Do you know how durable a solar panel is?
Best photovoltaic panel manufacturers recommend that solar panels last at least 25 years and have an efficiency of 80%. However, they can easily last 30 years with proper maintenance.
You might be worried about the durability of your solar panel. Let’s face it, we’re talking about a thing that’s meant to be installed on your roof and will generate your own electricity.
Today, we’re going to talk about the characteristics of solar panels to find out how durable and effective they really are.
We will also discuss the necessary maintenance and the size panel required for your installation.
The truth about the durability of solar panels
What if I told you that a solar panel is capable of withstanding a hailstorm?
Due to its use outdoors, photovoltaic solar panels have been developed to last a very long time.
In order to achieve this, the plates must be manufactured according to international standards that ensure their high quality and durability.
The solar panel: composition and durability
First of all, when we talk about solar panels, we’re talking about a bunch of connected photovoltaic cells.
We can see that a solar panel’s main part is a group of photovoltaic cells connected in series.
Nevertheless, due to the extreme fragility of the cells, several layers of protection and insulation are necessary to ensure their long-lasting performance.
You can learn more about how it works in this article.
Each board used in a solar panel is composed of:
- Tempered glass sheet.
- Organic material, such as EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate)
- Connected solar cells.
- One more sheet of EVA (or similar)
- A coating can be made of glass, PVC, or other polymers.
- Finally, the assembly (usually with anodized aluminum) will be framed, and the connection boxes (cables and connectors) for the serial connection will be inserted.
This ensures the safety of solar cells against impacts and thermal insulation.
In addition to hail, solar panels are also resistant to a variety of other weather conditions, such as wind speed, snow weight, and extreme temperatures.
As part of its manufacture, the solar panels must also undergo a series of quality tests.
The efficiency of solar panels
Its physical strength does not solely determine the durability of a solar panel.
A loss of efficiency is also an issue with solar cells.
As with any other material, silicon deteriorates over time when exposed to the sun and loses its efficiency.
That’s when it loses the ability to turn sunlight into electricity.
These losses aren’t as bad as they seem, only 0.7% on average.
Photovoltaic panel warranty
Ultimately, the warranty provided by the manufacturer is what counts.
You can expect at least 80% of the original generation for at least 25 years with the best brands, so be as vigilant as possible.
In other words, a 360-watt original power module will generate at least 80% of this power for at least 25 years, according to its warranty.
For this reason, you must always keep the purchase or installation documentation so that you can take advantage of the warranty.
This is why we recommend hiring or purchasing solar energy companies that use high-quality panels.
It is also important to keep in mind that many manufacturers have been bought, merged, or even declared bankrupt over time.
Consequently, the seller gives the guarantee to the buyer (you), who is responsible for the assurances given to the client.
When buying solar panels, you should check if the company has representation in your country, so you will have less trouble claiming your rights when the time comes. Since most quality panels are still imported, it is wise to check if the company has a local presence.
How many panels do I need for my solar installation?
It is impossible to generate all of the energy needed in a house, business, or rural property by one module (solar panel).
Each module can generate a certain amount of energy, which the manufacturer stipulates through laboratory tests and standard test conditions (STC).
Specifically, a 360 wp panel will generate this energy under similar climatic conditions to those found in a laboratory.
In order to generate the necessary energy for a given house and electricity consumption, a certain number of panels may be required.
This is one of the reasons you should work with a specialized company, getting a better and safer return on investment through a better project.
Maintenance of photovoltaic panels.
Solar panels require periodic cleaning of their surface.
They do this only if they get very dirty, which is not very often since they have a non-stick coating that prevents the accumulation of dirt.
Cleaning should be done every six months.
Rainwater is responsible for washing away dust.
A soft bristle broom and a jet of water are all that are needed to clean up contamination or bird droppings.
A trained technical professional must also perform a six months review of the mechanical system. Each joint of the solar panels’ supporting structure should be examined to determine if it is intact.
In addition to checking the glass and metal structure for cracks, the impermeability of the panels is also evaluated.
If the photovoltaic modules fail, the repair is not an option, so you will have to replace the panel.
Some causes may include infiltration inside the module, failure (breakage or cracking) in the surface glass, burnt electrical contacts, or problems with the metal frame.
Since the plates are so strong, these are extremely rare cases.
The solar panel should be checked regularly for the system to operate at optimal levels.
How much does a solar panel cost?
We all want to know: how much do solar panels cost?
The answer is: cheaper than you think.
Even with modern technology, installing a photovoltaic system is becoming more affordable and cost-effective.
Nevertheless, the answer is not the same in every case. This depends on the type of installation and the electricity consumption.