When considering the practicalities of installing solar panels, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider and one of the most common questions is, how long will they hold up? In this blog we’re going to take a look at all of the things that can impact the longevity of your panels and also advise on how to get the best possible lifespan.
First things first, the big question – how long do solar panels tend to last? The basic answer is most solar panels are built to be sturdy and reliable. The industry standard lifespan for panels is 25 to 30 years, allowing you to make savings for many years after you have offset your initial investment.
However, the real response is more nuanced than this and it does depend on several important factors:
Factors That Can Influence Solar Panel Lifespan
Quality is Everything: Just like when you’re shopping for any other household appliance, the quality of materials and the installation, matters. High-quality solar panels made with premium materials tend to last longer. Also, getting a professional to install them can make a big difference, you have the piece of mind that your panels have been installed to manufacturer specification, which when it comes to electricals, is very important.
Give Them a Little TLC: Just like your car needs regular oil changes, solar panels do require a small amount of upkeep. Clean them up to remove dirt, leaves, and other debris. Periodically check for signs of wear and tear. It’s also worth keeping an eye on any nearby trees in case they start to shade the panels. If this happens, trimming them back will ensure your solar panel output isn’t affected.
The Great British Weather: We’re no stranger to less than perfect weather, but don’t fret! Solar panels can still produce electricity on cloudy days, just not quite the same amount as on those perfect sunny summer days. Luckily, solar panel technology has come a long way, and they can handle the UK’s weather pretty well.
Degradation: As above, the lifespan of a solar panel is pretty long and they age relatively well however you may have heard of something called panel degradation. As with most electrical appliances, over their lifetime, panels will degrade slightly through general wear and due to their exposure to UV rays and adverse weather conditions. Generally though, if you invest in high-quality panels, they tend to age gracefully and the degradation is very minimal.
Inverters Have a Shorter Life: Inverters are the unsung heroes of your solar setup, converting solar energy into usable electricity. The catch? They usually have a life span of around 10 to 15 years, so be aware and keep an eye on your inverter to make sure your energy savings aren’t disrupted.
There you have it, the lowdown on how long solar panels last in the UK. Essentially, with good quality panels, professional installation, and a minimal level of maintenance, you can expect your solar panels to be generating and saving you money for a good 25 to 30 years – or maybe even longer!