You might have a lot of questions, including how much can solar energy save you over the long-term, and how long do solar panels last? The good news is that solar power can accomplish both. It can save you money, and your panels will last for decades.
On average, the life expectancy of solar panels is between 25 years to 30 years. Advancements in solar technology have made them far more superior in terms of their reliability.
It’s natural that over time, solar panels will experience wear and tear and become less efficient. However, they will continue to produce energy many years after you’ve installed them.
Degradation rate is a formula that estimates a panel’s power output over time. The exact type you have installed on your home will affect this rate, but on average, a solar panel’s yearly degradation rate is less than 1%.
Degradation simply means that year after year, your panels’ energy power output will suffer a slight decline as they age.
To put this into perspective, let’s consider a solar panel with a degradation rate of 0.5%. You can expect this panel to lose ½ percent of its optimal performance year over year.
Year 1 = 100% Performance
Year 2 = 99.5 Performance
Year 3 = 99% Performance
Year 4 = 98.5% Performance
Year 5 = 98% Performance
And so on
As you can see, a solar panel’s performance remains relatively unaffected over the years. A panel with a degradation rate of 0.5% can expect only a loss of 4% of its optimal output over an entire decade and less than 10% over 20 years. This means that they will perform at almost 90% efficiency after 20 years.
Solar panels need minimal maintenance, but they do require that you clean them at least a few times per year. By keeping them clear of dirt and debris, you can make sure nothing is obstructing their ability to capture the sun’s energy.
Keeping your solar panels regularly maintained also ensures that they are working efficiently and preventing them from getting damaged.
Fortunately, if you live in the Los Angeles area, you don’t have to worry about clearing snow off the tops of your panels. However, be mindful of our Santa Ana winds as they can dump a significant amount of leaves and other debris on top of them.
If you follow the few simple maintenance tips we just described, you can guarantee the life of your solar panels. But generally speaking, they don’t require much other than routine cleaning a few times per year.
Solar panels are incredibly resilient against the elements like wind, rain, hail, snow, and even rocks. While solar technology has become more advanced, it actually remains a relatively simple technology. There are few components to worry, and obviously, they don’t rely on electricity or other sources of energy to perform. As long as they stay on your roof and as long as the sun shines, you can expect them to do their job.
To get the most out of your panels, be sure to have them regularly inspected by your solar panel company. If you have any problems with them or if your panels require additional maintenance or repairs, a professional solar panel contractor can service them.
Standard solar panel warranties are written in three ways. They can cover your panels over a certain number of years or up to a set percentage point of their output. Other warranties combine both measures.
For example, a manufacturer that guarantees up to 80% output means that the warranty will cover your panels at 80% of their original production. A company that combines both a certain amount of years and output can have a warranty that states 30 years up to 80% of its output.
What this means is that your solar panels will be covered for 30 years up to 80% of their output. It’s similar to a car manufacturer that gives you a warranty of 5 years or 50,000 miles, meaning your car is covered for whichever comes first. Your solar panel company may also offer separate or additional warranties on parts and labor.
To sum it all up, solar panels not only save you money on bills, but they also last you a long time and require very little maintenance.
Ready to make the switch to solar? Markey Electric and Solar offer free solar panel quotes. Contact us for your free estimate today.
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