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  • Writer's pictureRyan Williams


Solar panel longevity with sola team

How Long Do Solar Panels Last in the UK? A Complete Guide

Solar panels have quickly gained popularity as the UK's go-to alternative energy source for generating clean electricity. Not only are they affordable and environmentally friendly, but they also help reduce electricity bills. With their rising popularity, homeowners often find themselves asking the common question, "How long do solar panels last?" The answer to this question plays a crucial role in determining the return on your investment. Keep reading to discover the typical lifespan of solar panels in the UK and learn how to ensure their longevity.

Understanding the Lifespan of Solar Panels in the UK

Studies have shown that solar panels typically last between 25 to 30 years, which is considered the optimal lifespan according to manufacturers. To put this into perspective, the average life expectancy of a boiler is only around 10 to 15 years. Therefore, solar panels offer an impressive lifespan.

Solar panels also come with extensive warranties, usually offering a 25-year limited power warranty. This warranty guarantees the performance of the panels over their lifespan. During the first 10 years, the warranty typically guarantees a 90% power output, and for the entire 25 years, it ensures an 80% power output. Some solar panels can even maintain over 80% efficiency beyond their expected lifespan.

The Aftermath: What Happens to Solar Panels After 25 Years?

Solar panels do not simply stop functioning after 25 to 30 years. They continue to produce electricity, although at a lower rate due to panel degradation. Some brands of solar panels can even operate beyond 25 years, with expected lifespans of 40 to 50 years, protected by warranties for at least half of that time.

When we talk about a solar panel's lifespan of 25 to 30 years, it means that it performs at its best during that period. After 25 years, the panel's output is no longer guaranteed, but it can still generate electricity.

Understanding Solar Panel Degradation Over Time

The "rate of degradation" is a crucial term to understand when it comes to solar panels. It refers to the speed at which a solar panel loses efficiency and power output over time. At Sola Renewable, we consider the rate of degradation when calculating your yearly energy output and return on investment. We strive to provide you with accurate and transparent figures for your solar PV system's generation.

Various factors contribute to solar panel degradation. Long-term exposure to UV rays and adverse weather conditions, such as high temperatures, warmer climates, extreme cold weather, heavy snow, and strong winds, can impact degradation rates. Fortunately, the UK's moderate climate ensures that solar panels retain around 96% of their generation capabilities even after 20 years.

To enhance your solar panel system's efficiency, proper installation is crucial. Ensuring adequate temperature control and ventilation can significantly improve panel performance. On-roof solar panels generally have better ventilation and efficiency compared to integrated solar panels.

Factors Influencing the Lifespan of Solar Panels

Several factors affect the longevity of solar panels, including the panel's quality, installation quality, and maintenance.

  1. Solar Panel Quality: The quality of a solar panel plays a significant role in degradation rates and longevity. While cheaper panels may seem appealing initially, they often use low-quality solar glass and reduced amounts of aluminium, making them more vulnerable to damage. At Sola Renewable company, we exclusively install high-quality Tier 1 Solar Panels. These panels have minimal degradation rates, losing only around 0.4-0.5% of their capacity per year. Even after 25 to 30 years, they still generate 12-15% less power, ensuring reliable and efficient performance.

  2. Installation Quality: Proper installation is essential to maximize the efficiency of your solar panels. Factors such as inverter size, panel angle, and cable runs can impact your PV system's performance. Always choose an MCS-accredited solar panel installer like Sola Renewable to ensure correct installation and coverage under warranty.

  3. Solar Panel Maintenance: While solar panels require minimal maintenance, a little care can go a long way. Regularly monitor your panel output through your inverter or monitoring system to identify any issues promptly. Keep your panels clean and free from bird droppings and debris, as they can hinder efficiency. Additionally, watch out for shading that can reduce the overall performance of your panels.

Three Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Solar Panels

If you aim to maximize the lifespan of your solar panels, follow these three simple tips:

  1. Choose a Quality Solar PV System: Opt for a high-quality solar PV system from reputable manufacturers and suppliers like Sola Renewable. This ensures long-lasting performance and efficiency.

  2. Trust an MCS Accredited Installer: Always select an MCS-accredited solar panel installer to guarantee proper installation and adherence to industry standards. This ensures your panels are covered by the warranty.

  3. Regular Monitoring and Maintenance: Keep an eye on your solar panel system's performance, cleanliness, and shading. Monitor your panels, maintain their cleanliness, and promptly address any issues to ensure optimal efficiency and a longer lifespan.

If you have questions about solar panels, such as their lifespan or any other related inquiries, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Sola Renewable. We're here to provide you with comprehensive information and guide you toward a sustainable energy future.

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