How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

When you are looking for a great way to reduce your monthly expenses and reduce your carbon footprint, solar energy should be at the top of your list. They are a great way to implement reusable energy in your home or business. However, the initial investment into solar panels can be costly, especially if you are planning a large system. You want to make a wise investment, so how long can you expect your solar panels to truly last?


If you have been wondering about the longevity of your investment, you’re in the right spot. We’ll take a look at how long solar panels last and what you can do to extend their lifespan for your home or business. 

Degradation of Solar Panels 


Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to expect that your solar panels will last forever. Like any type of technology, it will slowly lose its power over time in a process known as degradation. It will happen relatively slowly, and you may not even notice this taking place for many years or even decades. 


Degradation refers to the way your solar panels will lose their ability to absorb the sun. This process can be affected by a number of factors, including changes in climate, heavy soiling of the panels, or improper installation. The quality of the technology you purchase also plays a role in this rate of degradation. 


Quality technology with a top-notch installation will have a lower degradation rate and will last longer.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last? 


Now that you know what impacts the lifespan of a solar panel, it’s important to examine just how long you can expect your system to last. This will help you figure out what the annual cost of maintaining your solar panels will be and will guide you through the decision-making process as you consider every aspect of solar systems. 


According to the research, the average solar panel will lose roughly 0.8 percent of its output annually. This means that your solar panels function at 100 percent capacity during the first year they are installed on your home and business. As the next year comes, the standard degradation rate means that each panel will only have 99.2 percent capacity. As you can see, this means that your panels will last a long time. 


When you purchase advanced technology, you might be able to reduce this rate to around 0.3 percent degradation annually. It might be worth a more expensive initial investment if you don’t want to have to worry about replacing your panels in the years to come. 


With degradation rates this low, you can rest assured that your solar panels will last for a long time. Most homeowners and business owners who utilize this renewable energy source report that they have seen their panels last for 30 years or more. Choosing quality solar panels from the very beginning is essential to seeing these types of favourable outcomes.


You also need to be mindful of how you’re caring for your solar panels to keep them in top shape. Protecting them from harsh weather conditions and making sure they are properly installed will all affect how long your system will last. 

Protecting Your Solar Panels


One of the best ways to ensure that your solar panels will last for decades is to make a wise investment initially. Beyond just choosing more advanced technology, you also need to consider the environmental factors that influence their power. A successful solar system relies on several different aspects of installation: 


First, weather can play a major role in the longevity of your system. Extreme changes in climate from season to season can make it more difficult for solar panels to do their job efficiently. Extreme weather can cause damage to your solar panels. 


Tree limbs may fall on your panels in a heavy storm, leading to damage to the glass. Hail can produce similar results if the stones are large enough. If you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall, it could spell disaster for your system. The weight of the snow on your panels can lead to a loss of structural integrity and more degradation. 


A quality installation is also essential if you want your solar panels to last for a long time. It takes the knowledge and care of an expert to wire and hook up your new solar system properly. They must understand just how the system functions to give your building the right amount of solar energy. 


A good install should also take into account the condition of the roof before starting work. If you have any spots that are worn, damaged, or leaking, you might experience major problems that affect your solar system in the months and years ahead. 

Do You Have To Replace Panels Every 30 Years? 


Even if you take every precaution necessary to protect your new solar system from the elements and ensure that you get a quality installation, you might be wondering what a 30-year lifespan will mean for your system. The truth is that you don’t necessarily have to replace your solar panels in 30 years, though you could if you wanted to. 


At this milestone, most homeowners simply find that their solar panels have decreased in the amount of electricity that they can produce. They will still deliver some power to your home, but they may not be as efficient as they were when you first installed them. 


Most of the time, your solar panels are constructed of extremely durable materials that make it unlikely that they will be damaged by normal weather conditions over the years. As long as your roof remains in excellent shape through the decades, you may not find the need to replace these panels every three decades. 


They simply may not produce as much energy as you are accustomed to as they age. Decide whether they are producing enough to power your home before you start to calculate the cost of replacing the panels. 

Look for the Warranty


If you want to put your mind at ease about how long your solar system will last, you can look at the warranty on the solar panels you are expecting to purchase. Based on a comprehensive look at the warranty, you might be able to ascertain how long the manufacturer projects that these panels will last. 


Make sure you are looking at every aspect of the warranty when it comes to determining the life of your panels. You want to have an equipment warranty as well as a performance warranty.  Be wary if your solar panels don’t offer both of these types of warranties.


A performance warranty guarantees that your panels will produce a set amount of electricity for a given period of time. On the other hand, your equipment warranty ensures that your panels will be free of manufacturing defects. Both are important components when considering which types of panels are the right fit for your home, but the performance warranty is a better indicator of lifespan. 

Installing a Great Solar System


Purchasing your solar panels so that you can run your home or business on renewable energy resources means making a hefty investment in your building. You want to make sure that you are getting panels that are going to last you for decades. If you want solar panels in Winnipeg, you should contact the experts at Powertec Solar. 


We can help you select the panels that will last you for decades to come, and our experienced technicians will ensure you get a quality install. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you power your home from the sun!