Lifetime of photovoltaics: How long do solar systems last? - SHIELDEN

Lifetime of photovoltaics: How long do solar systems last?

The service life of a photovoltaic system depends primarily on the quality of the modules as well as on professional installation and regular maintenance. The manufacturer's guarantee is a good indication of the lifetime of the modules. In this guide, you will find out how long solar systems last.

What is the lifespan of a photovoltaic system?

The average lifespan of a photovoltaic system is 25 to 30 years. Modern solar modules have a service life of up to 40 years. Power inverters need to be replaced after 15 to 20 years.

The quality of the individual photovoltaic modules is crucial for the service life of a solar system. In addition, a professional installation is important.

Since photovoltaic systems have only been installed on a large number of rooftops in the United States since the introduction of EEG in 2000, it is not yet possible to determine the exact service life.

What is the service life of solar panels?

Modern solar modules have a service life of at least 25 years. However, your performance declines by an average of 0.3% to 0.5% per year. After 25 years, the average performance of a PV module is 87.6%.

The solar manufacturer's warranty is a good indicator of the lifetime of a solar module.

What warranties does the manufacturer offer?

When you purchase a PV system, you are entitled to a statutory two-year warranty. During this period, the installation company must rectify any possible defects. After this period, the manufacturer voluntarily offers two types of warranty for solar panels:

Product warranty
Performance warranty

Both are important features that affect the quality and longevity of the PV system.

Product warranty

With the product warranty, the manufacturer guarantees that the solar module will be free from defects for a certain period of time. This includes material and structural defects. The average product warranty period is 18 years.

Performance guarantee

With the performance warranty, the manufacturer guarantees that the PV module will continue to perform after a certain period of time. The duration of the performance guarantee is 28 years on average. The average performance after 25 years is 87.6% of the initial performance.

Why do solar modules lose performance over time?

The reasons for the time-related loss of performance of solar modules have not been conclusively elucidated. Factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity and heat, and UV radiation are thought to accelerate degradation.

What is the lifespan of an inverter?

The average lifetime of an inverter is 15 years. High-quality inverters can even have a service life of 20 to 25 years. During the lifetime of a PV system, power inverters need to be replaced once or twice.

The manufacturer's guarantee also characterizes the quality of the inverter and is a good indicator of the actual service life of the device.

In order to prolong the service life of the inverter, it is important not to overload it electrically due to poor wiring. In addition, the inverter should be installed in a cool and well-ventilated location, as excessive heat can negatively affect the functioning of the inverter.

How long does photovoltaic energy storage last?

The average service life of a power storage device is 10 to 20 years. The service life of a PV storage system is determined by the charging cycle. In a single-family home, 200 to 250 charging cycles are used per year. Most PV storage systems achieve 4,000 to 5,000 charging cycles during their lifetime.

What is the efficiency of PV after 10 years?

The efficiency of a PV module after 10 years averages 95.8% of the original performance. This equates to a degradation of 0.42% per year.

According to ISE Fraunhofer, the degradation rate of photovoltaic power generation is only 0.15% per year. This means that after 10 years PV modules will still be able to deliver 98.5% of their original performance.

What is the efficiency of PV power generation after 20 years?

After 20 years the efficiency of a solar module will be 91.6% of its original output on average.

How can I extend the life of my solar system?

The life of a solar system can be extended by regular maintenance of the system. Twice a year, dust, soot and leaves should be removed and inspected for visible damage. A solar technician should inspect the entire system once a year. Also use high-quality modules with a long product warranty.

Also avoid Shading the solar system. These reduce their performance and can lead to so-called hot spots, which in turn cause premature aging of the solar modules.

How and where is photovoltaic power disposed of?

PV modules are disposed of at public recycling centers. Disposal of solar modules and other components is carried out by the system operator himself or by the installation company (as long as they receive a removal order). For an additional fee, disposal companies can also be commissioned to collect PV modules.

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