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The Lifespan of Solar Panels, Explained

Solar panels are a remarkable long-term investment for many homes, farms and businesses. However, like cars, mobile phones, and other complex machinery, these have a finite useful life. Understanding its lifecycle, including factors that cause them to degrade, allows users to get the most out of them. JMB Renewables LLC discusses more in this blog.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

The lifespan of a typical solar panel ranges between 25 to 30 years depending on the manufacturer. However, it can still generate electricity for longer than that. The aforementioned period is what is referred to as the system’s “useful life.”

As with other types of equipment or machines, the panels don’t perform at their fullest capacity for the entirety of their lifecycle and then stop working once they reach their last year. Instead, they degrade or lose their ability to produce electricity as they age albeit at a slow rate. As a result, the production warranties of these products change as they advance in age.

What Factors Contribute to Solar Panel Degradation?

External factors such as weather can wear down the panels, affecting their long-term performance. Over time, tiny cracks on the silicon component of the solar cells develop, causing the electrical connections to deteriorate. This, in turn, interferes with the movement of the electrons, allowing less energy to go to the inverter.

Solar panel degradation occurs at an average rate of 1% each year. Light-induced degradation starts as soon as the panels are installed and get exposed to the sun’s UV rays at a rate of up to 3%. It grinds to a slow but steady rate soon after.

While degradation is an unavoidable part of owning a solar panel system, keep in mind that it is a long-term solution to help you save money on electricity costs. To learn more about how you can save by harnessing solar energy, turn to JMB Renewables LLC. Give us a call in any of these contact numbers: (480) 680-1014 (Phoenix, AZ), (510) 405-4135 (California Bay Area), or (720) 790-5578 (Colorado). You may also fill out our contact form to request service.

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