How long do solar panels last?
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you are preparing to go solar for life, or even when supplementing your traditional power source with something greener, sustainable, and most importantly independent. You need to think about the best place to put them, the cost of investment, connecting your system to the power grid, and just how big of a system you’re going to wind up needing. Part of the answer to ‘How long do solar panels last?’ is taking a few steps to making sure they’re kept up.
Improve the lifespan of your solar energy system by:
- Cleaning your panels regularly
- Having regular maintenance performed
Cleaning your panels can improve lifespan and efficiency
How long do solar panels last? Part of the answer to this question centers on how well you take care of your equipment. In the most basic concept, a layer of dust gathered on your panels can have a seriously negative impact on how well that equipment performs. Even a thin layer of dust will cause the incoming electricity to be deflected or absorbed by that dust, reducing your energy output by as much as 40% with even a thin coating. The more dust on the panel, the worse it’s going to get. There are other problems that can occur as well, which will make you want to take care with how you clean those panels. The lifespan of solar panels can be improved by handing them with extra care when cleaning. Dust is abrasive and can scratch up the surface of the glass on your panels. The scratches will also serve to deflect and scatter the incoming sun, and that in turn will result in less light getting to your cells.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping the juice flowing
How long do solar panels last? Just like any other equipment, specialized equipment built on the back of sophisticated technology, regular maintenance is essential to keeping it in peak condition. The basic panel can best be tended to with simple cleaning as mentioned above, but there are a couple of other components that need to be looked into. The Inverter is what transfers power from DC to AC, and makes it usable by most traditional power systems, including our homes and the power grid. If the inverter isn’t performing at peak efficiency, you’re going to start seeing a drop off in how much power makes it through the system.
The next piece to take a look at is your solar energy tracker, the device that tracks the sun across the sky and adjusts your solar panels facing to make sure it’s taking in the most amount of sunshine. This device makes certain that your panels are working at peak efficiency, bringing you the maximum amount of solar energy possible. If this unit breaks down, you’ll start seeing a drop off in the amount of solar energy you get throughout the day. A sure sign of this is if you’re seeing a decline during specific portions of the day, with a spike during others. Chances are, you are seeing the time when the sun is hitting the solar panels straight on.
How long do solar panels last? With time and maintenance you’ll be looking at a lifespan of well over 25 years. During the first year you’re going to see a decline of about 3%, with .5% every year thereafter. The 25-year warranty most solar panels come with is there because that’s the point they drop below 80% efficiency, as a rule. But with the tips mentioned above, you can make sure your solar energy systems last for years to come.