How long do solar panels last?
The beauty of solar panels is that they have no moving parts, are virtually maintenance free and are known for simplicity and reliability. Most solar panel modules are warranteed by the manufacturer for a useful life of approximately 20 and approaching 25 years. A high-quality solar panel installation will actually protect the roof of the house and can functionally last for up to 30 years, however the older the panels get, the more degradation will reduce the efficiency of the panels. Solar panels lose a fraction of their efficiency at the rate of approximately .05-.07% a year. A good solar panel should retain between 80 to 90% of its efficiency over the life of the panel, which again is 20+ years. You should be planning to replace your panels at the 25 and up year mark.
The most expensive part of a solar system can be the inverter. This is the part of the system that converts the DC power into AC power. Inverters typically last up to 20 years and it’s possible to find a manufacturer that offers a 5- 10 year warranty on the inverter.
How do photovoltaics work?
The concept of photovoltaics is the process of turning light into electricity. There are naturally occurring materials that exhibit a property called the photovoltaic affect. When these materials are exposed to light, they have the amazing property of turning that light into electricity by absorbing photons and releasing electrons. Catching these electrons, an electric current will result that can be used to power an electrical system.