How Long Do Solar Panels Last? A Comprehensive Guide

Solar panels have become increasingly reliable over time and with proper maintenance they can last up to 40-50 years! Learn more about what affects their lifespan and how you can make them last longer.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last? A Comprehensive Guide

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are designed to last for more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still functioning at their expected capacity. Not only are solar panels incredibly reliable, but the longevity of solar panels has increased significantly over the past two decades. High-quality solar panels can last for 20 to 30 years, but there is no specific date when you need to replace them.

It is more important to pay attention to your productivity. If your solar panels are still in good condition and producing enough electricity, they may not need to be replaced. On the other hand, if you find that your electricity bill is increasing because your solar panels are no longer working efficiently, it may be time to replace them. According to the Federal Trade Commission, solar panels typically last about 20 years.

However, the answer is much more complex than that. The exact number would depend on several factors, such as the type of panel, the way the system is installed, the climate you live in, and the maintenance. The good news is that, with proper maintenance, your panel can work for 40-50 years. Read on to learn how you can make your panel last as long as possible.

You can count on most photovoltaic solar panels to last 25 years before they start to degrade noticeably. Most solar panel companies will offer a standard 25-year warranty for the expected life expectancy of solar panels. After 25 years, your solar panels won't necessarily need to be replaced; however, their ability to absorb sunlight will be reduced. The first and most obvious part of a solar energy system are solar panels. Some solar panels can last more than 30 years, but most panels are expected to perform at optimal levels up to 25 years. Many top-tier solar panel manufacturers guarantee their solar panels for 20-25 years.

Solar panels are extremely efficient throughout their lifespan, only losing less than 1% of their efficiency each year. Batteries should also be taken into consideration when measuring the life of a solar system. There are two main types of chemicals used for solar energy systems: lead-acid and lithium iron phosphate. Lead-acid batteries can expect a much shorter lifespan than lithium batteries. Around 1500 charge cycles can be expected from a lead-acid battery and, in some cases, 3000 from high-end lead-acid batteries if they are properly maintained.

In contrast, most lithium battery companies have twice the lifespan of their lead-acid counterparts, which range from 6000 to 1000 charge cycles. The application in which batteries are used also largely dictates their lifespan. Intensive use and continuous deep discharge will shorten the life of your battery bank. The deep discharge of lead-acid batteries drastically reduces their lifespan because the recommended depth of discharge is only 50% compared to lithium batteries at 80%. The cost of solar panels has dropped 99% since 1977, making solar energy more accessible to many people.

If you decide to sell them, don't expect a good price as there is little demand for used solar equipment. The warranty duration shows the manufacturer's estimate of the life expectancy of a solar panel. In reality, it is sunlight that is essential for solar panels to function properly and produce sustainable energy. Next, we will answer the question of how long solar panels last as well as some of the factors that affect their lifespan and how you can make them last longer so you can get the most out of your money. A degradation rate of 0.5% per annum means that after a standard 25-year guaranteed service period your solar panel system will provide 87.5% of its original output. While quality solar panels are built to withstand strong winds, heavy snowfall and even inch-sized hail that drops at about 50 miles per hour, you still need to keep them clean at all times.

Recycling plants offer photovoltaic panel producers like First Solar a way to extract missing components from old solar panels for later reuse. As a solar installer he tried installing 39 conventional n-type solar panels in his own home and a similar set of SunPower panels in his neighbor's house to see how they would compare. One way to keep your solar system running at its best is by synchronizing roof maintenance with maintenance and replacement of solar panels. Solar panels are generally quite easy to maintain because they are designed to withstand weather events such as snowfall, hail and wind. Solar panels are also susceptible to water damage which could occur due to the seal that protects them from water degradation.

A strong wind can cause the entire structure to vibrate loosening the fasteners that hold different parts of your solar system together. To determine the projected production of your solar panels after a certain number of years you can simply multiply the rate of degradation by the number of years you're interested in and subtract that number from 100%. Your solar panel's performance guarantee which normally lasts 25 years can give you a better idea of how much electricity you can expect from your solar panel system over time.

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