Using solar panels for electricity in Orlando has become a truly attractive option because it’s affordable, easy to install, and lasts a long time. The average solar panel lifespan provided by most companies is around 25-30 years. In other words, you’re investing in something that will pay off in the long run. 

Although there are some aspects that affect the lifespan of the solar panels, you can continue to use them even after the 25-year period. It will, however, absorb less sunlight.  In this blog, we will be discussing how long do solar panels last, how to maintain, extend solar panels life, and what happens to solar panels after 30 years. 

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

In Orlando, USA, solar panels are becoming more and more popular as a way to provide homes with energy and reduce the impact they have on the environment. New solar panel models with an expected lifespan of 25-30 years are available, and the warranties are good for at least half of that time.

Solar panels are covered by warranties during the first half of their lives, which means that their performance levels are guaranteed. A typical warranty will guarantee that the performance won’t drop below 80% before the warranty expires. There have even been cases where panels have remained over 80% effective after their service life ended.

It is quite possible that your solar panels could last significantly longer after they’ve been installed if they’re properly maintained. Even so, they are likely to have slightly regressed in performance over that time period. Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels can expect a lifespan of about half a century.  Let’s move on to the factors that are responsible for solar panel degradation.

What is Solar Panel Degradation?

In the long run, all solar panels rapidly degrade, which means they produce less power with the same amount of sunlight. What are the reasons, and how does this happen? The panels wear down over time from external factors (like weather) and decrease their ability to create electricity.

Microcracks in solar cells are a factor that influences the degradation of solar panels. Electrical connections deteriorate as a result of these small cracks, and there are fewer paths available for electrons from the sun to travel, so less energy reaches the inverter and the house, business, or farm. A second problem is junction box adhesion failure and discoloration.

As panels can degrade in several ways due to a variety of causes, it’s a challenging issue. Companies that install solar panels in Orlando, such as Spectrum Solar, are constantly improving and devising ways to cut down on that degradation rate, so you can keep your panels running. You can rest assured, however, that your investment is safe, as your panels are guaranteed to degrade at low or below a specific rate.

Can Solar Panels Go Bad Before Their Time?

In some cases, they can, but only if there is a defect, damage, or some other issue with the manufacturer. A solar panel, on the other hand, does not expire and can continue to generate electricity, even though they degrade in sunlight absorption every year. Despite solar panels’ durability, they can still be damaged and rendered useless in some scenarios. Extreme weather and hail storms can cause micro-cracks that can break solar panels. 

While the current generation of solar panels is resistant to micro-cracks, they are not completely shielded from them. There are other factors, such as sudden changes in weather, which can cause rapid contractions and expansions of the panels’ materials. Similarly, if the seal protection on solar modules is damaged, water can damage the panels. Such kinds of faults are usually covered under the warranties of most solar companies in Orlando.

When Should You Consider Replacing Your Panels?

Once the solar panels have reached their life expectancy, you will need to replace them if there is a significant difference in the amount of electricity produced by the system. If your 20 kWh system is generating 15 kWh electricity with no fault, debris, or weather limits, your system has probably degraded a lot and should be switched over.

Our recommendation is to buy a larger system than what is needed so your investment can last for longer than you expect. When you install a Solar System in Orlando by Spectrum Solar, you also get a monitoring app that shows you all the data and allows you to monitor the changes made to the production.

Maintenance of Solar Panels

As long as you maintain your solar panels well, you can expect to enjoy them for the entire estimated lifespan. To maintain high levels of efficiency, various measures can be taken. Although solar panels should be pretty self-sufficient after installation, We believe that an annual (or biannual) cleaning will help make them last longer. Solar panels only need to be cleaned once or twice a year, but if you have had a long dry spell, you might want to give them an extra clean.

The following cleaning tips can help you maintain your solar panels for a longer period:

  • If you must clean your solar panels during the day, then do so in the morning or evening
  • To start, sweep leaves and debris off the panel. If you wish to use a brush, ensure that it has a soft bristle
  • Use a gentle stream of water to spray the panels
  • A soft cloth should be used to avoid scratching the panels if any stubborn areas need to be cleaned further
  • If you plan on using cleaning products on your panels, refer to the manufacturer’s guide first
  • Never touch the wiring underneath, only clean the panels. For under solar panel cleaning, you can use a solar panel cleaning service.
  • Ensure that no branches are hanging over your solar panels. They produce shade which reduces the efficiency of your panels, but they can also damage them if they fall on them.

It is also possible for cracks to appear on your solar panel surface, which could prove to be very dangerous since water can go inside freely. Consequently, the contacts could disintegrate, leading to poor connectivity. A solar panel, however, has built-in safeguards to ensure that any damage caused to one does not spread to others.

Best Ways to Prolong the Life of Solar Panels

The degradation of solar panels is inevitable, just like a car only runs for so many miles, or a piece of equipment starts to lose its shine after a few years. Yet, you’re investing a sensible amount that will drastically lower your household or company’s monthly bills.

You don’t have to do a whole lot with solar panels since they don’t have any moving parts. You should prepare for this before your system is installed. A rough installation can damage your solar panels even though they are sturdy and built to withstand pressure.

When choosing a company to install your solar system, you want to make sure they use top-of-the-line panels and parts that are built to last and are going to take care of your system for the long run. As a result, you will be able to keep your system’s energy production at a high level even after it has reached its expected lifespan.

Selecting a location for your solar system is another thing you and your installer should consider. It is best to place the panels far from things that might cause physical damage, like the wind blowing trees and bushes against them, which may speed up deterioration.

The key is to select products and companies that use the right procedures for cleaning and maintaining your system, as improper methods may cause more harm than good. Spectrum Solar is a company of highly trained professionals. You can trust them to get your solar system installation in Orlando.

What Happens to Solar Panels After 30 Years?

Solar panel manufacturers declare solar panels are no longer useful once their production falls below 80%; however, this does not mean they’re worthless. Despite their lower efficiency, the panels will continue to produce energy for many years to come.

Panels have a guaranteed lifespan of 25 years, but they can keep producing electricity for several decades after that. The only difference is that their electrical production is reduced based on how quickly they degrade. 

Depending on whether your panels need to be replaced or not, you’ll have to decide whether to do so. It is necessary to assess their ability to satisfy your electricity demands. If they are, then there is no reason to replace them. 

You can keep using your panels if you have maintained them correctly and there are no micro cracks or broken plates. To ensure your system stays in top working condition, always keep an eye on its production and make sure it gets cleaned periodically.

Solar panels are the future of your energy needs. If you want to protect the environment and save money in the long run, then use a solar system by Spectrum Solar at your home or office in Orlando.