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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

November 29, 2022

Solar panels are today’s most popular form of clean energy generation. They are also known as photovoltaic systems and can be used to generate power out of sunlight. The sun shines on the earth most of the time. Therefore, it’s easy to have enough power available for your home by installing solar panels on rooftops, windows, or any place with good sunlight.

However, the size and type of solar panel depend on the power need and the kind of system you want to install—whether it’s a grid-connected standalone system or a battery backup system.

Long solar panel strip ground mounted on a residents farm.

Long solar panel strip ground mounted on a resident’s farm.

Moreover, they are compatible with any wiring system. They don’t require extra cables or wires to be installed because they’re already embedded inside the panel.

Solar panels have been around for decades because the first solar panel was invented in 1883. However, recently they have been in use to harness their potential power output. With the advancement of technology, many companies are working to improve the efficiency, reliability, and longevity of solar panels at the lowest possible cost.

Besides, more homeowners are considering installing solar panels because of their increased benefits. Yet, It’s important to understand how long your solar panel will last so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for your home.

Solar Panel Materials:

There are a few different types of solar panel materials: monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide.

The most common type of solar panel is monocrystalline silicon. It has the highest efficiency rates and is the most expensive product. Polycrystalline silicon is less efficient but cheaper, so it’s more commonly used in residential installations.

Amorphous silicon is the least efficient and cheapest to produce, making it a good choice for portable or rural applications. Cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide are typically used in large-scale installations.

Crystalline Silicon:

In terms of efficiency, silicon is the best material in solar panels because they are convertible into a thin film that can be used in large numbers of panels at once. Silicon is also easy to assemble into solid-state structures that can be manufactured cheaply but still perform well enough to generate electricity.

Silicon solar panels are the most common type of solar panel on the market today. They’re made from pure silicon, which is very cheap and abundant.

Amorphous Silicon:

Amorphous silicon thin film solar cells (TSFCs) can be made using amorphous silicon wafers. Amorphous thin film solar panels are cheaper than crystalline ones because they use less material to make them. But they still have a lower conversion efficiency than crystalline silicon (CSP) panels with their higher cost-per-watt output ratio.

It works similarly to silicon, but it has less resistance to heat and producibility at lower temperatures. It also has a higher efficiency than silicon when converting sunlight into electricity.


Germanium—also known as silicene—is another option for solar panels that have been gaining popularity over the last few years. Germanium is an incredibly good conductor of electricity, making it ideal for use in phone chargers or other devices that need power quickly.

Organic Photovoltaics (OPV):

Organic photovoltaics are made from carbon-based materials and can be manufactured using solution-based processes, making them cheaper to produce than their inorganic counterparts.

OPVs are also flexible, which means they fit into various products and applications. However, the power output of organic solar cells is not as high as that of traditional silicon solar cells, and they also have a shorter lifespan.

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe):

It is the second most common material in solar panels after monocrystalline silicon. CdTe solar panels are cheaper to produce than their silicon counterparts and are more efficient at converting sunlight to electricity.

Cadmium telluride solar panels are made up of two layers of CdTe, with a thin film of cadmium sulfide (CdS) in between. The CdS layer helps to absorb sunlight and create an electrical field. CdTe solar panels are cheaper to produce and are more tolerant of high temperatures, meaning they can perform better in hot climates.

Organic photovoltaics (OPV)

OPV is a type of solar cell that uses organic materials (carbon-based) to convert sunlight into electricity. They are made from a thin film of organic semiconductor material deposited onto a substrate.

OPV has several advantages over silicon-based solar cells. They can be made using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process, cheaper and faster than the process used to make silicon solar cells. They are also flexible and can be made into any shape, making them ideal for use on curved surfaces or in applications where weight is an issue (like in aerospace). However, the efficiency of OPV solar cells is not as high as silicon solar cells, and they are not yet commercially available.

Solar Panel Weather Conditions:

Solar panels are designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures. They are manufactured to work best at temperatures between 20°C and 40°C (68°F and 104°F). Still, they are usable in temperatures as low as 15°C (59°F) and as high as 50°C (122°F). So, let’s uncover how solar panels react in different climate conditions.

Solar Panels Efficiency in Summers and Hot Humid Climate:

Even though solar panels are made of semiconductor material, they don’t work well in high temperatures because they need to be cooled down before being used again. The heat from sunlight can cause damage to solar cells if they’re left outside too long, so you must install them away from direct sunlight. It would be best if you also considered installing them where they will get as much shade as possible to help them stay cool.

Install solar panels that can withstand extremely high temperatures without breaking down or becoming damaged by exposure to direct sunlight. The best solar panels will have an IP rating of 80K or higher; the lower the rating number, the less durable the panel will be.

Solar Panels Efficiency in Winter:

Solar panels are a great way to power your home in winter. They’re not just for sunny days. They are designed to work even when the sun is covered by clouds or fog. They also work in most environments, including snow and rain.

If you live in a polar region with snowfall most of the year, you can select between the two main types Of solar panels. The evacuated tube and solid-state solar panels since both are suitable for cold environments with high efficiency and power output.

