Many homeowners who are looking into solar panel installation ask the same question: How long will solar panels last? As you prepare to invest in a solar panel system for your Albuquerque home, it’s wise to plan for the future and consider when you’ll need to replace the panels. Knowing when to replace your solar panels will help you financially prepare for maintaining a solar panel system. 

This article will cover the expected lifespan of solar panels, as well as types of damage that may impact your solar panels’ longevity. With proper care, solar panels can provide many years of energy independence for your home. 

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels typically last for 25 to 30 years. This is the industry standard and widely-accepted standard for modern solar panels. But, it’s important to note that your solar panels won’t stop working altogether after this period has passed. The 25 to 30-year mark simply represents when solar panels have usually degraded past what’s considered acceptable to solar panel experts. When solar panels degrade over time, it means that they become less efficient in energy production. So, the panels will produce less energy in the same amount of sunlight as they did in years past. This could compromise your solar panel system’s ability to fully cover your home’s energy needs. 

To ensure that your solar panel system works effectively, decades-old solar panels should be replaced by your Albuquerque solar panel installers

Types of Solar Panel Damage

Almost all solar panel system owners won’t need to replace their panels until the full lifespan of 25 to 30 years has expired. But, in the rare case that damage occurs, solar system owners may need to replace their panels prematurely. 

Solar panel damage is rare. This is because the panels are built to be durable and weather-resistant. Even in snow and hailstorms, solar panels can hold up and are unlikely to be affected. That said, the following types of solar panel damage may occur in some instances:

Falling Debris

Your solar panels will be installed on top of your roof. So, it’s to be expected that various types of outdoor debris may fall onto them. While most would assume larger debris, like tree branches, to damage solar panels, smaller debris can harm the panels, too. Leaves, branches, and even dirt can create minuscule scratches on the surface of solar panels. Any surface damage, including micro-scratches, will reduce the efficiency of the panels. Damaged panels will produce less energy with the same amount of sunlight. 

Large debris, like pine cones, branches, and acorns, may fully break a solar panel. This damage can prevent the solar panels from working in any capacity, thus requiring replacement. 

Preventing Damage From Falling Debris

The best way to avoid falling debris damage to your solar panels is to ensure that there are no overhanging trees on your property. Overhanging branches should be regularly trimmed back. Tree maintenance may seem like a hassle, but it’s entirely worth it when you consider the costly damage that debris may cause to your solar panel system. 

Water Damage

When the sealant of your solar panels starts to age, the entire solar system may be susceptible to water damage. A weakened sealant opens up the possibility for water to seep in. This can cause a short-circuit or the deterioration of interior solar panel components. 

To address water damage, you can have Albuquerque solar panel contractors reseal each panel. This may fix the issue. In fact, having your solar panels resealed regularly can help you avoid water damage in the first place. But, if extensive water damage has already been done, your contractors may recommend that you replace the entire solar panel system. 

Fire Damage

Fire damage is another risk to your solar panels in Albuquerque. Solar panels create a high voltage line when they’re connected. Due to this fact, the panels themselves may create the fire risk. As the wires wear out over time, the risk of a short-circuit becomes higher. Damage to wiring from animals may also increase this risk. Keeping your solar panel’s wiring in top condition is the most effective way to avoid solar panel-related fire damage. 

Contact EcoSave Solar for more information about solar panel replacement in Albuquerque.