Astronomers believe that the sun is posed to last another 5 billion years or so – give or take a few hundred million in either direction. So it’s pretty safe to guess that the sun will outlive even the most elite, durable solar panels on the market today. That being said, how long do the typical solar panels last? The short answer is: a lot longer than you may realize.
Researchers at the Pacific Energy Center in Northern California, for instance, found that solar panels engineered and deployed during the 1970s (when solar technology was really at the beginning) continue to deliver power today, four decades later, producing power ratings of around 80% of their initial capacity. That’s tremendous efficiency after 40 years of use and abuse – remember, these panels were some of the first ever built and used.
Analysts believe that most solar panels will bleed efficiency at a rate of about 0.5% annually. That means it will take 50 years for your panels to lose just a quarter of their original power.
Factors that may influence the longevity of solar panels:
- Thin film panels may burn out faster than crystalline panels;
- Harsh weather conditions (wind, rain, sleet, dust storms, etc) can pummel panels and shorten life expectancy;
- Dirty, snow covered, scratched up panels are obviously going to get ground up faster;
- Even after 25 years – a quarter of a century – most solar panels will continue to produce significant power, thus they will almost assuredly easily pay for themselves many times over.
Of course, the quality of your solar panel installation can also be crucial. Trust the team here at Century Roof & Solar to design, test, and engineer the best solar power solution for your home, business, or organization.
We have been the premier solar solution provider for the Bay Area since 1996, and we are masters at installing integrated photovoltaics. Learn about our possible solar solutions for you at www.centuryroofandsolar.com, or call us toll free at (888) 223-7548 to get your project questions answered by our seasoned solar specialists.
Sun image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun