A new solar project was installed every 60 seconds in the United States last year, highlighting the immense popularity of solar energy. It is expected that 13% of US homes will have a solar panel system by the end of the decade. Two of the main benefits of switching to solar include cost savings on energy bills and supporting the environment.
If you are planning to install solar panels on your residential property, it’s important to understand the average lifespan of a system. In this blog post, we will ask how long do solar panels last? We will also share helpful tips to extend solar panel lifespan. Let’s get started.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels can effectively absorb sunlight and convert it into solar energy for 40 to 50 years with proper maintenance and care. Over times, solar panels will lose this ability due to a number of different factors, which is collectively known as the degradation rate.
There are 3 main classes of solar panels (Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3) and each has a different degradation rate. The highest quality solar panels (Tier 1) have the lowest annual degradation rate and will effectively generate electricity for longer than the other 2 tiers. Let’s look at the annual degradation rate and the 25-year rate for each of the 3 tiers:
- Tier 1 – 0.30% per year (6.96% after 25 years)
- Tier 2 – 0.50% per year (11.33% after 25 years)
- Tier 3 – 0.80% per year (17.53% after 25 years)
Even after 25 years, Tier 1 panels will retain 93.04% of their original output. Tier 2 and Tier 2 will have 88.67% and 82.47% of their original output after 25 years, respectively.
Tips to Maintain Your Solar Panels
Solar panels have few moving parts and are highly durable. One element of the system, the inverter, will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. The inverter works by converting DC electricity into AC electricity.
If you do notice any signs of visible damage to your solar panels or notice that your energy bills have unexpectedly risen, it’s important to schedule an inspection from a trusted solar repair company. Depending on your warranty, the cost of any repairs may be covered.
It is recommended that you clean your solar panels between 2 and 4 times per year. To do so, simply use a garden hose or a leaf blower to clean your panels and ensure that they are free of any debris.
If you are interested in solar panel installation on your property, it’s also helpful to understand the upfront costs. Click here to learn more about solar tax credit and incentives, which can help to reduce the upfront cost of switching to solar energy.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last On a House?
The bottom line is that, even after 25 years, your solar panels should be effectively able to generate electricity for your home. The specific will depend on the type of solar panel system your install.
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