The Life Expectancy of Solar Panels
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Life Span of Solar Panels
Solar panels are increasingly becoming popular as a way to use the sun's energy to conduct electricity which in turn operates equipment in the household or workplace. The newer solar panel models in the market are expected to have a 40 year lifespan although they rarely have warranties of more than 20 to 25 years.
With care and attention, solar panels may actually last forty years after installation although their performance will have deteriorated even if it is not a noticeable deterioration. The forty year life expectancy goes for both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, and the amount of watts the monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels produce do not matter; they will still generally have warranties of up to 25 years and possibly go on to last a lot longer.
Some solar panels are even seen to produce 80% of their initial output after forty years.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Individual solar cells make up solar panels and they are able to harness the sun's energy and convert it into electricity. Photovoltaic solar panels use the light of the sun, and not the heat which is a common misconception.
Solar panels create electricity by using the photovoltaic effect which reacts to absorption of the sun's light by producing electrons. The DC voltage that they generate can be used as is for small electronic devices, or require an inverter to convert the electricity into AC voltage so that it can be used to run the majority of household appliances.
Ways To Maintain Solar Panels
The life expectancy of solar panels may well be forty years in some cases, and maybe a little bit longer if they are maintained well, and there are a few ways to sustain the efficiency of the panels.
It is vital to not abuse the panels in any way. For instance, during installation care is needed so as not to break or damage the panels, otherwise if the seal cracks, water could seep in and disintegrate the contacts. This will eventually lead to poor conductivity. After installation of the solar panels, they are to be left alone, except during cleaning, otherwise dropping or tampering with them could make them stop working. Most solar panels are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions such as, rain, hail, intense heat, snow and harsh winds.
Furthermore, solar panels come with blocking diodes that are used to ensure that if a solar cell were to stop working, it would be isolated by the blocking diode. The built in safeguards increase the longevity of solar panels.
Solar Panel Efficiency
The average efficiency of modern solar panels is around 14%. The efficiency of solar panels will often depend on how well they were installed and how well they are maintained. Making sure that the solar panels are not positioned where they will be shadowed by trees or other objects will ensure that your solar panels function as close to their efficiency rating as possible.
Before purchasing the solar panels it is important to view the efficiency rating of the solar panel. It is always advisable to make sure that you can clearly see the terms of the warranty when making a purchase and a normal solar panel warranty lasts up to 25 years.