How often do solar panels need to be replaced

How Often Do Solar Panels Need To Be Replaced?

As solar energy becomes more popular, one question coming up regularly is how often do solar panels need to be replaced.

The good news is that they can last a long time – usually around up to 30 years.

However, you can do a few things to ensure yours continue functioning well for as long as possible.

Read on for our tips!

Solar panel maintenance by technician

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Replacing

Solar panels need to be replaced every 25 to 30 years. The solar power industry is still relatively young, and that means that some solar panels installed at the early end of the current boom are getting close to the end of their life.

Solar panels have a lifespan that depends on several factors, including the type of solar panel, quality, and solar panel maintenance.

Solar systems that are well-maintained can often last for even longer.

As solar power becomes more popular and more efficient, solar panels will likely continue to improve quality and longevity.

Technician cleaning solar panels on flat roof

Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned?

It’s a common misconception that solar panels are self-cleaning and don’t require maintenance.

However, while they don’t have any moving parts and typically have a lifetime of 20 to 30 years, their efficiency does depend on keeping them clean.

Over time, dirt, dust, bird droppings, and other substances can accumulate on the surface of the panels and block sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells.

And while rain can help to wash away some of the dirt and debris that builds upon them, it won’t be as effective as a manual clean.

If your panels are installed at an angle, you might be able to get by just annually cleaning them yourself.

But if they’re installed flat (which is more common), you’ll likely need to hire a professional to clean them every 6 to 12 months.

In addition, if your panels are installed in a dusty or sandy area, you’ll need to clean them more frequently.

However, even if you live in an area with little air pollution, it’s still good to inspect your panels periodically for signs of dirt or grime.

If you notice any build-up, contact your installer for guidance on the best way to clean your specific system.

Ultimately, keeping them clean will help to maximize their efficiency and lifetime.

In most cases, however, cleaning them is simply wiping them down with soap and water.

Just be sure to use a gentle cleanser and avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

Useful Life Of Solar Panels For Depreciation

Solar energy systems, like land and buildings, are considered depreciable property.

Depreciation is a five-year tax break that allows you to write off the cost of your solar system as a business expense.

If you’re qualified for a tax credit, the IRS permits you to lower your depreciation base by one-half of that amount.

One of the reasons solar energy is so popular among business owners is that it allows them to save money on their taxes.

Ask your accountant about the potential tax advantages of installing a solar system at your place of business.

How Long Do Polycrystalline Solar Panels Last?

Polycrystalline PV cells are highly durable and have a lifespan that depends on several factors, including exposure to the elements, manufacturing quality, and installation.

On average, polycrystalline PV cells have a life cycle of 25 years, making them an excellent investment for those looking to generate energy.

While their efficiency can drop after 25 years, they remain the industry standard for durability and performance.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is one of the world’s leading centers for research in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

NREL’s mission is to transform the way the world uses energy, and they are doing that by conducting cutting-edge research and developing new clean technologies.

NREL is a leader in many areas of renewable energy research, including solar, wind, biomass, and water power.

In addition to their work in basic science and technology development, NREL is also heavily involved in integrating renewable energy into the electricity grid and developing new approaches to transportation.

In 2012 they did a study about the solar panel degradation rate titled: “Photovoltaic Degradation Rates — An Analytical ReviewBy Dirk C. Jordan and Sarah R. Kurtz.

According to the findings of this research, the median annual productivity degradation for photovoltaic cells is 0.5%.

If nothing gets physically damaged, you will have to replace these findings every 40 years.

Installer with drill on roof to install photovoltaic cells


Solar panels are a significant investment, but they can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance.

However, they may need replacing sooner if there is damage or performance declines.

It’s essential to keep an eye on your photovoltaic cells and replace them to maintain their efficiency and save money in the long run.

How often they need replacing depends on the manufacturer, panel type, and where you live.

Always consult an expert if you have questions about your specific solar system setup.

Thanks for reading!

PV modules on building roof


Should I replace 15-year-old solar panels?

Even though they have an average lifespan of 25-30 years, it’s a good idea to replace 15-year-old panels if the funds are available because an older system may have faults, general wear, and tear, or a decrease in electricity production due to age.

What is the average return on solar panels?

For a typical PV system, the first year’s ROI can be as high as 20%. Every person and solar system has a different payback period.

Spending more money on your system is an option for some people. Others are more power-hungry or pay a higher price because of where they live.

What is the life span of a Tesla Powerwall?

Tesla Powerwalls are expected to last an average of 20 years. Although this figure is based on how frequently and how much battery you use, these factors can affect this number.

Maintaining your Tesla Powerwall and not using it to its total capacity daily can extend its life expectancy to 25 years or more.

How many watts does the average home use?

The average monthly electricity consumption in the United States is around 900 kWh. So it’s 30 kWh per day, or 1.25 kWh per hour, which works out to 30 kWh per day.

How much does it cost to replace a solar inverter?

Replacement of a solar inverter costs $2,200 in the United States in 2019, including labor expenses.

String inverter replacement costs range from $1,400 to $3,000. You can get away with paying between $350 and $750 for a micro-inverter.

What is the life cycle of a solar battery?

The life expectancy of a solar battery ranges from five to fifteen years. That indicates that a solar system replacement is likely required throughout its 20-30 year lifespan. The number of times a battery is used determines how long it will last.

At what temperature do solar panels stop working?

The maximum efficiency of photovoltaic cells is typically between 59°F and 95°F, with most being tested at around 77°F. They may reach temperatures of up to 149°F in the summer. Their effectiveness can suffer if their surface temperature rises to this level.

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