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Lifetime of solar panels

If you are interested in installing solar panels, surely one of your doubts will be what is the useful life of solar panels.
A frequently asked question is: how long do solar panels last? However, there is a difference between the technical lifespan and the economic lifespan of your solar panels.

Lifetime of solar panels

Related: What is the actual lifetime of solar panels?

Useful life in years

If you read and ask a bit, you will quickly come to a  20-25 year lifespan  for your solar panels. First of all, this number of years is taken as a “guarantee” that your solar panels will continue to achieve at least 80% of their original performance.

In short: your solar panels will still work after 20 or 25 years. But are they still profitable and easy to maintain? Not always. It may be better  to renew  the installation of the solar panel in the long term.

Lifespan of your solar panels: the system causes problems

First of all, you should know that your solar system is much more than the solar panels on your roof or on the ground. The following parts are also important:

  • the investor;
  • mounting kit;
  • Cabling

We don’t see many issues regarding the  mounting kit  and wiring to doubt a long lifespan. As long as they are placed properly and expertly. A knowledgeable installer is important here.

Proper maintenance of solar panels is necessary  to extend  or at least guarantee their useful life. An additional coating on the mounting assembly, changing dead wires,… This certainly doesn’t have to be done every year, but  every 5 years it does  . Think of this like an annual visit to your dentist.

We already have a problem with  the  solar inverter. There is no chance, with proper maintenance, that your inverter will reach a useful life of 20 years. An inverter that does its job for 10 years without murmuring is a feasible option, but then you can start thinking about replacement.

Lifespan of the solar panels themselves.

Depending on the  type of solar panel  you have purchased, the useful life will be between 15 and 25 years. The classic and most installed solar panels, the crystalline solar panels, even dare to  last 30 years  .

This is because solar panels contain no moving parts and do not come into direct contact with a surface that may remain wet, and are located on the sunniest side of your roof. This dries and heats faster so that moss, moisture and others cannot take effect for a long time. Long winters with extreme cold and strong heat waves also have an impact on service life and this is obviously unpredictable.

Economic lifetime of solar panels.

Aside from the fact that your solar panels can technically last quite a while, you may be wondering if it’s  economically interesting  to leave your solar panels for 20 years without thinking of replacing them.

Loss of performance?

If you know that a high-efficiency solar panel has an efficiency loss of 0.125% per year and a standard solar panel has 0.50% per year, then you know that:

  • 80% return after 20 years is quite feasible
  • Only new technologies can put obstacles in the works

As with other consumer goods, you need to make sure the costs/benefits still match up well with solar panel systems. This means that the income still covers any costs. Changing an inverter after 10 years is financially better than thinking about a new installation.

You can also count  on energy consumers  like washing machines and the like to become more economical over the years. Any change in your family situation also affects your electricity consumption and therefore the efficiency of your solar panels. Remember that you cannot bring more than you use.

What are good reasons for a lifespan of your solar panels of less than 15 years?

The only reasons we can think of are:

  • Extensive  damage  to the solar panel system due to fire, hail, …
  • New technologies  together with consumption much higher than current efficiency;
  • Adjustments  to your home;
  • Potential  Future Grants
  • Best green loans when buying new green power generators

So stay tuned every year. Keep track of the costs incurred and compare them with the efficiency of your installation. If your installation is more than 10 years old, you can now take a look at what the market offers you in terms of new technologies.