Installing solar panels in homes is becoming more popular due to increase in the efficiency and availability of solar panels, besides the public concern for environmental preservation. According to experts, “green” energy should eventually replace the traditional sector of the world economy. Solar panels for the home combines several modules of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electrical energy.
The excess energy generated by solar panels during the day is stored and used when needed. Batteries can be used as a backup power source in the absence of a centralized power supply. They allow significant cost savings when utility rates are too high. For example, the price of residential electricity in 2022 averages 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up 6.1% from 20211.
Solar energy accounts for 3.7% of global electricity production and this figure will steadily increase over time2. According to statistics, every second buyer of solar panels is interested in purchasing them in addition to the system already working in the house. These energy sources are a long-term and significant investment in home improvement. Therefore, the service life of a home solar panel is an important factor for manufacturers and buyers. Manufacturers must ensure that their products are reliable and durable.
Most homeowners prefer power system brands that supply the best solar batteries with a guarantee of reliability and durability. The service life of home energy storage is 5 to 15 years. Solar panels are made from recyclable materials with a guarantee of their operation for 25 years. They can be replaced after the warranty period of use.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Home Solar Panel
The service life of solar panels is an important factor for both manufacturers and owners. It shows how the modules are durable, reliable and make it easy to produce power when needed. The lifespan of solar energy storage devices is affected by the following factors:
1. Degradation of panels (gradual loss of efficiency of modules)
The duration of their operation depends on the degradation factor of the solar energy storage. This indicator is influenced by the manufacturability and quality of the manufacturer’s products. The best manufacturers estimate the annual power loss of the solar panel in the amount of 0.8-1%. This guarantees the buyer that in 20-25 years his solar installation will produce at least 80-85% of the originally installed power rating per year of production.
2. Features of the operation of the solar battery
The life span of a solar panel depends on the cycle of use. The solar panel is a deep cycle unit that can discharge up to 80% of stored energy before recharging. Batteries charge level depends on characteristics such as model and size, which increase their potential. When buying a device, you should pay attention to the manufacturer’s depth of discharge (DoD): the larger it is, the longer the battery will last.
3. The impact of adverse environmental factors
The relevant environmental factors include difference in night and day temperatures, the influence of ultraviolet radiation, overheating in the daytime, strong gusts of wind. When the air temperature rises, the material of the battery expands, and when the ambient temperature drops, it contracts. Such a temperature difference leads to the formation of microcracks on the panel, which reduces its performance. The air temperature and excessive ultraviolet radiation eventually destroy the hermetic elements of the module, causing loss of their elasticity and mechanical damage.
4. Properties of the material from which the module is made
Polycrystalline systems wear out more than mono crystalline modules. The payback period for batteries made from polycrystalline modules is much faster. However, they also require replacement faster after 25 years of operation. This is especially true for solar panels of the middle and low price segment. Therefore, polycrystalline modules are not recommended to buy and install.
5. Type of solar battery
According to the chemical composition, lead-acid, lithium-ion, salted (with sea water) batteries are distinguished. Among them, lithium-ion panels are characterized by greater depth of discharge (DoD), durability, lightness and compactness3.
6. Heating temperature of the solar battery
The battery pack lasts longer in moderate ambient temperatures. In this case, it is better to install it on the roof of the house. At low temperatures, the battery will work fine if it is operated in a garage or basement. The higher the air temperature, the more the solar panels power generation performance decreases in summer.
7. Quality assurance and regular maintenance of the solar battery
They play a leading role in ensuring the durability of the device. Manufacturers must guarantee the performance and life expectancy of a solar power system. Regular maintenance always costs less than replacing or buying a new battery. For example, maintenance of a battery costs between $150 and $300 per year, but you can spend $100 to $3,200 to repair it4.
In addition to these factors, the performance of a solar station is affected by the presence of a shadow, the orientation and angle of inclination of the batteries, the quality of design and installation work carried out by the installer. When choosing a contractor who will mount your station, you should contact companies with experience in the field of solar energy. A professional installation company will offer you solar energy system maintenance and repair service.
How to extend the life of solar panels
The owner of a home power plant himself can extend the life of solar energy system if he observes the following rules:
- timely cleaning of panels after snow sticking to them;
- avoid damage or scratches to the module;
- protection from strong winds by barrier structures;
- regular cleaning of panels from dirt and dust with water from a hose;
- continuous battery charging, as a battery that is not charged for a long time wear out prematurely;
- regulation of the optimal number of batteries in the solar system, which contributes to its uniform charging.
The solar company Aion.solar offers a full range of services from materials for the production of home energy systems to their installation. Convince yourself of the efficiency and quality of home solar installations offered by this company.