When homeowners decide they want to get residential solar panels, the first question is almost always, “How much do they cost?” While reducing carbon emissions and helping the environment is certainly an excellent benefit of going solar, most people don’t have the luxury of not caring about the bottom line. Once people’s fears about the high costs have been put to rest, they often wonder how long solar panels last.
Unlike just about every other consumer good on the market, the majority of solar panels are guaranteed to last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. That doesn’t mean that after 30 years they just stop working and the whole system needs to be replaced. It just means that after 25 or 30 years they will be less efficient with each passing year, but they will continue to harness and generate clean electricity. There are some solar cells that have been around for nearly 40 years that continue to produce energy for homes and businesses.
One study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that looks at the degradation rates of around 2000 solar panel systems found the average solar panel loses just half a percent of efficiency each year. At the end of a 25-year period, this means your solar systems should be operating at roughly 88% of its original capacity. Most systems pay for themselves in the first five to eight years and continue to offer a return on the investment for decades to come.
Because solar panels last so long, many homeowners wonder about the extended costs of maintenance and repairs. In general, panels don’t require much maintenance. The inverters typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years and will usually need to be replaced around that time. However, new microinverters are said to have a lifespan as long as the panels, or up to about 25 years. Even with the cost of replacing the inverter, the life of the panels makes it a sound investment and an excellent way to save money in the long-term.
To learn more about the cost and efficiency of solar panels, contact CES Solar San Diego at 1-855-45-COAST today. As one of the best solar companies in San Diego, we make it our mission to help residents and businesses save money while helping the environment. Schedule your free consultation when you call!