A big benefit of solar panels is how long they last. In the case of commercial properties, one of the most common questions that comes up is: how long? Nobody wants to invest in something that’ll break or wear down quickly. So how long do they last? After all, you want to ensure that your investment won’t just be beneficial from a green standpoint but also from a financial one as well. We will look at this question and more in today’s blog post.
It’s not hard to see why so many people are making the switch to solar energy. You significantly reduce your energy bills while also creating a minimal carbon footprint. The best part is that all of your power is renewable and free. However, before you jump into the commercial-size pool, you need to understand that the lifespan of these panels isn’t infinite.
Even though sunlight isn’t rare, it can still be finicky at times. When you put something out in the open like this, it needs to be able to endure everything Mother Nature throws at it. There are a lot of factors that play into how long solar panels last.
in this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey into the interesting world of commercial solar panel lifespans and explain everything there is to know about them. We can assure you that we’ll bust some myths along the way, too. And once you’re done reading it from start to finish, hopefully, you’re armed with enough knowledge that you can make an informed decision for your business.
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What’s the Lifespan of a Commercial Solar System in Australia?
When you think about the life expectancy of Australian commercial solar panels, a lot of variables come into play. In most cases, how long the solar system lasts depends on quality, maintenance, and environmental factors affecting them. Here is what to expect:
- Solar Panel Degradation: New and clean solar panels normally face an average annual degradation rate falling between 0.5% and 3%. So each year, you might experience your solar panels’ performance dropping slightly.
- Total Lifespan: In general, commercial solar panels are expected to stay productive for about 20 to 25 years on average. But this does not mean they will stop producing energy altogether after the said period.
- Longevity of Efficiency: Even after 25 to 30 years, a high-quality and well-maintained commercial solar panel can still manage to retain nearly 90% of its original efficiency. Quite obviously, this aspect reflects how robust and reliable present-day solar technologies have become.
In short, the lifespan of commercial solar panels in Australia can range from 20 to 25 years or more under differing factors. Purchasing high-quality panels and taking account of other technologies like solar batteries would increase the benefits derived from your solar power system.
Factors Determining the Longevity of Commercial Solar Panels
Renewable energy is becoming more popular with each passing day, and businesses in all corners of the world are embracing commercial solar panels for power. The panels capture sunlight and convert it into electrical energy, hence dramatically cutting reliance on conventional sources of energy as well as carbon footprints. If you have been contemplating investing in commercial solar panels, one aspect that calls for prudent consideration is how long these panels will last.
This article highlights a number of factors determining the longevity of commercial solar panels.
1. Quality Material and Manufacture
The material of the panels matters with solar panel use. This is because such a factor can determine if your panels will stay for a long time or not. The high-quality ones are made with some kind of material that gives them the ability to stand time and all kinds of weather. Though you might have to spend some extra money in the beginning when buying these kinds of panels, in the end, they become worthwhile due to their long life.
2. Proper Installation Technique
Proper installations of commercial solar panels ensure that they work at their maximum capacity in the long run. Doing so otherwise leads to water leaks and electrical faults, among other issues. For proper installations, therefore, find solar professionals who have experience in what they do and even follow the standard practices within the industry. It will not only enhance their lifespan but also improve how efficient they are.
3. Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your commercial solar panels is a must-do activity in order to realise the best performance out of them in addition to their lifespan. Dust, dirt, leaves falling on them, and other forms of dirt particles will accumulate over time on the panel surface to block sunlight, meaning low efficiency. Cleaning it with water using a soft cloth enhances its performance while also ensuring it remains that way through proper maintenance. Go the extra mile by having scheduled professional maintenance checks done, which will identify any arising issues before they mature into larger problems.
4. Climate and Weather Conditions
The area in which you live is going to affect how long your commercial solar panels last. Though they are designed to withstand many forms of weather, heavy snowstorms or hail could destroy them. You should also factor in whether or not you live in a hurricane-prone zone or any other extreme weather event that may impact your solar panels. Speaking with an expert on such gadgets can help you choose one that will be suitable for your climate.
