Solar panels are designed for at least 25 years. Most panels on the market come with a linear production guarantee, usually on a 25 year time frame, which captures a half percent per year degradation. At the end of the 25 years, the panels are guaranteed to produce 83% of the energy that they produced on the first day.
Another part of the solar system to consider in terms of lifespan is the racking, which is generally made of either galvanized steel or of aluminum. Aluminum doesn’t rust, so it lasts a very long time.
Other parts would be things like wiring, inverters, regular electrical equipment transformers, disconnect switches, panel boards: all very low-maintenance items.
In our proposals, we anticipate the inverters will have to be replaced between years 10 and 15, just like any electronic device. There are no moving parts in solar arrays, however, so the failure rate is quite low.
Inverters are between 6% and 14% of the project cost, so when they have to be replaced, it’s a minimal capital outlay on a large system. Through their connections to the Internet, they tell us when something is wrong and when we need to respond and replace those products.
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