We live in a disposable society- where incredibly sophisticated pieces of technology such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets only last for a few years before they have to be replaced. Even our cars have a shelf life of ten years before they require diligent maintenance and repairs to make them last longer. The point is, most technological innovations aren’t durable. Not the case with solar panels!
By comparison, solar panels do actually last for a long time. Solar panels don’t have motherboards, fans, pumps, flywheels or digital processors. In fact, they have very movable parts that can wear out or break. As a result, solar panels require next-to-no maintenance. Components within a solar panel are quite durable. They include a glass-protected cell made from silicon which captures the sunlight. For the duration of its life, the panel sits in one spot, absorbing the sun’s rays.
Even old-school solar panels that went up in the 80s, continue to produce electricity efficiently. According to a study conducted by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Lab, solar panels and their technology last for decades! Each year this technology continues to improve, enhancing the long-term performance of these solar panels.
The bottom line: Solar panels are hardworking systems that are perhaps more efficient than earlier models and definitely lighter in weight, not to mention more stylish.
Do solar panels really last that long?
After more than 30 years have passed, you can definitely expect the efficiency of your panels to dip. Every year solar panels’ performance reduces by 0.5%. This small decrease in efficiency occurs due to water vapour exposure and fluctuations in temperature that cause the panel material and coating to wear away. Therefore in 30 years, your panels will be 86% effective.
In addition, the inverter in your breaker (that converts DC to AC current), may require replacing after every decade. Inverters have many more moving parts and wiring and are prone to wearing down. Inverters today are far more efficient with a longer shelf life. Most solar panel providers provide a protection plan for your inverter, so rest assured.
In conclusion, solar panels are resilient and durable, made from high quality materials such as crystalline silicon (the same material used in space missions). This enables the panels to endure in the most harshest weather conditions.
To learn more about solar panel technology, visit Ohsolarmio.