As you know, each device has its own service life. Of course, the more complex and delicate, the shorter it will serve us. What is the lifetime of photovoltaic panels in this case? Is solar farm a profitable investment? How will the efficiency of our photovoltaic installation develop over the years? You will learn everything in the article below. We invite you to read!
Solar panels are durable
At the very beginning, it is worth emphasizing that the lifetime of photovoltaic panels is relatively high, and the efficiency depends primarily on their quality and place of installation. Most photovoltaic panels have a 25-year warranty , but research shows that even cells with a longer service life (up to 40 years) work quite efficiently.
Why is the lifetime of solar panels so long? First of all, because their construction is relatively simple and solid . There are no delicate electronic components inside, and the entire housing is quite durable. It is also worth remembering that photovoltaic panels are not too exposed to mechanical damage . If the installation is properly installed and the weather conditions are not extreme, our solar panels will work for a really long time.
Gradual performance degradation
If we are dealing with the issue of the lifetime of photovoltaic panels, we must focus primarily on a gradual decrease in efficiency . It is indicated that photovoltaic panels lose an average of 0.5% efficiency during the year . This means that after 25 years our panels will be 87.5% efficient. It is worth noting that the decrease in efficiency depends on the quality of specific photovoltaic panels.
Warranty for power and lifetime of photovoltaic panels
The decrease in power is greatest in the initial years of use and decreases over time. If we are talking about standard power guarantees, they assume a 5% loss of nominal power in the first year of operation. Ten years of operation of standard panels means a performance reduction of up to 10%. After 25 years, such panels will reduce their nominal power by 20%. This means that by the end of the warranty period, standard solar panels will be 80% efficient .
If it turns out that our photovoltaic panels become less efficient than the warranty implies, we can contact the manufacturer and request replacement . At this point, it is worth mentioning that manufacturers usually overestimate the expected power loss and thus protect themselves against replacement. This is obviously good news for owners of PV plants, as we can anticipate that the power loss of PV panels will be lower than what the warranty implies .
What Happens After 25 Years?
Of course, photovoltaic panels do not stop working after 25 years, but only cease to be covered by the warranty. It is estimated that the lifetime of high-quality solar panels is around 40-50 years . It is worth noting that the oldest photovoltaic panel is over 60 years old and still operational!
Lifetime of photovoltaic panels – how to extend it?
As with any equipment, by taking care of photovoltaic panels, we can extend their life and minimize performance drops. First of all, you should regularly monitor the installation and in the event of disturbing changes, contact the installer or the manufacturer of the panels. Additionally, remember to check the technical condition of the cabling and other important elements of the installation. It is also worth regularly cleaning the photovoltaic panels from dust and other debris.
When it comes to the lifetime of a photovoltaic installation, it is worth describing the inverter, thanks to which we can use the generated electricity in our home. We have already written about the exact operation of the inverter on our blog, so here we will only focus on the service life of this component. Due to the nature of the inverter’s operation, its operating period is shorter than that of photovoltaic panels . Inverters are estimated to function properly for about 10 yearshowever, there are many examples where inverters have been running trouble-free for 15 or even 20 years. As we can see, the lifetime of the solar panels is very high and the performance drop is not drastic. Thanks to this, you can be sure that high-quality photovoltaic panels, when properly installed, will serve for many years. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our offer – photovoltaics for home and photovoltaics for companies .