Solar panels are extremely durable, lasting an average of 25 – 30 years.

Homeowners and businesses around the country are getting more interested in making their lifestyle more sustainable. Going solar is the best way to transition to clean, sustainable energy while also dramatically reducing your monthly utility bills — or even eliminating them entirely! 

In order to get the most life from your solar panel installation, it’s important to understand the average lifespan of solar panels and determine whether a solar power system is worth the investment for your home or business.  

Here we’ll discuss how you can extend the life of your solar panel system, specific maintenance required, why degradation may occur, and other factors that affect solar panel lifespan or may limit their efficiency and performance.

​​WHY DO SOLAR PANELS DEGRADE?

Solar panels may degrade faster than predicted for several reasons. 

Crystalline silicon panels may experience a higher rate of degradation when solar panels are exposed to extreme changes in climate, experience heavy soiling, or are improperly installed. The superiority of the technology that different manufacturers use can play a role as well.

WHAT IS A SOLAR PANEL DEGRADATION RATE?

Solar panel systems will show a reduced ability to absorb sunlight and convert it into solar energy over their lifetime. However, it takes many years for this slow loss of efficiency to occur. Factors that cause this include hot weather as well as the natural reduction in chemical potency of the panels, also known as the “degradation rate.”

A solar panel with a lower degradation rate will produce more energy over its lifetime. Essentially, the lower the degradation rate, the better the solar panel. Solar panel degradation rates depend on the brand as well. As you’d expect, higher-quality panels will have a lower degradation rate than lower-quality panels. 

The average solar panel loses 0.8% of its output each year according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study. However, premium manufacturers offer panels with degradation rates as low as 0.3%, meaning their panels will last much longer compared to the majority of other manufacturers. This makes degradation rate a vital aspect to consider when comparing solar panels during your pre-purchase research process.

WEATHER

Weather also plays a significant role in the longevity of solar panels. 

A strong windstorm can cause tree branches to fall and possibly damage the anti-reflective glass coating that covers the solar panels. Heavy snowfall can cause panels to lose their structural integrity and accelerate degradation, and large hailstones can damage the glass. 

However, most manufacturers test and certify their panels to withstand storms and other inclement weather conditions.

INSTALLATION ISSUES

Solar panels are typically not prone to defects because they’re built for durability. However, you should take especially careful precautions when first connecting and installing panels. Solar engineers will need to take into account the connection system as well as the condition of a roof when arranging solar panel arrays. 

An old, damaged, or leaky roof could cause serious problems later on if an installer doesn’t correctly assess any issues. Make sure to do your research and find a trusted installer before doing any work on your home or business.

Prime Solar Energy Is Here To Help!

As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, but just know Prime Energy Solar will be here to help guide you thru the process. So the next time you are search solar company near me or solar panels near me, click on the local leader of Solar Polar Installation, click on Prime Energy Solar.