Tips to Make Your Home Solar Panels Last Longer. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years.
The Lifespan of Solar Panels : Three Tips to Make Your Home Solar Panels Last Longer
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity. Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, solar panel longevity has increased dramatically over the last 20 years due to advances in manufacturing. In addition to decades of effective performance, many solar manufacturers back their products with performance guarantees in their warranties.
Keep in mind that expected solar panel life expectancy doesn’t mean the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. It just means their energy production will decrease by what solar panel manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average Irish family home or business energy needs.
Do Solar Panels Degrade over Time?
As with most technologies, solar panels will naturally produce less energy over time. This reduced power output is called the degradation rate. The median solar panel degradation rate is about 0.5%, which simply means that a solar panel’s energy production will decrease at a rate of 0.5% per year.3 After 20 years, your panels should still be working at about 90% of its original output.
The great thing about solar panels is that they require very little maintenance. Regular solar panel cleaning is generally unnecessary unless your area is highly susceptible to dust, dirt, pollen, or sand due to an arid climate, which thankfully in Ireland we don’t quite have all of those elements in our weather.
While solar panels generally require little maintenance, it’s still important to inspect your solar panels from time to time and monitor their performance. Here are a few tips to ensure your solar installation is working at its full capacity:
Tip #1: Keep your panels clear of debris and other damaging materials.
An accumulation of dirt, pollen, leaves, and bird droppings can affect your solar panels’ efficiency. While rain is generally sufficient for cleaning your panels, you may want to consider a professional cleaning if you ever notice your panels aren’t working at their full capacity. You also want to make sure your panels aren’t under branches, as not only could the shade reduce output, but the branches could potentially fall in a storm and cause serious damage.
In case your panels are obstructed or damaged by any of these elements and you don’t have the proper training or equipment to take further action, immediately contact your solar provider to receive assistance.
Tip #2: Make sure your panels are regularly monitored and maintained.
Routine maintenance checks will help keep your solar system’s panel performance, meters, the inverter, and other parts running at maximum efficiency. It’s also important to make note of any changes in your electric bills and energy usage.
If your solar panels are underperforming after a rainfall or being hosed down with water, or if you see an unusual spike in your utility bill, it may point to an electrical problem that needs to be addressed by a professional.
Tip #3: Team up with a trustworthy solar provider.
The best thing you can do to ensure your solar system’s longevity is to find a reputable solar installer such as ourselves at Solar Stream.
Solar Stream have extensive experience of installation and partners with only the most highly-trained installers to provide you with worry-free energy.
Contact our friendly customer service team today at firstname.lastname@example.org