How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?
Manufacturers usually offer solar panels with a 25-30 years of warranty. The warranty itself also guarantees that your panels should still produce at least 80% of their initial output peak rate after 25-30 years (depending on the panels or manufacturer). This means they expect no more than 1% decrease in efficiency per year.
According to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, some premium panel manufacturers offer degradation rates as low as 0.3% per year; and while other brands have higher degradation rates of up to 0.8% per year, that’s still a yearly average degradation rate of only 0.5%. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston can help you pick out the right solar system for your needs.
Meaning, even if you get a standard solar panel 25-year warranty period at 0.5% degradation, your solar panels should continue operating at around 88% of their original capacity after this time.
Solar panel systems do not have any moving parts. This makes breakdowns due to wear and tear highly unlikely, but the chemicals used to make solar panels can deteriorate and break down over time. However, as your solar system ages, it doesn’t suddenly go bad. Instead, its power capacity diminishes to a certain degree, which is called degradation.
It is rare for a solar panel to go bad, but where it does it is generally due to one of two factors:
- A breakdown of the microwires inside a cell causing a short circuit (arc) and a hotspot; or
- The encapsulation that keeps water out of the active part of the panel fails.
To learn more about how long a solar energy system can produce sustainable energy for your home contact us by clicking here.