How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

solar panels on house

Solar panels are a long term investment, so it’s normal to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether or not they are worth it. One of the first questions many curious homeowners ask when they come to Solartime USA is how long will their new solar panels last. Will they last 2,5, 10 or even 15 to 20 years? That last estimate would get you excited, right? That would certainly make your investment well worth it. So how long do solar panels last? Below, we’ll delve into the lifespan of solar panels and how they degrade over time.

Average Lifetime of Solar Panels

We have fantastic news for you! Most solar panels have a 25-year warranty and, even better than that, 4 out of 5 panels are known to last well past their 25-year warranty. The long lifespan of solar panels makes investing in them here in North Texas even more attractive. In fact, there are not many other add-ons or appliances for your home as durable as solar panels. While there are a few solar panels that carry only a 10 or 15 year warranty, even those are likely to last well past the warranty end date and you always have the option to choose one of the many solar panels that do have the 25 year warranty. 

Solar Panel Degradation Rate

There is such a thing as a degradation rate for solar panels, which just means that as time goes on, your solar panels start to produce less energy. However, this should not happen before their warranty ends. Even then, it’s important to realize that, according to a study done by the National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, the average solar panel energy output only falls by about .8% each year.

Standard Solar Panel Warranties

The standard warranty period for solar panels is 25 years and, during this time, the manufacturer guarantees that the solar panels will work at peak efficiency. The warranties that are attached to solar panels give buyers an expectancy of their solar panel lifespan based on how much it is expected to degrade each year. So, in essence, the warranty attached to a solar panel matches its life expectancy. 

What Types of Solar Panels Last the Longest?

Of course, as with so many products you purchase, quality makes a big difference. High-quality equipment solar panels can make a huge difference in the performance and longevity of your solar panels. 

Here are some of the solar panels that are known to be high quality:

  • SunPower                             
  • Q CELLS
  • Canadian Solar
  • JinkoSolar
  • Trina Solar
  • REC Solar
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • Silfab

Out of these solar panels, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic make the best solar panels in 2020 due to their high efficiency, competitive pricing, and the great 25-year warranty offered by each brand. These companies’ solar panels provide durability and reliability with premium protection and fair prices, making them the brands with the best solar panels available.

How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer

There are no moving parts involved in operating your solar system, which means there is nothing that will break down from wear and tear. The likelihood of your solar panels getting damaged by hail or other storms is slim to none, however,  solar panels do deteriorate slightly over time. Though they do experience some deterioration over time, our panels will continue to function very well and you most likely won’t even notice the slight decrease in production. But is there something you can do to make sure your solar panels last longer?

Have Solar Provider Come for Regular Checks

Just like you take your car in to get the oil changed in regular intervals, it’s a great idea to have your solar panel installer come on a routine schedule to check up on your solar system. Our experts here at Solartime USA perform an inspection of all connections between the main service and inverter as well as all connections between the solar panels and inverter. We also clean the inverter and perform an analysis of systems compliance with current building and fire code. A routine checkup like this can ensure that your solar system is running at peak performance.

Replace Central Inverters After 10 Years

It is important to point out that while your solar panels have a 25 year warranty and are expected to last well past that time, the average inverter warranty given to homeowners is about 10 years. The average inverter lasts 10-15 years which means you may have to replace your inverter at least once before your solar panel warranty ends. So you may want to consider investing in a warranty extension for your inverter. Another option is to invest in a micro inverter. A micro inverter is a new alternative to the common central inverters and they have a lifespan of about 25 years, which lines up with the lifespan of your solar panels. 

Keep Solar Panels Free from Debris and Other Materials

Some simple maintenance you can perform yourself is keeping your solar panels free from debris and other materials. When you first install your solar panels, your installer should be sure not to put your solar panels under large trees that cast shade or drop branches on top of the panels, so this shouldn’t be a huge concern in the beginning. There are some homeowners who also invest in solar panel critter guards to keep animals from damaging the panels.

Ready to Go Solar? We’re Here to Help!

Our solar consultants here at Solartime USA are specialists in their field. We have the expertise to offer you solar panels that we know will last the course of their warranty and beyond and the experience to back up our choices for you. Solartime USA has been a Dallas solar company for a little over four years, however, our parent company has been in the business of installing solar panels in Europe for well over 12 years. In that time we have helped over 21,000 families and businesses to go solar. 

Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 to schedule a free consultation and get a free quote or fill out the online contact form. We are happy to meet with you however you feel comfortable. We can meet virtually via Facetime or Zoom, we can meet over the phone, or we can even meet in your front yard to stay safe.