Do solar panels have a limited lifespan?

The industry standard lifespan is approximately 25 to 30 years, which means that some panels installed at the end of the current boom will soon be removed. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or photovoltaic panels, are built to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still operating at the 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 manufacturers support their products with performance guarantees in their warranties, 1. The average solar panel loses 0.8% of its production each year according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). However, premium manufacturers such as SunPower offer panels with degradation rates as low as 0.3%, which means their panels will last much longer compared to most other manufacturers. 

While they are built to be durable and withstand various environmental conditions, their efficiency gradually declines over time. This is an important consideration for homeowners, especially in areas known for specific environmental challenges, such as those frequently requiring roofing in Durham. In such locales, solar panels may be subjected to more intense weather conditions, which could potentially accelerate wear and tear.

This makes the degradation rate a vital aspect to consider when comparing solar panels during the pre-purchase research process. You can count on most photovoltaic solar panels to last 25 years before they start to degrade noticeably. Most solar panel companies offer a standard 25-year warranty for the expected lifespan 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.

Good solar panels can last between 20 and 30 years, but there isn't necessarily a date when you should immediately replace yours. It's more important to pay attention to your productivity. If your solar panels are still in good condition and produce enough electricity, they may not need to be replaced. On the other hand, if you find that your electricity bill is going up because your solar panels no longer work, then it's probably time to replace them.

According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), manufacturers of premium modern solar panels, such as Panasonic and LG, offer panels with degradation rates as low as 0.30% per year. Crystalline silicon panels can experience a higher rate of degradation when solar panels are exposed to extreme changes in the weather, suffer a lot of dirt, or are incorrectly installed. Normally, the solar inverter will need to be replaced for the life of your solar system because it works so hard as the tool that converts DC electricity to AC electricity for your home to use. This is important to keep in mind when doing a solar panel comparison, as it might make more sense in the long run to spend more money on higher quality panels.

Power generation from solar panels is directly related to the amount of sunlight (UV rays) falling on the panel. To maintain the efficiency of solar panels over time, it is essential to perform regular checks and maintenance on your system, as the overall maintenance and repair history can affect the expected lifespan of solar panels. The best way to ensure your solar panels last a long time is to have your installer or operations and maintenance provider (O&M) regularly inspect your solar energy system. While your solar panels typically last 25 years or more, that doesn't mean your system will be trouble-free for all that time.

Solar panel degradation rate measures the slow and continuous damage your panels will suffer over their lifetime, due to factors such as age, weather, and service history. As with most things, the quality, materials, and type of solar panels you install will affect how they work and how long they last. When it comes to shelving, it's always essential to ensure that the panels are securely mounted to the ceiling so that they don't loosen and move or fall out completely. While solar panels generally require little maintenance, it's still important to inspect your solar panels from time to time and monitor their performance.

In fact, sunlight is crucial for solar panels to work properly and produce sustainable energy. As you can see, some of the factors that lead to solar panel degradation are controllable, while others are not. However, keeping your solar panel system in good condition can lead to a lower degradation rate each year and can promise longer panel performance.