How to Ensure Long Lifespan for Solar Panels
Solar panels have a limited lifespan, just like any other electronic appliance. Manufacturing companies continually improve the quality and lifespan of solar panels (an average of 25 – 30 years) being produced, but can this lifespan warranty be exceeded? Yes, depending on many factors, the life length of solar panels could be potentially shortened or lengthened.
Understanding factors that impact the lifespans of solar panels is essential to know if you want to get the best out of your solar panels in the longest possible space of time. The average warranty of 25 years issued by the manufacturers is mostly more like the minimum lifespan expected under fair conditions.
Some panels still function actively, absorbing and providing energy even after 40+ years.
Purchasing Quality Solar Panels
It’s a rule of purchase we all know of: purchase quality, purchase durability. If you want a solar panel with greatly impressive lifespan, you should prioritize getting the best quality-wise. Purchasing from solar companies that emphasize manufacturing solar products that meet or surpass quality standards is highly encouraged.
The quality of solar panels is determined by the quality of individual components like;
The encapsulation system: this is the casing or covering of the panels – the glass, metal body, etc. If these materials are of poor quality, they can deteriorate or delaminate over time – the glass could break easily, the metals oxidize quickly, and the ability to withstand mechanical damage or the weather is drastically reduced.
The mounting system: this can give way under heavy load or pressure (for example, accumulated snow heaps during winter) if they are of sub-standard quality.
The photovoltaic cells or solar cells: these are the essential parts of the solar panel. They determine the quality of the solar panel system as a whole. These cells do the major work of trapping and converting solar energy, so you want to consider this factor for a longer lifespan.
Installation of the Solar Panels
Setting up your solar panels is most advisable to be done by trained installation personnel. Lengthening or shortening the lifespan of solar panels is greatly determined by how well they are installed.
Improper installation procedures have been shown to drastically reduce lifespan by about 25%. So, if you want a lengthy lifespan, you would take care to make sure they are properly installed.
Minor actions that may be overlooked, like installers casually stepping over surfaces of the panels (even though they are tempered glass designed to withstand physical pressures), may cause a negative impact in the long run.
A good solar panel installation personnel should;
Inspect the products properly for defects before installation
Clean panels thoroughly
Connect the inverter to the grid and execute the cabling very carefully
Take into consideration the inclination of the panels and the clamping to optimal mechanical resistance
Keeping up with Routine Maintenance
Studies show that well-maintained solar panels will produce 50% more energy output and last 50% longer in the lifespan. So, if you thought solar panels should just be installed up on your roof and left there for years to keep doing their job, you thought wrong.
A one-percent loss of sunlight absorbed by solar panels can be attributed to soiling or shading. Soiling is the accumulation of debris, dust, soil, or snow on the surface of panels, causing a reduced intake of solar energy and hence, reduced power output.
Make sure to get up to your panels routinely to clean off the surfaces, remove obstructing branch shades and ensure that they are kept in an optimal position to receive the most sunlight.
Another vital thing to do during maintenance practices is to cut off tree branches hanging close by or whatever may serve as a means for adventurous animals to get your panels and cause significant damage.
Well, just like it is with almost every other appliance, improper cleaning methods can also pose a threat to your solar panels’ lifespan. Therefore it is much more advisable to employ the services of maintenance personnel explicitly suited for the job. It is essential to know that the objective to extend the lifespan of your solar panels is one that should be started right from the point of purchase and continues throughout use and not just when you discover the deteriorating power output.
With the right care, the panels’ lifespan can be improved way more than the rated 25+ years. However, these practices, as mentioned previously, can even further shorten the lifespan of the panels or damage them instantly if carried out wrongly. That is why we recommend the services of skilled solar companies, installers, and maintenance. Now that you have sufficient know-how, you are welcome to keep enjoying the optimum power supply.