What Is The Lifespan Of Solar PV Systems?

Solar PV is a great investment for your household if you have the right amount of space on your roof. We’ll be looking at what the average lifespan is for a solar PV system and what performance you should expect over the years.

How long do the panels last?

At this particular time, solar panels have a relatively long-life expectancy, with most lasting around 20-25 years. However, if you decide to use the feed in tariff, then you will be paid for the energy you generate for 20 years. But due to constant developments, solar panel systems can now have a life expectancy of around 40 years, dependent on how much you’re willing to spend.

But as expected, there are some issues with solar panels, such as the performance of the panels decreasing the longer you have them as the cells begin to degenerate. You probably won’t notice it, but each year your panels will produce slightly less electricity than the previous, and if you have them for 40 years you will see a huge drop in the system. However, it’s dependent on the system you purchase as some have only dropped to around 80% of their original starting power, which is very impressive. Some studies have shown that the panels lose around 0.2% each year, with a 5% drop in year one, meaning that your solar panels will produce plenty of electricity whether they’re new or old.

Another issue that can affect the performance of the panels is if they’re damaged. Even knocks during installation could compromise the seals allowing water to seep into unwanted areas. Most solar panels can cater for damaged areas but each bit of damage is going to affect the performance and impair the amount of electricity generated.

Maintenance of solar PV

Solar panels in this context are a great bit of technology, they are a fit and forget technology as they need very little maintenance. However, one thing that does need maintaining is the inverter. Normally, it has a lifespan of around 10 years so not too much maintenance is needed, but they do need replacing to ensure that the system still works. The other alternative is micro inverters, which are slightly more expensive but last longer.

As for the panels themselves, over the years they will see some physical degradation with a tinge of yellow appearing and start looking a bit tired. Even though physically they may look worn and tired, the performance drop isn’t massive and will stay relatively consistent.