So you’ve just installed solar panels, and your system is good enough to take care of your daily electricity needs. But did you know those panels don’t last forever? Just like your shiny new smartphone or car, solar panels actually need to be completely replaced after a certain amount of time. The good news is that you should be all set for 25-30 years – and many original solar panel arrays from the 80s are still operating at expected capacity, which gives us all hope for a very long solar panel lifespan.
How long do solar panels last in Australia?
So how long does a solar panel last? Let’s keep it simple and keep it real: it’s 25-30 years. It’s just a fact that, like every human-made technology made of real-life materials, the life of solar panels does need to end eventually. That’s because of what is known in the solar industry as the ‘degradation rate’ – the unavoidable and gradual accumulation of wear & tear caused by ongoing heat, UV, thermal cycling, humidity, cold and superficial damage.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do that are highly effective for a long life of solar panels beyond 25-30 years. ‘How long do solar panels last?’ The answer is more than a few decades – so long as you’re religious about these 3 things:
1. Keep them clean
Everything that is thrown at them affects the lifespan of solar panels – and we’re talking about all sorts of debris and everyday stuff. That includes simple dust, pollen, tree and storm debris, and especially bird droppings, which corrode your panels’ delicate surface. The good news is that a regular downpour gives you a free clean – but you should definitely consider a regular professional solar panel cleaning at least once a year. And if there are overhead trees, consider pruning them back.
2. Keep an eye on them
But there’s more at-home solar panel maintenance you can do as well – and none of it is particularly difficult. Here’s a list of easy DIY checks to keep ticking off the list – and do it as often as you think about it:
- Consider a weekly wash
- Use your regular garden hose
- Stay away from abrasive sponges, clothes & chemicals
- Ensure your panels are never in the shade
- Keep an eye out for inverter fault codes/lights
- Keep tabs on your panels’ average performance and track over time for degradation
- Keep tabs on increases in electricity bills.
3. Find a great solar panel maintenance professional
But the absolute best and kindest thing you can do for your long-lasting solar panels is to put their health and performance in the hands of a professional. While it’s true that you can do your regular maintenance yourself as outlined in #1 and #2, great local solar providers, electricians, installers and repair businesses offer a full and complete range of professional solar services that go far beyond what you can handle at home, including:
- Running diagnostic checks for faults
- Conduct detailed inspections for panel defects/damage/corrosion
- Run performance testing for system deterioration
- Clearing vents of debris
- Checking/repairing/replacing switches & wiring
- Electrical checks for fully functioning components
- Checking fittings/cables for secure connections
- Reviewing inverter diagnostics for recorded faults
- Safety checks for emergency isolation/shutdown procedures.
Need professional solar panel maintenance?
But wait, there’s a lot more a great local solar installer and repairer can do for your regular, thorough and expert solar panel maintenance – and here at Tradie Near Me, we’d love to help. We’ve found finding a local solar professional easier than ever by putting together the most comprehensive network of professional, reliable and affordably fully-licensed solar technicians. All of them offer obligation-free quotes, upfront pricing and fully-guaranteed workmanship for life, so turn up the life of your solar panels to the max by messaging Tradie Near Me today.