As the UK’s quickest growing and increasingly popular alternative energy source, solar panels are the smart choice in an affordable, renewable energy resource designed to save you money on utility bills at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint. but, how long can solar panels last?
As the phenomenon of switching to a green energy resource is still pretty fresh out of the gate, naturally a lot of people still question the switch to solar panels – from how long they can last to the overall solar panel costs involved.
Everyone wants to know that they are going to get a return on their investments, and solar panels are not exempt from that way of thinking. In questioning the lifespan, as well as the process of keeping them operating at maximum ability, here are some insights to fill in the blanks on those questions.
The Average Lifespan
How long can solar panels last? Based on studies conducted on solar panels, the typical lifespan is around 25-30 years. When you consider that a household boiler life expectancy is typically under half of that amount, it is pretty good indeed.
Within solar PV systems, solar panels usually have the longest warranty as a component – because manufacturers consider degradation. Therefore, an average limited power warranty on solar panels is typically 25 years – guaranteeing the performance level over the lifespan.
90 per cent power output over the first 10 years stands within that guarantee, with an 80 per cent power output over the entire 25 years. That does not mean that 25 years from now your output will radically drop. Most systems remain 80 per cent efficient past their lifespan.
After the Lifespan
As we just mentioned, solar panels don’t simply shut down or fail as soon as their 25-year lifespan comes to an end.
Electricity will continue to be produced following but it will be at a lower rate due to the panel degradation. Many brands of solar panels have continued to operate past 30 years, with some models reaching 40-50 years of function – outlasting the warranties that covered them for half of their extended lifespan.
When you hear a lifespan of 25-30 years, what you are hearing is that they perform at their best for that term. It is just the guarantee that is no longer in play after this duration.
Why Do They Degrade?
Long term exposure to UV rays and adverse weather conditions are the main reasons why solar panels degrade over time, with high temperatures and warmer climates increasing degradation rates.
Extreme cold weather and hurricane type winds are also something that affects solar panel performance, but both are not a typical UK weather threat.
Domestic and commercial solar panels outlast many other energy alternatives and are a cost-effective solution to reducing both energy reliance and carbon emissions. Contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today.