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What is the lifespan of a solar panel system?

Solar panel systems last a long time depending on the amount of active use, or the amount of sunshine converted into electricity by the solar panels, and the environment of the location. Most systems are only in use for 6 to 8 hours per day.

Manufacturers will usually provide an industry standard 25 to 30 year warranty for output performance of the solar panels, and a 5 to 15 year warranty on the panels workmanship. Balance of system components like inverters and mounting have manufacturer product warranties from 10 to 25 years. Solar panel systems have been reported to work for 30 to 40 years.

The performance of the solar panels will diminish over time. The panel warranties reflect this. Most solar panel warranties have a minimum performance warranty. The panel will be warranted to produce at least 90% of the rating at 10 years and 80% at 25 years. For example, a 200 watt panel would have a warranty to provide at least 180 watts of power at 10 years, and at least 160 watts at 25 years.

Regardless, solar power is a great deal. You'll enjoy a $0 or very low power bill for the 25 or 30 year life of the system. For example, if you spend $200 per month for electricity with a utility, then you will spend $81,979 over 25 years, including a low annual price inflation rate of 2.5%. No matter how you calculate it, you will save money with a $5,000 to $25,000 solar panel system. Forget the confusing and distracting cost per kilo-watt (kW) comparisons. Remember, you can pay the utility for 25 years, with annual price increases, or you can pay a lot less for solar power. You'll also get some great tax credits and cash rebates, and you will increase the value of your home.


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