If you are looking to reduce your household’s energy bills while playing your part in protecting the environment, solar panels are highly recommended.
More than 3.4 million solar energy systems have been installed in the United States, totaling more than 126 gigawatts. Over the coming years, a further 300 gigawatts are expected to be installed across the country.
One of the main benefits of solar panels is their long lifespan. In this blog post, we will look at how long do solar panels last and the factors that determine longevity. If you are planning to make the switch to solar energy, keep reading for must-know information.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Today, most solar panel providers offer a standard 25-year warranty, covering the expected lifespan of a solar system. It should be noted that solar panels do not necessarily need replacing at this point, though their ability to absorb sunlight will be reduced which can stop your thermostats from running.
With proper care and maintenance, good quality solar panels can absorb sunlight and convert it into solar energy for upwards of 40 to 50 years. An important factor in determining solar panel lifespan is the specific degradation rate, which will we discuss in greater detail below.
Determining the Solar Panel Degradation Rate
The degradation rate for solar panels refers to the reduction in output over time. Solar panels that have a lower annual degradation rate will produce more energy over their lifetime and have a longer lifespan.
To give you a better understanding of the degradation rate, let’s take a look at the 3 main types of solar panels: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 panels. The annual degradation rates for these solar panels are:
- Tier 1: 0.30%
- Tier 2: 0.50%
- Tier 3: 0.80%
Tier 1 solar panels are the highest quality panels; after 25 years, they will lose just 6.96% of their original output. Tier 2 solar panels will lose 11.33% of their original output after 25 years, while Tier 3 solar panels lose 17.53%. Unless solar panels are damaged beyond repair or have manufacturing defects, they should still perform well after 25 years.
When Should Solar Panels Be Replaced?
You should consider replacing your solar panels if they are no longer generating enough electricity to power your home so that you never have to wait to watch your favorite movie on television. If you notice your energy bills are creeping back up, this is a sign that your solar panels are no longer as efficient as they once were.
Interested in learning more about solar panels and the benefits of installing a system on your property? Click for solar panel pricing.
The Average Lifespan of Solar Panels
When considering making the switch to solar energy, solar panel lifespan is an important consideration. For the longest lifespan, we recommended that you opt for Tier 1 panels. With proper care and maintenance, solar panels can effectively generate electricity for upwards of 50 years.
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