How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?
If you’re ready to convert your home or business to be more sustainable and make use of green energy, solar panels are an excellent option.
That being said, the overall lifespan of solar panels is an issue that is continuously being called into question.
With a slew of conflicting information on the market, where do you turn to find the definitive answers in terms of the longevity of your solar panels?
Let’s have a look and answer this questions once and for all….
The average lifespan of solar panels
It’s imperative to note that the quality, and thus the lifespan, of solar panels, depend on several factors.
These include the specific materials used, the manufacturer itself, and the basic upkeep of the materials.
However, it’s equally important to keep in mind that the first solar panel ever is still in working order after 60 years of use. In addition, Kyocera has reported that they have several solar panels which continue to offer outstanding performance after being installed for almost 30 years.
In the majority of cases, solar panels offer no less than 10 years at 90%, and 80% over 25 years of the manufacturer’s stated power generation rating. Most panels are expected to operate at no less than 60% even after 40 years.
What happens at the end of their lifespan?
Fortunately, solar panels have such long lifespans that very few people have ever had to deal with the need to dispose of them.
Even if you’ve got some very old panels, they are probably still worth keeping.
However, the substantial silicon components in solar panels do pose an environmental hazard. They must be disposed of properly should you ever have to.
At present, there aren’t many services equipped to deal with spent solar cells. However, that is not something anyone will have to worry about anytime soon, and it is expected that by the time disposal does become an issue, solar disposal services will become a normal part of our everyday recycling culture.
If you do have unusable solar panels, place them inside an enclosed concrete structure and contact a disposal company that handles these kinds of waste products.
Extending the life of home solar panels
Luckily there are many things you can do to help preserve your solar paneling and maximize their lifespan:
The first method is to avoid physical damages. This may be easier said than done, however, and the more scratches and physical damage a panel endures, the faster it will deteriorate.
Perhaps the most important method is to keep up with maintenance. This is done by having them serviced if there are noticeable issues or wear and tear, as well as keeping up with proper cleaning of the panels, but this may occur much less than you actually think.
The more severe weather they are exposed to, the faster your solar panels will become worn. In order to prevent this, give some thought to their placement of your panels in relation to the weather patterns that frequent your area.
Overall, solar paneling is a relatively new technology with major advances in the last few decades. Installing them not only helps the environment as well as your wallet, but you will be a pioneer in terms of helping to develop this technology for future generations.