How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

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Solar panel technology has been around for decades. Until recent years, installing solar was not a compelling home improvement project. The cost of solar was high and the benefit was perceived to be minimal. All that has changed!  Solar has become more affordable in recent years.  Besides the reduction in the cost of solar panels by the manufacturers, there are Federal Tax Credits available that help pay for the cost.  Also, today’s solar panels have a useful life of 25 to 30 years. If properly maintained, many experts anticipate that solar panels could last as long as 40 to 50 years. For a piece of technology, that is an incredible length of time in service!

Warranty Periods

Based on manufacturer testing, 25 years is the length of time that most manufacturers are willing to warrant their product. But some firms are now finding ways to extend that length out to 30 years. Whether they will endure that length of time depends on the quality of product manufacturing, solar panel type and product installation.

Do Solar Panels Fail?

Solar panels do not have any moving parts. This fact alone makes product failure less likely over time while operating conditions remain ideal. As a solar system ages, it does experience reduced efficiency due to the breakdown of chemicals used in panel manufacturing, but the system will generally not outright fail. Rather, the capacity to generate power will begin to degrade. Degradation of power generation capacity generally occurs at a rate of between 0.3% and 0.8% per year, depending on the brand of the solar panel. In the rare instances where total failure does occur, it happens for one of two reasons:

  • A short circuit caused by a breakdown of the microwires in a photovoltaic cell
  • A breach in the water seal of the encapsulation around the panel

Time will tell us more about how modern solar panels will fare, but the future looks promising that panel failure will remain unlikely to be a common occurrence.

Solar Panel Experts

The team at New Day Solar has been helping Temecula Valley home and business owners to harness the power of the sun since 1988. Generating electricity from your own rooftop is the way of the future and lets you be in control of your own electricity.  If you would like to find out more about how solar could benefit you and your family, give us a call today for a consultation with one of our solar pros at: (855) 444-6329 or visit us online at:

We will always give you honest answers to your solar questions!