One of the most common questions that people ask when it comes to solar is “How much do solar panels cost?” For many of us, this is a very important factor when it comes to making the decision to go solar. Aside from being beneficial for the environment, adding a home solar array also has its own set of costs.
After it has been established that solar panels are not as expensive as people think, another common question is “How long will they last?” This is usually a follow-up question to other inquiries about the system’s longevity.
Unlike other consumer goods, solar panels come with a lifetime warranty. This means that they will be able to provide you with reliable and clean electricity for a long time. Also, unlike other types of equipment, solar panels do not “go away” after their warranty period. They continue producing clean electricity even though their efficiency is slightly less.
Even though solar cells have been around for a long time, some of them still produce electricity every day. These old-school cells are expected to continue producing clean and reliable electricity for decades to come.
A study conducted by the NREL revealed that solar panels lose about half of their efficiency each year. This means that even though their efficiency is slightly lower, they should still be able to produce enough electricity to meet their 25-year warranty.
Not every solar panel will experience degradation rates of around 0.5%. For instance, a 30-year old solar panel will still produce more power than its original specs.
The longevity of solar panels makes them an even better investment than before. Not only will they continue producing clean and reliable electricity for a long time, they will also pay for themselves in the first ten years.
Another common question that people ask when it comes to solar is “How long will the system last?” Although the panels themselves probably won’t need replacing anytime soon, an inverter might be required in order to keep the system running properly.
Unlike solar panels, the average warranty for an inverter is usually around 10 to 15 years. However, there are newer types of equipment that can handle the output of multiple panels and extend the system’s lifespan. These are called micro-inverters and are expected to have a lifespan of up to 25 years.
Even with the cost of a replacement inverter, the return on investment for a solar energy system is still better than that of other types of equipment. Not only will they continue producing clean and reliable electricity, they will also pay for themselves in the long run.