When you decide to buy a solar panel, you probably want to know how long solar panels last. Installing solar panels is a great way to save money on utility bills and an admirable move towards supporting a sustainable lifestyle. However, since undertaking solar panel installation can be a significant investment, homeowners naturally want to get the best out of the lifespan of solar panels. Several factors can affect the lifespan of solar panels, and having an idea about some of them, can help you make an informed decision before going ahead and committing to investing in a system and having it installed on your property.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Solar Panel?
Solar panels are, also called photovoltaic (PV) panels, and have an average life expectancy of around 25 to 30 years. You will be surprised to know that many solar panel systems installed during the late 1900s are still producing energy output and that they continue working to their expected capacity.
The last couple of decades have witnessed a remarkable improvement in the lifespan of solar panels. Solar panels degrade over several years producing lesser solar panel output with time. It is called solar panel degradation, caused by damage caused to your solar panel system due to constant exposure to external influences such as extreme temperatures, weather conditions, tree branches, and birds.
As a result, tiny cracks called micro-cracks can appear on your solar system, and as these advance, the energy production starts to drop. It is important to note that it does not mean that after 25 years, your solar system will stop producing electricity. It simply means that you will not be receiving the original output from your solar energy system.
Solar panel systems are highly durable and rarely get so damaged that it stops working. Unless it has been exposed to other damaging materials, such as severe and prolonged weather conditions or has a poor roof racking system. So it is difficult to cause damage to well-built systems and they should continue to work well for several decades.
How Often Do You Have To Replace Solar Panels?
Solar panels are extremely durable and rarely need to be replaced. But the solar panel degradation rate can affect how long solar panels last, and solar panels with a lower degradation rate produce more energy during their lifetime.
So if you have high solar panel degradation rates, then the damage to your solar panels is much higher. You need to contact the solar company or a solar panel manufacturer to request a manufacturer’s test. Give the team here at Symons Energy, the best solar provider in Brisbane and let them resolve any issues you might have with your system.
What Are The 2 Main Disadvantages Of Solar Energy?
Solar power is truly a miracle. It produces clean electricity from renewable energy and helps reduce carbon footprint. To top it off, it is excellent for the environment. Most Australians are now shifting towards sustainable habits such as installing solar panels in their homes. However, solar power has two main disadvantages.
Dependent On Weather Conditions
Solar energy production is dependent on sunny weather, and it can be challenging to produce energy on rainy or cloudy days.
If the solar cells are unable to absorb sunlight, power output drops. The solar panels are at peak performance and produce more energy than usual when the sun shines brightly.
Traditionally, the best method to protect your solar panels from shading was to use solar inverters that converted direct current from the panels to alternating current for domestic and commercial use. However, if one of the panels were covered, the entire output would be affected.
Therefore, the modern solution was invented. It involves using micro-inverters that come with the power to limit the drop in energy production without affecting many solar panels.
Additional Costs Involved
The cost of installing solar panels is relatively high, mainly because of the equipment involved. However, additional costs are involved, such as the storage of solar panels. Since solar panels don’t produce energy at night, you need to store this energy.
Storing energy also helps reduce waste. But while this can be a significant investment, it’s mostly a one-time expense with a lifetime of clean electricity. Symons Energy is a solar provider that provides energy storage equipment at unbelievable rates.
What Happens To Solar Panels After 20 Years?
Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2012 stated that most solar panels have a 0.5% degradation rate every year. By the 20th year of the PV installation, the solar panels will be working at 90% efficiency.
Solar panel manufacturers usually provide a performance warranty period of 25 years which usually covers manufacturing defects and solar panels cost. Most manufacturers, especially internationally recognised premium manufacturers, also guarantee 80% efficiency of the solar panel system after 25 years.
Beyond 20 years of solar system use, there is simply a natural reduction of how much electricity is produced, but that varies depending on a range of factors. For instance, higher-quality panels last longer than lower-quality poorly produced panels.
Choose A Reputable Installer
If you plan to install solar panels in your home or office, you should be very selective of the installer you choose to help you with the process. A lot of the time, if the task is not completed with minute attention to detail, you may be facing problems such as loose racking causing damage to the solar panels.
To avoid getting into a situation like this, give a call to Symons Energy today. We have only Clean Energy Council qualified installers on the team who can efficiently and perfectly install your solar panels. We can help you make your solar panels last longer.
We are the best in Brisbane, and we have grown a strong and faithful clientele who rely on us for their solar needs. So if you want to know how long solar panels last or how to make them last longer, then call 1300 764 162, and we’ll get you free solar quotes!