How Long Does a Solar Panel System Last?

People agree that solar panels are the way to generate clean, sustainable, and cost-effective electricity. The acceptance of this technology by the masses brought advancements resulting in the mass production of solar panels, which made it affordable for most homeowners.

Many homeowners consider the dollars and cents in making a decision as to whether to install solar panels in their homes or not. Another factor many people consider is the lifespan of the solar panels, with many of them thinking that it may not be worth the efforts and expenses if they will not last long enough.

How long do solar panels last?

Most solar panels used in homes typically come with a 25 to 30-year warranty. Most consumer goods are due to be disposed at the end of the warranty period, but not solar panels. After the warranty period, the solar panels are still usable, although there might be a slight decline in its efficiency. In fact, some early-style solar panels installed decades ago are still working today and could be used for many years to come.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a study on the degradation of photovoltaic cells in thousands of solar panel system installations across the country. They discovered that on average, solar panels degrade at half a percentage point per year. This simply means that solar panels will still be about 88 percent efficient at the end of a 25-year warranty.

The long lifespan of solar panels improves the economic efficiency of this method of generating electricity. Given the right scenario, the investment required to install a solar panel array on a roof could be recouped in the first ten years. Afterwards, homeowners can often enjoy free electricity for decades, spending only a minor amount for normal maintenance expenses.

Even if a homeowner factors in the expenses for replacements of various system parts which come few and far between, solar panel systems are still a highly economical way of generating clean and sustainable energy.