How long does a solar system last?

A high-quality solar power system can last a long time. The high-efficiency, premium-quality solar panels and inverters that are used by SUNation for residential solar system applications have a 10-25-year performance warranty, dependent on the particular system installed.

However, studies have shown panels continue to operate at reduced efficiency long after the warranty expires. Investing in solar energy is a long-term commitment. Though the up-front cost of solar may be sizable, the investment pays for itself over time through monthly energy savings and tax incentives.

Let’s Do the Math

Here’s a little math to show you how: solar panels suffer a 0.5% to 1% efficiency loss every year. At the end of a 25-year warranty, your panels should still produce energy at 75-87.5% of their rated output.

Ultimately, if your panels still output energy, there’s no real reason to replace them. Panels frequently produce energy long after their warranty expires. According to a 2012 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the average degradation rate for panels is between 0.5% to 0.8% per year.

How to Make Your Solar System Last

To make your solar system last longer, it is important to remember to replace the inverters and batteries when needed and account for efficiency loss. If your system output decreases or your energy usage grows, it’s possible to add capacity to your system, as long as the used and new parts are compatible.

Inverters converts the DC from the panels into AC for feeding into the home’s outlets and the grid, which is why they need to be serviced or replaced as often as needed. Keep in mind that the climate conditions in which you live can positively or negatively impact the lifespan of your solar panels.

Solar panels require very little maintenance to continue producing at optimal efficiency; however, keeping them clean can improve the module’s output. When you keep your solar panels free from debris—leaves, dirt, pollen, dust, bird droppings, fallen branches, and twigs—they will last much longer and are able to generate more solar energy. It’s also important to do routine maintenance checks on your solar system to make sure your it’s running smoothly and properly.

For example, systems installed in cold climates with extreme snow loads and high wind often degrade more quickly than in temperate climates. However, panels in intense desert climates often have the highest levels of degradation and may even produce less efficiently on extremely hot days. Solar systems are most effective when the temperature of the panels themselves ranges between 59- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit.

SUNation Solar Systems in Long Island is the local solar expert trusted by over 4,000 customers since 2003 for professionally installing the highest quality and most durable equipment. For more information on how to care for and maintain your SUNation solar system, contact us today.

The Sunation Blog

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