Understanding Solar Panels 

Adrienne SorensenOctober 2, 2018 938 0

Understanding Solar Panels

The investment for panels is huge so better understanding what determines the longevity of panels is crucial. The expected lifetime people agree on is around 25-30 years. A few factors prove this expectation.


Most panels manufacturers offer a 25 years performance guarantee. Some older installations are still performing well after 30 years. If you’d like your solar panels to have the longest lifespan, take into consideration the following elements;

1. Quality parts
This is the core of a long term approach. The lifespan of panels is related to the quality of their parts. Most panels are created with the following components; glass, aluminium frame, solar cells, encapsulant, and tedlar.

The best manufacturers have stricter selection choices beyond what’s mandated by international certification like IEC 61215. They apply ways to simulate stress during the expected lifetime of the panel. This combines the impact of temperature variation, humidity, mechanical stress, and UV.


To secure a long lifespan is to select the right Bill of Materials. Without creating in-house testing and selection processes, the risks are dramatically increased.

2. Quality and know-how in assemblage
The quality and know-how in assemblage is crucial. It’s advised to choose the best components working well together. The combination of the two will dictate how long the solar panels will last.

The conquest of quality in the industry is ongoing. The industry is still relatively young and have yet to reach a level where high quality standards are spread out evenly in order to choose your supplier with your eyes shut.


Since PV manufacturers are growing, not all products are the build the same. This is because along the value chain with various players, some will make concessions at the expense of quality and solar panels lifespan.

3. Quality of installation
If panels aren’t properly installed, you may lose your asset expected lifetime.


Below are factors to consider;
– Store and transport modules to prevent microcracks
– Check visible defect before installation
– Ensure handling provokes no damage
– Ensure proper electrical connections
– Understand slope and clamping to ensure maximum self cleaning and mechanical resistance
– Avoid shadowing on protective diodes in the module
– Perform cabling with safety in mind

4. Knowing the degradation rate
Once the panels are properly installed, their performance will degrade over a period of time. A majority of this is caused by thermal stress and mechanical factors that influence the parts of the panels.


The rate should be less than 1% per year. Most manufacturers display this in their guarantees. If things run well, the level of degradation could stay low.

5. External forces
Climate conditions under which the modules operate plays a role as well. The modules behavior will be impacted.

6. Maintenance
When you know you’ve invested in an asset for solar production and must rely on it, taking care of it should be a top priority. Combine the panels with a monitoring system. It’s much easier to understand if your installation is working properly and locate issues when it surfaces.

Further Information

Solar power is here to stay, and the sooner you explore how much you can save, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of residential solar power. Go to and try our price checker tool. It tells you how much solar power you need, and how much you can save. Please visit our solar blog to find out more about the benefits of going solar.

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