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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harbin

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

The cost of solar panels can be quite significant, even with the federal tax credit and other incentives and rebates taken into account. However, they can pay for themselves and then some, given that they are intended to last for decades.


Considering the time solar panels usually last is important when researching this sustainable energy source. The lifespan for solar panels for the industry standard is between 25 to 30 years. The majority of reputable solar panel manufacturers will offer a production warranty for at least a quarter of a century.


Savings


Solar panels usually break even in terms of energy savings at an average of six to ten years following installation. If the panels are able to keep producing a high level of energy for another fifteen years thereafter, its lifespan will have saved its owner thousands of dollars.


The lifespan of solar panels


The longer solar panels can effectively generate electricity, the more money you will save. The good news is that 25 years is the expected lifespan for most residential solar installations before degradation – and any reduction in energy production – starts to become noticeable.


Even when that point has arrived, solar panels can continue converting sunlight into solar energy. It will just become less efficient than was once the case. Eventually, the degradation may become noticeable enough to justify replacing the panels completely, although it is rare for solar panels to stop working altogether.


Some manufacturers will also offer a warranty for other equipment related to solar panels such, as racking systems or inverters. This can assist with covering any damage that may result from fallen branches or extreme weather conditions and so forth.


Solar inverters usually have a lifespan of between ten to fifteen years, which is shorter than solar panels because of how much work they have to do to convert solar panel energy into home electricity. Solar inverters usually cost no more than $3000 at the most to replace and sometimes even as little as just $1000.


Which solar panels have the greatest longevity?


The quality of the product is one of the most important factors in determining the lifespan of solar panels. There are three tiers of solar panels on the market, ranging from Tier One to Tier Three. Tier One manufacturers have over five years experience in the production of solar panels, stable finances and a good reputation for product quality and service.


The solar panels produced by Tier One manufacturers also tend to have a bigger output even after 25 years when compared to those made by manufacturers of lower tiers.


The average degradation rate across all solar panels is as little as just 0.50%, which means consumers can expect their solar panels to still be at around 89% of their original output even after a quarter of a century.


Solar panels are a worthwhile financial investment that will last for a long time into the future.





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