For a better experience please change your browser to CHROME, FIREFOX, OPERA or Internet Explorer.
How long do solar panels last?

How long do solar panels last?

By Brian Douglas

Solar system definition and its advantages:

  1. Solar Technology. Solar power is a great source of energy. Solar energy is generated from the sun in the form of electric or thermal energy. Solar energy is captured in a variation of ways, the most viable of which is with photovoltaic solar panels which convert the sun’s heat into usable electricity.

  1. Benefits of Solar System?


  1. Solar is great for the environment, using 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 power will save your money, with solar system you have not to rely on expensive electricity from your utility company. An average solar energy customer saves tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime when he goes Solar.


  1. Solar works all over the world, the 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 power is useful and green source of energy generation to reduce your carbon footprint. The solar PV cells convert son’s heat into electricity. A solar panel is an assemblage of solar cells. Lots of small solar cells spread over a large area work together to provide enough power to be useful. Usually, the solar panels come with a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Like a lot of other equipment, solar panels don’t perform at 100% for their entire life and then just stop working in year 30. Instead, 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.