If you make an investment in solar panels, I think one of your questions will be how long do solar panels last in operation.
How long do photovoltaic panels remain operational
While investing in a PV plant may seem like a really expensive endeavor, it is said to be a profitable and profitable investment. It is not surprising that for this to happen, photovoltaic installations must have a really long useful life.
In an era of rapid technological development and the ubiquitous replacement of smartphones every year or two, solar panels seem incredibly durable. The best installations can function with good results … even more than 35 years!
What Makes Photovoltaic Panels So Durable?
First of all, PV installations are so durable and long-lasting because there are few parts in them that contain complex computers or delicate components that could be easily damaged. The same applies to moving parts, whose failure rate could also be high. The simple design and uncomplicated system mean that photovoltaic installations have few elements that can be damaged in any way.
The damages to which some components of the installation may be exposed are corrosion, pest activity – if the installation is not placed on the roof – or the influence of extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes. However, the solid structure of the installation and a sufficiently strong clamping should keep everything in place, without fear of the possibility of the installation being blown away by the wind.
The inverter is the most vulnerable element of photovoltaic installations. It is recommended to replace it after 12-15 years, but nothing prevents a good quality inverter from working longer. It is an extremely important element of any installation, since it is responsible for converting the solar energy obtained by the panels into one that can be used.
Photovoltaic installations before and today
Even photovoltaic panels that were produced in the 1980s are still in operation today. They are not as efficient as modern photovoltaic installations, because it is a natural process in the form of continuous technological progress. Therefore, it is logical that the photovoltaic modules produced today produce more energy.
However, this does not change the fact that the previous models, despite the passage of so much time, are still operational. Newer PV panels are no different from older ones: both lose some of their efficiency over time. Annually, the decrease in efficiency is around 0.5%. As you can see, this is not a huge drop overall. Therefore, after 20 years of continuous operation, the efficiency of such panels can reach 90%.
Simplicity and reliability
Photovoltaic installations owe their reliability to the simplicity of their execution. There are no complex and delicate parts in them that are particularly susceptible to damage or failure. The simple design also makes the use of photovoltaic installations equally simple: they require no maintenance and generally do not require repairs or cleaning.
However, its slow wear is influenced by many factors, mainly climatic conditions. It can be a sudden change in temperature or prolonged excessive humidity affecting individual PV modules . Because the efficiency of any installation depends on how well its weakest component performs. Therefore, lower consumption means that over the course of the year there may be half a percent or even fewer power drops compared to the original power supply level.
In short, installations are investments that pay for themselves in large part because they are so durable and their useful life can even reach decades. The simplicity of the structure guarantees durability, and the system itself, also thanks to the simplicity of its implementation, is free from flaws.
Its efficiency depends mainly on how and from what parts it is made. The correct assembly and care of high-quality materials are the key to having an efficient and effective photovoltaic installation for many years!