How Long do Solar Panels Last?

Solar Panel Installers and Reviews in New Jersey 2 min


This is one of the most common questions of concern to many homeowners wanting to buy solar panels in NJ. The duration or how long your solar panel will last is important when deciding the amount t you can pay for the solar panel. Therefore, you might be interested in understanding industry projections and degradation rate for the targeted solar panel.

As long as they are not destroyed by wind, debris, or any other factors, many solar panels will be capable of serving you for decades, which ideally is between 25-30 years. After the duration, the solar can operate but will not produce a significant amount of power. Since they do not have any moving parts, they rarely break from within although they can be damaged by external forces such as poor racking or bad weather.

On average, a solar panel will degrade by 0.8 percent each year — that’s the degradation rate according to a 2012 study. Generally, degradation rates of lower than 1 percent are very common in the industry. However, this rate varies depending on the panel brand bought, with some offering a degradation rate of as low as 0.3%. Again, the rate is improving with improvement of solar technologies.

A degradation rate of 0.8 percent means that the panel will still produce 99.2% as much power as their original output when you bought them. That means at the end of 25 years it is expected to last, it will still be operating at 82.5% of the original power output. Therefore, for those who want to buy solar panels in NJ, if you know the degradation rate of the system you want to buy, you can subtract that rate from 100 percent and then multiply the resulting rate by the number of years you want to use the system (or rather the number of years the seller claims the system will last to provide substantial amount of power).

If unsure, you can also check for solar panel installers in NJ to confirm that the customers who bought their solar systems several years ago are still getting good service from their system for a long time.

Another important thing when asking the question of the duration a solar system should last is companies provide warranties for systems. Looking at this warranty can offer a clue about the duration the system can serve you. The performance warranty, which warrants that the system will produce a given amount of electricity, usually lasts for 25 years. This is also different from equipment warranty that certifies against manufacturing defects. About performance, most manufacturers will have tested the systems to check that they can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads and other physical or chemical conditions. However, it is still necessary to ensure proper installation and to prevent solar systems from other mechanical damages.

Otherwise, a 2010 analysis from Brookhaven National Laboratory found that the EPBT of a solar panel in NJ is just six months. The “energy payback time” or EPBT is the duration a solar panel takes to produce enough clean energy to pay back the energy used to manufacture it.

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Suntuity designs, builds and maintains solar and wind energy solutions for residential solar panels NJ, commercial and utility-scale markets around the world. Using innovative financing solutions, in-depth technical expertise, global experience and embedded process knowledge, they deliver the best quality products and solutions that maximize the output and return on investment for their clients.


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