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Solar panels – how long do they last?

A lot of residents in Australia are embracing clean and renewable energy.

A recent report shows that more than two million Australian households have rooftop solar panels.

If you are considering joining this movement, you are likely going to think about the efficiency, durability, and lifespan of solar panels.

What’s surprising is that a lot of people who have been using solar energy for a few years don’t have a clear picture of how long their panels will last.

Whether you are looking to buy your first solar panel or have been using solar energy for a while, this article will help you put things into perspective and give you an overview of how long solar panels last.

The life span of solar panels

Most solar panels on the Australian market are sturdy, but they aren’t designed to last forever. So after a while, their performance is going to reduce.

A study from Energy.gov[1] shows that most solar panels will last for 20 -30 years. The study pointed out that everything from the thermal management mechanisms and passive filters to the active switches and weather-resistant packaging is degradable.

Since all solar panels on the market aren’t made of the same quality, the rate at which they degrade will vary. Learning about how the rate at which solar panels degrade will go a long way in helping you know when to replace them. Note that you may need the help of an electricity comparison company to help you get the most out of your system and save energy.

How do solar panels degrade?

According to a study[2] conducted by the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), the performance and efficiency of solar panels reduce by 0.5 percent yearly.

Many people in the Energy space have the notion that solar panels degrade at 1% yearly. While this may have been true 7 years ago, it isn’t right now.

You see, over the last years, engineers have improved the design, performance, and longevity of solar panels. So they now last a bit longer today,

Here is an example that will make things clearer – Before the year 2000, solar panels use monocrystalline silicon, which degrades at about 0.5%. Thanks to new manufacturing techniques after the 2000s, the rate at which solar panels degrade reduced to 0.4%.

How environmental conditions affect solar panels

The condition in which solar panels are installed may affect its efficiency and longevity.

Panels installed in areas where extreme conditions like heavy snowfall and high UV rays will degrade quickly. On the flip side, panels in regions with moderate climate will degrade at a slower rate (0.2% yearly).

If you can’t install solar panels because of the extreme weather condition in the area you live in, the next best thing will be to employ the assistance of an Electricity Comparison Company. From reducing your energy bills to helping you narrow down the best energy supplier, they will make your life a whole lot easier.

When solar panels should be replaced

While there is no hard and fast rule on when to replace solar panels. Most experts recommend replacing them when their efficiency falls below 80% (this may take about 25 years).

In the future, more Australians are going to embrace solar energy, as it is reliable. In the meantime, it is wise that you seek the help of electricity comparison companies to help cut down your electricity cost.

[1] https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/articles/extending-solar-energy-system-lifetime-power-electronics

[2] https://www.engineering.com/story/what-is-the-lifespan-of-a-solar-panel

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