Solar panels are often warrantied for up to 25 years. However, the expected service time of solar panels is often many times longer than the warranty period. Of course, as time passes, deterioration due to external factors may occur. As a result of these deteriorations, there may be small changes in the efficiency received. Several factors determine the service life and efficiency of solar panels. In this article, we focus on the details of these factors.
How Long Should Solar Panels Last?
The warranty period reaches 25 years or up to 30 years for new systems. Data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) suggests that solar panels can degrade at a rate of 0.5% per year. In short, in 20 years the efficiency of your solar panel could drop by 10%. There are several factors that can reduce this efficiency such as solar panel quality, inverter quality, installation practices, temperature, light, and UV exposure.
Factors Influencing a Solar Panel’s Lifespan
- Solar panel quality: If the original quality of your solar panel is poor, it may not work for long or its efficiency may be severely reduced. Systems with low-quality solar panels are more prone to heat-related failure at some point. Although many solar panel brands provide a warranty of up to 25 years, solar panels purchased without proper research may not survive this period.
- Inverter quality: Inverter dysfunction is a problem you may encounter in the first years of buying a solar panel. It usually occurs with some of the budget-friendly products on the market. However, no matter which model you buy, if you do not replace it within 10 years, it will shorten your solar panel’s service time.
- Installation practices: It is important to work with a company that is knowledgeable and experienced in solar panel system installation. Otherwise, serious problems such as system problems and related security vulnerabilities can cause problems for solar panel users and the panels may need to be replaced.
- Temperature, light, and UV exposure: One of the most critical factors affecting the service life of solar panels is their resistance to heat, temperature and UV light. To minimize the exposure of the solar panel to these factors, it is necessary to deal with a reliable company and follow their recommended procedures.
How to Increase Solar Panel Efficiency and Longevity
- Smart Monitor : Measuring how efficiently the system is working in the first place through smart monitors is one of the best choices that can be made to extend the panels’ service life. If you choose not to buy a smart monitor, your installer can also perform this function. However, unlike the installer system, a smart monitor will alert you to efficiency issues so you can take precautions in advance.
- Clean your solar panels regularly: The cleaner the better. This maxim for life applies to solar panels as well. Solar panels do not require constant cleaning, but cleaning them regularly will extend their service life and their efficiency. By setting up a cleaning schedule, you will keep the panels free from hot spot problems and increase both their functioning and service time.
As long-lasting as solar panels usually are, a few factors you can take into consideration will extend both their functionality and service life. The small efforts you will make during the warranty period of up to 25 years will greatly impact the working life and effectiveness of your solar panel system. To extend solar panel service time, contact a trusted solar provider for professional advice.