Solar panels are made to last for more than 25 years. Most solar panel companies will provide a 25-year warranty for the expected life expectancy. The longevity of solar panels also continues to increase as technology advances. After 25 years your solar panels won’t necessarily need to be replaced. However, their ability to absorb sunlight will be reduced. Their energy production will decrease by what solar panel manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average American family’s energy needs.
Solar Panels Degrading Over Time
It works the same as other technologies. Just like a cell phone or computer, they will naturally produce less energy over time. This process of reduced power output is called the degradation rate. The median solar panel degradation rate is about 0.5%. A solar panel’s energy production will decrease at a rate of 0.5% a year. Therefore, after 20 years, your panels should still be working at about 90% of their original output.
Tips to Make Solar Panels Last
Overall, solar panels require very little maintenance after installation. If your area is susceptible to dust, dirt, pollen, or sand it may be necessary to regularly clean your panels. It is important to make sure you are mindful of checking your panels from time to time and monitor their performance.
Tip #1: Keep Your Panels Clear of Debris and Other Damaging Materials
An accumulation of dirt, pollen, leaves, and bird droppings can affect your solar panels’ efficiency. While rain may be generally sufficient for cleaning your panels, you may want to consider professional cleaning if the panels aren’t working at their full capacity.
Make sure your panels aren’t under branches, the shade could reduce output but the branches could also potentially fall in a storm and cause serious damage. Make sure to keep the trees around your house trimmed to avoid damaging the solar panels.
In case your panels are obstructed or damaged by any of these elements and you don’t have the proper training or equipment to take further action, immediately contact your provider to receive assistance.
Tip #2: Keep Your Panels Regularly Monitored and Maintained
Getting routine checks will help keep your solar system’s panel performance, meters, inverter, and other parts running at their maximum efficiency. Keep an eye out on your electric bills and energy usage and make note of any changes.
If your solar panels are underperforming after rainfall, being hosed down with water, or an unusual spike in your utility bill, there may be an electrical problem that needs to be addressed by a professional.
Tip #3: Team Up With a Trustworthy Solar Provider
The best thing you can do to ensure your solar system’s longevity is to find a reputable solar installer.
Do you believe your house qualifies for the installation of solar panels? Would you like to schedule a home efficiency audit to make sure that your house is a true friend to our planet? Reach out to us today!