Thousands of Australians understand the significance and benefits of using clean-sourced energy – solar over fossil fuel-based electricity. Installing Australian made solar panels allows homeowners and commercial business owners to fulfil their energy needs, without harming the surrounding nature and saving maximum on electricity bills. In addition to obtaining free energy, homeowners can also leverage government rebate schemes to install solar panels at a relatively lower cost.
Thus, such financial and environmental benefits make solar installation easier and more affordable for homeowners in Australia. Although using a solar PV panel is one of the best ways to save money and cater for your energy needs, the question remains – how long do solar panels last?
Most homeowners prefer understanding the return on investment of solar panels before installing them in their properties. Hence, it is obvious why most homeowners would want to know about the lifespan of solar panels.
In this article, we have highlighted some common questions related to solar panel lifespan to help you make a smart investment. However, before we get started with answering ‘how long do solar panels last in Australia’, let’s understand more about:
Solar Panel Degradation
One of the common misconceptions related to solar PV panels is that they can last for a lifetime, which is not entirely true. Even a tier-one quality solar panel – regardless of the size – will eventually degrade after a particular time. A few common reasons for solar panel degradation can be lack of maintenance, changing temperature, weather conditions, and exposure to external elements, such as rain, dust, or bird dropping. Extreme exposure to such external elements starts to affect the performance of your PV panel, resulting in reduced energy production.
Another reason for reduced panel performance could be microcracks. Microcracks are tiny fractures that usually develop in the solar panel’s silicon cells. As the microcracks advance, it fails to capture adequate sunlight and convert it into electricity. Thus, it affects the level of performance of energy generation by PV panels. The constant wear and tear with a lack of maintenance can also contribute to PV panel degradation.
Factors That Affect Solar Panel Lifespan in Australia
Apart from solar panel degradation, several factors may affect the life of solar panels. Here are four critical factors that may impact the performance of your PV panels.
1. External Environment
The lifespan of your solar panels also depends on the external environment. Sometimes a constant change in temperature and fluctuating weather conditions can impact the structure of solar panels, causing the panels to contract and expand. Such contraction and expansion affect the joints of the solar system, impacting the lifespan. Extreme weather conditions like heavy rainfall or storm, snowfall, humidity, the force of the wind, and other elements can corrode, deteriorate, and damage the PV panels significantly.
2. Solar Panel Quality
Apart from the external elements, the quality of your PV panels will also determine the lifespan. Several factors determine the quality of PV panels, including the brand, energy efficiency, warranty, and reliability. A cheap quality solar PV panel might offer you affordable installation but can prove to be expensive later. Such solar panels are made from cheap materials and have below-average construction which may eventually cost you thousands on repairs. We recommend our customers invest in premium, tier-one quality solar panels from trusted solar brands in the industry.
3. PV Panel Installation
Another factor that determines the lifespan is an installation done. An incorrect installation by a novice solar installer can reduce the lifespan and cost you thousands on repairs. Choosing trusted solar experts can ensure correct and well-connected solar panel installation. Considering the assistance of reputed and experienced solar installers will provide you with completely reliable installation. In addition to reliability, trusting such experts for installation also ensure optimal performance and a longer lifespan of your PV panels.
4. PV Panels Maintenance
You don’t need to maintain your solar panel! – another common misconception related to the solar system. To ensure your solar panels generate maximum energy and perform optimally, you need to focus on timely maintenance. Optimal maintenance ensures a longer lifespan of PV panels. In addition to timely maintenance, homeowners should also consider regular inspection from solar experts to identify potential solar panels problems and solve them right on time.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last in Australia?
Solar panels can typically last between 25 to 30 years. After 25 years or more, solar panels will continue to generate power and fulfil your basic energy needs. However, they might eventually produce energy on a much lesser scale. Correct installation and timely maintenance may extend the lifespan of your solar panels beyond 30 years.
How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer?
Above we discussed the factors that affect the lifespan of solar panels. Now, let’s talk about ways to extend the lifespan. Generally, solar panel lifespan is dependent on performance and warranty. However, you can consider several practices to ensure your PV panels continue to remain efficient and optimal. Here are a few tips that will help you extend the lifespan of your solar system.
Clean Your Panels – Although this tip is a no-brainer, some homeowners contemplate how often they should clean their solar panels. The answer depends on the areas you live in. Always use a non-abrasive soap or cleaning sponge to clean your glass solar panel as it would ensure zero scratch on the surface. Keep checking the panels for dust accumulation and bird dropping every now and then.
Ensure No Shade – Shading can often affect the solar panel performance and quality of power generation. Therefore, ensure there are no shade issues at the time of installation. Even one-fourth shaded side can affect the energy output from PV panels.
Regular Inspection – A regular inspection can help you determine the possible issues in your solar panels. Check the racking, wiring, surface, and other areas of concern in PV panels. If you notice any issues with your PV panels, it is advisable to call an expert technician for a quick check.
In addition to all these factors, you should also monitor the day-to-day performance of your PV panels. You can always consider the assistance of a trained solar expert for regular inspection of Australian made solar panels.