How Long Do Solar Panels Last: Factors And Tips
As the world grapples with the mounting challenges of climate change at the very same time as energy prices are soaring, solar panels offer a beacon of hope. But for us Australians, there’s a pressing question on everyone’s mind: with 70-80% of the world’s solar technologies made in China, and then subjected to our relentless sun, humidity and storms, how long do solar panels last in Australia?
How long do solar panels last, anyway?
How long does a solar panel last? To get the answer, you could, of course, just read the warranties the manufacturer or supplier gives you. For just about every solar panel on the market today in Australia, there are two kinds of them:
- Performance warranties: It’s usually a guarantee of at least 90% of the panels’ rated power after 10 years, and 80% after 25 years.
- Product warranties: This one’s about manufacturing or materials defects, with the average in Australia being 10-12 years, but rising to 15-25 years for premium solar panels.
The 8 factors impacting solar panel life expectancy
So can you actually expect your solar panel lifespan to be about 25 years in Australia? Let’s dive into the critical factors you need to be concerned about:
1. The sunlight
Yes, without sunlight, those panels don’t do much at all. But all across Australia, the intensity of that sunlight can be more than the panels were really designed to take. Prolonged intense exposure can accelerate the solar cells’ degradation rate, adding up to a reduced baseline lifespan of a couple of years.
QUICK TIP: Enquire about panels with UV-resistant coatings.
2. The temperatures
The red flags are waving for the almost-certainly-hotter-than-usual summer this year due to El Niño. Extreme sunlight is one thing, but extraordinarily high ambient temperatures can also reduce the efficiency of your panels, and cause the materials to age faster.
QUICK TIP: Installation of panels on elevated structures, creating a gap between the panel and the roof, improves airflow.
3. The humidity
Humidity is even less of a friend to your panels as soaring temperatures are – and coastal cities like Sydney can be very humid indeed. Over time, that extra moisture in the air seeps into the panels, affecting their efficiency and reducing the 25-year baseline by a few years.
QUICK TIP: When discussing how long solar panels last with your installer, ask them if they’ve properly sealed the panels and integrated moisture barriers.
4. The dust, dirt & debris
If you’re living in a part of the country that is particularly prone to dust storms, an accumulation of that dust can really affect their efficiency – on top of all the bird poo and other debris and gunk.
QUICK TIP: Hose your panels off as often as you like – just don’t blast them with high pressure. A better idea is to enquire about professional and regular solar panel cleaning.
5. The salt corrosion
The thing about Australia is that just about all of us are not too far away from the coast. The big problem with that is the salt-laden air – which is corrosive to your solar panels. Many modern panels are designed with this in mind, but it’s still something that can affect lifespan.
QUICK TIP: Ensure the panels you choose are salt-resistant, particularly if you’re close to the ocean.
6. The storms & hail
Every storm isn’t particularly good for your panels. But hail in particular really can physically damage them in a serious way, even if many panels these days are built to take the battering.
QUICK TIP: Have protective guards installed to shield your panels from impact, and also consider protective films that bolster impact resistance.
7. The quality of your panels
This one probably deserves to be a lot, lot higher than #7 – but it almost goes without saying that higher-quality panels with robust construction and advanced technologies boost that baseline lifespan no matter what happens.
QUICK TIP: Buying premium-grade panels with proven longevity is an investment that’s more than worthwhile.
8. The quality of your installation
Getting only the best and most proven and recommended professionals to install your panels means optimal positioning, secure fastening, optimised efficiency and performance, and great pre and post-installation service, maintenance & repairs.
QUICK TIP: It’s all about Solar Repair Sydney – Sydney’s premier group of only the best solar panel professionals.
Harnessing Australia’s sun, the right way
Follow those QUICK TIPS, and that’s your best bet for a solar panel installation that thrives in Australia’s harsh and beautiful climate for a quarter of a century – and beyond. But if you’re seeking truly expert insights, maintenance, repairs, or just have questions about your solar system’s durability or efficiency, don’t hesitate to contact Solar Repair Sydney for 5-star professional services and information.