Evacuated tube solar panels are great for cold areas with bright sunshine throughout the year. But they are not as effective during cloudy periods. Contrastingly, solid-state solar panels are particularly good at capturing energy during cloudy conditions.

As with any solar panel system, you will need to make sure your roof is safe from ice and snow accumulation before installing one of these systems on top of it. It will ensure that no ice or snow gets into the electrical connections between the roof and the solar panel system.

Solar Panels Efficiency in Rain:

Suppose you live near a large body of water (like a lake). In that case, you should install solar panels designed to withstand water damage because they will be exposed to rain and snow more frequently. Most solar panels have aluminum or glass covering that is highly resistant to water. So, even if you face frequent rain storms in your area, you can install solar panels without fear of damage.

Different Solar Panel Systems for Different Climatic Regions:

There are different solar panels, but mono and polycrystalline are the most common. The monocrystalline is made from one piece of silicon and is cheaper than polycrystalline panels. The polycrystalline type has multiple silicon layers between two sheets of glass covering a steel core. It makes the solar panel more durable and efficient in converting sunlight into electricity.

Monocrystalline solar panels outperform polycrystalline panels in sunny weather situations because monocrystalline panels have a superior (lower) temperature coefficient than polycrystalline panels. It’s because, at moderate and high heat, the loss of free carriers (electrons and holes) predominates in polycrystalline cells. At the same time, it is uncommon in monocrystalline cells. Less production will always result from hot temperatures. Regarding cold weather, as long as the panels aren’t covered in snow, freezing temperatures shouldn’t affect their performance.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing which type of panel you want is that they need to be mounted on something that will let them receive enough sunlight during peak hours, such as during the summer months when it gets dark early and stays light until late afternoon/evening hours. If installing solar panels on your roof, you’ll want to ensure they have enough space between them. Hence, no shade blocks sunlight from reaching any panel at any given time throughout the day/night cycle.

Solar Panel Durability and Efficiency:

Solar panels are one of the most important components of a solar power system. They convert sunlight into electricity that can be used to power your home or business, and they can last for many years. But what is the efficiency of solar panels, and how long do they last?

Solar Panels Efficiency:

Solar panel efficiency refers to the amount of energy produced by a solar panel. The efficiency of a solar panel is measured in watt hours per kilowatt (Wh/kW). The maximum power a single solar panel can produce depends on many factors, including the sun’s angle at which it hits the panels and how much light there is relative to shade and clouds.

Solar panels are designed in different layers. The first layer is called the “glass,” the most efficient part of the panel. The glass is made from pure silicon and has a high refractive index that allows light to pass through it more easily than other materials.

The next layer is called “aluminum foil,” which makes up much of the rest of the panel. It’s less pure than glass and has a lower refractive index than silicon, but it still allows more light to pass through than other types of foil or plastic. Finally, there’s black paint between these two layers—it reduces reflectivity and increases power production.

Each layer has its specific purpose: Glass reflects very little light into space—only 10% or less—so it collects only about 20% as much light as it needs to convert into electricity (for example). However, its high refractive index lets it capture nearly 100%.

Factors That Affect the Efficiency of Solar Panels:

The efficiency of solar panels is affected by many factors, including environmental conditions, the type of panel, and the tilt angle of the panel.

To improve your solar panel efficiency, you can either make adjustments to the design of your panels or buy more efficient ones. For example, if your panels are made from silicon wafers rather than thin film materials like those used in high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) modules. However, they produce more heat and require more expensive cooling systems than traditional models.

The efficiency of a solar panel is directly related to its area and surface area-to-volume ratio. The more area there is on a panel or in space, the more power can be produced from the sun.

Another important factor that affects solar panel efficiency is how well the panels are angled toward the sun—the higher they are pointed toward the sun, the more light will enter them, and power can be generated.

Solar Panels Durability:

Solar panels can last more than 25 years unless there is some potential damage that needs repair. The higher the efficiency of solar panels, the more durable they will be. The average efficiency of solar panels has increased from 12% to 25% over the last decade. It is due to technological advancement and a recent shift in manufacturing solar panels. Newer solar panels have a yearly degradation rate of as low as 0.3%.

The average life expectancy of a solar panel is around 25-30 years. Still, the actual lifespan depends on many factors, including where it was manufactured and how much sunlight there is in your area. Suppose you live in an area with sunny weather year-round and little cloud cover. In that case, your solar panel will likely last longer than somewhere with more cloud coverage and less sun exposure during winter.

Solar is Worth It:

Since the life of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, this doesn’t mean they will not work after that. As the degradation rate of the solar panel is 0.3% per year, the efficiency of your solar panel will only be reduced by 8 -10% after 25 years. It means that your solar panel will continue to function even if it has reached 25% of its expected lifespan but at a lower power output efficiency. You can easily repair or replace them with the help of the solar panel company you have dealt with during installation.

The durability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of solar panels indicate that solar panel is worth more than the installation cost. Solar panels start paying back the money right after installation with the least maintenance cost. And hence they last more than 2 decades and are recyclable and worth buying.

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