How long will solar energy last?

Solar electric modules life span

Will my solar panels generate electricity forever?

The quick answer to this question is unfortunately no. The typical manufacturer guaranteed solar panel life span is between 25 and 30 years. However, this does not mean that they will stop producing after this time. The majority of solar panels after a period of 25 years produce at least 80% of their rated output power.

Solar energy is great, but how long will my solar panels last?

Solar module manufacturers usually ensure us that their product will last for 25 – 30 years with specific efficiency over this period. Every year, module efficiency slightly decreases. This decrease is otherwise known as the degradation rate. Typical degradation rate values vary from 0.8% per year for regular PV modules to 0.3% per year for premium manufactured modules. According to the NREL analysis paper, around 80% of solar modules last longer than warranty states.

Manufacturers performance warranty

Solar PV module manufacturers will certainly show guaranteed performance over the years on the product datasheet.

Example from one of Trina Solar products.

What can I do to make my solar panels last longer?

Solar electric systems usually require little or no maintenance. PV modules are designed to withstand snow loads and are resistant to weather conditions (wind, rain and even hail). The most important part to keep your system in good shape for a long time is to hire an experienced installer.

To reduce solar module degradation you can:

  • Check and clean your installation from debris or other possibly damaging objects
  • Hire a professional installer to check for loose system mounting parts, exposed wiring and other areas of concern. Avoid doing that on your own to maintain your warranty.
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