse them in the morning before the panels heat up to prevent cracking. If there is a harder to clean mess like bird droppings, use soap and water and carefully scrub and rinse the panels.
It is also important to have your panels regularly checked by an expert. Look into companies like Blue Raven Solar at blueravensolar.com/south-carolina/columbia/ to get an idea of how they can help you maintain your home’s solar panels. Keep an eye on your production rates and if you are concerned about changes and think something is wrong, get an expert involved.
Worth the Investment?
The lifespan of solar panels is 20 years or more of over 90% power output. Because solar panels are high quality and durable, this life expectancy can be extended with proper maintenance and care. After the initial 20-25 years, your solar panels will still be producing a lot of energy for your home, even when the power output drops below 90%.
Now that you know all about solar panel life expectancy and how you can increase yours, check out our site for articles on other topics that interest you!