How Long Do Solar Panels Last? Major Variables

Knowing the expected lifespan of any major component on your property is often a key priority for many, and solar panels are a great example. How long do solar panels last? There are several major factors that tend to play a role in answering this question, and knowing them can be quite helpful as a solar power client.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're proud to serve as one of the top solar companies around Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho, offering solar panel installation and related services that are second to none. We regularly discuss panel lifespan with our clients, plus the factors that contribute to it and how they can take basic steps to maximize this lifespan for any solar panel setup. Here are some of the most important variables that should be considered here.

Quality of Material

Firstly, it's important to realize that not all solar panels are created equal. There are significant differences in the quality of materials used by different manufacturers, and this can have a major impact on panel lifespan. Higher-quality panels will generally last longer than lower-quality ones, meaning you get more value for your initial investment when you choose top-tier solar panel brands.

For instance, some manufacturers use lower-quality silicon cells in their panels, which leads to decreased efficiency and ultimately a shorter lifespan. Others may cut corners on the overall construction of the panel, leading to potential vulnerabilities that can affect performance and longevity. It's important to do your research and choose a reputable manufacturer with a proven track record for producing high-quality panels.

Installation Quality

Another major factor that plays a role in solar panel lifespan is the quality of installation. Even the best solar panels can be compromised if they are not installed correctly. This is why it's crucial to work with an experienced and reputable solar company like Intermountain Wind & Solar, who has skilled technicians that understand proper installation techniques for all types of roofs.

Improperly installed panels may experience issues such as leaks or shifting, which can damage the panels and decrease their efficiency over time. In contrast, professional installation ensures that your panels are securely attached to your roof and positioned properly for optimal performance and longevity.

Climate Factors

One area that can influence solar panel lifespan is the local climate where they are installed. Naturally, areas with more sunlight will see higher levels of energy production from solar panels - this is why states like California and Florida are popular for solar power systems.

However, harsh weather conditions can also have an impact. For instance, extreme heat, heavy rain or hail and strong winds can all lead to damage over time. High humidity can also affect panels by causing corrosion or mold growth. Again, choosing a high-quality panel with durable materials is important in areas with more challenging climates.

Maintenance and Care

How well you maintain and care for your solar panels will also play a role in their lifespan. While these systems are generally low maintenance compared to other home components, basic upkeep is still necessary to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Regular cleaning of panels can help remove any dirt or debris that may be impeding their efficiency. Additionally, checking for any potential damage or issues and addressing them promptly can prevent more serious problems down the line.

Time-Based Degradation

Now, it's also important to realize that solar panels will naturally degrade over time due to age and usage. This is known as time-based degradation and is something that all solar panel owners should expect. However, by following the steps outlined above - such as choosing high-quality panels and ensuring proper installation and maintenance - you can significantly slow down this process and get the most out of your solar power system.

Tips for Maximizing Solar Panel Lifespan

In addition to the areas we've gone over above, here are a few additional tips for maximizing the lifespan of your solar panels:

  • Regularly check for shading on your panels and trim any nearby trees or foliage that may block sunlight.
  • Consider investing in a monitoring system that can alert you to potential issues with your panels.
  • Have your panels inspected by a professional every 3-5 years to ensure everything is working as it should.

By paying attention to these factors and taking basic steps to maintain your solar power system, you can expect your solar panels to last anywhere from 25-30 years. This makes them an excellent long-term investment for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on energy costs.

Reach out to Intermountain Wind & Solar today to learn more about solar panel lifespan and how we can help you maximize it for your unique needs. We're here to help clients around SLC, Utah and Boise, Idaho with efficient, productive solar power systems!

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