Do Solar Panels Need to be Replaced?

Do Solar Panels Need to be Replaced?

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Solar panels are a worthwhile and unarguably necessary investment to keep your electric appliances going – but do they need to be replaced every now and then?

Generally, you don’t need to replace solar panels very often since they are designed to last for a very long period of time and withstand different kinds of weather conditions. You should only replace your solar panels in two cases: A) they get damaged; B) they can no longer produce electricity enough to power all your necessary appliances.

This article focuses on the average life span of solar panels, the various conditions which might require you to change your solar panels, and ways you can make them last longer.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Most solar panels last on average for 25-30 years, which is a long period of time. Even after 25-30 years, it’s not like your panels will just stop working. They will simply start becoming less and less efficient over time – a process called the “degradation rate.”

The average degradation rate is about 0.5% per year according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Note that the overall life span and degradation rate of individual solar panels may also vary from model to model.

When To Replace Your Solar Panels?

When the degradation rate is more than “normal” and you’re not getting enough electricity to run your appliances, it’s a wise option to get your solar panels replaced. “Normal” means an average degradation rate of about 0.5%.

Higher quality solar panels of brands such as Panasonic or LG may have lower degradation rates, such as 0.3%. It is recommended that you invest a bit more at the front end and purchase higher quality solar panels, so they last for a long time and save you more in the longer run.

Can Your Solar Panel Get Damaged?

Extreme weather conditions such as hailstorms, hurricanes etc. can cause considerable damage to the solar panels. Extreme changes in temperature can also damage the solar panels over time since it can cause contraction and expansion in the materials used in the solar panels.

However, most solar panels come with 25-30 year warranties that you can make use of in order to repair any damages on your solar panels.

How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer?

Generally, solar panels are low-maintenance devices since they are already designed with various parts protecting them against possible bad weather conditions and other forms of physical damage.

However, you can make them last even above their prime 25-30 year period through the following steps;

1) Get your solar panels checked regularly by any professional solar installer.

2) Make sure your solar panels are free from any dirt or debris and wash them regularly with water.

3) Make sure your solar panels are installed in an area where there isn’t any shade, because that will negate the purpose of the solar panel.

4) Take the weather conditions at your area into consideration. If you live at a windy or desert-like area, your solar panels will need more cleaning since they’ll accumulate more dust.

Alternatives to Getting Solar Panels Replaced

Getting solar panels replaced is an expensive process. Even removing a solar panel will cost you around 400$ – 500$, in addition to the 100$ per hour labor cost in installing a new panel.

In most cases, your solar panels may not really even need to be entirely replaced as they become useless only if they are damaged to the point of no repair. An alternative is keeping your old solar panel and installing another brand new one.

Additionally, if there are only certain parts of the solar panels that are damaged and need replacement, such as the racking, inverter, solar battery etc. then it makes sense to only get them done instead of replacing the entire solar panel.

Do You Have To Replace Your Solar Panels After 25 Years?

Short answer: no, not necessarily.

It’s possible that you’ve been using your solar panels for over 25 years, yet you’re able to get just the right amount of electricity you need. The 25-year period isn’t really a benchmark – whether you should replace your solar panel or not depends on how efficient and usable it still is.

Can You Replace Solar Panels Yourself?

You can replace solar panels yourself, but it’s recommended to leave the job to a professional solar panel installer. The process requires disconnecting the entire solar system, dealing with the wiring and internal connection, and installing new solar panels. If you make a mistake, it will just cost you more to have it fixed.

What Are Some Of The Best Solar Power Manufacturers?

Popular solar power manufacturers include the likes of LG Energy, SunPower, REC, Qcells, Winaico etc.

See Also:
Can a Solar Panel Work Without an Inverter?
What Can a 1000-Watt Solar Panel Power?
What Can A 300 Watt Solar Panel Run?
Generac IX2000 Portable Inverter Generator Review

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