Posted on: January 7, 2022 Posted by: Jerry D. Pfeil Comments: 0

Twenty-five years or longer This is the industry standard warranty for Tier 1 manufacturers. Solar panels can last a lot longer than this. The warranty usually guarantees that panels will work at 80% of their efficiency after 25 years. NREL’s study shows that most panels still produce energy even after 25 years. However, the output is slightly lower.

Solar energy investment is a long-term investment. Although the initial cost of solar energy can be high, it is worth it in the long term. You will also enjoy tax incentives and monthly savings on your electricity bill.

Solar energy investment is a long-term investment. Although the initial cost of solar energy can be high, it is worth it in the long term. You will also enjoy tax incentives and monthly savings on your electricity bill.

If you are trying to determine the lifetime value of your investment, the first question we get is, “How long do solar panels last?”

Panels come with a warranty of 25 years, so they should last at least that long. However, panels can still operate at a reduced efficiency even after their warranty ends. Studies have shown this.

Let’s look at the numbers: Solar panels experience a 0.5% to 1.1% efficiency drop every year. Your panels should still produce energy at 75-87.5% after a 25-year warranty.

Standard Solar Panel Warranty

A typical warranty on solar panels is 25-years. Manufacturers guarantee that panels will work at peak efficiency for the duration of this warranty. Panels are guaranteed to produce at or near 80% of the rated output for the warranty duration.

A 300-watt panel, for example, should produce at most 240 watts (80%) during a 25-year warranty.

Although some companies may offer 30-year warranties or claim 85% efficiency, these are rare. Standard is 25 years with 80% efficiency.

A separate artistry warranty covers any manufacturing defects, such as a defective junction box or frame. The standard artistry warranty lasts for 10 years. However, some manufacturers offer a 20-year warranty.

How Long do solar panels last?

What happens when the 25-year mark has passed? Panels that produce at 80% efficiency are still viable.

There are no tricks here. The answer is yes. There’s no reason to replace panels that still produce energy.

Panels can produce energy even after the warranty has expired. According to a 2012 study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, panels have an average degrading rate of 0.5% to 0.8% each year.

78% of the systems tested showed a decrease rate of less than 1% each year. This means that approximately 4 out 5 solar panels continue to operate at 75% efficiency after 25 years.

It’s reasonable to assume that your solar panels will continue to produce energy even after the warranty expires. This panel, which is 30 years old, can be seen in Green Building Advisor. It performed well beyond the factory specifications when the owner took off the roof.

This is what it means for your ROI

If your primary concern is ensuring a positive return on investment (ROI), this is good news.

Calculators that calculate solar savings online assume a 25 year warranty period. Additional mileage from your panels can be a bonus.

Panels can be replaced without notice, but we cannot guarantee that they will last beyond the warranty period. In reality, panels continue to produce at a lower capacity even after they have outlived their warranty. Solar panels are extremely reliable because they don’t have moving parts.

Your ROI will be much greater than the estimate you get from any online calculators, even ours if your solar system is fully paid off and your panels continue to produce.

Do you want your panels to last the longest? It takes little to keep your system running smoothly.

How to extend the life of your system

Solar panels will be the most durable part of your solar system. To keep your system running smoothly, you’ll need to replace or maintain inverters and batteries.

Your panels have a shorter life expectancy than inverters, so they will need to be replaced no matter what system you have. You will need to replace your battery backup if you are off-grid.

It is important to inspect your system before installation to protect your investment. Make sure your wiring and panels are secured by inspecting the racking. Substandard installation and physical damage are the biggest threats to your panels’ life expectancy.

Replace Inverters After 10 Years

Grid-tie inverters typically come with a 10-year warranty. Many manufacturers offer the option of extending their warranty to 20-25 years.

Inverters have a warranty extension that can be extended. This is a smart investment. You can be sure that you will replace your inverter at the very least once your warranty expires. Your inverter will most likely fail 15 years from now and be replaced by a better, more powerful model.

Ask the manufacturer of your inverter about extended warranties and policies. Extended warranties can be purchased directly from the manufacturer. SMA and SolarEdge both offer inverter warranties extensions at a modest price.

The warranties for off-grid inverters are shorter. These warranties range from 1-5 years to a limited number of models, with extended warranties up to 10 years.

Pay attention to the small details when you buy an extended warranty. Some cover the cost for parts but not labour.

If you plan to replace the inverter yourself, this might not be a problem. If you have to hire a contractor to replace your inverter, you might end up paying more.

Keep and replace batteries.

Maintenance and replacement of batteries is one major expense associated with off-grid systems. Even low-maintenance battery types like sealed lead-acid and lithium batteries need to be checked twice a year.

Most batteries have a warranty between 3 and 10 years, depending on which brand they are. If you don’t take care of your batteries, they may fail in the first year.

Lead-acid batteries, for example, must be fully charged after use. They will become permanently damaged if left unattended for long periods.

High-quality off-grid deep cycle batteries can last for between 5-15 years, depending on their type and how they’re used. Your batteries can be extended by properly caring for them and ensuring that they are correctly installed.

It is the best thing to do when designing your system from scratch. To ensure everything works properly, you must account for the correct battery capacity, solar power and inverter output.

Account For Efficiency Loss

The main point is that it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace solar panels before the warranty expires. Solar panels are more durable than other components of the system.

Your system may not meet your energy requirements due to efficiency losses. It is possible to increase your system’s capacity if your system output decreases or your energy consumption grows, provided that the old and new parts work together. You can find more information in our guide to increasing your solar energy system.

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