The industry standard for the lifespan of most solar panels is 25 to 30 years. Most reputable manufacturers offer production warranties of 25 years or more. The average break-even point for solar panel energy savings occurs six to 10 years after installation. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or photovoltaic panels, are made to last more than 25 years.
In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still operating at expected capacity.1 Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, but the longevity of solar panels has increased dramatically over the past 20 years.2 In addition to decades of effective performance, many solar energy manufacturers back their products with performance guarantees in their warranties. 1.Well-manufactured solar panels usually last between 25 and 35 years. This does not mean that your panels will stop working once they turn 25, but that their efficiency and energy production will decrease. The efficiency of solar panels indicates how effectively the panels convert the sunlight they absorb into energy.
Over time, that efficiency decreases and affects energy production. This gradual decline in performance is linked to the rate of degradation of solar panels. The typical lifespan of a solar panel is 25 years or more. The key to extending your life expectancy is a reputable installer and basic maintenance.
Manufacturers design solar panels to last for decades. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar panels last between 20 and 30 years. Some well-made panels can even last up to 40 years. Regular cleaning of solar panels is generally not necessary, unless your area is highly susceptible to dust, dirt, pollen, or sand due to an arid climate.
While all solar panels lose efficiency over time, high-quality panels have a lower degradation rate because they are better designed. In a study carried out by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), solar panels have an average degradation rate of 0.5% per year. Increased federal incentives for solar energy, along with solar energy leasing programs, solar loan offers, and solar energy rebates, have flooded the market with unpalatable equipment. In other cases, the individual components of a panel's electronics can be repaired or replaced, allowing the panel to last years in the future.
Experienced solar installers will properly secure your panels and prevent them from falling off the roof. This means that if you've had your panels for four years, your energy production will be 2% lower than when you installed them. If your panels are clogged or damaged by any of these elements and you don't have the proper training or equipment to take additional steps, immediately contact your solar energy provider for assistance. Your panels may still produce energy, but the production rate will gradually decrease until it's insufficient to run your home.
Keep in mind that the life expectancy of solar panels doesn't mean that your roof panels will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. The best thing you can do to ensure the longevity of your solar system is to find a reputable solar installer. Because these panels will stay on top of your home for more than two decades, be sure to thoroughly research who will be installing your system. Solar installers can also include an energy warranty to support the production of their solar panels for a set warranty period.
So how long can adopters expect their solar panels to last, and how can they ensure the maximum lifespan of their investment? The list of factors to consider isn't too long. If your solar panels are underperforming after a rain or after being flushed with water with a hose, or if you see an unusual increase in your utility bill, it could be due to an electrical problem that needs to be fixed by a professional. Although panel degradation is inevitable, you can invest in high-quality panels to keep your system as long as possible.