Governments and citizens across the globe have realized the urgent need to adopt green technology. With conventional fuels running low and global warming increasing, it has become important to protect the environment and the earth.
Since utility prices are increasing, there is an increasing demand for alternative sources. It is all these aspects that have helped promote solar panels systems. Such systems are being installed in homes, offices and commercial complexes and are a popular option in many countries.
Read Also: Pros and Cons of Solar Panels
What is the longevity of the solar panel system?
However, installing the solar system panel can be an expensive venture, at least for the first time. Hence, the common question asked by shoppers in general is how long the home solar panel will provide optimum power before it requires replacement.
Without understanding properly the involved upfront cost, it is not possible to know the duration of the rooftop solar panels. The solar panels selected for your place should be capable enough to offset electricity usage for several decades.
Also you need to be aware about the degradation rates and industry projections. You initial need to make sure you hire a solar panel installers so that there are no problems later down the line from poorly fitted panels.
Key features to consider
- Panels over their lifetime tend to degrade very slowly. This means, they are likely to produce less electricity over time.
- Generally, solars are designed to last for approximately 25-30 years.
- Investing in superior quality equipment is sure to make a huge difference.
Duration of the solar panels
Solars last around 25 to 30 years. But this does not mean that they will not produce any electricity after this period. Rather, you will experience significant decline in energy production. Their optimum potentiality can be reached for a long time, assured they are not damaged physically by debris, wind, etc. This is because of the absence of moving parts.
Moreover, they are designed to be strong from within. Usually, only external forces like inclement weather or racking setup might cause some damage.
Panel degradation rate
It is considered to be the key factor to make the panels last long. Studies conducted revealed that solar panel output, on an average, falls every year by about 0.8%. This decline rate is referred to as degradation rate. However, decline metric rate is likely to vary based on the panel brand selected.
With new technology being introduced in this industry, degradation rates only seem to be improving constantly. More efficient technologies are being developed. Newer panels are reported to have yearly decline rate in energy output by just 0.5%.
What is meant by panel degradation rate?
0.8% degradation rate, for example, means the panels are likely to operate only at 99.2% of original output within a couple of years. After completing its useful lifespan of 25 years, it will still operate, but at about 82.5% only. A more branded and durable panel having 0.5% degradation rate is likely to produce about 87.5% energy.
To determine the solar panel’s projected output after certain years, you just need to multiple degradation rates with years to operate it. Then subtract the number derived from 100 percent.
You need to check the warranty offered by the manufacturer. It will give you an idea of how long the solar panel will last. Reputed manufacturers are likely to provide performance warranty and equipment warranty. Performance warranty is likely to last around 25 years. It helps you to understand the amount of electricity that you can derive from the panels over time.
Solar panels do not cause any carbon footprint. The panel’s lifespan of about 25-30 years is significantly much longer that EPBT or “Energy Payback Time”. EPBT is considered to be the time taken to produce clean electricity, so as to ‘pay back’ energy used for manufacturing it.
Is it possible to extend the longevity of the solar panels?
Most manufacturers provide equipment warranty for about 10-12 years to cover environmental damages and defects. Production warranties offered are for about 25 years to guarantee energy production above certain amounts.
Solar panels, in general, are regarded to be extremely durable. Manufacturers tend to test the panel systems to confirm if it can withstand heavy snow loads and high winds. Most solar panels are tested to ensure withstanding falling hail. Since it does not have any moving part, no or very little maintenance will be required.
You should select a reputed installer providing top-notch customer service to ensure long-term functioning of the panels. Moreover, purchase panels with robust warranties.
With proper maintenance, the solar panel system will enjoy lower annual degradation rate, thereby assuring longer performance. You should consider hiring an experienced installer to check the panels periodically even if it is functioning properly.
Regular examination by the industry professionals will help disclose potential problems like exposed wires, loose racking, etc. Avoid checking the panels yourself since doing so might void manufacturer warranty. Also there may be chances of the roof panels getting scratched or damaged in the process.