How long do solar panels typically last before requiring maintenance? What measures can be taken to prevent malfunction? Whether your business currently utilizes commercial solar panels or is considering making the switch to solar technology, this article by Solar Power World will give you a helpful rundown on standard solar panel warranty policy.
Anticipating one of the most common questions about solar panels, it begins by stating that the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) classifies solar PV (photovoltaic) systems as having a life expectancy of 30+ years on average.
In addition to describing the average warranty, it discusses preventative measures that will help solar array components last longer and have maximum efficacy.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the article:
- Commercial solar panels usually have 25-year performance warranties and 10- to 12-year limited warranties. Solar power output declines at an average of 0.7% each year (higher-quality panels degrade at a slower pace), and this amount of decline is usually guaranteed in a standard performance warranty.
- Warranties for batteries used in different types of solar panel installations can vary. Depending on the type of battery used with the array, warranties can range from approximately 1 to 20 years.
- Warranties for inverters typically last for 5 years, but can also vary depending on the type of inverter used.
- Solar array mounting warranties usually range from 5 to 25 years. This is due to the wide selection of materials used, and also depends on whether the mounting is on a roof or on the ground.
- With proper O&M (operations and maintenance), a solar array can experience more efficient and/or prolonged performance
The article goes on to report that according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, four types of solar array maintenance practices exist:
- Administration maintenance: measure, analyze and communicate
- Preventative maintenance: examine and conform to standards
- Corrective maintenance: repair and reinforce
- Condition-based maintenance: establish a maintenance routine
If the right measures are taken, it is possible to maintain (and even possibly extend) solar panel efficiency past solar panel warranty projections.
Learn more about what goes into a solar panel warranty: The Key Components of a Commercial Solar Panel Warranty.