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How long do solar panels last?

How long do solar panels last?

By Brian Douglas

Solar system definition and its advantages:

  1. solar panels which convert the sun’s heat into usable electricity.

  1. Benefits of Solar System?


  1. Solar energy means you are utilizing zero emission electricity and shrinking your carbon footprints. If you have electric car, you can even power your commute with the sun instead of traditional fossil fuels.

  1. Solar.


  1. solar system could be installed where the sun’s average hours are above 4.

  1. The commercial solar power plants construction is emerging market and the investors can earn billions of dollars in revenues.

Lifespan of Solar Panels.

  1. Life of solar panels.

solar panels, at a very slow rate, produce less electricity as they age. This process is called degradation.

The life guarantees may differ depending upon the quality of manufacturing and operating environment. The solar panels may last more than 30 years, given they are not physically damaged by extreme dust, wind, wreckage, or any other external factors. With the passage of time, the power performance of solar panels is deteriorated slowly.

Degradation of Solar Panels. Solar panels efficiency slowly deteriorates with the passage of time. The rate of deterioration depends upon the quality of solar panels. Besides the quality of panels, maintenance and environment play a key role in decline of solar cells. The poor maintenance and worst weather conditions quickly deteriorates the solar cells consequently solar performance keeps decreasing. Accordingly to NREL1 research and analysis, the best quality panels usually have degradation rates as low as 0.3% per year.

The lowest degradation rate is 80% while the average degradation rate is considered as 0.50% per year. The following table displays the degradation rate of different quality panels.

Panel type

Degradation rate

Reduction over 25 years

Amount of original output after 25 years

Tier 1




Tier 2




Tier 3




Usually, the Tier 1’s quality panel’s performance deteriorates at the rate of 0.3% annually. The above table reveals that solar panels can last for more than 25 years but their performance is deteriorated due to certain factors.


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