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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels are a great investment. They help you get partially of the grid and power your home independent of any power plant or line. Furthermore, it's quick and easy to install efficient solar panels with the help of qualified professionals.

However, if you go through all this trouble, will you have long-lasting solar panels that have zero hitches and issues? 

The average lifespan of a solar panel depends on your local environment. If you have windy and frequently stormy weather, your system might have a shorter lifespan than others installed in ideal locations. Solar panels in hot locations might be faulty or collect less energy than those in temperate and sunny climates.

On average, solar panels have at least 25-30 years of age. Even solar panels manufactured in the 80s work at optimal ranges despite their reduced efficiency. Silicon PVs and the steel support builds of solar panels are highly durable and dependable. 

Keep in mind that going beyond 30 years old only means lower energy collection efficiency compared to their performance when they were new. You still have a system that powers your home but with less capacity than before.

A study shows that modern solar panels can maintain their brand-new performance even after 30 years. Learn more about it from PV Magazine's post below.

The US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has concluded a five-year, early-life solar module degradation study that examined 834 fielded PV modules, representing 13 types from seven manufacturers in three climates.

The report, recently published in Progress in Photovoltaics, studied 23 systems in total. Six of the studied were determined to have degradation rates that will exceed panel warranty limits in the future, while 13 systems demonstrated the ability to extend their lifetime beyond 30 years. “Lifetime” in this study is defined as the amount of time a panel produces electricity above 80% of its beginning-of-life rate.

The report said that module costs have fallen by 85% since 2010 due to economies of scale, higher efficiencies in cell designs, production line automation, larger modules, and changes to bill of materials components like backsheets. It said that lower costs have led to solar becoming a central part of energy infrastructure buildout today, but noted that cost-cutting design and material changes could lead to a lowered degradation rate, which in-turn could cancel out many of the positive results of lower module costs.

The degradation study showed that degradation is highly nonlinear over time and seasonal variations are present in some module types. Mean and median degradation rate values of −0.62%/year and −0.58%/year, respectively, are consistent with rates measured for older modules.

The report said that the market share of cell types has shifted dramatically in recent years. In 2018, conventional aluminum back surface field (Al-BSF) designs dominated global solar cell production, representing up to 90%. By 2020, the market share shifted to only 15% AI-BSF and 80% high-efficiency cell concepts like passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC), passivated emitter with rear locally diffused cell (PERL), passivated emitter rear totally diffused cell (PERT), silicon heterojunction (SHJ), and tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon). (Continue reading here to learn more)

Let us at Roper Roofing & Solar install your new solar panel system with a team of professionals certified to perform installations, repairs, and maintenance. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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