As solar energy becomes more and more popular, people are starting to ask questions about how it works. One of the most common questions is, “Do solar panels lose efficiency over time?” The answer is a little bit complicated, but we’re going to break it down for you in this blog post. So, read on to learn everything you need to know about solar panel efficiency!
Do Solar Panels Lose Efficiency Over Time?
The answer is yes, but it’s not as bad as you might think. Solar panels are built to last for decades, but their efficiency will decrease slightly over time. The good news is that today’s solar panels are much more efficient than the panels of the past, so even if they do lose some efficiency over time, they will still be able to produce a significant amount of power.
Why and How Do Solar Panels Degrade?
The speed at which solar panels lose effectiveness over time can be known as the degradation rate. It’s an inevitable consequence of exposure to elements. According to a 2012 study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, panels can lose anything between 0.5% to 0.8% of their capacity for production every year.
It is inevitable, but it isn’t so slow that it’s not a significant issue for the majority of homeowners. There are two more ways that solar panels reduce their efficiency due to their chemical properties that work against them.
Like a brand new car that loses value once you take it off the road, the solar panel could be impacted by efficiency issues within a matter of hours after its initial use. Light-Induced Degradation (LID) happens when the boron coating on solar panels begins to oxidize and obscures the panels. This can reduce between 1% to 3% of the solar panel’s performance within hours of the first exposure to the sun, but it does not continue to progress after that stage.
A more recent phenomenon called Potential-Induced Degradation (PID) can affect solar panels as time passes. Although the exact mechanism is not yet fully understood, electrical leakages occur from solar panels because of high humidity and sodium build-up. It can arc its back and cause damage. This is why working with a reputable solar installer is essential to minimize the chance of being affected.
What is the Lifespan of Solar Panels?
With how brand new solar panels are and how widespread their acceptance is, there’s not much information regarding their life span but you can count on the majority of photovoltaic panels to last for 25 years before they start to show signs of degradation. However, many older solar panels are still in operation, so if you plan on keeping them for the long term, there’s a long time of clean energy waiting for you.
Solar panels provide homeowners with an excellent way to cut down on the carbon footprint of their homes. Fortunately, the life span of solar panels can allow energy production for a long time which provides a significant return on your investment. The majority of solar panel manufacturers will offer a standard warranty of 25 years for the expected lifespan of their solar panels. After 25 years, the solar panels will not necessarily require replacement but their capacity to absorb light will decrease.
Does Cleaning Your Solar Panels Make a Difference?
Do solar panels really need to be cleaned? Do they lose efficiency over time if they’re not? Whether or not you should clean your solar panels depends on a few factors.
First, you need to consider the climate where you live. If you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollen, it’s probably a good idea to clean your panels on a regular basis. These particles can build up on the surface of the panels and block sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells. This can reduce the amount of electricity that your system produces.
Second, you need to take a look at your system’s warranty. Many manufacturers require that you have your panels professionally cleaned at least once a year in order to maintain the warranty.
Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of cleaning. If you have a large solar array, it can be quite expensive to hire someone to clean it for you. However, if you have a small system, you may be able to do it yourself with just a little time and effort. In the end, whether or not you clean your solar panels is up to you. Just make sure to weigh all of the factors before making a decision.
What Are the Ways to Keep Your Solar Panel Efficient?
The average lifespan of a solar panel is around 25 to 30 years. However, the efficiency of your panels will decrease slightly over time. The rate at which this occurs will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of panels you have and the amount of sun they receive. However, there are several things you can do to help keep your panels running at peak efficiency for as long as possible.
First, it’s important to clean your panels on a regular basis. Dust, dirt, and other debris can build up on the surface of your panels, blocking sunlight and making it harder for them to generate power. You should also trim any tree branches or other vegetation that might be shading your panels. Even a small amount of shade can reduce the output of your panels by a significant amount.
Finally, if you live in an area with high winds, you may want to invest in some type of wind protection for your panels. This will help to keep them from being damaged by flying debris or strong gusts of wind. By taking these simple steps, you can help make sure that your solar panels will continue to generate power efficiently for many years to come.
Are You Not Using Solar Yet? Invest Today with EcoPlex
Do you often find yourself wondering, “should I really switch to solar?” or “are solar panels worth it?” If you’re on the fence about making the switch to solar energy, today is the best time.
If you’re thinking about installing solar panels, there’s no need to worry about their long-term efficiency. Solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, which can be used to power your home or business for a long time.
EcoPlex can help you get started with solar today. Ecoplex offers solar panel installation services that can help you take advantage of this renewable energy source. We’ve installed thousands of solar panels, and we have a team of experienced professionals who are ready to help you every step of the way. We’ll work with you to determine the best location for your panels, and we’ll help you choose the right size and type of system for your home or business.
In addition to saving you money on your energy bill, you are also helping the environment by switching to solar. Thanks to government incentives with SEAI Grant, the cost of installing solar panels has never been more affordable. So why wait? Contact Ecoplex today to learn more about how solar panels can benefit you and the planet.
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