Solar panels usually only warrant for 25 year warranties, so obviously you could still expect them to last that much longer. But in fact, recent studies have demonstrated that solar panels still work at low efficiency after the initial warranty expires. Why do they keep on performing at that level, you may ask? Well, it turns out there’s still a lot more to know about this renewable energy source than meets the eye. Let’s do some math: solar power systems usually suffer a nearly 0.5 percent to 1 percent efficiency loss per year, on an annual basis.
That means if you buy a brand new solar panel, the actual cost of powering your home each month is less than one-fifth of one year’s total power consumption! This is enough to say that most households would be able to save money by switching to solar energy. But just how long do solar panels last? Here are some cost saving solar energy tips you should keep in mind.
First, let’s talk about how long do solar energy systems last when in peak construction. There are many factors that go into determining the actual lifetime of a solar energy system. The biggest is the quality of the materials used in the construction, and the efficiency of the individual components. The more efficient they are, the less they’ll degrade over time. There are several factors that go into determining how long do solar panels last, including the amount of sunlight the panels receive each day, their overall efficiency, the number and quality of individual components, and the impact of temperature and weather on their overall efficiency.
Next, let’s take a look at how long do solar panels last in peak construction. Most manufacturers offer standard warranties for five years or so, but the actual timeframe may vary from company to company. However, even if a manufacturer offers a standard warranty, the actual warranty coverage can vary greatly. For example, while some companies guarantee at least a one year lifespan, others may not even offer a warranty at all! So shop around to find the best deal for you, and keep in mind that there are often “fringe” warranties available from individual manufacturers that are not standard, which can extend the lifespan of your equipment by as much as 25 years or more.
Now let’s take a look at some real easy-to-follow tips on how long do solar panels last. First, make sure you keep the panels clean! Dust and dirt tend to get into solar cells and reduce their efficiency dramatically. You should clean them regularly, especially if you live in an area that has dusty air and snow, or a climate where temperature extremes can cause excessive damage to sensitive solar cells.
Next, another important tip is to avoid exposing your solar panels to extreme temperatures. A common cause of damage is overheating, which can cause your solar panel to degrade quickly. If your panels are exposed to extreme heat, they will often begin to lose efficiency right away, and will not last very long in good condition. You should protect your panels from over-heating by placing them somewhere safe (away from windows and doors, for example), and by keeping the racking well-maintained.
Finally, one very important step: don’t skip the training! It doesn’t cost very much to pay for professional installation services, and if you’re going to be relying on your own do-it-yourself knowledge for the next several years, the best way to learn everything you need to know is to contact an installer and get some help. Ask the installer how long-term warranties are offered, and find out what sort of support is available should you encounter any trouble or complications as you work. It might also be worth purchasing a few different manuals, since you’re sure to run into situations that require some specific information.
The truth is that, while a warranty is very important for preventing costly damage to your solar panels, there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent damage of all kinds once they have already been installed. Photovoltaic panels can experience heat, dust, and wind damage just like conventional solar panels, and all of these factors can degrade the efficiency of your system. However, a warranty won’t usually cover damage that is caused by weather, so it is typically better to buy an inexpensive solar panel warranty instead. Remember that a solar panel is not a glorified drywall wall. Proper installation, care, and protection are the most important factors in preventing permanent damage to your investment, and you can’t count on your inverter to give you years of trouble-free usage.