Solar Panels: How Many Years?

Going solar is an exciting and sustainable way to power your home, reduce household energy costs, and invest in the future of renewable energy. Before you take the plunge into renewable energy sources like solar, it’s important to understand one key factor: How long do solar panels last? 

Wolf River Electric, helps you answer that question by providing a comprehensive discussion on how long solar systems typically last and what factors affect their lifespan. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to install solar panels or a business that wants long-term sustainability, this post will provide you with reliable information.

Types Of Solar Panels

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Monocrystalline Solar Panels – These panels are made of high-quality polycrystalline silicone. They are the most efficient type of solar module available on the market. They are made from a single crystalline silicon cell that is cut into wafers. Because they use higher-grade silicone, these solar panels have an efficiency rating of up to 20%.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels – Polycrystalline solar panels are usually the most affordable type of panel. They are made from cells cut from a block of polycrystalline silicone. They are less efficient than monocrystalline panels, but the solar panel efficiency ratings can still reach up to 15%. 

Thin Film Solar Panels – Thin film modules are also referred to as amorphous silicon solar panels. They are made from a thin layer of silicone that is spread over an insulated substrate. These panels have the lowest efficiency ratings with up to 8%, but they do have the advantage of being light and flexible, making them ideal for certain applications.

So, Which Solar Panels Last Longest?

Monocrystalline are high quality solar modules due to their superior efficiency and durability. These solar systems are also the most expensive option. Although, they can be well worth the investment if you plan on using a solar power system for a long period of time. 

Factors That Affect Solar Life Expectancy

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Quality is determined by a variety of factors, including durability, efficiency, and resistance to degradation of the panel. Subpar solar modules might lack durability, making them prone to damage and resulting in decreased efficiency over time. Higher-quality panels are generally more expensive, but they also tend to last longer and improve system efficiency.

Installation and Mounting Position

Solar modules must be properly mounted in order to safely capture the maximum amount of sunlight during the day. If not installed correctly, the panels may become loose and suffer structural damage. The positioning of the panels can influence the amount of light they receive, potentially resulting in a reduced lifespan.


Maintenance involves regularly cleaning the panels of dirt and debris, as well as inspecting them for any signs of wear or damage. While solar modules may not require regular maintenance,  keep an eye out for any loose bolts and other components that could cause damage over time. 


High temperatures can have a negative effect on solar panel lifespans. Excessive heat can cause solar panels to degrade faster, as they function optimally in cooler temperatures. They rely on the sun but too much heat can cause damage. 

Solar Panel Installation

A professional solar installer can ensure that everything is installed correctly so that the system runs efficiently and lasts as long as possible. The installing company should provide regular maintenance and repair services to keep the panels in top condition. 

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Tips To Reduce Solar Panel Degradation Rate

How long does it take to install solar panels

1. Cleaning and Maintenance: Regularly clean the solar panel surface with a soft brush or cloth using a mild non-abrasive soap and warm water only. Also, remove any debris that may have accumulated in the area near your panels.

2. Have an Installer Regularly Inspect Your Solar Panels: An experienced installer can detect problems potentially impacting your solar system’s efficiency. This can include improper installation, shading, or faulty components in the system. 

3. Use a Reputable Installer: Choose a reliable installer who possesses expertise in preventing degradation through best practices. They can recommend methods to boost your solar system’s performance and maintenance for optimal efficiency.

4. Use Quality Solar Modules: Using high-quality, durable solar panels that have gone through extensive testing and are certified by reliable organizations can help you avoid costly repairs and degradation. 

5. Minimize Exposure to the Elements: If possible, avoid placing solar panels in harsh environments. Extreme weather or excessive dust and dirt can shorten their life span. Keep them away from these conditions for better longevity.

Final Thought: Find A Sustainable Solar Solution With Wolf River Electric

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Solar energy reduces fossil fuel reliance and promotes a sustainable lifestyle. It can also reduce our energy bills and contribute to a healthier environment. With so many arguments in favor of solar, it is no wonder that individuals and businesses alike are looking for ways to maximize the benefits of solar technology. For those considering taking the plunge into renewables, it’s important to understand how long solar panels last, as this will affect your potential benefit over time. 

By researching different types of panels and choosing reliable brands, you can ensure that the investment made in a system will yield great returns in the form of savings while generating power responsibly. 

Wolf River Electric helps you explore these options and make the best decision for your specific needs. Contact us today to help you find a sustainable solar solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Solar panels should be replaced after 25 years. Most solar panel manufacturers offer warranties of 20-25 years. They recommend replacing the panel after this period. However, many solar panels continue to produce electricity even after their warranty has expired. After staying enough, the energy output of solar panels can be significantly reduced over time.

Yes, solar panels do degrade over time due to environmental factors such as high temperatures, snow and hail storms, and UV radiation from the sun. The degradation rate of a solar panel can vary, but the national renewable energy laboratory estimates that solar panels lose efficiency up to 20% of their energy production capacity after 25 years. 

Yes, there are ways to extend the lifespan of your solar panel. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help to prevent dirt, dust, and debris from accumulating on the surface of the panel, which reduces its light absorption ability. Plus, installing a protective cover over your panels can protect them from extreme weather conditions, such as hail or high winds. 

Yes, solar panels require maintenance to ensure that they remain in good working condition. Regularly clean panels to remove dirt, dust, and debris buildup. Check the wiring and connections of your solar panel system regularly for any wear or tear. 

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