Did you know that fewer than 1million homes in the UK are experiencing the benefits of solar panels with a Government report suggesting that only 3.3% of the 29million homes in the country are generating their own electricity from solar panels.
It’s hard to believe really when you consider the significant benefits you can get from having solar PV units installed on your home:
- Cheaper energy bills
- More sustainable, 100% renewable energy available to your home
- The chance to make extra money by selling excess energy back to the Grid
Not to mention there are grants available that can reduce the costs of installation.
What it means is that, as an industry, we’re not doing enough to educate people about the benefits of Solar PV.
One question we get a lot from customers, is how long will my solar panels last?
It’s a reasonable question. Afterall, you might not want to invest in solar panels if it means you’ll have to start replacing panels within 3 months.
In this quick guide we’ll take you through the key things to think about when it comes to how long your Solar PV system will last before you need to start thinking about replacements.
How long will my Solar PV system last?
If you invest in the latest Solar PV systems you can expect your solar panels to come with a lifespan of between 40-50 years before you need to think about replacing them.
Like any device that is essentially charging and recharging constantly, you can expect some reductions in performance over time, but having said that, the best solar panel providers will guarantee that the performance of solar panels won’t drop below 80% of full capacity within the first two or three decades.
Plus, with the guarantee on your Solar Panels often lasting for much of their lifespan, even if you do experience some problems you’ll be able to get them fixed relatively quickly.
How quickly will Solar panels lose their effectiveness?
As we’ve mentioned, your solar panels will continue to be effective for several decades and continue to provide you with 100% clean, renewable energy.
There will be some natural performance degrading over time, meaning the panels will slowly produce less energy from the same amount of sunlight exposure compared to when you first installed them.
But this performance reduction is almost negligible.
There are several things that can add to the degradation of your Solar PV system.
Factors like extreme weather or debris that could cause microcracks in the PV unit as the panels naturally expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold weather.
Very high wind can also impact the performance and potentially damage Solar PV panels as these gusts can cause the panels to flex.
Or natural deteriorations in the electrical connections could cause some issues over time as the individual components are exposed to the elements.
All these issues can contribute towards a reduction in solar panel performance.
As we’ve said though, these reductions in performance are minimal and typically speaking solar panels will degrade at a maximum rate of 1% a year.
However, they’ll retain around 90% of their full effectiveness during the first 10 years after installation and most retain up to 80% of their effective between 25-30 years after installation.
Can you extend the life of Solar PV systems?
The biggest cause of damage to solar panels often comes from the installation if it’s not carried out by qualified or certified installers.
That’s why we’d always recommend doing your research when it comes to suppliers and installers to ensure you get a professionally fitted Solar PV system that will stand the best chance of providing reliable electricity for longer periods.
One other thing can can consider when it comes to reducing the risk of damage to your solar panels overtime, is to think about where the roof is placed in relation to potential hazards.
For example, if you have any trees or tall structures in the path of your solar panels, consider removing them if you can or at least stay on top of maintaining any foliage that could lead to branches or other debris hitting your panels.
Other than that, there isn’t much more you can do, and that’s one of the best things amount solar panels.
They are a hassle-free investment and provided they been installed properly, you’ll benefit from a reliable source of 100% renewable, clean energy.
Want to know more about getting a Solar PV system installed at your home?