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10 Jan
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How Long Will My Solar Panels Last? 4 Main Considerations

How Long Will My Solar Panels Last? 4 Main Considerations

Solar panels are becoming more and more popular as they become cheaper and offer greater efficiencies. But as technology advances, this means there are multiplying options available for solar panels in Sydney. With that in mind, one of the key things you should look for when purchasing them is longevity. The longer your panels remain in good working order, the longer you’ll enjoy free solar power without having to replace your panels.

Here’s what you need to know about how long your solar panels will last.

The Three Main Types Of Solar Panels

While technology is always advancing, there are three common types of solar panels available in the Australian market. These are usually grouped as follows:

  • Monocrystalline: The pure silicon in monocrystalline panels allows electrons to move freely, and therefore they provide a higher level of efficiency. These are now the main type of panel installed.
  • Polycrystalline: Previously the best option, and certainly the cheapest, polycrystalline panels aren’t as efficient as monocrystalline, and therefore have fallen out of favour. However, some are still available and are usually lower priced than mono panels.
  • Thin-film: These are made with a thin photovoltaic film. These panels are flexible. They have a lower efficiency so require more roof space to achieve a desired output compared to conventional panels. Thin film panels are rarely used in residential solar systems.

Understanding Solar Panel Degradation

Performance degradation occurs in all panels, no matter how expensive they are. As the panel ages the power out decreases each year. As mentioned above, though, better-quality panels are expected to last longer. After 25 years, good-quality panels will still be producing around 85% of the original power rating.

All panels sold in In Australia must have a performance warranty covering this. We discuss this in more detail below.

There are several factors that cause efficiency to decrease over time. These include rain, hail and other forms of weather damage, but UV exposure, thermal cycling and certain weather conditions can also affect them.

Typically, efficiency degrades by between 0.5% – 3% per year. If you look after them and you’ve invested in quality panels, you would hope this stays towards the lower end of the scale.

So, How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels are one of the most durable components of a solar power system. They can last for 25 years or more if you take care of them properly. We’ve explained efficiency degradation above, but that doesn’t mean your panels stop working. They just produce a little less solar energy each year, and in most cases, you won’t even notice the difference.

When you consider that you can get a 25-year product warranty on many offerings, you can assume that they will last at least this long. We’ll talk about warranties next because this is another key factor in determining how long they should last.

Understanding Solar Panel Warranties In Australia

Warranties are a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your investment. But you might be surprised to know there are two different types of warranties available. These are:

  •  Product warranty: This covers defects in materials or workmanship for a period of time after delivery. The length of the manufacturer’s warranty varies depending on the brand, but it’s usually somewhere between 10 and 25 years. This might also be known as a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Performance warranty: This guarantees that your system will produce at least 80% of its rated capacity after 25 years. If, at any stage during this period, your panels stop producing 80% of their capacity (in normal solar-generating conditions), you may be eligible for a claim.

So, in most cases, you’ll be covered for 25 years, and there’s no reason your panels can’t last beyond that period.

Looking After Your Solar Panels

Solar panels don’t need a lot of attention, but you should be giving them a quick clean at least every six months. Don’t use any abrasive chemicals, but a simple wipe-down with warm, soapy water is fine. As always, ensure you are safe on your roof while cleaning them, and if you need to, call in the experts for a scheduled clean instead.

Looking For Quality Solar Panels In Sydney?

SolarBright is a leading supplier of high-quality, long-lasting solar panels in Sydney. If you’re keen to join the green revolution and start saving on energy bills today, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our range or contact our friendly team today.

Read Also:
Solar Panels For The Home: The Top 5 Installation Considerations
Energy Star Rating & NFRC Standards For Skylights

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