5. Monitoring and Servicing
If you’re keeping a tight check on your commercial solar panels, it helps in identifying malfunctions or performance issues just as they start. Not only does this cease further damage, but it also ensures their longevity is optimised. Businesses can take a glance at the system’s output and its performance to track down and identify potential problems before they go astray. Once you do find them, timely repairs and replacements become quite key to keeping efficiency and longevity up.
How does degradation affect the lifespan of commercial solar panels?
With more and more businesses turning to renewable energy sources, it is no secret that commercial solar panels are increasingly becoming the first choice when it comes to minimising carbon footprints as well as reducing operational costs.
However, all technology deteriorates with time, and so do solar panels. Degradation can thus have an impact on their lifespan, among other things.
So here we will be discussing what factors contribute to this process of degradation and how exactly it affects the typical lifespan of a commercial solar panel. But before that, let’s get back to our basics.
What is degradation?
Solar panel degradation is the loss of efficiency and power generation capacity over time in solar panels. Although this is a usual process where solar panels are made to withstand them, there are several factors that cause their subsequent degradation.
Some of the major causes of solar panel degradation include:
- Temperature: High temperatures will tend to accelerate the process of degradation. Most types of solar panels undergo testing to survive extreme temperatures; however, an excess of heat still influences performance.
- Humidity and Moisture: The two elements contribute to corrosion, which results in reduced efficiency from solar panels. With good installation practices coupled with regular maintenance checks, effects arising from humidity and moisture may be kept under control.
- UV Exposure: These panels are exposed to sunlight, but prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays discolours them and, with time, causes a reduction in their efficiency.
- Environmental Factors: Pollution, dust, and debris on the surface of solar panels block sunlight and hence reduce its intake by these devices. Frequent cleaning and maintenance help counter such effects.
Degradation Rate of Commercial Solar Panels
On average, solar panels experience an annual degradation rate of around 0.5% to 1%. This means that after 25 years, solar panels may still be functional, but their power output may decrease by up to 20%.
However, it is important to note that not all panels degrade at the same rate. High-quality panels often have a lower degradation rate, ensuring better long-term performance. Additionally, advancements in solar panel technology continue to reduce degradation rates, further enhancing their lifespan and efficiency.
How to Improve the Commercial Solar Panel Lifespan
Solar energy is one of the greenest and most reliable forms of renewable energy. Businesses are turning more towards installing solar panels for many commercial operations at present. Thus, it becomes important to improve the commercial solar panel lifespan. Some simple precautions can be taken so that these cleaner energies continue to serve businesses efficiently over the years.
- Clean solar panels after certain intervals so that they do not accumulate dust or debris.
- Install monitoring systems to detect an issue with performance in its earliest instance.
- Maintain as well as replace solar inverters if required for the system’s long life.
- Manage heat with proper ventilation and heat-reflective coatings.
- Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and warranty guidelines.
- Ensure there are no sharp materials near the panels that could damage them.
- Check panels every 1 or 2 weeks in the summer.
- Remove snow from panels in areas with heavy snowfall.
- Get panels checked annually by a professional for optimal efficiency.
- Consider sheltering panels during extreme weather conditions.
- Stay updated on weather reports and conditions to protect panels.
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Understanding the lifespan of commercial solar panels is crucial for making informed decisions about your solar energy investment. Proper maintenance, regular monitoring, and occasional upgrades can help maximise the longevity and efficiency of your solar panel system.
For any queries or professional advice on solar panels, installation, and maintenance, please do not hesitate to contact us at Halcol Energy, your reliable Sunshine Coast and Brisbane-based solar installer.
We’re here to provide you with top-notch solar solutions and support for your renewable energy needs.
It generally ranges between 25 to 30 years, but certain factors may vary in these figures.
Most often not. Several determinants would affect it, such as brand, quality, and ambience, among others.
There are more than plenty that can be listed here, which include maintenance, materials used, daily usage, and weather conditions.
Yes, certainly. Most commercial solar panels have warranties lasting up to 25 years or more. According to those warranties, they are supposed to work at a minimum level.
They are strong enough to be built in such a way that they survive everything from hail storms and snowfall to tough UV rays as well. But there is possible damage in severe cases as well.
After their life period ends, they won’t stop producing energy, but definitely with lower efficiency levels. They will generate for many upcoming years, but not just like earlier times.