How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Customers often ask how long solar panels last. Solar energy systems represent a significant investment, but in return pay for themselves many times over, thanks to their durability and reliability. The actual life expectancy of solar panels depends on the type of system you choose. Although solar systems do diminish slightly in efficiency over time, the amount is negligible. Even better, renewable energy systems using solar panel technology usually require little or no maintenance.

The Type of Panel You Select Matters

Renewable energy system technology has evolved over the years, and, as such, so have the types of panels from which you have to choose. The first type, known as thin film, is less expensive but less efficient than the more popular alternative. Thin film systems also have a shorter life span, but this type of system is not widely used. The second type of panel, crystalline silicon, is the typical type of system used in most applications. Although more costly than thin film systems, crystalline silicon panels are significantly more durable and reliable, typically lasting 25 to 30 years or longer.

Expected Decrease in Efficiency

On average, most crystalline silicon systems see a nominal drop in efficiency each year, only about ½ of 1 percent. At the end of a 25-year warranty, the panels will still generate close to 90 percent of their original capacity. By that point, the initial equipment investment will have paid for itself potentially many times over. At the same time, emerging technology is constantly improving the energy efficiency of home systems, electronics and appliances, resulting in an average reduction of energy requirements each year in the typical American household.

Maintaining Your Solar Panels

Some renewable energy system providers set forth a list of maintenance tasks that are necessary to keep your warranty in place. In truth, panels require little or no maintenance because there are no moving parts to wear out or components to rust. The only task you should ever need to do is periodically clean and inspect the panels. A buildup of dust, leaves or bird droppings can potentially block their ability to collect solar energy, reducing the system’s effectiveness. Most customers clean their panels only on an as-needed basis.

Intermountain Wind and Solar, serving Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado and Nevada, is proud to offer a 25-year warranty on solar panels. The peace of mind that comes with this warranty is exceeded only by your power bill savings, which will pay for the original investment many times over. Contact IWS today for a complimentary consultation. Their experienced technicians will answer all your questions about renewable energy systems and how long solar panels last.