Solar Panel Degradation – What You Should Know
Solar panels are a reliable, renewable energy source that can save you money. However, they don’t last forever and eventually will need to replace. In this blog post, we’ll explore Solar Panel Degradation – What You Should Know. It looks like, and why it’s important to replace your panels before they reach the end of their lifespan.
What is solar panel degradation, and what does “degradation rate” mean?
Solar panels have a finite lifespan, which shouldn’t be surprising considering manufacturers make them the same material as most plastics. They gradually lose their efficiency over time and require more maintenance to keep them in top condition.
If you’re wondering, “Do solar panels degrade over time?” the answer is yes. All materials will start to break down or deform eventually due to heat and wear-and-tear from ultraviolet light exposure. Solar panels are no different in this regard. Some more than others, though we can never be sure of just how much they might deteriorate until it becomes a severe problem with our power grid system. The short answer: all solar photovoltaic cells (PV) lose their efficiency after a few years as particles accumulate on PV surfaces. Other parts weaken gradually because these systems have moving mechanical components that naturally experience some deterioration through friction during use.
Now, you might be wondering what the lifespan of solar panels is, after all. Years and years of testing by manufacturers, it seems that a meeting will last between 25 to 40 years, depending on the manufacturer. This process means they won’t stop working or generating electricity. However, their efficiency has declined too much for them to still produce enough energy over time, like when first put up, so there’s an endpoint where the panels are no longer valid!
What impact can commercial solar degradation rates have on your business?
What would the life of a solar panel be if it degraded at different rates? Imagine you have two panels. One degrades by 1% every year until 100 years, and the other only contaminates 0.25%. It turns out that one is going to produce much less power than another! Some people might think that one percent degrades faster. Still, this doesn’t make much difference either way when we consider the length of life expectancy and cost-to-run ratios for each scenario. the total amount of energy produced over time depends on how quickly your panels degrade.
Causes of solar panel degradation—and how to keep the rate as low as possible.
Manufacturers build Solar panels to endure various extreme weather conditions, but it doesn’t mean that they can take a free-for-all. By keeping an eye on your solar panel system and ensuring regular maintenance at the recommended intervals, you could see more output over time as degradation rates remain low. Here are some tips for minimizing your solar panel’s chance of degrading:
Inspecting Solar Panels Once A Year For Pests And Viruses – One quick way to keep track of how well maintained your commercial PV installation would be by checking them once per year after high winds or rainstorms. This tip will ensure that no pests have made their home in the sensitive electronics within those panels and that no water has leaked into the cells themselves.
Regular Cleansing Of Dust And Grime: If you fail to clean your solar panels regularly, they could start looking more like an oil painting than anything else. Over time, dust and dirt can build up on the surface of every meeting in a system which makes them less effective at converting light energy into electricity. It also allows them to absorb more heat than usual, raising operating temperatures and lowering efficiency [as seen above]. Cleanings should be done with room temperature water to ensure minor corrosion from either mineral or acid exposure as possible during the cleaning process itself.
Check That Power Cables Are Operating Within Required Temperature Specs – It may seem like a no-brainer, but the power cables that run from panels to a charge controller or inverter should be checked once per year for general wear and tear. It’s easy to forget they exist due to their location, but it’s important not to overlook them as they can often give off smoke if they start to degrade enough!
Inspecting And Replacing Batteries: Since batteries are another component that you can tend to forget exists when everything is running smoothly, it’s worth taking the time each year to inspect your batteries. Look for corrosion on the terminals. It confirms that the electrolyte level hasn’t dropped too low in any of the cells. Not only is this important to keep your system from catching fire, but it can also help increase the total lifespan of each battery cell by keeping them maintained.
It’s important to know the signs of solar panel degradation so you can replace them before they reach their end-of-life. Symptoms of Solar Panel Degradation include loss in efficiency, decreased production and less power output, issues with inverters or other components that could be negatively affecting performance, physical damage such as cracked glass panels. These are just a few things that may signal it’s time for a replacement. If your technicians have noticed anyone these warning signals on your system, then contact us today, and we’ll help you find solutions!