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Solar Panel Degradation and The Average Lifespan of Solar Panels

With age, many things get better, like high-quality leather, cast iron skillets, cheeses, and 401Ks. But the equipment you invest in doesn't follow the case. Solar panel systems are a valuable long-term investment for homes, farms, and businesses, but their average lifespan is not forever.

Businesses and homeowners have been going solar for the past two decades as solar energy solutions are the best way for transitioning to sustainable, clean energy. Renewable energy use reduces carbon footprint.

The usage and popularity of solar panel installation increased in 2021, and it produced up to 43 percent of gigawatts compared to before. Solar energy use adopted in various countries provides many benefits, including mitigation of the risks of climate change.

But in order to decide if the PV modules are the right investment, you need to understand solar degradation and solar panel lifespan.

What is Solar Panel Degradation?

Solar panels' efficiency decreases as they absorb reduced sunlight during their solar lifespan. However, it takes many years for such efficiency loss. According to a study by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the output of a solar panel decreases by 0.8% each year.

The factors involved in reducing this ability are hot weather and reduction in chemical potency. But mostly, the solar panel degradation rate depends upon the brand. The higher quality solar panels have lower degradation rates and a longer lifespan. During solar panels' lifespan, their lower degradation rate provides more energy production.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panel degradation is the major factor involved in the lifespan of solar panels. The manufacturing quality also plays an important role in this regard. The performance of solar panels can be guaranteed for 25 to 30 years, while there are possible chances that they can provide electric energy for more than 30 years.

The first ten years after the solar panel installation provides 90 percent energy production. After that, this percentage comes to 80 percent and becomes even lower over time.

Factors That Impact A Solar Panel's Average Lifespan

Several factors impact solar panel efficiency. Here are the top ones that impact the performance of solar panels.

  • Quality

Like most of the items you buy, a solar panel's material, type, and quality impact the solar panel deterioration. The lower quality panels are better for your budget but, the faster the solar panel degradation rate, the comparatively shorter lifespan you have.

  • Weather

Extreme weather conditions can reduce the lifespan of solar panels. You might find an increased PV panel degradation if you live in heavy rain, snow, hail, and cold temperature areas.

  • Installation

The way and position in which you install a solar panel and the racking system on which you install it may significantly impact the degradation rate. Choose the service provider that ensures you the correct installation and surety about the risk of re-installation.

  • Maintenance

The lifespan of the solar panel installed in your house can be longer if you have a well-maintained procedure of utilizing this facility. However, solar panel deterioration occurs fast if the panels are mostly dirty or have debris on them and are not maintained well.

How To Extend the Life of My Solar Panel?

You can control the factors involved in the faster degradation of solar panels in various ways. Thus you can increase the lifespan and reduce the degradation rate of the solar panels in your home or building.

Firstly, buy solar panels from a trustworthy service provider. Do thorough research about the company and read the previous user experiences to know about the specific company and how fast their solar panels degrade. Good service providers also guide you about photovoltaic maintenance and PV module degradation.

Another factor involved is the correct installation of your solar panel. A trustworthy service provider will ensure that the panels are installed correctly at your place. Moreover, they will provide regular visits for routine maintenance checks.

Keeping the solar panel well-maintained can increase its lifespan. So keep it clean, and make sure to check it weekly to see if it is still in the correct direction in case your area has extreme weather conditions.

Mostly the harsh weather condition can change the position of the panel. Moreover, good maintenance will increase the solar lifespan and lower the degradation rate.

The Bottom Line

Solar panels are a major financial investment. So, if you are going to buy many solar panels for your home, office, farm, or any building, you should do good research. Solar panel degradation is normal and unavoidable as nothing lasts forever.

However, the savings from solar panel installation can save you a lot of bucks and help save the environment at the same time. So, don't wait any longer. Instead, switch to cleaner and greener energy options and play your part in saving the environment.