How Long Do Solar Panels Last And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 5th, 2022

The exact answer is 25 years.

A solar panel, also known as a photovoltaic module, is a piece of equipment that harnesses solar radiation to generate electricity. As the life of solar panels is quite lengthy, this is considered a less expensive and better option for generators.

man in white dress shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on white and black solar panel

Many people, particularly these days, prefer solar panels over other power-generating equipment since the former does not release garbage or other dangerous elements. Solar systems emit no greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when used for energy.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are known to create clean energy power since they originate directly from the sun, and the sun has all of the energy humanity will ever want for the creation of electricity. The energy emitted by the sun is clean and has not been shown to affect the environment.

Do Solar Panels deteriorate with time?

Solar panels, like other technology, will inevitably produce less energy with time. The degradation rate refers to the decreasing power output.

The median solar panel degradation rate is around 0.5 percent, which indicates that a solar panel’s energy production will drop at a rate of 0.5 percent every year. 3 After 20 years, your panels should still be producing around 90% of their original output.

What exactly is the ‘degradation rate of solar panels?

Due to variables such as hotter temperatures and the natural decrease in chemical potency within the panel, solar panels lose their capacity to collect sunlight and convert it into solar energy over time.

This is what is known as the “degradation rate.”

The lower the rate of deterioration, the better the panel. When a solar panel degrades at a slower pace, it produces more energy during its lifespan.

Degradation rates differ from brand to brand; higher-quality panels degrade slower than lower-quality panels. This is crucial to remember when comparing solar panels since spending more money on higher quality panels may make sense in the long term.

According to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) research, Premium contemporary solar panel manufacturers such as Panasonic and LG provide panels with deterioration rates as low as 0.30 percent each year.

The worst deterioration rate is.80 percent per year, but as a baseline, every panel may expect an average degradation rate.50 percent per year.

The degradation rate for most Tier 1 solar panels is.30 percent, which means that the panels’ performance is lowered by.30 percent per year. Over 25 years, it equates to a total of 6.96 percent, implying that your panels will be operating at 93.04 percent of their original capacity in 2045.

Your Tier 2 solar panels will decline if you invest in them.

50 percent per year, and at the end of a 25-year warranty, they will operate at around 88.67% of their original capacity.

After 25 years, you may still anticipate outstanding performance from Tier 2 solar panels unless they break, have manufacturing problems, or are damaged beyond repair.

What Is the Lifespan of Solar Panels?

Number Of Years Efficiency  
25 years  85%  
30 years 75% and depreciating  

Factors influencing the longevity of solar panels

Several factors can influence a solar panel’s production and, as a result, either improve or shorten its lifespan. Among these elements are:


The quality, materials, and kind of solar panels you install, like with most things, will influence how effectively they perform and how long they survive. While low-quality materials may be less expensive, they may also decay faster.

Position of mounting

Sun panels work by absorbing as much solar energy as possible. Installing your panels to receive as much sunlight as possible can increase their efficiency. As a result, mounting is an important component to consider when it comes to energy generation.

Roof solar panels capture varying quantities of sunlight as the sun travels across the sky during the day. However, in general, south-facing is the best direction for all-day sun exposure.


Extreme weather conditions might shorten the life of a solar panel. If you reside in a location with freezing temperatures, heavy rain, snow, and hail, your solar panels may degrade faster.


Before putting solar panels on your house or company, you should evaluate the normal temperature in your area.

Excessive heat might impair the energy generation of your system. Considering your area’s environment will assist you in arranging your solar panels to allow for enough circulation, keeping them at the proper temperature for optimal working conditions.


Solar panels, like anything else of worth, live longer when properly maintained. Panels may decay faster if they are unclean, have debris, or are not maintained regularly.

When is the best time to update your solar panels?

Good solar panels can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, but there is no set timeframe at which you should replace yours. It is more crucial to focus on their production. If your solar panels are still in good condition and producing adequate power, they may not need to be changed.

If, on the other hand, you see that your power bill is rising because your solar panels are no longer working properly, it’s probably time to replace them.

What can you do to extend the life of your solar panels?

Solar panels typically do not require much maintenance. Still, you can do some basic actions to keep them operating at full capacity for a longer period than is typical.

Choose a manufacturer with an excellent track record. Solar panels, for the most part, are encased in glass and are unaffected by the climate. The semiconductor material is protected from the corrosive environment. The panel will disintegrate if the producer utilizes inferior materials to enclose the metal and conducting elements.

Ensure that they have complete access to light. Remove any tree limbs or other plant growth that is blocking the sun’s rays. Any shadow will reduce the effectiveness of a solar panel — and not simply because of blocked photons.

The darkened region will be a high-resistance “hotspot,” even with diodes fitted to some extent. These hotspots can hasten the module’s deterioration and cause it to fail prematurely.

Maintain the cleanliness of your solar panels. This is especially true in windy locations. Keep dust, grime, sand, and pollen away from your panels. Allow haze to collect on the panels in more polluted cities. When possible, prevent snow and frost off the panels during the winter.


An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or other comparable power source is commonly considered to require a lot of care and service.

For example, UPS mandates you to replace the battery every 5 years, or even 3 years in some cases. Solar panels, on the other hand, do not fall under this category. The most significant advantage of a solar panel is that it requires very little service and maintenance.

Solar panels also require battery replacement. However, the frequency is significantly lower compared to other types. If you want to improve performance, replace your battery every 10 to 15 years. Investing in solar panels is a long-term commitment.

Though the initial investment may appear large, the profits will make it worthwhile. Once you install a solar panel, you won’t have to worry about it for the next three decades, or even longer if used properly.


Editorial Staff

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