More than thousands of Australian homeowners are opting for solar panel installation to fulfil their energy needs, without harming the environment and saving maximum on their utility bills. Although solar systems are one of the best ways to save energy and money, the question remains - how long do solar panels last?
Thanks to the government rebate schemes and lower prices, installing solar panels has become easier and more affordable for homeowners in Australia. However, most homeowners prefer understanding the return on investment of installing solar panels on their property. So, the question of solar panel life span comes naturally among homeowners in Australia.
We have answered some common questions related to the lifespan of solar panels to help you make a smart buying decision. But first, let's understand about:
Solar Panel Degradation
Before learning about the lifespan of solar panels, you need to understand that even a premium, tier-one quality solar panel will eventually degrade over time. Your solar panel may degrade because of the constant exposure to external elements - rain, dust, bird dropping, changing temperature, and weather conditions outside. When your solar system is exposed to such external elements, the performance of PV panels will also reduce eventually.
One of the prime reasons is microcracks - tiny fractures develop in the PV panel's silicon cells. The advancement of microcracks restricts solar cells to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity, thus affecting the level and performance of energy production. The decline of energy efficiency due to such reasons results in PV panel degradation.
Apart from microcracks, several factors can affect the lifespan of solar PV panels. However, these four factors are critical ones:
1. External Environment
One of the biggest factors that could affect the lifespan of your solar panels is the external environment. The constant temperature fluctuation between day and night often impact the material of solar panels, causing them to expand and contract. Such on and off changes can affect the joints and slowly degrade the lifespan of PV panels. Apart from temperature fluctuations, a change in the wind, heavy rainfall or storm, snowfall, humidity, and other external elements can cause corrosion, electrical deterioration, and other damages to the PV panels over time.
2. Quality of Panels
Several factors contribute to the overall quality of your PV panels - from the brand, efficiency, warranty to reliability. All these factors further determine how long your solar panels will last. Cheap quality solar panels might allow you to save a considerable amount upon installation, but they can prove to be expensive in future. Such solar panels are manufactured with substandard materials and below-average construction which can cost you hundreds if not, thousands on repairs. Therefore, always consider choosing a tier-one quality solar panel that meets necessary Australian Standards from trusted and reliable solar manufacturers in the industry.
3. Installation of PV Panels
The installation of your solar panel will also determine how long it will last. An incorrect installation can deteriorate the lifespan of solar panels and may result in costly repairs. One of the best ways to ensure a well-connected and correct installation is by considering the assistance of reputable and experienced solar installers. Correct installation will ensure optimal energy production and a longer lifespan of your PV panels.
4. Maintenance of PV Panels
Having a well-maintained solar system ensures maximum energy generation, optimal performance, and a longer lifespan of PV panels. Regular inspection from solar experts can help determine potential issues with your PV panels and allow you to solve them on time.
Generally, solar PV panels can last anywhere between 25-30 years. Even after 25 years, solar panels will keep producing electricity and fulfil your energy needs. However, energy production will be declined and on a much lesser scale. Solar panels can also work for 30+ years given there isn't any damage to the PV panels.
Solar Panel Inverter Lifespan
Generally, a tier-one quality solar inverter lasts for ten years. However, there are several cases where solar panel inverters have lasted for even 20+ years. One of the major reasons is timely inspection and regular maintenance, which ensure the system works efficiently and optimally.
The Lifespan of Solar Panel Batteries
Solar panel batteries are estimated to last anywhere between 5 to 15 years. You should always ensure timely replacement of solar batteries to ensure adequate energy backup in case of a power outage.
The lifespan of a solar system depends on various factors including, the quality of PV panels, installation methods, maintenance practices, external weather conditions. However, choosing a premium quality solar system from a reputable and leading solar manufacturer can ensure a longer lifespan with optimal energy performance.
At Limitless Energy Group, we take pride in installing tier-one quality solar panels from leading manufacturers in the solar industry. Our professional and qualified solar installers are highly experienced with residential solar panel installation and would guide you through your solar journey.
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