Most panels are warranted to be producing a MINIMUM of 80% of their original power in 25 years.
The panel is not going to to turn off at the 25 year mark. Many factors affect solar panel longevity. Many of the early solar panels made back in the 1970s are still running at 80% of their original power capacity. After 40 years, they are producing power well past their predicted useful life, these old panels are still operating efficiently.
The regular warranty for most photovoltaic solar panels is 25 -30 years. Here is how the manufacturers come up with this number: They calculate a loss of efficiency of .8% for every year. At this rate of degradation, after 25 years, the panels will be operating at 80% of their original efficiency. Solar panels should meet a minimum 80% efficiency standard, in order to be effective. Therefore 25 years is the time predicted for these panels to degrade below an 80% efficiency rate.
The Good News, there are crystalline panels that have been running for over 40 years.
What can you do to increase your solar panel longevity?
Solar panels don’t require heavy maintenance. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep them functioning at full capacity for a longer period of time than usual.
- Pick a manufacturer with a good reputation. For the most part, solar panels are encapsulated in low iron tempered glass and unaffected by the environment. The semiconductor material is isolated from the corrosive atmosphere. If a manufacturer uses sub-standard materials to encapsulate the metal and conductive materials, the panel will degrade.
- Make sure they have full access to light. Remove any tree limbs or other plant growth that block sunlight. Any shade will have a negative impact on a solar panel’s efficiency – but not just because of blocked photons. The shaded area will be a high-resistance“hotspot”, even, to some degree, with diodes installed. These hotspots can accelerate degradation of the module over time and lead to premature failure.
- Be sure to keep your solar panels clean. This is doubly true in areas with lots of wind. Keep your panels free of dust, dirt, sand and pollen. In more polluted cities, don’t let smog settle on the panels. In winter, keep snow and frost off the panels when possible.
At Sun City Solar, we find you the “Best Panel at the Best Price”. Give us a call.