In our wonderful and strange information era, where misinformation is probably even more common than real information, it can be difficult to keep up with the narrative. Take solar energy as the perfect example – it’s a great thing, right? Good for the environment, reliable and cost-effective, an investment that will save you in the long term, a job creator, fuel for the economy, our path to ‘green’ energy independence – and more. But another narrative is running at the same time too: that while they might be great, the question of how long do solar panels last is actually putting some people off. After all, don’t they just end up in landfills eventually?
First, solar panels are recyclable, so the trend over the coming years will be less and less expired solar panel waste. But average solar panel lifespan remains very misunderstood in our sunburnt country because the truth of the matter is that they can last for decades. For a lot of people, they’ll put those panels in, the investment will pay itself off, and the only ongoing cost will be a bit of easy maintenance – and that will be it!
If you simply Google ‘how long do solar panels last in Australia’, however, the most typical answer will be 15-25 years – which is broadly in line with the manufacturer’s warranties. But is there anything you can do to contribute to an even longer solar panel lifespan? Yes, there is!:
1. Select a good brand
There are a lot of solar panel brands out there – and it can be tempting to be guided purely by price. But with the vast majority of solar panels now made in China, the spectrum of quality can differ wildly from product to product. After all, you’re not just buying a brand – you’re buying manufacturing quality, which under the searing Aussie skies and torrential Aussie rain is particularly important. Cheaper solar brands use cheaper materials and components, feature poorer solder joint quality, can have unreliable electrical connections and tend to break more easily.
So when you’re looking at that price, don’t forget to factor in the likely lifespan of solar panels too.
2. Install them right
‘How long do solar panels last’ is so difficult to answer because there are so many factors – and after choosing a quality product, the second thing to ensure is that the installation is done just right. Your panels are strong, but they’ll be a lot more fragile if the overall structural integrity of the array’s installation and all the crucial connections and inter-connected network is at sub-par standard. Don’t forget: you can buy the best product in the world, but if you then get an absolute goose to install it for you, you can’t be angry when the finished product lets you down too soon.
3. Keep an eye on them
Like every complex electronic device or system, time will eventually be their demise – at some point. Wear and tear are simply inevitable, so keep up to date with how that degradation process is going. If you’ve noticed that power generation seems to be down, it’s possible you need a solar repair – or perhaps a replacement panel. Good solar energy setups feature tracking and monitoring systems that will let you know if something isn’t quite right. In this way, it isn’t age that will limit the lifespan of solar panels, but their performance and efficiency.
4. Get them maintained & serviced
The primary reason for the acceleration of wear and tear is lagging maintenance or servicing schedules. Simply because they’re on your roof, soaking up the searing sun and being battered by storms and wind and hail – and bird poo – your system will need some minor ongoing solar panel maintenance and solar panel cleaning. Ideally, you’ll get it done at least periodically by a professional, who will know exactly what to look for in terms of lagging efficiency and how the current condition of your panels is contributing to that.
Boost the life of solar panels with Static Electrics
How are your solar panels looking? A little worn? Not performing optimally anymore? Needing some repairs? Covered in dust, debris and bird poo? At Static Electrics, our friendly team is exclusively comprised by only the best in skilled, experienced, accredited and licensed solar electricians across Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and surrounds. For installation, maintenance, cleaning, repairs, servicing and detailed routine inspections, Static Electrics can help you supercharge your solar panel lifespan. Get in touch with the friendly team today.