People who have had solar panels installed often cite their eco-friendliness as the biggest draw. The thing is, they can also save you a ton of money in the long run! However, many also think that there’s no way their solar panels can last long enough for the savings to be significant. That just isn’t true!
Life Expectancy of Solar Panels
The average solar panel setup comes with a warranty of 20-30 years. That’s a lot more than your average household appliance! Don’t think that the warranty means how long your panels will work, though. They’ll still continue to produce energy long after that has expired, albeit at a lower level.
Most solar panels lose, on average, just 0.5% efficiency each year. Even after 30 years, a solar panel setup should be operating at about 85% efficiency compared to when it was new. In fact, long before the panels give out, it’s the inverter that will need to be replaced.
The inverter is what converts solar energy into usable energy to power a home. They typically come with shorter warranties and rather than simply losing efficiency over the years, they just give out.
Durability of Solar Panels
One of the best parts of investing in solar panels is that they are very durable. They are designed specifically to withstand elements and many have a strong layer of laminate, specially tempered glass or acrylic to protect the more easily-damaged solar cells encased within. In addition, they are subjected to a battery of rigorous tests to ensure they can survive some of the more common threats to their longevity.
Though they are made to deal with extreme weather and have built-in temperature controls, to prolong the life of solar panels some precaution is necessary. While a typical setup can withstand a falling tree branch or strong winds, unwanted disasters can be prevented by proper placement. This can help with the lifespan of solar panels, as well as offer maximum energy efficiency.
For those who worry about their solar panels being damaged in any way, it’s a great idea to insure them under their homeowner’s insurance.
Making Solar Panels Last
In order to get the full 30 years (or more) out of a solar panel setup, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. Upkeep isn’t difficult and most of the time simply involves clearing away fallen leaves.
In order to gain the most energy efficiency out of solar panels, it’s recommended to either install them away from any trees, or trim back branches every so often so they don’t cast unwanted shade. Other than that, just check them once a season for any dirt or detritus that may be blocking their access to the sun.
Once a homeowner has taken the plunge into solar power, it becomes a decades-long commitment to not just being more eco-friendly, but enjoying high outputs of power for a much lower price. One of the best things about investing in a solar panel setup is that it lasts for decades. If shown the proper care and upkeep, a typical panel will keep producing energy for even longer than the warranty states!