Answering your burning question: How long do solar panels actually last?

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Installing solar panels on your home can help reduce your energy costs, increase the value of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint. But solar panels also come at a steep price point. And before making such a huge investment and buying solar panels, homeowners naturally want to understand how many years of use they’ll get from their solar panels.

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Below we’ll answer the question of how long solar panels last, as well as some of the factors that affect their lifespan and how you can make them last to get the most value.

How long do solar panels last?

To answer the question of how long solar panels last, we must first define degradation. According to National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the fall is “decrease in solar panel production over time”.

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Degradation is an important factor in how long you can expect your solar panels to last. NREL Data shows that the degradation rate of solar panels is about 0.5% per year. So after 20 years of use, a solar panel will be able to produce about 90% of the electricity it was when it was new.

Based on that information, solar panel manufacturers typically charge around . provide warranty of 25 years or more. And in the case of new or well-built systems, the panels can last up to 30 years.

Factors affecting the lifespan of solar panels

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There are many factors that can contribute to the productivity of a solar panel and can either increase or decrease its lifespan. Some of those factors include:

Quality

Like most things, the quality, material and type of solar panels you install will affect how well they work and how long they last. While lower-quality materials may be more affordable, they may also degrade more quickly.

Climate

Extreme weather can shorten the life of the solar panel. If you live in an area with cold temperatures, heavy rain, snow, and more, you may find that your solar panels wear out more quickly.

installation

The way your panels are installed — and the racking system on which they are installed — can affect their degradation rate.

Maintenance

Just like whatever price you buy, solar panels last a long time when maintained. Panels can degrade more quickly if they are dirty, have debris on them or do not undergo regular maintenance.

how to make solar panels last longer

As you can see, some factors causing solar panel failure are controllable, while others are not. Fortunately, there are lots of steps you can take to get the most out of your solar panels.

One of the best ways to make your solar panels last a long time is to work with a trusted provider. Firstly, a trusted provider will ensure that you get high-quality panels made from quality materials. Additionally, a good provider will ensure that the panels are installed correctly. Finally, a good solar provider will provide regular maintenance checks to make sure everything is working properly.

There are also things you can do yourself to make your solar panels last longer. For example, be sure to remove debris that may end up on solar panels from tree branches, snow, and more. Keeping your panels clean is one of the best ways to extend their lifespan.

When should you replace your solar panels?

Good solar panels can last 20 to 30 years, but there isn’t necessarily a date on which you should immediately replace yours. It is more important to focus on their productivity. If your solar panels are still in good condition and producing enough electricity, they may not need to be replaced. On the other hand, if you find that your electricity bill is going up because your solar panels are no longer working, it’s probably time to replace them.

Bottom-line

Solar panels can be a huge financial investment, especially when you need it Buy a large number of them for your home. Luckily, you’ll likely get decades of use out of them, during which time you’ll enjoy energy savings and other benefits.

More Solar and Home Energy Recommendations

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  • 4 Cheap Ways to Get Solar Power at Home ASAP
  • Solar Panels: Should You Buy or Rent?
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  • Solar Panels Vs Tesla Solar Roofs: Which One Is Right For You?

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